Hmmm... I believe you miss Parviz's point. Perhaps you are rightfully upset with some minor mistakes of his but then shoot too hard. I certainly think Parviz is a good devil's advocate with his heart in the right place.
Parviz has always advocated reading The Gathas and doing everything and anything Zoroastrian with full and complete passion! So do I and everybody else here on Ushta. This is for example something Parviz has argued with Jafarey many times over. That Jafarey's "purified Zoroastrianism" lacks life and passion. Here the two of you seem to agree, no reason to argue on this point.
Parviz's point is that we can not build a modern and reasonably rational worldview on The Gathas only, but we can indeed use The Gathas and just as much the rich Zoroastrian tradition and culture as a fundament for participating in the modern world. So instead of worshipping a book we should use the book as a major inspiration among others as to celebrate LIFE itself. This does not necessarily contradict what you're saying. Possibly it is just a shift of focus. But it needs reminding.
And one minor point, I can personally do without the "realm above and beyond time" talk. That is just new age mysticism to me and has nothing to do with Zoroastrianism or with a scientific and rational worldview. If it is taken literally.
If it is poetry, then fine with me. Zarathushtra did not need to transcend time (that was Plato's idea), he found time sacred and a wonderful realm to be WITHIN and not spookily beyond.
2010/1/8 ardeshir farhmand
as we say in our early morning meditations "ahüirim frashnem yazamaide," meaning we adore "questioning and debate which is truly ahüric and divine."
debate/discussion is productive and wonderful. unfortunately we have here a case of not questioning, but merely arguing for the sake of argument without paying the slightest attention to the responses of the opposing party. it seems that parviz just likes to oppose for the sake of it. This is in NO way plaing the role of the devil's advocate. It looks more and more like he enjoys repeating himself in an endless adversarial mono-tone without making a point or listening to other points.
now, let me get to parviz's assumptions/allegations one by one:
you assume and/or claim that my awe/amazement for the poetic gathas stem from my zoroastrian ancestry. since parviz comes from the same exact ancestry it would be most helpful to point out and AFFIRM certain FACTS about the iranian zoroastrian community.
The iranian zoroastrian community for at least the past 400 years plus (end of the safavid dynasty) has been suffering from abject religious poverty and religious illiteracy. unlike iranian jews, iranian zoroastrians have minimal, if any knowledge of their rich religious heritage and/or literature. On average, they consider the book of daily meditations or "khorde avesta" to be the words of zarathushtra, know next to nothing about their philosophy/religion except the babblings of some foreign authors or pseudo-rationalist converts.
And if they think they know something, they merely repeat the personal mis-perceptions of "the cult of psuedo-reason and the supreme being" as the words and songs of zarathushtra. even MANY priests are not capable of READING the gathas or avesta in HIGHLY ADVANCED AVESTAN SCRIPT, and use the much incomplete and inferior arab script to read the gathas/avesta, which leads to numerous mispronunciations. and please note i said just READ, and said nothing about understanding, exegesis and commentary. the latter part EXCEPT FEW EXCEPTIONS stopped 400 years ago. so in light of the above FACTS, i did not grew up with a great bias/affection for the gathas, much less knew what they were.
when i was finishing my high school in vienna/austria, i came across a book by noeldeke concerning "the foreign words in koran." to my surprise almost all words having to do with paradise and/or JOYS OF DEATHLESS LIFE, were of middle persian origin.
i got a hold of few translated pahalvi fragments, and was further amazed by the depth of their analysis of their theory/argument concerning the FUTURE EVOLUTION OF THE PHYSICAL BODY/MATTER termed as "tanö pasin."
Accordingly, the idea of a much more flexible/luminous physical body depended on CONSCIOUSNESS and further growth and progress of CONSCIOUSNESS in the physical. Later i learned that the adventures/formulas of CONSCIOUSNESS or MINOO/minü are the subject matters of a highly poetic book by zarathushtra called the gathas. i was fascinated with puzzles and ancient languages, and this limited readings truly flamed my interest. especially because of its unbelieveable SIMILARITY to norse accounts and legends.
well i came to US after high school, i met dr. jaffary in dare-mehr 's library in orange county.
i told him about my earlier amateur readings, and he was extremely dismissive of ALL ancient exegesis, commentaries and any possible bardic tradition.
i studied the master work of Taraporwala's word by word analysis, dastur kanga, andreas, the great scholar pourdvood, MATIN HAUG, and mobed firuz azragoshnasp. i also studied bartholeme and dr. jaffary's translations.
in my opinion, dr.jaffary's views were an edited revision of bartholeme's earlier works and showed a strong tendency toward a mechanical scientific conformity and justification of zarathushtra's poetry. and of course they were extremely vague and lacked PASSION. and there was lots of PASSION in the GATHAS.
over the years GREAT HOBBY? INTEREST, i studied pahlavi and PROUDLY MEMORIZED THE MOST POETIC GATHAS, word by word, vowel by vowel. i learned the ancient exegesis and were truly surprised by the scholary depth of denkard book 3 and 9 on the gathic subjects. engish translations were poor, but if u could understand/figure out the original, u would be amazed by their authenticity and true intellectual strength v.s the vagueness of psuedo-rationalist camp. i also studied the rig vedas word by word, and read the upanishads. and continued my fascination with extremely similar nordic literature, language and myths
so in short linguistic curosity lead me to the poetic gathas and not my ancestry.
NOW, my FIRST POINT has been all along that there IS NO AUTHENTIC translation of the gathas in english or german and/or farsi. there are however good "word by word analysis" with heavily imported biblical terminology.
SECOND POINT is that zarathushtra in a series of highly poetic and BARDIC songs formulated his TIMELESS and PROFOUND VSIONS. his visions came from a realm of consciousness ABOVE AND BEYOND TIME and their main theme is consciousness, awareness, SPIRIT and the beauty, awe, wonder, amazement and mystery of being/existence. These songs like any other powerful literature, mesmerize the reader and bring VIVIDLY into life the author's PASSIONATE visions.
THIRD POINT, zarathushtra 's song are about his VISIONS and the PROFOUND WISDOM that he saw. they are NOT a personal cult testimony. so, they have little to do with him as a person, and all to do with his EMOTIONAL UNDERSTANDING and AWARENESS.
my FINAL POINT is THERE IS NO MAZDYASNA and has NEVER BEEN A MAZDYASNA without Zarathushtra. HIS POETIC GATHAS SHOW U the VISION and from thereon the personal and individual journey of consciousness for each of us just begins. Hence, the PROUFOUND IMPORTANCE in accurately expressing his TRUE WORDS, rather than our own opinions instead of his poetry.
we can disagree with his visions and prefer a more fatalistic and/or mechanical and non-passionate view of reality, but we DO NOT HAVE the RIGHT to attribute our theories or psuedo scientific mumbo-jumbo to ZARATHUSHTRA and twist his terms and adopt it to our liking.
now, parviz may continue with his argumentative style just to oppose and disregard my points. frankly, it is ok. i engage as log as there is constructive brainstorming, yet refuse to deal with adversarial monotones, especially when the opposing party lacks the willingness to listen and/or consider a point of view other than his/her own.
the whole point i am making is to READ ZARATHUSHTRA'S GATHAS in LIGHT OF A PROUFOUND BARDIC TRADITION, not as a biblical scripture and/or a boring psuedo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.