torsdagen den 31:e december 2009

The Concepts of Asha and Asha-Vahishta

Dear Parviz and Ardeshir

I agree with Parviz 100% in that there are "many ashas". I believe the whole point is that Zarahushtra and the other Mazdayasna philosophers stipulated our world as one based on "ahura" and one on "mazda" and of course "asha" must relate to this BASIC CONDITION too. So when we speak of many ashas it is not as if asha is divided in itself (Ardeshir does not have to worry) but rather that Asha (as the organisation of a Monist Universe) has an endless number of ATTRIBUTES and what is driving this division into attributes is precisely Mazda. This fits with Mazdayasna philsophy, not least with Zarathushra himself, and with where phenomenology is at in contemporary philosophy too. Mazda is what chooses the specific expression of Asha in a specific situation (thereby creating "a specific asha"). Does this make sense to you guys too?

Zaneta is sweet to quote lexicons here but her suggested translations are either off the mark of what we are trying to discuss here, or actually just poor translations not worthy of comment. Parviz has already translated the expressions involved far better.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/31 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Parviz, and DEAR Zanetta;

i made my point that based on the poetic gathas, there is NO difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa. ashaa is the wondrous truth of ahurmazd, it is the ahuric effortless ease. vahishtaa is the sense of awe, beauty and wonder of this divine truth. i cited my argument on many passages on the poetic gathas and their brilliant ancient exegesis.

now, if u disagree and still believe them to be 2 separate concepts, u are free to do so. however, if u agree that zoroastrianism is pretty much a monistic worldview, which i fully agree with such assessment. u can not claim that they are 2 sepereate ashaas. there is ONE ashaa and it applies to infinite dimensions. the same way, that that there is one vohueman that applies to infinite dimensions.

furthermore, our literature is affirmative that all these AUSPICIOUS and ETERNAL ATTRIBUTES are ONE.

Ardeshir
On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 12:26 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Alex managed to f**k up the point I was trying to make and Ardeshir and Zaneta are running with the ball now to I don't know where. My point was that when one is dealing with complex social issues, there are many Ashas that are at work: you must choose the best Asha, the Vahishtaye-Ashem, or else lesser Ashas will get you "Some" results, but they will not be the best.

What are the points you guys (Alex, Ardeshir, Zaneta) are trying to make? Yes Alex, I know that it will be very hard for persons with cut off hands to pick their nose as they used to ; your observations are brilliant as usual, but how do they relate to Asha versus Asha-Vahishta?

Parviz


--- On Wed, 12/30/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 7:06 AM


Dear Zanetta

YES, thanks for all ur wonderful postings and the heartfelt comment on this one.

Ardeshir

On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 3:20 AM, Zaneta Garratt wrote:

hi Alexander,

this statement is indeed very true-


This is why countries with sharia law have such a huge problem with endemic corruption. They focus on the small fish and miss the big fish instead.

and this is also a problem in the western lands as the big fish have both power, influence and money behind them and with a set of excellent ruthless lawers working for them as well, they are very very hard to catch-they are the great evil behind the drug pushers,forced prostitution, many murders and theft-and many of them are psychopaths as well, THIS meaning THAT they haVE NEITHER EMPATHY NOR CONSCIENCE-the kind of rotten evil that Zarathustra spoke up about and faught against-unfortunate ly male-chauvenist countries are places where this type of person thrives as the caring empathetic women are so squashed down that they have no influence in the ruling of the land-

best wishes from zaneta



To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
From: bardissimo@gmail. com
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 17:19:04 +0100

Subject: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao


May I point out that cutting off hands of thieves does NOT work?
First, they become uncapable of every doing decent work with their hand ever again should they (as they often do) become constructive towards the rest of society later in their lives.
Second, while this method catches petty thieves it misses the big thieves in any given society, the robbers that REALLY destroy a society from within. It misses the thieves that do not tough stolen goods with their own hands.
This is why countries with sharia law have such a huge problem with endemic corruption. They focus on the small fish and miss the big fish instead.
The lowest rates of thievery and corruption in the world are in Scandinavia and Japan. These cultures do not cut off the hands of thieves. They never did, actually.
So you need a better example than this one if it is used to make a point. Zoroastrian ethics does not exclude people from society for the rest of their lives.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/29 Parviz Varjavand


Dear Ardeshir,

I am a Mazdayasni and not a Zartoshtyasni. I do not care what Z. said if it does not appeal to my Mind-Mazda. I find the exercise of reducing the Gathas to another one of those books (the names of which I do not want to mention because persons hypnotized by those books can kill you with greatest of ease on their conscience just because they think you are insulting their book) is in very poor taste.

We all want to stop thievery because thieves upset the balance in our society. Some Books tell us how we may cut off the hands of a thief and stop thievery. This solution really works. Is this solution an ASHA to solve that particular problem of thievery or not? Please be kind enough to answer me this one simple question of mine before we go any further and a "YES" or "NO" answer is all I want at this point. If you go into further elaboration than a Yes or No answer, you will be venturing into the Asha-Vahishta realm and stealing the point I want to make.

Yours,
Parviz Varjavand

P.S. I see that I have given away the plot, so I will make my point. For me, to cut off hands has its own ASHA of stoping theivery, but it is not the ASHA-VAHISHTA in my mind to accomplish this job.


--- On Wed, 12/23/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 1:23 PM



Dear Parviz,

my arguments are all based on the poetic gathas and their ancient exegesis.
vahishtaa, is the element of "infinite awe, wonder and beauty" in ashaa, or in other words it is the "infinite awe, wonder and beauty" in the essence/core/ truth of the universe, man and GODHEAD.

There are really NOT many different ashaas. There is only ONE infinitely creative and intelligent principle/ashaa, that applies to many spheres of existence including our human realm.

this concept is almost identical to the vedic idea of "rta." there is one "rta" also known as dharma in later literature. While dharma is one, when it applies to human society and ethics it becomes known as human dharma, or when it is applied to the dynamic principle behind cosmic laws, it becomes known as cosmic dharma. but "rta aka dharma," is a creative, luminous principle at the core of existence and is really one.

if u still disagree, i ask that u cite poetic gathic verses that support ur point of view. because what i wrote above is based on the enchanting gathas, and is further confirmed by their ancient exegesis.

ardeshir



On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:59 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Parviz

In what way do we not see the difference between Asha and Asha-Vahistha?
And why this constant attempt at creating conflict? Just get to the point, please! Just don't throw invectives at us, what good does that do?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/23 Parviz Varjavand


Dear Ardeshir,

I am glad that you are in Law. When in Sassanian times they wanted to judge if a person was telling the Truth, Asha, they would hold the person's head under water while a person would shoot an arrow and a horseman would gallop and try to retrieve the arrow and bring it back. If by the time the arrow was brought back, the poor person had not drowned, he/she was telling the truth, was an Ashavand. If the person had drowned, he /she was a lier, a Drojwand. I can see you and Alex beeing confortable in such a court of law, because you do not diffrenciate between Asha and Asha-Vahishta. Those who think of Asha as a monolit can do such things. If you do not get wat I want to say, have a happy day! I hate to waste my breath.

Karma be with you!
Ardeshir

On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 5:27 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Alex,

Asha (for me) is also the profound stupidity of men who put too many things in one bag and call them all ASHA. All stupid religious person do this. Karma of taking a monumental crap. Thao of falling off the stairs and breaking your neck. etc..etc...

Parviz

Beyond the congress in Dubai - and what we can learn for 2010!

Dear Parviz

I agree 100% and we will soon get there.
By the way, as a nice and encouraging end note for 2009, we have doubled the number of members on the Ushta List to 127 members at last count. And we have broken all records this year when it comes to the number of responded postings and the number of posters among the members. Please note that all Ushta members have found the forum through their own efforts or word of mouth and not through some canpaigning. That is evidence of its strength.
It's time to start discussing what we can do next in 2010!

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/31 Parviz Varjavand

I am in Dubai and enjoying the conference, thank you very much! You can never please all the people all the times. The key is for each group to organize their own kind of event and gain strength thus. Dubai congress is about an old guard enjoying seeing each-other one more time. I love seeing all the old faces, but ideologically, I can not stand any one of them, they are all out to lunch (and by the way, the lunch and dinners are out of site).

EZC has its own agenda and it is as useless to try to attach the new converts and the Monist movement amongst some of us to them. Alex should rent a hall in Sweden and have a congress for the Monists and supporters of conversion group of Zoroastrians. That would be the way to go for our movement if we want to raise our flag and see how many would salute it. Otherwise when we sit at other groups table, we should enjoy the food and vine and not make a spectacle of ourselves.

My two cents,
Parviz Varjavand


--- On Wed, 12/30/09, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Congress in Dubai
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: "MEHER AMALSAD" , mehran_sepehri@yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 10:27 PM

Exactly!!!
But why not ask the European Zoroastrian Center in Paris if they would find it feasible to organise such an event? Since the EZC is located geographically right between India, Iran and America, and was founded by Irani and not Parsi Zoroastrians, they should understand what is required to make such an event work.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/31 yury jakymec

DEar Alexander and friends!

Thanks for your mail Alex!
I think a proper congress may include Zoroastrians from all kind of backgrounds. Unfortunately, still exists little will to make something where averybody are able to attend, participate, interchange ideas and share the same table.
I have a dream, that one day, all Zartushties can meet and talk freely and respect each other no matter which are the points of view.
Perhaps this job has to start among ourselves, learning to tolerate those who are closer to us and then we can extend our efforts to meet those who live farther.
At least we are learning that we need a common language to speak. IN Dubai are our Iranian friends who feel discriminated because of language, in other parts of the world, there are parsis who cannot speak persian and cannot attend in such conditions to events planned by Iranian Zatushties. We come from very different backgrounds and we cannot assume a language is more international than others, because we have the case in Iran where some people from our community find difficult to learn English.
It is my humble opinion!

