onsdagen den 22:e september 2010

The Secrecy of The Mithraeum

Dear Praviz

I always answer your questions as best I can.
I answered you that The Bull symbolised Nature and Being (while Mithras stands for Culture and Mind). This is the primary DUALITY (not dualism) of our existence. So The Tauroctony is The Act where these two meet.
The slaying of the bull is both instantly possible and still impossible, which is why it has to repeated. To REMIND us of the conditions of our existence and celebrate them.
Yes, secrecy can be a problem. But I firmly believe in our day and age that Exposure kills Sanctity. I will never allow any TV cameras inside the mithraeum. Just like good priests do not allow microphones and eavesdropping during Confession.
The Closed Room of The Community has to be restored.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/22 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

In philosophy, some things that we say can have very bad results and some other things can have very good results. When a number of people gather in secret, the first supposition that crosses minds is that they are gathering thus to do or plot something bad. Zoroastrians say that good likes light and bad likes darkness, there is something basic going on here.

You said that the bullfight is a Mithraic ritual. I asked you, "what does the bull symbolize here?" You did not answer me. This may be one of your secrets, but this question has a bad answer and a good answer. When you keep your answer a secret, it is natural that I will assume that your answere must be the bad one. I grant you that most of the time "Good" can be boring while "Bad" can be fascinating. But please have a more sophisticated reason for not calling your self a Zoroastrian after all the hard work you did to join this barsam than some of us doing boring things. Why should you care what some Zoroastrians say or do if as you have said many times, you joined it for its philosophy and not the unbecoming behavior of some of its adherents. Your statements about leaving us are a huge blow to those who are for conversion because those who are against it will sneaker and say "Didn't we tell you, all this was nothing but a game for persons like Alex, shame on those who performed his sedrepooshi and belittled our sacred rituals".

Other than that "Can I join Mithraism? Can i? Can I?" "Do I have to kill a bull or something to join?". Yes, I am fascinated by where you want to go and this may be why I am bothering you, same as when I bothered Jafarey. I was fascinated by where Jafarey wanted to go, I just bothered him so that he would pay more attention to the pitfalls of the road, like making Ronald a spokesperson of his ideas. I was fascinated by the Farahmand brothers, but they could not tolerate any chriticism. They left, but I wish they had stayed.

Parviz

--- On Tue, 9/21/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism before Government and Society
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 11:33 AM


There is nothing childish at all all about having secret societies.

I don't have sex in public, why should I then perform my religious rituals in public, when they are even more honest and personal and intimate?
The public arena is overrated and people are controlled by governments and corporations precisely by being too public about what they do.
This is why Mithraism is so desperately needed today!
Love
Alexander

2010/9/21 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Dino,

Playing childish games of having secret gatherings and this and that (more that than this!!??) is one thing and having a system for facilitating deep thinking for the seeking novices is another thing. I have followed Nabarz for many years now and he is a very decent person doing work that he feels is good and he does it from the depths of his heart and soul under the Mithraic brand. But for me, his work does not add up to anything worth learning and teaching to children or those you love. Religion is a heritage you feel is very valuable and that you want to teach it to your children and grand children so that it stays around for a very long time to come. You and Alex talk as if deep thinking is something like the fashion of how the ladies wear their skirts, short one year and long the next. There is a lot of money in Fashion and you have to be very secretive about what you are designing so that when it comes out, it would be the "Latest Rage". But this is not how Philosophy works. Are we looking for a great philosophy to live by or some ways to be cute and fashionable for a few moments of attracting attention to ourselves?

Mehr,
Parviz

--- On Tue, 9/21/10, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism before Government and Society
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 9:22 AM



Dear Parviz
Most - if not all - occultist secret societies I know are in deep, deep trouble. The church, the media and the government have joined their forces to destroy them. All Thelema communities in Germany are being attacked on a regular basis. And they're all complaining.
But that's just silly self-victimization. They should have hired a skilled and experienced PR consultant and a terribly depraved and combative lawyer MANY YEARS AGO, and things wouldn't look as bad.
Also, it is a different situation. Occultist secret societies being persecuted in our democratic nation states versus neo-Mithraist secret communities being built and expanded in an increasingly networked and post-nationalist global society that is governed by totally different laws.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Di, 21.9.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism before Government and Society
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 21. September, 2010 17:51 Uhr


Dear Alex, count me out,

I like to walk in the sunlight and have no secrets from anybody. Also, my love is for "Mithra-Anahit" and more for Anahita than Mithra. My true religion can be described more as Zurvanism as both Mithra and Anahita are born of Zurvan, Zurvan comes first and is Akarna meaning it has no "Shores" or "Boundaries". Later Zurvan Akarna becomes Zurvan Darghoo-xodata or Zuvan the self-created (Xoda) and out of this stage of Zurvan, Mehr and Nahid come out as the Male and Female forces that operate throughout creation. Zurvan is Ahoura or "That which IS" and has nothing more than its "IS' ness"; the very start of creation. Mithra and Anahitha come next and the dance of positive and negative forces begins. Mazda developes much much later and when Thinking becomes possible out of this Zurvani or Ahouraic begining and Mithra and Anahita dancing and dancing together for a very long time in order to give birth to the Mind.

