onsdag 2 december 2009

Zoroastrianism and Stoicism

Hi Tomash

Dino is correct! The main difference between Zoroastrian philosophy and Stoic philosophy is that we take a positive approach towards existence as our starting point. Not so much as an emotion but rather as an ethical imperative. You can compare this if you like with Nietzsche's motto "Amor Fati" (Nietzsche loved the Stoics). The world is sacred to us, the world in itself carries no value to the Stoics. In this the Stoics have the same difference from Zoroastrianism as Brahmanism in India (the Indian Stoics, the majority of Indian yogi are Brahmanists) who also see no intrinsic value to existence, which we do.
But there is more to this issue: Stoicism has its ROOTS in Iranian philosophy. Whereas Plato had his starting point in the Egyptian worldview, the Stoics, as opposed to Plato, took their main inspiration from the Persians, who practiced philosophy at least 1,500 years before the Greeks.
I would recommend that you call yourself BOTH a Zoroastrian and a Stoic for now. I'm personally a Zoroastrian, as a philosophical origin, but I'm also a Spinozist and a Nietzschean, which is perfectly compatible with Zoroastrianism, as I believe Stoicism is too.

Ushta
Alexander


2009/12/2 Special Kain

Dear Tomash,

Welcome to Ushta!!! :-)

We don't have asceticism in Zoroastrianism, so we don't share the Stoics' indifference towards existence, since we're ethically obliged to live our lives to the fullest and develop a constructive and co-creative attitude towards existence.

But, however, Stoicism and Zoroastrianism also have many things in common as you have so intelligently discovered: (1) we want to live in accordance with nature, the universe, Asha, (2) Zoroastrian philosophy is purely ethical and not the slightest bit moralistic, (3) Zarathushtra probably was one of the first rationalists in human history, (4) there are Zoroastrian pantheists and panentheists. The first three points sum up Stoic ethics perfectly, but there's this enjoyment of life and a constructive and proactive mentality in Zoroastrianism that can't be found in Stoic philosophy.

Rather than grow indifferent towards the world around us, we want to contribute creatively and constructively to civilization.

Ushta,
Dino

--- tomispev schrieb am Mi, 2.12.2009:


Von: tomispev
Betreff: [Ushta] Zoroastrianism and Stoicism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2009, 15:34



Hello,

My name is Tomash, I'm from Serbia (I'm not a Serb however) and I have become very interested in Zoroastrianism after reading the book"Zarathoustra et la transfiguration du monde" by Paul du Breuil, in Serbian translation. Before being introduced to Zoroastrianism I read a lot about Stoicism and thought about becoming a Stoic.

What I am interesting is if someone could help me draw parallels between Zoroastrian and Stoic philosophy, their differences and commonalities. I know for example that Stoics are pantheists and are ruled by a maxim that one should try to live according to nature. They also practice great tolerance and compassion for others. Stoicism has a lot in common with Buddhism actually. It is very logical, a very rationalistic philosophy. But being quite impressed with Zoroastrianism, with Zarathushtra and his teaching, has got me torn between the two philosophies. I have read a Medieval philosopher Gemistus Pletho was also interested in both of them, but his understanding of Zoroastrianism might be just through the teachings of Plato, who he considered to be a reincarnation of Zarathushtra.

I do believe I do not understand much about Zoroastrianism, but I intend to learn as I have been so far.

Pozdrav,
Tomash

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