onsdagen den 31:e december 2008

Why there is NO original sin in Zoroastrianism

Dear Helen
No, there is no concept of "sin" to be found anywhere in The Gathas. None whatsoever.
Even my strongest adversaries on Zoroastrian theology completely agree with me on this issue.
Sin was invented with the creation of the mythology of The Garden Of Eden.
But as a Zoroastrian elderly pointed out to me already in the 1980s:
"While the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims all regard the eating of the forbidden fruit in The Garden of Eden as the ultimate tragedy in human history, and the beginning of Original Sin, we as Zoroastrians - if we were to believe in the story of The Garden of Eden - would have put our bets on The Snake instead and heralded The Snake as the hero."
In Zoroastrianism, OPPOSING what is previosuly held to be true and FINDING OUR OWN PATHS TO TRUTH is the very foundation of the religion. This is precisely what sacredness of ASHA is all about. However, this very attitude is precisely the origin of sin in the Abrahamic faiths. The two worldviews could not be any more different.
You really need to take off your Christian glasses before you study The Gathas or the Zoroastrian religion! Or else you will just become another boring Mary Boyce with a surficial and fundamentally mistaken view of the Zoroastrian creed.
Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/31 Helen Gerth

Good morning Alexander,

You are correct....my interest is in contemporary, online Zarathushti identity....and as a 'professed researcher' :-) I am careful to separate out and qualify what friends and acquaintances online share about their perspectives keeping in mind context....It is easy to become lost in the minute details of identity and belief -both similarities and differences -and I agree with Jehan Bagli that there is a wealth of similarities...while I do want to understand the differences as I would not want to offend or otherwise make a statement that you, or traditionalists etc. feel is incorrect about their views...I am also focusing more on general groups within the community at this point to summarize general positions...

Zaneta's comments are, while not specifically expressions of a Zarathushti's belief, very important in several ways.....they show how those outside the religion perceive it , their use of online Zarathushti resources to learn more about it, and how then may incorporate some of those beliefs.....watching how 'outside' participants are engaged in the community on different lists has also been part of understanding how the community and segments of it see themselves in relationship to others.....part of Zarathushti identity online is about what is said to others within the community and part of it is understanding what they want to present to those outside the community.....and perhaps most importantly of all what will the trajectory of Zoroastrianism be in the future....how much impact will those who have converted, those who are 'returning' to the religion of their ancestory, those who take parts of Zoroastrianism away from sites with them and tell others of it have on the social structure, the beliefs and practices of Zarathushti's years from now?

As for sin.....I've seen some indications that the Gathas actually do address the idea of sin...that has been my impression even before coming onto the lists....an interesting topic for much deeper reading when I have a moment.....my instinct is to go directly to the Gathas as I have seen some others do and find the references for myself which I cannot do at the moment....so this is not an attempt to engage on the concept....simply a recognition of your comment below and my thoughts.

I appreciate your thoughts and your sharing of contextual background to place individual postings against.

Ushta te
Helen


--- On Mon, 12/22/08, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] An important correction: What are Zoroastrian beliefs (and merely beliefs expressed in forums run by Zoroastrians)?
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, December 22, 2008, 2:24 AM


Dear Helen

Since you are a researcher, I would like to point out that while Mehran Gheibi is indeed a Zoroastrian mobed in Iran, Zaneta Garrett is a Christian woman living in Sweden who has not made any claims to be or wanting to become a Zoroastrian but is merely a non-Zoroastrian interested in online Zoroastrianism, much like yourself. I believe this is valuable information for you as you are apparently studing contemporary Zoroastrian beliefs and not really general human beliefs in whatever, and therefore including the beliefs of non-Zoroastrians in your studies would radically invalidate your findings. There are differences in beliefs within Zoroastrianism, as Mehran has pointed out, but I agree with Mehran that there are also wide agreements, especially when it comes to how Zoroastrian ethics is radically different from Abhrahamic moralism. The lack of a concept of sin is a cornerstone in all forms of contemporary Zoroastrianism. Zaneta has her personal beliefs, as she is entitled to, but as a non-Zoroastrian I do not think that you should include them in your studies on Zorostrianism.

Ushta
Alexander

tisdagen den 30:e december 2008

The two worlds in The Gathas - and the pre-eminence of causality!

Correct!!!
The idea that Mind is a world all of its own, non-physical and consisting of a reality equal with or superior to physical reality, originated with Plato in Greece around 500 B.C. There were no such theories around at the time of Zarathushtra for sure.
What is more interesting from a Zoroastrian perspective is to study the latest science of physics. In loop quantum theory - now the dominant theory in physics and cosmology following the demise of string theory - not even space or time themselves are fundamental. What is fundamental is instead nothing but causality itself.
Now if anything was extremely modern with Zarathushtra it was the concept that CAUSALITY is the fundament of existence (the stress on the importance of the ORDER of things). This is something we should focus on instead of trying to force a Platonian dualism into The Gathas where there is none.
Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/29 Special Kain

Dear friends,

The whole point is that the question whether there are two or more worlds mentioned in the Gathas isn't as important as realising that they couldn't be essentially different from each other. There is only one law, asha, and asha governs all worlds - whether real, potential or merely imagined.
What we have here is functional monism as in pragmatism's notion of functionality replacing the absolute truth. The material world and all those fancy astral theme parks do not follow completely different logics!! They're not functionally different, so they're not essentially different, either. And since we're living in a post-ontological world, philosophically speaking, we don't have to worry about the question whether there are any heavens, because they wouldn't be much different from this world, anyway.
I hope I made myself clear enough, so I may finish in Rorty style, claiming that there has never been a problem whatsoever. :-))

Ushta,
Dino

måndagen den 29:e december 2008

Two worlds in The Gathas?

Dear Mehran, Ronald, Dino

What Zarathushtra is saying is that there APPEARS to be two planes of existence.
This is of course true, this is how we PERCIEVE the world!!! Nobody ever questioned that. We perceived a inside, a mental state, and an outside, the world surroudning us (ncludig our own bodies as a phenomenon).
Zarathushtra does not however say that THIS is the way the world IS. Not anywhere!
If you claim this, then you are trying to turn Zarathushtra into a scientist smarter and more modern than Albert Einstein and you are making a mockery of the Zoroastrian religion.
It is also blatantly unfair to Zarathushtra. Zarathushtra did NOT claim to be a scientist who made scientific claims. He merely put forward how existence is percieved by us SO THAT WE COULD MAKE THE RIGHT and ethical CHOICES for ourselves. THIS was his sole concern.
Never did Zarathushtra set out any other concerns for him to write The Gathas in the first place. Or did you run across any scientific manifesto by Zarathushtra outside of The Gathas???