Good luck Alex, the great artist of the Mind (Mazda).
Parviz

--- On Tue, 9/21/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism before Government and Society
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 8:11 AM


Yes, Parviz, and THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!!!

Can you imagine how fast such a Mithraic cult would spread compared to the bland and whitewashed form of Sunday morning Zoroastrianism that Ali Jafarey & Co have propagated?
The first paragraph of the Mithraic ethos is of course that Mithraism in itself is the ultimate law and must go before any government's rules and regulations.
Offensive? Yes! And that is precisely the point!
Ushta
Alexander

tisdagen den 21:e september 2010

Mithraism before Government and Society Part 2

Dear Syn

We need to realize what times we are living in.
This is the age of the internet! People are exposing themselves everywhere, to complete strangers! This is the age of narcissism. It is precisely as an OPPONENT to all such trends that we need to go Mithraic.
Zoroastrianism may have provided a universalist philosophy for us. We believe in the actual existence of Ahura Mazda, Mithras and The Bull are merely symbols.
But when we take Ahura Mazda into the Mithraic Artistic Landscape, THEN we really are on to something big. Something that is already happening around us.
What we need to do however is to take the IRONY out of roleplaying and make it dead serious. This is when we go from Neopaganism to genuine Neomithraism.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/21 Syn


>>>--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Special Kain wrote:Most - if not all - occultist secret societies I know are in deep, deep trouble. The church, the media and the government have joined their forces to destroy them...Occultist secret societies being persecuted in our democratic nation states versus neo-Mithraist secret communities being built and expanded in an increasingly networked and post-nationalist global society that is governed by totally different laws.---<<<

Hello Dino

Though I appreciate your occultic comparison with certain elements of Mithraism, I would perhaps suggest that most religions are 'occult' in the sense that there are elements within all religions that are 'secret' [perhaps a better word would be 'private'] to those not members of that particular org. or community. I personaly dont think Mithraism is realy any more occult ['secret'/'private'] than any other group or faith, especialy those that have an outer and/or an inner court of teaching.

No organisation is completely open to those who are not members, not the CofE, the Catholic Church and its many subsidary communities or traditional Zoroastrianism with it's heirarchy of priests etc. What is there about the basic beliefs of Mithraism that need to remain secret/private? none in my opinion, thus any comparison with organisations such as Wica [which is not realy that 'occult' either - even though it tries to be] or the Masons is perhaps a bit moot - Satanism and Thelema certainly does'nt pretend to be a secret org either.

Some orgs like to label themselves 'occult' to appear so very mysterious, to attract interest, yet nothing is realy that 'secret' to those willing to look more deeply into whatever group or faith they have an interest in. However if like Rastafarianism that uses illegal drugs in its ritual Eucharist then I suppose there is then reason to remain a bit private/secret. Religious beliefs do not always correspond exactly with the wider society around it and thus it would only be practical to remain careful, even Islam which is a major world faith has a major tenet of deception, called taqiyya, which it is always willing to employ if it benefits Islam and Muslims.

In Light Warmth and Colour

Syn-Hudanush

Mithraism before Government and Society

Yes, Parviz, and THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!!!
Can you imagine how fast such a Mithraic cult would spread compared to the bland and whitewashed form of Sunday morning Zoroastrianism that Ali Jafarey & Co have propagated?
The first paragraph of the Mithraic ethos is of course that Mithraism in itself is the ultimate law and must go before any government's rules and regulations.
Offensive? Yes! And that is precisely the point!
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/21 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Zaneta,

This is a great post from you. I loved it. So the Mazda car manufacturers are ahead of the rest of our Neo-Mithraists by miles.

>>""The Mazda Way"
"An intense commitment to your total satisfaction"<<

So our new Mithraists will meet in secret places in the middle of the night and be intensely committed to their own and their friends TOTAL satisfaction, heH ;-) What a great path!! What more can one ask for!!! Except I have news for them, society hates this and will penetrate their secret society and deal with them as if they were the worst kind of perverts and criminals. Anything done by the average person in the name of secrecy and self satisfaction is going to be dealt with as an act of perversion and terrorism by a social order totally board and perverted itself.

