söndagen den 24:e januari 2010

The Consequences of Monism Part 2

Dear Ardeshir

Please don't turn yourself into just another quote-queen. Please don't just become another Ali Jafarey. We are sooo tired of self-righteous quote-queens who insist that they are right and that only THEIR interpretation of the sacred text is right bla bla bla.
The point with The Gathas is NOT to quote like an automatic robot. It is TO THINK!!!
The point is to GET TO KNOW a PERSON called Zarathushtra (who is NOT a scientist and NOT a prophet and NOT a god and never claimed to be ANY of those things!) and then try to understand HOW HE THINKS AND WHY and then APPLY that to our contemporary society and OUR lives.
The question is not how the quotes in The Gathas run.
The question is HOW WOULD ZARATHUSHTRA THINK AND ACT IF HE HAD BEEN AROUND WITH US HERE TODAY?
This is what it means to be a true Maxzdayasni IN SPIRIT and not just a dead and mindless quote queen without a heart.
You're brilliant, Ardeshir, you're absolutely brilliant! Just don't turn yourself into something we do NOT need: Just another Ali Jafarey. That is not what the world needs now. OK?
You're way too good for that.
Now, what was your argument for your latest position again?

Ushta
Alexander


2010/1/25 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Alexander,

there are many born zoroastrians who might firmly feel that way and that is their every right. we are free to believe whatever, yet i really invite each and every one of these fine people to clearly cite the gatha passages and even other avestan texts in support of their views. i also ask them to respond to my meticulous objective rebuttals, in case their citing turn out to be TWISTED TRANSLATIONS.

what u refer to is about personal beliefs and convictions. I AM MOT SAYING AGREE WITH ZARATHUSTRA OR HIS FASCINATING GATHAS UNCONDITIONALLY, IF U and MANY FINE OTHERS FEEL HE MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT on this subject or the other, then respectfully DO NOT AGREE with him.

I AM CLEARLY SAYING HOWEVER THAT NO ZOROASTRIAN/born or chosen, OR NON ZOROASTRIAN HAS THE RIGHT TO LABEL THEIR OWN IDEAS, LIKES AND DISLIKES AS THAT OF GATHAS AND ZARATHUSTRA unless he/she can reasonably, objectively and convincingly cite and argue the meanings of his/her supported cited passages in favor of his/her arguments.

is that really too much to ask???? is this an unfair proposal???? that is exactly the point that should set "ushta" group aside from the gatha cult. for the gatha cult simply twist the key gatha concepts and words without any precedence; and when confronted with an objective counter-argument and preponderance body of evidence against their views, they just become hostile, dismissive and resort to name-calling and belittling the established opposite views!!!

so do we want to argue further on this simple point?????
by the way, the following off-hand passages in the poetic gathas clearly counter the view that reality is restricted to physical matter alone; Yasna 28.2, Yasna 43.3, Yasna 31.7, Yasna 31.11, Yasna 34.15 and many other passages. n case any one interested, i would be happy to argue them and go through them word by word.

and u know, i try to keep my personal beliefs apart from Zarathushtra's views, so do not pre-suppose that i am necessarily in agreement or dis-agreement with him. i just want to make sure that i differentiate between the two and not label mine as his. i aslo ask of everyone to do the same or if they claim that Zarathushtra said such and such to prove it objectively from his poetic gathas and not rely on the personal views of this person or the other and/or twisted and unsubstantiated translations.

enough said!

ardeshir


On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Ardeshir


There are many many many eduacted Zoroastrians - who are as educated as you and me - who disagree with you on this issue. They firmly believe that there is physical reality only (the complete nature of which we still do not know, of course, but nevertheless) and they firmly believe that this is COMPATIBLE with the Gathic text. Simply because any EXTRA-physical reality requires dualism, which is an Egyptian-Greek invention which does NOT exist in Indo-Iranian cultures prior to Manicheism.

The vast majority of the people I talk about are not even converts or westerners but rather Iranians and Indians born into the Zoroastrian faith.

Please argue for your case, but don't tell people who have lived as Zoroastrians for thousands of years that they can not be Zoroastrian. What would you possibly gain by that? Live and let live. OK?

Ushta
Alexander/has not seen any evidence yet of any extra-physical reality whatsoever and does not think it is SMART to argue for one either, as Zarathushtra would happily agree when he said that "good thoughts" foster "good words" within the one and only world which he belived in...

2010/1/24 ardeshir farhmand
Dear Alexander

The whole point i am making here is that we all have our niche of expertise.
some of us might be excellent in philosophical thoughts/studies, some of us might be good with poetry and might be fluent/well-versed in the original gathic language and comparative studies, another one might be just a bright/unique mind and a sharp intellect; and one might be the voice of common sense,.........
and one might be just a cynic with some good point nevertheless here and there.

all this said, we are here to compare and exchange our ideas and learn from each other since Zoroastrianism per Yasna 43.10 is all about discovery and freedom of spirit/awareness.

for example when Dino suggested "awareness" for "minoo/manesh" i felt it is an additional good idea/explanation that could be used in EXPLAINING/NOT TRANSLATING the concept.
when alexander, suggested "dynamic universe" i strongly felt he is right, since it avoids misunderstandings by the public. i incorporated the above changes in my FB articles.

The problem arises when we start using an unpleasant and hostile approach when we encounter a poetic language not to our personal liking, or when we find out that the original text has concepts that DO NOT agree with our personal beliefs.
Is the whole point here not to professionally discuss alternatives and suggest constructive ideas, or agree to widen our horizons and admit brighter and smarter possibilities????

Anyone with reasonable familiarity with the ORIGINAL GATHIC TEXT and the rich and truly brilliant ZOROASTRIAN EXEGESIS and TRADITION has no difficulty in objectively establishing that Zoroastrianism does not in any way agree with and/or is limited to PHYSICAL REALITY ATTITUDE ONLY.

Zarathustra was much smarter than that. when he talks about MAZDA, he is talking about insight, vision, wisdom and intelligence not just expressed in man, but in animals and all other possible sparks/manifestations/forms/expressions of vision and genius.

i think it is extremely cynical and unprofessional when e.g. parviz attacks my extensive knowledge of the gathic text; and sarcastically equates his mis-understanding of meta-physics or new age hocus pocus with my writings.

we say in every morning meditation/havan gah: we adore FREEDOM OF SPIRIT and LEARNING and STUDY.
yet reducing Zarathushtra's message to a cynical short-sighted materialism and ambigous "cow worship" is SIMPLY UNSUBSTANTIATED and NOT TRUE.

ZARATHUSTRA and HIS ENCHANTING GATHAS are all about VISION, FAR SIGHT, and WIDER AND MORE LUMINOUS HORIZONS AND POSSIBILITIES.

It is a very dynamic, fluid, luminous, and optimistic message; and that is precisely why is it NOT restricted to cynical and limited materialism. IT IS A MESSAGE THAT CELEBRATES BOTH SPIRIT and MATTER, e.g look at Yasna 16 among many other Yasnas and Sirozae.

so, calling this "ardeshir's version of the gathas" without any credible gathic citation to the opposite, and at the same time talking about "GAAUOOSH URVA" without even admitting its real meaning shows simply personal bias and unconditional favoritism for one's own personal convictions.

By the way, it is "GEUSH URVA" with a long french sounding "e," and it refers to "the spirit of life" in general and "the intuitive soul of animal kingdom" in particular. see Yasna 29.1 Yasna 29.2 and Yasna 29.9.

Zoroastrianism is NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEGE THAT MUST BE EARNED, and we are here to earn it through exchange of our higher awareness/spirits of understanding and brilliant ideas.

There are many jews that do not believe in TORAH or agree with it on every aspect, but they are still culturally jewish and more importantly do not label their personal beliefs as TORAH and/or HALACHA.

Zoroastrianism is not rigid or dogmatic. Zoroastrianism has nevertheless very "clear and established spiritual message and fundamentals". and is certainly not "post modernist polemic ambiguity" and/or "short-sighted and limited absolute materialism."

all i am saying is: let us first understand the enchanting gathas accurately, discuss them, try to express them in best possible manner through OBJECTIVE exchange of ideas, and always admit "wider horizons and better possibilities" in true harmony with the spirit of the gathas.

each one of us has his/her unique expertise and valuable contribution to make, let us admit that and try to work together and refrain from cynical, personal attacks and/or using less than collegial language.

my contribution to ushta is simply: try my best to clearly advise everyone as to the original and fascinating speech of the gathas; and through every one's help find brilliant but nevertheless CONSISTENT language to express them. if this can be done ONLY objectively and collegialy i would be happy to share my niche here.

Ardeshir



On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 4:09 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Ardeshir


I don't believe any Zoroastrian has the right to say that he or she is the sole interpretor of the Zoroastrian religion or Mazdayasna philosophy. This amounts to sectarianism and extremism. Zoroastrianism is a religion that has been PRACTICED for 3,700 years in a myriad of MULTIPLE ways and we need to respect this and be humble towards this fact.
Having said this, I agree with you on YOUR specific sentiment. Basically, I'm a huge fan of Zarathushtra too, I believe that The Gathas is an excellent text on which I'm happy to base my worldview and my philosophical conviction.
But unless you can prove that Mazda has taken other forms or manifestations than human minds, you risk turning Mazda into something superstitious and supernatural, and that is opposed to what Zarathushtra himself preached. Mazda MAY have othe rmanifestations, but Zarathushtra ever claims that Mazda DOES have other manifestations, and so far Sceinvce has not found any (as Parviz and Dino have both rightly pointe dout).
I would therefore recommend you to be careful to say YOUR interpretation is the OBJECTIVE one. It smacks more of pomposity rather than the amazing intelligence and integrity which you otherwise show so often. Just propose your arguments for what they are, SUBJECTIVE and learned interpretations, and you will be listened to much more and accepted for your wisdom, rather than being seen as a highly questionable sectarian. OK?
I have always said that Zoroastrianism, historically and Gathas-studies based, can be both Pantheistic and Panentheistic. Consequently, Mazda can be seen as Human Minds only and also possibly extrernal to human m inds (which however remains to be proven and can only be believed and not be a requirement for calling onseself a Mazdayasni). The one thing Zoroastrianism is and should not be, however, is sectarian and rigidly dogmatic. It would be the very opposite of The Geist of Zarathushtra himself who wanted nothing of the sort. Don't you agree?

