lördagen den 20:e mars 2010

Jamshed Barucha (Zoroastrianism and Neuroscience)

Dear Arthur and Parviz

Thank you for your brilliant and most interesting postings!
If somebody can get hold of an email address to Jamshed Barucha, I would of course be happy to invite him here to Ushta so that he could join us and share his wisdom with us in his spare time.
Barucha's work reminds me both of my favorite contemporary philosopher Thomas Metzinger (who is both a philosopher and a neuroscientist) and also of Jan Söderqvist's and my own new book "The Body Machines" which will come out first in French and then later in English later this year.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/15 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Arthur,

It is nice to hear from you, and what you tell us is very informative. I hope to get to know more about this very interesting Zoroastrian, but for now we have you, and a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

What is very interesting is how we humans bond together around a central teem such as religion, nationality, or what have we. Once bonded in this Barsam or Fascia, we many times remain slaves to it even when we grow mentally and know that what we are a part of is an inferior structure.

There is a very nice city in Iran called Kazeroon and it is near Shiraz and there is a magnificent temple to Anahita next to this city. The inhabitants of Kazeroon are very dedicated Muslims, just the same as the inhabitants of Yazd. Bastani Parizi, the famous Iranian writer and historian tells us about how the Kazeroonis would not change their ways and would pay the very high Jezye tax but remain Zoroastrians for a very long time after the Islamic conquest of Iran. One governor of Kazeroon, a Moslem, decided that it was worth committing some sin if a greater good would come out of it at the end. So he declared that even though he knew that it was a sin that he was about to commit and perhaps God would never forgive him, but he would to do this bad deed for the greater good that would come out of it at the end.

He declared that he would personally cut the throat of one innocent Kazerooni Zoroastrian every day until the rest would give up their stubborn ways and convert to Islam in earnest. He would tie his butcher's apron (Long) around his waist and cut the throat of one randomly chosen Zoroastrian each morning, then he would take a bath, pray, and start crying, lamenting, and begging the populous not to force him to do the same bad deed the next day too. So he pleaded and cried and begged forgiveness so hard, yet he also cut one throat each day, until the Zoroastrians gave up and converted in earnest and he got his way and his wish. The problem with this episode is that this method WORKED! All the Kazeroonis are very devout Muslims today.

Is this not how Christianity won in Europe, all the bonfires of the church at which heretics were burned WORKED. So it remains a puzzle how we can be so proud of our mind and its freedom, yet how ineffective our intellect is compared to our herd instinct that bonds us together often in illogical ways.

We Iranian Zoroastrians are very unified and proud and all that. Yet below this surface of unity, there is a lot of division. At first you may think that these divisions are a joke, because often they are presented as jokes. Kermanis have jokes about Yazdis and each village and town has its jokes about the next group. Yet starngly it is at time of marriage that you will see the divisions surface. I was witness to the hard work a Z. cuple had in wanting to get married. The parents of the guy did not like the village where the parents of the girl were from, even though both families have lived in Tehran for most of their lives. The stink both families raised was monumental and the lovers had to do without both their families and get married with just a few friends as witnesses. So what is it that binds us so strongly, yet divides us also over small matters? Hamazoori (unity of force) that we pray for, at what cost do we tie our Barsams?

Please write to us more Arthur,
Parviz


--- On Mon, 3/15/10, Arthur Pearlstein wrote:

Dear friends,

I have long had a strong interest in emerging developments in neuroscience and related fields as they pertain to the Zoroastrian concept of mind and particularly as they apply to my own professional field of conflict analysis and resolution. I believe this has implications for tolerance and acceptance as we examine these concepts in terms of connection between minds (or perhaps more accurately within mind).

Recently, I had been doing some research for a presentation I was to give on mind and networking and potential applications for conflict resolution when I came across a scholar who apparently has done some research and writing that tie some key concepts together. He posits that the increased understanding of the synchronization of human brains is one of the most important developments in modern science. As he puts it: "just around the corner is an explosion of research that regards individual brains as nodes in a system bound together by multiple channels of communication. Information technology has provided novel ways for brains to align across great distances and over time." He acknowledges that this can lead to very positive or very negative results (creative and productive on the one hand, or in the hands of a manipulative dictator, potentially very destructive) .

While I have only begun to take an interest in his work, it was only on the morning of my presentation that realized the scholar in question is apparently a Zoroastrian. His name is Jamshed Bharucha, a professor of psychology and Provost of Tufts University (one of the top universities in the U.S.). Does anyone know much about him other than what I can easily find on the web? Does he maintain his connections to the Parsis? Has he participated in any discussions about interpretations of Mazdayasna and/or the acceptance of converts? A link to a short piece by him in the Edge Foundation's latest scientific question ("what will change everything?") is here: http://www.edge. org/q2009/ q09_14.html. His piece is called "The Synchronization of Brains" (you will need to scroll 3/4 of the way down the page, though there are some other pieces worth reading).

Thanks in advance for any information you may have. And I'd love to hear other perspectives if any of you are familiar with his work or that of others as it pertains to the synchronization of brains.

Ushta,

Arthur

torsdagen den 18:e mars 2010

Zoroastrianism and Taoism

Dear Courtney

Yes, you are absolutely on the right path here. Zoroastrianism and Taoism are very closely related ideologically and metaphysically. We could go so far as to say that Taoism is "Chinese Zoroastrianism". Basically it is most of al an aesthetical choice whether you choose to become a Zoroastrian or a Taoist. Both positions are perfectly agreeable and acceptable intellectually and many of us would even consider us both as Zoroastrians and Taoists. And just like the concepts of "Ahura" and "Mazda" are more important than any other duality in Zoroastrianism, so it is Tao or Dao which is the central concept in Taoism, with yin and yang merely a consequence of Tao rather than the other way round.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/18 rory12001

I'm sure everyone is busy with Nau Ruz preparations,
but I've been thinking about what everyone wrote & then rereading some posts, and if I'm not mistaken Asha -cosmic order is very like the Tao [ Eastern philosophy is what I am familiar with] and the duality not dualism that you were all explaining is similar to Yin-Yang?
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think I understand. The comparison of Jainism to Gnosticism was very helpful indeed.

Anyway, I contacted the local university which has a Zoroastrian student association & they kindly invited me to join them for Nau Ruz ;so I am looking forward to it.
And thank you all for your generous help & discussion,
Courtney

