There is no such thing as blind faith in Zoroastrian thinking. Rather the opposite: Zoroastrian philosophy is allergic to wishful thinking and distrusts emotions in favor of rational intellect. This is why Parviz is addressing the issue with pure intellect: How can we claim that the world is ordered thoughtfully when there seems to be little proper order in place? Blind faith is not allowed to enter the reasoning anywhere.
Personally I trust the almost tautological statement that Asha is whatever is, whatever functions. This does not necessarily mean that Ahura Mazda or The World have to be good (rather than evil) but rather that Something is better than Nothing and that the existence of substance is what we cherish as Mazdayasni, nothing more and nothing less.
2009/5/16 Zaneta Garratt
Hi Parviz and Ali Jafarey,
I have been following the dialogue between you too with great interest. My opinions are rather close to those that Mr.Jafarey expresses but I do indeed understand your mode of questioning, Parviz, and why you are posing these questions. It maybe that faith plays a part in the opinions of Mr.Jafarey as I find his faith in Ahura Mazda to be really appealing. I would so much like to answer your questions, Parviz, but I won't as I feel Mr. Jafarey's answers would be better than mine. Perhaps the faith needed to believe in the All-Good God Ahura Mazda can be found by seeking a deep meaning in the Gathas when you read them, for they are truely fascinating.
Every blessing from me,Zaneta
To: Jafarey@aol.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 09:29:40 -0700
Subject: [Ushta] Re: [zoroastrians] Re: Song 4 - stanza 8
Dear Ostad Jafarey,
I thank you very much for your kind and considerate response to me. Other than that, I feel we have a slight problem in communicating. The point I am trying to make is that there is a difference between introducing a philosophy of life and inventing a God named Ahoora Mazda who has so many good qualities but has put a heartless law in charge of running the world called Asha.
There is this myth behind every dictator; the the dictator himself is a very good person but it is his henchmen who are crude and inconsiderate. The henchman in charge that we have to deal with is Asha. How do I know that behind Asha stands a kind and considerate Ahoora Mazda? (Yes, I know, "look at the birds that sing and lovers that cuddle" and all that. I am sorry, these do not cut it philosophically)
--- On Mon, 5/11/09, Jafarey@aol.com
Subject: [zoroastrians] Re: Song 4 - stanza 8
Date: Monday, May 11, 2009, 7:00 PM
In a message dated 5/8/2009 12:31:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time, solvolant@yahoo. com writes:
My dear teacher Ostad Jafarey,
You know me well, but allow me to remind other readers that our relationship as a student and teacher does go back some fifty five years now. I do read the Gahan over and over and have done so religiously in the past. Some students are dumb and I must be one of the dumbest students that any teacher could have ever wished for because I still do not get what you are trying to teach about the make-up of the God of Zaratustra.
Adjectives are what we humans can pile up on one another, but can we do so with God too and get away with it? Our child comes home with a report-card and on it the teacher comments that Jonny is a good kid, he has got an A in math and A+ in spelling; he is A++ in sports and this list goes on and on until we get the picture that Jonny is truly an outstanding kid and a jolly great little chap. But this is Jonny and not God; we can not make such a report-card about God in order to explain what a clever little God we have got on our hand! No matter how loud we shout how great our God is, in fact if we go shout from rooftops that Mazda is GRRRREEAATTTT and the GGGRRREEEAAATTTEESS ST ten times a day, all we are doing is making such a God smaller and smaller.
Your descriptions reduces Mazda into some clever little God that Zaratustra invented and that if we want to call ourselves Zoroastrians, we have to become good little lambs of Zaratustra and bow down to the clever God he invented and called Mazda. This formula does not satisfy my thirst any longer. We must describe exactly what Ahoora and Mazda are rather than just pin adjectives on their fragile structures. Gods that MAKE things but are not part of what they have made are carpenter gods. Carpenter gods do not get any bigger by the fantastic adjectives we pin on them, in fact the more fancy the adjectives get, the smaller the god gets.
Let us go over some of the adjectives that have been pined on Mazda in your response to me. "God is wise. He is the wisest. He is knowing, the most knowing. He knows best the past, present, and future. He remembers all that exists….etc.etc". Here God sounds like the CIA, KGB, and Mosad rolled into one, and since we are all afraid of those entities, here we must be even more afraid of such a God.
"God is mighty. He is the mightiest. He is the greatest. He is powerful, most powerful. He is ruling-at-will. " --- He is the mightiest compared to what? ---He is the most powerful compared to what?-- All these cooperative adjectives work when we have something on the other hand to compare our God to. What is on the other hand with which we are comparing God?
You also say that "God is of one-accord with asha". Now this is a very important statement. Asha is the LAW that governs ALL that is going on in the Cosmos. Think of Gravity as Asha; we do not go around saying that "Gravity is Progressive, Gravity is Kind, Gravity is Wise, …etc…etc." Gravity is Gravity and its laws to be studied and understood. No amount of kiss kiss love love will change an iota of the laws of gravity. If Ahoora Mazda and Asha are One and the same, we do not need all those flowery adjectives any more. If they are not one and the same, then the problem becomes for us to describe in what way they are different.
Forgive me if I am too dumb to get what you are trying to teach about Zaratustra and Mazda. I bow down and kiss your hand for you are senior to me and were my teacher once. May your other students be more intelligent than I and not disturb your serenity long after you think you are finished with teaching them.
My dear Varjavand,
Dorud pas az dorud!
Why think of introducing a kid? Why think of belittling? Why not a high personality to a great gathering? What would the person-in-charge use? Adjectives as nouns, phrases, and sentences to describe that personality. That would not amount to belittle the high personality, but to present a virtual view of his/her qualities, definitely less than what the personality is in actuality. No belittling and no aggrandizing but only describing and that too in as much as the audience get a good idea of the him/her, whom they will be understanding and appreciating more and more in leading their life of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.
This is what Zarathushtra has done and that too at a time when the people had vague notions and fantastic fancies about gods and goddesses. He describes the “Mazda Ahura -- Super-Intellect Essence,” he has discovered in his searches and researches of over 20 years. Zarathushtra is what he is, a Maanthran, a thought-provoker, a true teacher, a good guide.
Is a creator of any of our inventions, from the Neolithic stone instrument to the ultra-modern Internet, a “CIA, KGB, and Mosad rolled into one” when he/she takes a very good care of his/her invention?
Are the human being and the principles of living the same? It is Mazda, Super-Intellect, that has created Asha, Precision and many more Principles of Existence to make the Creation a progressive Cosmos.
I do not want to go any further. Please, take it with cool consideration and see what Zarathushtra states, and then make any remarks. Also see the difference between what Zarathushtra provokes his audience to think bright and choose right, and those who direct their sheep and slaves what to do and what not to do in total obedience.
Ali A. Jafarey