What we refer to as "prayer" is a Judeo-Christian concept.
But Zarathushtra's prayers are left UNANSWERED.
Now, think for a minute. Why do you think this is?
Simpky because in Mazdayasni thought THE QUESTION is of central interest, not the answer.
Because we address issues and WE solve the issues with our own creativity and take pride in doing so. Identifying ourselves with our creative solutions is not only independent, this is exactly what is sacred to Zarathushtra.
Then look at Zoroastrian culture:
Do you find any monks and nuns? No. Any monastreries? No. Any hermits? Any pyramids? No.
Putting together Zarathushtra's focus on questions as POSSIBILITIES for creative expression rather than PROBLEMS requiring outside supernatural help with Zoroastrian cultural behavior and it all makes sense.
It's just radically different from what we are used to read, think or see...
Having said this, a MYSTICISM within these confines makes sense. Go ahead and develop your thoughts and actions! A mysticism that digs deeper into our obsession with the here and now, with nature, with reality, sure this could be fabulous practiced Mazdayasna.
2009/7/2 Special Kain
Yes, it's New Age esotericism that is shaping the notion of mysticism, unfortunately. That's why I wrote WESTERN Buddhism. I agree that mysticism already existed long before 19th century occultism (as did occultism). But that's not the point. We're children of our times, thus our cultural situation is always an influence when looking back in time.
Ahura simply is existence as such: the amazing fact that there is something rather than nothing. Mazda is the mind, our mental faculties, wisdom and knowledge. So was Zarathushtra worshipping an astral entity called "Mazda" or the fact that people are able to philosophize and draw conclusions? There are both interpretations. But I'm sticking to the interpretation dear to philosophers and scientists like myself.
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Meditation, self-actualization, consumerism
Datum: Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2009, 17:59
The drift I am kind of getting is that Mr.Z's idea was to use the rational mind to create good and perpepuate good. That he was taking contemplation and meditation past just thinking and transforming it into action. Bringing in the idea of social responsibility.
I can't separate the idea of prayer and mysticism in my mind. Mr. Z seems to be asking a force outside himself for answers. Asking from something that is beyond the physical reality.
Like this line
"Accept O Mazda the homage of thy faithful worshipper." Part of yasna 33:8
I can't agree that mysticism is from the 19th century onwards. People have been practicing it for centuries. Religious texts encourage contemplation etc. MAybe if you want to say The New Age brand of mysticism is from the 19th century, but that would just be a different take on something already practiced.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain
> Dear Iris,
> It's my experience that our current understanding of mysticism is also heavily influenced by 19th century occultists's investigations. It's not only thanks to scholars and American self-help literature that mysticism has spread in Europe. Frankly, I don't see any of that mysticism in the Gathas, but there certainly are several Zoroastrians that do, since we're the children of our times. There's also cultural exchange, so Eastern mysticism may have influenced Zoroastrianism at a later stage. Mysticism is about contemplating, not necessarily acting. Zoroastrianism is a lot more activist in nature than Buddhism and Daoism.
> But we can add anything to our daily practice that increases our understanding and enjoyment of life, so there's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from mysticism. Since mysticism can never be rationalist, our only option is to take mysticism to a transrationalist level.
> Ushta, Dino