lördagen den 31:e januari 2009

Mazdaysna and pragmatism (was: Realism and constructivism)

Exactly!!!
Peirce is the giant of American philosophy, without him there would have been no American pragmatism, no John Dewey and consequently no Barack Obama either.
The important thing to stress here on Ushta is of course that pragmatism is perfectly compatible with Zarathushra and with Mazdayasna. We also realise that there is an inside and an outside, but we do not seem them as two sides struggling with each other (a superior spirit trying to fight an inferior material world) but as equally sacred, important and complementary (Ahura is the outside and Mazda the inside of a combined world which manifests the immanence of Ahura Mazda).
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/31 special_kain

I agree!!!
After Kant there were also Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger - with
pragmatism lying exactly inbetween realism and constructivism. So
while there's a mind-independent reality, all we have are socially
made and intersubjectively shared signs to describe and deal with that
mind-independent reality. According to Peirce, there are three (rather
than only two) aspects: the representamen (the form which the sign
takes), the interpretant (the sense made of the sign) and the object
(to which the sign refers). So we're living within signs or a
continuity of signs, and every thought is a sign. While many
philosophers state that there would be neither exit nor reality,
Peirce was a lot more optimistic about creating more accurate and
better vocabularies in the long run.
To say that we're dealing with social constructs only doesn't do away
with "solid-as-a-rock" reality. And to say that there's a
mind-independent reality doesn't replace intersubjectivity with the
phantom of objectivity.
Peirce's semiotics is one of the most important achievements in the
history of philosophy.

Ushta,
Dino


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Correct!!!
>
> Immanuel Kant defined the very two same things as the noumenal
(realism) and
> the phenomenological (constructivism) already in the 18th century
and also
> saw them as two sides of the same coin. My colleague Jan Söderqvist
and I
> have constructed a similar but more up-to-date opposition of
eternalism vs
> mobilism which we discuss in depth in our forecoming work "The Global
> Empire" (published in Swedish in 2003). Our point is that there
never was
> any noumenal or phenomenological realities but that the two were always
> intertwined and that it is within their very confusion, when the two
worlds
> collide, that they both appear to us precisely as eternalistic (the
fixed
> world of phenomena or particles in physics) and mobilistic (the
ever-chaning
> world of noumenal intensities, the equivalent being fields in physics).
>
> For Zarathushtra the two things are of equal importance and striking the
> balance between the two is what is important for us as human beings. We
> could even go so far as to say that Ahura is the mobilistic and noumenal
> character of realism and that Mazda is the eternalistic and phenomenal
> character of constructivism.
>
> Ushta
> Alexander

Haurvatat and nowruz

Dear Zaneta

This is all sounds fine and nice.
But the problem is that the expression "constant state of becoming and flowing" is a complete contradicition. The term "constant state" is the very opposite if "becoming and flowing".
So you seem to have just said something that makes no sense. Even if it sounds poetically beautiful, I must admit.
I prefer to just say that when I die (or rather when I lose consciousness, which I due to for example Alzheimers may do long before my physical body dies), I just return to wherever I came from before I was born and gained this miraculous consciousness. It was all nice while it lasted.
But consciousness itself (the manifesttation of Mazda) lives on and thrives in the lives of new human beings. What thought could possibly be more beautiful than that? Generations come and generations go, isn't that precisely what we celebrate at nowruz every year???

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/31 Zaneta Garratt


Hi Dino,
I know you do not believe in an afterlife, but WHAT YOU WRITE HERE i CAN TIE UP INTO AN AFTERLIFE BELIEF AS a person who has lived a good life, when they die,their consciousness/soul will have "actualized all its virtual potentials and now is in a constant state of becoming and flowing"-progressing still in its new state, at least that is how it speaks to me, Best regards from zaneta

Realism and constructivism

Correct!!!

Immanuel Kant defined the very two same things as the noumenal (realism) and the phenomenological (constructivism) already in the 18th century and also saw them as two sides of the same coin. My colleague Jan Söderqvist and I have constructed a similar but more up-to-date opposition of eternalism vs mobilism which we discuss in depth in our forecoming work "The Global Empire" (published in Swedish in 2003). Our point is that there never was any noumenal or phenomenological realities but that the two were always intertwined and that it is within their very confusion, when the two worlds collide, that they both appear to us precisely as eternalistic (the fixed world of phenomena or particles in physics) and mobilistic (the ever-chaning world of noumenal intensities, the equivalent being fields in physics).

For Zarathushtra the two things are of equal importance and striking the balance between the two is what is important for us as human beings. We could even go so far as to say that Ahura is the mobilistic and noumenal character of realism and that Mazda is the eternalistic and phenomenal character of constructivism.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/31 special_kain

Dear Alexander,

I'll soon come back to this, but it'll take some time. I'm preoccupied
with moving back to Zurich, and the subject is quite tough. At least,
we could say that realism is the idea that there is a mind-independent
reality with its own laws and rules, things that we just run into: the
experience of resistance. Constructivism is its counterpart in the
sense that "those things out there" do not exist by themselves, but
are categorically and linguistically shaped. Now let's combine realism
and constructivism and see them as the two sides of the same coin. :-)
I definitely have to elaborate on this much more. I'll read a bit
about Peircean semiotics (if I find some time) and write a short
summary. What I just wrote above doesn't really deliver.

Ushta,
Dino

onsdagen den 28:e januari 2009

Mazdaism Part 2

Dear Parviz

But that is precisely my point:
How do you AVOID people from focusing on "perfection" (I have always argued that the only perfection that exists philosophically is death, because death is the only state we know of where nothing moves or changes, and if something is indeed perfect than it can not change, because it if changed it would no longer be perfect), well you make their object of desire something that always moves, always changes, and why then not make it the process of transformation itself? This is totally in line with Zarathushtra and with his later followers Baruch Spinoza and Gilles Deleuze (please feel free to check these thinkers at Wikipedia if you like).
So if you desire things to be static and never change (wrongly assuming that this is what haurvatat is, Sigmund Freud correctly called this "the death drive") then you will have to let go of Mazda. The whole point in being a Mazdayasni is to make change and transformation IN ITSELF that which is sacred. This is why we have made tolerance and openness not only social necessities within Zoroastrianism but sacred attitudes in themselves. This is why we created the first human rights etc. We appreciate that which keeps us moving, and WHILE moving, we live within haurvatat. Haurvatat is not a fixed utopia in the future, haurvatat is accessible in the here and now, the old expression "Enjoy the ride!" is appropriate for us as Mazdayasni.
- Dölj citerad text -


Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/28 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alexander,

I like very much what you have added to the idea of Mazdaism.

The only problem may arise when some persons develop a notion that because we move, we must be on the path of becoming perfect, becoming God. Whole lot of Div-Yasna baggage can then be put on top of the very simple proposal that you are presenting. Our worst enemies could then become well wishing friends who put extra straws on the camels back until it breaks.

The simple truth is that we don't know where we are going. The best we can do is to leave as small a footprint on the planet as we can so that we do not destroy it..

Ushta Ve,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Wed, 1/28/09, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mazdaism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 11:35 AM


Why not go even deeper and say that Ahura is fundamentally BEING and Mazda is BECOMING?
Ahura is that which has existence and Mazda is that which is transforming, changing within existence, that through which existence shows its many expressions?
Because what is the art of asking a question (which always forgoes the capacity to make a decision) if not the fundament of consciousness? And thereby the ultimate foundation of Mazda?
Just a proposal...
Please note one important thing that makes Mazdayasna different from all classic philosophy: In Mazdayasna being is not superior to becoming and becoming is not superior to being, the two are completely intertwined, each one would be pointless without the other, could not even exist without the other.
And while it is true that we still know very little about The Universe, we know quite a lot about The Observer of this Universe, namely ourselves and our perception of The World we live in. And that is where The Divine appears to us, in the awe we feel towards Existence, in our capacity of materialising Mazda in relation to Ahura.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/28 Parviz Varjavand

What is Mazda ?

I think that the ability to make a choice is Mazda.

Ahoora is that which simply IS.
Is Ahoora Good? The answer is "Yes".
Being is better than not being. That's the only goodness we can bestow upon Ahoora. Ahoora can not hold the other adjectives that we associate with goodness, such as justice or compassion…Etc.
Most of what is in the Ahooraic state does not have the luxury of choice. There are laws that govern the behavior of the Ahoora and those laws are called Asha. The Earth has no choice but to rotate around the Sun and this Asha governs its behavior.

In Time, a very small part of Ahoora comes to life, and with life begins a process of Choice. This choice is the struggle of the life-form to secure greater Ushta or rewards for itself. The earth worm goes towards moister and away from the dry place. The naked Asha of the situation is that if the worm goes to the dry place, it will die, and if it goes towards the moister, it will live. So the worm chooses the Vahishtayi Ashem or that Asha that will give it the Ushta or reward of staying alive. It chooses one Asha over another.

As the life form evolves from the earth worm to the human, the choices of which Asha to choose over another also become complex. What are the Ashas Obama should choose to fix the economy and create more peace? Any Asha he chooses will have consequences, but what is the Vayishtayi Ashem in each case, that best of Asha that will result in the greatest of Ushta. That ability of the Mind to have consciousness and choose one Asha over another, I call Mazda.

Is Mazda present in all life forms? I don't know.
Is Mazda present in beyond earthly life forms? I don't know.
Is there an Ahoora Mazda? Yes
What is it? I don't know, but I just described the form of it that makes sense to me.
The formula I just described, makes my mind celebrate and so it is Mazdayasna to me, I call it "Mazdeism".