> This was a one off affair which led to an historic legal battle.
>
> Lala is the official chronicler of the House of Tatas. He is more of a story teller than an historian. I know of one of his books which is totally inaccurate.
>
> Yezad
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: rory12001
> To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:38 AM
> Subject: [Ushta] Re: Zoroastrianism and Jainism
>
>
>
> Fascinating Yezad! Was that the tenor of the times or a special case?
>
> my library has 2 biographies of Jamshedji Tata: one by R.M Lala For the Love of India, the other Horizons by Aman Nath. Do you know either?
> Courtney
> >
> > Incidentally Jamsetji came from a priestly family from Navasari, the hotbed
> > of orthodoxy, and fully supported the conversion of the wife of his cousin -
> > the mother of JRD Tata - a blue blooded, blue eyed French lady - minutes
> > before her marriage!! Almost all the High Priests, at that time - had
> > supported the conversion.
> >
> > How times have changed!!
> >
> > Yezad
> >
> > On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 4:07 AM, rory12001 wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > Alexander or any of the knowledgable people in this forum;
> > > can you explain the difference between Jain and Zoroastrian beliefs in
> > > regard to dualism?
> > >
> > > I was quite attracted to Jain philosophy due to its strong ethical content
> > > after being very disenchanted with Buddhism, which I seriously practiced for
> > > about 10 years.
> > > hmm, as to Jain vs. Iranian food, I dont know:) I am veg too.
> > > thanks
> > > Courtney
> > > Yezad, I will check my local university library, they have a very fine
> > > collection for South Asia and library loan and then get back to you. Thank
> > > you very much.
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > > - In Ushta@yahoogroups.com , Alexander Bard
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Jainism is AGAINST the caste system. This is actually its main difference
> > > > from Hinduism. So anybody can convert to Jainism. Which proves that you
> > > do
> > > > not have to adher to the caste system to surivive in India (a common myth
> > > > among Parsees). Jainism has managed to prosper in India outside of the
> > > caste
> > > > system for 2,500 years. Jainism is by the way a Pantheistic religion,
> > > like
> > > > Zoroastrianism and Taoism. But Jainism has a strong dualist streak, a
> > > kind
> > > > of sophisticated new age belief. That's its main difference from
> > > > Zoroastrianism.
> > > > Ushta
> > > > Alexander/is a great fan of Jainist cuisine, which is 100% vegetarian...
> > > >
> > > > 2010/3/13 rory12001
> > >
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Thank you both Alexander and Yezad for explaining. Is this the case for
> > > > > Jains as well?
> > > > > Frankly the only answer for a dwindling gene pool is out marriage and
> > > > > conversion. American Jews have finally woken up to this and finally
> > > actively
> > > > > support conversion. I am one, and I can tell you our gene pool is very
> > > > > small, riddled with birth defects & the only hope is for newcomers.
> > > > >
> > > > > I wonder if Parsis who married out, had their spouses convert to
> > > > > Mazdayasna, if this couldn't be the modern trend. I'm going to look for
> > > the
> > > > > biography of Jamshedji Tata, that blend of ethical religion and
> > > industry is
> > > > > just what we need!
> > > > > Courtney

söndagen den 14:e mars 2010

Zoroastrianism and Jainism Part 2

Dino is correct!!!
Jainism is best described as the Indian equivalent of Gnosticism.
It is Reincarnation taken to its utter extreme, where not even any god exists (Jainism claims to be Atheistic) but Reincarnation itself is the divine principle of existence.
It is dualism in its purest form; Soul vs Body, separated. Without any other factors involved. Like Einsteinian Physics with Reincarnation thrown in for good measure.
It is all quite beautiful and quite attractive. With one problem though: It is not true. It is not the way the world works.
If we should pick a second alternative of a religion which Zoroastrianism is allligned to, it should be Taoism, which has likely been a confluence between Iran and China in the first place. As is Chan Buddhism.
Jainists are good friends. But if we takew Monism to its logical extreme, they take Dualism to the other extreme. And the fact is that we believe that the world is monist by nature and not dualist.
Wjat Dhalla is writing about, Rory, is not dualism but DUALITY (as in Ohrmazd vs Ahriman or God vs Satan), duality has in itself nothing to do with metaphysics. Think binariy forces instead.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/14 Special Kain

Dear Courtney

Jainism stresses that we have to take a spiritual journey inward, whereas Mazdayasna does not set up hierarchical relationships between different interacting factors - the spiritual journey inward that's focused on our mental behavior is in no way superior to or more important than our spiritual journey in the physical world with rocks, mountains, trees and other animals. It is true that both Jainists and Mazdayasni see The Mental and The Physical as the two sides of the same coin, but Mazdayasni are creatively involved in the world out there and not supporting that proto-nihilistic tendency to detach from it. And the doctrine of Asha is 100% monistic.

Ushta,
Dino

--- rory12001 schrieb am Sa, 13.3.2010:

Von: rory12001
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Zoroastrianism and Jainism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 13. März, 2010 23:37 Uhr


Alexander or any of the knowledgable people in this forum;
can you explain the difference between Jain and Zoroastrian beliefs in regard to dualism?

I was quite attracted to Jain philosophy due to its strong ethical content after being very disenchanted with Buddhism, which I seriously practiced for about 10 years.
hmm, as to Jain vs. Iranian food, I dont know:) I am veg too.
thanks
Courtney
Yezad, I will check my local university library, they have a very fine collection for South Asia and library loan and then get back to you. Thank you very much.

lördagen den 13:e mars 2010

Zoroastrianism and Jainism

Jainism is AGAINST the caste system. This is actually its main difference from Hinduism. So anybody can convert to Jainism. Which proves that you do not have to adher to the caste system to surivive in India (a common myth among Parsees). Jainism has managed to prosper in India outside of the caste system for 2,500 years. Jainism is by the way a Pantheistic religion, like Zoroastrianism and Taoism. But Jainism has a strong dualist streak, a kind of sophisticated new age belief. That's its main difference from Zoroastrianism.
Ushta
Alexander/is a great fan of Jainist cuisine, which is 100% vegetarian...

2010/3/13 rory12001

Thank you both Alexander and Yezad for explaining. Is this the case for Jains as well?
Frankly the only answer for a dwindling gene pool is out marriage and conversion. American Jews have finally woken up to this and finally actively support conversion. I am one, and I can tell you our gene pool is very small, riddled with birth defects & the only hope is for newcomers.

I wonder if Parsis who married out, had their spouses convert to Mazdayasna, if this couldn't be the modern trend. I'm going to look for the biography of Jamshedji Tata, that blend of ethical religion and industry is just what we need!
Courtney


I was wondering is this the case for Jains as well?


>
> The community is not stagnating. It is disintegrating in India!!
>
> Yezad
>
> On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 1:12 PM, rory12001 wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > I belonged to this group some time back & just returned. The article on
> > Jamshedji Tata was truly inspiring, a true antidote to the Madoffs etc.
> > Is the Parsi community truly stagnating or is it a case of '3rd generation
> > wealth' the 1st makes it, the 2nd enjoys it, by the 3rd generation its all
> > gone.
> > Courtney
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Dear Alexander,
> > >
> > > You should have written this bit in the past tense!! No longer is that
> > valid
> > > what you have written.
> > >
> > > Yes it is truly amazing what contributions Parsis have made in the past
> > and,
> > > to some extent, still continue to do today. To a large extent I attribute
> > > this to the philosophy of Zarathushtra. Unfortuneatly they have not moved
> > > with the times.
> > >
> > > They were the first in india to grasp the meaning of education,
> > particularly
> > > for women. I truly believe that we performed on the shoulders of our
> > mothers
> > > and grandmothers. When the other communities finally caught up with us we
> > > were dwarfed by the numbers.
> > >
> > > It is the relative economic backwardness of the community which is
> > > hindering progress.The elderly womenfolk prevail on their sons not to
> > leave
> > > them alone. The sons also have an attachment to Mumbai. They do not want
> > to
> > > work
> > > and study. Both my daughters told my wife and I "Find me a Parsi boy whom
> > > I can consider worhty of marrying!! " One married outside the community,
> > the
> > > other is still unmarried.
> > >
> > > Indeed, what a pity!!
> > >
> > > Yezad
> > > On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 12:42 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Dear Yezad
> > > >
> > > > What amazes me and many foreigners with the Parsi success in India is
> > how
> > > > closeknit the families seem to be and how this is instrumental to their
> > > > success. It seems there is a formula at wor which both encourages
> > > > cooperation but also creative freedom and independence. I believe Parsi
> > > > culture has a lot to teach the world about how to create a successful
> > and
> > > > thriving family life.
> > > >
> > > > Ushta
> > > > Alexander
> > > >
> > > > 2010/3/11 yazed kapadia
> >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >>
> > > >> As one who lived and worked in Jamshedpur for almost 30 years I can
> > say
> > > >> that this a well written article. There are very few
> > Companies,worldwide,
> > > >> which survive for 100 years. Fewer still which achieve glory at that
> > age.
> > > >> Tata Steel is not the only instituition nurtured by Jamsetji which
> > falls in
> > > >> this category. The Indian Institute of Science, at age over 100, is
> > still
> > > >> the premier institute of its kind (even after the birth of the Indian
> > > >> Institutes of Technology!) in India,as is the The Taj Mahal Hotel in
> > Mumbai.
> > > >>
> > > >> Everybody knows what a great man Jamsetji was. But if you wish to know
> > how
> > > >> TRULY great he was please read J.N.Tata, a chronicle of his life by
> > Frank
> > > >> Harris. This is a tribute to Jamsetji paid by a British lecturer from
> > the
> > > >> London School of Economics. The book was written in the early 20s (at
> > the
> > > >> height of British rule in India and remains unsurpassed, by far, than
> > > >> anything written since.The book cannot be bought in any book store but
> > could
> > > >> be asked for from the Corporate Communications Department of Tata
> > Steel in
> > > >> Jamshedpur.
> > > >>
> > > >> Yezad

