onsdagen den 26:e augusti 2009

It's not what you teach - but how you teach it - that counts!

Dear Bahman

I don't believe Parviz is questioning the teaching of the Avesta but rather questioned how it is taught, which is a rather different issue. After all, the way to teach the Avesta in the Gathic style is not as a Word of God (as it is often done) but rather to train a critical reading mind first and then look at all and any texts second, including the Avesta or just the Gathas. We have or should at least have a different style of teaching our texts than say the Abrahamic religions because we have a different concept of what it means to be human and we hold the capacity to think critically (rather than the will to find and obey orders from a blind God) as sacred.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/27 Bahman Noruziaan

Hold on Parviz!

You write in a way as if teaching Avesta to our young Zartoshti children is a sin or a big crime!
I was taught Avesta from my very childhood at Sazeman-e Fravahar in Tehran, for which I am very grateful!
I was taught about the basics of Zoroastrain tradition, such as belief in various parts of a man's existense, including Soul, and Body and Tan-e pasin, etc.
Those teachings togther with my learning of the Gathas of Ashoo Zarathushtra have enriched my view of life.
I have developed and am developing my own view of life and exsitance from all such teachings and other knowledge that I have gathered.
And I certainly am not a Div-yasna.
So, hold on your horses, Parviz please!

Bahman

To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: solvolant@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 14:13:50 -0700

Subject: Re: [Ushta] Alex with his pants down ;-)


Dear Mr. Gheibi,

You have CHOSEN to teach Avesta to our young innocent children and fill their tender minds with Tan-e Passin kind of ideas, so at least you should defend your life style. Are you teaching them Mazda-Yasna or Div-Yasna when you teach children things that are like ideas of believing in Jinns?

Parviz

--- On Tue, 8/25/09, MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi wrote:


From: MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Alex with his pants down ;-)
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 11:46 PM

Dear Parviz
dorood
No I do not claim to know it. Tan-e pasin is a madayasni's belief in avestA. It is not my claim and I only wrote it from avestA.

måndagen den 24:e augusti 2009

Monism and The Attributes of The World

2009/8/24 Special Kain

> 1. I think Spinoza defined monism for us in a way suitable to Zoroastrianism (he was after all a Zoroastrian thinker) when he said that the world is monist but that monism has an endless number of attributes.

It's not monism, but the world that has an endless number of attributes. After all, both pluralism and monism are metaphysical beliefs, so it's a question of taste.


Excellent, Dino, I stand corrected!
Monism COMES WITH an endless number of attributes, obviously! It is the world which has attributes, not monism.


> The reason why we hold Mazda in sucha high regard, why it is metaphysically significant to us, is because WE are the manifestations of Mazda.

Can't we say that we're manifestations of Ahura and co-manifesting Mazda within Ahura? We're the ones making tools, cars, software programs and pop music.


Sure thing! Or rather: We are MAKING all those things because we have a MIND with which to do so. The mind is the cause and the tools the effects (with language as the bridge in between).

Ushta
Alexander

söndagen den 23:e augusti 2009

Monism and The Trinity

Two things:
1. I think Spinoza defined monism for us in a way suitable to Zoroastrianism (he was after all a Zoroastrian thinker) when he said that the world is monist but that monism has an endless number of attributes. The reason why we hold Mazda in sucha high regard, why it is metaphysically significant to us, is because WE are the manifestations of Mazda. The world therefore contians two miracles: Ahura and Mazda. The miracle of existence as a whole is then Ahura Mazda.
2. I agree Christianity borrowed the foundation for The Trinity from Zoroastrian-Essenite philosophy. But I believe The Father is the thought, The Son is the word (St John calles Christ "The Word") and The Holy Ghost is The Deed (go out and make all my disciples, through your deeds will you manifest The Holy Ghost etc). I should stress however that I much prefer the original Zoroastrian concepts here. ;-)
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/22 Special Kain



Dear Parviz,

Actually, there's nothing animistic about monism which is the metaphysical belief that there is only one world or only one guiding principle. Monism is the opposite to dualism (there's a physical world and also an astral world) and to pluralism (there are many different worlds 'out there', both gradually material and immaterial). Since Asha applies to all that is, Zoroastrianism is monism: there's only one guiding principle. Still there's nothing animistic about either Zoroastrianism or monism. :-)

Ushta, Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Sa, 22.8.2009:


Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Recreating our selves - and Ahura Mazda?
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 22. August 2009, 19:41



Friends,

First dear Dino, as %99..99 of our universe is life-less matter, we must have it clear in our mind that Ahoora is out there and strong and that we do appreciate and celebrate it. But you are right that it is when it combines with Mazda that it really takes off for us. I do not like the label Monism and other New Age handles because it somehow treats Ahoora as if it is alive. I know, I like to treat clouds or waves as if they are alive too, but that is being poetic, we should not loose track that Mazda is separate from them.

Also dear Alex, I feel that the Trinity of Christianity and Zoroastrianism are related. Father is the Thought, Holly Ghost is the Word, and The Son is the Deed.

v>Ushta,
Parviz

--- On Sat, 8/22/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Recreating our selves - and Ahura Mazda?
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Saturday, August 22, 2009, 7:56 AM



I guess you are both right and that there is no contradiction involved.
What about the idea that Ahura Mazda is recreating itself through our recreation of our selves?
I don't see any contradiction whatsoever. Never forget that of the three parts of the Christian trinity, The Holy Spirit is the one that has its roots in Zoroastrian (Essenite) philosophy. The father and the son was never of any concern to as as Mazdayasni.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/22 Special Kain



That's one of your concerns, isn't it? I'm not so much obsessed with molding the self, but with co-creating the world 'out there'. That's far more powerful. Late-capitalism' s hyper-individualism was fun when I was a teenage neo-Satanist playing keyboards in shitty Black Metal bands. But times change, and we change with them. :-)

Ushta, Dino

--- irisfilpot schrieb am Sa, 22.8.2009:



What happened to recreating the self?

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> Dear Parviz,
>
> I agree. But when combined 'Ahura' and 'Mazda' philosophically stand for any self-aware lifeform that is potentially able to examine the conditions of its existence and apply this knowledge to change its surroundings. There's always much to argue with in detail, but this is what Ahura Mazda AS A SYMBOL means to me. This is where our constructive and co-creative attitude towards existence starts.
>
> Ushta, Dino

lördagen den 22:e augusti 2009

Recreating our selves - and Ahura Mazda?

I guess you are both right and that there is no contradiction involved.
What about the idea that Ahura Mazda is recreating itself through our recreation of our selves?
I don't see any contradiction whatsoever. Never forget that of the three parts of the Christian trinity, The Holy Spirit is the one that has its roots in Zoroastrian (Essenite) philosophy. The father and the son was never of any concern to as as Mazdayasni.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/22 Special Kain

That's one of your concerns, isn't it? I'm not so much obsessed with molding the self, but with co-creating the world 'out there'. That's far more powerful. Late-capitalism's hyper-individualism was fun when I was a teenage neo-Satanist playing keyboards in shitty Black Metal bands. But times change, and we change with them. :-)

Ushta, Dino

--- irisfilpot schrieb am Sa, 22.8.2009:

What happened to recreating the self?

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> Dear Parviz,
>
> I agree. But when combined 'Ahura' and 'Mazda' philosophically stand for any self-aware lifeform that is potentially able to examine the conditions of its existence and apply this knowledge to change its surroundings. There's always much to argue with in detail, but this is what Ahura Mazda AS A SYMBOL means to me. This is where our constructive and co-creative attitude towards existence starts.
>
> Ushta, Dino

tisdagen den 18:e augusti 2009

Towers of Silence - and the important principle behind them Part 3

Human remains make excellent fertilizer and excellent scavenger food indeed (and how delightfully appropriate anyway since we ourselves are scavengers, this is why hanged meat tastes better to us than raw fresh meat). And here we get to the profiund principle behind all Zoroastrian burial traditions: Recycling! As for myself, this is what is important to ME to know before I die, that I am being fed back into the ecological system when my body has ceased being the temporary home of me. Feed the body back into the world-as-one. Make good use of what no longer serves its purpose. To me, THIS is the Zoroastrian principle of life and death. And it is important, it is profound to all our ethics. Vineyards? Sounds great to me. Bananans too. The same goes for Clint's wonderful trees, especially fitting in Scandinavia where I live and where we can grow neither bananas nor wine.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/18 roryyoung15

Dear Parviz,

I think in our case growing grapes in Central African might be a problem. BANANAS on the other hand are very popular! :-)
Seriously though, human remains make excellent fertilizer!