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/29 ztheist
- Dölj citerad text -



Ushta Mobedyar

That there are two planes of existence, according to the Gathas and
thus to Zarathushtra, is confirmed not only by 28.2 but its all over
the Gathas. There is Vahishta Manah, Garo Demana , and there;s Drugo
Demana. The Chinvat is pictured as a bridge that crosses over to
another plane of existence, and in fact the other existence is called
the Better Existence . Any one who insists in questioning this or
calling it an interpretation is either ignorant of the Gathas or is
deluded or its just trying to make their own religion and misusing
the Gathas in an attempt to support it.

To then claim, as is being claimed here, that there is no dualism and
that there's is no Creator or Supreme being and trying to use the
name of Zarathushtra and his religion as supporting this, is just
more delusion. There is a superior being in the Gathas. He shows all
the qualities of a being and He is addresed with a name that was used
for gods since time immemorial by the Aryans : Ahura

There is absolutely zero evidence that Zarathushtra ever thought or
even considered that there is no god or that Mazda Ahura is not God.

Now it COULD be there is no god , and it COULD be that reality is
Monist , BUT Zarathushtra's Gathas DO NOT support such a theory, no
matter how much the deluded may want to twist the Gathas to make them
fit their delusion.

Incidentally, that is why for the better part of several years, they
actually refuse to give any verse or stanza in the Gathas to support
their delusion AND even go as far as refusing to accept arguments
from what the Gathas say. This is because : A) They know that the
Gathas do not support their delusion and B)Because they know that
their doctrine is not Zarathushtrian but they still want to
appropriate the name.

Yet incredible they lecture others on what is a zarathushtrian and
even send them to other religions and in the very next breath they
claim to be tolerant and accuse those who oppose their delusion opf
being intolerant. I am afraid they all are products of Aka Manah, of
such, Zarathushtra said that " ... they could not choose aright
because delusion came over them ... "

Ushta te
Ron

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
wrote:
>
> Dear Dino
> dorood
> 1- Would you please read the verse 28-2 of gAthA? In this verse, ye
wAo mazdA ahoorA (=O' wise maker/creator), paiirii jasAii vohoo
managhA (= I come to you with good mind), maiibyo (=to me) dAvooii
(=give) ahwAo (= in two existances/lifes/beings), astvatas
(=material) chA (=and) heyat (=also) chA (=and) mananghA (=
spiritual / of mind), AyaptA (= rewards) ashAt chit hachA (=
upon/inacordance with ashA), yAiish (=that with it) rapento (= to
faitful believer/ the person who relys on you) da'idit (= you give)
kho'Athra (= good breath = in Persian it does mean good serenity.
When we do a job well, we breath a good breath and say: oh yes it is
finished and we do are best. This is called good breath = kho'Athra)
> 2- The thing that you mentioned is due to Semitic/AbrAhAmic point
of view. jehovah creats world and then Adam, just like hiself, to
rule it. He say Adam not to eat the fruit of two trees. Tree of
knowledge, and tree of life. After some other stories, Adam and Eve
eat the fruit of knowledge ...... When jehovah found out that Adam
and Eve have eaten the fruit of knowledge, he told himself that Adam
would eat the fruit of life and become immortal. jehovah
thinks:" Adam is just the same as me and if eats the fruit of life
will counterpart me and it will be very bad." Therefore he dispossess
Adam and Eve from the Eden, throws out them to earth to punish them
for this first sin and however to prevent them from eating the fruit
of life and becoming immortal..... In this point of view material
world is bad and material life is punishment.
> In gAthA there is not the same, therefore world = material life is
not bad and punishment. ahoorA mazdA creats world and human being to
live happily and grow up toward ahoorA mazdA and .... In verse 28-1
you find out that ahoorA mazdA is the most superior entity in
spirituality = spiritual life. In other verses you will find that
human being should go forward and become more refresh until unity
with ahoorA mazdA. Thus I as other parts of avestA interpret it as
superiority of spiritual life on material life, just as the
superiority of driver on a car.
> 3- A material human being is just a robot. Nowadays scientists with
so many knowledge and instruments have spent so many time and money
to creat such nowadays robots that are not comparable with an insect,
yet. Well, who/ which entity with how much knowledge, with how many
instrument, spending how much time and .... has planned and created
this robot that is called human being? If you say: "... no there is
not a plan..." I will say: "Any scientist has proved the plan" What
is a plan? It is a strategy for making a thing or reaching a result
through a proper set of initial elements by a proper process... If
You observe correctly, you will find these elements and processes all
over you, from your hair to your foot. A plan neds a knowledge
planer, and working the process needs an able processor.
>
>
> Nik-o shAd bAshid
> KhodA negahdAr,
> MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.
> Kerman_Iran
>
>
>
> --- On Sun, 12/28/08, Special Kain wrote:
>
> From: Special Kain

> Subject: [Ushta] Two worlds in the Gathas?
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Sunday, December 28, 2008, 10:55 PM
>
>
> Dear Mehran,
>
> Are there really two essentially different worlds mentioned in the
Gathas? Are they meant as objective facts or is that part up to
interpretation? That doesn't bother me at all, because there's a much
more important message: Both worlds are equally good. There's no
hierarchy between any worlds, no astral theme parks being allegedly
superior to a shady material world that's just bad, bad, bad. Whether
there are any two essentially different worlds is not important here.
What's really intriguing is the essentially positive attitude: Astral
theme parks are not better than this material world with its physical
objects, flora and fauna, neural networks etc.
>
> Ushta,
> Dino

torsdagen den 25:e december 2008

Zoroastrians don't believe in sin!

Haha, Shirin and Cyrus are amazing!!!
They haven't understood anything we write.
Of course there is a lot of evil in this world. Nobody ever denied that. Homophobia is one such thing.
Which means that there is apparently quite a lot of evil going on inside certain Parsi minds too. ;-)
However, evil and sin are not the same things. And while evil is often mentioned by Zarathushtra in The Gathas, sin is not mentioned, not even once. Zarathushra considered the concept of sin completely meaningless (I'm glad though that I can say I agree with Shirin that there is of course no original sin in Zoroastrianism; actually there is no concept of sin at all).
If Shirin wants to insist that PARSI Zoroastrianism is an ethnic, homophobic, racist religion, then this is her prerogative. I'm not a Parsi. I'm a European Zoroastrian and I have been welcomed precisely as such by the Council of Mobeds in Tehran to the Mazdayasna religion. And neither Shirin nor Cyrus speak for the IRANI Zoroastrians. The Iranis can make up their own minds who they wish to welcome to their Zoroastrian religion.
Isn't the ultimate irony here that Shirin is sorry about Zaneta not being welcomed to the Zoroastrian religion while keeping her Christian faith? But wait a second, didn't Shirin just say that nobody was welcome to her dying religion, IN ANY CASE?
Well, there you go... This is madness mayhem.
Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/24 Parviz Varjavand
- Dölj citerad text -

Why not read how our discussions on Ushta is followed on other sites! ;-)

Parviz


--- On Wed, 12/24/08, bulsara@att.net wrote:

From: bulsara@att.net
Subject: Re: [MainstreamZoroastrians] Zoroastrians don't believe in SIN !!!
To: MainstreamZoroastrians@yahoogroups.com, "Ahunaver" , MainstreamZoroastrians@yahoogroups.com
Cc: "Shirin J. Mistry" , "Zaneta Garratt"
Date: Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 6:20 AM

IMHO, these guys are total lowlife, scumbag, idiots looking for a way out to salve their souls for all the sins they commit.