The powers that rule our world can not stand competition, they need good exposed lambs whose every private parts they can examine and re-examine in full sunlight or under interrogation searchlights. Buying a cute two seater red Mazda sports car after you have paid taxes and tariffs on every penny you ever had is the limits of what they can allow you to do, that and if you do not have the money, you can go and tattoo every inch of private or public parts of your body and other such fun and game nonsense. Even the Pope and his cardinals and bishops are no longer allowed to have their satisfaction with coir boys or make castrates out of them in the timehonored secret traditions of the holly mother church.

I should drink less and think more before I fire up bad posts like this,
Parviz

--- On Tue, 9/21/10, Zaneta Garratt wrote:

From: Zaneta Garratt
Subject: [Ushta] Mithra and Mazda
To: ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 4:41 AM

HS Nyberg believed that the Mithraists and the followers of Zarathustra were originally seperate groups and the Mithra Yasht was the Mitraist Creed but later on the followers of Mithra joined up with the followers of Zarathustra and in return the Zoroastrains adopted the Mithra Yasht as part of their scriptures

Recently my husband bought a cute little red two-seater Mazda car and its instructions were in a folder intitled-

"The Mazda Way"
"An intense commitment to your total satisfaction"

It made me think of how we can relate to Zarathustra's teachings

Best wishes from zaneta

Mithraism in The Age of Empire

Mithraism expanded rapidly throughout the Roman Empire (and possibly the neighboring Persian Empire too) in the second century. It was stopped through persecution and widespread massacres by Christians in the early 4th century. Since we now live in the new "Roman Empire" it is time to get things right and ressurect Mithraism.
Which I believe people are already doing through Pagan Art events such as Burning Man. We just need to give them a substance to fill the form already evident.
Ushta
Alexander

The Occult and Pagan side of Mithraism (as Zoroastrian Philosophy put into practice)

Well, I couldn't agree more!!!
I much prefer my "Zoroastrianism" to be both occult and pagan. As opposed to the cleansed and wholesome variety that imitates the Abrahamic faiths and their rituals.
Religious meetings should take place at night and not at 11.00am on Sundays. For example.
So I go with Pagan (meaning anything that is NOT Abrahamic in old Rome) and with PHILOSOPHICALLY Zoroastrian. So the best title for the religion I want to belong to is Mithraism.
You and Parviz have moved along the same lines now for quite some time. ;-)
Brotherly love
Alexander

2010/9/21 Special Kain

Dear Alexander, there are WORLDS between occultism and Satanism.
But all this really sounds like 19th secret societies where curious minds (and bored and spoiled brats) would gather to perform magical rituals, take drugs and discuss philosophical and social issues. Like the famous "hashish club" or Crowley's Thelemic groups. This is exactly what I got into when I was 17, and it was hilariously fascinating!
When I read "Netocracy" the first time, this is also the picture I got. More wires, less robes.

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Re: Mithraism or Mazdaism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 21:53 Uhr


Dear Dino
Now I follow you. Occult as in obscura, Latin for darkness. Not as in Satanism. Sure! The rituals are only for the initiated, something that I think will be both necessary and extremely attractive in a society where people due to the internet expose everything about themselves to anybody. This is precisely what is attractive about Mithraism. I have personally just started googling Mithraism as a contemporary phenomen so I welcome any tips myself.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

The occult refers to rituals and beliefs that are practiced in secrecy. Things that are not made public. No prayer gatherings in broad daylight where everybody could see what they were doing.
So it could be appropriate to refer to Mithraist gatherings as occultist, but I admit that it would be historically inaccurate, since the term "occultism" was born in the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, it is what Mithraism has reminded me of. ;-)
What I learned from my experience with European occultist secret societies is that, metaphorically speaking, everyone should write their own book instead!!!
And, frankly, the only thing left to say about Christianity these days is that there is no reason to go to church other than marvel at the beauty of architecture.
So what's a great source about Mithraism? Can you recommend any good website?

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Re: Mithraism or Mazdaism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 17:07 Uhr


Not really.

