I agree with everything you say and share your enthusiasm 100%!!!
I just wanted to point out that The Gathas is not the same thing as Ahura Mazda, but rather an excellent path for us to manifest and be one with Ahura Mazda. So it is Ahura Mazda that we worship and celebrate and not any book or text, no matter how good and inspiring it is. This is what I mean with "book worship" and as such it should be avoided. What we do at the end of the day as Mazdayasni is literally to celebrate our capacity to think and create within a world that we hold sacred.
The study of The Gathas is a fundamental part of what we do. And it would be meaningless to call ourselves Zoroastrian or Mazdayasni if we did not live in accord with the spirit of the author of The Gathas, Zarathushtra himself.
It is in his spirit to question everything we read, even his own words on various matters, to THEN find how great The Gathas is!
2009/12/11 ardeshir farhmand
i am so fascinated with the constructive discussions here that i still write few lines here and there despite time issues. i will expand this weekend.
the gathas, are composed in true bard-like fashion. they are a masterpieces of the spirit and poetry. ther are TIMELESS, and this is evidenced even in their grammar. if u read gathas in original and get to know the original magic of words u will be truly amazed at their foresight and brilliance beyond any possible translation.
it is not about worshipping a dead scripture, but celebrating manthras, eternal brilliant ideas that were composed in a level of consciousness where past, future and present somehow represent a living continuius POSSIBILTY and PROMISE.
this can be evidenced even in the grammatic forms and manthra compositions. we MUST study it in light of "seer/bardic traditions" to grasp its timeless message. questions in the gaths contain they very answer as is the norm and mode in the bardic, indo-germanic poetry tradition. questions are inspiring and revealing.
the songs are addressed to the the MULTIPLICITY and YET UNITY of the entire existence/being and the veil between outside and inside, man and divine, spirit and matter is rather thin and illusory in these songs. They are truly the inspired brilliant visions of a seer/prophet, a true indo-germanic bard of extraordinary foresight.
they are NOT vague NEITHER generalized babbles of a psudeo guru.
gathas are VISIONS, INSPIRATIONS from the highest realms of awareness that surpass time and space. they are manthric powers that endeavor to realize the union between spirit and matter. and they DO answer ur questions and open ur awareness to vast and better possibilities and visions.
they are NOT the manuals for career burecrat faux scientists, but vision of genius and genial possibilities that amzae ur mind/spirit.
they are manifestations "minoe;" not in its today sense of mind, but what it meant, more than 3000 years ago in all ancient indo-germanic languages such as avesta, sanskrit and norse namely: SPIRIT, INTUITIVE UNDERSTANDING, KNOWING, VISION, INTENSE LASTING FEELING OF INTUITIVE KNOWING and AWARENESS.
On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Alexander Bard
Dear Dino and Ardeshir
I agree with Dino but I certainly don't think what Dino is saying contradicts what Ardeshir is saying. When Ardeshir focuses on Zarathushtra's PATHOS of triumph of will, the power of identity and free choice, I could not agree more, this is all true and wonderful to hear! It is "spirit" in the true Hegelian sense.
I just believe we have to keep two things in mind here:
- What is interesting is not the TEXT alone, what is interesting is what the AUTHOR of that text was thinking and how he would have communicated with us had he been alive today and one of us in our community. This is what I refer to as the searvh in the and beyond the text for the SPIRIT of Zarathushtra. We need to get at the spirit of the author of The Gathas. What would he say about our lives today, how would he be a teacher and/or a participant in our community today? This is what Mazdayasna in the 21st century must be about. We celebrate Ahura Mazda, we study The Gathas to celebrate Ahura Mazda even more, but we do not worship a dead text. Leave the Abrahmics to be the book worshippers. We are instead interested in a living religion. But I believe we can all agree on this, and this is how we should and do read The Gathas.
- Also, one more thing, Ardeshir, I leave it is crucial to speak of a time frame here that is truly Zoroastrian and not unjustly applied on The Gathas in hindsight. Zarathushtra does not speak of an already existing "reality of asha" in a different plane, to him "asha" is a state and an ideal which we should strive to put ourselves and our world inside. But to think that "asha" is already at hand, as a complete higher "spiritual reality" is to apply Platonistic thinking onto a text where this could not be correct. Plato after all lived 1,200 years after Zarathushtra and was an Egyptian-Greek thinker while his opponent Heraclitus was the truly Persian-Greek thinker (which is also why Zarathushtra is a monist who never mentions monism because he did not have to, the to the Indo-Europeans rather bizarre idea of dualism had not been developed in Iran 3,700 years ago, so monism was taken for granted, dualism is rather an Egyptian invention of a later date).
Again, I believe we can agree on the premises here and together dig into the wonderful Gathas with open 21st century minds.
2009/12/10 Special Kain
I agree. But times change, and we change with them.
Zarathushtra was a brilliant thinker who was ahead of his time, but he was also looking forward to other thinkers and teachers in the future to continue where he left. Today's most formidable instrument to increase our understanding and to learn to make the wisest choice possible is science. And I'm 100% sure that Zarathushtra wanted us to think critically and independently. So if science proves him wrong, he would probably be first to SMILE and RETHINK his statements!
He also raised many questions in the Gathas. And did he answer all of them? No, he didn't. And he sometimes raised the same or similar questions again, as if he questioned his own conclusions. Where does this lead to? To a learning experience based on intellectual integrity that entails freedom and wisdom. The smarter we get, we more freedom we attain. The better we learn to cope with our existence and contingency, the happier we become. He was the first to teach us that civilization, intelligence, happiness, freedom and creativity are one and the same.