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 ardeshir farhmand
it is truly regrettable if we choose to deviate from the true "Zarathushtiran Mazdyasna," and create our own cult/religion.
although, parviz or anyone else here is entitled to their opinion, yet NO ONE has the right to twist the words of Zarathushtra
or hijack Mazdyasna's name and create their own religion and call it Mazdyasna.
Mazdyasna is the name of Zarathushtra's message ONLY,
There HAS NEVER BEEN a MAZDYASNA WITHOUT ZARATHUSHTRA AND HIS POETIC GATHAS
i am solely here, because i am interested in an OBJECTIVE comparative study of Mazdyasna with other similar philos.
I simply can not believe my eyes when parviz suggests to remove our spiritual scripture, the poetic gathas and their avestan commentaries;
and become a philo without a pristine bardic source.
also, claiming that MAZDA is nothing more than our minds,
that no awareness/consciousness exists outside the material brain, and that "GAUSH URVA" alone is alive;
all this amounts to creating a brand new religion.
no much worse, it is using ZARATHUSHTRA's TERMINOLOGY and twist it around and call it mazdyasna.
The very name GEUSH URVA suggests a soul for the dynamic universe, a soul for all life.
disregarding tiese FACTS and presenting contrary and opposite ideas to our personal liking;
and call it MAZDYASNA is simply unsubstantiated and without legitimate authenticity.
either we are MAZDYASNI
or we are creating our own religion in accordance with our personal beliefs e.g cow worship as parviz likes to call it.
ZOROASTRIANISM IS NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEDGE that must BE CHOSEN.
if we are born into it and does not like the message of zarathushtra, well then, we are not mazdyasni or zoroastrian,
simple as that.
THE FACT IS THAT There is a CONCEPT of a GREAT BEYOND of GREAT, AWESOME and REAL POSSIBILITIES
BEYOND IN THE GATHAS AND MAZYASNA, there is RENOVATION OF THE EXISTENCE in the GATHAS,
there is PASSION, ENERGY, SPIRIT awareness in the GATHAS,
and many other concepts that will not please or agree remotely with a "PHYSICAL REALITY ONLY" attitude.

If we can not objectively study and understand that, there is no point for me to post or discuss anything further here.
we can disagree, but we can not create a new cult of our personal likes/dislikes in the name of Zarathushtra and Mazdyasna.

The Consequences of Monism

Dear Ardeshir

There are many many many eduacted Zoroastrians - who are as educated as you and me - who disagree with you on this issue. They firmly believe that there is physical reality only (the complete nature of which we still do not know, of course, but nevertheless) and they firmly believe that this is COMPATIBLE with the Gathic text. Simply because any EXTRA-physical reality requires dualism, which is an Egyptian-Greek invention which does NOT exist in Indo-Iranian cultures prior to Manicheism.

The vast majority of the people I talk about are not even converts or westerners but rather Iranians and Indians born into the Zoroastrian faith.

Please argue for your case, but don't tell people who have lived as Zoroastrians for thousands of years that they can not be Zoroastrian. What would you possibly gain by that? Live and let live. OK?

Ushta
Alexander/has not seen any evidence yet of any extra-physical reality whatsoever and does not think it is SMART to argue for one either, as Zarathushtra would happily agree when he said that "good thoughts" foster "good words" within the one and only world which he belived in...

2010/1/24 ardeshir farhmand
Dear Alexander

The whole point i am making here is that we all have our niche of expertise.
some of us might be excellent in philosophical thoughts/studies, some of us might be good with poetry and might be fluent/well-versed in the original gathic language and comparative studies, another one might be just a bright/unique mind and a sharp intellect; and one might be the voice of common sense,.........
and one might be just a cynic with some good point nevertheless here and there.

all this said, we are here to compare and exchange our ideas and learn from each other since Zoroastrianism per Yasna 43.10 is all about discovery and freedom of spirit/awareness.

for example when Dino suggested "awareness" for "minoo/manesh" i felt it is an additional good idea/explanation that could be used in EXPLAINING/NOT TRANSLATING the concept.
when alexander, suggested "dynamic universe" i strongly felt he is right, since it avoids misunderstandings by the public. i incorporated the above changes in my FB articles.

The problem arises when we start using an unpleasant and hostile approach when we encounter a poetic language not to our personal liking, or when we find out that the original text has concepts that DO NOT agree with our personal beliefs.
Is the whole point here not to professionally discuss alternatives and suggest constructive ideas, or agree to widen our horizons and admit brighter and smarter possibilities????

Anyone with reasonable familiarity with the ORIGINAL GATHIC TEXT and the rich and truly brilliant ZOROASTRIAN EXEGESIS and TRADITION has no difficulty in objectively establishing that Zoroastrianism does not in any way agree with and/or is limited to PHYSICAL REALITY ATTITUDE ONLY.

Zarathustra was much smarter than that. when he talks about MAZDA, he is talking about insight, vision, wisdom and intelligence not just expressed in man, but in animals and all other possible sparks/manifestations/forms/expressions of vision and genius.

i think it is extremely cynical and unprofessional when e.g. parviz attacks my extensive knowledge of the gathic text; and sarcastically equates his mis-understanding of meta-physics or new age hocus pocus with my writings.

we say in every morning meditation/havan gah: we adore FREEDOM OF SPIRIT and LEARNING and STUDY.
yet reducing Zarathushtra's message to a cynical short-sighted materialism and ambigous "cow worship" is SIMPLY UNSUBSTANTIATED and NOT TRUE.

ZARATHUSTRA and HIS ENCHANTING GATHAS are all about VISION, FAR SIGHT, and WIDER AND MORE LUMINOUS HORIZONS AND POSSIBILITIES.

It is a very dynamic, fluid, luminous, and optimistic message; and that is precisely why is it NOT restricted to cynical and limited materialism. IT IS A MESSAGE THAT CELEBRATES BOTH SPIRIT and MATTER, e.g look at Yasna 16 among many other Yasnas and Sirozae.

so, calling this "ardeshir's version of the gathas" without any credible gathic citation to the opposite, and at the same time talking about "GAAUOOSH URVA" without even admitting its real meaning shows simply personal bias and unconditional favoritism for one's own personal convictions.

By the way, it is "GEUSH URVA" with a long french sounding "e," and it refers to "the spirit of life" in general and "the intuitive soul of animal kingdom" in particular. see Yasna 29.1 Yasna 29.2 and Yasna 29.9.

Zoroastrianism is NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEGE THAT MUST BE EARNED, and we are here to earn it through exchange of our higher awareness/spirits of understanding and brilliant ideas.

There are many jews that do not believe in TORAH or agree with it on every aspect, but they are still culturally jewish and more importantly do not label their personal beliefs as TORAH and/or HALACHA.

Zoroastrianism is not rigid or dogmatic. Zoroastrianism has nevertheless very "clear and established spiritual message and fundamentals". and is certainly not "post modernist polemic ambiguity" and/or "short-sighted and limited absolute materialism."

all i am saying is: let us first understand the enchanting gathas accurately, discuss them, try to express them in best possible manner through OBJECTIVE exchange of ideas, and always admit "wider horizons and better possibilities" in true harmony with the spirit of the gathas.

each one of us has his/her unique expertise and valuable contribution to make, let us admit that and try to work together and refrain from cynical, personal attacks and/or using less than collegial language.

my contribution to ushta is simply: try my best to clearly advise everyone as to the original and fascinating speech of the gathas; and through every one's help find brilliant but nevertheless CONSISTENT language to express them. if this can be done ONLY objectively and collegialy i would be happy to share my niche here.

Ardeshir



On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 4:09 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Ardeshir


I don't believe any Zoroastrian has the right to say that he or she is the sole interpretor of the Zoroastrian religion or Mazdayasna philosophy. This amounts to sectarianism and extremism. Zoroastrianism is a religion that has been PRACTICED for 3,700 years in a myriad of MULTIPLE ways and we need to respect this and be humble towards this fact.
Having said this, I agree with you on YOUR specific sentiment. Basically, I'm a huge fan of Zarathushtra too, I believe that The Gathas is an excellent text on which I'm happy to base my worldview and my philosophical conviction.
But unless you can prove that Mazda has taken other forms or manifestations than human minds, you risk turning Mazda into something superstitious and supernatural, and that is opposed to what Zarathushtra himself preached. Mazda MAY have othe rmanifestations, but Zarathushtra ever claims that Mazda DOES have other manifestations, and so far Sceinvce has not found any (as Parviz and Dino have both rightly pointe dout).
I would therefore recommend you to be careful to say YOUR interpretation is the OBJECTIVE one. It smacks more of pomposity rather than the amazing intelligence and integrity which you otherwise show so often. Just propose your arguments for what they are, SUBJECTIVE and learned interpretations, and you will be listened to much more and accepted for your wisdom, rather than being seen as a highly questionable sectarian. OK?
I have always said that Zoroastrianism, historically and Gathas-studies based, can be both Pantheistic and Panentheistic. Consequently, Mazda can be seen as Human Minds only and also possibly extrernal to human m inds (which however remains to be proven and can only be believed and not be a requirement for calling onseself a Mazdayasni). The one thing Zoroastrianism is and should not be, however, is sectarian and rigidly dogmatic. It would be the very opposite of The Geist of Zarathushtra himself who wanted nothing of the sort. Don't you agree?