Shaad Baashid!

Yury

--- On Wed, 12/30/09, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Congress in Dubai
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: mehran_sepehri@ yahoo.com, "Yury Jakymec"
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 9:24 PM



Dear Mehran and Yuri

Please note that there are thousands of Parsees who will not go to Dubai for this conference precisely because they are not interested in taking part in something with so little substance. And then we have thousands of converts too. What we need to do is to organise proper conferences that are both educational, scholarly and entertaining, and definitely not excluding.
Dubai is full of fari translators. That none of them were hired for this conference speaks volumes.

Ushta
Alexander

To: yuryjakymec@ yahoo.com
CC: zoroastrians@ yahoogroups. com

From: mehran_sepehri@ yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:38:52 -0800
Subject: Re: [zoroastrians] Congress In Dubai


Dear Yuri,

Thanks. Last night about 80 Iranian deligates sat in disbelief for the evening show
featuring Bowman Irani from India telling jokes and stories in Indian language.
While those from Indian origian laughed and enjoyed themselves, Iranians just
looked and could not understand a word. We have certainly felt like second class
citizens at the congress. Unfortunately, the congress chairperson is not known
for her communication and team working skills. She is so proud of herself
for disallowing any alternatives or even suggestions.

Happy Holidays.

Mehran

--- On Tue, 12/29/09, yury jakymec wrote:

From: yury jakymec
Subject: Re: [zoroastrians] Congress In Dubai
To: "Mehran Sepehri"
Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 7:53 AM

Dear Mehran:

With all the respect I have for you I feel sad to listen that in a way you and our Iranian fellows are not well treated, and no place for debate exist. Perhaps our dream of seeing Zoroastrians from different backgrounds sharing the same table and interchanging their ideas is something we have to wait and work with patience.

I hope better days are yet to come! INcluding those from the 3 days yet to tolerate.

Shaad Baashid!

Yury Jakymec

--- On Tue, 12/29/09, Mehran Sepehri wrote:

From: Mehran Sepehri

Subject: [zoroastrians] Congress In Dubai
To: "Z list"
Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 5:48 AM



Reporting from Dubai on the second day of WZC,

Over 700 Zoroastrians gathered in Dubai to attend the 9th World Zoroastrian
Congress. The first day was a great show, indeed a great evening show.
The food was excellent and a chance to renew freindships.

The day before the congress was a roundtable for Z. Anjomans. However,
unlike its name, there was no roundtable discussion, only packed set of
speeches. In fact, the congress chairperson personally suppressed any
discussion out of context.

Iranians left out, as many of them paid the expensive entrance fee to
find ouit that there was no arrangements for English to Farsi translation.
The schedule was packed with 'who is who' speeches, again no room
for discussion or debate.

The evening was the time waiting for the grand entrance of his highness
majesty, a third grade ruler of Dubai. The congress chairwoman greeted
his highness forward and backward as if her business depended on it.
Zoroastrian guests waited patiently as they were locked in while his
majesty could eat first!!

There is 3 more days of the congress to tolerate, while many people are
shopping and sightseeing, and the congress chiarwoman is giving gifts
and throphies to her selected friends. Maybe the next congress in India
will be better suited for those looking for solutions than presentations.

M. Sepehri
Dubai

onsdagen den 30:e december 2009

Zoroastrianism and Physics (was: The metaphysics of contingency)

Dear Dino and Tomash

You are both right!!!
Our focus is on Zoroastrian ethics, but it certainly helps when a teaching from 3,700 years ago is perfectly compatible with modern science.
The genius of Zarathushtra and the early Mazdayasni of course being that they were determined to speak about the human condition and ignore guesswork on scientific matters, the big mistake of the Abrahamic faiths. Because once you start rambling fantasies to your audience rather than deal with reality, you end up with a false moralism instead of a true ethos.
The facts of life are interesting and endlessly fascinating enough.
And if anything, modern science makes us humble towards existence. The Universe is amazingly complex and fascinating! We don't even know what particles or fields (or matter) are, we just know that those things are what our perceptions produce when observing the inner workings of our reality. And with the search for a Higgs boson at CERN, Physics has now started to take the next big thing seriously: Spacetime itself. The founding phenomenon of our reality that the early Mazdayasni called Zurvan.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/30 Special Kain

Dear Tomash

The point here is that every action causes a reaction. So if anyone could travel back in time and make a different choice 300 years ago, our present reality would be different only insofar as that somebody had a stronger influence on his fake contemporaries than someone else. Perhaps if he went on to became a politician 300 years ago and raise quite modern questions and make choices that were usually unheard of 300 years ago, our world would look a little differently.
Probabilism simply means that nothing is 100% fixed. So the physical laws that we take for granted must have come into being at one point in time, they must have evolved into the present laws that influence our existence. Just apply evolutionism even to the most solid-as-a-rock objects in our world! Nothing remains unscathed.
Thirdly, all will is free, but not unconditionally so. Free will only means that our decisions are fundamentally contingent. In this sense all will is conditional and free at the same time, simply because conditional doesn't mean determined. Will isn't random, but blind desire is. Please don't forget that there are awareness and self-control.

Ushta, Dino

--- Tomash schrieb am Mi, 30.12.2009:

Von: Tomash
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Charles S. Peirce on determinism (was: The metaphysics of contingency)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2009, 1:39

I believe consistency is true.

I'll draw an example from a Sci-Fi story I have been creating.
Imagine a man who has the ability to time travel and does not age (his body in a way is "frozen in time" but his mind has full control over it), he exists beyond our world sort of speak. When he zaps himself into a certain point in time and spends a period if time there, like let's 1000 years, his presence and actions there have an effect on the world there. But then when he zaps into another time period, just for an infinitely small period of time he is absent from this world, when he returns the world would exist as if he never did exist. In other words, the world has recalibrated itself to accommodate the fact that he never existed since the world could not detect his presence, just for an infinitely small period of time. Imagine the man is from the future, so he knows the past of his time. When he went into the past and changed it he also change the period of his own time, so the past he knew from his own time is different then the one that he had an effect on. But when the world recalibrates itself, the past he knew would again be true. If he would return to his own time by zapping himself there from the past, nothing would have changed in his own time.

There are many interpretations if quantum mechanics, some of which try to explain whether or not quantum mechanics are deterministic. It seems many much smarter and wiser than be cannot agree on this subject and so I won't bother with it until I'm able to understand even its basis.

To me it is personally it is of no practical importance what is true in this case. I'm more concerned with ethics and the idea we have no free will does not terrify me the slightest, even if I believed this to be true.

I personally do not understand of which probabilism you speak of. As far as I read there are several interpretation of probability and I'm sorry to say my English is not good enough yet to try and understand them all. My understanding of probability is naive for now. Even though I love philosophy and can call myself an amateur philosopher, my way of explaining things is no different than that of the ancient philosophers and I have almost no knowledge of post-medieval philosophy nor am I interested in it that much. I understand it may seem as a handicap of sorts, but it does not bother me.

Pozdrav,
Tomash

tisdagen den 29:e december 2009

Charles S. Peirce on determinism (was: The metaphysics of contingency)

Dear Dino

I agree 100%!!!
And to Thomas, I'm not trying to play any games with words whatsoever. I just try to clarify our respective positions in this debate for us all to better understand science and scientific theory and how it relates to Mazdayasna. OK?

Brotherly love
Alexander

2009/12/29 Special Kain

«Were the ends of a person already explicit, there would be no room for development, for growth, for life; and consequently there would be no personality. The mere carrying out of predetermined purposes is mechanical. This remark has an application to the philosophy of religion. It is that genuine evolutionary philosophy, that is, one that makes the principle of growth a primordial element of the universe, is so far from being antagonistic to the idea of a personal creator, that it is really inseparable from that idea; while a necessitarian religion is in an altogether false position and is destined to become disintegrated. But a pseudo-evolutionism which enthrones mechanical law above the principle of growth is at once scientifically unsatisfactory, as giving no possible hint of how the universe has come about, and hostile to all hopes of personal relations to God.»

«Try to verify any law of nature, and you will find that the more precise your observations, the more certain they will be to show irregular departures from the law. We are accustomed to ascribe these, and I do not say wrongly, to errors of observation; yet we cannot usually account for such errors in any antecedently probable way.»

http://www.cspeirce.com/menu/library/bycsp/necessity/necessity.htm


--- Special Kain schrieb am Di, 29.12.2009:

Von: Special Kain
Betreff: AW: [Ushta] Re: The metaphysics of contingency (was: Science applied to Ahura Mazda and Asha)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2009, 9:47


Dear Tomash

Compatibilism simply means that determinism and contingency aren't mutually exclusive. Both phenomena can, even though logically contradicting, coexist at the same place at the same time: within the very same world. The thing with tychism is that it conveys the idea of absolute chance: it's not only our limited understanding of the world's nature nor errors in statistical measurement techniques, but the world's very own nature that is probabilistic.
The point here is that we can't tell what's true: the world's nature vs. statistical measurement techniques. So, according to instrumentalism, we could simply say that BOTH claims are EQUALLY true, since the consequences are pretty much the same. And all our knowledge about the world and its forces and workings are based on experience: reality as we know it isn't independent of our experiences, whether that's conducting research or reading scientific books and talking with scientists and researchers.
So rather than talking in terms of determinism/ indeterminism or compatibilism/ incompatibilism I prefer the words tychism, necessarism and probabilism.