Zoroastrianism is known for its principals of Good v/s Evil...Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds!!!

So, where does a self professed deviant, bi-sexual, street prostitute fit into all this?

Where do the Brazil Comunidade Asha deviant sex camps with deaths/sickness of its leaders by AIDS fit into all this?

IMHO - Lies, deceit and deformation of a great religion are the order of the day for these Jafarey Cult thugs.


--
Tandarosti,

Cyrus Bulsara

===================================


-------------- Original message from "Shirin J. Mistry" : --------------

Thank God that there is no direct line from Bard's lips to Ahura Mazda's ears!

There is no concept of "salvation" in Zoroastrianism at all. We do not need to be saved. So if you are looking for "salvation" and honestly believe that you need it, you should stay with Christianity. Zoroastrianism is not for you in that case. Since Zoroastrians do not believe in sin, we do not need any salvation.

This genius must have rewritten the entire Avesta to have arrived at these conclusions - OR may be they have arrived at nothing more than self-delusion!

The world's most learned academics accept the fact that Zoroastrianism introduced the concept of Salvation of the soul to the rest of the religions that belive in it!

Not so, according to moRon and Bard and all of their CONverted ilk!

So poor dear Zaneta is invited to stick to Christianity as if it was that Faith that first revealed such a concept to the world! I am sure her own knowledge garnered over years of study will be making her wonder about what den of iniquity she has wandered into with these daffjus!

We do not need to be saved.
So says the one person who needs Salvation more than most on his list! Actually some of them may even need to be saved from his uneducated pronouncements, since ignorance is ahriman's weapon of choice!

Zoroastrianism is not for you in that case.
Zoroastrianism is an ethnic religion and has always been meant for those who are Parsi-Irani- Iranian Zoroastrians ONLY! There is no question of "Choosing" to belong to it after one's birth if one is not born a Mazdayasni to Mazdayasni Zarathoshti parents!

The only choice Zoroastrianism allows its adherents is an ethical one - of choosing to be good or not WITH CONSEQUENCES SPELT OUT FROM THE START! Once the idea of justice / consequences is accepted/understood , (usually by the time our own children are initiated into our religion by the performance of a navjote ceremony) evil comes to those who are evil and good to those who are good! There is no choice in that result! The very idea of weighing one's good deeds against the bad ones at Chinvat would make no sense otherwise! Again remember, nobody else is ever going to be blamed for your mistakes - or take upon himself the burdens of your sins - or die on your behalf so you can go to Heaven! The very idea of passing the buck would be anathema to a true blue!

Indeed you are your own salvation! And in this again Asho Zarathushtra was far beyond the concepts of his own times - where the poor and downtrodden, where the womenfolk and where all children too were in a position to enjoy an afterlife according to the Truths by which they had lived and the Divine Justice that all humankind would always receive at the end of their lives on earth!

Always remember that your deeds dictate your destiny!

There is NO concept of Original Sin as in Christianity where God has to sacrifice His own son thanks to Adam and Eve and the apple and the serpent and disobeying God's laws! We were never thrown out of any Garden of Eden because we disobeyed anybody! In fact we choose to incarnate to come to earth in physical form and help destroy all the evil that has imposed itself on God's good creations and help make it back into the beautiful place He had made! So we are urged to strive to make a Heaven as it was on earth! - a place of immense beauty and peace and happiness! Paradise, after all is a Persian word for a beautiful garden and the House of Song, sings its own explanation!

SO FOR ANYBODY TO ACTUALLY SAY THAT ZOROASTRIANS DON'T BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF SIN AND EVIL, IS TO BE AT ONCE UTTERLY STUPID AND SHAMELESSLY VILE!

Misguiding folks is the badge of all these daffus! So why should anybody be surprised by this latest utter drivel?

Since Zoroastrians do not believe in sin, we do not need any salvation.
One thing is certain that with beliefs like this Alexander Bard himself may land up as the third who will NEVER gain Salvation in the august company of such creatures as Azidhaka and Alexander, the Accursed - the numbers may be growing with the likes of ahrimanali!

No wonder those poor folks in Brazil have been misled into believing that Zoroastrianism accepts homosexuality when ity couldn't be more condemning of it! No wonder AIDS is decimating their numbers already! For somebody who used to be a male prostitute in Germany according to the Sounds of Sweden site, his convoluted concept of Zoroastrianism must be helping him to sleep at night! No wonder then that for most of these idiots, Zoroastrianism then becomes a religion of convenience rather than one of conviction! And his trying to convince anybody by such falsehoods is going to destroy him finally!

Why do you all think jaffu has rejected the Vendidaad except that his lieutenant in Europe is well known to be a sexual deviant and all of Sweden knows it! So get rid of everything that is proving to be inconvenient to the daffus and then keep spreading the canards that suit their own lifestyles!

So rape, steal, lie, cheat, loot. deform, distort, kill and destroy - and all's well with their present world!

The Latter Avesta does appear to make the same claims, when it states : "Asha is the only path all other paths are no paths at all"
Now we have moRon at his best!

Does he really think that an ethics based religion is going to state otherwise? ASHA is Righteousness - there is no other path to salvation except trodding on it!

ASHA is not the exclusive purview of Zoroastrianism only! No real religion has ever taught that being evil is great! EVERY human being has that choice to make - be good or bad BUT always be aware that it is in your hands and on your head once you reach the age of discretion!

Exclusivity lies at the doors of those who claim that their religion is the only way to Heaven - basically as the Christians and the Mussalmans do! We, Zoroastrians never claim that Heaven is only open to Zoroastrians! Our concept is inclusive of ALL human beings who are good and therefore RIGHTEOUS!

If that simple a concept is beyond moRon's grasp ,I feel he has been aptly nicknamed!

WHAT UTTER BILGE SPROUTS FORTH FROM THE MOUTHS OF THESE IGNORANT BEASTS!