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 ardeshir farhmand
it is truly regrettable if we choose to deviate from the true "Zarathushtiran Mazdyasna," and create our own cult/religion.
although, parviz or anyone else here is entitled to their opinion, yet NO ONE has the right to twist the words of Zarathushtra
or hijack Mazdyasna's name and create their own religion and call it Mazdyasna.
Mazdyasna is the name of Zarathushtra's message ONLY,
There HAS NEVER BEEN a MAZDYASNA WITHOUT ZARATHUSHTRA AND HIS POETIC GATHAS
i am solely here, because i am interested in an OBJECTIVE comparative study of Mazdyasna with other similar philos.
I simply can not believe my eyes when parviz suggests to remove our spiritual scripture, the poetic gathas and their avestan commentaries;
and become a philo without a pristine bardic source.
also, claiming that MAZDA is nothing more than our minds,
that no awareness/consciousness exists outside the material brain, and that "GAUSH URVA" alone is alive;
all this amounts to creating a brand new religion.
no much worse, it is using ZARATHUSHTRA's TERMINOLOGY and twist it around and call it mazdyasna.
The very name GEUSH URVA suggests a soul for the dynamic universe, a soul for all life.
disregarding tiese FACTS and presenting contrary and opposite ideas to our personal liking;
and call it MAZDYASNA is simply unsubstantiated and without legitimate authenticity.
either we are MAZDYASNI
or we are creating our own religion in accordance with our personal beliefs e.g cow worship as parviz likes to call it.
ZOROASTRIANISM IS NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEDGE that must BE CHOSEN.
if we are born into it and does not like the message of zarathushtra, well then, we are not mazdyasni or zoroastrian,
simple as that.
THE FACT IS THAT There is a CONCEPT of a GREAT BEYOND of GREAT, AWESOME and REAL POSSIBILITIES
BEYOND IN THE GATHAS AND MAZYASNA, there is RENOVATION OF THE EXISTENCE in the GATHAS,
there is PASSION, ENERGY, SPIRIT awareness in the GATHAS,
and many other concepts that will not please or agree remotely with a "PHYSICAL REALITY ONLY" attitude.

If we can not objectively study and understand that, there is no point for me to post or discuss anything further here.
we can disagree, but we can not create a new cult of our personal likes/dislikes in the name of Zarathushtra and Mazdyasna.

The Road to a Pragmatist Metaphysics

Dear Mehrdad

Very well put!!!I
But why assume that there are not new solutions around the corner? Philosophy evolves too.
I actually present a pragmatist metaphysics with my co-author Jan Soderqvist in "The Global Empire", one of the two new books that will come out in English later this year.
We organise phenomenology as an interplay between eternalism and mobilism, instead of the old Kantain duality of phenomena and noumena. Our point is that the inaccessibility of reality is based on the fact that everything is in flux whereas our perception only works as a sorting process where flows of flux are FICTIVIZED and even eternalized as OBJECTS. We even draw a parallel to Physics where fields and particcles are not so much co-existence as actually ordered: It is the FIELD which is primary and the particle which by necessity must be produced by the observer for the field to become an object (this will shake Physics too, which so far has been based on an inadequate phenomenology!).
The system is called "the dialectics between eternalism and mobilism" and there are five chapters devoted to it. The system has won wide approval among Scandinavian philosophers and scientists, it should be interesting to see how readers in English, Russian and French react to it next year.
The point is that mobilism is what is REAL (as Dino and all Pragmatists would insist, and any modern Kantian who has studied Physics would agree to) and eternalism is an illusion. But eternalism is the metaphysical necessity to be handle the mobilist reality phenomenologically. We MUST create and live with illusions for the world to work. This is why truth can not be absolute, it is PHENOMENOLOGICALLY as impossible as it is to travel faster than the speed of light. But there are differences of QUALITY between different eternalizations. Some are closer to the flows of fluxes than others.
So Metaphysics is a necessity becasue we are HUMANS and not gods. And in this sense, langauge is by necessity an operation of ontology. It would be naive to argue otherwise. And futile. So why the anti-metaphysical hostility? It is perfectly possible to create a creative and useful Metaphysics, it will certainly help Physics.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/24 mehrdad farahmand

Hi Dino,
I would say to say 'to be' is positing existence and with that you open up the question the essence and nature of what you assert and describe. Here, physics is occupied with structures, relations, causes, correlations in time. Metaphysics is concerned with time itself, the essence as a construct or a process or a substance, the essence of causality and synchronicity. In other words, metaphysics works with all the presuppositions of physics. In that ontology is different from all other endeavors. It has no presuppositions. It studies presuppositions.
One more point about souls, consciousness, and minds in nature. The question whether it is limited to organic brain and nervous system. There is no good argument that would limit mind to brain and organic matter. Although, that is what we empirically observe. However, we should differentiate the notion of soul, nous, from ghosts. The judeo-christian tradition assumes ghosts that are eternal, a kind of caspar. However, if you study Aristotle notion of entelechy, you will see that for him a soul is a self-organizing creative inherently intelligent (information processing) process that is inherently temporal and it is self-actualizing. From this perspective the universe and everything in the universe has souls. That does not mind it has a conscious mind as we do with perception, sensation, etc as we do. However, it is has a soul. You find the same notions in neoplatonism of plotinus, and in modern physics in the works of Bohm, Weizecker, Heisenberg.
Remember the problem of subjective consciousness is intractable unless we reevaluate our notions of what physicality is at all. You could read a good treatment of that in the works david chalmers and jaegwon kim.

mehrdad

New or old cults?

Dear Bahman

Thank you for your wise words!
My point is that we should learn from history and past mistakes and accept a certain humility before we pose with requirements of this or that Mazdayasna as the only true Mazdayasna etc.
Instead we should be proud of the pluralism of our religion and the fact that it encompasses so many variations during its 3,700-year long existence. We are a human religion, created by and for humans, using their best knowledge and intentions, as Zarathushtra wished, this is what makes it beautiful, tolerant and creative. Let's avoid going down the road of extremist madness that the religions of divine intervention (and single interpretations) so sadly have gone before us.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/24 Bahman Noruziaan

Dear members of the list,

Here, Alex refers to interpretation of a text.
For interpretation of the Gathas, one can refer to Mazdayasni Zartoshti texts, i.e. the whole Avesta as the base and platform as well as other Zoroastrian literature plus linguistic methods and other branches of science, or only refer to linguistic methods plus all other mind searching and intellectual methods.
The result could be very different and at times in disagreement. The Mazdayasni Zoroastrian religion up to a a couple of decades ago, was Avesta centric, in which the Gathas were embedded. From a couple of decades ago, interest in understanding the Gathas as the trure words of Ashoo Zarathishtra became very popular among Zoroastrians. In this trend however, we see those who see the Gathas from the view point of traditional Zoroastrianism and those who try to interpret and understand it regardless of the well established and a few millennia old Zoroastrian/Mazdayasni religion.
The second movement is certainly a new movement.

Bahman

To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: bardissimo@gmail.com
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 13:44:21 +0100

Subject: [Ushta] New or old cults?


Dear Ardeshir

Who has the old and who has the new cult here?
And a text may be objective but its INTERPRETATION is per definition always subjective. There is after all always somebody who interprets the text and that person is a subject and not an object.
I have certainly not started any new cult. How about yourself? So what is then the problem?

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 ardeshir farhmand
If we can not objectively study and understand that, there is no pont for me to post or discuss anything further here.
we can disagree, but we can not create a new cult in the name of zarathushtra.

Ardeshir

On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:


Dear Alexander,

Many old words have been corrupted by the wrong usage over the ages. So even if they can have very good and legitimate meanings, one must move away from them and coin new words in order to get the mothball smell out of the ideas being presented. Maybe you remember that I had coined new words in order to better express my thoughts when we had long discussions with our dear Dina McIntyre. She considered the translation of God-Worship as the only legitimate translation for Mazda-Yasna (Mazda=God Yasna=Worship) and I was proposing Philo-Sophia (Sophia=Mazda Philo=Yasna). After the arguments dragged on too long, I proposed the word "Manesh-Jashni" for the school of thought we were formulating instead of Mazdayasna. We did not agree on that, so until the end of time, all shades of born and unborn Zoroastrians will attack us and say that we have stolen Mazdayasna from them and it does not mean what we say it means.

Methaphisics is another one of those words which has been corrupted by the wrong usage over a long period of time. If somebody does not know Billy Graham (the famous Christian evangelist) and wants to go to one of his speeches and asks me about what he may expect to hear there, I will tell him that "you are going to be in for an evening of talks about Metaphysics and not Philosophy". What I say will give a clear image of what Billy Graham will be all about that evening as Metaphysics is not Philosophy for the average man regardless of what Vicapedia says about it.

This is why when I say OUR brand of Philo-Sophia=Mazda-Yasna must move past Metaphysical parameters into a Post-Metaphysics realm, I do not think what I am saying is Gibberish. My assumptions may be wrong and I welcome being corrected.

Ushta Te,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sat, 1/23/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Post-Metaphysics
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 2:59 AM


Dear Parviz and Dino

You are using the term "metaphysics" here at least as sloppily and out of context as Ardeshir does when he says that "the universe is alive".
There is and there never will be a post-metaphysical Mazdayasna. There is not even any post-metaphysical atheism if that is what you desire.
The Universe is DYNAMIC and not alive. Mazdayasna strives to be post-supernatural or anti-supernatural (which I believe is the term you are lacking) but never post-metaphysical.
Just so that we can have a debate which we and outsiders too can all understand and that makes sense.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 Parviz Varjavand

Dorood Dino,

The problem is that the Gatha may be mostly metaphysical talks if in the hands of those who get high only on metaphysical gibberish (as you put it). Can we move Gatha to a post-metaphysics level? I have given up on that because I say that if we want post-metaphysical Mazdayasna, we should be brave enough to make all sacred books irrelevant for our new school of thought. Sorry Zanetta, we may not be the best guys to get high on Zoroastrian Metaphysics here on the Ushta site.

