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.
--- ardeshir farhmand
the enchanting gathas are poetic, intuitive and SPIRITUAL songs of WISDOM. they say what the seer said and thought. the words have multiple/related meanings and there is an emphasis on sound/word play as is the indo-germanic poetic tradition. however, inserting our speculations/ views into them and calling it zrarthushtra's message is unjustified and unfair.
we talked about spinoza, and how much he sounds in many like ancient seer zarathushtra. refer to the text of 31.7 and see the similarity for urself. fariborz also states that zarathushtra is kind of a monist. i agree, here is the words of zrarthushtra that closely confirms his view.
denying that he means what he says is plain wrong, specially when a comparative study with ancient commentaries and related traditions prove the same.
and according to the gathic songs and meodies, the contest between asha vs druej is NOT just in human minds. it plays itself out in the existence.
asha is the truth of ahurmazd/rasti ahurmazd, or higher reality/consciousne ss that is yet to be fully relaized in our material plane. druj is fragmented and beaten understanding/ delusion or inconscience ,that will lose to the higher reality of better possibilities and superb consciousness/ intelligence.
NO where does zarathushtra talk about mortals or earthlings alone in this regard, he talks about varying levels of emotional intelligence/ wisdom and its lack thereof in the entire realms of being.
and he does answer questions in his enchanting verses. Zarathushtra was NOT a babbling guru talking in vague terms, and not saying anything of substance out of fear of being criticized thousands of year later by psuedo intellectulals. his messgae is that of SPIRIT, a word that is feared by some, and the TRIUMPH OF WILL . Hs message is about superb consciousness and higher and most amzing possibilities.