Ushta, Dino

Zoroastrian ethics: Asha vs Dao

May I point out that cutting off hands of thieves does NOT work?
First, they become uncapable of every doing decent work with their hand ever again should they (as they often do) become constructive towards the rest of society later in their lives.
Second, while this method catches petty thieves it misses the big thieves in any given society, the robbers that REALLY destroy a society from within. It misses the thieves that do not tough stolen goods with their own hands.
This is why countries with sharia law have such a huge problem with endemic corruption. They focus on the small fish and miss the big fish instead.
The lowest rates of thievery and corruption in the world are in Scandinavia and Japan. These cultures do not cut off the hands of thieves. They never did, actually.
So you need a better example than this one if it is used to make a point. Zoroastrian ethics does not exclude people from society for the rest of their lives.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/29 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Ardeshir,

I am a Mazdayasni and not a Zartoshtyasni. I do not care what Z. said if it does not appeal to my Mind-Mazda. I find the exercise of reducing the Gathas to another one of those books (the names of which I do not want to mention because persons hypnotized by those books can kill you with greatest of ease on their conscience just because they think you are insulting their book) is in very poor taste.

We all want to stop thievery because thieves upset the balance in our society. Some Books tell us how we may cut off the hands of a thief and stop thievery. This solution really works. Is this solution an ASHA to solve that particular problem of thievery or not? Please be kind enough to answer me this one simple question of mine before we go any further and a "YES" or "NO" answer is all I want at this point. If you go into further elaboration than a Yes or No answer, you will be venturing into the Asha-Vahishta realm and stealing the point I want to make.

Yours,
Parviz Varjavand

P.S. I see that I have given away the plot, so I will make my point. For me, to cut off hands has its own ASHA of stoping theivery, but it is not the ASHA-VAHISHTA in my mind to accomplish this job.


--- On Wed, 12/23/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 1:23 PM



Dear Parviz,

my arguments are all based on the poetic gathas and their ancient exegesis.
vahishtaa, is the element of "infinite awe, wonder and beauty" in ashaa, or in other words it is the "infinite awe, wonder and beauty" in the essence/core/ truth of the universe, man and GODHEAD.

There are really NOT many different ashaas. There is only ONE infinitely creative and intelligent principle/ashaa, that applies to many spheres of existence including our human realm.

this concept is almost identical to the vedic idea of "rta." there is one "rta" also known as dharma in later literature. While dharma is one, when it applies to human society and ethics it becomes known as human dharma, or when it is applied to the dynamic principle behind cosmic laws, it becomes known as cosmic dharma. but "rta aka dharma," is a creative, luminous principle at the core of existence and is really one.

if u still disagree, i ask that u cite poetic gathic verses that support ur point of view. because what i wrote above is based on the enchanting gathas, and is further confirmed by their ancient exegesis.

ardeshir



On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:59 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Parviz

In what way do we not see the difference between Asha and Asha-Vahistha?
And why this constant attempt at creating conflict? Just get to the point, please! Just don't throw invectives at us, what good does that do?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/23 Parviz Varjavand


Dear Ardeshir,

I am glad that you are in Law. When in Sassanian times they wanted to judge if a person was telling the Truth, Asha, they would hold the person's head under water while a person would shoot an arrow and a horseman would gallop and try to retrieve the arrow and bring it back. If by the time the arrow was brought back, the poor person had not drowned, he/she was telling the truth, was an Ashavand. If the person had drowned, he /she was a lier, a Drojwand. I can see you and Alex beeing confortable in such a court of law, because you do not diffrenciate between Asha and Asha-Vahishta. Those who think of Asha as a monolit can do such things. If you do not get wat I want to say, have a happy day! I hate to waste my breath.

Karma be with you!
Parviz

--- On Tue, 12/22/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 8:23 AM



Dear Parviz, Alexander and Dino,

Thanks for ur kind comments, i am truly humbled. i greatly concur with Alexander
that terms such as ashaa, vohumanoe, and many others should not be translated, but clearly and lucidly explained.

it is also of paramount importance to understand such terms/concepts as they were understood in the poetic gathic language of three to four thousand years ago. as i repeatedly affirmed, manoe in the poetic gathas is much more than our today's definition of mind, it is consciousness, awareness. the german bewusstsein seems to be the closest match.

Parviz and Dino brought a very interesting point, and that is what is the practical implication of ashaa in our daily lives. this is the subject of another article, that i would be happy to elaborate on this weekend.

However, quoting Alexander the following description seems to closely fit the ancient exegesis on the subject:

"-Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion"

Parviz, i need to affirm the following; that mixing ashaa with cosmic or ethical laws is not subsantiated by the poetic gathas, and is similar to equate knowings/bits of info with knowledge or rather meta-knowledge/ wisdom.

ashaa is the creative principle behind the rules. since my background is in law, let me give the following example. i have to say in start, that this example is not perfect, but approximate enough.

when u are in court, u must look into the laws, and follow certain rules, otherwise there will be chaos. but ur job is to be CREATIVE and think of ingenious ways to interpret the laws and expand their implication in favor of the party u represent. if the laws/rules were black and white at all times, there would have been no need for amendements to the constitution and/ or creation of new laws by the congress. in this context, u could say the ashaa here is the creative intention behind the laws, and the ability to make them evolve/grow and expand to brighter horizons.

Ardeshir


On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 5:27 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Alex,

Asha (for me) is also the profound stupidity of men who put too many things in one bag and call them all ASHA. All stupid religious person do this. Karma of taking a monumental crap. Thao of falling off the stairs and breaking your neck. etc..etc...

Parviz

--- On Mon, 12/21/09, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Monday, December 21, 2009, 8:59 PM



Dear Dino and Ardeshir

Very well written!
To better understand the concept of asha, let's look at how western philosophy has come to see human ideals:

- Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion

Now, asha is all four at the same time. Asha is both truth, beauty, the good and passion and more specifically the pursuit of them all, therefore a term which we should insist on as just asha and not translate too easily to other languages than Avestan.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/21 Special Kain

Dear Ardeshir

It's so perfectly clear now that Daoist philosophy and Zoroastrian philosophy have so much in common!

http://www.iep. utm.edu/daoism/

It seems that Asha and Wu-Wei are almost the same: the Dao (the process of reality) as expressed through Wu-Wei (effortless action).

Ushta, Dino

--- ardeshir farhmand schrieb am Mo, 21.12.2009:

Von: ardeshir farhmand
Betreff: [Ushta] "to make true/realize wonder & beauty; ashá/artá, Vedic ŗtá, Norse Urðr,"
An: "mehrdad farahmand"
CC: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Montag, 21. Dezember 2009, 5:01


"to make true/realize wonder & beauty; ashá/artá, Vedic ŗtá, Norse Urðr,"

"ashá" is a fascinating concept in Zarathushtra's teachings, and is the most repeated in the enchanting Gathas or the poetic songs of the seer/prophet. Yasna 27.14 or "ashem vohü" manthra is dedicated to ashá, and is the second most effective manthra in the enchanting songs. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the true meaning of ashá according to the poetic gathas, the ancient exegesis, and a comparative study of ashá in the vedic and norse literature.

ashá, is the second of "ameshá/amertá spentá" or auspicious immortals, hence one of the eternal spiritual aspects, emanations or creations of ahura mazda through which all other creation is realized.

ashá comes from the root ah/as, Proto Indo European "es," meaning: essence, underlying principle, truth, the inward intention, origin, source. Greek "ousia" is a cognate. The ancient commentaries translate ashá/artá as "rásti ahurmazd" meaning the truth of ahurmazd, or the divine essence. As i said in my earlier articles, ashá and ahurá come from the same root, and the ancient commentaries translate ashá also as ahuric virtues, ahuric efficacy, ahuric skill, ahuric excellence, ahuric ability to make true or "ahráyih."

In Avestan the sound "sh" is interchangeable with the sound "rt." Thus, ashá is also interchangeably pronounced as artá. ashá/artá is very closely connected to the idea of ease, flow, skill, creativity in workmanship. It should be added that the ancient exegesis always adds the words "kar o kar-op," or creativity, opus, master-work as a footnote to ashá, ahráyih or ahuric essence/virtues.

ashá/artá 'close connection to "ease in producing the intended effect," is demonstrated in many passages in the enchanting Gathas including; second line of Yasna 27.14 and second line of Yasna 51.8. The word ushtá, meaning "fulfillment of wish/desire," "radiant happiness," an epithet of ashá, is fundamental to both demonstrating this connection and understanding the concept of ashá.

The Vedic equivalent ŗtá in the Rig Veda also means: truth, true essence and skill in workmanship, and is closely associated with rhythm, verse and the cosmic order.
It might be additionally illuminating to compare the inherent idea of divine virtue/skill/ ease inherent in the idea of ashá/artá with the Proto Indo European ar-ti (Skt. rtih "manner, mode;" Gk. artios "accomplish,complete ;" Armenian arnam "make;" Ger. art "manner, mode"), from the base ar- "fit together, join"

The Norse Urðr is also very close. Urdor is not "fate"[as believed by many. It is rather a continuous FLOW of happenings, actions, abilities and powers that SHAPE and CREATE future and the fabric of reality. Urðr is a a conceptual mystery and refers to how the intentions and activities, are capable of weaving reality. The word seem to carry the inherent idea in ashá/artá in the sense of "to make true" and "to bring to realization. It comes in the same sense in the second line of Yasna 30.9, when it refers to ashá/artá in bringing about the continuous renovation of the existence.

According to Denkard 3.13-14, vöhü manö/consciousness is active in good thoughts, seraosha/inspiratio n in good words, and ashá/artá in good deeds. Ashá is thus "represented as active and effective. In addition, by a word play and referring to the first line of Yasna 33.1 and the first line of Yasna 28.11, Denkard exegesis calls ashá, the discerning eye/áish of life/existence.

