Very good points!!!
But the question is whether we really want a religion that encompasses all aspects of human life? Perhaps the best we can get is a religion which provides an ethical framework for us and then stays out of the way of our cultural undertakings. I'm not so sure I want my religion to be present when I go to the theater or the circus or the opera or to an art exhibition. Rather my religion should be what helps me HANDLE life in all its variety when it has been exposed to me (something art does not do, art only tells us how things are but not how to handle them). This is why I have always promoted Mazdayasna as The Philosophical Religion. Not the religion of art (please keep those two things apart) but the religion of philosophy and ethics. And Zoroastrians are not dull, you are the perfect example of a not-dull Mazdayasni yourself!
Having said this, primal principles mean very little to me unless they are specified. Something I believe science does better than religion. What we are left with to solve as Mazdayasni is how our ethics is constituted and our ethics is philosophical: Live life to the fullest, enjoy existence in all its variety, cherish the fact that there is something rather than nothing, and identify yourself with your thoughts, words and actions, thereby making yourself responsible for how exciting (or dull) you are!
2009/5/21 Parviz Varjavand
My dear teacher Jafarey,
Your challenges are odd ones! "Primal Principals of Existence" are not something that Zaratustra could have ever discovered in full. A partial glimpses here or there, maybe, but never in full. Even existence itself can not figure out all of its own Primal Principals. Existence is Shiva dancing, no one can say it better than that. The joy is in watching Shiva dance. "Primal Principals" and "Pristine Purities", are such dull and such static statements.
Existence has a lot of darkness in it, and Zaratustra refuses to look at the dark side. Kali Ma is a dear Mother, She kills, and I love Her for that. Soon I will kiss her sweet lips, and this without any expectation of an afterlife. Zaratustra has not dared to even look at Kali Ma. This is why most Zoroastrians can be such sticks in the mud and dull personalities; they do not know how to dance with life AND death. They have a phobia about death and the dark side of life. They have a phobia about kissing frogs. (This was directed at my other teacher Mr. Khojeste Mystree who has a phobia about all the Kharafstars and creepy crawlies ;-)
--- On Wed, 5/20/09, Jafarey@aol.com
Subject: Re: [zoroastrians] Re: Song 4 - stanza 8
To: email@example.com, Ahura-Mazda@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 12:53 PM
In a message dated 5/19/2009 9:28:01 PM Pacific Daylight Time, solvolant@yahoo. com writes:
My dear Ostad Jafarey,
There are several clubs that have a Book, and they can for ever hide behind that Book.
No matter what you talk to them about, it ends up with this comment that you have not read The Book well enough. One can not get anywhere with them in philosophy because they can for ever dive back in their sacred Book and hide there until the storm blows over. Then once again they come out of their Book and repeat the same nonsense that they have been repeating for ever. I am sorry to see that Zoroastrianism is also being reduced to the level of the Book people.
Your definition of Asha is confused and confusing. The Laws of gravity are being mixed with the instructions for how to cook the perfect meatloaf. These two are not the same. Doing "the RIGHT this and that to get to the RIGHT that and this" are basically meaningless statements. The RIGHT way to dress for a prom or the RIGHT way to dance the tango are being put in the same category as the RIGHT speed the light travels on. ASHA defined as this RIGHT is the most confusing definition you can give ASHA. What you want is an ASHA with a heart, and there is no such a thing; Asha does not have a heart.
If you want to say that behind an Asha without a heart stands an Asha-maker with a heart, then you are asking us to take a leap of Faith. Then Zoroastrianism becomes a religion of Faith rather than Reason. You add a Book to that formula, and we become another Abrahamic religion. That is the core of this argument.
We do have a problem in communication, but other than that, I admire you very much.
Bedrood and Mehr Afzoon,
Now you have brought up the "The BOOK" topic. Daenaa Vanguhi, the Good Conscience of Zarathushra is presented in Gatha, seventeen Sublime Songs and not in one book or more. Books were made hundreds of years later. It was the Sassanian Theocracy, which placed the Gathas, their Supplements, and pre-Zarathushtrian and post-Zarathushtrian materials with their translations and interpretations in the Pahlavi language in a book form. It was they who made 21 nasks, volumes of the Sacred Scriptures. And that is why the Prophet of Islam considered Zoroastrians (Majoos) the People of Book just the Jews, Christians and Sabians were considered. It was Bani Umayyah, who formed the first Islamic Empire, larger than the Achaemenian Federation, who for political and property reasons, started treating Zoroastrians as Kafirs and the situation continued to get worse until the Pahlavi Time.
Please take a NOTE that I have never considered or stated that we are People of the Book -- Ahl-e Kitab. We have the Gathas, the Sublime Songs of Zarathushtra, to tunefully enlighten us by provoking our bright and clear mind to contemplate and freely choose the best for a life that is all goodness and beneficial for the entire environment in which we live. The Gathas are not a book or a part of a book.
I am Mazdayasni Zarathushtri, Super-Intellect venerator Zoroastrian, but would not mind at all if someone name-calls me as "Gathic -- Songful."
To me ASHA is RIGHT -- "to do the right thing, at the right time, at the right place and with the right means to get the right result" is enlightening. That is how the Cosmos works. And Mazda Ahura, the Super-Intellect Essence creates, maintains and promotes these Cosmos by these very Principles. They are divine created.
It has never, never confuse me. And I have never, never "taken a leap of Faith." I have, since I came to contemplate on the Divine Doctrine of Zarathushtra more than 70 years ago, been guided to clearly contemplate and then freely choose the best. And that too by continuously updating myself with scientific and logical facts.
Here I have yet another challenge: I wish some one comes forward to show that any scientific and logical discovery, old or new, lies out side of the "Primal Principles of Existence" presented by Zarathushtra in his Sublime Songs and that Zarathushtra did not discover that principle.
Ali A. Jafarey