I agree with you 100%.
My point is however that while Ardeshir is truly enthusiastic about the Gathic text in particular he is NOT another one of these book-worshipping Abrahamites that we have debated so hard with and against over the years. Instead, he is intent on studying The Gathas with a very Mazdayasni mindset, and that should be cherished and not univocally criticised. Also, Ardeshir is not another one of these Gathas-only modern Zoroastrians who disregard Indo-Iranian culture both prior to and after Zarathushtra, rather he is a scholar who has stimulated our interest in other texts and traditions within the Mazdayasna mould outside of The Gathas too. And that is brilliant!
So I believe in this case, the difference is far more one of personality traits rather than an ideological difference. I find Ardeshir's arrival on the Zoroastrian scene and on the Ushta network most refreshing.
I would for example love to see Ardeshir take down the arguments of the Jafareyites one by one. ;-) His is a much sounder Gathic-centric form of Zoroastrianism which I for now will be happy to endorse.
Not all of us are Parviz, Dino and Alexander, and not all of us are Ardeshir or Dina, but the mix of personalities is indeed great and most creative!
2010/1/6 Parviz Varjavand
I do fully agree with every word that you say. My problem is with wonderful persons like Ardeshir or Dina who are for ever looking for a better translation of the Book Gahan as if this magic bullet is going to solve all their problems and all the problems of humanity. So many persons in the world are looking for a better translation of the Bible or the Torah with stars in their eyes thinking that Jesus or Moses or Baha must have it all figured but their magic BOOKS have not properly been understood or obeyed or what not. This kind of slave mentality is what any true Mazdayasni must be willing to drop, then you get to Love Zarathustra with a proper perspective, as a human being and not as God's special messenger who had it all figured out for all times. So we are saying the same thing and thank you for saying it out loud and for all our friends to hear.
The Shamans or the Magi before Zarathustra must also not be dismissed as the Dev and the Druj that he turned them into. Their Gods, Mithra, Anahita, Zarvan, Vayoo, The Ameshasepandan, and many more, they are rich archetypes that are rich in meaning. They are not Idols that should be broken down. Again, I am no slave of these Archetypes of the Magi also, but I do appreciate them (A few of them, I am even in love with, like Nahid). As I have said before, now I am a Cow Worshiper, the only thing worthy of worship for me is Gawush, the Cow that is my mother Earth. All the sky Gods, I have let go of.
--- On Tue, 1/5/10, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Zarathushtra's position within Mazdayasna?
Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2010, 9:40 AM
If you have fallen out of love with Zarathushtra and instead fallen in love with the shamans that preceded him in Iranian Central Asia, I believe you have made a terrible mistake.
If you were in love with the divine prophet Zarathushtra, the Jafareyite Jesus figure, well then that was a big mistake. I would surely agree with you as I'm sure would everybody else here on Ushta.
But being in love with the Mazdayasni brother and human being Zarathushtra, for all his qualities and also his faults and defects as a human being, can never be wrong.
Don't judge people by Abrahamic standards, then you become an Abrahamicist yourself in your eagerness to fight Abrahamicism. And don't blame Zarathushtra for what OTHERS have done after him. Their mistakes and not his mistakes.
Defending the human being Zarathushtra as a major thinker is at the root of Mazdayasna. There would be no civilizationism and no belief in the good of a pluralistic society without him.
Otherwise you just become another new age shamanism romanticist. The ultimate illusion is to believe that there was a good world before Civilization arrived. There never was. The nomad cultures of Central Asia were about as intolerant and short-sighted in their ambitions as human socities can be.
2010/1/5 ardeshir farhmand
u are certainly entitled to ur point view. Ashoo Zartoesht is simply saying that at the core of reality there is ALWAYS true beauty, wonder and infinite good. being/existence and matter are inherently amazing and good. GOOD and GROWTH has always been and IS the essence of reality and all things.
due to inconscience and interia appeared the temporary phenm of bad judgment/afflicted understanding, a non-being.
when consciousness/ foresight is vibrant and bright things are true to their essence and when there is inconscience and stagnation there is difficulty and delusion of evil.
u are a bright individual of zoroastrian ancestry, u do not have to agree with ur faith. however, u should not label ur ideas other than ur very own ideas.
and about the poetic gathas, all translations are extremely poor and the recent ones unfortunately to a GREAT PART reflect the personal views of the author, rather than the true words of ashoo zarthoesht. the best ones i have seen is the word by word analysis of "irach taraporewala" and then "mastero pourdavood" into farsi.
of course NONE of the above can be compared even remotely to the scholarly and undiscovered ancient exegesis and commentaries of the gathas preserved in the great Denkard and pahavi yasna and vispered.
it is best that each zoroastrian learn the gathas in their original language to grasp their immense beauty and true magic.
people of the jewish faith know the torah in hebrew, what is wrong with us then????
On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM, Parviz Varjavand
I was in love with Zarathushtra most of my life, but I am daring to become a realist and fall out of love with Zarathushtra. He was most off all a POLITITIAN, a social climber who wanted and did take the position of the old shamans of the courts of the local tribal kings away from them. With him begins the religious mess that we are in today called Monotheism. If he invented the idea of one good God, then he also invented the black hole also in which we need to park all the bad that we face. Remember "the two shall not agree in any way, not in thoughts, not in words, and not in deeds".
The Aryans vs. Semites division many like to talk about is a false one. If you equate Light with Good, you also equate Dark with Bad and the whole Patriarchal Mess of our dominant religions of today begins. Father and Light above becomes Good and Mother and Earth and the Darkness in the ground becomes Bad. I know you want to argue with this point, but please remember the preocupation of Zoroastrian with menstrual blood. That is hate for the feminin and how the feminin functions. That is the seed that grew with Mani and his heaven and earth division, but Zarathushtra planted the seed with his twin spirit idea.
Please know that these words taste very bad in the mouth of one like me that was born and raised to worship Zarathushtra and his Gahan. But Zarathushtra also thought me to seek the truth, choose the truth, and speak the truth. In that tradition, I am a true follower of him, even if what I say about him may shock many when I paint a picture of him which is not so flatering. I hope that good scholars like yourself will prove me wrong, I truly whish this. It is very painful for me to finally say about the prophet of my religion what I think about him.