Yazdaan Panaah Baad!
ShirinMAI!

onsdagen den 17:e december 2008

Pantheism and Panentheism - two living interpretations of Zoroastrianism

Dear Ron

Thank you for a great and enlighteneing posting on your position!!!
Just a small clarification: Abrahamic is not the same as Abrahamist.
Abrahamic here means influenced by, leaning towards, or being related to Abrahamist faiths (like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai) but not necessarily more than so.
As a Panentheist you are clearly NOT an Abrahamist. With the exception of Sufism you are not likely to find any Pantheistic or Panentheistic versions anywhere of the Abrahamist faiths which are all dualist proper.
In this sense, you are clearly a Zoroastrian. Monist and Panentheist Zoroastrianism has lived closely together for 3,700 years and will likely remain to do so.
I'm personally full of respect for and always willing to listen to Panentheistic arguments, such as yours and those from Dina McIntyre, even though my fundamental belief has remained monist for years. The Gathas can certainly be read both ways and it is possible and even likely that Zarathushtra himself did not have a clear cut opinion on the issue. All for the better!

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/17 ztheist

Ushta Parviz

I am sorry but that is not a correct representation of my beliefs nor of why neither I nor Zarathushtra , and certainly not, Jafarey can be called Abrahamic.

First, as opposed to Dr J, I do not believe that AM is not immanent in Creation. I am Panentheistic, in that, I believe that Mazda (or more accurately) his thought and mind, as well as his energy, are present and immanent in Creation but that he also transcends it; being greater than it, as much as, he is the Creator and is portrayed as abiding in a different plane of existence. At the same time I do not agree with Dina that we ae but One b eing, with Dr Bagley that Mazda is immanent in his Essence a or with you and Alex that Reality is Monist and that we are all Mazda.

Second, even the fact that some (and indeed most certainly most Irani) Zartoshtis hold to Mazda as 'other' and not immanent; does not make them into Abrahamics. For the Abrahamic religions are characterized by certain attitudes and beliefs about the creator, the creation and their relationship to each other that are, frankly, anathema to (a well understood) Gathic thgeology. On this subject, I find it , with all due respect, rather ironic that you, who have stood for a preservation of a 'traditional' set of practices, attitudes and beliefs by conservative Zartoshties in Iran that are very Abrahamic, indeed almost insepoarable from Abrahamic belief, dsshould label others who clearly do not hoild these Abrahanic 'essential' as Abrahamic

For as to my experience with the conservative Irani Zartoshties , it has been made clear to me that their mainline beliefs include A) A Non-immanent deity. B Sin, D) Divine Judgement, E) Divine Condemnation F) A Geographical Hell of torment G) A god that precribes and proscribes behavior, practice and belief H) Blind belief in an authority whether human, a book, or whatever .

All the above are essential characteristics of an Abrahamic faith that are shared by what you have identified as Historical Zoroastrianism , and exalted it many times in the best of terms, as well. That is , of course your right but it is rather contradictory of you to stand for something else totally in disagreement with those beliefs.

Since Gathaists do not hold to any of the above Abrahamic tenets, I think that if we are going to go about labeling Zoroastrians as Abrahamics, something I MOST DEFINITELY believe we should NEVER EVER do, then the "Abrahamic' shoe would fit almost flawlessly on the 'foot' of your beloved conservative beliefs.

As to Asha being a tool or not , that is not nor has ever been my position . I mean I been in the listss for 9 years and I am sure you will be able with no problem to find a quote from me that asserts that ASHA IS A TOOL OR MAZDA IS NOT IMMANENT. Asha is the creation of Mazda ahura as recorded in the Gathas He is its 'father' and source . A carefuky styudy of the philological meanings of the ways assocuated to this 'fatherhood' leads me to believe that in factm Asha , and the other Fundamental Principles of Llfe are Divine Enanation and as such essences Aspects of the One Divinity

Thus, in my belief, Asha, cannot be a tool He is Mazda Ahura as Personified Righteous and True Order and is an inseparate part of Divinity.Mazda does not need to a Monist expression of Mind reality or whatever else you believe he is, for He and Asha to be One and indeed we can become like Him and thus be One in etics , but never in power and essence. at least that is as far as the Gbathas go. To posy]t anything else based on the Gathas is in my opinion escessive speculation.

If you want to go beyond the Gathas that is OK , but in all honesty, if you go beyond the Gathas, then, you ought not to use Gathic terms or the name of Zarathushtra to represent your beliefs. Youy would be dscussing something else . That something might be right and true but is not Mazda and is not Zarathushtra.

Ushta te
Ron


----- Original Message -----

From: Parviz Varjavand
To: zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com ; zoroastrianacceptance2@yahoogroups.com ; fravahar@yahoogroups.com ; zartosht@yahoogroups.com ; youngzoroastrians@yahoogroups.com ; universaldaeena@yahoogroups.com ; universalreligion@yahoogroups.com ; Ahura-Mazda Zoroastrian ; Ahuraic@yahoogroups.com ; Zaneta Garratt ; ztheist
Cc: Ushta
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:14 PM
Subject: [zoroastrians] Re: Prof. Mary Boyce, To Ron

Ushta Ron,

The Abrahamic part is that as Mr. Jafarey pointed out in his posts, the Pristine Pure version of Zoroastrianism that you preach, has an Ahoora Mazda that sits outside the creation He/She has created. A Monist view places Ahoora Mazda in creation. Asha does not become a tool of a carpenter Ah-Maz, Asha becomes one with Ah-Maz. The consequences of such a differentiation are enormous.

Ushta,
Parviz

--- On Tue, 12/16/08, ztheist wrote:

From: ztheist
Subject: Re: [zoroastrians] Prof. Mary Boyce
To: solvolant@yahoo.com, zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com, zoroastrianacceptance2@yahoogroups.com, fravahar@yahoogroups.com, zartosht@yahoogroups.com, youngzoroastrians@yahoogroups.com, universaldaeena@yahoogroups.com, universalreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Ahura-Mazda Zoroastrian" , Ahuraic@yahoogroups.com, "Zaneta Garratt"
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 4:11 PM

Ushta Zaneta

Unfortunately Parviz , is, I am afraid, very wrong on his characterization of Gathaists as "Abrahamic'. This is a fundamental misconception of his. If anything, the conservative Ziist view of his childhood and the Parsi conservative view of today is the one that is Abrahamic; as conservative view God as ordaining and prescribing just like the Abrahamic. Zarathushtra, in the Gathas, teaches something fundamentally different, He teaches a reflective religion with a God that does not order but expects you to freely choose.