fredagen den 12:e mars 2010

Tolerance vs Acceptance

We should neither tolerate nor accept any of those things.
Tolerance is what we show after we have voiced our opinion and people still - thorugh their free choice - choose to ignore us and go their own way.
But acceptance is something we can never be required to do. We are always free to voice our opinion. And as Mazdayasni we are even obliged to do so.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/12 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Dino and Martin,

If we see a person slap a child in public, it is a good thing to show our disapproval, is it not? So when a sect teaches girls and boys that they are born in sin and messes their sexual life by messing up their psyche, why should we not at least show a small sign of disapproval and act as if all is normal in that adult-child relationship? Canibalism was part of the tradition of many primitive religions, should we tolorate canibalism by those tribes because it is part of their tradition and religion?

--- On Fri, 3/12/10, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Acceptance vs Tolerance
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, March 12, 2010, 7:18 AM


Dear Martin

Most religions are all about faith. Just look at Abrahamitic religions where people are forced down on their knees and told to bow down in front of one spooky father figure. But Mazdayasna is encouraging and nurturing an evidence-based approach towards existence. It's important to keep this difference in mind when using words such as "religion: The doctrine of Asha is all about the relentless pursuit of the truth. It's the arch-enemy of all spooky father figures out there, if anything.
And we also have to recall the difference between tolerance (enduring, forbearing) and respect.

My two cents,
Dino

--- Martin Grossmann schrieb am Do, 11.3.2010:

Von: Martin Grossmann
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Acceptance vs Tolerance
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Donnerstag, 11. März, 2010 20:55 Uhr


Dear Alexander,

thank you that you understand it. I was asking for tolerance and I do understand the difference. I can understand that Parviz doesnt want to accept certain things and he has the right to say his opinion on such topics, but still he has to tolerate things even if not accepting them.

And your last sentence pretty much covers it all. We change each brick to build a whole house after our plan.



2010/3/11 Alexander Bard

Dear Martin and Parviz

Perhaps we are just confusing two very different things here:
Acceptance and Tolerance.
What Martin is talking about is respect (tolerance). But if we respect or tolerate somebody, that does not mean that we have to accept what they say. Actually, we shoud not accept what others say when they disagree with us. It is our obligation both towards them and towards ourselves to speak our minds. And be willing to change our minds in the process.
Actually, it can be argued that to accept somebody or something when we shoud not is the ultimate form of disrespect!
But let's agree to learn to separate acceptance from tolerance, OK?

Ushta
Alexander/who disagrees that we can no change the world, but only ourselves, because if we do change ourselves we also affect the world that surrounds us...

2010/3/11 Martin Grossmann

I am sry but even if I dont refer to Ardeshir on this post, read your posts and maybe you watch the language in your last post.
But what is your point then. No rules ? You have to determine rules in our living and surrounding. Jews are getting circumcized and if after legal law, until a child is turning mature age, the parents are responsible for it. By circumcision the health of the child is not harmed in any way and on medical terms it even has advantages. I will not say it is good that stuff like that happens, but parents have to decide for their children. And they decide as good as they can. If you want to ask a child with 4 years about Mazdayasna and philo-sophia, then do that. Tell him the pro and contra of circumcision.

Its not that easy. If you dont accept something, then give me an alternative. Religious classes are the suspect to the religious traditions the persons live in. Maybe you should go to the Parsis and tell them to stop getting children ordained to Priests since how can a child make such a decision for life. Its not that easy. Traditions will always exist and that is part of our identity. But actually I will not lighten up that topic anymore since we are talking about stuff that is basic to human identity and cannot be changed. Some stuff is certainly bad and small children learning koran verses or tora 24/7 is not good. I know that. But just because someone has religious traditions to make him bad or asking for the opinion of children on such obscure matters if he lives normal and just and is taking decisions for his child. As a parent, you dont do anything to harm your child. A basic rule that is upheld and natural.

But what you are criticizing or asking for is just not applicable and unrealistic for human nature itself.
Sry but after my opinion it doesnt make sense to talk further on this matter. I know your opinion now and since I dont post very much on this forum, you will not be disturbed further.



2010/3/11 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Martin,

You make me feel bad now by returning this to Ardeshir. Ardeshir is a very nice person and I do want to be friends with him. I thought that we were talking in general terms and not specific ones.

You say " If you harm another being or do something against their will then its bad in all ways."
If you believe this, then please try and go to some religious classes where these bad ideas are planted systematically in the minds of innocent children. These children deserve not to get their minds harmed. Do you believe children have rights? What if a little boy does not want his penis deformed by circumcision. Can he have his voice heard against that of the ....

--- On Thu, 3/11/10, Martin Grossmann wrote:

From: Martin Grossmann
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Thursday, March 11, 2010, 8:31 AM


You should maybe read what I had written before. I was not telling you to shut up or anything. I was not disrespectful in any way. I was just showing you the options you have. You can be a kind person but you cannot change the world. You can just change you. I talk with friends and problems but certainly I cannot make them understand if they dont want to or havent learnt it differently.

I didnt say you should be tolerant to people that are hurting their wives or children. I said that if someone is basing his religion on, for you irresponsible or unlogical thinking, then that is your opinion but if they dont harm anyone (meaning not hurting a person or their surrounding) and act in a juste and respectful manner, then it is not your responsibility to tell them otherwise.

I am sure Ardeshir got your point but each time writing the same thing and the same comments, and then being compared to someone fanatic in Islam is not my definition of respectful speech to an individual.
If someone deserves to hear your opinio or not, that is not yours to decide. If the moment comes, then they will want your opinion.

Certainly there are strange ideas and i m not saying I agree with them, but as long as the followers are not breaking certain ethical rules and all followers are doing it of free will, then maybe it is stupid or unlogical, but should not be judged by you. It is a free world and certainly you can tell them. I never told you not too. But you can talk 1000 years and still things wont change since the problem lies within humakind itself. Either you can go and try to persuade people to follow your way of mazdayasna or accept the fact, that there are other views on things.

By not accepting other definitions as yours, you are no different than a person in sunni islam hating shia islam or different jewish streams. They all have the same religion that is talking about good-doing and tolerance towards other ways as long as their defintions of the rules are not broken. You named examples that are out of bounce and I was never talking about such. It doesnt matter which way of Mazdayasna you live. If you harm another being or do somethign against their will then its bad in all ways.