The way the mind celebrates when it understand something complex, I call Mazdayasna. The way the mind celebrates when it can not understand something complex, yet it clings to some "Sacred" old text for guidance, I call Div-Yasna or celebrating the Div. The majority of humans on earth follow Div-Yasna, so be very polite to them so that they will let you live. Otherwise the most insignificant of them can latch on to you and make life miserable for you.

Ushta Ve,
Parviz Varjavand

Cause and effect, the big bang and time

Loop quantum gravity theory, which is now taking over from superstring theory as the dominant field of physics and cosmology, actually posits that The Big Bang was not the beginning of The Universe at all but rather just the beginning of OUR particular universe (or part of The Universe). As a matter of fact, the strongest case for superstring theory, so called M-Theory does exactly the same thing. So while it is correct that every effect needs a cause in our current universe as it is now, in an eternal universe, or rather in a universe WITHOUT TIME, there is not necessarily any need for a cause to an effect. The whole process of cause-effect is time-dependent. And we might be debating something here that is redundant in itself. Why not wait and see what science finds out? And then can prove???
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/27 ztheist


Ushta Dino

I respectfully beg to differ from your view point. Everything that has
been created has a cause. In the Gathas there is a Creator, and in
scientific theory the Big Bang is either the tool or the cause of
Creation.

Im my opinion and limited experience and understanding, I see no
evidence in human experience for anything birthing itself. Perhaps I
am wrong but I must form my beliefs on what seems to have some
evidence of some kind , and is non-contradictory and thus logically
possible. This makes it valid and validity, while not the same as
truth, does make something that is possible into something more
probable than otherwise.

Do you have any kind of evidence for anything birthing itself? I think
that if I were to argue the Atheistic position I would try to stay on
the universe is eternal and has always existed position. Of course
that can create problems with the Big Bang , which can perhaps be side
stepped by positing that the Uni existed , albeit , in a different
form prior to the B.B.

As to your idea of us being god like beings:In what frame of reference
are we to discuss it? From a speculative phylosophical one or from the
Gathas? From the Gathas, it seems to me, that we have the potential to
become god like but we cannot unless we get rid of our wrongfulness.

From the other perspective it could be possible. The evidence I see in
the world as far as man's inhumanity, seems to agree with the Gathic
view though. So help me , because so far, I would need More evidence
to accept your two positions as stated.

Ushta te
Ron


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "special_kain" wrote:
>
> Dear Ron,
>
> It's the universe that is giving birth to itself, just like the
> creator creating himself as creation. :-)
> Religiously speaking, the creator (such as a writer), the act of
> creating (writing a book or a pop song) and that which is being
> created (book and/or song) are not separate phenomena. In this
> particular case they're one and the same. All we have is a creative
> process with no beginning and no end. If anything, god is creativity,
> and vice versa. And that's why we're godlike beings, because we're not
> only part of this limitlessly creative process, but because we can
> (are are obliged to) actively take part and contribute to the creation
> of the world.
>
> Ushta,
> Dino

Mazdaism

Why not go even deeper and say that Ahura is fundamentally BEING and Mazda is BECOMING?
Ahura is that which has existence and Mazda is that which is transforming, changing within existence, that through which existence shows its many expressions?
Because what is the art of asking a question (which always forgoes the capacity to make a decision) if not the fundament of consciousness? And thereby the ultimate foundation of Mazda?
Just a proposal...
Please note one important thing that makes Mazdayasna different from all classic philosophy: In Mazdayasna being is not superior to becoming and becoming is not superior to being, the two are completely intertwined, each one would be pointless without the other, could not even exist without the other.
And while it is true that we still know very little about The Universe, we know quite a lot about The Observer of this Universe, namely ourselves and our perception of The World we live in. And that is where The Divine appears to us, in the awe we feel towards Existence, in our capacity of materialising Mazda in relation to Ahura.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/28 Parviz Varjavand

What is Mazda ?

I think that the ability to make a choice is Mazda.

Ahoora is that which simply IS.
Is Ahoora Good? The answer is "Yes".
Being is better than not being. That's the only goodness we can bestow upon Ahoora. Ahoora can not hold the other adjectives that we associate with goodness, such as justice or compassion…Etc.
Most of what is in the Ahooraic state does not have the luxury of choice. There are laws that govern the behavior of the Ahoora and those laws are called Asha. The Earth has no choice but to rotate around the Sun and this Asha governs its behavior.

In Time, a very small part of Ahoora comes to life, and with life begins a process of Choice. This choice is the struggle of the life-form to secure greater Ushta or rewards for itself. The earth worm goes towards moister and away from the dry place. The naked Asha of the situation is that if the worm goes to the dry place, it will die, and if it goes towards the moister, it will live. So the worm chooses the Vahishtayi Ashem or that Asha that will give it the Ushta or reward of staying alive. It chooses one Asha over another.

As the life form evolves from the earth worm to the human, the choices of which Asha to choose over another also become complex. What are the Ashas Obama should choose to fix the economy and create more peace? Any Asha he chooses will have consequences, but what is the Vayishtayi Ashem in each case, that best of Asha that will result in the greatest of Ushta. That ability of the Mind to have consciousness and choose one Asha over another, I call Mazda.

Is Mazda present in all life forms? I don't know.
Is Mazda present in beyond earthly life forms? I don't know.
Is there an Ahoora Mazda? Yes
What is it? I don't know, but I just described the form of it that makes sense to me.
The formula I just described, makes my mind celebrate and so it is Mazdayasna to me, I call it "Mazdeism".

The way the mind celebrates when it understand something complex, I call Mazdayasna. The way the mind celebrates when it can not understand something complex, yet it clings to some "Sacred" old text for guidance, I call Div-Yasna or celebrating the Div. The majority of humans on earth follow Div-Yasna, so be very polite to them so that they will let you live. Otherwise the most insignificant of them can latch on to you and make life miserable for you.

Ushta Ve,
Parviz Varjavand

måndagen den 26:e januari 2009

Ahura as Lord vs Ahura as Being

Dear Dina

There are no lords in nomadic tribes. Because a lord needs serves to be a lord and there are no such agrarian relationships in a nomadic tribe.
So the concept of a lord can not have existed anywhere before permanent settlements arrived. Which is in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago. You therefore find "lords" everywhere in Abrahamic religions as a heritage from Babylonian culture.
Why Zarathushtra would pick up a Babylonian concept in his abode in Central Asia and then turn into a divinity and preach its religion, actually beats me.
I believe we can find a far better translation of "Ahura" than that coherent with what we know about history. Being plus intellect sound far more plausible to me. It makes sense and keeps us within the Indo-European post-nomadic culture. That's why I place my ten cents there.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26

Dear Alexander,

Anyone who has ever tried to translate a joke from another language into English understands that the nuances of meaning that a word has in English may be somewhat different from what a word means in another language. "Lord" (ahura) is one such word. So is "truth" (asha). So we cannot ascribe, to Gathic, the nuances and limitations that the word "lord" may have in English.

Moreover, I am not sure that I agree with you that even in English, the word "lord" only pertains to lordship over persons and property.

Wishing us the best,

Dina G. McIntyre.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander Bard
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 10:55 am
Subject: [Ushta] Ahura, Mazda, Ahura Mazda, and the origin of the two revolutions in Zoroastrianism

Dear Dina

I'm afraid that you are contradicting yourself.
The term "lordship "IMPLIES the control over land and the resources and products of the land.
There is no lordship outside of land ownership. To say that "Ahura Mazda is a different type of lord" is tantamount of saying that "Ahura Mazda" is not a lord. You have just negated your own statement.
So the English term "lord" is really nonsensical towards a translation of the term "Ahura" which was clearly in wide use among Indo-Europeans long before individual land ownership had become a part of Iranian and Central Asian culture.
We need to come up with a better, more accurate translation then the term "lord" which to me only smacks of Judeo-Christian projections onto Zoroastrianism (in hindsight).

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/24

Dear Alexander,

I must offer friendly disagreement. "Ahura" was simply an appellation or title given to various Indo-Iranian gods, such as Varuna et cetera. But the ways in which such gods were worshipped were very different from the way in which Zarathushtra tells us to worship Mazda Ahura. So I do not think it is accurate to say that what you call "ahurayasna" was something that Zarathushtra carried into his religious perceptions.

I know that you and Parviz are very partial to translating Ahura as pertaining to life. But it means "lord". But herein lies another difference between Zarathushtra's thinking and the conventional religious thought of the culture in which he was raised. Because if you look at the ways in which Z uses "ahura" in the Gathas, you will see that it is not a lordship over people or property. It is a lordship over (or mastery of) the attributes that comprise divinity -- truth (asha), its comprehension (vohu manah), its embodiment in thought, word and action (aramaiti), its rule (vohu xshathra), its complete and undying attainment (haurvatat / ameretat) -- the concepts that were later called the amesha spenta.

So what you call the "ahurayasna" of the pre-Zarathushtrian Indo-Iranian religion(s) was quite different from the "ahurayasna" of Zarathushtra.

Wishing us the best,

Dina G. McIntyre.



