If there is a disagreement here, it must clearly be a soft one. ;-)
One possility is to describe Asha-Vahishta's relationship to Asha as similar to Mazda's relationship to Ahura. Not a seperate concept but an aspect of the same concept taking the human condition into account. Vahishta is the product of the mind when applied to the principle of asha. Awe and beauty is what the mind produces when in tune with asha. In other words: Vahishta! Remember that we are Mazdayasni or Mazdaiasts rather than Ahurayasni. That is why Parviz's point is so important: Asha-Vahishta is the founding principle of Zoroastrian ethics!
Dino also pointed out that Art deals with ugliness as much as beauty. I believe that is perhaps missing the point with art. When Art deals with "ugliness" it does so in search for new forms of beauty, for example in discovering beauty in places which had previously been regarded as ugly, as to expand our horizons in the experience of Art. A way to avoid misunderstandings here is to simply say that Art deals with Aesthetics. As such, it is one of the four aspects of Asha.
2009/12/24 ardeshir farhmand
Dear Alexander and Parviz,
my point has been all along, that ashaa is the dynamic, intelligent and ingenious principle behind the fabric of reality/order, be it the cosmic order and/or human order. that is simply all. there is a difference between knowings and knowledge. also there is a difference between ashaa and cosmic and/or ethical laws. ashaa vahishtaa is NOT a seperate concept, neither in the rig vedas nor in the poetic gathas. it is the element of awe, wonder and beauty, that is so inherent in the creative principle behind the ever-evovling fabric of reality. furthermore, i always said that ashaa demonstrates that there is NO such thing as fixed, monolithic laws anywhere. everything in our reality is a field of awesome possibilities.
i respectfully dissent with ur positions
On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Alexander Bard
Dear Ardeshir and Parviz
I agree Parviz doesn't have to be angry to get his point across, but I still believe he has a very good point which does not have to do with The Gathas (let's not fall into the trap of throwing Gathas verses at each other, Ardeshir, let's THINK creatively instead) but with us INTELLIGENTLY reading and understanding The Gathas and the Zoroastrian history of ideas.
And one point that has to be made here is that Asha-Vahishta not IS awe, beauty, whatever in itself, but that it BECOMES awe, beauty, whatever through our PERCEPTION. We as observers are through our wise MINDS producing these qualities, we even choose to apply these qualities, they are not there beforehand as factually given. Otherwise we have misunderstood and vulgarized the concept in The Gathas, and that would be a big pity.
Consequently, Asha-Vahistha has everything to do with a difference from Asha only and as such, as Parviz correctly points out. Asha-Vahishta is Asha applied as principle, through our free choice (not through following some Law as automatons but through a pure and free choice). It is therefore very important to make this distinction. We DECIDE that the awe is there, it is not there as factually given. A dead mind (rather than a wise mind) does not experience any Vahishta.
We should thank Parviz for pointing this out, even though the point can be made in a friendly manner and does not have to addressed aggressively. But I understand and see Parviz's frustration: Let's think and live The Gathas, let's not retard ourselves to merely quoting machines. OK?
2009/12/23 ardeshir farhmand
i posted a response to ur claim regarding the difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa as claimed by u, and argued that ur point view has no gathic support. please read the article,
also if u don't mind me asking, why do u sound so angry in ur messages???? or is this just my perception???? we are here to exchange ideas in a respectful manner. we agree to disagree at times. and my point is if we are the disciples of the ancient bard zarathushtra, we should cite his visions first and then draw our conclusions accordingly.