I agree with you 100%!!!
Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna according to Zarathushtra and his contemporaries was very similar to Brahmanism in India. It was a school of philosophy that took people beyond mere folk religion to a monist philosophy beyond the Indo-European polytheistic faiths.
This is also the Mazdayasna we subscribe to here at Ushta.
Later, Zoroastrianism was influenced by the Semitic religions but most of all by Gnosticism and Manicheism, which is where the much misunderstood "dualistic Zoroastrianism" of the fight between good and evil (Ohrmazd vs Ahirman) originates from. This is the "Abrahamic" faith most of us here at Ushta are very tired of and want to move Mazdaism away from.
Mazdayasna is Brahmanism minus the negativity towards existence inherent to Buddhism and Brahmanism. Extinction is not the goal in Zoroastrianism, as in Brahmanism, but rather the AFFIRMATION of existence as such. This is what makes Zoroastrianism unique among Pantheistic and monist faiths and religions.
Hello to all at Ushta and to begin as one intends to continue my first post will hopefully stimulate the ol grey - never been one to start on a mundane or casual footing
Many modern scholars speculate that Judaism was heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism and thus so was Christianity via Judaism. Granted, this has raised some interest in Zoroastrianism amongst some that might never have given the teachings of Zarathustra a second thought. However conversly, as with myself, it made me somewhat suspicious of Zoroastrianism and thus for many many years I avoided it and it was only by a quirk of 'fate' that I have recently [in the last year or so] become interested in Zoroastriansim and since I have unearthed a great deal that I suprisinglly agree with, and years of previous spiritual research has made it much easier for me to negotiate the teachings of Zarathustra without too much confusion or problem.
However more and more I am begining to question the usual scholastic belief that Zorastrianism actualy influenced Judaism/Christianity, and am fast coming to the conclusion that it was the other way round and that it was Semitic Judaism that was far more influential on modern Zoroastriansim and that much of the Younger Avesta and the Vendiad [all of which were written after the Hebrew Babylonian Exile, when the two faiths were enjoying a great deal of interaction], contain this Semitic Hebrew corruption of the modern Zoroastrian faith - the Vendidad itself even reads like the Torah, very different to that which is found in the Gathas. The Jews even proclaim the Perisan King Cyrus, who conquered Babylon and freed the Jews from captivity, to be the anointed of their God YHWH [ie the Messiah] and claim that it was Cyrus who was the main motivation behind the building of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This of course indicates a man that was more than just a Zoroastrian liberal, but someone who was taking more than just a passing interest in the religion of the Jews [perhaps he was for Zoroastrianism what Constantine was for Christians] and thus it seems he may be responsible for an ongoing interest in Judaism amongst future Persian kings including Darius I [who also had an interest in the building of the Temple in Jerusalem] and especialy the Parthian kings, under whom the Avesta was eventualy codified, after much of the older Avesta was supposedly lost/burnt during the Alexandrian attacks on Persia in 330 BCE.
So in conclusion it is my contention that rather than Zoroastriansims having the greater influnce on Judaism and thus Christianity, it was Judaism that had the greater influence on modern Zoroastriansim [especialy its Parsi form] and I would be interested in what other people feel about this and their own opinion on the subject.