-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander Bard
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 4:59 pm
Subject: [Ushta] Ahura, Mazda, Ahura Mazda, and the origin of the two revolutions in Zoroastrianism

Dear Dina

I believe you are absolutely correct!!!
Furthermore, I believe that it is the Ahura part which is the original pagan Indo-European part of Zarathushtra's concept. This would make perfect sense. The Mazda part is then what Zarathushtra and/or his contemporary culture added (without removing Ahura, so thereby reforming rather changing the religion), which also explains why it is precisely the Mazda part which is UNIQUE to Zoroastrianism.
There is no concept of Mazda in Indian or European mythologies or philosophy, for example. The Indian concept of the Brahman is the same as Ahura, without the Mazda.
Arthur has brought this up before and so has Parviz. It is the Mazda part of Ahura Mazda which makes Ahuramazdaism different from any other Pantheism or Panentheism.
It doesn't even fit with any of the two labels of Pantheism or Panentheism to be honest about it. The concept is that unique.
So let's say that we have strong reasons to believe that Ahurayazda predates Zarathushtra and his generation but that Mazdayasna is the paradigm we live within afterwards. That much we should know for certain.

Ushta
Alexander

Panentheism or Pantheism-plus

Dear Friends

I agree with Ron and I do believe that the "soft panentheism" that he (and Dina before him) have proposed makes sense, both with Zoroastrianism and with modern science. Classic pantheism leaves too many question marks that somehow have to be filled with a faith and as long as this faith is compatible with science it is fine with me. I do however tend to go more with Arthur's "pantheism-plus" myself, which allows for form to predate the "substance" of the universe (time, space and matter), as both origin and art of the universe itself. Form as the laws of the universe, the laws that condition physical existence, may be seen as primordial (form as asha). Many scientists would agree with me and we would then get closer to what we might want to label "soft-soft panentheism". Please recall here that scientists now disagree on the big bang as the origin of the universe (merely as the origin of OUR particular universe), the universe may always have existed (outside of time to begin with), creation merely being seen as an eternal loop and pulse. This would both remove Mehran's need for a creator predating the creation (with no time, there can be no cause and affect anymore) and tie the not between the physical universe and its fundamental condition.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26 ztheist

Ushta Dino

Aha but I do not separate the creator from the creation. At least not
after he created . He obviously was other than and separate from
before he created, of course. I see the Creator as Panentheistic . The
very fact he created what obviously could not have existed before,
means that he transcends it. But I also see that in the Gathas several
of his essences and attributes are present, indeed integrated with,
creation

So I can perhaps put it in another way and see if you see it the way I
do, or at least see the validity of what I am saying
The Creator includes the creation but its bigger than the creation
(where big does not necessarily ,mean size)

As to the danger of using science to justify any theology, I would
agree but I am not justifying it and if you want to justify yours
(whatever that is , the warning would apply as well) I merely set
examples of why you cannot possibly be dogmatic one way or the other
when you approach the question of Creator or non, or whatever stands
for such in whatever system any one professes.

If you were delving into the occult, that my friend , with all due
respect is your problem. Quanta and multi dimensionality merely
emphasize the fact that reality cannot be explained away not encased
within and by easily defined reductionist formulas or theories.

As to Asha being the only Order in all planes of existence . It seems
, ftom Z 's VP , that it might well be, and thyt does not clash at all
whith what I am saying. (although we truly have no idea of how
anything would work on a different dimension or universe)

Actually, see my last post to Osred and I thoink you will find out
that we are very close in beliefs.

As to your fear that I will compare, imitate, make into, kneel, or
whatever, MA to an illusory Abrahamic deity - I think I, as opposed to
those that try to define me, have given you no grounds to think I
would do or believe any such thing.

On the contrary having fled Abrahamism I am, if anything, far more
unlikely to fall in any kind of the same trap than those who consider
all theologies and conceptions of god or reality 'good'.

Ushta te
Ron

,


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> Dear Ron,
>
> You're making some very clever points!
> I agree that each one of us is a part of god, although I don't
believe that there's an uncreated creator the way you see it. To say
so means that you have to draw a distinction and remove the creator
from his/her/its creation and place him/her/it somewhere outside.
> Also it's a bit dangerous to use quantum phenomena to build a
semi-esoteric theory. That's called quantum theology and some
esotericists and occultists that I used to spend (sometimes waste) my
time with bought into it, usually for the worse, because they wanted
to add the scent of science to their metaphysical beliefs in order to
make them more convincing. So they felt equally credible and,
paradoxically, superior to scientists at the same time. Actually, it's
perfectly unscientific and indicative of having misunderstood those
theories and discoveries. There's no reason to believe that quantum
effects were explaining any semi-religious mysteries (see the Law of
Large Numbers for further explanations).
> Reality doesn't need an observer in order to exist. That's not even
constructivism, it's solipsism, and solipsism didn't really make it
big in philosophy or science. And it's perfectly OK not to be a
monist, although Asha applies to all which is. And Asha is the one and
only principle (or the one and only set of principles and laws). So
there's no ontological difference between the physical, material world
and any other world that may or may not exist. There's only one Asha
and not a multitude of Ashas.
> But please avoid confusing Ahura Mazda with the much younger
Jehovah, Allah and the like. If you choose to believe in Ahura Mazda
as that uncreated creator mentioned above, please don't forget the
difference between Ahura Mazda and the Almighty Creators of other
religious faiths. Ahura Mazda doesn't want us to kneel down in front
of him and humbly await our oh, so tragic fate, since our mysterious
god is severely suffering from mood swings.
>
> Ushta,
> Dino
>
> --- ztheist schrieb am Mo, 26.1.2009:
> Von: ztheist
> Betreff: [Ushta] Re: MODERATE -- osred90@... posted to

zoroastrianacceptance2
> An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Datum: Montag, 26. Januar 2009, 4:34
>
> Ushta Osred
>
>
>
> It is true that a paradigm based on spirit beings might not seem
>
> acceptable. Z does not seem to teach that however. He instead talks of
>
> a mental world and a corporeal one.
>
>
>
> Mow, if we see that there is the obvious possibility that such a
>
> world, (or rather dimension of the same world or Cosmos, because I
>
> believe that there is only one reality, but a multi-faceted one) I
>
> think we do ourselves harm by not being open to the possibility of an
>
> entity that is not corporeal, but mental (I know that many thinj that
>
> corporeal and mental are the same thing BUt I agree with Eccles and
>
> others that there is a difference between
>
> mind and body .
>
>
>
> I mean we have science positing many dimensions (mathematicians seem
>
> to believe that these dimensions are a certainty) and even
>
> multiverses. If we have Quantum postulating the non-locality of some
>
> events and the need for an Observer for reality to exist or, more
>
> correctly, to manifest, then I believe that is very short sighted to
>
> shut our minds to this.
>
>
>
> I think that we are still trapped by the static Newtownian physics
>
> paradigm and that we have to do a lot of educating. But I believe that
>
> it is fully rational to belive there is an entity that has created
>
> what exists. As it is fully rational to doubt such a thing.
>
>
>
> In that sense tolerant Ziism can have both schools co-habitate the
>
> same belief system and even commune with each other and co-operate in
>
> some ways. This is something religions cannot truly do(although
>
> religiosities can some times temporally do so)
>
>
>
> Lest I confuse you. There are some points I must make. IMO
>
>
>
> Daena Vanguhi, not a religion. Its not just a philosphy either, so its
>
> very hard to quantify it. In fact like many things in Ziism its a
>
> veritable rainbow of things
>
>
>
> For example I believe that one of its many meanings is the Conception
>
> or Gnosis that God is Benevolent, in fact, All Good.
>
>
>
> Alex, for example (and I am not inputting him beliefs, I am just
>
> making a generalization) might believe that it is a paradigm that
>
> exalts and studies the human mind and how to apply it to human
>
> problems and has nothing to do with deities and creators.
>
>
>
> From a strictly logical vantage point both beliefs are valid although
>
> they are not necessarily both true (in fact both could be wrong)
>
> However, we do not yet have proof that either is wrong. Thus as
>
> tolerant Zs we must co-exist and work together where is possible,
>
> without breaking our principles.
>
>
>
> Another belief that I hold is that what we call religions today are
>
> ossified institutions that have no 'elan vital', no vital force, and
>
> are bound by the chains of Dogmatic doctrine , intractable traditions
>
> and manipulative authorities which basically zap most of the life out
>
> of them , they are in fact not religions but religiosities.
>
>
>
> Further, I believe that a Creator would not have a religion , in any
>
> case, because he does not need to bind himself or re-bind him or
>
> herself to creation He is already intricately bound to it and has
>
> never separated from it. ("Yes Virginia man did not "Fall" and in
>
> fact cannot fall ") in fact it is impossible for the Creator and life
>
> to be separate
>
>
>
> Just to give one example of this; let's take our very breaths. In
>
> order for us to live we must have oxygen and the chemical reactions
>
> it can cause. Further we must have this oxygen enter our blood streams
>
> and that happens through osmosis. All these processes are Asha and in
>
> fact they ARE the Creator. So we are not using a metaphora when we say
>
> that the Creator is in every breath we take. Even Paul, (who,
>
> incidentally, was very Zarathushtrian when he wasn't talking about sex
>
> and sin ) said of god : " In him we move,live and have our being. "
>
>
>
> Finally I believe that it is not the religions of the world that are
>
> wrongful but the aforementioned religiosities AND their wrongful
>
> theologies. In fact there is but one Creator , you believe its a
>
> force, Alex a mind and I an entity which dwells in and transcends all
>
> forces minds and more, the Xian calls him Father, Lord, & Jesus, the
>
> Islamist calls him Allah, the Jew Yahweh or technically YWWH and Adonai
>
>
>
> But this entity mind or force IS ONE and the same by any and all names
>
> it might be called.
>
>
>
> It is THE PERCEPTION (IMHO DAENA) BY MEN of this entity, that is
>
> different. And is that what Zarathushtra addressed when he defines the
>
> 'daena of the wrongful", and dissed the illusory deities (daevas)
>
>
>
> Because all of the above, I sincerely believe that we Zs of all
>
> persuasions ( well true Zs not cultists that believe that they have a
>
> racial monopoly on the religion)could get alone, if they can the hate
>
> speech and personal attacks AND show tolerance and respect for the
>
> opinions of brother Zs; while agreeing on certain central points,
>
> allowing liberty on others and showing love and tolerance over all.
>
>
>
> I mean while I am no monist, in the sense that a Hindu, a Buddhist, an
>
> Alex or even a Dina is a monist, I am awfully close because, after
>
> all, I do believe there is ONE reality , I just believe that it has
>
> more than this component. And while I do not believe that the
>
> immanence of MA is limited to this dimension and its not a possesion,
>
> that is I believe he does not fully in all His aspects and attributes
>
> abide in every creation, I do believe he is immanent in his energy,
>
> his asha and his conceptions , in everything that exists.
>
>
>
> So if we are this close, can we just put aside our egos and
>
> differences and be civil and cooperate where we can and respect each
>
> other where we can't?
>
>
>
> That is the question , isn't it?
>
>
>
> Ushta te
>
> Ron