The word occult is totally inappropriate here. Mithraism existed independently of or even before Christianity and was therefore NOT some Satanic or Occult cult.
Raher it was a CYCLIST religion put in practice and as such perfect for a modern post-secular religious or metaphysical experience. The bullfighting in Spain and France is a typical remnant of Mithraic culture.
And the exclusion of women is a myth. Many mithraea have traces of women found in them, including seating especially reserved for women. It's just that Mithraism was especially popular among soldiers in the Roman Empire who happened to be men. That's all.
It's just that Mithraism is surrounded by so much Christian bullshit it is unbelievable. But then again, Mithraism was (and perhaps still is) the chief opponent to Christianity.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

We only know very little about Mithraist philosophy, dear Syn. For example, what we know for certain is that there were occultist secret societies where everybody was welcome to join - except for women. They were obsessed with astronomy and astrology. But since they were forbidden to tell anybody else about their secret rituals, we don't know what was really going on in those caves.
Mithraism - including its rich symbolism - reminds me of our contemporary occultist secret societies that are devoted followers of Aleister Crowley's and other 19th century-born occultists' philosophies.

Ushta,
Dino

Mithraism: Contracts and civilization

Correct!!!
Please note that "contract" is also synonymous with "civilization", Zarathushtra's main preoccupation.
It was the histroical introduction of the contract as social tool that made Civilization possible. Civilization as in permanent settlements economically based on the DOMESTICATION of animals and plants for food production. This enabled ownership of land (contractual) and the creation of a rule of law (contractual). Without contracts, no civilization!
So Mithras is the divinity of Civilization itself. As Parviz has discussed before in the use of the bersam (fasces) to bind a society together.
Therefore Mithras is also Mind in relation to Being (Culture in relation to Nature).
Each mithraeum apparently had its very own religious practices in what amounted to a completely decentralized religion (as opposed to the extremely centralized and dogmatic Abrahamic faiths).
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/21 osred90

This sounds like a great idea.

Mithraism is some form has been the popular side of Zoroastrianism since the beginning so let it be the vehicle of Zoroastrian revival today!

I do have my misgivings about Roman Mithraism which had only a partial resemblance to earlier Iranian Mithraism and was possibly a kind of Masonic organisation open to political manipulation.

However there is no reason for modern Mithraists to only use Roman Mithraism as a model - they can go back to Avestan (and possibly Indian) sources as well as well as developing their own ideas of what Mithra means to them.

Probably modern Mithraism will split into lots of different denominations with different ideas. However this need not be a bad thing as long as some of them keep alive the memory of Zoroaster and the Gathas.

----Historic Mithra-------

So what is Mithra?

Mithra derives from a word meaning contract.

To early Iranian pagans Mithra was a god of justice who stood guard over contracts (agreements made by oaths) and punished those who broke them. Mithra was absolutely upright and fair in his dealings with people though somewhat fierce in punishing wrong-doers.

These pagans were polytheists who worshipped multiple gods, not just Mithra, but it was Mithra who was the most popular.

In the Indian Rig-Veda Mithra is often paired with Varuna who was a sky god with overall concern for good order in the world. To later Indian pagans Mithra (or Mitra or Maitreya) became a more approachable god of friendship .

-- Mithra Today --------

I suggest Mithra should be a deity who guards the 'Good Relationship' (Asha) in all its forms.

Good Relationship between people.
Good Relationship between people and other living beings.
Good Relationship between people and their environment.
Good Relationship between people in their economic activities.
Good Relationship between Mind and Reality.

Mithra guards them all!

Osred

The Mysteries of Mithras

Dear Payam

Yes, indeed! Your book "The Mysteries of Mithras" is very useful here towards understanding what Mithraism is all about. Both the historical version of the phenomenon and the Mithraism 2.0 imbued with Zoroastrian philosophy we are discussing here.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/21 Nabarz

Hail Mithra(s),

I guess I should add my two pence :)

The Mithraic revival is only around 100 years old max, so it doesn't have the various bagges that comes with more established traditions.
Its also means you have to think for yourself more (no easy answers) and have to actually expriment to see what works and what doesn't in making contact. so generally more organic and interesting, and generally something that people get interested in while they have been doing spiritual practise for a while.

My own approach is covered in my books:
The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian World.
Followed by Stellar Magic: A Practical Guide to Performing Rites and Ceremonies to the Moon, Planets, Stars and Constellations.
www.stellarmagic.co.uk

And ofcourse Mithras Reader Vol1, Vol2, and out this week Vol3 at the fullmoon on autumn equinox, in honour of Mithra and forthcoming Mehregan festival).