The idea of ease and skill to realize and make true, seems to be the underlying principle of ashá. ashá is closely connected to, but is NOT the cosmic order. it is instead the creative and ingenious principle behind the cosmic order and the ethical rules of the humanity. ashá is the flame and spark of the existence, an animating and creative principle of infinite intelligence.

It is important to remember that time and space are relative. At a given moment, in a certain circumstance, there are impossibilities. But from the eternal point, the point beyond time and space, in the infinity of time, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE, and the existence is an amazing field of magical and awesome possibilities. There is nothing impossible in the existence except what is outside manö/consciousness/ bewusstsein. What is not in our consciousness today, may be in our consciousness after some time for the consciousness can grow and become ever wider/vöhü manö. And this potential possibility of infinite wonder, beauty and awe/vohü is the truth of ahurmazd or "ashem vohü." This wondrous and truly magical essence is at the core of the existence.

According to the third line of "ashem vohü" manthra, the truth/ashá of our being is related to, but different from all others, it is truly unique. But in the truth of our being, according to our own formation, our growth/progress is unlimited. It is LIMITED only by our IGNORANCE of the true ahuric essence of the existence.
ardeshir

Genetics and probabilities

Dear Katherine

Thank you for this inspiring educational odyssey!!!
The really scary thing with Zizek's utopia of "sameness" is of course that it is Zizek's own "same" which everybody else should adjust to. What else? So much for sameness (which should of course be read superiority instead).
I get a sense that Zizek is so caught into the idea of creating controversy that he has lost his otherwise admirable mind on the way. Unfortunately all my respect for him thereby goes out the window too.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/29 Katherine Trammell
>
> I agree Dino,
>
> I am sorry for being so redundant here, but in measuring probabilities, there are new studies that indicate the ongoing diversity in human personalities and physical characteristics can be acquired by a human gestate going back 22 generations or more. A gestate does not necessarily get all the expressed characteristics from just its parents and grandparents. The personality and physical characteristics of a human being reach far back into one's history. Thus, I am for honoring our ancestors who went through and survived so much to allow us to be among the living today.
>
> For the reasons of genetic diversity, there can be no archetypal human being, ever, unless somehow we are able to be cloned at a 100% level of gene transmission. But, even in cloning of higher level organisms there is a probability that not all alleles will be passed on to create a 100% clone. Before Dolly the Cloned Sheep was born, cloning failed in at least a dozen other offspring and they died or were prematurely aborted. One third of all pregnancies end up in spontaneous abortions, often due to the mother's body rejecting certain genetic markers in the gestate..
>
> Recent genetic studies of so called identical twins found that in the original splitting of one cell into two separate organisms, one twin actually received more of a DNA loading during meiosis, which is a process of reductional division in which the number of chromosomes per cell is cut in half (splitting of the cell) than the other twin. Each twin then begins from that one split cell, which each then begin to split and increase in cells and become separate human organisms.
>
> Before advanced techniques in micro cellular observations it was believed that it was an equal distribution of a cell split for each twin, but now it is known that there are subtle genetic differences in each separate cell resulting in a twin.
>
> Although it was first observed that identical twins seemed to be an exact copy of the other twin, recent studies showed that identical twins are not as completely identical as was first observed. Thus, in a larger sense, this leads to the higher degree of probability in nontwin gestates, even among siblings which is readily observable in nearly all families.
>
> Therefore, any political or religious idea that we can all be led or trained to become part of a Zizekian or Marxist utopia of any kind based on one groups' desire for perfection is simply impossible based on the probability of differences in genetic expression. Mr. Zizek would indeed benefit from exposure to modern Zoroastrian philosophy. Therefore: To demand or think possible any kind of utopia which in reality requires sameness, is to date impossible in any human organism. Hope this helps, Katherine
>
> --- On Mon, 12/28/09, Special Kain wrote:
>
> From: Special Kain
> Subject: AW: [Ushta]
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Monday, December 28, 2009, 9:15 AM
>
>
>
> Dear Ardeshir
>
> Frankly, this sounds like Platonism. And I'm allergic to such words as «the true divine».
> As soon as we aknowledge the fact that the world is essentially probabilistic, there are no archetypes or supreme originals anymore. There's only change left, and the world will be whatever we're going to make of it - knowing that the world could have been different from what it is.
> Zarathushtra was proto-Habermasian to the extent that he wanted the best argument to win - neither God's will nor outdated traditions. If we want to take Zarathushtra' s contributions to the history of philosophy seriously, we have to set a new date for the beginning of the Enlightenment movement.
>
> Ushta, Dino

måndagen den 28:e december 2009

The metaphysics of contingency (was: Science applied to Ahura Mazda and Asha) Part 2

But then you have changed the concept of "free will" from its historical meaning to a brand new one. Which in any case we would probably have to do since a soul that wills separate from a body that follows orders apparently does not exist anyway. But how do you define determinism when physics says that apratcle can take many different routes and end up in many different places even when the laws of physics and the position at the outset are identical? Have you changed the meaning of "determinism" too???
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/28 Tomash

Well I'm a determinist. I'm also a compatibilist. I think free will and causality are not incompatible. Either free will is the manifestation of causality or causality the manifestation of free will. Or both are true or none: they exist parallely. Concept of fate or destiny is another matter, of how we perceive and attempt to explain certain events.

Tomash

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> Charles Peirce was absolutely and most of logically right: If the world
> would have been DETERMINISTIC (and if it is, it has to be 100%
> deterministic, there can be no such thing as 99% determinism, in which case
> it is no longer determinism at all), then there would have been NO WORLD AT
> ALL. Indeterminism is the very requirement for difference to exist, and
> difference is essential to existence (such as the fundamental difference
> between that which exists and that which does not exist). Zarathushtra
> realised this too, as his starting point was NOT some prophecies transmitted
> by angels, but rather his VERY OWN AWE towards existence. Werner Heisenberg
> then draw the logical conclusions for physics in the 1920s when he
> identified and proved "the uncertainty principle". Any Abrahamic or
> post-Abrahamic idea of determinism is thereby dead. The future is open and
> not pre-programmed, even the so called laws of the universe are not
> necessarily set in stone anymore. Rather, existence is full of contingencies
> and emergences as a consequence of its indeterministic nature.
> Ushta
> Alexander
>
> 2009/12/28 ardeshir farhmand

>
> > I agree with DINO here 100%, well written. i will post an article later
> > confirming what u said in a more poetic gathic style.
> >
> > Ardeshir
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Special Kain wrote:

> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Dear Daniel and Alexander
> >>
> >> It probably was Zarathushtra who introduced contingency and therefore the
> >> basic principle behind existential philosophy 3700 years ago: We could have
> >> chosen other thoughts, words and deeds than the thoughts we actually think,
> >> the words we actually speak and the things we actually do.
> >>
> >> The American logician and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce was the first
> >> to propose tychism as the doctrine of absolute chance (and as opposed to
> >> necessarism as the doctrine of necessity) in the 19th century and at a time
> >> when the whole universe seemed to be a well-oiled Newtonian automaton.
> >> Little deviations in measurements don't reveal errors in measurement
> >> techniques only, but they also something about reality's own nature -
> >> remember that Peirce was a realist!
> >>
> >> «The only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature and for
> >> uniformity in general is to suppose them results of evolution. This supposes
> >> them not to be absolute, not to be obeyed precisely. It makes an element of
> >> indeterminacy, spontaneity, or absolute chance in nature. Just as, when we
> >> attempt to verify any physical law, we find our observations cannot be
> >> precisely satisfied by it, and rightly attribute the discrepancy to errors
> >> of observation, so we must suppose far more minute discrepancies to exist
> >> owing to the imperfect cogency of the law itself, to a certain swerving of
> >> the facts from any definite formula.»
> >>
> >> http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charles_Sanders_Peirce
> >>
> >> My two cents,
> >> Dino

Nietzsche and Zoroastrianism

Dear Katherine

Since Nietzsche is the ultimate critic of classic rationalism and objectivism (instead promoting relativism), I guess you could say that he epitomizes " the ultimate in rational, objective logic and thought" in the sense that he turns those things on their heads, rationalizes against rationalism itself so to speak. So perhaps "transrationalism" or "intersubjectivism" would be more appropriate terms to define his stance. But you are absolutely right, Nietzsche DID CHOOSE Zaratahushtra as a character for a very good reason for "Also Sprach Zarathustra". His is the the Zoroastrian voice in contemporary western culture ever since.
And while Slavoj Zizek's book "The Monstrosity of Christ" is extremely interesting for us as Zoroastrians, his latest book "First As Tragedy, Then As Farce" is a rather pathetic call for the return to some kind of communism. Zizek completely lacks Nietzsche's geniality and logical coherence.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/28 Katherine Trammell



Isn't Nietzschean philosophy the ultimate in rational, objective logic and thought, and therefore, very much like Zoroastrianism in its purest form? Katherine

--- On Sat, 12/26/09, Special Kain wrote:


From: Special Kain
Subject: AW: [Ushta] Slavoj Zizek and Zoroastrianism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 10:19 AM


How did Zizek ever think that there was nothing proto-Nietzschean about his philosophy? At least in his later works he is moving towards Nietzscheanism with lightning speed.

There's an eight-part film on YouTube where Zizek discusses his book, starting here: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=nBtsu23_ 9cM


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 25.12.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Slavoj Zizek and Zoroastrianism
An: "Ushta"
Datum: Freitag, 25. Dezember 2009, 16:58



Having just read Slavoj Zizek's "The Monstrosity of Christ", I really feel I need to get hold of Zizek and introduce him to Zoroastrianism and Mazdayasna philosophy.