A religion of masochism or fascination? Part 3

Exactly!!!
Isn't it interesting that Christians always want to put Zoroastrianism in their own boat - preferrably as some kind of more primitive proto-Christianity - when in reality the two religions are fundamentally opposed. We love and cherish life and existence as it is, hold it sacred in its entirity. We enjoy life's pleasures precisely as pleasures and do not let ourselves enjoy life merely as a painful, ascetic and masochistic act of self-victimization. I would even go so far as to say that if we had had a Garden of Eden in our mythology, Ahura Mazda would be on the side of the snake. How could we possibly be more different from the Abrahamics? And no wonder both Jews and Christians hated Baruch Spinoza when he arrived in 17th century Europe as the European Zarathushtra.
The concept of sin is an attractive proposition because it allows people to dwell in masochism. Remove the concept of sin (simply because it is untrue, there is no such thing as sin) and people will be held responsible not for their actions anymore, but precisely for their own happiness, this is what Zoroastrianism is all about.
Good thoughts, good words, good actions, yes! But why? For our very own happiness' sake.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26 ztheist
- Dölj citerad text -

Ushta Alex

I think you have come up with one of the main reasons for the
sickening obcession with suffering among Abrahamics ( well I do not
knpow about the Jews) I think ascetisn in Xianity while obviously
drawing from other sources , draws on the 'suffering' Chriist
doctrine a lot. I remember reading about First Century converts and
many of these people were slaves and they had an obcession with
suffering and indeed with dying. One particular 'convert' wote that he
became a Xian because they knew how to die.

Ushta te
Ron

Satan and Zoroastrianism

Dear Friends

Mehran and Ron are right. There is no Ahriman to be found in The Gathas, not even any proto version of Ahriman. The concept of a cosmological rather than mental Zoroastrianism (a folk Zoroastrianism rather than a Mazdayasna Zoroastrianism) is of a far later date, probably belonging to the Sassanid era. I believe Ushta is a forum where we all agree that we see the mental Zoroastrianism as the only meaningful and credible one for us. Pantheists or Panentheists, we deal with one divinity, Ahura Mazda, and see the other divinities in folk Zoroastrianism merely as personifications of the foces of nature.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26 MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi

Dear Osred
dorood
It may that ahriman is some how like satan. Such concept is however a Sassanid concept, but not a Zoroastrian gAthA-ic concept. In gAthA, angrahe is versus to spenta, and both are mental/spiritual (=mainyoo). In my own point of view, if human being is not able of doing good or bad things, freedom would become meaningless. God has given the two abilities to human being and left him/her free to do everything and ......

Nik-o shAd bAshid
KhodA negahdAr,
MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.
Kerman_Iran


--- On Mon, 1/26/09, osred90 wrote:

From: osred90

Subject: [Ushta] Re: Fw: Renovate (Kill) the World!
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, January 26, 2009, 3:44 AM


Ron,

I am taking it you accept that Zoroaster introduced the concept of
Angra Mainyu even if he didn't actually use the word.

Angra Mainyu became Ahriman which was the basis for the Satan of
Christianity and Satanism (I can't speak for Islam).

Of course Angra Mainyu is opposed by Spenta Mainyu rather than
Aramazda. Also Z. has the concept of 'Druj' which is different from
Angra Mainyu. This distinction may be glossed over in Christianity.

However we can distinguish them in English by using 'The Devil'
(Greek: Diabolos) to translate Druj (responsible for all Evil by
definition) - and 'Satan' to translate Angra Mainyu (destructive
mentality in people)

If we go with what Satanists mean - then Satan is a god who is a pure
embodiment of a destructive mentality - i.e. Angra Mainyu.

Osred.

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, "ztheist" wrote:
>
> Ushta Osred
>
> I see where we are going to have some debates. Zarathushtra
> introduced Satan? Are you serious? My friend, in the Gathas there
IS
> NO SATAN , evil is a possibilty inherent in any ethical choice AND
> Mazda Ahura has nio opposition and thus no Satan. I can supply
> innumerable and extensive evidentiary proofs for all the above. Can
> you supply evidence that Z created satan? Or are you reading Young
> Avesta deviation unto Z's true doctrines?
>
> Ushta te
> Ron

The Enlightenment of Zarathushtra

Dear Koorosh

Absolutely!!!
I would say that the genius of Zarathushtra is not that he proposed any dogmas but rather resisted that temptation and instead proposed the metadogmas within which a society can prosper and minds can become enlightened and strengthen each other.
This is what Mazdayasna is all about!!!

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26 Koollife


Dear Alex,

The problems that some have in translating some of the Gathic terms such as Ahura is due to three major reasons;

1- we forget that Gathic is almost as old as Sanskrit but more misunderstood.

2- we ignore the metaphorical differences in meaning of words which are similar but have different uses.

3- and most important of all, we forget that Gathic is not Avestan.

Also as you mentioned this was the dialogue between Zarathushtra and Ahura Mazda, mainly Mazda, that caused this philosophy to remain growing, flexible and adaptable.., that we now have the right to discuss and criticize it... had there been any answer provided, we should have zipped up our mouths and abided with all those answers... there is no answer or scientific hypothesis about the position of Earth in the universe... there is no prophecy about the Final Day... there is no flimsy tidings about life after death and the beautiful chicks in Heaven... it is all questions left to be answered...

Had Zarathushtra answered those questions he could have retarded the progress of minds for hundreds of years in the whole Iranian Plateau... there wouldn't be any Emanation Theory by Plato.., there wouldn't be any bright minded Spinoza... and still we are trying to answer those questions because this philosophy is an ever moving progressive one unlike the old, static and stale Abrahamic theologies.

Ushta
Koorosh

A religion of masochism or fascination? Part 2

I agree, Dino and Ron!
Let's not forget that Zoroastrianism has always been opposed to ASCETICISM.
Asceticism must be the ultimate form of religious masochism. The idea that isolating and punishing yourself and denying yourself any of life's pleasures (presumably before the face of God) would somehow be of your GAIN in the other end.
The Zoroastrian opposition to asceticism is almost unique among religions. This is clearly an area where Zoroastrianism is different BOTH from the Abrahamic religions (the monks, nuns, sects and sufis) and from Eastern religions (the yogi of India etc). So perhaps our opposition to masochism is unique too. After all, it's the same theme.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/26 special_kain
- Dölj citerad text -

It reminds me of what Jacques Lacan defined as "jouissance", that
over-sexualized enjoyment and pleasure that you can hardly bear and
that's often experienced as somewhere between pleasure and pain, as
opposed to the pleasure principle where you're told to enjoy as little
as possible.
Now take this principle and the fact that (some) people are trying to
transgress it, and they're granted to experience jouissance through
Christ's suffering. That's when you get religious masochism, because
you give them direction and a setting where they're allowed to indulge
in jouissance. And that's why they literally enjoy it. Unfortunately,
it's a setting of guilt, remorse, sorrows, suffering and,
paradoxically, painful self-restraints.

My two cents,
Dino // not sure of my special reading of Lacan's theory, but we'll
see if anybody has/wants to add anything or correct me


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> True!!!
> But there also seems to be a very basic NEED towards this metaphysical
> masochism with many people. not forced on them, but coming from
> inside. Perhaps it's something tribal, perhaps even deeper, like a
> method of survival in nomadism which has become destructive later in
> history but still lingers, now being used for destructive
> manipulation.
> Zoroastrians have always reacted against this masochism, it disturbed
> Zarathushtra enormously, a passion he shares with Spinoza and
> Nietzsche. I strongly believe it was instrumental to my decision to
> convert. It was always the dialogue with divinity which I loved about
> Mazdayasna. This creative obsession with equality, this constant
> disregard towards herarchy and the willingness to maintain
> hierarchies.
> Ushta
> Alexander
>
> 2009/1/25 ztheist :

> >
> >
> > Ushta Alex
> >
> > A very interesting post. I believe that the reason for this self
> > destructive wish for enslavement is brain washing. Never forget that
> > in Xianity , at least, we are all ultimately responsible for the
> > torture murder of the 'son' of God. That is got to be the ultimate
> > guilt trip!
> >
> > Ushta te
> > Ron

söndagen den 25:e januari 2009

Dialogue or Dogma?

Dear Helen and Parviz

To understand Zoroastrianism better we have to understand that
Mazdayasna has never been a religion of dogma but rather a religion of
dialogue. Zarathushtra emphasized the dialogue with Ahura Mazda as the
ESSENTIAL ingredient in his own faith - look at all the questions
raised, often without answers, all over The Gathas - the dialogue
itself was more important than whatever conclusions the dialogue
reached. It is the ENJOYMENT of the conversation which is Zoroastrian.
Spinozizt philosophy and Brahmanism in India share this shift of focus
away from dogma.