Parviz

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: AW: [Ushta] One more long title that does not tell us what is beeing talked about.
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010, 3:39 PM


Dear Parviz

The problem is not whether one's philosophy is earth-centered or not, but it's all just metaphysical gibberish in the sense that they are making outrageously bold claims about something that we can never prove right or wrong. So this is where blind faith starts: metaphysics. And that's why I went post-metaphysics 9 years ago.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: [Ushta] One more long title that does not tell us what is beeing talked about.
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 22:52


My feelings towards Ardeshir's writings is the same as Dino's.
Clear thinking and clear talking go hand in hand.
>>>>"Our minds are limited":
Sure they are, but show me a mind outside the brains of humans and I will shut up. This is the best that you can get, so why put it down.
>>>>"Cosmos is alive":
Where? Where other than on earth have you found life?
>>>"Christianity was Earth Centered, let us not be like them":
Just because the Church thought that the planets rotated around the earth does not make the philosophy of Christianity "Earth Centered". Their vision was always Heaven centered, Earth was a place of damnation and Heavens was a place of bliss and perfection for the Church. This is so plain to anybody that knows history that to present it otherwise is pure ........ My (Parviz's) Mazdayasna is Earth Centered because I can find life only on earth. I will move my center of attention from Earth to any other place you want me to as soon as you find life anywhere else other than Earth.

Nice to see that at least Dino is also with us here catching the .......
Ushta,
Parviz Varjavand
Meditating as usual upon cow plops because more life exists in a cow plop here on earth than in all of the cosmos beyond the earth.

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: WG: Re: [Ushta] Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010, 9:10 AM




--- Special Kain schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Special Kain
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna
An: "ardeshir farhmand"
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 18:08

I just don't want to turn this all into some metaphysical hocus-pocus that even parapsychologists don't care about anymore. That's all.
But your description always sounds like: There's a Great Beyond where Mazda is resting, and we only see just a tiny bit of Mazda's excellence. Here I strongly disagree, because I don't buy into the Kantian distinction between The Phenomenal and The Noumenal. Such distinctions died the moment North American pragmatism popped up. I have been dealing with post-ontology and post-metaphysics since I was 21 years old.
No offense!

Ushta,
Dino

--- ardeshir farhmand schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: ardeshir farhmand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
CC: "Special Kain"
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 17:51

Dear Dino,

i really did NOT expect this kind of talk from u. u said something that made sense, i came up with a suggestion that was also poetic. there is NO need to import dregatory remarks in between. since u are both sensible and smart.

the FACT is MAZDA is wisdom, vision, insight and genius and IS NOT A LIMITED CONCEPT, our minds/intellectual powers on the other hand are limited.
so, what word would u suggest that would best fit our context here????

i think, u should not read too much into something that IS SIMPLY NOT EVEN IMPLIED. if new-age people use a similar terminology, oh well. we have not to discredit poetic language becs someone else is abusing it???

also becuase if some of us are allergic to a certain style of language; DOES NOT mean that we should read more into it than what it simply says, u can suggest alternatives, because u fully grasp the main concept here!

Ardeshir

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 8:29 AM, Special Kain wrote:

Dear Ardeshir

That's exactly the kind of statement I would get from all the New Age esotericists and occultists I have met so far. ;-)
And all decent parapsychologists I know have gotten past such metaphysical gibberish.

My two cents,
Dino

--- ardeshir farhmand schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: ardeshir farhmand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 17:24


Dear Dino,

how about a SPARK OF instead????see the point is MAZDA is infinite wisdom, insight, genius, vision. our minds/awareness is ont he other hand mostly limited. so we have to be careful not to limit an infinite concept/genial energy.

ardeshir

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 8:17 AM, Special Kain wrote:

Dear Ardeshir and Alexander

There's no difference between something's own nature and its manifestation. Anything else is metaphysical gibberish about artificial distinctions - please see Plato and Arthur Schopenhauer, for example.
To say that Mazda is X is no different from enlisting the manifestations of Mazda. Simply because things mean what they cause, things are what they do - I am the thoughts I think, the words I speak, the actions I undertake. And as soon as we discover other manifestations of Mazda, we can see what else Mazda is.
And since we're here on earth, Mazda is (= is manifested as) the total sum of all wise minds on our dear planet. This definition doesn't rule out the possibility of other intelligent lifeforms in our overwhelmingly big and fascinating universe and beyond.
At the end of the day, we don't disagree, since it's not about philosophical hairsplitting, but empirical consequences (from a pragmatist's point of view).

Ushta,
Dino // has never liked Kant's distinction between The Phenomenal and The Noumenal and prefers pragmatism combined with existential philosophy

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 16:58


Dear Ardeshir

I totally agree!!!
This is also why "modern concepts" like the equality between all humans and an ecological approach towards nature are not new or "modern at all, these were always Zoroastrian concepts and have been so for at least 3,700 years. This is what we need to teach the world about Zoroastrianism!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 ardeshir farhmand

Alexander,

u got it right and u put it very well, every spark of "wisdom, insight, vision and genius" is a MANIFESTATION of MAZDA; be it human or non-human, here on earth or elsewhere in this amazing web of existence.

i think it is of paramount importance to realize that the gathas of zarathushtra are NOT earth -centric or human centric. they are centered on wisdom, insight, genius; and passion, awareness and spirit with an emphasis on the GREAT CELEBRATION of the MATERIAL LIFE.

human centrism or earth centrism are church dogmas not ours.

ardeshir

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 6:47 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Or to take an example from the best part of Christianity and twist around to re-Zoroastrianize it:
"Wherevere two of you gather, Mazda is present."
I would be a bit careful to say that this or that IS Mazda. I prefer to say that this or that is a MANIFESTATION of Mazda.
Zarathushtra was smart enough not to limit Mazda only to what he and his contemporaries knew or took for granted.
Because Mazda is likely to be present in many other forms and places in this wonderful universe. Our divine minds is just one manifestation among possibly millions.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 Special Kain

Dear Alexander

The internet is both: Ahura (infrastructure and technology) and Mazda (user- and talent-generated content). Ahura is the simple fact that both you and I are alive and communicating with each other online. Mazda is whatever text we're about to co-write together and the ideas and identities emanating from such a creative process. «Yahoo!» is Ahura to us, «Ushta» is Mazda.
In this sense Mazda is the total sum of all wise minds on our dear planet that contribute constructively and creatively to civilization and have learned to cope with their existence creatively and intelligently.
Freedom is entangled with our surroundings (civilization) and intelligence (education). So rather than repeat classical liberalism and see people as opposed to an oppressive society, we see that there's no Mazda without Ahura - and that Mazda has the potential to reshape Ahura, which will affect Mazda - and so on, and so forth.
Zoroastrian philosophy has always understood freedom in terms of civilizationism and social evolutionism. This is exactly why Zoroastrianism has become so tremendously relevant!

My ten cents,
Dino

What is Metaphysics?

Haha, no, I don't think there is any connection between Metaphysics and Ardeshir Farahmand per se. I just look forward to Ardeshir responding to our sincere questions on where he sets the limits to Mazdayasna. My limits are rather very generous, especially since Zoroastrianism is historically speaking NOT a sectarian or dogmatic religion, one of its best qualities.
Metaphysics is NOT religion. Rather the opposite, Metaphysics has always been Philosophy's way of dealing with the big issues in life, taking them away from Religion.
For example Ontology, which is key to Metaphysics, how does something that we know is in flux, forever changing, still appear as a firm object, as a form of being, to us? What exactly constitutes its being, its eternalization, its substance over time? And what can NOT be caught within its being? This is what Metaphysics deals with.
This has nothing to do with anything supernatural. I would never advocate any such thing. As both you and I and Dino have agreed on hundreds of times.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/24 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

I was not aware of what you had to tell me about the true meaning of Metaphysics. I just assumed that Metaphysics dealt mostly with religious thought and that most religious thought dealt with the supernatural, life after death, and the realm of the Jinn. My mistake, I will learn to like Metaphysics now because of you.

Is Metaphysics what Mr.Farahmand has the knowledge of as the one who knows all about the TRUE MAZDAYASNI ZARATHUSHTRESH?

Ushta,
Parviz Varjavand


--- On Sun, 1/24/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Post-Metaphysics
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 4:41 AM

Dear Parviz

I know what you are saying but I believe this is a bad idea.
Metaphysics is what most of Philosophy is about. All of Ontology runs under the title of Metaphysics.
If you don't like supernatural beliefs, then say so. If you don't like dualism, then please say so. I'm all with you and I totallyu agree with you.
But since when did Metaphysics become such a hated term and why?
Are you going to revolt against the whole world over THIS term and do you prefer to be constantly misunderstood by just about everybody? Why???
To say that you are against Metaphysics is like saying that you are against Philosophy itself. Why???

Ushta
Alexander/happy to have kidnapped "Mazdayasna" since Zarathushtra himself would have approved, comparison with Metaphysics here strongly misplaced...

2010/1/23 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alexander,

Many old words have been corrupted by the wrong usage over the ages. So even if they can have very good and legitimate meanings, one must move away from them and coin new words in order to get the mothball smell out of the ideas being presented. Maybe you remember that I had coined new words in order to better express my thoughts when we had long discussions with our dear Dina McIntyre. She considered the translation of God-Worship as the only legitimate translation for Mazda-Yasna (Mazda=God Yasna=Worship) and I was proposing Philo-Sophia (Sophia=Mazda Philo=Yasna) . After the arguments dragged on too long, I proposed the word "Manesh-Jashni" for the school of thought we were formulating instead of Mazdayasna. We did not agree on that, so until the end of time, all shades of born and unborn Zoroastrians will attack us and say that we have stolen Mazdayasna from them and it does not mean what we say it means.

Methaphisics is another one of those words which has been corrupted by the wrong usage over a long period of time. If somebody does not know Billy Graham (the famous Christian evangelist) and wants to go to one of his speeches and asks me about what he may expect to hear there, I will tell him that "you are going to be in for an evening of talks about Metaphysics and not Philosophy". What I say will give a clear image of what Billy Graham will be all about that evening as Metaphysics is not Philosophy for the average man regardless of what Vicapedia says about it.

This is why when I say OUR brand of Philo-Sophia= Mazda-Yasna must move past Metaphysical parameters into a Post-Metaphysics realm, I do not think what I am saying is Gibberish. My assumptions may be wrong and I welcome being corrected.