Ushta,
Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Parviz Varjavand wrote:
>
> Friends,
> How about getting a natural setting and then creating a vineyard very naturally planted (not in industrial looking rows) and bury the corps naturally and planting a vine over it. Then as the grape vine matures, the decedents can harvest the grapes and make vine and drink it honoring their departed. Can this be done? (A very good year for grandpa Nowzar, let us drink to his big nose that we all seem to have inherited ;-)
> Parviz
>
> --- On Tue, 8/18/09, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> From: Alexander Bard

> Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Towers of Silence - and the important principle behind them...
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 6:31 AM
>
> Dear Clint
>
> I agree with you. For me a traditional Scandinavian earth burial - going back to pagan times and Indo-European traditions - would do just fine. But it is important that we also understand that this is not sufficient for many traditional Zoroastrians for whom earth, water and fire may not touch the corpse, this is how sacred they regard the earth and how low they hold a dead body (as its opposite to a human being and not a human entity on its own). In that case, earth burials will not do, so recycling has become the favored option (as it is among Tibetan Lamaists too, who also feed corpses to vultures). However, understanding and sympathizing with a tradition does not mean we have to follow it. Zarathushtra for one did not care. So for you and me as western converts to Zoroastrianism, we are likely to construct our own habits that go with our faith and we should all respect each other for these various choices we make.
>
>
> Ushta
> Alexander

Towers of Silence - and the important principle behind them Part 2

Actually, Christians did not bury their dead six feet under.
It was precisely burying people six feet under to feed the corpses to the worms that was the pagan tradition that the Christians absorbed when they came to European shores.
Jesus himself was not buried in earth but placed in a burial chamber, just like all the early Christians in for example Rome. The Christian tradition was to KEEP the bodies and later the skeletons for example as relics. Whereas the pagans, just like their brethren in Iran, considered dead bodies to be just dead bodies but certainly not people.
This explains why you will never find relics of Zarathushtra anywhere in any Zoroastrian temple. Otherwise you definitely would have. Again, this proves that Mazdayasna philosophy was an integrated part of Zoroastrian culture and lifestyle, not just some postmodern interpretation that we make up in a forum like this one.
People's habits are always the best way to trace their beliefs. As any decent anthropologist knows.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/18 roryyoung15

Dear Alexander,

What is a traditional Scandinavian burial? Is it shallow? I don't believe burying a body (especially 6 foot under) introduces it to the food chain at all which is why Christians bury people.
There was a case of thread virus recently (Marburgs or Ebola, don't remember). It turned out the victim had been digging a latrine and dug up a body which had been buried for decades and promptly got a potential pandemic on the road!

Ushta, Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Dear Clint
>
> I agree with you. For me a traditional Scandinavian earth burial - going
> back to pagan times and Indo-European traditions - would do just fine. But
> it is important that we also understand that this is not sufficient for many
> traditional Zoroastrians for whom earth, water and fire may not touch the
> corpse, this is how sacred they regard the earth and how low they hold a
> dead body (as its opposite to a human being and not a human entity on its
> own). In that case, earth burials will not do, so recycling has become the
> favored option (as it is among Tibetan Lamaists too, who also feed corpses
> to vultures). However, understanding and sympathizing with a tradition does
> not mean we have to follow it. Zarathushtra for one did not care. So for you
> and me as western converts to Zoroastrianism, we are likely to construct our
> own habits that go with our faith and we should all respect each other for
> these various choices we make.
>
> Ushta
> Alexander
>
> 2009/8/17 wagnerian1

>
> >
> >
> > Ushta Farida,
> >
> > I guess it all depends on what you perceive as defiling. I can understand
> > if you have a thousand years of religious teachers believing that corpses
> > defile the land, how one might be adverse to burying the dead. But speaking
> > for myself, I would rather the worms and bugs have me and then I enrich the
> > ground right then and there, rather than the vultures having me, then poop
> > me out from hundreds of feet in the air to fall upon...whatever. I know I
> > wince at being driven around on the roof of a car in, say, Nevada at 115F
> > heat in the summer for three months until the next rain, or until someone
> > feels like washing me down a car wash drain!
> >
> > However I would agree that modern methods of burial do defile the land,
> > with all their embalming fluids and shellacked caskets and polyester/rayon
> > etc. casket linings, and suits of clothes and other trash that we put in the
> > ground to make ourselves feel better. Just wrap me in soft cotton and lower
> > me into a hole. The good Earth will make me useful to her creatures in a
> > speedy and dignified way.
> >
> > I do not agree with the ancient teachers and their descendants, that one
> > can defile the fire or the earth or what have you with burials, nail
> > clippings or stray hairs. Indeed, I understand the earth, fire and water to
> > be agents of purification, and that discerning Asha teaches us how each one
> > works to make clean that which might have been unpleasant and yucky, or just
> > plain unsafe, before. For instance, if there is no rubbing alcohol, put your
> > needle or knife or what have you into the fire to burn off bacteria and
> > viruses before opening sores or whatever. The only way I can see to pollute
> > a fire is to dump harsh chemicals into it that will make the air and the
> > ground around unsafe for living beings.
> >
> > --Clint

Get rid of Plato - and the four corners of the world

Dear Parviz

This is precisely what I have always sad too.
Which also means that Truth was not invented or revealed in and through modernity but rather that Truth as the guiding principleof existence is a 3,700-year-old Central Asian concept in the sense that "nothing is new under the sun". Even our "holy book" is subordinated to the truth requirement.
What the early Zoroastrians understood - and nobidy else seem to have understood - is that collective wisdom is always superior to individual wisdom. And how do you reach collective wisdom if not by protecting plurality and diversity as guiding principles as if your life depended on it?
That is Mazdayasna for you. The four conerns of the world indeed.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/18 Parviz Varjavand



Friends,

It is amazing that sometimes in history, the dots do get connected and truth does come out. I and anybody I call my friends like to be about connecting those dots rather than making coffee shop cute conversations about Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism is the only pro civilization and pro clear thinking religion you have on the planet. While the Assyrians and the Babylonians ruled by building fortifications and ruling by terror, when Cyrus the Persian conquerors their empire, he establishes the code of human rights, he builds roads, banking and postal service trace their roots to the Persians. All this, I think because the Mazdayasa or Philosophia mind set of the Persians was pro-civilization and decent relationship of the good people of the four corners of the earth.

Still in our sedre-pooshi or initiation ceremony, we do not say that we join a selected fold by becoming Zoroastrians. We say (Boy and Girl, mind you!), "May we be united with the good men and women of the four corners of the earth". By the way, this idea that the earth has four corners is the origin of the sign of cross being sacred. The Mithraists took it to Europe and the Christians stole it. The equal distanced cross of the Mithraists means that may the blessings of this act or this ritual be spread to the four corners of the earth. The Christian cross is an instrument of torture and a very appropriate one too for their way of thinking. Pass it on ;-)

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Tue, 8/18/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Getting rid of Plato (to think like Zarathushtra)
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 12:46 AM



Correct!
"Ethics" is a heavy book but Parviz will be able to handle it. It's an amazing challange.
Parviz is absolutely correct:; It was Gilles Deleuze who pointed out that Spinoza and Nietzsche are brethren (even though Nietzsche who lived in the 19th century also said so about Spinoza who lived in the 17th century) and the most important anti-Platonists. Nietzsche also knew they were both making philosophy in relation to Zarathushtra and Zarathustra's questions (The Gathas arrived in Germany in the 1860s and Nietzsche was a professor of PHILOLOGY originally and not philosophy, so he was a language expert and knew the Avesta well!).
We have just tied this thread together, the Mazdayasna history starts with Zarathushtra and his contemporaries in Central Asia and its "modern western equivalent" takes shape in philosophers such as Spinoza and Nietzsche and their 20th century megaphones Deleuze and Richard Rorty. And we still have "Platonists" with their dualist idea that the ideal world is superior to the physically existing world to fight against. That is what Mazdayasna is all about.
Ushta
Alexander

Zoroastrian burial traditions

Dear Clint

I agree with you. For me a traditional Scandinavian earth burial - going back to pagan times and Indo-European traditions - would do just fine. But it is important that we also understand that this is not sufficient for many traditional Zoroastrians for whom earth, water and fire may not touch the corpse, this is how sacred they regard the earth and how low they hold a dead body (as its opposite to a human being and not a human entity on its own). In that case, earth burials will not do, so recycling has become the favored option (as it is among Tibetan Lamaists too, who also feed corpses to vultures). However, understanding and sympathizing with a tradition does not mean we have to follow it. Zarathushtra for one did not care. So for you and me as western converts to Zoroastrianism, we are likely to construct our own habits that go with our faith and we should all respect each other for these various choices we make.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/17 wagnerian1



Ushta Farida,

I guess it all depends on what you perceive as defiling. I can understand if you have a thousand years of religious teachers believing that corpses defile the land, how one might be adverse to burying the dead. But speaking for myself, I would rather the worms and bugs have me and then I enrich the ground right then and there, rather than the vultures having me, then poop me out from hundreds of feet in the air to fall upon...whatever. I know I wince at being driven around on the roof of a car in, say, Nevada at 115F heat in the summer for three months until the next rain, or until someone feels like washing me down a car wash drain!

However I would agree that modern methods of burial do defile the land, with all their embalming fluids and shellacked caskets and polyester/rayon etc. casket linings, and suits of clothes and other trash that we put in the ground to make ourselves feel better. Just wrap me in soft cotton and lower me into a hole. The good Earth will make me useful to her creatures in a speedy and dignified way.

I do not agree with the ancient teachers and their descendants, that one can defile the fire or the earth or what have you with burials, nail clippings or stray hairs. Indeed, I understand the earth, fire and water to be agents of purification, and that discerning Asha teaches us how each one works to make clean that which might have been unpleasant and yucky, or just plain unsafe, before. For instance, if there is no rubbing alcohol, put your needle or knife or what have you into the fire to burn off bacteria and viruses before opening sores or whatever. The only way I can see to pollute a fire is to dump harsh chemicals into it that will make the air and the ground around unsafe for living beings.