Ushta te
Ron

----- Original Message -----
From: Zaneta Garratt
To: solvolant@yahoo. com ; group ; ushta@yahoogroups. com
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:23 AM
Subject: RE: [zoroastrians] Prof. Mary Boyce

Hi parviz, Thank you for writing this letter explaning the different streams in Zoroastrain development and thought-you give a very good inside picture of the development of different streams of Zoroastrainism- I have always enjoyed Mary Boyce's books but , as I am not Zoroastrain myself, I could not put all this down in such a good way that you have. I am also very fascinated with what Dina mcIntyre and Ali Jafarey have to say also-my opinion is that the Gathas, and the Avesta as well, are original scriptures but each person is free to interpret these as they think correct for themselves as a person, the main duty of all these writings is that they are there to make us better people-and that they are, in this way and many other ways,Divine, Thanks again from zaneta

To: ushta@yahoogroups. com; zoroastrians@ yahoogroups. com; jvarza@yahoo. com
From: solvolant@yahoo. com
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 17:19:56 -0800
Subject: [zoroastrians] Prof. Mary Boyce

About Prof. Mary Boyce

There is a discussion going on in the Ushta@yahoo groups about the merits of the works of Mary Boyce in the field of Zoroastrian studies, and I felt a need to share my views with an audience that might be interested in them.

Mary Boyce correctly registered the many beliefs of the Zoroastrians of Iran of some seventy years ago, those times when Gahan as a sacred book had not become popular amongst Zoroastrian intellectuals. The Zoroastrianism of my childhood was the Zoroastrianism Mary Boyce describes rather accurately. Mr. Khojeste Mistree was a student of Mary Boyce, and he can attest that the Zoroastrianism of the Parsis of India was and, to a great extent still is, the Zoroastrianism that Mary Boyce perceived in Sharifabad, Iran. I like this version because I grew up with it, and, although as a child I could not understand these things, it is Polytheistic with the heavy hand of Mani visible in a great part of its folk beliefs.

With the translations of Gahan becoming popular, a wave of Z. intellectuals started various efforts at reform. Dastoor Dhalla may mark the beginning of this particular movement and today I consider Ali Akbar Jafarey, Dina MacIntyre, and Dr. D. Irani as leading thinkers of this line of reform. We could say that today Iranian Zoroastrians have mostly shifted to a reform movement along Gahani lines and away from their Sassani heritage. My father, Dr. Feridoon Varjavand, was a strong believer in this reform movement and put me in classes that taught its ideologies.

From the early beginnings of the Gahani movement, there were scholars that did not see much merit in making Z. a religion "by the Book". Three amongst them, Mr. Zabih Behrooz, Dr. Mohamad Moghadam, and Dr. Sadegh Kia were amongst the best friends of my father. These scholars taught me much, and they basically did not consider the Gahani school much of an improvement on the Sassani one, the school that Mary Boyce describes with great accuracy. They considered that Nietzsche had a better glimpse of what the original Mazdayasni ideologies were all about than did Dastoor Dhalla.

My father did not financially or otherwise support Behrooz and his friends in their "Anjomane Iran Vij" and their "Iran Koode" publishing house and this movement gradually faded away. Other prominent Zoroastrian personalities such as Arbab Rostam Guiv and members of the Yeganegi and Varza families supported Prof. Poor Davood, and Ali Akbar Jafarey and the Gahani reform movement gained momentum in time and took roots. I know one reason why my father did not support Behrooz. It was post Second World War times and liking thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Wagner…etc. would classify you as belonging to the German camp, and being identified as sympathetic to that camp was dangerous in those days. Behrooz also had a very cutting sense of humor which could put him and his associates in direct harm's way with religious pillars of the Iranian society. Behrooz came from a very complex and rich background, and he was truly the last of
the Persian Magi of the Mithraic lineage (if there ever was or is such a phoenix!).

Later, when the "Back to Gahan" movement gained momentum, I found myself in harmony with some of its reforms such as an open door policy when it came to conversion. However, the words of my old teacher Behrooz still rang in my ears; I understood that the structure of the new path was along Abrahamic lines and not combatable with the original Mazdean and Mind-Festive path of the early Iraji people (I use Iraji instead of Aryan because still one can not trust the character and motivations of persons who gather under the Aryan banner).

When I first started challenging some of the pronouncements of the "Pristine Purists" as the Gahan revivalists like to call themselves, I was met with a great amount of hostility. Only a new convert, Mr. Alexander Bard, began to take me seriously after a while, and a good friendship has developed between us over time. Mr. Bard is playful and whimsical in his art as a musician and artist, but in the philosophy of religions his opinions are very to the point, as far as I am concerned. His Monist vision of Zoroastrianism and his vast knowledge of the great German philosophic heritage put him in the right path in introducing to the world a new option for Zoroastrian reform. I am firmly with him in this, and I consider a Monist Mind-festive version of Zoroastrianism a very attractive one. This option is not like a Sassani version, close to Hinduism as far as caste systems and the laws of purity are concerned, and not like the Gahani one, shifting towards
an Abrahamic Dualism as far as separating the creator from the created is concerned.

Some day people may want to know more about the different paths that the Zoroastrian religion has taken when bridging into modern times, and I felt I owed it to the history of my religion to share what I know in this regards.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

söndagen den 14:e december 2008

Enjoyment, pleasure, emotions

Dear Ferri

You certainly don't sound funny, you sound silly.
If you want to disregard the whole last 400 years of history of
philosophy and turn us all into idiots, that's your prerogative. I
definitely strive in the opposite direction. You should lift yourself
higher rather than trying to force me and all of the rest of us lower
in our understanding of the human condition.
The poverty of the English language should not stop us from learning
more about ourselves and our condition and become wiser. The French
terms "jouissance" and "plaisir" are definitely NOT synonyms. And in
the world of philosophy and psychoanalysis (Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze)
jouissance is translated as ENJOYMENT in English and plaisir is
translated as PLEASURE. You can always LEARN more instead of wasting
energy accusing me of things by READING Lacan yourself. It is highly
recommended:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacan
I have already written all of this and I actually rather dislike
having to repeat myself. Please read what I have written before making
unfair accusations against me again. OK?
As for emotions in Zoroastrianism, but OF COURSE emotions are a
central aspect. Mazdayasna means the CELEBRATION of mind. How could we
possibly celebrate without emotion???
But emotion is the product of the worship/celebration. Not its cause.
The emotiveness of Christianity and the anti-intellecualism of Islam
(which literally means "obedience"!!!) is alien to Zoroastrianism. As
it should be! It is precisely the emotiveness of these religions that
has caused so much havoc in religious wars over the past 1,300 years.
And unfortunately still does!

Ushta
Alexander/wants to loft people up, not knock them down, and what could
possibly be more Zoroastrian than that!