Ushta Te,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sat, 1/23/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Post-Metaphysics
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 2:59 AM

Dear Parviz and Dino

You are using the term "metaphysics" here at least as sloppily and out of context as Ardeshir does when he says that "the universe is alive".
There is and there never will be a post-metaphysical Mazdayasna. There is not even any post-metaphysical atheism if that is what you desire.
The Universe is DYNAMIC and not alive. Mazdayasna strives to be post-supernatural or anti-supernatural (which I believe is the term you are lacking) but never post-metaphysical.
Just so that we can have a debate which we and outsiders too can all understand and that makes sense.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 Parviz Varjavand

Dorood Dino,

The problem is that the Gatha may be mostly metaphysical talks if in the hands of those who get high only on metaphysical gibberish (as you put it). Can we move Gatha to a post-metaphysics level? I have given up on that because I say that if we want post-metaphysical Mazdayasna, we should be brave enough to make all sacred books irrelevant for our new school of thought. Sorry Zanetta, we may not be the best guys to get high on Zoroastrian Metaphysics here on the Ushta site.

Parviz

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: AW: [Ushta] One more long title that does not tell us what is beeing talked about.
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010, 3:39 PM


Dear Parviz

The problem is not whether one's philosophy is earth-centered or not, but it's all just metaphysical gibberish in the sense that they are making outrageously bold claims about something that we can never prove right or wrong. So this is where blind faith starts: metaphysics. And that's why I went post-metaphysics 9 years ago.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: [Ushta] One more long title that does not tell us what is beeing talked about.
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 22:52


My feelings towards Ardeshir's writings is the same as Dino's.
Clear thinking and clear talking go hand in hand.
>>>>"Our minds are limited":
Sure they are, but show me a mind outside the brains of humans and I will shut up. This is the best that you can get, so why put it down.
>>>>"Cosmos is alive":
Where? Where other than on earth have you found life?
>>>"Christianity was Earth Centered, let us not be like them":
Just because the Church thought that the planets rotated around the earth does not make the philosophy of Christianity "Earth Centered". Their vision was always Heaven centered, Earth was a place of damnation and Heavens was a place of bliss and perfection for the Church. This is so plain to anybody that knows history that to present it otherwise is pure ........ My (Parviz's) Mazdayasna is Earth Centered because I can find life only on earth. I will move my center of attention from Earth to any other place you want me to as soon as you find life anywhere else other than Earth.

Nice to see that at least Dino is also with us here catching the .......
Ushta,
Parviz Varjavand
Meditating as usual upon cow plops because more life exists in a cow plop here on earth than in all of the cosmos beyond the earth.

What is Mazdayasna?

Dear Ardeshir

I don't believe any Zoroastrian has the right to say that he or she is the sole interpretor of the Zoroastrian religion or Mazdayasna philosophy. This amounts to sectarianism and extremism. Zoroastrianism is a religion that has been PRACTICED for 3,700 years in a myriad of MULTIPLE ways and we need to respect this and be humble towards this fact.
Having said this, I agree with you on YOUR specific sentiment. Basically, I'm a huge fan of Zarathushtra too, I believe that The Gathas is an excellent text on which I'm happy to base my worldview and my philosophical conviction.
But unless you can prove that Mazda has taken other forms or manifestations than human minds, you risk turning Mazda into something superstitious and supernatural, and that is opposed to what Zarathushtra himself preached. Mazda MAY have othe rmanifestations, but Zarathushtra ever claims that Mazda DOES have other manifestations, and so far Sceinvce has not found any (as Parviz and Dino have both rightly pointe dout).
I would therefore recommend you to be careful to say YOUR interpretation is the OBJECTIVE one. It smacks more of pomposity rather than the amazing intelligence and integrity which you otherwise show so often. Just propose your arguments for what they are, SUBJECTIVE and learned interpretations, and you will be listened to much more and accepted for your wisdom, rather than being seen as a highly questionable sectarian. OK?
I have always said that Zoroastrianism, historically and Gathas-studies based, can be both Pantheistic and Panentheistic. Consequently, Mazda can be seen as Human Minds only and also possibly extrernal to human m inds (which however remains to be proven and can only be believed and not be a requirement for calling onseself a Mazdayasni). The one thing Zoroastrianism is and should not be, however, is sectarian and rigidly dogmatic. It would be the very opposite of The Geist of Zarathushtra himself who wanted nothing of the sort. Don't you agree?

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/23 ardeshir farhmand
it is truly regrettable if we choose to deviate from the true "Zarathushtiran Mazdyasna," and create our own cult/religion.
although, parviz or anyone else here is entitled to their opinion, yet NO ONE has the right to twist the words of Zarathushtra
or hijack Mazdyasna's name and create their own religion and call it Mazdyasna.
Mazdyasna is the name of Zarathushtra's message ONLY,
There HAS NEVER BEEN a MAZDYASNA WITHOUT ZARATHUSHTRA AND HIS POETIC GATHAS
i am solely here, because i am interested in an OBJECTIVE comparative study of Mazdyasna with other similar philos.
I simply can not believe my eyes when parviz suggests to remove our spiritual scripture, the poetic gathas and their avestan commentaries;
and become a philo without a pristine bardic source.
also, claiming that MAZDA is nothing more than our minds,
that no awareness/consciousness exists outside the material brain, and that "GAUSH URVA" alone is alive;
all this amounts to creating a brand new religion.
no much worse, it is using ZARATHUSHTRA's TERMINOLOGY and twist it around and call it mazdyasna.
The very name GEUSH URVA suggests a soul for the dynamic universe, a soul for all life.
disregarding tiese FACTS and presenting contrary and opposite ideas to our personal liking;
and call it MAZDYASNA is simply unsubstantiated and without legitimate authenticity.
either we are MAZDYASNI
or we are creating our own religion in accordance with our personal beliefs e.g cow worship as parviz likes to call it.
ZOROASTRIANISM IS NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEDGE that must BE CHOSEN.
if we are born into it and does not like the message of zarathushtra, well then, we are not mazdyasni or zoroastrian,
simple as that.
THE FACT IS THAT There is a CONCEPT of a GREAT BEYOND of GREAT, AWESOME and REAL POSSIBILITIES
BEYOND IN THE GATHAS AND MAZYASNA, there is RENOVATION OF THE EXISTENCE in the GATHAS,
there is PASSION, ENERGY, SPIRIT awareness in the GATHAS,
and many other concepts that will not please or agree remotely with a "PHYSICAL REALITY ONLY" attitude.

If we can not objectively study and understand that, there is no point for me to post or discuss anything further here.
we can disagree, but we can not create a new cult of our personal likes/dislikes in the name of Zarathushtra and Mazdyasna.

fredagen den 22:e januari 2010

Manifestations of Mazda and the Pathos of Mazdayasna

Dear Ardeshir

I totally agree!!!
This is also why "modern concepts" like the equality between all humans and an ecological approach towards nature are not new or "modern at all, these were always Zoroastrian concepts and have been so for at least 3,700 years. This is what we need to teach the world about Zoroastrianism!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 ardeshir farhmand

Alexander,

u got it right and u put it very well, every spark of "wisdom, insight, vision and genius" is a MANIFESTATION of MAZDA; be it human or non-human, here on earth or elsewhere in this amazing web of existence.

i think it is of paramount importance to realize that the gathas of zarathushtra are NOT earth -centric or human centric. they are centered on wisdom, insight, genius; and passion, awareness and spirit with an emphasis on the GREAT CELEBRATION of the MATERIAL LIFE.

human centrism or earth centrism are church dogmas not ours.

ardeshir

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 6:47 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Or to take an example from the best part of Christianity and twist around to re-Zoroastrianize it:

"Wherevere two of you gather, Mazda is present."
I would be a bit careful to say that this or that IS Mazda. I prefer to say that this or that is a MANIFESTATION of Mazda.
Zarathushtra was smart enough not to limit Mazda only to what he and his contemporaries knew or took for granted.
Because Mazda is likely to be present in many other forms and places in this wonderful universe. Our divine minds is just one manifestation among possibly millions.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 Special Kain

Dear Alexander

The internet is both: Ahura (infrastructure and technology) and Mazda (user- and talent-generated content). Ahura is the simple fact that both you and I are alive and communicating with each other online. Mazda is whatever text we're about to co-write together and the ideas and identities emanating from such a creative process. «Yahoo!» is Ahura to us, «Ushta» is Mazda.
In this sense Mazda is the total sum of all wise minds on our dear planet that contribute constructively and creatively to civilization and have learned to cope with their existence creatively and intelligently.
Freedom is entangled with our surroundings (civilization) and intelligence (education). So rather than repeat classical liberalism and see people as opposed to an oppressive society, we see that there's no Mazda without Ahura - and that Mazda has the potential to reshape Ahura, which will affect Mazda - and so on, and so forth.
Zoroastrian philosophy has always understood freedom in terms of civilizationism and social evolutionism. This is exactly why Zoroastrianism has become so tremendously relevant!

My ten cents,
Dino

Manifestations of Mazda

Or to take an example from the best part of Christianity and twist around to re-Zoroastrianize it:
"Wherevere two of you gather, Mazda is present."
I would be a bit careful to say that this or that IS Mazda. I prefer to say that this or that is a MANIFESTATION of Mazda.
Zarathushtra was smart enough not to limit Mazda only to what he and his contemporaries knew or took for granted.
Because Mazda is likely to be present in many other forms and places in this wonderful universe. Our divine minds is just one manifestation among possibly millions.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 Special Kain

Dear Alexander

The internet is both: Ahura (infrastructure and technology) and Mazda (user- and talent-generated content). Ahura is the simple fact that both you and I are alive and communicating with each other online. Mazda is whatever text we're about to co-write together and the ideas and identities emanating from such a creative process. «Yahoo!» is Ahura to us, «Ushta» is Mazda.
In this sense Mazda is the total sum of all wise minds on our dear planet that contribute constructively and creatively to civilization and have learned to cope with their existence creatively and intelligently.
Freedom is entangled with our surroundings (civilization) and intelligence (education). So rather than repeat classical liberalism and see people as opposed to an oppressive society, we see that there's no Mazda without Ahura - and that Mazda has the potential to reshape Ahura, which will affect Mazda - and so on, and so forth.
Zoroastrian philosophy has always understood freedom in terms of civilizationism and social evolutionism. This is exactly why Zoroastrianism has become so tremendously relevant!