Just take a look at the below quotes from the final chapter and conclusion of the book:

"I advocate an ethics without morality - but not in Nietzsche's sense of immoral ethics, enjoining us to remain faithful to ourselves, to persist on our chosen way beyond good and evil. Morality is concerned with the symmetry of my relations to other humans; its zero-level rule is "do not do to me what you do not want me to do to you". Ethics, on the contrary, deals with my consistency with myself, my fidelity to my own desire. This is along the lines of Friedrich Schiller's opposition of Naivety and Sentimentality: Morality is sentimental, it involves others only in the sense that, looking at my myself through others' eyes, I like myself to be good; ethics, on the contrary, is naive - I do what I have to do because it needs to be done, not because of my goodness. This naivety does not exclude reflexivity - it even enables it: a cold, cruel distance towards what one is doing." Slavoj Zizek (2009)

Isn't this PRECISELY what Zoroastrian ethics deals with (although I disagree with Zizek that there is any difference between him and Nietzsche here, Nietzsche's "faithfulness to oneself" is identical with the Zizekian "faithfulness to one's desire")? Zarathushtra' s ethics is pure ethics WITHOUT morality, they are to the point, free from second thoughts and moralistic sentimentality: You ARE your thoughts, therefore speak your thoughts and identify with them, act your words and identify with them, this is the INHERENT GOODNESS of your good thoughts, good words, good actions, in that they are YOU and blindly YOU without allowing for any interference whatsoever.

And then look at the consequences, what Zizek advocates as a new ethical ideal, in a globalised post-postmodern world:

"This is how I would love to be: An ethical monster without empathy, doing what is to be done in a weird coincidence of blind spontaneity and reflexive distance, helping others while avoiding their disgusting proximity. With more people like this, the world would be a pleasant place in which sentimentality would be replaced by a cold and cruel passion." Slavoj Zizek (2009)

Where Zizek's point is that "a cold and cruel passion" is the ONLY real passion, the only passion which as its direct consequence CREATES GENUINE warmth between human beings and thereby in the world. Zizek advocates a Christian Atheism, a Christianity which accepts the death of Christ on the cross fully, and sees the resurrection ONLY as the appearance of The Holy Spirit as the Community of Believers. On other words: As Ahura MAZDA!

I really don't know what could possibly be more Zoroastrian than that? Will somebody please tell Zizek???

Ushta
Alexander

söndagen den 27:e december 2009

The metaphysics of contingency (was: Science applied to Ahura Mazda and Asha)

Charles Peirce was absolutely and most of logically right: If the world would have been DETERMINISTIC (and if it is, it has to be 100% deterministic, there can be no such thing as 99% determinism, in which case it is no longer determinism at all), then there would have been NO WORLD AT ALL. Indeterminism is the very requirement for difference to exist, and difference is essential to existence (such as the fundamental difference between that which exists and that which does not exist). Zarathushtra realised this too, as his starting point was NOT some prophecies transmitted by angels, but rather his VERY OWN AWE towards existence. Werner Heisenberg then draw the logical conclusions for physics in the 1920s when he identified and proved "the uncertainty principle". Any Abrahamic or post-Abrahamic idea of determinism is thereby dead. The future is open and not pre-programmed, even the so called laws of the universe are not necessarily set in stone anymore. Rather, existence is full of contingencies and emergences as a consequence of its indeterministic nature.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/28 ardeshir farhmand

I agree with DINO here 100%, well written. i will post an article later confirming what u said in a more poetic gathic style.

Ardeshir


On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Special Kain wrote:



Dear Daniel and Alexander

It probably was Zarathushtra who introduced contingency and therefore the basic principle behind existential philosophy 3700 years ago: We could have chosen other thoughts, words and deeds than the thoughts we actually think, the words we actually speak and the things we actually do.

The American logician and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce was the first to propose tychism as the doctrine of absolute chance (and as opposed to necessarism as the doctrine of necessity) in the 19th century and at a time when the whole universe seemed to be a well-oiled Newtonian automaton. Little deviations in measurements don't reveal errors in measurement techniques only, but they also something about reality's own nature - remember that Peirce was a realist!

«The only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature and for uniformity in general is to suppose them results of evolution. This supposes them not to be absolute, not to be obeyed precisely. It makes an element of indeterminacy, spontaneity, or absolute chance in nature. Just as, when we attempt to verify any physical law, we find our observations cannot be precisely satisfied by it, and rightly attribute the discrepancy to errors of observation, so we must suppose far more minute discrepancies to exist owing to the imperfect cogency of the law itself, to a certain swerving of the facts from any definite formula.»

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charles_Sanders_Peirce

My two cents,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am So, 27.12.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Science applied to Ahura Mazda and Asha
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 27. Dezember 2009, 1:15



Dear Daniel and Dino

Dino is 100% right. We hit this issue right somewhere between The Great Pragmatists and what Lacan and Bataille would describe as "The Disturbance of The Real", those instances in our lives when we run into walls of the unknown so hard and concretely (whether that wall is "real" or just "imagined") that this forces us to change, or "adjust", our worldview, our fantasy of how the world works. Slavoj Zizek has written about how 9/11 was one of these "collective experiences of The Real" which "disturbed" and forced "The Western Collective Imagination" to change drastically (liberal democracy had not at all won the conquest for world power etc). All of this is perfectly compatible with Zarathushtra's teachings and his combination of phenomenological relativism and ethical absolutism (thoughts, words and actions are identical). Please also observe (as Dino would agree) that there is no definite cosmological principle according to which everything happens. We know for a fact that the world is fundamentally indeterministic (the uncertainty principle in physics) which also means that there is a "free choice" involved here which fascinated Zarathushtra as it opened up the possibility for his ethics of action.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/26 Special Kain



Dear Daniel

You're correct, we're dealing with representations, that is: theories and simplified models. There are also «cultural biases» involved (please see social constructivism) . But such theories and simplified models aren't photographs, they don't «mirror» the real world, so representation A isn't closer to reality or «truer» than representation B. They're both tools that enable us to make new experiences and enrich our existence (please see instrumentalism, John Dewey and Richard Rorty). Such theories have to be empirically tested and evaluated in terms of functionality and intersubjective agreement.
But that's not all there is. There's also Jacques Lacan's «The Real», and also disturbingly absurd and transgressive experiences that Georges Bataille had tried to describe and explain before Lacan succeeded in doing so.

Ushta,
Dino

--- daniel.samani@ ymail.com schrieb am Sa, 26.12.2009:


Von: daniel.samani@ ymail.com
Betreff: [Ushta] Science applied to Ormazd and Asha
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Samstag, 26. Dezember 2009, 19:05





Earnest, Dino

Touché, this is how I have come to understand the mechanisms behind creation. What you call Ahura Mazda? As being an student of cognitive neuroscience when I hear Asha and Druj, I can't stop thinking of representations. With the understanding that this could be the student of cognition in me speaking. What the idea suggest is that there are something between mind and the outside world. That is called representations. This means that we don't see world as is. We see world trough representations in our brain. Then having constructive and truthful representations I find relate to Asha, and the opposite namely destructive and untrue to be Druj.

I don't however see the connection between memetics and Asha. The theory of memes to copy without purpose or any meaning. To Asha that I have understood to be "first of all, 'true statement'. A 'true statement', because it is true, corresponds to an objective, material reality. This reality embraces all of existence. Recognized in it is a great cosmic principle since all things happen according to it." (Duchesne-Guillemin , 1963, p. 47)

Now to relate this to the representations, to me Asha simply put is when one sees the truth of what is. When ones representations do not cloud what is.

Regards,

Daniel Samani

lördagen den 26:e december 2009

Science applied to Ahura Mazda and Asha

Dear Daniel and Dino

Dino is 100% right. We hit this issue right somewhere between The Great Pragmatists and what Lacan and Bataille would describe as "The Disturbance of The Real", those instances in our lives when we run into walls of the unknown so hard and concretely (whether that wall is "real" or just "imagined") that this forces us to change, or "adjust", our worldview, our fantasy of how the world works. Slavoj Zizek has written about how 9/11 was one of these "collective experiences of The Real" which "disturbed" and forced "The Western Collective Imagination" to change drastically (liberal democracy had not at all won the conquest for world power etc). All of this is perfectly compatible with Zarathushtra's teachings and his combination of phenomenological relativism and ethical absolutism (thoughts, words and actions are identical). Please also observe (as Dino would agree) that there is no definite cosmological principle according to which everything happens. We know for a fact that the world is fundamentally indeterministic (the uncertainty principle in physics) which also means that there is a "free choice" involved here which fascinated Zarathushtra as it opened up the possibility for his ethics of action.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/26 Special Kain

Dear Daniel

You're correct, we're dealing with representations, that is: theories and simplified models. There are also «cultural biases» involved (please see social constructivism). But such theories and simplified models aren't photographs, they don't «mirror» the real world, so representation A isn't closer to reality or «truer» than representation B. They're both tools that enable us to make new experiences and enrich our existence (please see instrumentalism, John Dewey and Richard Rorty). Such theories have to be empirically tested and evaluated in terms of functionality and intersubjective agreement.
But that's not all there is. There's also Jacques Lacan's «The Real», and also disturbingly absurd and transgressive experiences that Georges Bataille had tried to describe and explain before Lacan succeeded in doing so.

Ushta,
Dino

--- daniel.samani@ymail.com schrieb am Sa, 26.12.2009:


Von: daniel.samani@ymail.com
Betreff: [Ushta] Science applied to Ormazd and Asha
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 26. Dezember 2009, 19:05

Earnest, Dino

Touché, this is how I have come to understand the mechanisms behind creation. What you call Ahura Mazda? As being an student of cognitive neuroscience when I hear Asha and Druj, I can't stop thinking of representations. With the understanding that this could be the student of cognition in me speaking. What the idea suggest is that there are something between mind and the outside world. That is called representations. This means that we don't see world as is. We see world trough representations in our brain. Then having constructive and truthful representations I find relate to Asha, and the opposite namely destructive and untrue to be Druj.