I didnt ask for tolerance on such matters because there cant be none.

I am for free speech but too for respectful behaviour towards other members. If you are taking things too personal and are not able to read carefully, then certainly you are not the right person to talk too. I wont delete your comments since I am not a child to restrain myself from new viewpoints because somebody cannot accept another persons opinion. I will read them and think about them. That is all I can do. But getting personal on me shows a low maturity.

Nuff said.

MArtin


2010/3/11 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Martin,

Why are there so many good persons like you who run around telling everybody "Accept the Facts, accept the facts", that the masses of mankind should and almost MUST remain stupid and glued to strange ideas.
Afghanistan is a disaster area as far as bad ideas goes and most of all they hurt the woman. Why do you not go there and tell everybody "Be tolerant, accept the facts, women should be treated like dogs in this land and this is a fact, accept the facts". Yes, if someone has no legs, I will accept the facts and deal with him/her in kindness. But if someone has an idea that the invisible forces are there ushering in harm and sickness, why are you so protective of his/her destructive ideas. At least they deserve to hear that their thinking has problems, by me. I am no government and have no force to enforce anything, so what do you get by trying to shut me up so benevolently. Z'ism is not your regular department of "let's see what crazy ideas such as the forces of the evil Berjis star making girls menstruate have you got for me today". That crazy dog and pony show of Zoroastrianism you should go to the Khoshnoumists or the Pundol amongst us and have your jaw hang open by the strange ideas they can present you with. I like to talk Philo-Sophia as Mazda-Yasna on this site. Please tolerate me and delete my writings if you do not like them. We cherish our freedom of speech on Ushta. How else are those who seek better ideas going to find them if no exchange of ideas takes place.

--- On Thu, 3/11/10, Martin Grossmann wrote:

From: Martin Grossmann
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Thursday, March 11, 2010, 1:11 AM



Dear Parviz,

They hurt mankind but not each person can have a high intellect and logical thinking. Nature is not made that way. Certainly people are hurting and sometimes killing each other because of stupid ideas and I m not saying that is juste BUT it is an ordinary thing in humankind.

Either you will start missionizing or accept that fact.


2010/3/11, Parviz Varjavand :

Dear Martin,

Poor ideas hurt mankind very badly. They say they are not hurting anybody, but they are. The worst place to hurt a man is in his mind and by planting stupid ideas there.

--- On Wed, 3/10/10, Martin Grossmann wrote:

From: Martin Grossmann
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 3:27 AM



I can understand your problems with that and certainly I had such moments too, but as long as these people do not harm anyone and the consequences are good and juste, you can certainly say you dont like it but tolerance should be there too.

2010/3/10 Parviz Varjavand

Yes Martin,

I am absolutely sacrilegious in that I define my own religious path and when I feel it is better than the path others present, I just say so to their face. Life is too short to be politically correct pretending to respect ideas you do not respect. I evolved from a lower animal and became man, so why should I pretend that this is not so. Why should I pretend that Ahoora Mazda made a perfect man first and then because of his/her wrong choices, evil crept in and that is why I have this bad jock-itch. Stupid ideas should be called that early otherwise they get a life of their own and grow on you.

Parviz

--- On Tue, 3/9/10, Martin Grossmann wrote:


From: Martin Grossmann
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Ahurå Mazdå 's Creation as his Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of Evil
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 5:34 PM


So you define your own religion. I am not saying something is wrong with this approach but if people are using scripture to better understand their path, you should not criticize others for doing so. It doesnt mean they are not using their brain, but defining their path a different way. They love G-d (standing for enlightment or wisdom or divine balance, etc) and use different ways to contribute to that. Either prayer or doing certain rituals. As long as they dont see it exclusively, there is nothing wrong with it. Its not your turn to judge that. You have your way of Mazdaism and others have it different. Ardeshir writes this articles to show his remarks about his path of Mazdaism and you can contribute, but shouldnt judge his view to be less than yours.

Martin

2010/3/10 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Martin,

In my religious path that I call Mazdaism, Mazda-Yasna means Philo-Sophia, nothing more, nothing less. What is wrong with this approach?

Parviz

--- On Tue, 3/9/10, Martin Grossmann wrote:


From: Martin Grossmann
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Ahurå Mazdå 's Creation as his Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of Evil
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 5:06 PM


Dear Parviz,

I am the first one to be free in my thinking. I love to think out of the box and I certainly do not like believing in each word of a book. But religion is faith in something, that is not empirically proven. That makes it different to science and so a scientist will never have to have "Faith" in something, since faith is not even part of his work. If he cannot prove it, it doesnt exist for him. If he cannot prove it, he tries to use metaphysical logic to exterminate other possibilities but still it is NOT a fact until he has proven it.

Mazda-Yasna is certainly the love for wisdom and knowledge, but it is a religion. If you see this way just in a philosophical sense, then you dont need to believe in mazda-yasna but in philosophy. Do I believe you need to have certain rules for believing in G-d or a higher spiritual power. No, I dont. Knowledge and faith in good deeds or good thoughts should be enough. But from somewhere you need a guidance to differentiate which things are seen to be good or bad, and that is the reason books are the basics for religious systems. They give us ethics in form of stories or experiences. I dont need one road to follow, but I need a starting point. Then I can decide which road I want to follow to reach the same finish.

Martin

torsdagen den 11:e mars 2010

Complementary article on Jamshedji Tata on Founder's Day

Dear Yezad

What amazes me and many foreigners with the Parsi success in India is how closeknit the families seem to be and how this is instrumental to their success. It seems there is a formula at work which both encourages cooperation but also creative freedom and independence. I believe Parsi culture has a lot to teach the world about how to create a successful and thriving family life.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/11 yazed kapadia

As one who lived and worked in Jamshedpur for almost 30 years I can say that this a well written article. There are very few Companies,worldwide, which survive for 100 years. Fewer still which achieve glory at that age. Tata Steel is not the only instituition nurtured by Jamsetji which falls in this category. The Indian Institute of Science, at age over 100, is still the premier institute of its kind (even after the birth of the Indian Institutes of Technology!) in India,as is the The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.

Everybody knows what a great man Jamsetji was. But if you wish to know how TRULY great he was please read J.N.Tata, a chronicle of his life by Frank Harris. This is a tribute to Jamsetji paid by a British lecturer from the London School of Economics. The book was written in the early 20s (at the height of British rule in India and remains unsurpassed, by far, than anything written since.The book cannot be bought in any book store but could be asked for from the Corporate Communications Department of Tata Steel in Jamshedpur.

Yezad
On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 3:39 PM, Zaneta Garratt wrote:

To: mazd_yasna@yahoogroups.com; zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com; TraditionalZarathushtris@yahoogroups.com; MainstreamZoroastrians@yahoogroups.com
CC: zna@yahoogroups.com
From: mbhujwala@socal.rr.com
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 12:58:46 -0800
Subject: [zoroastrians] Complementary article on Jamshedji Tata on Founder's Day


Frineds,
The following article by Suhel Seth, complementing Jamshedji
Tata and the Tata philosophy of honesty and caring for employees, was sent
to me by Ardeshir Damania, whose family was from Navsari, India where the
founder of the Tata Industries, Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata was born.