--Clint

Getting rid of Plato (to think like Zarathushtra) Part 3

Correct!
"Ethics" is a heavy book but Parviz will be able to handle it. It's an amazing challange.
Parviz is absolutely correct:; It was Gilles Deleuze who pointed out that Spinoza and Nietzsche are brethren (even though Nietzsche who lived in the 19th century also said so about Spinoza who lived in the 17th century) and the most important anti-Platonists. Nietzsche also knew they were both making philosophy in relation to Zarathushtra and Zarathustra's questions (The Gathas arrived in Germany in the 1860s and Nietzsche was a professor of PHILOLOGY originally and not philosophy, so he was a language expert and knew the Avesta well!).
We have just tied this thread together, the Mazdayasna history starts with Zarathushtra and his contemporaries in Central Asia and its "modern western equivalent" takes shape in philosophers such as Spinoza and Nietzsche and their 20th century megaphones Deleuze and Richard Rorty. And we still have "Platonists" with their dualist idea that the ideal world is superior to the physically existing world to fight against. That is what Mazdayasna is all about.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/17 wagnerian1


Spinoza's "Ethics" is absolutely excellent for insomnia. ZZzzzzzz. I am all for letting some else read it then write me a book report. I will not deny that I find Spinoza's teachings to be insightful and all around superb, however.

--Clint


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Parviz Varjavand wrote:
>
> Thank you Alex for your pointers,
> I found Deleuze's book "Spinoza - Practical Philosophy" of great help and it was after that that I realized that both Deleuze and Spinoza are talking about Mazda-Yasna when they talk about Philo-Sophy. Now I may be ready to try reading some Spinoza, I may start with his book Ethics. Do you have any other recommendations?
> Ushta,Parviz

måndagen den 17:e augusti 2009

Getting rid of Plato (to think like Zarathushtra) Part 2

I would recommend Gilles Deleuze´s formidable little book "Nitezsche And Philosophy" which you can find at Amazon. Deleuze was the 20th century philosopher who combined Spinoza and Nietzsche and constructed an excellent massive argument against the whole Platonist worldview. If only Deleuze had read Zarathushtra, what a formidable book he would have written...
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/17 roryyoung15



Ok, Spinoza and Nietsche to the top of the reading list!

Ushta,
Rory


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Exactly!!!!
> Please note how profound Zarathushtra's chain of causes and effects is:
> You talk like you think, you act like you talk, you therefore are what you
> think in the sense of this being the starting point of a creative process
> than becomes its own feedback loop.
> Therefore, we are MAZDAYASNI, we identify with this process, it is a
> constant process (non-linear too) of PRODUCING And in this sense CREATING a
> self, which is never there beforehand to be actualized.
> Getting rid of Plato is hard but this is what we must do to get at
> Zarathushtra's thinking. Which is why so many of us here stress that for
> westerners to understand this process it often helps to have studied the
> classic western anti-Platonists first: Spinoza and Nietzsche most of all.
> They are Zarathushtra's philosophical brethren.
> Ushta
> Alexander

Towers of Silence - and the important principle behind them

2009/8/17 roryyoung15

What is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of the dead? I think towers of silence are a wonderful concept and crazy though it may sound think I miht go ahead and build one even if I do end up being the only person to use it!


Dear Rory
This depends on where in the world you are located. It is not the towers of silence that are sacred to Zoroastrians but the principle of how to dispose of the corpses (recycle them) without filthying the earth, the water or the fire. There are proposals for Zoroastrian coyote farms in North America since there are no vultures there (and hardly any left in India either). Personally I like the idea of disposing of the dead in a limited ground area and then let worms do what vultures do in India. This is actually the practice that is most common in Iran today and I would like to introduce the same practice in Scandinavia since it would work well here (we have neither vultures nor coyotes). But most of all I like the Zoroastrian idea that a corpse is just a corpse and NOT a human being. That is what is so great compared to the Abrahamic faiths and their almost idiotic obsession with corpses. What's the big deal with a corpse? After all, it is dead!!!
Ushta
Alexander

Getting rid of Plato (to think like Zarathushtra)

Exactly!!!!
Please note how profound Zarathushtra's chain of causes and effects is:
You talk like you think, you act like you talk, you therefore are what you think in the sense of this being the starting point of a creative process than becomes its own feedback loop.
Therefore, we are MAZDAYASNI, we identify with this process, it is a constant process (non-linear too) of PRODUCING And in this sense CREATING a self, which is never there beforehand to be actualized.
Getting rid of Plato is hard but this is what we must do to get at Zarathushtra's thinking. Which is why so many of us here stress that for westerners to understand this process it often helps to have studied the classic western anti-Platonists first: Spinoza and Nietzsche most of all. They are Zarathushtra's philosophical brethren.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/16 irisfilpot



Hi
OH OK I Think I get it. It's a subtle difference in thinking. The self isn't being actualized because it is recreated.


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> I think what Dino is trying to say is that "self-actualization" is not a
> Zoroastrian but a modern idea. Zoroastrianism is much more concerned with
> "self-production". There is no self involved here to actualize, there are
> only a series of selfs beung created by ourselves (and our environment) and
> this is what Zoroastrian ethics is concerned with. This is why we can't shop
> our way to an identity as Mazdayasni, we can only think, talk and act our
> way to an ever-changing identity. So while using Rory's terminology, the
> reason why Zoroastrian take to biodiversity so easily is because our ethics
> makes DIVERSITY IN ITSELF a good and desireable thing. Be many, not just
> one. Oh, and by the way, human beings can destroy the planet, we do have a
> responsibility for this. But Nature can potentially destroy nature too.
> Meteorites, volcanoes etc. Could be worth keepibg in mind even if it doesn't
> change our ethical imperative to protect and take care of the planet one
> bit.
> Ushta
> Alexander

söndagen den 16:e augusti 2009

Conversions and modifications

Dear Friends

I'm not actually trying to convert anybody, just to clarify things between us, and Mehran is actually a lot more Nietzschean and rootsy Zoroastrian in his thinking than some people seem to assume. His concept of Ahura Mazda is actually identical to my own (a conclusion we have arrived at through lengthy discussions) with one exception, Mehran is a panentheist while I'm a pantheist. But so are many other Zoroastrians and I have no problem with that. But what's more important, Parviz, our version of Zoroastrianism has already more or less won in the west and is now the mainstream opinion within the Zoroastrian community both in Europe and Latin America, at least. Ushta plays its part in this too. Lets debate more to clarify, that's good. Conversions can never be our goals, conversions or modifications of beliefs are our very own private choices. Not the goals of others.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/15 irisfilpot
- Dölj citerad text -



Hi


>>Alex trying to convert Mehran and vice-verse is a waste of time<<

I think if the there is a huge attachment to the outcome to convert then yes, it is a waste of time. I don't think that the dialog itself is a waste of time. I find some of Mehran's comments interesting and I find some of Alex's interesting. I admit I am impressed with anyone who chooses to serve a community as their life's vocation.
If one finds (for example and this is just an example, not at anyone in particular) catholics ridiculous, there are some things catholics may have right. A Z doing something that a catholic might does not mean that action makes one a non Z because everything a catholic does is wrong so Z's can't do or believe anything similar. (Unless it really is counter to Z practice or ideology.)
For a group of people who do not expound on an afterlife idea, there seems to be a million ways you all are telling each other to go to Hell. That does seem to be a trait that followers of Abrahamic religions tend to excell on.


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "roryyoung15" wrote:
>
> Dear Parviz,
>
> Not long at all. And if you get your way I won't be here for much longer I assure you.
>
> I'm not stopping you from carrying on from where you got to. Please continue. No one told you to stop.
>
> Don't worry about having to be nice to newcomers Parviz because you're not being nice to newcomers at all Parviz, you are very unfriendly actually. You suggested I go somewhere else when I first started posting!
>
> As for accusations, I haven't accused you of anything, you said you were again being obnoxious and I agreed with you. I thought you had come up with quite an accurate adjective so I areed.
>
> No need to et your knickers in a knot.
>
> Ushta,
>
> Rory
>
> --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Parviz Varjavand wrote:
> >
> > Dear Rory,
> >
> > How long have you been on this list?
> > What is nauseating is the position of; "we have to hear any idea from anyone who drops in and starts pontificating
> > about anything they wish and that everybody else should stop where they were getting to and start all over again". I am out of this having to start all over again just to be nice to newcomers; we have become a Zoroastrian tourist information service at its shallowest level here at Ushta. Good for the Parsis to tell the tourists to go educate themselves somewhere else.
> >
> > Fed up with your accusations
> > Parviz

Why people do good things

I think what Dino is trying to say is that "self-actualization" is not a Zoroastrian but a modern idea. Zoroastrianism is much more concerned with "self-production". There is no self involved here to actualize, there are only a series of selfs beung created by ourselves (and our environment) and this is what Zoroastrian ethics is concerned with. This is why we can't shop our way to an identity as Mazdayasni, we can only think, talk and act our way to an ever-changing identity. So while using Rory's terminology, the reason why Zoroastrian take to biodiversity so easily is because our ethics makes DIVERSITY IN ITSELF a good and desireable thing. Be many, not just one. Oh, and by the way, human beings can destroy the planet, we do have a responsibility for this. But Nature can potentially destroy nature too. Meteorites, volcanoes etc. Could be worth keepibg in mind even if it doesn't change our ethical imperative to protect and take care of the planet one bit.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/14 irisfilpot
- Dölj citerad text -



Hi


>>Now being true to ourselves is pure ethics.<<

OK. Since the idea is we recreate ourselves constantly, and since we do have this idea of being in the good mind, wouldn't some of this end up with people making a conscious effort to mold their behaviors in a manner that enables them to ne in the Good Mind more and more. Isn't this a form of the idea of self-actualization?