I don't however see the connection between memetics and Asha. The theory of memes to copy without purpose or any meaning. To Asha that I have understood to be "first of all, 'true statement'. A 'true statement', because it is true, corresponds to an objective, material reality. This reality embraces all of existence. Recognized in it is a great cosmic principle since all things happen according to it." (Duchesne-Guillemin , 1963, p. 47)

Now to relate this to the representations, to me Asha simply put is when one sees the truth of what is. When ones representations do not cloud what is.

Regards,

Daniel Samani

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
>
> Dear Ardeshir, Parviz and Alexander
>
> Perhaps we'd better look at Asha as «the evolutionary algorithm»? This algorithm combines cosmological, physical, biological and memetic evolution as the principle behind the process of reality and applies to Ahura and Mazda.
>
> My two cents,
> Dino // not that much into Daniel Dennett's extremist ultra-naturalism, but finds this idea quite persuasive

fredagen den 25:e december 2009

Slavoj Zizek and Zoroastrianism

Having just read Slavoj Zizek's "The Monstrosity of Christ", I really feel I need to get hold of Zizek and introduce him to Zoroastrianism and Mazdayasna philosophy.

Just take a look at the below quotes from the final chapter and conclusion of the book:

"I advocate an ethics without morality - but not in Nietzsche's sense of immoral ethics, enjoining us to remain faithful to ourselves, to persist on our chosen way beyond good and evil. Morality is concerned with the symmetry of my relations to other humans; its zero-level rule is "do not do to me what you do not want me to do to you". Ethics, on the contrary, deals with my consistency with myself, my fidelity to my own desire. This is along the lines of Friedrich Schiller's opposition of Naivety and Sentimentality: Morality is sentimental, it involves others only in the sense that, looking at my myself through others' eyes, I like myself to be good; ethics, on the contrary, is naive - I do what I have to do because it needs to be done, not because of my goodness. This naivety does not exclude reflexivity - it even enables it: a cold, cruel distance towards what one is doing." Slavoj Zizek (2009)

Isn't this PRECISELY what Zoroastrian ethics deals with (although I disagree with Zizek that there is any difference between him and Nietzsche here, Nietzsche's "faithfulness to oneself" is identical with the Zizekian "faithfulness to one's desire")? Zarathushtra's ethics is pure ethics WITHOUT morality, they are to the point, free from second thoughts and moralistic sentimentality: You ARE your thoughts, therefore speak your thoughts and identify with them, act your words and identify with them, this is the INHERENT GOODNESS of your good thoughts, good words, good actions, in that they are YOU and blindly YOU without allowing for any interference whatsoever.

And then look at the consequences, what Zizek advocates as a new ethical ideal, in a globalised post-postmodern world:

"This is how I would love to be: An ethical monster without empathy, doing what is to be done in a weird coincidence of blind spontaneity and reflexive distance, helping others while avoiding their disgusting proximity. With more people like this, the world would be a pleasant place in which sentimentality would be replaced by a cold and cruel passion." Slavoj Zizek (2009)

Where Zizek's point is that "a cold and cruel passion" is the ONLY real passion, the only passion which as its direct consequence CREATES GENUINE warmth between human beings and thereby in the world. Zizek advocates a Christian Atheism, a Christianity which accepts the death of Christ on the cross fully, and sees the resurrection ONLY as the appearance of The Holy Spirit as the Community of Believers. On other words: As Ahura MAZDA!

I really don't know what could possibly be more Zoroastrian than that? Will somebody please tell Zizek???

Ushta
Alexander

torsdagen den 24:e december 2009

The Four Aspects of Asha

Dear Dino

Well, then I disagree. As long as Art has an observer, it deals with "beauty". Here is how I see things:
The concept of "beauty" is as intertwined with "Art" as the concept of "truth" is with "Science". I don't know of any artist or art critic whatsoever who would not happily define his or her work as a "constant return to the theme of aesthics". Aesthetics in this sense of course being synonymous with Art itself.
We can go on and on and argue forever about whether beauty is achievable or not, or whether something has a "beauty" or not (as most discourse on Art does). Modern and even more so postmodern art "questions" our presumptions, but always from the point of an expanded (or sometimes even more limited) idea of beauty.
To say that Art can not be defined, in Bourdieu's sense or whatever, is just plain sloppiness. It is also wrong to say that Art is strictly discursive, because discourse is not discourse unless it constantly dwells around a theme. The days when you could say that "something is Art because it hangs in a gallery" are definitely over.
So here is a theme, which at the end of the day, will also be an issue of which aesthetics is preferable to another one, in other words: Which aesthetic combination is the desired or more interesting "beauty".
As you can see, I'm not merely satisfied with postmodern defintions. "Ugliness" onluy being interesting in relation to "beauty" meaning that when you define somethingas "ugly" and "Art" at the same time you are merely saying that the "ugly" is "Beauty 2.0".

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/24 Special Kain



No, Dino is not missing the point there. ;-))
Not all art is about beauty or discovering new forms of beauty. Some art is about ugliness itself - or has nothing to do with beauty or ugliness at all. That's why aesthetics isn't enough. There's also the opposition between honesty/authenticity and fake. But we're free to add many more oppositions, since art is the one social field (in a Bourdieuian sense) that has the most gray areas and can't be entirely grasped within the categories at hand. That's much easier with law and politics.

Ushta, Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 24.12.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Asha vs Asha-Vahishta
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2009, 16:48



Dear Ardeshir

If there is a disagreement here, it must clearly be a soft one. ;-)

One possility is to describe Asha-Vahishta's relationship to Asha as similar to Mazda's relationship to Ahura. Not a seperate concept but an aspect of the same concept taking the human condition into account. Vahishta is the product of the mind when applied to the principle of asha. Awe and beauty is what the mind produces when in tune with asha. In other words: Vahishta! Remember that we are Mazdayasni or Mazdaiasts rather than Ahurayasni. That is why Parviz's point is so important: Asha-Vahishta is the founding principle of Zoroastrian ethics!

Dino also pointed out that Art deals with ugliness as much as beauty. I believe that is perhaps missing the point with art. When Art deals with "ugliness" it does so in search for new forms of beauty, for example in discovering beauty in places which had previously been regarded as ugly, as to expand our horizons in the experience of Art. A way to avoid misunderstandings here is to simply say that Art deals with Aesthetics. As such, it is one of the four aspects of Asha.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/24 ardeshir farhmand



Dear Alexander and Parviz,

my point has been all along, that ashaa is the dynamic, intelligent and ingenious principle behind the fabric of reality/order, be it the cosmic order and/or human order. that is simply all. there is a difference between knowings and knowledge. also there is a difference between ashaa and cosmic and/or ethical laws. ashaa vahishtaa is NOT a seperate concept, neither in the rig vedas nor in the poetic gathas. it is the element of awe, wonder and beauty, that is so inherent in the creative principle behind the ever-evovling fabric of reality. furthermore , i always said that ashaa demonstrates that there is NO such thing as fixed, monolithic laws anywhere. everything in our reality is a field of awesome possibilities.

i respectfully dissent with ur positions

Ardeshir

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:



Dear Ardeshir and Parviz

I agree Parviz doesn't have to be angry to get his point across, but I still believe he has a very good point which does not have to do with The Gathas (let's not fall into the trap of throwing Gathas verses at each other, Ardeshir, let's THINK creatively instead) but with us INTELLIGENTLY reading and understanding The Gathas and the Zoroastrian history of ideas.
And one point that has to be made here is that Asha-Vahishta not IS awe, beauty, whatever in itself, but that it BECOMES awe, beauty, whatever through our PERCEPTION. We as observers are through our wise MINDS producing these qualities, we even choose to apply these qualities, they are not there beforehand as factually given. Otherwise we have misunderstood and vulgarized the concept in The Gathas, and that would be a big pity.
Consequently, Asha-Vahistha has everything to do with a difference from Asha only and as such, as Parviz correctly points out. Asha-Vahishta is Asha applied as principle, through our free choice (not through following some Law as automatons but through a pure and free choice). It is therefore very important to make this distinction. We DECIDE that the awe is there, it is not there as factually given. A dead mind (rather than a wise mind) does not experience any Vahishta.
We should thank Parviz for pointing this out, even though the point can be made in a friendly manner and does not have to addressed aggressively. But I understand and see Parviz's frustration: Let's think and live The Gathas, let's not retard ourselves to merely quoting machines. OK?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/23 ardeshir farhmand



Dear Parviz,

i posted a response to ur claim regarding the difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa as claimed by u, and argued that ur point view has no gathic support. please read the article,
also if u don't mind me asking, why do u sound so angry in ur messages???? or is this just my perception?? ?? we are here to exchange ideas in a respectful manner. we agree to disagree at times. and my point is if we are the disciples of the ancient bard zarathushtra, we should cite his visions first and then draw our conclusions accordingly.

ardeshir


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:



Dear Ardeshir,

I am glad that you are in Law. When in Sassanian times they wanted to judge if a person was telling the Truth, Asha, they would hold the person's head under water while a person would shoot an arrow and a horseman would gallop and try to retrieve the arrow and bring it back. If by the time the arrow was brought back, the poor person had not drowned, he/she was telling the truth, was an Ashavand. If the person had drowned, he /she was a lier, a Drojwand. I can see you and Alex beeing confortable in such a court of law, because you do not diffrenciate between Asha and Asha-Vahishta. Those who think of Asha as a monolit can do such things. If you do not get wat I want to say, have a happy day! I hate to waste my breath.