My ten cents,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Mazda in the minds of your fellow human beings
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 11:15


Dear Friends

I agree with Dino. Since human beings are MANIFESTATIONS of Mazda, then I find Mazda in the kinds of other human beings. As long as Mazda materialises in the shape of other human beings, that is where I find a Mazda to have a dialogue with (not excluding the possibility of other homes for Mazda if they should appear). My friends, my family, my congregation, but also in the eyes of strangers from other sides of the world from where I live. That's where I find Mazda.
Isn't even the internet in this sense a giant manifestation of Mazda too?

Ushta
Alexander

Mazda in the minds of your fellow human beings

Dear Friends

I agree with Dino. Since human beings are MANIFESTATIONS of Mazda, then I find Mazda in the kinds of other human beings. As long as Mazda materialises in the shape of other human beings, that is where I find a Mazda to have a dialogue with (not excluding the possibility of other homes for Mazda if they should appear). My friends, my family, my congregation, but also in the eyes of strangers from other sides of the world from where I live. That's where I find Mazda.
Isn't even the internet in this sense a giant manifestation of Mazda too?

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 Special Kain

Dear Parviz and Ardeshir

There's an overwhelmingly big universe (Ahura). Within this overwhelmingly big universe, there are intelligent organisms - on our dear planet - that can examine and reshape the conditions of their existence and intelligence (Mazda).
I don't see any beyond in this simple story. There's no transcendental pool of infinite possibilities emanating from a 100% non-physical and all-encompassing mind. And please don't mistake our vocabularies for pretty photographs - such stories are there to help us predict and control future events (and to come to terms with past experiences).

My two cents this morning,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Fr, 22.1.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: [Ushta] The limited meaning of Mazda
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Januar 2010, 8:24


Ardeshir, dorood,

I also enjoy reading you and I do wish us to not drift apart as two born Zartoshtis because of what we say to one another. You are right that it is painful to be all alone as humans and have no other creature of the same level of intelligence or higher visible anywhere in the cosmos. But what is the answer? Is it any answer to manufacture one out of our imagination and then try to communicate with it? We are very very helpless, otherwise the Great Religions would not grow so Great. What do they give us? Imaginary masters, friends, lovers, in the skies with whom we can try to relate and not feel so abandoned by a cold and mechanical universe? What if we wake up from this sleep of fantasy and say that we do not want their answer to our lonely situation anymore? My feeling is that then we may be able to talk to the Cow and the Cow would talk back to us with more freedom and passion than ever. The Cow is the only thing worth talking to because THE COW IS ALIVE. The Skies are not Alive. The skies are DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, I hate all of those who talk to the skies as if it is alive while the Cow is dying right in front of their eyes. The skies can not help us because they are a set of dead mechanical machinery while the Cow is helping us while bleeding for us giving us food and shelter. The Cow was right in its lamentations to Ahoora Mazda at the opening passages of the Gatha. One more bearded-wonder and one more sacred book was not what the Cow needed. We need answeres for life and not afterlife.

Parviz Varjavand

--- On Thu, 1/21/10, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: Fw: [Ushta] the true meaning of mazdá
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "Alexander Bard"
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 7:50 AM


whatever, parviz, it seems i have a hard time getting my message across to u.
but keep posting ur comments, i enjoy reading them anyways.
however i strongly disagree with the biblical view that humans are at the center of the universe. THEY ARE NOT. im also opposed to give this human-centric view a scientific legitimac y; and assume that everything is about the very limited and at many times incapable human faculties. earth is a wonderful speck in the universe. and humans are rather star-dust. they can connect to infinity of wisdom, but they certainly do not embody it at all times.

ardeshir

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 7:29 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Ardeshir,

Using WORD PLAY and POETRY to some means that they can avoid admitting that they have ever been wrong when pontificating around any subject. They can keep knowing the TRUE MEANING of any obscure topic they delve into without being challenged.

Parviz


--- On Thu, 1/21/10, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: Fw: [Ushta] the true meaning of mazdá
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6:59 AM



Parviz,

i cited the traditional meaning and then compared it with vedic and indo-european cognates. and i reaffirmed a word-play that suggests all this possible meanings are co-realted. so this is what u miss the importance of WORD PLAY in poetry.

ardeshir

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 9:16 PM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Ardeshir,

I do read what you write very carefully.
You are saying that MAZ means BIG as in MEMASS and BAMASS.
You are saying that DA is related to DANESH and means WISDOM.
You are saying that when put together in AHURA MAZDA we get BIG WISDOM.
I say that is the MA part of MAZDA which means WISDOM and relates to the word MIND and MANIDAN, that there is nothing that means BIG in the word AHURA MAZDA.
Please read what you write more carefully and then read what I have to say about it more carefully. What we are each saying is very important and very well thought out by both of us, no need to try and belittle each other as someone who is not a careful reader.

Ushta, te,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Wed, 1/20/10, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: Fw: [Ushta] the true meaning of mazdá
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 8:28 PM


Dear Parviz,

i am alluding to the indo-germanic poetic word play. there is no mention of big daddy. read it one more time carefully. i am citing all possible vedic connections and all possible ancient indo-european connections. it seems to me that my comparative study is pretty much in line with the ancient exegesis and its conclusion concernin g the meaning of the word. again remember the word-play. the word has intentionally a layer of related meanings as is the tradition in the indo-germanic bardic tradition.

ardeshir

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 8:02 PM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Friends, I noticed that the key writing of Mr. Ardeshir Farahmand was not included when I posted my answere to it. I am posting it to you here. Parviz Varjavand


--- On Wed, 1/20/10, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: [Ushta] the true meaning of mazdá
To: "mehrdad farahmand"
Cc: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 9:19 AM


i alluded in my ahün-var article to this, the very name "mazdá," not only suggests inherent wisdom and intuitive understanding, but it is connected to thoughts, memory and brilliant ideas, Lith. mintis "thought, idea, and vision; greek mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer.

more interestingly the word is related to Skt. mahan/mahas "the great world of possibilities. "
"this is strongly confirmed by the ancient exegesis. accordingly, this shows most interesting connection to O.E. mæg (inf. magan, pt. meahte, mihte), from P.Gmc. root mag-, O.N. mega, Ger. mögen, Goth. magan "to be able"), from PIE *mogh-/*megh- "power to realize." O.C.S. mogo "to be able," mosti "power, force," ." "mazdá" is not only vision and wisdom, but also the power to realize that vision and make it happen and möglich.

Furthermore, "shyaotha-na- nám" in ahünvar or Yasna 27.13 refers to the manifesting act of "spentá mainyü " or the auspicious spirit of ahurmazd.

In short, mazdá is all the wisdom/meta- knowledge we have to acquire, all the wondrous powers we have to obtain, all the new, amazing and awesome possibilities that we must aspire to realize.

ü ö á

mazdá is the same as Greek "Metis" and Sanskrit "Medha," they all seem to point to learning, wisdom, intuitive understanding, skill/craft via superb mental/spiritual powers.

The Lithuanian "mandras" "wide-awake, " O.C.S. madru "wise, sage," Goth. mundonsis "to look at, all come from the same root. There seem to be also a germanic "mntr" meaning "awake, lively,intelligent. " We also encounter "medhira," described in Rigveda 8.6.10 as the "insight into the truth of things."

The Zoroastrian tradition translates Maz-da, as "mas danaki" or "mas danai," "great vision," "great wisdom;" or the "greatly wise" and of "superb understanding/ insight."

In the vedas we have three supreme worlds whose names are not given. But in the vedantic books the greatest of all these supreme worlds is MAHAS, the great world. The principle of MAHAS is "vi-jnana or gnosis, superb knowledge as well as insightful understanding of things which leads upwards to MAYAS or awesome powers to make and create. See O.E. macian, from W.Gmc. "to build, make," O.H.G. mahhon, Ger. machen.)


In short, MAZDA means insight, superior understanding, sagacity, and GREAT GENIUS. Zarathushtra declares that WISDOM, VISION and GREAT GENIUS is the POWER SUPREME or MAZDA AHURA as he calls it.

Notice the deliberate and beautiful indo-germanic word-play that suggests "mazdá," wisdom and vision, mental/spiritual abilities is the "ahura par excellence or "ahura maximus."

(Writen by Mr. Ardeshir Farahmand)

My responce (Parviz Varjavand)
Dear readers,

First: We are all best of friends. We do not have personal fights. Philosophy must have the freedom of argument back and forth otherwise it becomes Theology. Theology is the repeating of one set of dogmas per dictates of one set of sacred books, it does not become the free and freedom giving Philosophy that can go anywhere it wants to. I argue that Mazdayasna is Philosophy, it is not the Theology of one set of books of any religious teachings and traditions.

Second: Dear Ardeshir and Dear Bahman argue that according to sacred books of the Zoroastrians, man can progress towards perfection and become God. I have no argument with this if it is the same imagery that Nietzsche uses in his Man walking on a tightrope between the Monkey and the Superman. But I argue with this imagery if it assumes that
there is a Big-Daddy somewhere in the intangible realms already and I am on my way to progress and actually become my Big-Daddy.

Third: The meaning of key words such as Ahoora, Mazda, Minoo, Yasna, and many more, are very important when given weight in one direction or another. Our Nomenclature of these key words, as we agree upon their meanings, will take us either to where Nietzsche wants to take us (philosophically speaking) OR they will take us where the poet Rumi wants to take us (and the great Monotheist teachers such as Moses and Christ). Rumi (Mowlavi) is saying the same thing that St. Augustin is saying, that we are fallen creatures and must return to the garden of our Big-Daddy the perfect God that exists out there somewhere beyond space-body-time- birth-death parameters.

Forth: Alex, Ardeshir, Dino, Bahman, Parviz, none of us are trained as Philologists to have the authority to definitely say what exact meaning fits which exact Gathic or Avestan word. We just cling to our favorite Philologists when it comes to deciphering the meanings of the key words we need. Even the top philologists are not in agreement with one another as each of them have their own pet-corner they want to drag any philosophical argument to. Alex's solution not to translate into English key words does not help; it just keeps us in fog not knowing what it is that we want to exactly say.