Without a culture of cohersion

Dear Rory

I actually believe that for people to "keep their feet firmly on the ground" you need a centralised culture of COHERSION to begin with. Like, if you don't follow this belief exactly as it has been presented (for example: The Ten Commandments), you'll be thrown out of heaven etc. But there never was such a culture of cohersion within Mazdayasna, so the religion was always more welcoming, syncretic and decentralised than the Abrahamic faiths. Again, Zoroastrianism, especially the folk religion, is far more Hinduist than Abrahamic. There is not even a priestly category in Zarathushtra's teachings. Even intolerance towards non-Zoroastrians in Zoroastrian history is more a priestly than a dogmatic phenomenon (the Sassanid persecution of Christians and Manicheans etc).

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/13 roryyoung15



Dear Mobedyar,

I often use stories to help my (toddler) daughter understand concepts and help guide her learning. I can imagine in ancient Persia that early Zoroastrians would have struggled to expain Zoroastrianism to the general Polytheistic Persian poplulation. A peasant with no education and unconcerned with philosphy is bound to liven the stories up. What I don't understand is why the priests themselves didn't keep their feet firmly "on the ground"? Was there some sort of mass conversion?
These stories are not bad unless they become the beliefs themselves rather than a means of learning them.

Ushta,

Rory

onsdagen den 12:e augusti 2009

Zoroastrian aesthetics

Dear Clint

If you get the chance, I would recommend that you visit the Zoroastrian temples in California och Texas.
I personally enjoy the MINIMALIST AESTHETICS found everywhere in Zoroastrian temples and meeting rooms. It is similar to the Zen aesthetics in China and Japan. No fuss, just very straight-forward arrangements, very much focused on stimulating the mind in the right direction without distortions and unnecessary decorations. Surprisingly different from both Islamic and Hinduist aesthetics. And the atash bahrams with their fires are wonderful and very stimulating for contemplation, which is exactly the idea.

Ushta
Alexander/also grateful for the pictures here at Ushta...

2009/8/12 wagnerian1

Venerable Moobedyar,

Thank you so much for these pics, and for all your input and conversation. Out here in the middle of Oklahoma, I don't get to see any Zoroastrianism in practice, so pics like these are all I have to get any idea of what Mazdayasna looks like when practiced by people who have been doing it for thousands of years. Ahura Mazda's blessings on you and the people of Iran in this difficult time in your history. We're all praying for you!

--Clint

tisdagen den 11:e augusti 2009

Asha vs Druj in Mazdayasna

Dear Rory and Mehran

Mehran is absolutely right!!!
We need to make a difference between various beliefs originating in Central Asia and Mazdayasna here and to the Mazdayasni good and evil were really what we would term "constructive mentality" versus "destructive mentality". Other proper terms that catch what Zarathushtra means are "Civilization" versus "Chaos". So the Christian concepts of good and evil do not really apply. And there are no cosmological goods and evils.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/11 MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi



Dear Rory
dorood
We have two aspects of ahriman: a- the ahriman that is a version of Satan b- the human being's ability of being harmful.
a- The a aspect is not a real Zoroastrian one. It is derived from mithraism, ZarvAnism, naturalism of ancint pre-Zartosht Iran. They are colored as Zoroastrian beliefs by moghAn of Medes, in hakhAmaneshiyAn (Achaemenian) era. This Zoroastrian-colored belief flourished in sAsAniyAn (Sassanid) era. Therefore I do not believe in a Satan like ahriman and have nothing to say, interpret, defend and so on.
b- The b aspect is taught in gAthA. ahoorA mazdA has created two types of spiritual abilities in human being: spentA minoo and angraheh minoo (=ahriman). Human being is free to choose one of them but ought to accept the result. In gAthA, ahriman is nothing but the ability of being bad, harmful and ...
If human being is not able of being good and bad, how could freedom be meaningful?

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




--- On Mon, 8/10/09, roryyoung15 wrote:


From: roryyoung15
Subject: [Ushta] Re: Suffering doesn't pay off- Maybe it does!
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, August 10, 2009, 5:26 PM



Dear Mobedyar (please let me know the polite way of addressing you according to your own norms),

Who invented Ahriman?

Ushta,

Rory

måndagen den 10:e augusti 2009

Asha vs Druj

Dear Rory and Dino

I always avoid constructing hierarchies. There are no such hierarchies in The Gathas etc, only differences in complexity. So I don't rate between humans and animals etc but rather see each thing for itself, all being sacred.
The whole idea that we as humans are somehow more "responsible" because we can "think" is alien to me, I find that concept very Christian. We are only as responsible as we would like to be.
And Zarathushtra's point is that our reponsibility comes through our KNOWLEDGE of our condition. We simply have responsibilities when we realise how things work in feedback loops, most of all Civilization in itself.
Creation is asha manifest in Ahura, Civilization is asha manifest in Mazda. Asha is nit superior intellect as such but a willingness to be constructive and creative, a will to create!
Turn yourself into a victim and hate the world and you will live in druj.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/10 Special Kain
- Dölj citerad text -



Dear Rory,

You got several things totally wrong.

> I agree, we are influenced by instincts but we are much more able to choose between one course and another and especially to imagine and be creative. It is not just trial and error.

I never said so. I didn't even mention any learning techniques that we're capable of.

> I totally disagree that people just follow convenience and habit. I certainly haven't. You must be hanging around some pretty boring people if they just follow convenience and habit!!!

Ignoring conventions makes most encounters with other people incredibly complicated. It is necessary to follow the rules in order to reduce the ever increasing complexity within modern societies. But, of course, I forgot to mention the idealists in that passage, I mentioned idealism further below.

> Yes, people behave more aggressively as long as they can rationally explain the crime.

AND ALSO when they feel unobserved. That was my point.

> But what about the ones who know it is bad, acknowledge it is bad yet still go ahead and do it out of "bloody-mindedness" . I know such people well and have seen people do things that would make your hair stand on end. They don't give a toot about rationalizing it.

There are sociopaths. And there are mental hospitals.

> And your picture is wrong and certainly not what I presented. I believe people have the ability to be superior (through Asha) than animals or inferior (through druj) to animals. They are less evolved than us and we should be evolving further even if we have to do it artificially.

I disagree. People don't get inferior to animals when pursuing whatever is wrong, false and fake. What's the difference between us and other (!) animals, anyway? There are so many answers, and none of them is convincing enough these days to last more than 30 years. According to memetics, it's because we are much better imitators than them. That's probably true.

> As for your last rude comment about my choice of discussion being boring, WHY INVOLVE YOUSELF IN IT?

Oh, there's nothing wrong with your choice of discussion, dear Rory! It's just such an outdated picture that we should overcome in order to refine our understanding and come up with ever more sophisticated explanations. So I'll GRACIOUSLY ignore the rest of that passage. ;-)

Ushta, Dino

Zoroastrianism vs Secularism

Dear Rory

This is precisely why we take such a stron interest in promoting a SECULAR society as Zoroastrians.
Because the secular values are the very values that we hold as RELIGIOUS from the very beginning.
This is why so much of what we consider modern and secular has its roots in Zoroastrianism.
Regardless of what people call these values, what is important is not the names but values themselves.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/10 roryyoung15

I do not believe in proselytizing for its own sake but if we are going to save our planet environmentally, socially and economically then at the very least Zoroastrian principles should be promoted if not the religion itself. catholicism simply believes that its adherents must put "God" first in all things, even if this means destroying ourselves. That is why it is such a danger to the world. 1 billion people all putting the environment for one at the bottom of their list of priorities.


Ushta,
Rory

The Spirit of Zarathushtra

Dear Mehran

Having written the below in affect, I would like to add that I love you as a brother and as long as we respect each other and ALLOW different interpretations of the texts of our religion while understanding that these texts are NOT holy but merely brilliant INSPIRATIONS for us all, we are fine together!!!
Zarathushtra loved us as the future Zoroastrians. He meant well. He used his best mind (an excellent mind) to give us a VISION which we could follow and DEVELOP after him.
But the history of the world and the history of knowledge does not stop with The Gathas. The science we conduct today, the democracy we recognize is essential for human relations, are all FRUITS of his philosophy. Now we should develop this further, that is what it means wto live within the SPIRIT OF ZARATHUSHTRA.
He never meant to put an end to human knowledge or development, his texts, his words, were just the starting points for what we then develop from them. THIS is what it means to be a Mazdayasni.
No more blind faith, no more blind following, that is for the stupid and degrading desert religions, but it is not for us. We believe in our own capacity to CREATE, in the potential of all humankind to create and develop the world, for us all to be one with Ahura Mazda!!!
That is what it means to be a true Mazdayasni, don't you agree?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/10 Alexander Bard

Dear Mehran

Iris is right, Zoroastrianism does not require us to BELIEVE anyhting in blind faith whatsoever. So there are Zoroastrian Pantheists and also Zoroastrain PanENtheists. Both are fine and should tolerate each other.
But Mehran, you have to immediately STOP this nonsense about YOU being the only person on the planet understanding The Gathas and YOU being the only person allowed to dictate what it means to be a Mazdayasni.
It is a laughable and pathetic statement. Zarathushtra is our guide, not you.
Yes, The Gathas is important to us all, but that does not that your personal INTERPRETATION of The Gathas is a requirement to be called a Zoroastrian. We have very different interpretations of what Zarathushtra MEANT with his text.
If science proves that anything in The Gathas is wrong, then science is more important, even ZARATHUSHTRA himself believed this. Anything else would be an idiotic belief. The Gathas is NOT a holy book, Zarathushtra NEVER made such a claim.Not anywhere! So stop putting Islam into our beautiful religion! Stop your Gathas worship!
It is NOT the Gathas we are worshipping and celebrating as Mazdayasni, it is the fact that there is a world, that this world existsand is beautiful, and that there is MIND to contemplate within this world.
That is what Mazdayasna means, literally, nothing more and nothing less. Gathaist extremism is an entirely different faith. Book worship is Abrahamic, it is alien to Zarathushtra and to Zoroastrianism. We are not a desert religion! We put our wise minds before ANY book. We are intelligent and not stupid.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/10 MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi



Dear Iris
You are true. But them matter was begun, when some one in this group wrote that there is not any God beyond the universe, and universe is God itself.
However, the essential point is believing in God as it is taught in GAthA. Without this belief, we do not have any interior cause to be ethical.