Regards,
Maneck Bhujwala
----------------------------------------------------------
Steel Frame of Standards: Blog by Suhel Seth

Given the kind of factionalism that India is witnessing today, and the
general air of intolerance that sweeps our land, there are very few things
we can truly be proud of. One of them happens to be the fact that Tata Steel
celebrated its 100th Founder's Day on March 3 in Jamshedpur: a town where it
all began. But this is not about fêting that birth or even remembering the
founder, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, who was born on this day, March 3, in
1839, but instead about celebrating a way of life that is not just
inspirational but one which has withstood the cynical realities of our
times. Realities where material wealth and balance sheets are more about
income and expenditure rather than about investment in either
nation-building or, for that matter, about engaging with societies with
which corporations coexist.

I believe it could only have been a Navsari priest who would have had the
gall and the spirit to set up a steel plant where no one thought it
possible. And to do that in the face of all odds. Without the support of the
government of the day or the generosity of fellow industrialists.

In many ways, Tata Steel represents the birth of Indian industry. It was not
only India's first steel plant, but also, more importantly, the country's
first real investment in what we now refer to as core infrastructure. But
then again, that alone is not reason enough to celebrate.

The reasons for celebration have more to do with Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata's
vision than with what he eventually set up in terms of factories and
companies. A vision which saw the birth of an endowment; a vision that later
gave birth to the Indian Institute of Sciences and the Tata Institute of
Social Sciences, not to mention Air India. The seeds of this expansion were
sown in Jamshedpur. It was the heartbeat of the Tata empire. But in these
hundred years, a lot has changed.

India today is a trillion-dollar economy; we are busy conquering the world;
our filmstars get mobbed in Eastern Europe; there is a buzz about India.
There is a confidence that has suddenly begun to embrace riches, at times
ignoring the cultural anchors that helped India get here. The namaste has
been replaced almost everywhere by Western greetings except in five-star
hotels where it is the new byword for servility and not greeting.

The people we celebrate have also changed dramatically. There are 'rich'
lists galore. Not one 'give' list. People are entering billion-dollar clubs
and talking about exploring the world in their new-found vehicles of
unabashed wealth. There was a time when we watched cricketers play: today we
watch them being sold. There was a time when Members of Parliament were
found in Parliament; today they strike deals in fancy restaurants in luxury
hotels. The India of today may be likened to a dragon and is no longer the
stodgy elephant that it was when we were growing up. But in all this rush
towards unbridled prosperity, we seem to have lost our moorings. As more and
more factories take shape, so do old-age homes.. We don't have the time to
take care of our parents any more.

The irony is that more and more of these so-called Indian icons are talking
about corporate social responsibility and value organisations. Companies
which are headed by those who fight their shareholders and don't want to
retire, win awards from prime ministers and then promptly advertise those
wins in every national newspaper so that they too can get public
recognition. The irony is that while we have produced more billionaires in
the last two years than any other country, even today, 77 per cent of our
population subsists on less than Rs 20 a day! The fact that today India is a
net importer of food is a signal to the changing paradigm of our gross
domestic product drivers. Agriculture is no longer the bulwark. Nor, for
that matter, is industry.

If this is the reality of today's India, then why do we need to celebrate? I
guess the fact that one way of life, the Tata way of life, has remained
unchanged is a reason for hope.. And for celebration. It is a signal to
those young men and women who will inherit tomorrow's India that you can be
honest and make a mark. Not all is lost at the altar of greed as is made out
to be. For me personally, Jamshedpur is not about a steel plant or a company
but is instead a Lighthouse, which beams signals of progress and values that
have been unspoilt by the machinations that one normally associates with big
business. For me the luminosity that emerges from the blast furnaces pales
in comparison to the tears of joy that glisten on the face of tribal girls
who have now entered the mainstream of life by getting an education
sponsored by Tata Steel. For me this is more than the million of tons of
steel that the company produces. The fact that the Tatas today can see
beyond the borders of this country is not a planned step that will help them
globalize. It will be perhaps a step in business diplomacy that India
deserves and none better than the Tatas to help fly that flag.

But this all began with the belief that Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata had. The
belief that business without a heartbeat was no business at all. The belief
that steel plants had to nestle alongside parks and fountains because the
purpose of business was not just the creation of wealth but instead the
guaranteeing of happiness. It is this happiness that you can witness on the
faces of all who have come in contact with the Tatas. He talked about
corporate social values and not just responsibility, which could be
construed either as burdensome or as a duty that needed to be performed. It
was a philosophy that he propounded which today has become the DNA of all
that the Tatas do.

In many ways, March 3 is not the celebration of someone's birth. It is
indeed a tribute to someone's vision. To Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata's
nationalism and his overarching care and compassion for his fellow human
beings, no matter in which country they lived. It is important to celebrate
a way of life that India so desperately needs to adopt. We can't keep
talking about inclusive growth and doing nothing about it. But more than
anything else, it is a celebration of civility and of the triumph of greater
good over petty gains. It helps set standards. The Tatas are following those
even to this day, though the lessons are for the others to learn as well.

In a strange way, Jamshedpur has many stories to tell the world. But the
story that must be told, and one which will endure is of compassion and
care. Of promises and progress. Where real wealth is the wealth that can be
shared by all segments of society. Where profits are not just
currency-denominated but joy-driven. That will be the true lesson we will
learn from March 3.

"Marsh Asia - Broker of the Year 2007, 2008 & 2009"http://www.marsh-asia.com
http://www.marsh.com

onsdagen den 10:e mars 2010

Is Zoroastrianism a philosophy or a religion?

Philo-Sophia vs Theo-Sophia
Dear Parviz and Dino

A GREAT argument is to say that Mazdayasna is older and more ancient (good attributes these days) than both philosophy and religion as we know them and therefore transcends both and is its own category altogether. Why not? Philosophy is just a poor copycat of Mazdyasna, its original exercise. Haha.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/10 Special Kain

Dear Parviz

There are two possible answers:

(1) Mazdayasna is the world's first philosophical religion.

(2) It's heavily Eurocentric to separate philosophy from religion. Let's not overrate the Greeks.

My two cents,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Mi, 10.3.2010:

Dear Dino,

How do you shake off persons who insist that Mazda-Yasna does not mean Philo-Sophia but means Theo-Sophia? (Philo-Sophia = Mazda-Yasna for me, Theo-Sophia = Dev-Ysana)

Parviz

Mazdayasna as a way of life rather than a religion

Dear Parviz

This is true for Abrahamic religions.
But it is not true for Zen Buddhists or Taoists and I think it is among them, and the Brahmanists in India, that we find better role models for how we should be good and happy Mazdayasni.
Mazdayasna is not even a religion. It is a philosophy and a way of life.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/10 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Mehemet,

The problem is that most of those who gravitate heavily towards religions are mortally fearful of free and honest thinking. They need Dev-Yasna and without a Dev telling them in a book what to do, they feel lost, unprotected, without a bearing to hang on too. They have never learned that they are not naked if they are not hanging on to something of the Deva, a book, a hair, a talisman, anything. So to feel at ease with Mazdayasna and celebrate being left alone with your mind is absolutely scary to them. Madayasna is such an art, an art that unfortunately we do not teach our young. We take them to religious classes and only teach them Devyasna. "Repeat these prayers, Light candles to this Dev or that", this is all we are doing to their young minds. How many religious classes do you know where they teach the child the art of freedom of thought, of Mazda-Yasna, of Philo-Sophia? Most of the teachers of such classes are those who know their Dev-yasna by hard and live their lives with the love of the Dev, how can we expect our children to learn Mazdayasna from such teachers?

