What if the material isn't material at all? What if the material is fundamentally spiritual???
You see, I don't see any reason whatsoever why there would have to be TWO different substances in existence. Neither do I find any such beliefs in The Gathas. Zarathushtra never discusses two different substances, he just speaks of two different EXPRESSIONS, two different appearances of the same existence, which is UNIFIED through asha and sacrern
What if the material and the spiritual (or rather what seems material and spiritual to us) are just two different sides of the same coin? This would be compatible with modern physics, it would be compatible with The Gathas, it would be compatible with historical Zoroastrianism, and we would get rid of the ridiculous problem of dualism (which is that if there really are TWO substances, how on earth do these two substances then interact with each other, through WHAT, a problem which already Rene Descartes pointed out and worried about tremendously in the 17th century).
My suggestion is that existence is purely SPIRITUAL and that materia is an expression of spirit. Modern physics only deals with particles and fields anyway that seem to EXIST without any substance within themselves. What can possibly be more spiritual than that?
The description of "God" that you ascribe to Zarathushtra's thought, is not what I see in the Gathas, although many Zoroastrians do indeed have that understanding of "God".
What I see in the Gathas, is that man and "God" and all the living, are one being -- temporarily fragmented to enable the perfecting process. The only difference between "God" and man is that he has made it -- he personifies asha, completely, whereas we do not, yet. In our present reality, we personify asha with our thoughts, words and actions now and then, but not completely. However, we are a part of an evolutionary process whereby we will eventually personify asha completely, at which time, the fragments of the one being will once again be whole, but this time also wholly spenta, wholly ashavan. So haurvatat (wholeness, completeness) as I understand the Gathas, has two dimensions -- as the wholly spenta way of being (spenta mainyu) and also as the reuniting of the life force or primordial being into one (wholly spenta) whole.
That is why I contend that the "monotheism" of the Gathas is so stupendous, so huge. It includes all things. This is where Ronald and I disagree. He does not see this in the Gathas. But that is O.K. with me. A lot of Zoroastrians believe in the paradigm that "God" is a being who is separate and apart from the rest of the living. I just do not see the logic of this point of view.  ; Because if man can attain the attributes of the divine (asha, vohu manah, aramaiti, vohu xshathra, haurvatat / ameretat) completely, then this view requires the conclusion that we would have zillions of "gods", zillions of beings who have attained the attributes of the divine.
You and I are in agreement that "God" and all the living are part of one whole. Where we disagree is that you believe that this material reality is all that there is. You do not see the material reality as a temporary matrix to enable the perfecting process through experiences -- both earned and unearned. If there is no reality other than this present material reality, then what is "God"? Is there a difference between "God" and other living things? If not, why do we need the concept of "God"? Where does "God" come in? I just do not see the logic of either yours or Ronald's point of view, and they are not what I see in the Gathas. But I have no problem with you and Ronald each seeing things differently from me.
Wishing us the best,
Dina G. McIntyre.
From: Parviz Varjavand
Sent: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:01 am
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Reply to Dina re The Wages of Sin!?
Allow me to repeat the structure of what I wanted to express.
In your understanding of Zoroastrianism, there is a God Ahura Mazda; there is a special man who is in some kind of a communion with this God, namely Zarathustra; and there is a book that chronicles this relationship, the book Gatha. This is the 1-2-3 that I am talking about. Details of how nice this God is to this chosen man and how liberal is the guide book does not change the structure.
Any day I go to a church, the pastor is going to say "let us now all see what Jesus has to say in chapter x,y,z, of the good book the Bible. Any lecture of the many contemporary Zoroastrian leaders I go to, the lecturer is going to say sooner or later "let us now turn to chapter X paragraph Y of the book of Gahan and see what Zarathustra has to say about this that and the other thing.
Zarathustra and his relationship to his God is described in a Book and this structure OWNS the religion Zoroastrianism. This is why so many Zoroastrians have told me that if I don't like this structure I should remove myself from the religion and go call myself something else. My argument is that Zarathustra and his book Gatha do not own this most ancient Iraji religion. Iraji (Aryan) religions have a core philosophy that is different from this 1-2-3 relationship. I was very glad and at the same time upset when first the leaders of the many varieties of New Age Women movements and Goddess worship thinkers drew attention to these differences between the old and new paradigm. My thoughts were that these are things we Mazdayasni thinkers should be saying, why are we not saying it and letting them take the leadership in these thought expressions.
You say that Zarathustra and his God are friends and even lovers. What ever they are, they still must be separate to have such a relationship. Ahoora Mazda can not be such a God for Ah-Maz is not separate from Zarathustra or me or that flower over there. Ah-Maz as the Alpha-Omega is in everything and IS everything.
Ronald liked very much what you had written and that alone should give you pause about what you had written ;-) I am sure that you would want to point to many quotes from the Gahan that would illustrates why I am mistaken. I would say that I go past the Gahan and to the core of Iraji thinking where the person looking in the mirror and the image in the mirror and the mirror itself are one; I and the beloved and the cosmos are one.
Your friend always,