Zoroastrianism is not an Abrahamic faith

Dear Mehran

Iris is right, Zoroastrianism does not require us to BELIEVE anything in blind faith whatsoever. So there are Zoroastrian Pantheists and also Zoroastrain PanENtheists. Both are fine and should tolerate each other.
But Mehran, you have to immediately STOP this nonsense about YOU being the only person on the planet understanding The Gathas and YOU being the only person allowed to dictate what it means to be a Mazdayasni.
It is a laughable and pathetic statement. Zarathushtra is our guide, not you.
Yes, The Gathas is important to us all, but that does not that your personal INTERPRETATION of The Gathas is a requirement to be called a Zoroastrian. We have very different interpretations of what Zarathushtra MEANT with his text.
If science proves that anything in The Gathas is wrong, then science is more important, even ZARATHUSHTRA himself believed this. Anything else would be an idiotic belief. The Gathas is NOT a holy book, Zarathushtra NEVER made such a claim.Not anywhere! So stop putting Islam into our beautiful religion! Stop your Gathas worship!
It is NOT the Gathas we are worshipping and celebrating as Mazdayasni, it is the fact that there is a world, that this world existsand is beautiful, and that there is MIND to contemplate within this world.
That is what Mazdayasna means, literally, nothing more and nothing less. Gathaist extremism is an entirely different faith. Book worship is Abrahamic, it is alien to Zarathushtra and to Zoroastrianism. We are not a desert religion! We put our wise minds before ANY book. We are intelligent and not stupid.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/10 MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi



Dear Iris
You are true. But them matter was begun, when some one in this group wrote that there is not any God beyond the universe, and universe is God itself.
However, the essential point is believing in God as it is taught in GAthA. Without this belief, we do not have any interior cause to be ethical.

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




--- On Mon, 8/10/09, irisfilpot wrote:


From: irisfilpot
Subject: [Ushta] Re: The art of NOT insulting others on a mail list
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, August 10, 2009, 3:32 AM



I know the bearded God thing didn't come from you. I was trying to make the point that the word "God" is pretty open to interpetation and I tend to think most are not refering to the bearded man idea or something sitting in a cloud out of touch.

As for the necessity for an ultimate first cause creator etc I think that very well could be. I really don't have any reason to rise up in conflict with the idea.

The question that arises in my mind over this discussion is this: Is it necessary to explain where the Universe "came from" in order to be a Z? Is this a question that NEEDS to be answered in a definitive way? Or is the Z "faith" really an ethical religion, in which case the answer to that question is only as important as far as it inspires one to do good and stay in the Good Mind? Either view seems to be helpful for some and detrimental to some.

So that is the question. It the answer to this question essential to be a Z?

söndagen den 9:e augusti 2009

Suffering - and Kant!

The answer to your question, Rory, is not to ask Zoroastrianism, which is not particularly preoccupied with suffering, but to ask biology (science). And then the answer is that suffering exists to make us to do what we need to do but would otherwise not do (pain forces you to take action etc). And perhaps just to irritate us this does not include all suffering, there is also suffering which is absolutely meaningless. Seeing killer whales torturing a seal for hours in the Norwegian Sea before finally killing it has no meaning, it is just the suffering of the seal being the fun of the killer whale colony. That's just how the world works and as such also a part of asha.
Ushta
Alexander/does not hate Kant, loves his ethical rather than moral imperative, but sees Kant properly as inferior to Hume, Hegel, Nietzsche and Spinoza, and thereby as grossly overrated...

2009/8/9 roryyoung15



Dear Dino,

No, Catholic priests certainly can't explain suffering. Which is why they need "original sin" and the Devil, and the first temptation, etc. ad nauseum. However, these explanations are enough for them because they are based on "Revelation" by God and if they don't make sense then are "mysteries" beyond our capability to understand. Very neat but not based on reason.Suffering is only punishment.
The purpose of understanding suffering? As you say it may be in vain, if that is the truth then we should accept in regardless of the suffering it causes us to do so! I am reading Kant right now and will move onto Nietsche next. It seems that every time I visit this forum my reading list doubles! :-)
I really would like to know more about how Zoroastrianism and different Zoroastrians explain suffering? The reason I ask is because if one removes Dualism and accepts Monism then it NEEDS to be explained. It is the logical next question because if there is no "baddy" causing all the suffering, yet there is only "nothingness" other than Asha, then what is it? Why does it exist?
Ushta,
Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> And I think that Catholic priests can't explain suffering. But what's really the purpose of explaining suffering, anyway? Suffering alone is still better than knowing that suffering doesn't pay off. Given that existence as such is contingent, suffering may very well be in vain. And this is what breaks most people's necks. Anyone who can cope with such purposeless and meaningless suffering is extraordinarily strong (see Nietzsche's "Übermensch").
>
> Ushta, Dino

Suffering doesn't pay off

Dear Dino and Rory

I would go so far as to say that with Zoroastrianism, the whole point with suffering et al being meaningless is that it is meaningless precisely to force US to INVENT meaning. There is no subjective meaning since meaning is not prophetically GIVEN but humanly PRODUCED. Meaning was never an issue for Zarathushtra. Not even not-meaning as it was for Nietzsche. Zarathushtra rather ENJOYED being a co-creator of existence, of manifesting Mazda within Ahura, precisely as to take the MAKING OF MEANING as an ENJOYABLE DUTY! Nietzsche deals with a rotten heritage and opposes it. But don't forget that Zarathushtra wrote an incorrupt philosophy before the whole process which Nietzsche is (rightly) reacting against had even started! In this, Zarathushtra is even more Spinozist than Nietzsche!

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/9 Special Kain



And I think that Catholic priests can't explain suffering. But what's really the purpose of explaining suffering, anyway? Suffering alone is still better than knowing that suffering doesn't pay off. Given that existence as such is contingent, suffering may very well be in vain. And this is what breaks most people's necks. Anyone who can cope with such purposeless and meaningless suffering is extraordinarily strong (see Nietzsche's "Übermensch").

Ushta, Dino

--- roryyoung15 schrieb am So, 9.8.2009:


Von: roryyoung15
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager and a book for Alexander
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 9. August 2009, 12:45



Interesting. I was taught by Catholic priests as a kid that "Eastern Religions" cannot adequately explain suffering.
Ushta,
Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> In folk Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda is benevolent only, but not almighty: since a wholly benevolent god can't cause any harm, that god can't be almighty.

On evolution (hopefully for the last time) - The art of deception

Dear Rory

I know I know, I share your sentiments and I agree with you 100%.
And I never spoke about Darwinism, only about evolution as principle.
Catholic Dogma is still focused on the horribly mad creationism. But they try their best to look modern by accepting the principle of evolution, but only that far. It is still a creationism with merely a dash of evolution thrown in to be able to include dinosaur bones etc in the mythology. That's what John Paul II was up to.
Catholicism has been fundamentally anti-science since Copernicus, and still is, very much so!
If only Europeans and Latin Americans knew that there is a religion which was always pro-science and pro-truth. We need to tell them!

Love
Alexander

2009/8/9 roryyoung15

We're on the same page! Unlike Catholicism, in Zoroastrianism it IS a sacred principle which is why I abandoned the former and was drawn to the latter. Forgive me, I went off on a tangent. I get very nervous when discussing the Catholics Church and in particular the Popes because Parviz is very wrong; they are not stupid, they are very clever - and totally dedicated; and I assure you they are real enemies of what we all here believe!