Having said all of the above, now lets get to the meaning of Mazda.
All philologists agree that Mazda has something to do with Mind and that Mind has to do with Thinking. Mazda has two parts, the Maz part and the Da part. We need to know, is it the MAz part that connotes Intelligence and Thinking or the DA part. My teachers, Mr. Behrooz and Dr. Moghadam thought me that it is the MA part that has to do with MIND and comes from the same basic Aryan root as Mind and Manesh. Ostad Jafarey thought at Sazemane Faravahar for many years that it was the DA part that was related to DANESH and thus meant Wisdom or Intelligence. So the argument remained, is it the MA of Mazda which makes it mean MIND or is it the DA part of Mazda which means intelligence. Why is this important? Because per the initial teachings of Jafarey, the MAZ part means BIG, in that way we get a BIG-MIND which is nothing more than the BIG-DADDY (who art in heavens, hallow be thy name, give us our daily bread).

Having this argument before, we went to Prof. Martin Schwartz of Berkley and asked him what he thought. He agreed that it was the MA part that connected us with the MIND meaning, that the z and the da prats were just additives. Alex and I celebrated, and when I presented Martin's view to Jafarey, he agreed that Martin was right. Now we have Mr. Farahmand arguing again that there is a BIG somewhere in Mazda in the MAZ part of it that means BIG and the DA part of it means Danesh or wisdom.

My position is that I do not care who says that there is a BIG-DADDY. I do not like the Big Daddy concept and I will never go back to him hat in hand as a fallen creature. I will walk joyously using the imagery that the archetypal Ameshaspands give me towards living in harmony with my MOTHER the Gavush Urvan, the COW, but "Our Father in Heavens", I do not like Him, I do not love Him, and I do not wish to be united with Him.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

Zoroastrianism vs Platonism

Dear Ardeshir

I agree with you on this issue 100%!!!
Of the Greek philosophers, Heraclitus was "the Persian thinker". Western process philosophy starts with Heraclitus who got his ideas from Iranian philosophy (Mazdayasna in other words).

Brotherly love
Alexander

2010/1/22 ardeshir farhmand
Dear Alexander,

u wrote: "Forget about Cartesianism and Platonism, think Zarathushtra!
His point is that the human mind/consciousness is a MANIFESTATION of Mazda (St Paul actually stole this concept 100% from the Zoroastrians when he said that The Christian Congregation is the Manifestation of The Holy Spirit; The Holy Spirit is a theft from the concept of Ahura Mazda)." I AGREE about ur assessment on the HOLY SPIRIT. also agree that minoo is the spark of mazda, in fact mazda is minoo par excellence and heraclitus logos would serve as a very good comparative example.

Yet, to be CLEAR ON THE RECORD IM NOT A PLATONIST, neither is MAZDYASNA. the same fundamental differences that exist between manichaeism and zoroastrianism; exist between platonism and zoroastrianism. i was very clear on that issue at all times, so if someone read platonism in my writings it may be that they unconsciously read too much into it and/or mistake the common allegorical symbols of both without paying attention to their fundamental differences.

i simply reaffirm that MAZDYASNA does NOT and has never held the earth to be the center of the universe as the church did. Furthermore, we are NOT human-centric. all the aforementioned discredited ideas belong to the church. when the gathas talk about GAETHA/GEUSH, they talk about life in the entire universe/innumerable worlds and not just earth. also we are concerned about consciousness/mind/intelligence /awareness in us and the entire universe or lack thereof, not about a revolving centric view of humans. we should all be very careful not to import human or earth centric views in our views regardlessif they have a scientific mask or not.

earth and humans are PART of an awesome web of being; and NOT AT THE CENTER OF IT. this said through our awareness/mind/consciousness/MINOO we have a wonderful link to infinity and endless great possibilities.

The Celebration of Existence (Zoroastrianism vs Manicheism)

Dear Ardeshir and Bahman

Ardeshir is absolutely right!!!
I even believe that this CELEBRATION of reality, of existence as such, of universe and nature as fundamentally sacred and worthy of celebration and good care simply for the fact it exists, is the very fundament of what I call the Zoroastrian PATHOS.
This is the one thing on which we can not compromise. The idea that the world is fundamentally evil and that we must reach ANOTHER world which is superior is the idea that the Egyptians developed and which later became the Abrahamic faiths, Manicheism and Gnosticism.
This is precisely what we as Zorastrians are AGAINST.
Just look at our holidays: There are four main holidays, all which together celebrate nature and the world as it is! Abrahamic holidays by comparison are all about how horrible the world is and how it always needs to be saved. All of which is alien to us as Mazdayasni.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/22 ardeshir farhmand

Bahman,

i agree with Dino and Alexander here. the two spirits in the gathas are about understandind/consciousness verses lack thereof. please be careful, manichaeism sounds a lot like zoeroastrianism BUT IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT from it.
.
matter/physical is celebrated in zoroastrianism but NOT SO IN MANICHAEISM. let us, examine both carefully. i will write on article on this subject this weekend.


ardeshir
On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Bahman Noruziaan wrote:

In the middle of this dicsussion, I'd like to point out one further distinct resemblence of the Gathic concept of dualism and the cosmic dualism of Bundahishn.
In both, i,e the Gathas and the Bundahishn; there is absolutley no reconciliation between the two entities, whether Ahura Mazda and Ahriman of the Bundahishn, or the two Mainyoos of the Gathas. No compromise, no go in between.



Regards


To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: bardissimo@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 09:30:34 +0100
Subject: [Ushta] Bundahishn in light of the Gathas


Manicheism is precisely what we try to REMOVE from Zoroastrianism all the time.
Cosmic dualism is wrong. It is simply not true. There is no such thing.
And it is Manicheism and its HATRED towards the very physical world that we as Mazdayasni regard as holy and sacred that is precisely what is wrong with Abrahamic religion.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/20 Bahman Noruziaan

Hello Ardeshir,

Could it be that Mani himself was a Zoroastrian, trying to make sense of the Gathic concept of two spirits?

Bahman


To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: ardeshir72@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:28:52 -0800
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Bundahishn in light of the Gathas



Dear Bahman

"bun-dahishn" or the "fundaments of creation," is certainly interesting. it is supposedly an account of "chithr-dat" nask, or a lost avestan book. however, this account has been heavily tainted and shows EXTREME MANICHAEAN ELEMENTS, in its composition, views and writing. therefore it is considered NOT TRULY ZOROASTRIAN. it is neverthless interesting reading material and provides some valuable clues here and there.

a book that is TRULY MONUMENTAL and a BRILLIANT EXEGESIS of the POETIC GATHAS is DENK-ART, the true and proud record of our ancient sages. DENK-ART by far is an AMAZING and TRULY ZOROASTRIAN DISCOURSE AND STUDY book.

Ardeshir
On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Bahman Noruziaan wrote:


Bundahishn in light of the Gathas


Coming from Zoroastrian community in Iran, I have had some interest in reading and thinking about Zoroastrian literature and tradition.

One of the books among the rich Zoroastrian literature is the Bundahishn. These are some of my thoughts about the Bundahishn in the light of the Gathas.

Bundahishn is absolutely dualistic, cosmic dualism. Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, in Bundahsihn are primal. The Gathas however, mention Ahura Mazda as being primal. It however, refers to two Mainyoos (forces, spirits, beings) that were there at the dawn of creation. They are adversaries, opposite and in constant challenge. In Bundahishn Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are also in conflict.

In the Gathas, one Maniyoo is superior to the other and eventually will overcome the other. In Bundahishn, Ahura Mazda will eventually overcome and defeat Ahriman.

Ahura Mazda in Bundahshin in all knowing. It was aware of the existence of Ahriman. Ahriman on the other hand, was and is ignorant. It did not know of the existence of Ahura Mazda. It found it later and as a result it fainted into its dark abode.

Ahura Mazda in Bundahishn is peaceful, so at the beginning offers peace to Ahriman as long as it does not attack Ahura Mazda’s realm of light. In the Gathas as well, Ahura Mazda is all peace and all knowledge. Ahriman, however, as pictured in Bundahishn, out of its aggressive and stupid nature did not accept the offered peace.

The all knowing Ahura Mazda then, designed a plan to entrap and annihilate Ahriman for ever. In this chess game, Ahura Mazda is the active player whereas Ahriman is the reactive and spoiler. It is Ahura Mazda who is running the show.

At the end however, Ahura Mazda wins the fight and becomes the undisputable and unchallenged ruler of the universe. That would be Farshogard. In the Gathas however, Ahura Mazda has been, is and will be the only ruler of the world. Freshokereti, in the Gathas will come with the effort of humanity as is the case in Bundahishn were humanity is the forefront fighter on the side of Ahura Mazda to bring Farshogard about.

One then wonders, was the author Bundahishn a humble Zoroastrian thinker who had tried to interpret and make sense of the Gathic ideas of the two Minyoos? How about the author or authors of Vandidad?


Regards
Bahman Noruziaan

torsdagen den 21:e januari 2010

Manicheism is the opposite of Zoroastrianism

Manicheism is precisely what we try to REMOVE from Zoroastrianism all the time.
Cosmic dualism is wrong. It is simply not true. There is no such thing.
And it is Manicheism and its HATRED towards the very physical world that we as Mazdayasni regard as holy and sacred that is precisely what is wrong with Abrahamic religion.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/20 Bahman Noruziaan


Hello Ardeshir,

Could it be that Mani himself was a Zoroastrian, trying to make sense of the Gathic concept of two spirits?

Bahman

To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: ardeshir72@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:28:52 -0800
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Bundahishn in light of the Gathas


Dear Bahman

"bun-dahishn" or the "fundaments of creation," is certainly interesting. it is supposedly an account of "chithr-dat" nask, or a lost avestan book. however, this account has been heavily tainted and shows EXTREME MANICHAEAN ELEMENTS, in its composition, views and writing. therefore it is considered NOT TRULY ZOROASTRIAN. it is neverthless interesting reading material and provides some valuable clues here and there.

a book that is TRULY MONUMENTAL and a BRILLIANT EXEGESIS of the POETIC GATHAS is DENK-ART, the true and proud record of our ancient sages. DENK-ART by far is an AMAZING and TRULY ZOROASTRIAN DISCOURSE AND STUDY book.