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Tue, 3/9/10, mehmet azizoglu wrote:

From: mehmet azizoglu
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Ahurå Mazdå 's Creation as his Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of Evil
To: ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 10:34 AM

Good point Parwiz, while reading Ardeshir I can't help but think that I am reading from a muslim scholar who believes everything from Koran is right and must be obeyed without questioning

Ushta
Mehmet

On Mon Mar 8th, 2010 8:49 PM EET Parviz Varjavand wrote:

>
>Dear Ardeshir,
>
>There is one problem with your presentation and that is if somone asks you "How do you know all this ?" you have to say " The Book tells me so". This makes your version of the Din based on FAITH, faith that the Book is telling the truth about subjects that go beyond the reach of the logical mind.
>
>You may find it not objectionable in we become one more religion of the BOOK and FAITH, I do. It lowers our status to the level of all the other religions who oprerate on this formulla and have failed mankind so far.
>
>Ushta te ,
>Parviz Varjavand
>--- On Sat, 3/6/10, ardeshir farhmand wrote:
>
>
>From: ardeshir farhmand
>Subject: [Ushta] Ahurå Mazdå 's Creation as his Co-creators; Choices and the Origin of Evil
>To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com, "mehrdad farahmand" , "Special Kain" , "Eduljee" , kamran.jamshidi@ gmail.com
>Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 9:01 PM
>
>Although i have written on this subject before, i received few e-mails that asked me to elaborate further on the the origin of evil in Mazdyasna or Zoroastrianism. i hope that this short article would clarify the traditional Zoroastrian view on the subject.
>
>The question is that since "Ahurå Mazdå" is pure goodness, genius, brilliance and awesome creativity, whence have come all the evils that abound upon earth???
>
>All is from Ahurå Mazdå, but when God has created infinite worlds and manifested his endless creation, he made this creation not a mindless, obedient, robotic machine without any will, spirit or consciousness. Quite to the contrary, God made the creation as his own manifestation and gave the creatures, power and an awesome energy/spirit to be his CO-CREATORS.
>
>This concept is known as "hå-kúrenå" in the poetic gathas, the fourth line of Yasna 44.1. hå-kúrenå is the ability to create, make, form, shape and re-invent similar to Ahurå Mazdå.
>
>The word is from the same root and original meaning as Pali/Sanskrit "kårunå." kårunå has been translated as "compassion, " but a more accurate rendering would be to translate it as having the same passion/spirit/ creativity.
>
>According to the the fourth line of Yasna 44.1, Ahurå Mazdå through "ashå" or his truth/infinite essence of his awesome reality, has made us/the creatures, his friyå or loving friends and CO-CREATORS- hå-kúrenå. By empowering his creation to be his CO-CREATORS, Ahurå Mazdå has added infinite imagination, richness and endless possibilities to his master work.
>
>Yet, this very spirit/energy given by God to all his creatures from the living earth, to the dynamic galaxies, to humans; to be co-creators, re-shapers and form-makers has presented the creatures with a CHOICE to be GENIAL BUILDERS and add infinite imagination, beauty and luminosity to the manifestation; and form things ever more harmonious and lovely, OR to be DISTORTERS rather than creators, and interfere and spoil with what was begun well.
>
>The great and dynamic creative spirit is distorted the moment it touches stagnation and ignorance. We must be vigilant to co-operate with the infinite imagination and creativity of Ahurå Mazdå and not think that whatever happens is always the best and comes directly from God. All depends upon the personal attitude/choices we make. If, in the presence of circumstances, we take the highest possible attitude---that is to say, if we put our consciousness/ spirit in contact with the highest consciousness/ energy within our reach/understanding ---we can be certain that in such a case what happens is the best that can happen. But as soon as we fall from this "boundless consciousness" and come into a lower/more fragmented and limited state of consciousness, then it is evident that what happens can not be the best, since we are not in our best/most vibrant consciousness/ mind/spirit.
>
>The distortion comes because of the concentration on our limitations, and the resulting obscurity, stagnation and ignorance. It is a grave mistake to make matter a synonym for obscurity and ignorance. We live/exist simultaneously in many worlds, and in one way the most important of these worlds is this physical reality world. For this world of matter is the point of concentration of all the worlds, it is the place where all the worlds will have to manifest.
>
>In the words of a great indian sage "What happened had to happen, but it could have been much better." Evil CREPT into the world because the creatures became imprisoned in their limitations and forgot the infinite and fascinating essence of their own and the world's reality.
>
>As we read in the beautiful MITHR YASHT.29, our promise is the source of good and evil, harmony and conflict. If we choose to believe in our promise, and be God's co-creators, it will be always endless possibilities, goodness and infinite growth; and if we choose to be distorters and spoilers, it will be misery, suffering and evil until we learn our long painful lessons, and remember the wonderful promise of our very existence.
>
>
>ardeshir

söndagen den 7:e mars 2010

The Problem with the Parsi Mythology

Dear Mickey

I know Parsi history better than the vast majority of Parsees themselves. It's not like it's a secret (it was actually German scholars who wrote Parsi history in the first place).
I have no problem at all agreeing with the mindset of German Nazis. Or any other bigoted mindset.
I just don't agree with them. And I don't accept or even tolerate their bigotry.
I can't see in what way I should defend Indian racism or caste mentality any more than I would tolerate German Nazism.
And I don't believe in the myth that the Indian caste system saved Zoroastrianism.
There are many other minority religions and philosophies that have survived in South Asia without accepting the caste system. One of them is called Islam and has 350 million followers on the subcontinent. Christianity has 20 million followers in India and has existed there for almost 2,000 years without ever accepting the caste system. Neither have Jainism which has existed in India for 2,500 years - without accepting any castes whatsoever.
Just because a myth has circulated for hundreds of years does not mean that it is true.
And there is a lot of garbage that needs to be thrown out of the Parsi self-mythology. Excuses for holding on to racism, bigotry, intolerance, isolationism and oppression against Parsees themselves.
If it hadnät been for British merchants bringing poor Parsees from Gujarat to Mumbai in the 19th century to trade with, God knows what would have happened to them. That was far more important then living as a pseudo-caste.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/7 mickey patel

Alexander

Just one point here which will differ to your agreed viewpoint and to all others in the group

As you pointed out -

banal Indian caste-mentality racists - as you have used these words on a regular basis just jotting some points which come to my mind

If you look into the history of Parsis and Zoroastrianism in all these 1000 years
you will realise that Zoroastrianism survived in India to a great extent thanks to
a rigid Caste system

Practise of Isolation, marrying within the fold etc helped Parsis to survive their faith
in a foreign land despite occassional persecution and migrations from one part to another.

Had there not been such a cast mindset - Parsis would have got merged into
the Indian mainstream with no trace of their identity similar to China and other
places where once Zoroastrianism flourished

Also another important point which you might recollect is thanks to the contribution of
some Parsis - Iranian Zoroastrianism to an extent survived from extinction in late 19th century.

As you are coming from the Western world and western viewpoint can agree with your thinking of democracy, free for all tolerant mindset etc

But you also have to understand the mindset of the racists Parsis - in your terms from
where they are coming from.

Although I dont agree with all their actions - using violence etc - attempt to differentiate
the Zoroastrian community into Orthodox, Liberal, Racist, Non-racist Parsis etc
is not going to led to any firm conclusion nor going to benefit anybody.

Instead I think western like minded scholars like you should engage in conversations
with so call ed Racists parsis in your view point - and be aligned.