Ushta, Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> I know.
> But this was not my point.
> My point was that if even The Catholic Pope has accepted Evolution as
> principle (true) then there is ni point in any Zoroastrians going on about
> the issue anymore.
> We have always believed in Evolution, it is even a sacred principle to our
> religion!!!
> Ushta
> Alexander
>
> 2009/8/9 roryyoung15

>
> >
> >
> > Again. Yes, he did speak out FOR Evolution, but his stements were NOT made
> > "EX-CATHEDRA" meaning that it is NOT church doctrine. And there are very
> > large numbers of Conservatives in the Catholic Church who do not accept
> > Evolution or the Big Bang. I have had many arguements with them. Some accept
> > evolution except with man. Others accept evolution completely and believe
> > that man gained an immortal soul when the first man gained a free will.
> > But... there are many who simply do not accept it at all and as explained,
> > although the Vatican may accept it, it has not been made a part of doctrine
> > by any pope whilst using the "formula" for an "infallible" declaration and
> > therefore Catholics are not obliged to accept it and many don't.
> >
> > Ushta,
> > Rory
> >
> > --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com , Alexander Bard
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > I know, and that's precisely my point.
> > > Pope John Paul II spoke out FOR evolution and even for the big bang
> > before
> > > he died.
> > > This is precisely why this is now church doctrine.
> > > The opposition to all kinds of evolutionary theory in Christianity now
> > comes
> > > from the American Evangelicals. All other branches of Christianity have
> > > accepted evolution as a principle for creation.
> > > Ushta
> > > Alexander
> > >
> > > 2009/8/9 roryyoung15
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Dear Alexander,
> > > >
> > > > I agree with you 100% on evolution. However, with regards the Catholic
> > > > church you have been deceived. Such a position has never been
> > "Ex-Cathedra".
> > > > In order for anything to become doctrine the Pope has to announce it;
> > as
> > > > Bishop of Rome, as head of the church, as successor of Peter, to the
> > whole
> > > > church and state that it is truth.
> > > > Popes are very careful NOT to make Ex-Cathedra statements. Especially
> > on
> > > > such issues as they would alienate large numbers of practising
> > Catholics. By
> > > > making a statement, even including words such as "sacred" they appear
> > to be
> > > > making it an article of faith but educated Catholics know that these
> > are not
> > > > "infallible" statements and they are therefore not obliged or ordered
> > to
> > > > accept them.
> > > > Ushta, Rory
> > > >
> > > > --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> > 40yahoogroups.com>, Alexander Bard
> >
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > I agre with Dino.
> > > > > Even The Catholic Church - the possibly most conservative of all
> > > > Abrahamic
> > > > > institutions in the world - has accepted and even endorses Evolution
> > as a
> > > > > sacred principle.
> > > > > I don't ever want to hear Evolution questioned again. It is bordering
> > on
> > > > > idiocy. Gladly we have no such propaganda here on Ushta. And neither
> > > > should
> > > > > we, the CYCLE of existence is sacred to us, our scriptures are packed
> > > > full
> > > > > of celebrations of the cycle of existence, Evolution in other words.
> > > > > Ushta indeed
> > > > > Alexander
> > > > >
> > > > > 2009/8/7 Special Kain
> > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Dear Zaneta and friends,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Evolution is an empirically reproducible fact. The theory of
> > evolution
> > > > is
> > > > > > something entirely different. So please don't confuse them: there
> > is
> > > > > > evolution (1) and there is the theory of evolution (2). Most
> > theories
> > > > of
> > > > > > evolution work perfectly well without assuming that there was The
> > > > Almighty
> > > > > > Creator or The Flying Spaghetti-Monster.
> > > > > > What does this tell us? Anyone who is ever making up a conflict
> > between
> > > > > > creationism and evolutionism is a complete idiot who has never
> > gotten a
> > > > firm
> > > > > > grip on the notion of evolution anyway. Creationists nurture their
> > > > ignorance
> > > > > > through erasing evolution as an empirically reproducible fact and
> > > > discussing
> > > > > > the theory of evolution only. Evolutionists simply shrug their
> > > > shoulders and
> > > > > > go about their business.
> > > > > > Please visit the TalkOrigin Archive for further infotainment.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Ushta, Dino
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- Zaneta Garratt ** schrieb am *Fr, 7.8.2009:
> > > > > > *
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *
> > > > > > Von: Zaneta Garratt
> > > > > > Betreff: RE: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > > An: ushta@yahoogroups.com
> > 40yahoogroups.com>
> >
> > > > > > Datum: Freitag, 7. August 2009, 0:24
> > > > > >
> > > > > > * * * * * * *
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *Hi Parviz, Even if you do believe in Dawin's theory of
> > Evolution-why
> > > > > > could Ahura Mazda as Creator not be behind the organisation of
> > > > Evolution
> > > > > > which is what some modern Christians believe . As for me, I am not
> > sure
> > > > > > about evolution as it is just a THEORY, so if it is true or not, I
> > do
> > > > not
> > > > > > know, but, if it is true, then Ahura Mazda must be behind it as a
> > > > > > Creator-Power in the beginning, Kindest regards from Zaneta (and
> > about
> > > > the
> > > > > > Jinn, I do not know whether they exist or not either but I
> > definately
> > > > > > believe in angels!)
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *
> > > > > > ------------------------------
> > > > > > *To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > > > > > From: solvolant@yahoo. com
> > > > > > Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 08:11:44 -0700
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > >
> > > > > > * * * * *Dear Mehran,
> > > > > > In our books we have Ahoora "That which has existence" and we have
> > > > Mazda
> > > > > > "That which has the power to Think". I believe in Ahoora and Mazda,
> > > > Ahoora
> > > > > > Mazda, or Mazda Ahoora. I do not believe in a big old man in the
> > skies
> > > > who
> > > > > > sits there designing and making creatures such as sparrows and
> > humans
> > > > with
> > > > > > a pre-thought- out design. I have evolved from an ape, God did not
> > > > design me
> > > > > > in my present shape and MAKE me the way I am from scratch. That is
> > > > > > the difference between what you believe in and what I believe in.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Parviz Varjavand
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- On *Wed, 8/5/09, MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi > > yahoo.com
> > > > >*wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > From: MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > > > > > Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 9:36 PM
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Dear Parviz
> > > > > > dorood
> > > > > > I have studied *GhorAn/Koran, *Motahari's books, sharia'ti's books,
> > ...
> > > > > > but I did not find them in line of my beliefs. I am perplexed, why
> > are
> > > > you
> > > > > > insisting in calling such beliefs a Moslem one. Did not you study
> > > > Sassanid
> > > > > > books that are written some hundreds of years before EslAm? Did not
> > you
> > > > > > study *haft hAt* some thousands of years before EslAm? Please read
> > and
> > > > > > then write.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *Nik-o shAd bAshid*
> > > > > > *KhodA negahdAr,
> > > > > > MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.*
> > > > > > *Kerman_Iran*
> > > > > > **
> > > > > > **
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- On *Thu, 8/6/09, Parviz Varjavand *
> > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > From: Parviz Varjavand
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > > > > > Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009, 12:28 AM
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Mehran,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The BOOK that dictates exactly the way you like to think is called
> > the
> > > > > > Koran, so why do you not go become a Muslim and leave us alone.
> > > > > > (I was impolite to you because you were impolite to Alex. It is too
> > bad
> > > > > > that you do not recognize how impolite you are to others at times).
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- On *Tue, 8/4/09, MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi > > yahoo.com
> > > > >*wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > From: MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > > > > > Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2009, 8:35 PM
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Dear Alexander
> > > > > > dorood
> > > > > > I sent you more than 20 evidences that prove the believe in a wise
> > > > creator,
> > > > > > before creation and after the end of creation from gAthA. But you
> > call
> > > > them
> > > > > > nonsense, without any logic reasoning. I do not sell any story to
> > be
> > > > bought
> > > > > > by any one including you. You just put your favourite words in
> > mouth of
> > > > > > ashoo Zartosht, and I try to say well dear Alexander write your own
> > > > words in
> > > > > > your own book.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *Nik-o shAd bAshid*
> > > > > > *KhodA negahdAr,
> > > > > > MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.*
> > > > > > *Kerman_Iran*
> > > > > > **
> > > > > > **
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- On *Wed, 8/5/09, Alexander Bard *
> > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > From: Alexander Bard
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [Ushta] Re: Pascal's wager
> > > > > > To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> > > > > > Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 1:36 AM
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Exactly, Clint!!!
> > > > > > There is not a single word about this carpenter that mehran talks
> > about
> > > > all
> > > > > > the time in The Gathas.
> > > > > > Simpy because Zarathushtra was wise enough not to have opinions
> > about
> > > > > > things he did not know.
> > > > > > I believe THAT is the right approach for us as Zoroastrians. Stop
> > > > making up
> > > > > > nonsense and instead spend our time and energy on finding out what
> > > > really is
> > > > > > asha.
> > > > > > The reason Iäm not buying Mehran's story, at all, is because Mehran
> > is
> > > > not
> > > > > > talking about a carpenter. He is talking about the universe as if
> > it
> > > > was a
> > > > > > atble deisgned bu Santa Claus and not by any carpenter.
> > > > > > It takes something far bigger than a mere carpenter to create a
> > > > complete
> > > > > > universe. The metaphor of the carpenter is just so poor, so
> > limited, so
> > > > > > unimaginative.
> > > > > > Not Mehran, but the metaphor. So itäs not an insult, it's just a
> > > > > > questioning of a poor idea, a bad metaphor.
> > > > > > Ushta
> > > > > > Alexander
> > > > > >
> > > > > > 2009/8/4 wagnerian1 > > > > http://us.mc325.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=wagnerian1@>
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Ushta,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > It is wise to remember that words like "carpenter", "maker",
> > "creator",
> > > > > > etc. are all metaphors for something entirely bigger and more vast
> > than
> > > > we
> > > > > > can imagine, and to get bogged down in literalism in a situation
> > where
> > > > words
> > > > > > fail is frankly theologically dangerous. Science, and by that I
> > mean
> > > > careful
> > > > > > observation and application of the scientific method, will tell us
> > how
> > > > the
> > > > > > Universe is made, and how it runs. We can be awed by the beauty of
> > it
> > > > all,
> > > > > > and how it works so well...but we cannot forget the parts that
> > don't
> > > > work so
> > > > > > well either, parts like two-headed babies and other birth defects,
> > or
> > > > the
> > > > > > tooth-and-claw suffering of the food chain that in a perfectly
> > designed
> > > > > > world might not be so brutal. This leads me to believe that Ahura
> > Mazda
> > > > as,
> > > > > > like the Freemasons would say, The Grand Architect of the Universe
> > is
> > > > not
> > > > > > quite the kind of image, or Icon even, that allows for the
> > complexity
> > > > of the
> > > > > > Universe. There's something not yet grasped, something not yet
> > > > understood
> > > > > > and maybe never will be, that is more useful in describing Ahura
> > > > Mazda's
> > > > > > role concerning the Cosmos. Since Zoroastrianism doesn't dictate
> > such
> > > > > > imagery, but only asks us to continue to refine our theology, then
> > > > maybe as
> > > > > > our nascent community begins to increase and diversify we will make
> > a
> > > > useful
> > > > > > and Spenta contribution to the language and symbolism of theology.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --Clint
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com<
> > > > http://us.mc325.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Ushta@yahoogroups.com>,
> > > > > > Special Kain wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > There's one difference, dear Mehran. While we actually can track
> > down
> > > > the
> > > > > > local carpenter, none of us has ever seen The Greater Carpenter who
> > is
> > > > > > mysteriously hiding behind the clouds far, far away. And while the
> > > > carpets
> > > > > > that we can buy were made some time ago, nature is "work in
> > progress"
> > > > and
> > > > > > always "under construction" .
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Ushta, Dino