Karma be with you!
Parviz

--- On Tue, 12/22/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:


From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 8:23 AM




Dear Parviz, Alexander and Dino,

Thanks for ur kind comments, i am truly humbled. i greatly concur with Alexander
that terms such as ashaa, vohumanoe, and many others should not be translated, but clearly and lucidly explained.

it is also of paramount importance to understand such terms/concepts as they were understood in the poetic gathic language of three to four thousand years ago. as i repeatedly affirmed, manoe in the poetic gathas is much more than our today's definition of mind, it is consciousness, awareness. the german bewusstsein seems to be the closest match.

Parviz and Dino brought a very interesting point, and that is what is the practical implication of ashaa in our daily lives. this is the subject of another article, that i would be happy to elaborate on this weekend.

However, quoting Alexander the following description seems to closely fit the ancient exegesis on the subject:

"-Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion"

Parviz, i need to affirm the following; that mixing ashaa with cosmic or ethical laws is not subsantiated by the poetic gathas, and is similar to equate knowings/bits of info with knowledge or rather meta-knowledge/ wisdom.

ashaa is the creative principle behind the rules. since my background is in law, let me give the following example. i have to say in start, that this example is not perfect, but approximate enough.

when u are in court, u must look into the laws, and follow certain rules, otherwise there will be chaos. but ur job is to be CREATIVE and think of ingenious ways to interpret the laws and expand their implication in favor of the party u represent. if the laws/rules were black and white at all times, there would have been no need for amendements to the constitution and/ or creation of new laws by the congress. in this context, u could say the ashaa here is the creative intention behind the laws, and the ability to make them evolve/grow and expand to brighter horizons.

Ardeshir

Asha vs Asha-Vahishta Part 2

Dear Ardeshir

If there is a disagreement here, it must clearly be a soft one. ;-)

One possility is to describe Asha-Vahishta's relationship to Asha as similar to Mazda's relationship to Ahura. Not a seperate concept but an aspect of the same concept taking the human condition into account. Vahishta is the product of the mind when applied to the principle of asha. Awe and beauty is what the mind produces when in tune with asha. In other words: Vahishta! Remember that we are Mazdayasni or Mazdaiasts rather than Ahurayasni. That is why Parviz's point is so important: Asha-Vahishta is the founding principle of Zoroastrian ethics!

Dino also pointed out that Art deals with ugliness as much as beauty. I believe that is perhaps missing the point with art. When Art deals with "ugliness" it does so in search for new forms of beauty, for example in discovering beauty in places which had previously been regarded as ugly, as to expand our horizons in the experience of Art. A way to avoid misunderstandings here is to simply say that Art deals with Aesthetics. As such, it is one of the four aspects of Asha.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/24 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Alexander and Parviz,

my point has been all along, that ashaa is the dynamic, intelligent and ingenious principle behind the fabric of reality/order, be it the cosmic order and/or human order. that is simply all. there is a difference between knowings and knowledge. also there is a difference between ashaa and cosmic and/or ethical laws. ashaa vahishtaa is NOT a seperate concept, neither in the rig vedas nor in the poetic gathas. it is the element of awe, wonder and beauty, that is so inherent in the creative principle behind the ever-evovling fabric of reality. furthermore, i always said that ashaa demonstrates that there is NO such thing as fixed, monolithic laws anywhere. everything in our reality is a field of awesome possibilities.

i respectfully dissent with ur positions

Ardeshir

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:



Dear Ardeshir and Parviz

I agree Parviz doesn't have to be angry to get his point across, but I still believe he has a very good point which does not have to do with The Gathas (let's not fall into the trap of throwing Gathas verses at each other, Ardeshir, let's THINK creatively instead) but with us INTELLIGENTLY reading and understanding The Gathas and the Zoroastrian history of ideas.
And one point that has to be made here is that Asha-Vahishta not IS awe, beauty, whatever in itself, but that it BECOMES awe, beauty, whatever through our PERCEPTION. We as observers are through our wise MINDS producing these qualities, we even choose to apply these qualities, they are not there beforehand as factually given. Otherwise we have misunderstood and vulgarized the concept in The Gathas, and that would be a big pity.
Consequently, Asha-Vahistha has everything to do with a difference from Asha only and as such, as Parviz correctly points out. Asha-Vahishta is Asha applied as principle, through our free choice (not through following some Law as automatons but through a pure and free choice). It is therefore very important to make this distinction. We DECIDE that the awe is there, it is not there as factually given. A dead mind (rather than a wise mind) does not experience any Vahishta.
We should thank Parviz for pointing this out, even though the point can be made in a friendly manner and does not have to addressed aggressively. But I understand and see Parviz's frustration: Let's think and live The Gathas, let's not retard ourselves to merely quoting machines. OK?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/23 ardeshir farhmand


Dear Parviz,

i posted a response to ur claim regarding the difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa as claimed by u, and argued that ur point view has no gathic support. please read the article,
also if u don't mind me asking, why do u sound so angry in ur messages???? or is this just my perception???? we are here to exchange ideas in a respectful manner. we agree to disagree at times. and my point is if we are the disciples of the ancient bard zarathushtra, we should cite his visions first and then draw our conclusions accordingly.

ardeshir

onsdagen den 23:e december 2009

Asha vs Asha-Vahishta

Dear Ardeshir and Parviz

I agree Parviz doesn't have to be angry to get his point across, but I still believe he has a very good point which does not have to do with The Gathas (let's not fall into the trap of throwing Gathas verses at each other, Ardeshir, let's THINK creatively instead) but with us INTELLIGENTLY reading and understanding The Gathas and the Zoroastrian history of ideas.
And one point that has to be made here is that Asha-Vahishta not IS awe, beauty, whatever in itself, but that it BECOMES awe, beauty, whatever through our PERCEPTION. We as observers are through our wise MINDS producing these qualities, we even choose to apply these qualities, they are not there beforehand as factually given. Otherwise we have misunderstood and vulgarized the concept in The Gathas, and that would be a big pity.
Consequently, Asha-Vahistha has everything to do with a difference from Asha only and as such, as Parviz correctly points out. Asha-Vahishta is Asha applied as principle, through our free choice (not through following some Law as automatons but through a pure and free choice). It is therefore very important to make this distinction. We DECIDE that the awe is there, it is not there as factually given. A dead mind (rather than a wise mind) does not experience any Vahishta.
We should thank Parviz for pointing this out, even though the point can be made in a friendly manner and does not have to addressed aggressively. But I understand and see Parviz's frustration: Let's think and live The Gathas, let's not retard ourselves to merely quoting machines. OK?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/23 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Parviz,

i posted a response to ur claim regarding the difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa as claimed by u, and argued that ur point view has no gathic support. please read the article,
also if u don't mind me asking, why do u sound so angry in ur messages???? or is this just my perception???? we are here to exchange ideas in a respectful manner. we agree to disagree at times. and my point is if we are the disciples of the ancient bard zarathushtra, we should cite his visions first and then draw our conclusions accordingly.

ardeshir


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:


Dear Ardeshir,

I am glad that you are in Law. When in Sassanian times they wanted to judge if a person was telling the Truth, Asha, they would hold the person's head under water while a person would shoot an arrow and a horseman would gallop and try to retrieve the arrow and bring it back. If by the time the arrow was brought back, the poor person had not drowned, he/she was telling the truth, was an Ashavand. If the person had drowned, he /she was a lier, a Drojwand. I can see you and Alex beeing confortable in such a court of law, because you do not diffrenciate between Asha and Asha-Vahishta. Those who think of Asha as a monolit can do such things. If you do not get wat I want to say, have a happy day! I hate to waste my breath.

Karma be with you!
Parviz

--- On Tue, 12/22/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:


From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 8:23 AM




Dear Parviz, Alexander and Dino,

Thanks for ur kind comments, i am truly humbled. i greatly concur with Alexander
that terms such as ashaa, vohumanoe, and many others should not be translated, but clearly and lucidly explained.

it is also of paramount importance to understand such terms/concepts as they were understood in the poetic gathic language of three to four thousand years ago. as i repeatedly affirmed, manoe in the poetic gathas is much more than our today's definition of mind, it is consciousness, awareness. the german bewusstsein seems to be the closest match.

Parviz and Dino brought a very interesting point, and that is what is the practical implication of ashaa in our daily lives. this is the subject of another article, that i would be happy to elaborate on this weekend.

However, quoting Alexander the following description seems to closely fit the ancient exegesis on the subject:

"-Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion"

Parviz, i need to affirm the following; that mixing ashaa with cosmic or ethical laws is not subsantiated by the poetic gathas, and is similar to equate knowings/bits of info with knowledge or rather meta-knowledge/ wisdom.

ashaa is the creative principle behind the rules. since my background is in law, let me give the following example. i have to say in start, that this example is not perfect, but approximate enough.

when u are in court, u must look into the laws, and follow certain rules, otherwise there will be chaos. but ur job is to be CREATIVE and think of ingenious ways to interpret the laws and expand their implication in favor of the party u represent. if the laws/rules were black and white at all times, there would have been no need for amendements to the constitution and/ or creation of new laws by the congress. in this context, u could say the ashaa here is the creative intention behind the laws, and the ability to make them evolve/grow and expand to brighter horizons.

Ardeshir


On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 5:27 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:



Dear Alex,

Asha (for me) is also the profound stupidity of men who put too many things in one bag and call them all ASHA. All stupid religious person do this. Karma of taking a monumental crap. Thao of falling off the stairs and breaking your neck. etc..etc...