2008/12/14 Ferri :
> Alexander,
>
> I don't want to sound funny but I think you getting in such depths
> that make things irrelevant and take them out of context. In my
> opinion, there is no relevance in the description given on pleasure
> and emotions in the context of what was discussed actually. Even if
> you look at the dictionaries, pleasure and enjoyment are synonyms
> (e.g. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/Enjoyment.html)
>
> You are also mixing emotions and devotions in your second point.
> Exactly as it is the case in Christianity and Islam, there is also
> devotion in Zoroastrianism, namely the devotion to Asha. This devotion
> has emotional aspect to it as well. One could argue/ask whether this
> devotion was developed first or the emotion. Hard/impossible to tell!
>
> I though agree to certain degree with your third point. However the
> reason why life and environment are sacred is due to the fact that it
> has been created by the good. If death had been based on the same
> chain of thought, it would have been considered sacred as well. Now I
> don't wish to get into the question what death is as it's quite a
> complicated one.
>
> It is important that we don't get too deep with things as we might
> draw ourselves or take ourselves in the wrong direction. This is how
> fundamentalism is created. I am not inferring that one should believe
> blindfolded in things but that one should not take things out of their
> context while making them sound as they are valid.
>
> May good thoughts be with you
>
> Ferri
>
> --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Bard" wrote:
>>
>> Dear Ferri, helen and friends
>>
>> 1. Enjoyment and pleasure are definitely NOT the same thing.
>> Pleasure is the opposite of pain.
>> Enjoyment in the world of philosophy is merely the consumption of
>> life, the enjoyment of the intensity of living itself. Enjoyment can
>> be derived from pain as much as from pleasure. It is an existential
>> experience of the intensity of living as such, rather than anything
>> specifically pleasurable or painful. Uncontrolled, enjoyment can be
>> destructive as well as constructive.
>> In French, the term for enjoyment is "puissance" and the term for
>> pleasure is "plaisir". I say because most texts on psychoanalysis and
>> existentialism are French and not English.
>>
>> 2. Zarathushtra stipulates that thoughts preceed words and words
>> preceed actions. We then beocme the actions we undertake, we are bound
>> to identify with our actions, which then affect the thoughts we have
>> in the next generation of the feedback-loop. Emotions are the products
>> of the feedback-loop but not essential to the loop itself (this is
>> also the case in contemporary psychology), this is why Zarathushtra
>> does NOT have emotions involved in this ethics. His ethics are
>> rational and inherent to the feedback process itself. This is in
>> accordance with Spinozist and Nietzschean ethics too and opposed to
>> for example Christian and Muslim morality where the emotional
>> attachment to "God" or "Allah" is fundamental to the faiths.
>>
>> 3. No, the FUNDAMENTAL positive view on life is not built into every
>> religion, Quite to the contrary, both Christianity and Islam are
>> focused on the after-life and see the current life as vulgar and
>> inferior compared to the after-life. This is why the current world and
>> life are not sacred to these religions, which it is to Mazdayasna.
>> Christians and Muslims have always plundered te current world without
>> regard for its survival while Mazdayasni have always had an ecological
>> take on nature and our surroundings. Because this is the only world we
>> have. And it is our world and not the world of a foreign divinity.
>>
>> Ushta
>> Alexander

lördagen den 13:e december 2008

The difference between ethics and morals

Ethics deals with right right versus wrong and is philosophical, morals deals with good versus evil and is theological. Zoroastrianism is ethical and Christianity is moralistic. Zoroastrianism does not believe in sin, it merely believes in right and wrong thoughts, words and deeds, while Christianity is built on the notion of sin and how to deal with sin (Christ has to die on a cross to cleanse the world from sin). This division has been established by Baruch Spinoza in the world of philosophy (and theology) and has after Spinoza been endorsed by thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lacan, Deleuze och in our time especially Jurgen Habermas, who are all ethicists.

fredagen den 12:e december 2008

Yasna as the imperative to enjoy life! - part 2

Dear Ferri, Helen and friends

1. Enjoyment and pleasure are definitely NOT the same thing.
Pleasure is the opposite of pain.
Enjoyment in the world of philosophy is merely the consumption of
life, the enjoyment of the intensity of living itself. Enjoyment can
be derived from pain as much as from pleasure. It is an existential
experience of the intensity of living as such, rather than anything
specifically pleasurable or painful. Uncontrolled, enjoyment can be
destructive as well as constructive.
In French, the term for enjoyment is "puissance" and the term for
pleasure is "plaisir". I say because most texts on psychoanalysis and
existentialism are French and not English.

2. Zarathushtra stipulates that thoughts preceed words and words
preceed actions. We then beocme the actions we undertake, we are bound
to identify with our actions, which then affect the thoughts we have
in the next generation of the feedback-loop. Emotions are the products
of the feedback-loop but not essential to the loop itself (this is
also the case in contemporary psychology), this is why Zarathushtra
does NOT have emotions involved in this ethics. His ethics are
rational and inherent to the feedback process itself. This is in
accordance with Spinozist and Nietzschean ethics too and opposed to
for example Christian and Muslim morality where the emotional
attachment to "God" or "Allah" is fundamental to the faiths.

3. No, the FUNDAMENTAL positive view on life is not built into every
religion, Quite to the contrary, both Christianity and Islam are
focused on the after-life and see the current life as vulgar and
inferior compared to the after-life. This is why the current world and
life are not sacred to these religions, which it is to Mazdayasna.
Christians and Muslims have always plundered te current world without
regard for its survival while Mazdayasni have always had an ecological
take on nature and our surroundings. Because this is the only world we
have. And it is our world and not the world of a foreign divinity.

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/12 Helen Gerth :
- Dölj citerad text -
> Hello all,
>
> I find that I agree with Ferri's comment for the most part.
>
> Alexander-
>
> 1) Specifically how are you defining the place of emotion within Mazdayasnan
> thought and practice? Does it have any place at all? As Ferri pointed out,
> this is a nuanced semantic issue and perhaps we are on the same
> wavelength....
>
> 2) "Yasna is all about enjoyment as mandatory and not about pleasure as
>> emotional."
> Would you define Yasna in more detail as it is being used here?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Helen
>
> --- On Thu, 12/11/08, Ferri wrote:
>
> From: Ferri
> Subject: [Ushta] Re: Yasna as the imperative to enjoy life!
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 9:24 PM
>
> Alexander,
>
> Well, this is the case with all religions. In which of them did they
> say that you should make it an emotional way of life? It also sounds
> like we are dealing with semantics here. Doesn't pleasure and
> enjoyment go hand in hand?
>
> Regards
> Ferri

torsdagen den 11:e december 2008

Yasna as the imperative to enjoy life!

