Looking at the examples Zarathushtra uses in The Gathas som other good terms for "asha" and "druj" in English would be the opposites of FARSIGHTEDNESS versus SHORTSIGHTEDNESS. Living in accordance with asha means using our best minds to look at the long-term effects of our behavior and let that be the judge of what is the right thing to do (which explains why Zoroastrianism is an ethical and an ecological ideology) whereas "druj" is acting merely on impulse while ignoring the effects of one's behavior. So there is a strong agreement here between Zarathushtra and the process philosopher Gilles Deleuze when Deleuze states that "the problem with humanity is not evil but plain stupidity". We celebrate wisdom, that is precisely what Mazdayasna means!
2009/12/17 ardeshir farhmand
Dear Rory and Dino,
the concept of evil being stupid and short-sited is a very interesting aspect of zoroastrianism. please note, that good/bad has to do with growth, ability to progress, widening of horizons and being dynamic or static according to the gathas.
it is all a matter of vision, foresight, awareness and/or bewusst-sein or lack thereof. i posted an article on the same subject here before. according to the gathas, Yasna 30.3, bad is bad devil because it has stopped growing, and therefore is incapable of ultimate foresight and vision.
there is NOWHERE in zoroastrianism the idea of hairy monsters being responsible for our mistakes. the concept is that when we lose awareness, stop to grow in understanding, we make choices that are ultimately clumsy and purely stupid. look at the corporate world, banking crisis, the environment, and see if our collective choices have been anything but
On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM, Special Kain
I agree. It all leads to nurturing and petting one's self-victimization, so you can't be held responsible for your own choices: «Oh, it wasn't me! It was the devil who has tempted me ... and everybody is doing it, too!»
We can't take integrity, intelligence or self-criticism for granted. Frankly, I don't know who's truly capable of seriously and honestly criticizing themselves if they got something wrong. We have to act as good narcissists and have a good time. It's our duty to have fun (see Slavoj Zizek and Peter Sloterdijk). We have to buy «identity goods» and act as decently hysterical consumerists that are allegedly aware of what they truly want in life (which is to go shopping and be like the Photoshop kings and queens on the cover of the magazine).
I also agree that the opposite of prise isn't humility (which is only self-destructive), but insecurity!!! Good point! Success entails resentment. There are some petty losers that are jealous of me and want me to «degrade» myself. And pride isn't arrogance, either.
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Definitions of ethics and moralism
Datum: Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2009, 20:52
Dear Alexander and Dino,
It's not the good instead of right I see as important personally but rather the evil/bad instead of wrong that causes so much trouble in the world. It is the concept of intelligent evil that is so alien to Zoroastrianism. Even "folk Zoroastrianism" treats Ahriman as "mindless" and random. The idea that their are hairy beasties out there trying to divert us from "God's will" or whatever is the world so many people on the planet live in.
Another example of a trouble-causing duality is humility being the opposite of pride. I heard someone say that the opposite of pride is actually insecurity.. .
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Alexander Bard
> Dear Dino
> According to the vast majority of philosophers - from Baruch Spinoza via
> Ludwig Wittgenstein and Jürgen Habermas to Slavoj Zizek - yes, these people
> have got it all wrong. Even Habermas makes the distinction that morality is
> the opposition of good vs evil and ethics the division between right vs
> wrong and thereafter concerns himself only with ethics, leaving morals to
> theologians. So should we. Why add to the confusion when we can be part of
> the clarification? Especially as we want to communicate that Zoroastrianism
> is not moralizing and not Abrahamic but is ethical and concerned with cause
> and effect within a probabilistic universe as its basis for values and
> 2009/12/15 Special Kain
> > Dear Alexander
> > I know philosophers who claim that "morals" are concerned with one's
> > character and what's right and wrong in relation to one's personality and
> > that "ethics" are concerned with behavior in relation to social systems,
> > such as professional ethics at the workplace. Would you now say that they
> > got it all totally wrong?
> > Ushta, Dino
> > --- Alexander Bard *
> > *
> > *
> > Von: Alexander Bard
> > Betreff: [Ushta] A crash course in Zoroastrian ethics: Why we recite the
> > Ashem Vohu!
> > An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > Datum: Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2009, 1:55
> > *
> > * * * *
> > * *
> > *Dear Tomash
> > The problem is that "good thoughts, good words, good deeds" is such a
> > sloppy and outright poor translation.
> > It invokes simplicity and moralism where Zarathushtra instead understood
> > that life is complex and one should be ethical and not moralizing (ethics is
> > values that refer to cause and effect, morality is values that are just
> > blindly obeying the orders of superiors, such as the Abrahamic gods).
> > So a much better translation would be: "A constructive mindset fosters a
> > constructive language which in turn fosters constructive actions which in
> > turn fosters constructive thoughts." A strictly ethical feedback loop
> > putting causes and effects together, exactly the way the world works.
> > What is the right thing to think, say and act then? Well, it is what inside
> > of you which makes you truly you. It is that which you define yourself
> > with. What kind of person are you to yourself? It is not even what you
> > should do but in a deeper sense what you WILL do.
> > Which is why it is so crucial to us as Mazdayasni to FIRST decide who we
> > are to ourselves. This is why we meditate and this is what we meditate on in
> > the mornings.
> > Who are you today? How do you plan to meet and greet the world? This is
> > what we focus on when we recite the Ashem Vohu.
> > Plato wrote a lot of great stuff. But his dualism is problematic to us as
> > Zoroastrians. The same thing goes for Aristotle. Among the Greeks, the
> > Stoics and Heraclitus have much more in common with Persian philosophy.
> > Ushta
> > Alexander