Parviz

--- On Mon, 12/21/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Monday, December 21, 2009, 8:59 PM




Dear Dino and Ardeshir

Very well written!
To better understand the concept of asha, let's look at how western philosophy has come to see human ideals:

- Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion

Now, asha is all four at the same time. Asha is both truth, beauty, the good and passion and more specifically the pursuit of them all, therefore a term which we should insist on as just asha and not translate too easily to other languages than Avestan.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/21 Special Kain



Dear Ardeshir

It's so perfectly clear now that Daoist philosophy and Zoroastrian philosophy have so much in common!

http://www.iep. utm.edu/daoism/

It seems that Asha and Wu-Wei are almost the same: the Dao (the process of reality) as expressed through Wu-Wei (effortless action).

Ushta, Dino

The Concepts of Asha vs Dao

At the end of the day, Parviz, you need a CONCEPT to unify all other concepts. "Asha" is then a lot better than say "God". Ask any scientist or artist or ethicist you like.
The problem with just criticizing, as you do in this case, is that you end up saying nothing.
And the people who are even more dangerous than those silly religious people you talk about, are those who say absolutely nothing at all.
Of course asha can be wrongly used, anything can, that is merely a truism. But that should not prevent us from using this smart concept wisely.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/22 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

Asha (for me) is also the profound stupidity of men who put too many things in one bag and call them all ASHA. All stupid religious person do this. Karma of taking a monumental crap. Thao of falling off the stairs and breaking your neck. etc..etc...

Parviz

--- On Mon, 12/21/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, December 21, 2009, 8:59 PM




Dear Dino and Ardeshir

Very well written!
To better understand the concept of asha, let's look at how western philosophy has come to see human ideals:

- Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion

Now, asha is all four at the same time. Asha is both truth, beauty, the good and passion and more specifically the pursuit of them all, therefore a term which we should insist on as just asha and not translate too easily to other languages than Avestan.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/21 Special Kain



Dear Ardeshir

It's so perfectly clear now that Daoist philosophy and Zoroastrian philosophy have so much in common!

http://www.iep. utm.edu/daoism/

It seems that Asha and Wu-Wei are almost the same: the Dao (the process of reality) as expressed through Wu-Wei (effortless action).

Ushta, Dino

Definitions and the importance of their employment

Dear Dino

The whole point with being a Zoroastrian is that you view existence completely differently from what you would otherwise do. If I would not be a Zoroastrian I would be your average western cynical atheistic nihilist. So I would say that my conviction does not affect this and that, it affects everything in my life, all my choices, all my actions. Even if merely microscopically. This is why it is so hard to answer your question on how "Zoroastrianism affects my life" because your question assumes that my life could somehow be different from what it is. But any difference is unthinkable, I have lived as a Zoroastrian for the past 20 plus years. So how would my life be what in relation to what? How could I possibly discuss that on a debating forum?

Ushta
Alexander

2009/12/22 Special Kain

Dear Parviz

I agree, I agree!!!
That's why I tried to start discussions about how Zoroastrians employ their convictions in their everyday lives - several times and always unsuccessfully. :-//
Because it all comes down to the employment of beliefs and convictions and definitions - both in our everyday lives and in science. Theories and definitions can be beautiful and aesthetically appealing and intellectually challenging, but what's really important is how to employ theories and methods in order to change things in accordance with one's interests and hopes. Spinoza was a formidable thinker, but how does Spinozist philosophy affect me? What does it do with me, how does it influence my choice of words and actions? And why would anyone try to convert to Zoroastrianism if Zoroastrianism wouldn't encourage them in their everyday lives and help them make new and richer experiences? If it had no influence on their everyday lives, no-one would care.
And since Zarathushtra stressed ACTIONS and DEEDS, I have always thought that discussions about the employment of Zoroastrian convictions would be perfectly legitimate and inspiring.

Ushta, Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Di, 22.12.2009:


Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] "to make true/realize wonder & beauty; ashá/artá, Vedic ŗtá, Norse Urðr,"
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2009, 14:18



Dear Ardeshir,

You are a great scholar and I appreciate very much your post. I, however hate how religions take men hostage to their confused and confusing ideas. Take the concept of Salam and Shalom in Islam and Judaism. While many Muslims and Jews can lecture you until the cows come home about what a profound concept they have in Salam, Shalom, the bottom line is that when it comes to actually doing it, they can not do it, and maybe because they do not know what they were talking about all the while that they were wasting our time pontificating about ideological hogwash.

"Truth" in Science means that "Water boils around a certain temperature" . This Truth is not open to millions of interpretations and manipulations. I call this "Asha in Science". Am I wrong? The rest of the pontifications about Asha, I would like to throw as far away as I can. Why? Because men have hurt each other in the name of abstract Truths they can never define properly. If I want to make my car run well, I use the ASHA of how to take care of parts of my car. But there are no ASHA involved in how I can take good care of my love relations with my wife and children. There I have to go to "ASHA-VAHISHTA" and choose amongst millions of ASHA that may or may not work for me. To confuse ASHA and ASHA-VAHISHTA is to be dumb in the most profound way (as far as I am concerned).

"Thou shallt know Asha and Asha shall set you free"; I wish I could punch who ever said this in the mouth, and feel good about it!

Yours,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sun, 12/20/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:


From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: [Ushta] "to make true/realize wonder & beauty; ashá/artá, Vedic ŗtá, Norse Urðr,"
To: "mehrdad farahmand"
Cc: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 8:01 PM



"to make true/realize wonder & beauty; ashá/artá, Vedic ŗtá, Norse Urðr,"

"ashá" is a fascinating concept in Zarathushtra' s teachings, and is the most repeated in the enchanting Gathas or the poetic songs of the seer/prophet. Yasna 27.14 or "ashem vohü" manthra is dedicated to ashá, and is the second most effective manthra in the enchanting songs. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the true meaning of ashá according to the poetic gathas, the ancient exegesis, and a comparative study of ashá in the vedic and norse literature.

ashá, is the second of "ameshá/amertá spentá" or auspicious immortals, hence one of the eternal spiritual aspects, emanations or creations of ahura mazda through which all other creation is realized.

ashá comes from the root ah/as, Proto Indo European "es," meaning: essence, underlying principle, truth, the inward intention, origin, source. Greek "ousia" is a cognate. The ancient commentaries translate ashá/artá as "rásti ahurmazd" meaning the truth of ahurmazd, or the divine essence. As i said in my earlier articles, ashá and ahurá come from the same root, and the ancient commentaries translate ashá also as ahuric virtues, ahuric efficacy, ahuric skill, ahuric excellence, ahuric ability to make true or "ahráyih."

In Avestan the sound "sh" is interchangeable with the sound "rt." Thus, ashá is also interchangeably pronounced as artá. ashá/artá is very closely connected to the idea of ease, flow, skill, creativity in workmanship. It should be added that the ancient exegesis always adds the words "kar o kar-op," or creativity, opus, master-work as a footnote to ashá, ahráyih or ahuric essence/virtues.

ashá/artá 'close connection to "ease in producing the intended effect," is demonstrated in many passages in the enchanting Gathas including; second line of Yasna 27.14 and second line of Yasna 51.8. The word ushtá, meaning "fulfillment of wish/desire, " "radiant happiness," an epithet of ashá, is fundamental to both demonstrating this connection and understanding the concept of ashá.

The Vedic equivalent ŗtá in the Rig Veda also means: truth, true essence and skill in workmanship, and is closely associated with rhythm, verse and the cosmic order.
It might be additionally illuminating to compare the inherent idea of divine virtue/skill/ ease inherent in the idea of ashá/artá with the Proto Indo European ar-ti (Skt. rtih "manner, mode;" Gk. artios "accomplish, complete ;" Armenian arnam "make;" Ger. art "manner, mode"), from the base ar- "fit together, join"

The Norse Urðr is also very close. Urdor is not "fate"[as believed by many. It is rather a continuous FLOW of happenings, actions, abilities and powers that SHAPE and CREATE future and the fabric of reality. Urðr is a a conceptual mystery and refers to how the intentions and activities, are capable of weaving reality. The word seem to carry the inherent idea in ashá/artá in the sense of "to make true" and "to bring to realization. It comes in the same sense in the second line of Yasna 30.9, when it refers to ashá/artá in bringing about the continuous renovation of the existence.

According to Denkard 3.13-14, vöhü manö/consciousness is active in good thoughts, seraosha/inspiratio n in good words, and ashá/artá in good deeds. Ashá is thus "represented as active and effective. In addition, by a word play and referring to the first line of Yasna 33.1 and the first line of Yasna 28.11, Denkard exegesis calls ashá, the discerning eye/áish of life/existence.

The idea of ease and skill to realize and make true, seems to be the underlying principle of ashá. ashá is closely connected to, but is NOT the cosmic order. it is instead the creative and ingenious principle behind the cosmic order and the ethical rules of the humanity. ashá is the flame and spark of the existence, an animating and creative principle of infinite intelligence.

It is important to remember that time and space are relative. At a given moment, in a certain circumstance, there are impossibilities. But from the eternal point, the point beyond time and space, in the infinity of time, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE, and the existence is an amazing field of magical and awesome possibilities. There is nothing impossible in the existence except what is outside manö/consciousness/ bewusstsein. What is not in our consciousness today, may be in our consciousness after some time for the consciousness can grow and become ever wider/vöhü manö. And this potential possibility of infinite wonder, beauty and awe/vohü is the truth of ahurmazd or "ashem vohü." This wondrous and truly magical essence is at the core of the existence.

According to the third line of "ashem vohü" manthra, the truth/ashá of our being is related to, but different from all others, it is truly unique. But in the truth of our being, according to our own formation, our growth/progress is unlimited. It is LIMITED only by our IGNORANCE of the true ahuric essence of the existence.
ardeshir