Its a very small community and you cant achieve much splitting into different groups
even if a particular section is Ultra-conservative

Thanks


--- On Sun, 7/3/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Parsees storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, 7 March, 2010, 6:39 PM



Dear Dino

I agree 100%!!!
As far as I'm concerned, I treat Parsees with the same respect that I treat all human beings. And therefore I also expect them to behave as decently as all human beings should. They are after all grown-ups and not children and they are capable of deciding for themselves whether they want to be true tolerant Mazdayasni or just banal Indian caste-mentality racists.
Let's support our many Parsi Mazdayasni friends and hope their community strengthens and can grow as they struggle against bigotry and isolationism. Russia needs its mobeds too!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/7 Special Kain

Dear Alexander

No unfriendly tone intended!
Perhaps we should write a manual and distribute it at Parsi community centers in India? Yes, that's meant to be a joke, but we obviously have to remind them that Mazdayasna is all for democracy, pluralism, tolerance and the equality of all people. And it was Zarathushtra who wanted to free the people from ingrained ideas and hierarchies based on heritage and bloodlines. This is what we as Mazdayasni should pursue and continue.

My two cents,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am So, 7.3.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Parsees storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
An: "Ushta"
CC: "mehrdad farahmand" , "Eduljee"
Datum: Sonntag, 7. März, 2010 11:34 Uhr


Dear Ardeshir and Dino

The two of you seem to agree with each other perfectly on this issue.
So why the unfriendly tone? It seems totally misplaced for the rest of us.
Let's be constructive: We all agree that this incident has greatly damaged the Parsi Community's credibility. But it also creates an opportunity for us to finally deal with the racism at the heart of the isolationism among Parsees. It is dated and totally unacceptable in a modern society.

Ushta
Alexander

The struggle against bigotry and racism among Parsees

Dear Dino

I agree 100%!!!
As far as I'm concerned, I treat Parsees with the same respect that I treat all human beings. And therefore I also expect them to behave as decently as all human beings should. They are after all grown-ups and not children and they are capable of deciding for themselves whether they want to be true tolerant Mazdayasni or just banal Indian caste-mentality racists.
Let's support our many Parsi Mazdayasni friends and hope their community strengthens and can grow as they struggle against bigotry and isolationism. Russia needs its mobeds too!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/7 Special Kain


Dear Alexander

No unfriendly tone intended!
Perhaps we should write a manual and distribute it at Parsi community centers in India? Yes, that's meant to be a joke, but we obviously have to remind them that Mazdayasna is all for democracy, pluralism, tolerance and the equality of all people. And it was Zarathushtra who wanted to free the people from ingrained ideas and hierarchies based on heritage and bloodlines. This is what we as Mazdayasni should pursue and continue.

My two cents,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am So, 7.3.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Parsees storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
An: "Ushta"
CC: "mehrdad farahmand" , "Eduljee"
Datum: Sonntag, 7. März, 2010 11:34 Uhr


Dear Ardeshir and Dino


The two of you seem to agree with each other perfectly on this issue.
So why the unfriendly tone? It seems totally misplaced for the rest of us.
Let's be constructive: We all agree that this incident has greatly damaged the Parsi Community's credibility. But it also creates an opportunity for us to finally deal with the racism at the heart of the isolationism among Parsees. It is dated and totally unacceptable in a modern society.

Ushta
Alexander

Who can or should be a mobed?

This is absolute nonsense!!!
The matter has not been pushed too far by Mikhail or anybody else for that matter.
To begin with: We need to get rid of the hereditary mobeds. Once and for all!
The concept of the hereditary mobed is just another part of the racist junk we need to deal with within the Zoroastrian community.
There are historically no mobeds (just like the zaotars and the magi of Zoroastrianism did not last, so the mobeds as we know them today will one day disaappear).
But a community and a faith always needs leaders.
And leaders should be those who are best suited for the job and are elected by the community to take that responsibility. Not those who inherit the job.
So if anything, this incident only hastens a long overdue debate among us what mobeds are for in the first place and who should be the best mobeds.
Please then note that if anything, we need more mobeds and not fewer. So the whole connection of heredity and faith has to go!!! We can't be for conversions and for hereditary mobeds at the same time. It's a total contradiction and makes absolutely no sense at all.
The whole idea of a CLASS or CASTE system among Zoroastrians to begin with must go!!!
Zarathushtra, the author of The Gathas, would be totally opposed to it to begin with, There are no mobeds in The Gathasm rather a strong and consequent hatred towards the conservatism of all priestly structures.
Please keep this in mind.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/7 Georgios

Dear Bahman,

Thank you very much for your kind words. I found indeed peace of mind and new energy to go on, from my navjote.
I agree with your points, thinking as well that Mikhail pushed the matter too far.
After all, this is nobody's business. They could keep a low profile, if they were planning to do something like that. The subject is really complicated and it's not fair judging a whole community for the wrongs of a part of it.
Don't forget after all that Iranian Zoroastrians don't perform initiations in Iran (that's why I went to India). Should they be accused, given the fact that there is Islamic law there? Certainly not. We can short things out, without provoking.

My regards,

George



--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Bahman Noruziaan wrote:
>
>
> Dear George,
>
> My sincere congratulations for your initiation and the confirmation of your belief in Mazdayasna. I hope that you find peace of mind and heart following this occasion of your life! Ushta-Te.
>
> The destructive behaviour of those who attacked and damaged properties in the referred occasion is appalling. They crossed the lines of sensibility and restored to violence and intimidation.
>
> The occasion which was supposed to take place however, according to the original news is however, puzzling to me. By that I mean, the initiation of a fellow Russian into Zoroastrian priesthood and not into Mazdayasna itself. Here is the original news again for everybody's reference:
> http://parsikhabar.net/parsis-storm-zoroastrian-college-to-stop-conversion-of-a-russian/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ParsiKhabar+%28Parsi+Khabar%29
>
>
> I am not sure if this initiation is even sanctioned by the Iranian Mobedan Anjoman. According to tradition only those from Mobedan family can be initiated into Zoroastrian priesthood. Please note that I am not saying whether the tradition is right or wrong. That is not the matter of my posting here.
>
> Considering the status quo, in my opinion the planned event was pushing the matter too far, considering strong anti conversion sentiments among Parsis.
> Was the fellow Russian from a priestly family, just out of curiosity?
>
> Regards
> Bahman

Khojeste Mistree on Zoroastrianism

Does Khojeste Mistree even BELIEVE IN Zoroastrianism?
It doesn't seem so. One could expect these words from a pessimistic ethnologist.
But not from a person who actually believes that Zarathushta speaks the truth.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/7 Bahman Noruziaan

There is one point in this article that I’d like to pint out:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/special-report/Is-it-too-little-too-late/articleshow/5652867.cms
Oxford-trained religious scholar Khojeste Mistree says, “I have yet to find an encouraging historical signpost to show that Zoroastrianism has in any way or form survived, successfully, without its all-important ethnic or community identity. Let us even assume for a moment, that some non-Parsi and non-Iranians became Zoroastrians at some point in their respective histories, there is no evidence today of their Zoroastrian beliefs and practices having survived, in a sustained, institutionalized way even for a hundred years after their alleged conversion.”
If the theory that Mr. Mistree suggest is true, then one should wonder why unlike other faiths and religions, whether the older ones, such as Christianity, Islam and Budhism and Hindusim; or the more recent ones, such as the Bahaism; Mazdayasna/Zoroastrianism has been destined the fate that he is proposing.

fredagen den 5:e mars 2010

Parsees storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian Zoroastrian

Dear Mickey

I know perfectly well what the situation is like for Parsees in India. I have visited Mumbai and Gujarat many times and have many great friends among the Parsees, especially among those who are open-minded and genuine Zoroastrians and therefore also welcome conversions. I even did a big great interview for Parsiana Magazine a couple of years ago.