Ideas and strategy against extremism

Dear Parviz

Good questions, here are my answers.

I believe that with this kind of "attitude of superiority" there will be no movement to speak of. You are just creating another extremism against the previous extremism, and what have you then gained? What we instead have to do is to recognise that Zoroastrianism is a 3,700-year-old religion which is OPEN to conversions but with many poles of power and interpretation and a desperate need for lots of tolerance involved. I will therefore act on behalf of all those who are pro-conversion - mobeds or not - and THEN take the philosophical dicussion with them on what constitutes Mazdayasna and what does not. And I will always do this with an open mind. The Mazdayasna we know is winning the cause anyway.

I'm tired of people promoting some kind of truth in the extreme at the price of just making themselves obsolete (regardless of which assumed truth). It is not true, it is not better, it is just extremist and deep down driven by a rather disgusting desire to feel superior to others. Well, I never did care for that. I feel all people are equal but that some IDEAS are superior to others. That includes that some STRATEGIES are superior to others. That is what I'm up to, Parviz, winning people over for the good cause, and I intend to also have you with me in this effort. Because with you I have got everything right: history, philosophy, religion, traditions, respect, integrity, knowledge. Just don't ever think that extremism on our part is any better than the extremism of others.

Ushta and brotherly love
Alexander

2009/8/9 Parviz Varjavand


Dear Alex,

Jafarey converted you to Zoroastrianism and Moobed Jamshidi did your initiation of Sedre-Pooshi. Now you are congratulating different Moobeds for their actions. Moobeds when progressing a thousand times from where they are become thinkers like Jafarey or Dina or Ronald or Mehran Gheybi. Are you of the same religion as the persons I named? I do not think you are. So what are you doing hanging on to them as if you belong to their clan? I was born and raised in the Zoroastrian fold and I have washed my hands off of all Moobeds and those who hang on to their sacred Books. My relationship to them is only to be diplomatically correct with my roots. They have very little that is intellectually stimulating to offer me anymore.

The new Zoroastrian movement has to break free of the Moobed Clan. If they join us, fine, but we can not act as if we belong under their banner if we want to hold on to beliefs that we cherish. If they show that they want to belong under our banner, fine, but you are seriously mistaken if you feel that they will ever progress to the positions that are sacred to you and those who look up to you.

Ushta te,
Parviz Varjavand

lördagen den 8:e augusti 2009

Liturgy to the Moon: Zoroastrianism at its poetic best part 2

Dear Parviz

This is a perfect ritual practice that works in a modern society too.
Anything that is contemplative and keeps our minds on the right mind is good for us.
And if it is also a practice going back thousands of years - then why not connect with that tradition?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/8 Parviz Varjavand



Dear Hamdins,

I love the Mah Niyayesh too. The moon is strongly associated with Cow and the Waters. We do not eat meat on the days of Bahman, Good Mind, Mah, Moon, Goosh, Cow, and Ram, Peace and Harmony. They all have very beautiful and profound concepts attached to them and they are all on the feminine side of the spectrum of creation.

Bah-Man or Good- Mind (Vohoo Mana) is what combats Ahri-Man or the Angy-Mind (Angra-Meynoo). It is also the soul of the animal kingdom as it is Bahman who protects all animals (man included).

Mah or the Moon relates to the feminine cycles of growth and fertility, waxing and waining, up and down of the tides and the growth of plants. My grandfather (on my mothers side) was a very rich merchant and powerful master of the household and his many servants. Yet the same man would cook food and take it to my grandmother on the days of her menses when she would not approach the fire to cook. We saw nothing dirty or humiliating in this as many Zoroastrians try to present those old customs now. We saw it as the woman having a special status because of her cycles of fertility and that the most powerful man of the tribe would go out of his routine of power to show respect towards her mate on those special days by cooking for her and taking the food to her.

Goosh or Gavoush or Gaw means the Cow. The Cow represents the soul of the Earth. When Zarathustra wants to compose the Gathas, first it is the Cow that has to sanction it. This is very important, the animal soul of the earth has to approve and validate the work of Zarathustra and Ahoora Mazda has to listen to the laments of the Cow as it is not happy with what men are doing to it!

Ram or Ramesh means Peace, Harmony, and Prosperity. Music is the soul of Ram and Musicians are called Rameshgar or those who usher in Ram. AryaRamna was the title of ancient Aryan kings as those who brought forth Ram to the Aryans.

As it is hard for my family now to observe the Zoroastrian calender with its thirty different names for the days of the month, so we have decided to not eat meat on Mondays as it is the day of the Moon. This custom is called Nabor or days of not killing and thinking upon The Mind without Anger (Bahman), The Moon (Mah), The Soul of the Animals (Goosh), and Harmony (Ram).

May Bahman and Mah and Goosh and Ram be with you,
Parviz Varjavand

fredagen den 7:e augusti 2009

Mobeds Mirza and Madin in Mumbai as Heroes

Actually, in principle, THIS is the major theological move: Once you decide that children with only one Zoroastrian parent are allowed to CHOOSE Zoroastrianism (in other words: choose Zoroastrianism BEFORE the religion of the non-Zoroastrian parent), you have moved from a religion of ancestry to a religion of choice. And once you have accepted a religion of choice you have accepted that the religion is open for all to choose. This is precisely why I call Mirza and Madon heroes, because their practice is the long awaited opening towards the embrace of religion of choice among Parsees in India. And precisely why it is causing such enormous controversy.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/7 wagnerian1
Worthy of support and applause and all the rest, yes. Heroes, not enough evidence yet. The hero is the mobed willing to initiate the rest of us. But then that's easier to do in, say, the diaspora than in the middle of Mumbai. Nonetheless, I hope all of you "cradle" Zoroastrians tell them how happy you are, and that you also have some friends who would love to join you around the Fire too. A crack in the dam is welcome news.

--Clint


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Mobeds Mirza and Madon are real heroes!!!
> Is there any way we can reach them and express our support from around the
> world?
> Ushta
> Alexander
>
> 2009/8/7 Zaneta Garratt

> > Publication: Mumbai Mirror ;
> >
> > Date: Aug 4, 2009;
> >
> > Zoroastrian priest banned by the apex community trust challenges its
> > decision; says he will not stop conducting rituals for mixed-marriage Parsis

Liturgy to the Moon: Zoroastrianism at its poetic best

Dear Clint

I LOVE this text, this is Zoroastrianism at its poetic best. To see Asha in everything that surrounds us and then praise Asha for being a part of this miraculous process. Thank you for sharing this contemplation with us here on Ushta!