One we understand this we can also better understand dilemmas as to
what the meaning of "ahura" is. The term is clearly older than the
agrarian concept of "lordship". So ahura has other roots and meanings
from long before the concept of lordship even existed (that ahura has
something to do with "being" or "the origin of being" as Mehran says
seems spot on).

But this doesn't mean that the later application of "lord" as the
meaning of "ahura" is incorrect. Ahura as a metaphor for lordship did
become prevalent and is obviously a popular translation up until this
day. But the important thing to stress is that Zoroastrianism has
always seen itself as a religion of mobility, there was never any
belief in fixed formulas to begin with, Zoroastrians never fought over
or killed each other over dogma the way Muslims and Christians have
always done. Neither with the pre-Zarathushtrians, not with
Zarathushtra himself.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/25 Parviz Varjavand :
>
>
> Der Helen,
>
> I don't know why there are some posts that I do not get. I never got this
> post of yours and i am rescuing it from some post by Dina.
>
> If you read the Gathas enough times, you begin to read between the lines
> too. The passage where the Cow is not that impressed with Zara is very
> revealing. To me, it shows that the old cult was not very impressed with
> Zara. Neither Zara could read or write nor the cults that predated him.
> Gathas reads as the cronicle of a social climber who is after the job of an
> older pristely class. Once Zara gets the power, he is going to destroy the
> oral traditions that predated him and replace it with his own. So indeed it
> is natural not to find anything that predates him.
>
> Zaratustra wanted the post of the pristhood that was in power, and once he
> got it, he destroyed their rituals and teachings. Not only that, he heaped
> curses and insults upon them too so that they would not come back. This was
> done all over the place in anciant times. In the name of Christ, the
> pristhood destroyed most of the documents pre dating him.
>
> Ushta,
> Parviz
>
>>
>> Dear Parviz,
>>
>> Someone from the traditional list explained to me some of
>> the history and understanding of the Kavar (philosopher
>> kings-my spelling??) which were pre-Zarathushtra
>> tradition... .which I understand to be the origin of the
>> Mazdayasna tradition... .they see Zarathushtra as one who
>> renewed the original belief in a time when the people had
>> become confused and wandered from the truth....and
>> originally he didn't write anything down and it was kept
>> an oral tradition for thousands of years.....
>>
>> In this light Zarathushtra would still be following in the
>> tradition you feel so deeply about....is it not the icon he
>> has been made of that is the issue rather than the man
>> himself..... people need beacons, an individual to hold to
>> who has accomplished the journey as an example that they may
>> too...musings perhaps, not excuses but understandings one
>> hopes.....
>>
>> If I understand you....it is the codification of his
>> thoughts that are painful..... .for in focusing on the words
>> one misses the deeper intents....and looses the will to seek
>> independently. ...in seeking to save the Cow....purification
>> laws become so involved, the doctrine so intricate that the
>> initial intent becomes obscure and the focus is on putting
>> out a match while the forest continues to burn....
>>
>> Am I understanding? ?.....
>>
>> Ushta te,
>> Helen

A religion of masochism or fascination?

Dear Parviz

Do you have any idea where this desperate religious masochism comes from?
This constant need to find a god who kicks you in the ass and degrades
you and who you still worship and whose boots you still lick. The
question fascinated Friedrich Nietzsche enormously. He couldn't stand
it he find out degarding for humanity itself.
So Nietzsche found a sole character in human history who did NOT
behave like a masochist in his relationship to God. Who did NOT look
for a god whose boots he would lick will being kicked.
This character is Zarathushtra, the character who sees God as a
friend, a partner, a brother or sister, a family member, an entity
with which you have a dialogue based on equality (constantly these
questions addressed to Ahura Mazda), respect and endless fascination.
I call this fascinationist religion rather than masochist religion.
The weird thing is that Nietzsche understood this in Germany in the
1870s. But we still find Zoroastrians in Iran and India who just DON'T
get it and instead look at Islam and Christianity with envy.
This is just the weirdest ting ever. Dinner is served, the Michelin
chefs have prepared the most delicious meal ever. And then the
masochists leave the table and go outside searching for McDonalds.
WHY??? Why can't they accept that they DESERVE better than this nasty
sadist psychopath divinity?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/25 Parviz Varjavand :
> Dorood Mehran,
>
> I wish you could understand that what is "correct" for you, is not
> necessarily 'correct" for all mankind. Only a segment of humanity still pays
> respect to the concept of God that you feel you are the spokesperson of the
> Zoroastrian version of. Why should a decent person that gets handed a
> deformed child by your Almighty and All-wise God, look up and say to Him "I
> am sorry". That God that even when He punishes you, you are supposed to
> lick His boots, is not Ahoora Mazda; to me that is. To you, have your Ahoora
> Mazda according to anything that stimulates your mind, but do not try to
> force your concepts on others..
>
> Ushta te,
> Parviz
>
> --- On Sun, 1/25/09, MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
> wrote:
>
> From: MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
> Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Fw: Renovate (Kill) the World!
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Sunday, January 25, 2009, 12:34 AM
>
> Dear Parviz
> dorood
> Neither the first one is correct, nor the second one.
> The correct one is: "... O' wise creator, thanks that we can do our best to
> be in accordance with your accurate rule of ashA ...", in first occasion. In
> the second occasion: " O' wise creator, sorry that we could not be in
> accordance with ashA and came to a bad result. We promis to try to do our
> best to know the ashA rule and become newer in accordance with it for a
> better result."
>
> Nik-o shAd bAshid
> KhodA negahdAr,
> MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.
> Kerman_Iran

lördagen den 24:e januari 2009

Zarathushtra as reformer

Dear Ron

Jesus clearly saw himself as a reformer since he spoke of "the new covenant" in relation to "the old covenant". He saw himself as the messenger bringing the Judaist religion to all peoples. Christianity remained a mainly Jewish phenomenon until it was forced out of the Jewish pantheon of sects and became its own religion. Actually as a part of its own success.

Contrary to Jesus' failure of keeping his message within the Jewish domain (and rather expand the Jewish domain to cover all peoples) Zarathushra sems to have been far more successful at keeping HIS message within the context where he taught and practiced his beliefs. Folk Zoroastrianism co-existed with Zarathushta's rather elitist message within Zoroastrianism for over 2,000 years. Parviz and I belong to those who regard this ENTIRE spectrum as The Zoroastrian Religion, as a culture or practice rather than as a theology to be followed. We are now free to do what we want with this heritage and it is our responsibility to act wisely with this enormously rich heritage. I believe we can do so while keeping our own beliefs uncompromisingly.

Regarding Ahura and Mazda in The Gathas: Zarathushtra rarely uses the two terms together, he speaks either of Ahura or Mazda, not because they are two entities but because the names obviously illustrate different aspects of The Divine to him, that which is vs that which is but also has mind. Which also answers Dino's question regarding Zoroastrianism and Pantheism (or Panentheism): Zoroastrianism must be regarded as Pantheism-Plus (or Panenetheism-Plus, as I believe you and Dina would prefer).

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/24 ztheist :

Ushta Alex

I do agree that Asura/Asura was part of the pre- Zarathuhtra millieu.
However, I would not go as far as saying that Ziism is a continuation
of ahurayasna. To start out with Ahura/Asuras were only one of the
types of gods the pagan aryans believed in

As a matter of fact if Jafarey is correct, and I have learned the hard
way that he usually is correct in linguistic matters concerning the
Gathas, Z himself says that he is calling God by a new name. Z's
doctrine is so radically different from anything in his time that I
cannot agree that he is but a reformer. Sure he used his culture and
the terminology all were familiar with but he totally changed
everything and, indeed, even the very meanings of some words he has
apparently changed as well.

I mean calling Z a reformer of aryan religion is like calling Jesus a
reformer of Judaism (which he might have been at least there is far
more evidence for that that for Z as a reformer of aryan religion)Or
that Mohammed was a reformer of Arab paganism, Xianity and Judaism.
The only way that we can make such a case, IMO, is if we redefine what
a reformer is.

Ushta te
Ron

fredagen den 23:e januari 2009

Ahura, Mazda, Ahura Mazda, and the origin of the two revolutions in Zoroastrianism

Dear Dina

I believe you are absolutely correct!!!
Furthermore, I believe that it is the Ahura part which is the original pagan Indo-European part of Zarathushtra's concept. This would make perfect sense. The Mazda part is then what Zarathushtra and/or his contemporary culture added (without removing Ahura, so thereby reforming rather changing the religion), which also explains why it is precisely the Mazda part which is UNIQUE to Zoroastrianism.
There is no concept of Mazda in Indian or European mythologies or philosophy, for example. The Indian concept of the Brahman is the same as Ahura, without the Mazda.
Arthur has brought this up before and so has Parviz. It is the Mazda part of Ahura Mazda which makes Ahuramazdaism different from any other Pantheism or Panentheism.
It doesn't even fit with any of the two labels of Pantheism or Panentheism to be honest about it. The concept is that unique.
So let's say that we have strong reasons to believe that Ahurayazda predates Zarathushtra and his generation but that Mazdayasna is the paradigm we live within afterwards. That much we should know for certain.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/23

Dear Alexander,

There is no evidence in the pantheon of Indo-Iranian deities, that a god called "Mazda" was worshipped before Zarathushtra. Professor Thieme who was one of the finest scholars of ancient Indo-Iranian texts and inscriptions, made that categorical statement in his talk at the First Gatha Colloquium held in London in 1993.