Dear Friends
Parviz is on to something important here:
The point with the joy in Spinoza and the celebration in Zarathushtra is precisely that it is NOT emotional. It is instead a pure imperative. This is HOW you should view life, this is HOW you should view existence. It is not something you should sit around and wait until you feel it, it is an existential attitude you should decide for yourself that you have. The emotions are out of your direct control but they are are eventually bound to follow with your decision to enjoy life as it is. This is why Mazdayasna is an imperative attitude towards existence and NOT a hedonistic project in the modern sense of "enjoying life" as in "experiencing life as a pleasure". Yasna is all about enjoyment as mandatory and not about pleasure as emotional.
Ushta
Alexander

onsdagen den 10:e december 2008

Religion of celebration, philosophy of joy

Dear Parviz and friends

When Baruch Spinoza was asked in the 17th century how he would describe his philosophy, he described it as the philosophy of "joy". When Zarathushtra was asked 3,300 years before Spinoza how he would describe his religion, he described as the religion of "celebration". As you all know, I have always argued that Zoroastrianism and Spinozism are one and the same ideology, religion, philosophy. So I agree wholeheartedly with Parviz, as would Zarathushtra and Spinoza themselves have done.

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/9 Parviz Varjavand

Dear members of the Ushta family,

I would like to remind Alex and Dino the importance of two factors in our quest, that of Nomenclature and that of Geography. The geography of the greater Iran and the Middle East is that of intolerance. Cyrus was an exception, the inhabitants of this region have intolerance drummed so deep into them that it has become part of their persona one would think. The geography of India is one of tolerance on the other hand. In the long run, Parsi Zoroastrians are going to be better friends of Monist Mazdeans than Iranian Zoroastrians, mark my words.

Nomenclature is the other thing, what a word means to us, we should not compromise on. Trust me that when I use a word, I know what I am talking about. That word is like a brick when building a building. If you allow others to yank it and loosen it, the building will collapse next. In our nomenclature, Yasna should mean Celebration, period. Who cares if to others it means worship; that is part of their nomenclature. If you allow it to mean worship to you too, soon you will find yourself on your knees worshiping many things that you do not want to worship. All the key words of this school of Mazdean thought should be well chosen and then, no compromise on what they mean to us should be made. Mazda to us should mean "Thinker", the ability to Think and the ability to have Consciousness. If you compromise on that, soon you will find yourself looking for the great bearded one in the skies as your Papa Mazda, just like all the other Irani Zartoshtis.

Parviz

tisdagen den 9:e december 2008

The problem with metaphysics - and the Zoroastrian concept of free will

Exactly!!!
This was Heidegger's greatest insight (and his Nietzsche books really are brilliant!). Metaphysics does not exist so much because it represents Truth (Asha) but because it is NECESSARY for us to understand the world. So Asha TAKES BODY only through metaphysics. Our sacred Zoroastrian "freedom of choice" must also be understood within this context. It is a different freedom of choice (both a different freedom and a different choice) than normally thought of in western philosophy.
You will be able to read more about this phenomenology of necessity in our work "The Global Empire" (by Bard & Soderqvist) when it comes out in English in 2010. We differentiate between a world of eternalism (metaphysical) and a world of mobilism (non-metaphysical) rather than Kant's old division between the phenomenological and the noumenal. Our understanding of the world is a constant DIALECTICS between these two worldviews, a paradoxism.
- Dölj citerad text -

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/8 Special Kain

Dear Alexander,

That's quite a challenge, since there will always be much more metaphysics in what we think than expected. We're built to schematise what we happen to experience, because we just have to make sense of the world. Without metaphysics we would possibly be completely lost - and I most certainly know what that feels like, and it's NOT FUN!
It can be argued whether Nietzsche's will to power and eternal recurrence (eternal Parousia, correctly translated) are metaphysical beliefs. Perhaps Heidegger thought so, but Heidegger's Nietzsche studies aren't very reliable (according to Michael Tanner's studies).
There will always be metaphysical beliefs interfering with what we believe to know and what we perceive to be true or false.
All we can do is taking metaphysics for what it is and use the parts of theories that were empirically tested. And that's exactly where pragmatism comes into play.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 8.12.2008:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The philanthropic principle
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 8. Dezember 2008, 15:44

Dear Dino
Let's settle then for a SOFT philanthropic principle.
I'm just afraid we are putting more metaphysics into Mazdayasna then there needs to be.
That's all.
Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/8 Special Kain

Dear Alexander,

It just came to my mind and I spontaneously wanted to see what happens when combining Ahura Mazda with that cosmological principle. My mind is my own personal laboratory.
The philanthropic principle does not necessarily run against your two points. And I didn't see it as attributing meaning to before existence, either. All it does is saying that the universe is more benevolent than hostile to us human beings, because we're one and the same. There's no ontological opposition between the universe and the 6 billion people living on this planet. It's a cosmological promise of improvement, accommodation and pragmatic idealism.

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 8.12.2008:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] The philanthropic principle
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Montag, 8. Dezember 2008, 10:32

Dear Dino

I frankly don't understand where the "all-caring" part comes from.
Again, we seem to be dealing with an Abrahamic attribute that has sneaked in through the backdoor.
I would however subscribe to the attribute "benevolent". Merely the fact that we and the universe exist (rather than that nothing would exist at all) is according to both Spinoza and Zarathushtra evidence of benevolence.
But the all-caring requires almightyness, something which Ahura Mazda is clearly lacking (as I have repeatedly told Mehran who wants Ahura Mazda to be a copy of Allah).

This for two reasons:
1. Ahura Mazda is tied to asha as much as anything else, The Universe can not operate without its own inbuilt laws (asha). This is radically different from the Abrahamic divinities that are not only separated from The Universe but also are capable of overriding its own laws. There is no such room for supernatural activities in Zoroastrianism. Existence as such is sacred and perfect, precisely as it is.
2. Creation is in FLUX, is in constant re-creation, where we are divine co-creators ourselves. There can be no single almighty function anywhere in such a system. Ahura Mazda is the mind of existence, wherever mind appears. That's fine. It's just not Allah or God-Father at all.

I still see Zoroastrianism as the evolutionary religion par excellence. It always was. I would be very careful to attribute "philanthropic" to that though, let's just say it is Darwinian. Attributing meaning to before existence is dangerous, that's precisely where the Abrahamic religions come in through the backdoor. OK?

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/8 Special Kain

Dear friends,

As far as I know, the philanthropic principle never made a serious impact on the scientific community for reasons that I don't recall, unfortunately. It means that this universe was created so that we could generally get along with it, that our minds and actions matter. Sounds like perfect harmony - and sounds like sarcasm when considering ecological disasters, pandemia and other tragedies. But the point I'd like to make is the following:
Ahura Mazda (as the whole of existence) is defined as benevolent and all-caring. As previously mentioned, there's no god in Zoroastrianism as in Abrahamic religions. Ahura Mazda is the universe, with and within us, all-encompassing and all-pervasive. And if Ahura Mazda is benevolent and all-caring, then Zarathushtra was the first philosopher to formulate the philanthropic principle!
Perhaps I didn't fully understand the philanthropic principle of cosmology. Perhaps I'm gravely mistaken, and the philanthropic principle means something completely different or has already been scientifically falsified. But it would make sense to couple Ahura Mazda (as the benevolent whole of existence) with the philanthropic principle.

