I believe the true connection between Zoroastrianism and Science is even more profound.
Science - or the quest for Truth - BEGAN within Zoroastrianism.
The concept of Asha was developed by the early Zoroastrians and formulated by Zarathushtra in The Gathas.
In this sense, being a Zoroastrian and being pro-science are tautological.
Zoroastrianism is therefore not just another religion. I would even argue that it is no religion at all. Rather, it is in our terminology a philosophy of science. Plus of course a lot more.
2010/1/10 Katherine Trammell
If Zoroastrianism and the Mazdayasnin are to reach out and meet their true destiny as a thinking and modern religion, it should adopt the study of systems and decision making processes, which begin in the brain. I find it not useful to argue from one's position of likes and dislikes.
If Zism does not reach more toward science to understand how true knowledge, which in my opinion is an expression of the meaning of the Gathas is now developed and understood, then yes, Zism will just be another religion on the block, and de-evolve into how Christian fundamentalism functions.
Fundamentalist Christians state:
1) We are superior because only we and our religion knows the one true god.
2) If you don't believe our version of god and truth, you will suffer and go to hell
3) We are correct in our beliefs, because we said so
--- On Fri, 1/8/10, ardeshir farhmand
From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: [Ushta] Parviz Assumptions, Allegations and Comments
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Friday, January 8, 2010, 7:59 PM
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.