Ardeshir
On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Bahman Noruziaan wrote:

Bundahishn in light of the Gathas

Coming from Zoroastrian community in Iran, I have had some interest in reading and thinking about Zoroastrian literature and tradition.

One of the books among the rich Zoroastrian literature is the Bundahishn. These are some of my thoughts about the Bundahishn in the light of the Gathas.

Bundahishn is absolutely dualistic, cosmic dualism. Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, in Bundahsihn are primal. The Gathas however, mention Ahura Mazda as being primal. It however, refers to two Mainyoos (forces, spirits, beings) that were there at the dawn of creation. They are adversaries, opposite and in constant challenge. In Bundahishn Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are also in conflict.

In the Gathas, one Maniyoo is superior to the other and eventually will overcome the other. In Bundahishn, Ahura Mazda will eventually overcome and defeat Ahriman.

Ahura Mazda in Bundahshin in all knowing. It was aware of the existence of Ahriman. Ahriman on the other hand, was and is ignorant. It did not know of the existence of Ahura Mazda. It found it later and as a result it fainted into its dark abode.

Ahura Mazda in Bundahishn is peaceful, so at the beginning offers peace to Ahriman as long as it does not attack Ahura Mazda’s realm of light. In the Gathas as well, Ahura Mazda is all peace and all knowledge. Ahriman, however, as pictured in Bundahishn, out of its aggressive and stupid nature did not accept the offered peace.

The all knowing Ahura Mazda then, designed a plan to entrap and annihilate Ahriman for ever. In this chess game, Ahura Mazda is the active player whereas Ahriman is the reactive and spoiler. It is Ahura Mazda who is running the show.

At the end however, Ahura Mazda wins the fight and becomes the undisputable and unchallenged ruler of the universe. That would be Farshogard. In the Gathas however, Ahura Mazda has been, is and will be the only ruler of the world. Freshokereti, in the Gathas will come with the effort of humanity as is the case in Bundahishn were humanity is the forefront fighter on the side of Ahura Mazda to bring Farshogard about.

One then wonders, was the author Bundahishn a humble Zoroastrian thinker who had tried to interpret and make sense of the Gathic ideas of the two Minyoos? How about the author or authors of Vandidad?



Regards

Bahman Noruziaan

The meaning of Mazda

Dear Ardeshir and Bahman

I believe the correct way of understanding Zarathushtra is to twist the whole issue around 180 degrees. Foirget abolut Cartesianism and Platonism, think Zarathushtra!
His point is that the human mind/consciousness is a MANIFESTATION of Mazda (St Paul actually stole this concept 100% from the Zoroastrians when he said that The Christian Congregation is the Manifestation of The Holy Spirit; The Holy Spirit is a theft from the concept of Ahura Mazda).
This does NOT mean that Mazda is Human Mind only, Mazda can take many other manifestations in The Universe.
For example, there can be no-human minds (although we do not know of them yet, although it is possible that both large whales or civilizations on other planets have minds, even The Universe itself could be mindlike). Zarathushtra is cool enough to LEAVE THAT OPEN.
What is important to him is the fact that we do have minds and that THIS is the evidence that there is MAZDA.
This way Zarathushtra elegantly avoids becoming another pathetic Platonic dualist, keeping his monism, and can celebrate Mazda as the core of divinity in creation. Mazdayasna indeed!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/1/21 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Bahman,

Mazda accordingly IS not a human faculty. however, zoroastrianism teaches man to be god-like.

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM, Bahman Noruziaan wrote:

Hello Ardeshir,

It is not clear here yet to me from this what are you concluding here, when you say?

"In short, MAZDA means insight, superior understanding, sagacity, and GREAT GENIUS. Zarathushtra declares that WISDOM, VISION and GREAT GENIUS is the POWER SUPREME or MAZDA AHURA as he calls it."

Is Mazda according to the Gathas, whatever meaning one gives to it, a human's faculty?
Or is Mazda or Mazda Ahura above and beyond human's being?

Bahman
To: mehrdad.12@gmail.com
CC: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
From: ardeshir72@gmail.com
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 09:19:09 -0800
Subject: [Ushta] the true meaning of mazdá


i alluded in my ahün-var article to this, the very name "mazdá," not only suggests inherent wisdom and intuitive understanding, but it is connected to thoughts, memory and brilliant ideas, Lith. mintis "thought, idea, and vision; greek mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer.

more interestingly the word is related to Skt. mahan/mahas "the great world of possibilities."
"this is strongly confirmed by the ancient exegesis. accordingly, this shows most interesting connection to O.E. mæg (inf. magan, pt. meahte, mihte), from P.Gmc. root mag-, O.N. mega, Ger. mögen, Goth. magan "to be able"), from PIE *mogh-/*megh- "power to realize." O.C.S. mogo "to be able," mosti "power, force," ." "mazdá" is not only vision and wisdom, but also the power to realize that vision and make it happen and möglich.

Furthermore, "shyaotha-na- nám" in ahünvar or Yasna 27.13 refers to the manifesting act of "spentá mainyü " or the auspicious spirit of ahurmazd.

In short, mazdá is all the wisdom/meta-knowledge we have to acquire, all the wondrous powers we have to obtain, all the new, amazing and awesome possibilities that we must aspire to realize.

ü ö á

mazdá is the same as Greek "Metis" and Sanskrit "Medha," they all seem to point to learning, wisdom, intuitive understanding, skill/craft via superb mental/spiritual powers.

The Lithuanian "mandras" "wide-awake," O.C.S. madru "wise, sage," Goth. mundonsis "to look at, all come from the same root. There seem to be also a germanic "mntr" meaning "awake, lively,intelligent." We also encounter "medhira," described in Rigveda 8.6.10 as the "insight into the truth of things."

The Zoroastrian tradition translates Maz-da, as "mas danaki" or "mas danai," "great vision," "great wisdom;" or the "greatly wise" and of "superb understanding/insight."

In the vedas we have three supreme worlds whose names are not given. But in the vedantic books the greatest of all these supreme worlds is MAHAS, the great world. The principle of MAHAS is "vi-jnana or gnosis, superb knowledge as well as insightful understanding of things which leads upwards to MAYAS or awesome powers to make and create. See O.E. macian, from W.Gmc. "to build, make," O.H.G. mahhon, Ger. machen.)

In short, MAZDA means insight, superior understanding, sagacity, and GREAT GENIUS. Zarathushtra declares that WISDOM, VISION and GREAT GENIUS is the POWER SUPREME or MAZDA AHURA as he calls it.

Notice the deliberate and beautiful indo-germanic word-play that suggests "mazdá," wisdom and vision, mental/spiritual abilities is the "ahura par excellence or "ahura maximus."

onsdagen den 20:e januari 2010

The true meaning of Mazda

Excellent work, Ardeshir!!!
It strikes me that Mazda has both the meaning of wisdom and also a component of the English "emergence" to it. Like transcendent wisdom or wisdom in emergence.
I'm still trying to find a better word than "consciousness" for "minoo" though.
One of the problems being that there is no clear cut meaning for "consciousness" itself in English. ;-)
But I would prefer if we left "consciousness" inside the human head (as it is actually a very PASSIVE thing in psychology). Minoo is more of "mind" but also more than "mind". It could also be translated as "sense".
Minoo could be one of the words, like asha and haurvatat, that are best left untranslated for lack of good words in English. If the Indians taught the world karma and dharma, we could introduce asha and haurvatat.
Ushta
Alexaner

2010/1/20 ardeshir farhmand

i alluded in my ahün-var article to this, the very name "mazdá," not only suggests inherent wisdom and intuitive understanding, but it is connected to thoughts, memory and brilliant ideas, Lith. mintis "thought, idea, and vision; greek mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer.

more interestingly the word is related to Skt. mahan/mahas "the great world of possibilities."
"this is strongly confirmed by the ancient exegesis. accordingly, this shows most interesting connection to O.E. mæg (inf. magan, pt. meahte, mihte), from P.Gmc. root mag-, O.N. mega, Ger. mögen, Goth. magan "to be able"), from PIE *mogh-/*megh- "power to realize." O.C.S. mogo "to be able," mosti "power, force," ." "mazdá" is not only vision and wisdom, but also the power to realize that vision and make it happen and möglich.

Furthermore, "shyaotha-na- nám" in ahünvar or Yasna 27.13 refers to the manifesting act of "spentá mainyü " or the auspicious spirit of ahurmazd.

In short, mazdá is all the wisdom/meta-knowledge we have to acquire, all the wondrous powers we have to obtain, all the new, amazing and awesome possibilities that we must aspire to realize.

ü ö á

mazdá is the same as Greek "Metis" and Sanskrit "Medha," they all seem to point to learning, wisdom, intuitive understanding, skill/craft via superb mental/spiritual powers.

The Lithuanian "mandras" "wide-awake," O.C.S. madru "wise, sage," Goth. mundonsis "to look at, all come from the same root. There seem to be also a germanic "mntr" meaning "awake, lively,intelligent." We also encounter "medhira," described in Rigveda 8.6.10 as the "insight into the truth of things."

The Zoroastrian tradition translates Maz-da, as "mas danaki" or "mas danai," "great vision," "great wisdom;" or the "greatly wise" and of "superb understanding/insight."

In the vedas we have three supreme worlds whose names are not given. But in the vedantic books the greatest of all these supreme worlds is MAHAS, the great world. The principle of MAHAS is "vi-jnana or gnosis, superb knowledge as well as insightful understanding of things which leads upwards to MAYAS or awesome powers to make and create. See O.E. macian, from W.Gmc. "to build, make," O.H.G. mahhon, Ger. machen.)


In short, MAZDA means insight, superior understanding, sagacity, and GREAT GENIUS. Zarathushtra declares that WISDOM, VISION and GREAT GENIUS is the POWER SUPREME or MAZDA AHURA as he calls it.

Notice the deliberate and beautiful indo-germanic word-play that suggests "mazdá," wisdom and vision, mental/spiritual abilities is the "ahura par excellence or "ahura maximus."