Many scholars have speculated that mazdayasna was a prexisting belief system that Z reformed. But there is no evidence that I am aware of to back up that speculation.

Wishing us the best,

Dina G. McIntyre

On getting angry

Dear Parviz

I agree with you on the grounds that what you are discussing is the real and historically accurate Zarathushtra and not some made up fantasy idea of Zarathushtra. What's wrong with paganism anyway? What REALLY has screwed people up is the idea of an authoritarian universal monolithic faith which is not even open for consideration but must merely be obeyed or else one's head gets chopped off. That's totally uncivilized. This is why to get Zoroastrianism right we should not stare at only one point in time but look at the wider perspective. What did Zarathushtra achieve and what did this achievement say both about him, his culture before him and his culture after him? In other words, let's focus on the religion of Cyrus The Great and we will get things right.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/23 Parviz Varjavand

The reason I get angry at times



Dear readers,



At times I loose my cool and some persons in particular make me angry. I owe it to all you gentle-readers to explain myself why some presentations push my buttons. Among the issues that make me angry, there is a parallel between Christianity and Zoroastrianism. I will begin with Christianity because it may be easier for you to understand, and then move to Zoroastrianism.



Christians can go on and on about what a wonderful person Jesus was and how he walked on water and made the dead come alive and so on and so forth. All that does not bother me, I chuckle inside, but I do not loose my cool and listen to it all taking it with a grain of salt. But when the preacher begins to insult the pre-Christian religions and culture calling them ugly names, I see red, because I like the Roman and other pre-Christian religions, arts, and culture. It is then that I open my mouth and talk about how all of Christianity is nothing but a poor version of Mithraism stolen shamelessly from the Romans, the Greeks, the Armenians, and the Persians. This tief wants to legitimize now its hold on all that it has stolen, so it begins to poison the minds of the listeners about the legitimacy of the older cultures out of whose bosom it has come to life.



Zaratustra when described as great and glorious and this wonderful thing and that, does not bother me. I even go along with the chorus and sing the praises of Zara just like any other Zoroastrian. But when they begin to bad-mouth the religious traditions before Zara, I can not take that. I dislike it when they start insulting the traditions before Zara in order to make him big. My point is that if Zara was great, it was because he walked on solid foundations laid down by those thinkers who came before him.



Ushta

Parviz Varjavand

torsdagen den 22:e januari 2009

Pardis and varr

Dear Parviz

The concepts of "pardis" and "varr" are absolutely excellent!!!
Tbis is precisely what we need, not scared buiildings or addresses, but just good housesa nd gardens for contemplationand meditation.
I have a new goal in my life, namely to build a pardis with a varr in the Stockholm area! Forget about temples.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/22 Parviz Varjavand

Another name used in Persian was Pardiz or Pardis. We have the word Paradise in English from this root. Pardiz was the name for a walled garden very specially designed to facilitate meditation in it.
We also have the name Varr.
Varr was a village specially designed to act as a sanctuary for thinkers and their students.
The first Varr was in a very large cave and the mythical king Jamshid created it in order to protect life there when the great snow storm came. Jamshid and his Varr are more realistic than Noah and his boat. We know that there are large caves with water and sources of heat in which mankind can take shelter better than in a boat. Also a snow storm of great proportion is more likely to have occurred in ancient times than a flood.
The Persian kings would create Varrs in order to preserve in guarded locations what was precious to them.

Parviz

onsdagen den 21:e januari 2009

Dar-Be-Mehr part 2

Dear Dino

A good creative idea then is to use the term Dar-Be-Mehr from Persian, just like we don't translate terms like Ahura Mazda, haurvatat, asha and druj. Because if we try to translate these expressions people only get them wrong in English or German. Sanctuary means a sacred place (sanctus means saint in Latin) so better then to use the term Dahr-Be-Mehr or just refer to our "beautiful community places". It is not a sacred place, it's just a beautiful place, a productive, creative place.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/21 Special Kain

Dear Alexander,

I totally agree!!! That's what I see in sanctuaries, although the term may have different meanings to other people. A safe community place for recreational purposes (escaping from towady's world every now and then), including socializing and meditation. But we should also have an art studio in our future Dar-Be-Mehr. :-)

Ushta,
Dino


Svara

Dar-Be-Mehr

Dear Friends

I believe the best terms in contemporary English for a Dar-Be-Mehr is a meditation center or a community center. A building for social activities and contemplation, traditionally preferrably as much in white as possible with an atash behram at the center. This is truly beautiful and as Koroosh has pointed out it is not about holy buildings but rather about having a communal place for learning, socializing and meditation for Mazdayasni. The location itself is never sacred, as a matter of fact not even the fire ought to be sacred, that's a traditionalist idea but not historically relevant. The fire is merely a symbol, we worship or rather celebrate Ahura Maza and not a fire.

Ushta
Alexander/wouldn't mind a few Mazdayasna monasteries too, we need to have places where we can escape from today's world now and then...

2009/1/21 special_kain

You can talk about Protestants all day long, I don't have a problem
with that, dear Koorosh. But when I say something about Christian
fundamentalists, please don't act as if I made a breathtaking
generalization about Protestants. Don't put any words into my mouth
that I never, never said! So please read my postings carefully before
responding! I told a funny story about two of my former classmates and
went on to say a few things about Christian fundamentalists in
general. And that's all I did. I'm aware that fundamentalists are
usually the same, whether they're Christians or Muslims or anything else.
I don't mind which word should be chosen in the end: sanctuary,
temple, Dar-Be-Mehr. To see how words change their meaning over time
is really, really fascinating. So I'm perfectly fine with sanctuaries,
but if you're not for whatever reasons, that's also fine with me. Just
do as you like.

Ushta,
Dino

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Koollife wrote:
>
>
>
> Dear Dino,
>
> I didn't even mention the word "Christians".., I said Protestants!!!
and the attitudes that you said can apply to every fanatical religious
group.., no matter what religion.., where ever religion is organized
or institutionalized you should expect tyranny, intolerance and
conflicts.., it is there that they make rules how to have sex, what to
eat or not to eat and so on...
>
> And about the word sanctuary..; we must not use this term in
Zoroastrianism at all.., or others like Temples, Shrines or such..; it
is important what terms we use in our belief... while there are other
terms to use.., monetary is appropriate even though we have a
Zoroastrian equivalent for it, "Dar-Be-Mehr" which means "Gateway to
LOVE".., this is one of the most beautiful words that we can use to
name our community places.., it is completely a non-religious place
only for gathernings and social purposes.., however, unfortunately the
traditionalists have turned it to a sanctuary and a place for worship
and rituals...
>
> Ushta
> Koorosh
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: special_kain

> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:28:59 PM
> Subject: [Ushta] Re: Zoroastrian sanctuary
>
>
> Dear Koorosh,
>
> I was talking about Christian fundamentalists, not Christians in
> general. I didn't say anything bad about modern and liberal Christians
> like my friends, but I did say something really rude about the
> attitude of Christian fundamentalists - the ones that kill
> abortionists and discriminate homosexuals. And I have a slightly
> different understanding of sanctuaries, in the sense of a safe
> community place that we can share with like-minded people for
> recreational purposes. And you should know by now that I'm not
> promoting the silly things you mention, such as worshipping stones. ;-)
> So my idea is close to what you're describing, sort of a
> university-meets- temple-meets- art studio-meets- meditation center.
> There's no worship included. That is to my taste!
>
> Ushta,
> Dino
>
> --- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Koollife wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > Dear Dino,
> >
> > Well.., the way that you interpret them collectively is absolutism
> as well.., let's not support them nor oppose.., but criticize
> them.., all I know is that if you opposed them 200 years ago they
> would burn you at the state.., but this is not happening anymore.., I
> know a lot of them, some of my friends are Protestants and they are
> good people too.., just like ur friends that you were talking about
> the other day!!! why.., because they are living in the modern world...
> and they have to comply with the modern ethics and civil laws... what
> you say is exaggeration. ., it may apply to their missionaries but not
> every human being who is a Protestant!! !
> >
> > And Dino... NO WAY we need sanctuary, NOT for a hundred years we
> need HOLY temples!!! This will corrupt our movement
> altogether.. , don't tell me that you wanna compete with the
> Traditionalists in making Temples!!!
> >
> > if we start making stone buildings sacred, we will go back to our
> dark days... there is no sacred OBJECT in Zoroastrianism. ., No
> Zoroastrian Mecca, Western Wall, or Church... nothing is HOLY in our
> philosophy.. , if you make things holy then you deprive Vohumana from
> criticizing or questioning it.., you can't criticize Quran, Bible,
> Torah, Zabur.., because they are sacred and holy.., you can't listen
> to music in a Mosque.., can't touch Quran before washing your
> body.., can't question the verses of Bible.., why.., because they
> are Holy...
> >
> > and of course monasteries have a totally different meaning, because
> they are community places not places for blind worship and brain
> washing people...
> >
> > But for us.., the whole life is sacred.., the Laws of Asha are
> sacred.., and our only Temple is our Brains and nothing else... so if
> we want to go and perform the greatest worships of all.., we go to our
> minds and put them together.., and there is no better place to achieve
> that than in Academic and Scholastic places. ., we can have Zoroastrian
> Universities. ., and Educational Centres.., and we will have... it's
> only matter of time...
> >
> > Ushta
> > Koorosh
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ____________ _________ _________ __
> > From: Special Kain
> > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:38:03 PM
> > Subject: [Ushta] Zoroastrian sanctuary
> >
> >
> > Dear Koorosh,
> >
> > According to my experience those Christian fundamentalist are
> neither ethical nor harmless. They're concerned with absolutely good
> (Jesus) versus absolutely evil (Satan .. or just anybody that is
> somewhat different). And that's moral absolutism. They're really into
> missionary work and always trying to persuade you to join their cause,
> otherwise you would go straight down to hell and perish. And that's a
> really disgusting attitude.
> > Maybe we don't need Zoroastrian universities, but we need
> Zoroastrian monasteries and resorts for recreational purposes.
> Sanctuaries are important.
> >
> > Ushta,
> > Dino
> >
> > --- Koollife schrieb am Di, 20.1.2009:
> >
> > Von: Koollife
> > Betreff: Re: AW: [Ushta] Re: Anti-conversion in Zoroastrianism
> > An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > Datum: Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, 4:12
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Dear Dino,
> >
> > Fundamental Christians.. ; I actually have a lot of fun with them in
> chatting.., they are the funniest ones.., and relatively harmless cz
> they pretend they are tolerant to criticisms.. , they believe that the
> World is 12'000 years old.., and they really mean it, so... you get
> the rest of it... ;-)
> >
> > logic has no room in their skull... and they are pretty much more
> active than other Christians in converting people.., but it doesn't
> really concern me cz as long as they have those singing sessions,
> Gospel choirs, counseling services and charity organizations. ., they
> mean no harm.., no matter what BS they are spreading.., however they
> have the potential to be destructive too.., as the history has
> proven... but not now.., cz they've become so much ethical these
days...
> >
> > So while they are spreading their seeds.., we shall do it our own
> way.., by developing Academic Centres; I don't think that we have any
> serious Zoroastrian university, college or school any where in the
> world.., except those made up ones in Gujarat that Parviz mentioned
> the other day... which their credibility is arguable... and I know
> this needs a lot of money and time.., but we gave to develop the idea
> first to then achieve the goal... and I reckon that our communication
> is of crucial importance in this pace...
> >
> > Ushta
> > Koorosh
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ____________ _________ _________ __
> > From: Special Kain
> > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 12:07:32 PM
> > Subject: AW: [Ushta] Re: Anti-conversion in Zoroastrianism
> >
> >
> > Dear Koorosh,
> >
> > Yes, it appeared a few days ago, but Yahoo! is playing its own game.
> ;-))
> > I've never been a fan of self-righteous missionary work. At high
> school two of my classmates were members of a Christian fundamentalist
> sect, and they prayed for my soul's salvation, because I was reading
> Nietzsche, LaVey's"Satanic Bible" and other anti-Christian literature
> at the time (including playing keyboards in an embarrassing Black
> Metal band - only God knows why). ;-)
> > They decorated the school building with flyers, saying that god's
> spirit was better than Goethe's "Faust" - 'faust' means 'fist' in
> German. Our German teachers didn't like that one, so they made their
> own flyers. Those classmates and one other jerk were part of a
> so-called 'Bible group' and heavily promoted New Testament Christian
> fundamentalism. But they definitely overdid it, so we were allowed to
> form our school's so-called 'Playgroup' (and I don't know it that
> makes much sense in English). So we handed out flyers, encouraging
> people to play fun games.
> > Whether we're encouraged to persuade people to join in the fun, I
> wouldn't do it. I guess there are better ways to promote the benefits
> of Zoroastrianism, such as supporting scientific research, helping
> your friends to develop a constructive mentality, discussing
> philosophical issues, encouraging them to think critically etc.
> >
> > Ushta,
> > Dino
> >
> >
> > --- Koollife schrieb am Di, 20.1.2009:
> >
> > Von: Koollife
> > Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Anti-conversion in Zoroastrianism
> > An: ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > Datum: Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, 1:52
> >
> >
> > I think this hadn't appeared before so I post it again..;
> >
> >
> > Dear Dino and Friends,
> >
> > We surely don't have to force or beg people to be Zoroastrians. .. In
> > regards to expanding the Mazdayasna our position is clear;
> >
> > We are all living our daily lives and having our rise and falls just
> > like every other human being.., what we have in particular is that we
> > are living in the path of Asha and we are trying to apply the three
> > principles of Good Thought, Good Words and Good Deeds in every moment
> > of our lives as best as we can... At the same time we can introduce
> > the massage of Zarathushtra. .; by our own Ethics and through raising
> > awareness.., without giving up our daily lives...
> >
> > And about having Missionaries;
> > Definitely not similar to what Mormons or Protestants or such have..,
> > they are dedicating their whole life to promoting something that they
> > may not even have the slightest understanding about it.., and they
> > may be doing it for money, status, power or just as a religious
> > compulsion.. .
> >
> > Instead, we can have an Academic approach towards it... we can
> > establish Universities, Zoroastrian Educational Centres.., or Gathic
> > Schools... we develop Science, Medicine, Mathematics and Literature,
> > on the basis of the Zarathushtra' s Philosophy.. , all for the sake of
> > the betterment of the World.., and there is no greater Joy than this
> > for us...
> >
> > Ushta
> > Koorosh
> >
> >
> > --- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, "special_kain"
wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear Koorosh,
> > >
> > > Don't forget to mention all the privileged anti-conversion
> > > Zoroastrians who are afraid of losing their power and social status
> > > and those Zoroastrians who don't want their Zoroastrian identity to
> > be turned into an objectified and fancy commodity! :-)
> > >
> > I guess that we all agree on the anti-Gathic nature of the
> > > anti-conversion agenda. We're not persuading people to join us,
> > since there's no missionary work to be done. People are free to
> choose
> > > whichever religion suits them best, and that's a perfectly
> > Zoroastrian thing to do. It's being true to yourself,
> constructive reasoning and
> > > freedom of choice combined, whether those anti-conversion
> > Zoroastrians
> > > like it or not. Anyway, we can do better!
> > > Zoroastrianism is exactly the stimulating and encouraging religion I
> > > was looking for (and that Nietzsche was talking about), so if they
> > > don't want to accept me as one of them, do I really have to
care? No,
> > > because that's their own choice and none of my business.
> > >
> > > Ushta,
> > > Dino

lördagen den 17:e januari 2009

Re Parsi anti-conversion policies

As for Parsi anti-conversion policies: Parsi thinking has absorbed several idea from Hinduism. Reincarnation is one of them (you will never hear Iranian Zoroastrians speak of reincarnation) and another one is the belief in the caste system. Because what the anti-conversion effectively does is that it creates an additional caste within the Hindu caste system, namely a Parsi caste! And like all castes, it sees membership as a matter of birth right only. The idea does not have any other foundation from within Zoroastrianism, not even from the Vendidad. The Iranian Zoroastrians do for example NOT consider themselves an ETHNIC identity but strictly a religious one.
But on the other hand, after a 1,200-year presence in India, should we not really be surprised Parsi belief has not absorbed more Hinduist ideas???

Ushta
Alexander

måndagen den 12:e januari 2009

Megas Theos/Ahura Mazda

Dear Koorosh

This is precisely why I love Arthur's concept of "Megas Theos" - a divinity too big to even be described, a truly metaphysical divinity. Zarathushtra's concept of Ahura Mazda - the divinity of two aspects (The Universe of Ahura, The Mind of Mazda; th first a feminine term, the second a masculine term, as if to underline the beyond-human aspect of Ahura Mazda as entity) is the perfect comparison. Living in harmong with The Universe, emersed in awe to the enormity of The Universe, and its manifestation as Mazda in our very own minds, what could be a more truthful and beautiful religion than this?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/12 Koollife


Dear Friends,

The difference between the concept of god in Zoroastrianism and Abrahamic religions is as big as god himself..; Zarathushtra has never brought god (Ahura Mazda) in comparison.., this is too important to ignore...

Two of the holiest chants in Islamic faith are: "La Elah El Allah" which means "There is no God other than Allah", and "Allah-o-Akbar" which means "Allah is greater..." But there is this major inconsistency among many..; If they believe: "there is no other God than Allah", so why do they bring it to comparison by saying that "He is greater..."??? or in other instances in Quran..; He is more merciful... He is more knowing... He is a better judge...

But there is a reason behind those comparisons..; Almost 99% of Muslims don't even know What or Who "Allah" is... Long before the appearance of Islam, there has been a God among other Arabic pagan Gods called "Allah" who was "The Unseen God" from whom they sought help at times of fear.., ...Allah is not Mohammad's invention.., but he used that name to legitimize his ideology, and later brought it to comparison with other Gods such as: Laat, Ozzaa, Hobal,... to brainwash the pagan Arabs...
So if some Zoroastrians want a personified "Ahura Mazda", they will surely lose the battle of "Greatness Comparison" to the Muslims...

Ushta
Koorosh

From: Arthur Pearlstein
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 12:14:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Megatheism

Yes, I agree, an important distinction. Indeed, the Muslims ascribe very specific qualities to the "greatness" of God: Allah is the most merciful, most compassionate, most gracious, etc. The very attempt to ascribe such qualities limits the concept and makes god into something much smaller. Not to mention ironic in the sense that the notion of such qualities "most this, most that" implies that this is a better god which in turn implies that there are other, albeit lesser gods, a very polytheistic idea which is blasphemy to the Muslims.

Of course, the "something rather than nothing" quote has been (illogically) used to justify claims of a designer god, but again, the megatheism concept turns this around and says the notion of god as a designer is an attempt to ascribe a quality which is itself very limiting.

