This is my understanding too of Mazdayasna after having lived as a Mazdayasni since 1984 and studied the religion and the philosophy in minute detail.
Excellent påresentetaion actually, Dino!
2009/7/24 Special Kain
Please add your corrections!
What or who is Ahura Mazda?
Ahura stems from the root "ahu" which literally means "conscious life". Mazda literally means "wisdom", our mental faculties. Ahura Mazda, then, is self-aware life that actually can discuss and examine the conditions of its existence. Philosophically speaking, we're amazed by the fact that there is something rather than nothing. And we're obsessed with our capacity to think.
What is Mazdayasna?
It's the original name of our faith. It literally means "worshipping (or, alternatively, celebrating) wisdom" (remember that philosophy literally means "love of wisdom"). We are therefore celebrating the fact we can discuss and examine the conditions of existence, so we're also celebrating science and philosophy. As Mazdayasni we're ethically obliged to pursue the truth relentlessly.
What is Asha and what is Druj?
Asha is whatever is true (science), right (ethics) and genuine (art). Druj is whatever is false (science), wrong (ethics) and fake (art). As Mazdayasni we're ethically obliged to live in accordance with Asha.
Isn't Zoroastrianism the world's first monotheistic religion?
Depends. There are Zoroastrian pantheists and panentheists. Panentheism is pantheism-plus: God is not only within the forces and workings of nature (immanence), but also The Greater Force beyond the physical world as we know it (transcendence). But since Asha applies to everything that is, we don't make up hierarchical relationship between this world and (allegedly) existent astral amusement parks. And since Ahura Mazda is any self-aware lifeform that is potentially able to examine the conditions of its existence, it's rather difficult to turn this concept into The Almighty Creator that is sitting above the clouds far, far away.
Do you follow any codex?
Depends. Zoroastrianism is not a moralizing religion, it's pure ethics! Ethics is about who we are to ourselves. There are three ideals: good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Thoughts precede words precede deeds. Making wise choices, protecting the environment, supporting equal rights and defeating intolerance are sacred activities in Zoroastrianism.