My two cents,
Dino

måndagen den 8:e december 2008

The Third Path

Dear Parviz

I would be happy to add that you can include both Indian Brahmanism (rather than Hinduism) and Chinese Daoism in this work too. It is not so much a western third form of Zoroastrianism we are discussiing as a re-discovery of what Zoroastrianism could be if for example Zarathushtra and Cyrus The Great would have been alive today, knowing what we know about the world. A truly global Zoroastrianism!

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/8 Parviz Varjavand

The third path of Zoroastrianism.

Dear friends,

I feel that we are going to end up with three version of Zoroastrianism; an Indian version influenced by Hinduism, an Iranian version influenced by Abrahamic and Manichean religions of the Middle East, and a Western version influenced by the great Western philosophers concerned with the ideals of freedom of man and the rights of the individual.

Religion in the West is not under the sway of Western thoughts, it is under the sway of the three sister religions from the Middle East. Baha'ism is nothing but an extension of the three sisters and not an improvement on them either. Zoroastrianism is a very real fresh choice, but not the Indian or the Persian version of it. If Mithraism was still alive, that would have been the best option to choose, but since enough of Mithraism is still alive in Zoroastrianism, we can benefit from what can be rescued there. So much of Mithraism lives in Christianity that is uncanny, but Manichean has perverted it so that it would be very hard to rescue any wholesome part of it out of Christianity. Christmas is a totally Mithraic celebration and that is one holiday we can rescue from Christianity.

The Zoroastrians who came to the West from the greater Persia and India brought with them their versions of Zoroastrianism. No wonder a fight broke up between them on the onset. They can not get along with one another and the culture of West should wash its hands off both versions and construct its own version of the religion. Zoroastrianism of the Monist Mind-Celebrating variety is very compatible with the best of Western thought and the great Western philosophers were very aware of this. If Nietzsche had the Internet at his disposal, he would have reconstructed the religion as it should have been. Now it is for us to complete this task and offer man a version of the Zoroastrian religion that would be a joy for his rational mind to celebrate.

Ushta,
Parviz Varjavand

The philanthropic principle, really?

Dear Dino

I frankly don't understand where the "all-caring" part comes from.
Again, we seem to be dealing with an Abrahamic attribute that has sneaked in through the backdoor.
I would however subscribe to the attribute "benevolent". Merely the fact that we and the universe exist (rather than that nothing would exist at all) is according to both Spinoza and Zarathushtra evidence of benevolence.
But the all-caring requires almightyness, something which Ahura Mazda is clearly lacking (as I have repeatedly told Mehran who wants Ahura Mazda to be a copy of Allah).

This for two reasons:
1. Ahura Mazda is tied to asha as much as anything else, The Universe can not operate without its own inbuilt laws (asha). This is radically different from the Abrahamic divinities that are not only separated from The Universe but also are capable of overriding its own laws. There is no such room for supernatural activities in Zoroastrianism. Existence as such is sacred and perfect, precisely as it is.
2. Creation is in FLUX, is in constant re-creation, where we are divine co-creators ourselves. There can be no single almighty function anywhere in such a system. Ahura Mazda is the mind of existence, wherever mind appears. That's fine. It's just not Allah or God-Father at all.

I still see Zoroastrianism as the evolutionary religion par excellence. It always was. I would be very careful to attribute "philanthropic" to that though, let's just say it is Darwinian. Attributing meaning to before existence is dangerous, that's precisely where the Abrahamic religions come in through the backdoor. OK?

Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/8 Special Kain

Dear friends,

As far as I know, the philanthropic principle never made a serious impact on the scientific community for reasons that I don't recall, unfortunately. It means that this universe was created so that we could generally get along with it, that our minds and actions matter. Sounds like perfect harmony - and sounds like sarcasm when considering ecological disasters, pandemia and other tragedies. But the point I'd like to make is the following:
Ahura Mazda (as the whole of existence) is defined as benevolent and all-caring. As previously mentioned, there's no god in Zoroastrianism as in Abrahamic religions. Ahura Mazda is the universe, with and within us, all-encompassing and all-pervasive. And if Ahura Mazda is benevolent and all-caring, then Zarathushtra was the first philosopher to formulate the philanthropic principle!
Perhaps I didn't fully understand the philanthropic principle of cosmology. Perhaps I'm gravely mistaken, and the philanthropic principle means something completely different or has already been scientifically falsified. But it would make sense to couple Ahura Mazda (as the benevolent whole of existence) with the philanthropic principle.

My two cents,
Dino

söndagen den 7:e december 2008

What freedom of choice really is

Absolutely excellent, Dino!!!
You have caught exactly what CONCERNED Zarathushtra.
This is precisely what Mazdayasna is all about.
And this is why I have always referred to Zarathushtra as the original EXISTENTIALIST.
He is never concerned with the whys of this world. He considers such questions irrelevant and infantile. To Zarathushtra, what is interesting is the how of asha (the laws of the universe, what we call science today) and how THESE laws then affect the choices we make (how we turn ourselves into the people we become as Mazdayasni). In other words: How can we live in accordance wit the asha that we have just discovered?
Leave the other more childish religions to keep themselves preoccupied with the whys of children's faírytales. Things do happen without any whys. The whys are completely unnecessary. Which is Zarathushtra's point.
It is WE who give the world meaning. The world is there for us to GIVE IT MEANING. This is precisely why the world is sacred to us. Because it is the foundation on which we place meaning to existence.
And that is OUR job, and NOT the job of any Almighty Allah whom we must obey or else we will end up in hell. This is the difference between Zoroastrianism and Islam!
Ushta
Alexander

2008/12/7 Special Kain

Dear friends,

We all agree that freedom of choice is key in Zarathushtra's philosophy. Freedom of choice is somewhere between determinism and its (more or less) logical necessities, such as the laws of nature (ASHA), and free, unconditioned will. Both determinism and free will are extremes, and extremes are unlikely to be found in nature (if one does not choose to be extreme). So freedom of choice means a freedom that is LIVED within necessities.
The whole point is that freedom of choice is concerned with the question "what for". The question "why" is not very important here, because it is directed at the past (and never at the present or the future). Because there's a huge difference between being free from something (which is directed at the past) and being free towards something or to do something (which is directed at the present and the future). "Why" is concerned with necessities, whereas "what for" is concerned with liberation through applying ASHA to our lives.
Freedom of choice is this very freedom towards something within given necessities. It is the question: "What is it for?" And that's exactly where you find Zarathushtra's message of building, maintaining and expanding civilisation.

My two cents,
Dino