Arthur

Megatheism - The Theology of Science

Dear Dino

I don't think Arthur´s concept of megatheism means that there is no God to talk about.
It just means that we leave the issue of Godness to Science.
God is whatever science finds out about the universe. And science becomes a sacred activity rather than a secular curiosity which constantly has to hide behind claims to benefit mankind etc.
If Science is the only way to God, then why not put great resources in the hands of science since science becomes the ultimate theological activity.
Should we perhaps refer to megatheism as "the theology of science"? Build temples next to particle accelerators???
My band BWO is making a new album for release later this spring called "Big Science". I feel like talking about megatheism already in my promo interviews this spring. The more I think about it, the more GENIUS the concept is.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/12 Special Kain
- Dölj citerad text -

Dear Arthur,

Interesting idea!!!
But is your aim not to discuss god anymore, since it's pointless from a megatheistic point of view?

Ushta,
Dino

--- Arthur Pearlstein schrieb am Mo, 12.1.2009:

Von: Arthur Pearlstein
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Megatheism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 12. Januar 2009, 2:14

Yes, I agree, an important distinction. Indeed, the Muslims ascribe very specific qualities to the "greatness" of God: Allah is the most merciful, most compassionate, most gracious, etc. The very attempt to ascribe such qualities limits the concept and makes god into something much smaller. Not to mention ironic in the sense that the notion of such qualities "most this, most that" implies that this is a better god which in turn implies that there are other, albeit lesser gods, a very polytheistic idea which is blasphemy to the Muslims.

Of course, the "something rather than nothing" quote has been (illogically) used to justify claims of a designer god, but again, the megatheism concept turns this around and says the notion of god as a designer is an attempt to ascribe a quality which is itself very limiting.

Arthur



On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Mega actually means great as in "large" or even "huge" in Greek.
It is a quantitative term and not qualitative.
Allah-o-akbar means God is great as in qualitatively great. As in Cyrus The Great.
So what we mean with megatheos is not that God is great but rather that GOD IS LARGE, actually so large, so huge that it transcends all possible explanations.
It makes complete sense, it is a very Zoroastrian Pantheism rather than just any Pantheism.
That's my vote, I like the term. Especially thought of as a contemporary version of the classic Zoroastrian creed. God is large! Indeed!!!
It's like Heidegger's famous quote: "Why is there something rather than nothing?". To which I would like to add: "And why is that something so enormously huge and intensely complicated?".
That's the divine.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/11 Arthur Pearlstein

Dear Parviz and other friends,
"Megatheism" as I construe it is not at all the same as "Allah-o-akbar." I have much experience with the constant Muslim refrain"god is great" (I lived in the Muslim world for a few years, including a stint teaching at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur) but they do not really mean it, even as they (and other Abrahamists) tend to brand many of us as "atheists." (The word "atheism," needless to say, in the American and Muslim worlds at least, carries enormous baggage and can be quite misleading as well). Part of the idea in introducing "megatheism" is to take the wind out of the sails of those who use atheism as a pejorative by declaring that "god" is far larger, far greater than anything typical theists or anyone else can imagine. In fact, it involves beating them at their own game by asserting that Abrahamic attempts to describe god are, in effect, very disrespectful of god because it makes "him" smaller and more insignificant than "he" must truly be.



In other words, the notion amends "god is great" to "god is great—greater than anything you can possibly imagine." And thus god—which btw does not go beyond that which really exists—defies description and to define him and supply him with human characteristics (other than in poetic/metaphoric shorthand) is to disrespect him (I use "him" only as a convenience, since needless to say, god has no gender). It is to acknowledge that there is ever more to the story of reality in the boundlessly creative universe (to borrow from Kauffman's concept in "Reinventing the sacred" which was mentioned in a post here a few weeks ago). It is to put a limit on the conversation about god and force the focus to be on the making of distinctions in the real world that we can know, understanding that there is no end to our search for whatever god may be. In a sense, it is not different than the core of Taosim that "the tao that can be told is not the eternal tao." And I think it is perfectly consistent with the core of Zarathushtra's teachings. Indeed, I think the contemplation of Ahura Mazda, in the sense that it dramatically moves beyond the limitations of "theos," is the best living example of "megatheism."


In part, I think we can be successful in using megatheism as a kind of linguistic jiu-jitsu to put the theists in their place and move the conversation on to a radically new level.

Ushta,

Arthur


On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Friends,

It would be great to hear from Arthur once again, he has a great mind.
About Megatheos, Mega means Big and Theo means God. I would love to hear what Arthur's explanation about the word he has coined is. Mega-Theo sounds the same as Allah-o-Akbar.

Ushta,
Parvzi

--- On Sun, 1/11/09, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The concept of megatheism
To: "Ushta"
Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009, 3:26 AM

Dear Friends

Arthur Pearlstein has suggested a concept called "megatheism" as a way of getting around the recurring problems with different theisms.
Perhaps it is the human attempt to understand a divinity which is far too big/great for human understanding that has made humanity create the limiting concept of "theos" and we need to get beyond this concept radically.
I agree. At least, the Ahura part of Ahura Mazda is reassuringly a "megatheos", and as Zoroastrians we should all be megatheists. What do you think?

Ushta
Alexander

söndagen den 11:e januari 2009

The concept of Megatheism

Dear Friends

Arthur Pearlstein has suggested a concept called "Megatheism" as a way of getting around the recurring problems with different theisms.
Perhaps it is the human attempt to understand a divinity which is far too big/great for human understanding that has made humanity create the limiting concept of "theos" and we need to get beyond this concept radically.
I agree. At least, the Ahura part of Ahura Mazda is reassuringly a "megatheos", and as Zoroastrians we should all be megatheists. What do you think?

Ushta
Alexander

lördagen den 10:e januari 2009

How to read The Gathas - a poetic or literal understanding of the text?

Dear Ron

Thank you for your civil answer, I hope I can return this constructive attitude in equal measure.
I actually believe that I share Zarathushtra's AMBITIONS with the words he uttered.
Otherwise I would not refer to myself as a Zoroastrian, it would be pointless.
Many many more people who have studied The Gathas intensely have come to the same conclusions (also bor Parsi and Irani Zoroastrians) and share my beliefs and my interpretation of the spirit of Zarathushtra.
I also realise that you and I read the texts differently and I believe this is a difference of degree but not of substance. So in this respect we should be able to agree to disagree and share an even richer religion for it.
So I agree we can not bend a text like The Gathas in any way we like. But rather than read a text literally that is meant to be read poetically, I'm interested in the SPIRIT of Zarathushtra rather than the literal understanding of the words of Zarathushtra. Making the words of The Gathas come alive is what concerns me the most. It is more difficult and perhaps diversifying than a literal reading but I believe it is better and it is also what Zarathushtra would himself have wanted us to do had he been around with us today.
I'm glad we agree Zarathushtra was not a St Paul or a Muhammed - he was way smarter than that! And also admittedly more human.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/1/10 ztheist
- Dölj citerad text -


Ushta Alex

Thank you for being kind and civil and putting up with dissent. Now getting to your post. Yes I agree and, in fact, it is a given, if we study the Gathas, that any authority whether a text, a person, an institution, a tradition , et al; cannot be followed blindly. We are to think things through.

By the same token, however, we should not even know this about Z and his teaching if we did not follow the text from a philological POV.

If we allegorize everything (and particularly considering that our culture and thus our allegorical motifs and understandings, are different than Z's) we can make any text say anything we like.

Fortunately a balance can be striked between literalness and allegorism. That balance is achieved by applying sound and well tested Hermenutical principles to the text.

But the thing is that. in several instances, you are simply flying by the seat of your pants and are ignoring what the text says. That is OK but, again , isn't the first step in even evolving a different picture of Gathic and thus Z teaching, to understand the original as close as possible?

That is all I am saying. If you have sound philological reasons to think Z taught as you believe then bully for you! However I must confess that I do not see any; nor see you giving any credible, supported evidence from the spoutce of the tyeaching I.E. the Gathas themselves..

At the same time this is not to deny the validity of your ideas (although valid does not necessarilly mean true) because while I disagree with your conclusions I grant that they are consisting and not self-contradictory, at least not, that we know of. This in and of itself makes them valid.

But are they Zarathushtrian? That is another question I would say the consensus of the scholars would disagree with your belief that they are and so do I.

But you are still going to go ahead and keep at it , which is certainly your right I would keep on disagreeing and the Knower will eventually let us know. Other than this essential disagreement I would not even bat an eye at most of your positions.

So keep at it and do not mind me terribly much , think of me as a voice crying in the wilderness if you must, but I will some times make my statements concerning what I believe is true and right.

Ushta Te
Ron





- Original Message ----- From: Alexander Bard
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Zoroastrians ; Zoroastrian Friends
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 5:17 AM
Subject: [zoroastrians] The spirit of Zarathushtra



Dear Ron

You know that I have the greatest respect both for you and Ali Jafarey.
I never considered you as Abrahamic. You left Christianity and Islam respectively for Zoroastrianism precisely because you had no interest in blind beliefs.
But I do believe that your positioning of the Gathic text is an Abrahamic approach to The Holy Text. Consequently, the two of you represent a more Abrahamic interpretation of the Zoroastrian faith as a whole. Just like I assume Parviz Varjavand and I represent a more Brahmanistic interpretation of the Zoroastrian faith (without this making us Brahmanists, we are indeed Mazdayasni too).
Using our own wise minds is central to the Zoroastrian faith. I hope you agree with me that this is more important than the literal and blind following of any old text or tradition or ritual, whether it is The Gathas or The Avesta or something else.
As Zoroastrians, we follow Zarathushtra in spirit and share his enthusiasm and ambition towards existence. That is what it means to be a Mazdayasni. We can then agree to disagree about the details.

Ushta
Alexander