I have never heard of anything like it in western thought.
Perhaps with the advent of modern physics - and the realisation that time is merely another fourth dimension of existence - ravan can be introduced in a big way, since ravan now can get a far more direct sense of "being" rather than "just" being the pattern and influence left beyond by our bodies in existence as such.
Ravan is simply bodies WITHIN the dimension of time.
But then again, the concept of time has been far more thoroughly approached in Iranian and Indian philosophy than ever in western philosophy, where time was considered a given fact not to be given attention well into the 21st century and the late arrival of time-fascinated philosophers such as Henri Bergson.
2008/8/30 Parviz Varjavand
Your points are very elegantly presented and very correct. I am if full agreement with you.
Now hear my two cents on the Meaning of Ravan.
I take Ravan to be related to words such as Raftan and Raftar. It means Movement or Behavior. In our lives we move in certain directions and the paths we take do matter. They are our Ravan. When we die, our Ravan survives and it is the footprints of what we did when alive. As long as our Ravan is remembered well, we live on and that is what Ravan'ash Shad Bad means, may his/her Ravan be happy. Ravan is not Soul in the classic sense that a ghost-like vapor of us survives after the death of the body; I do not believe in that kind of a soul void of body in Zoroastrianism.
Maybe we should let go of such old dichotomies, such as either-meaningful-or-meaningless. What also striked me about Popper's reasoning was his idea to offer a THIRD option: the world is neither meaningful nor meaningless, it is INDIFFERENT towards meaning. But - and that's what Zarathushtra came up with so many centuries ago - the meaning we've created for ourselves DOES affect the world through our words and actions. It's common sense that convictions shape this world. Thus, we are co-creators.
On the other hand and in good Peircean spirit, I also believe that meaning is an open process. There's no end. Things mean what they cause. We can't foresee all effects, nor can we fully understand EVERY SINGLE effect today.
That's why I agree with Alexander that Zarathushtra was an existentialist. But we was also a pragmatist in a Peircean way.
My two cents,