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/7 wagnerian1 :

Ushta y'all,

The moon was so lovely last night, that I resolved to read over the "Litany of the Moon" (which is not a litany lol) from the Kordeh Avesta and from the old translation, create a liturgical piece in response. I plan on using it whenever the beauty of the moon inspires me. Keep in mind that this is like a jewel without a setting, for I have no idea what prayers surround and lead up to this and then lead out of it, nor do I yet have any idea what larger liturgical rite this piece could adorn when the situation merits. But nonetheless, here it is:

Praise to Ahura Mazda.
Praise to the Amesha Spentas.
Praise to the Moon, we when look upon her.
Praise to the Moon, when she looks upon us.
For your brightness and glory, O Moon,
I will offer a hymn worthy of being heard.
How do you wax? How do you wane?
For 14 days, you wax, and for 14 days you wane.
It is Asha that moves you through waxing and waning.
Here I behold the moon, here I behold the light of the moon.
The Amesha Spentas sustain the glory of the moon,
they pour it out upon the good Earth which Ahura Mazda has fashioned.
When the moon waxes warmer, the lovely golden-hued plants
grow up from the earth in the Springtime.
Thus I perform a liturgy for the new moon,
I perform one for the full moon.
I sing hymns to all the beautiful phases of the moon,
the holy and master of holiness,
bright and glorious,
mover of the waters,
giver of wisdom,
inspirer of thoughtfulness,
refresher,
healer.

måndagen den 3:e augusti 2009

Gayti and Minoo

Dear Parviz

I know. Of course! But I don't think what I'm saying is contradicting the concepts of Gayti and Minoo. Rather this division only strengthens the argument. Gayti and Minoo is how things actually work, the strange fantasy here is Plato's division between ideals and reality where ideals are superior to reality as if ideals represent "the world as it should be". This is exactly the opposite of Zoroastrian thought. We believe that Minoo adjusts itself to Gayti since Gayti is sacred and the starting point (the realness of reality). Minoo is not a representation of Gayti - as Plato wrongly assumed - we do not think of Gayti or Minoo as representations of anything and least of all each other. Minoo has its value precisely as its own entity - for example in art and poetry. It is when Minoo is applied as if it were Gayti that we get things wrong (for example when Minoo is wrongly assumed to have anything to say about science). As Zarathushtra and others have pointed out.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/4 Parviz Varjavand



Dear Alex,

The world that the mind is capable of constructing for itself becomes real in an unreal sense. Pegasus is a horse that flies and is real as far as the mind constructing such a horse goes. The separation of Gayti and Minoo or the world as it is constructed by physics and the world that is constructed by the mind is not the same as the separation of body and soul or heaven and earth. The Jinn is a real creature in the minds of those who have constructed such a creature and implanted it in the mind of others. If you miss this first step in understanding how Z.ism correctly separates these two and deals with them, you will lecture much, but not in the right direction.

Ushta,
Parviz

--- On Mon, 8/3/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Asha and Monism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, August 3, 2009, 3:31 PM




Dear Clint

I absolutely agree.
Even if Mazdayasna as a complete message gets corrupted over the centuries and Zarathushtra is quite possibly the most misquoted and misunderstood philosopher ever, the monism in early Mazdayasna culture stays for centuries and only gets challanged with the frontal confrontation with the Abrahamic faiths from the 9th century AD onwards. And then we should still point out that early Judaism also shows signs of monism. It appears dualism really arrives in the Middle East with Helenic culture, then developed by the Greeks as an idea originally developed by the Egyptians. Dualism was always alien to Indo-European thought, it ws alien to Paganism in Europe and alien to Brahmanist philosophy in India too. So why should we assume that Zoroastrianism was dualist when it clearly never was. The MATERIAL is sacred to all of Zoroastrianism, this is what all Zoroastrian diversions have in common. And you can not regard that as sacred which you have earlier assumed to be seondary in grade to whatever else is primary. Mazdayasna is all about manifestations of forces (mentalities) with The Universe as the manifestation of Ahura Mazda (pantheism or panentheism) and with the Mazdayasna congregation as the manifestation of asha in harmony. Think forces, and you get at how Zarathushtra and his contemporaries viewed the world. This is of course also why they understood the actual world better than the Greeks or the Egyptians.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/3 wagnerian1



Ushta,

This is what I have discovered too, and reading translations of the liturgical texts, even some of the later Magian-crafted junk, you still get phrases alluding to how the gorgeousness of the universe is the body of Ahura Mazda. Usually in these passages there are references to the starry heavens, etc. There appears to be a monism that is somewhere between pantheism and panentheism, yet breaks open the categorical limits those two terms impose. Whatever the case, the ancient texts seem to point us toward emanation as the way in which Ahura Mazda creates the uni/multiverse.
Also Alexander's point about the search for Truth to find the ethical Right is also a theme in Buddhism, where one of the primary goals of meditation is to see things as they really are without judgment or what have you, so that you don't miss anything and can make the kind of decision afterwards that is useful and, as Z's would say, progressive. The reality, and the process that leads to it, and the decisions made that are truly in accordance with this reality, are all included in the word "Dharma", in which all Buddhists take refuge every day, all the time. I can't help but see a deep similarity between Dharma and Asha. Asha is the True, it is the Right, and the Teachings concerning how to get there.

--Clint

Asha and Monism Part 2

Dear Clint

I absolutely agree.
Even if Mazdayasna as a complete message gets corrupted over the centuries and Zarathushtra is quite possibly the most misquoted and misunderstood philosopher ever, the monism in early Mazdayasna culture stays for centuries and only gets challanged with the frontal confrontation with the Abrahamic faiths from the 9th century AD onwards. And then we should still point out that early Judaism also shows signs of monism. It appears dualism really arrives in the Middle East with Helenic culture, then developed by the Greeks as an idea originally developed by the Egyptians. Dualism was always alien to Indo-European thought, it ws alien to Paganism in Europe and alien to Brahmanist philosophy in India too. So why should we assume that Zoroastrianism was dualist when it clearly never was. The MATERIAL is sacred to all of Zoroastrianism, this is what all Zoroastrian diversions have in common. And you can not regard that as sacred which you have earlier assumed to be seondary in grade to whatever else is primary. Mazdayasna is all about manifestations of forces (mentalities) with The Universe as the manifestation of Ahura Mazda (pantheism or panentheism) and with the Mazdayasna congregation as the manifestation of asha in harmony. Think forces, and you get at how Zarathushtra and his contemporaries viewed the world. This is of course also why they understood the actual world better than the Greeks or the Egyptians.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/3 wagnerian1



Ushta,

This is what I have discovered too, and reading translations of the liturgical texts, even some of the later Magian-crafted junk, you still get phrases alluding to how the gorgeousness of the universe is the body of Ahura Mazda. Usually in these passages there are references to the starry heavens, etc. There appears to be a monism that is somewhere between pantheism and panentheism, yet breaks open the categorical limits those two terms impose. Whatever the case, the ancient texts seem to point us toward emanation as the way in which Ahura Mazda creates the uni/multiverse.
Also Alexander's point about the search for Truth to find the ethical Right is also a theme in Buddhism, where one of the primary goals of meditation is to see things as they really are without judgment or what have you, so that you don't miss anything and can make the kind of decision afterwards that is useful and, as Z's would say, progressive. The reality, and the process that leads to it, and the decisions made that are truly in accordance with this reality, are all included in the word "Dharma", in which all Buddhists take refuge every day, all the time. I can't help but see a deep similarity between Dharma and Asha. Asha is the True, it is the Right, and the Teachings concerning how to get there.

--Clint

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Asha is the combination of the two. Therefore meaningless to translate to
> English.
> In a MONIST universe this makes sense, because what is right and what is
> true is and SHOULD BE interconnected. This only becomes a problem in
> dualism.
> Which again strengthens the idea that Zarathushtra and early Zoroastrians in
> general were all monists. They sought that which was true in order to find
> that which was right as the two are interconnected in a world which is ONE
> and not fundamentally divided.
> Ushta
> Alexander

Asha and Monism

Asha is the combination of the two. Therefore meaningless to translate to English.
In a MONIST universe this makes sense, because what is right and what is true is and SHOULD BE interconnected. This only becomes a problem in dualism.
Which again strengthens the idea that Zarathushtra and early Zoroastrians in general were all monists. They sought that which was true in order to find that which was right as the two are interconnected in a world which is ONE and not fundamentally divided.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/8/3 Special Kain



Right as in ethics, true as in science.

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Mo, 3.8.2009:


Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Re: Asha is Not.
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 3. August 2009, 3:58



Dear Rory and Dino,

Is Asha "What is Right" in Science or is it "What is Right" in a Moral and Legal way?
The two are not the same!?

Parviz

--- On Sun, 8/2/09, roryyoung15 wrote:


From: roryyoung15
Subject: [Ushta] Re: Asha is ...
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Sunday, August 2, 2009, 10:56 AM



Dear Dino,

Yes, I believe you are correct.

Ushta, Rory

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> Dear Rory,
>
> But there's nothing more to it. It's the order of things (we see that trees grow and people refine what nature has given to them), it is whatever is objectively true, normatively right and genuine. And it applies to all that is - whether in the heavens or down here on Earth. That's why there can't be any hierarchical relationship between the physical world as we know it and those fancy astral amusement parks.
>
> Ushta, Dino
>
> --- roryyoung15 schrieb am Fr, 31.7.2009:
>
> Von: roryyoung15
> Betreff: [Ushta] Re: FAQs, data base
> An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
> Datum: Freitag, 31. Juli 2009, 8:28
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Dear Dino,
>
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> Agreed, we can't travel back in time. However because the Gathas are written in a dead language they will retain their original meaning to a large extent because a dead language is no longer evolving. I don't believe anyone is trying to elevate the word Asha above all else. What led you to that idea? As it is such a crucial part of the religion does it not deserve special attention? I agree that the meaning has to change or rather that the meaning/understandi ng of "Asha" should progress and become more precise in keeping with the principles of the Amesha Spentas.
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> Ushta, Rory
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> --- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
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> > Dear Clint and Rory,
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> > We can't travel back in time to dig up the original and true meaning of much cherished words and concepts. All we have are words and concept that we're using today. Words take their meanings from social uses. Times change, and words change with them, so to speak. Radically elevating the word "Asha" above all else and beyond the conceivable doesn't get us anywhere in this context. All we can do is throwing the concepts we live with at the word "Asha" and see what fits historically and linguistically.
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> > Taken this radically pragmatic stance for granted, doesn't the meaning of the word "Asha" change, too? Yes, it does, it changes with everything said about and everything acted upon it.
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> > Ushta, Dino