So I believe Dino is right here: Parsees are NOT children, they are grown-ups. They are not "made to believe" anything, as grown-ups they are responsible for their own thoughts, words and actions, and are therefore not made to believe anything but CHOOSE to believe what they believe.

We simply need to tell them that in a modern world tolerance is the norm and that their intolerance is completely unacceptable. We need to fight against Parsi racism, it is really disgusting, a shame for the great Zoroastrian religion!

To begin with, I have fairer skin, bluer eyes, and I'm more pure-blooded Aryan than ANY Parsi in the whole world. So why should I not be accepted as a Zoroastrian? Even according to the disgusting racist norms of Parsi supremacists???

Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/5 Special Kain

Dear Mickey

One cannot always act out of fear. That's just silly, destructive and short-sighted. And people should be free to choose their religion and identities as they see fit. After all, freedom of choice is key in Zoroastrianism, and it's actually there in The Gathas that people are free to convert to whatever religion they like.
Having said this I DO understand the Parsis' fears, too!!! But it's not a strategy that's going to work in the long run.

Ushta,
Dino

--- mickey patel schrieb am Fr, 5.3.2010:

Von: mickey patel
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Fwd: Parsis storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Bard"
CC: "mehrdad farahmand" , kamran.jamshidi@gmail.com
Datum: Freitag, 5. März, 2010 20:49 Uhr


Alexander

I would to an extent disagree with what you have mentioned - Perhaps as you
dont reside in Gujrat or Mumbai you dont have an idea of the ground realities

The root cause of all these issues is unfortunately Parsis as a community dont
know much about Iran's history and the fact that during Sassanian times and before
Conversions to Zoroastrianism was the norm.

They are made to believe that everything was rosy in Sassanian times and they are
of pure race - superior soul - i.e Feel Good factor of Superiority, Exclusiveness

This behaviour of storming college etc is not surprising - Religion is a very personal and sensitive issue

Parsis are taught since Childhood that Conversions are forbidden and then
Religious leaders got to lengths coming up with articles, lectures etc justifying
So I dont blame the group who stormed the college etc.

Also places like Gujrat are communally sensitive at times - One cannot give the
impression to the Majority Hindu community that conversions are being made
by Parsis

The reason why Parsis are relatively free from Communal oppression in India
is mainly due to non-conversion

So before calling Parsis as blatant racists etc - You need to realise that India
may be a secular country but conversions are still very sensitive issue.

I think Mikhail should have done his ceremony in Europe or America where there wouldnt
be any issue of this kind.

Also what I dont understand is if Zoroastrianism is a philosophy, state of mind why
is Conversion or Thread ceremony so essential

I would consider Iranians who love their Ancient Past, History, culture and respect for Zoroastrianism - as Zoroastrians by Heart despite not being born in the faith

Do you really need this process of conversions when you are Zoroastrian by
heart? Why to invoke religious sentiments of people who dont like change in life?

Thanks



--- On Thu, 4/3/10, ARZ ARZ wrote:

From: ARZ ARZ
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Fwd: Parsis storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com, "Alexander Bard"
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand" , kamran.jamshidi@ gmail.com
Date: Thursday, 4 March, 2010, 8:33 PM


Dear Alexander,

Mr. MIKHAIL CHISTYAKOV can be contacted on

Chisti-m@mail. ru

Khshnaothra Ahurahe Mazdao

Regards,

Kerssie Wadia


--- On Tue, 2/23/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Fwd: Parsis storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand" , kamran.jamshidi@ gmail.com
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 2:47 AM


The Parsi community in India is apparently full of blatant racists.
There is a lot of ideological rubbish these people need to deal with. Although I must stress that a majority of Parsees do not subscribe to this isolationist extremism.
I would however strongly recommend that we invite the brave Mikhail Chispiakov to come and join us here at Ushta.
His dedication to the Zoroastrian cause is amazing!!!
Does anybody know where I can reach Mr Chispiakov?
Ushta
Alexander

2010/2/22 ardeshir farhmand

Indeed, a sad and shameful news!!!!
Zoroastrianism/ Mazdyasna is a privilege and NOT a right.
If a russian, whose ancient language is much closer to Avesta EARNS priesthood, he/she must be celebrated.
i personally apologize deeply to this fellow Zoroastrian for such act of profound stupidity by the punchayat.

ardeshir

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Parsi Khabar
Date: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:36 AM
Subject: Parsis storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian
To: ardeshir72




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Parsis storm Zoroastrian College to stop conversion of a Russian

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Bombay Parsi Punchayet chairman alleged the institute’s head Meher Master-Moos was indulging in ‘wrongful’ conversion, which is reserved for only sons of priests By Manoj R Nair and Ram Parmar / Mumbai Mirror A group of angry Parsis from Mumbai, including chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), stormed a religious institute near Sanjan on the Maharashtra- Gujarat [...]

tisdagen den 2:e mars 2010

God of having colds vs Believers in Licking Boots

In that case, most people are always sick and very few are ever healthy.
People constantly love licking the boots of those in power. Not because they have to, but because they love doing so. This is why Islam has become so tremendously successful simply by formulating a worldview called "Blind Obedience" (which is what Islam means in Arabic).
Not that Christianity, Fascism or Marxism are any better. It's all the same bootlicking pathos.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/3/2 Parviz Varjavand

Alex, you did not get my point.
The mind of a sick person does not work as the mind of a healthy person.
When in need, as when very sick, our minds bend and we feel like throwing ourselves in the arms of something much much bigger than ourselves. The poorer the surfs were and the less they had education, the more they would lick the booths of the nobility who was the main cause of their misery. They would look at the pomp and arrogance of their masters and they would throw themselves at their feet. Long story.... lets leave it for when we get over our cold.

Ushta te,
Parviz

--- On Sun, 2/28/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] God of having colds
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010, 4:09 AM

You may suffer from your cold, but the germs in your body are having a ball and enjoying every second of it. So why not look at it as if your body is the party temple of happy germs? That is what monism means to me. Death is this way a feast for worms.
Ushta
Alexander/is having a cold too...

2010/2/28 Parviz Varjavand
Dear friends,

I have a very nasty cold and I keep calling on God all the time for help. But I have noticed even in my high fever that this God I call on has nothing to do with the Monist God I normally like to communicate with. This God must live outside His creation and be all powerful in order to pull me out of my situation miraculously. So, If I get well, I will go back to my Monist God that is my friend and companion and dwells in his/her creation. But for now when I get high fever and coughs that threaten to choke me, I need the other God, the mightily nasty one with extra ingredients of irrational powers. I am very needy when sick and I can't help but want an extra strenght God to take care of me. Help me O'Lord, I beg you, I beg you, you are the God of sick beggars like me, have pity on me, have pity on me.

Parviz

måndagen den 1:e mars 2010

Anomalous Monism

Thanks for sharing this link with us, Dino!
I personally LOVE Davidson's concept of Anomalous Monism.
Just to make sure we get his theory right and can adher to it, but if you would be say a devil's advocate, what would be your reservations towards Davidson's hypothesis? What are its weaknesses?
Ushta
Alexander/also reccovering from a bad and lasting cold

2010/2/28 Special Kain

Dear friends,

Two pieces on anomalous monism:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anomalous-monism/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/anom-mon/

Ushta,
Dino // has just had a cold and is now recovering thanks to the one and only god of medicine