Regards,
Payam Nabarz

The Meaning of the Tauroctony

The Natural Cycle!
Man vs Nature but also Mind vs Being in the Zoroastrian sense. The two components (and levels) of that which Zoroastrainism and Mithraism holds sacred. Mithra is Mazda, Taurus is Ahura.
As becomes evident in the bullfighting arena: The Toreador fights The Bull precisely as a celebration of Civilization in relation to the chaos of nature. With a respect for nature, of course. Not just some vulgar "taming of nature" project (The Bull that fights back is always celebrated for this.)
Please note also that the tauroctony is repeated with three-month intervals, in other words, the very same four holidays that Zoroastrian celebrate: The solstices and the equinoxes.
It IS the same religion but with different ritual practices. But Mithraism has the advantage that it eliminates the tiresome historicist nonsense that ALL Zoroastrian discourses are permeated with.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

And what does the Bull symbolize and why it should be killed?
I ask this respectfully as your take on this act will be one of the key elements of how you propose that we look at Mithraism.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz

--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Tauroctony
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 12:55 PM



The tauroctony did not disappear.

It is practiced practically every Sunday in Spain, sothern France and Mexico and it's called bullfighting.
Which is why the Catholic Church has always been very uneasy about the bullfighting tradition.
Ushta
Alexander

måndagen den 20:e september 2010

Mithraism as Western Zoroastrianism vs Mazda-Yasna as Philo-Sophia

Dear Parviz

But we are you going to do with the theory which we have established?
Isn't the logical consequence of a deep Mazdayasna philosophy to question the very practices of contemporary Zoroastrianism that seem to attract such few if any young Westerners or even Iranians? Should not a new philosophy also result in a new and improved and more interesting practice? Isnät it a fact that I'm taking our theory and now am DOING something with it instead of just talking?
I started a Mithraism facebook group and within two days it had more members than all the Zoroastrian facebook groups known to us have accumulated for the last four years.
Apparently people need something more imaginative that a minimalist overtly diplomatic Iranian nationalist aestethics to get interested.
And this is certainly not show business to me. But it is Art as Religion, which is precisely what contemporary religion should be.
I suggest that we leave Zoroastrianism as we know it and take Zarathushtra with us to a new more creative environment. Mithraism 2.0 is the perfect starting point for me in that sense. It is also an enviroment where words like "conversion" and "isolation" are never heard. Because you have no idea how tired I am of hearing such endless babble. As I am with hearing a theory without a practice, without a thrilling life.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Mehemet and Alexander,

We developed a line here on Ushta that no one else had and that is that we defined Mazda-Yasna as Philo-Sophia. With all the attention that comes the way of Zoroastrianism and that one approach that we have come up with, we are in a great position and have all the credibility that a new school of thought needs. I am not at all happy with Dino showing off all the the time that he has more important things to do than to talk to us or now Alex showing off that he has a new toy to play with (Mithraism) and is walking out on us. One does not abandon a good thing that WE (and not some dastoor on some mountaintop) have worked so hard for so long to establish. My home is going to be within Zoroastrianism, but as I define it, as it being Mazda-Yasna and Philosophia. One gets credibility only in time and with tenacity. Mazdaism is my school of thought within the framework of a LIVING religion, that of Zoroastrianism. I am going to establish myself and my line of thinking as a legitimate part of a LIVING organism and not part of some virtual-reality recreation and resurrection of a dead cult.

Alex is in the show business, so as a new gimmick to present at the Burning-Man, he may find that he can get more millage out of Mithraism than Z'ism. Jafarey and others of the Dastoor Bodh group worked very hard to make room for their brand of Zoroastrianism which was fixated on what Zarathustra had said in the Gahan in order to have themselves a "religion of the book". We should also work hard to see our version of Monist Mazdaism (within Zoroastrianism) and as Philo-Sophia take root and become a reality for many, and I am staying put with that dream in mind.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Mon, 9/20/10, mehmet azizoglu wrote:

From: mehmet azizoglu
Subject: Re: [Ushta] What is Philosophy?
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 5:46 AM


Dear Alex,
It is quite sad to see the blows still coming from philosopher to chop philosophy , let alone those from sceintists like Hawking. I remember Daniel Dennett delivering a talk in Istanbul a couple years ago having compared scientists, naturalists and engineers to philosophers and taking the formers superior to the latters in the sense they contributed to technology&modern life much..

Bu I totally agree with you...philosophy is building block of human mind.

Mehmet


--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] What is Philosophy?
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 2:29 PM


Dear Mehmet


When Wittgenstein got older and wiser, he admitted that this quote was the stupidest thing he has ever said. He even regretted publishing the megalomanic "Tractatus". Philosophy will exist for as long as people think and try to formulate their thoughts as language. Because then we need concepts and philosophy is an art form whereby concepts are created to enrich thinking as such. You have to kill human beings and language before you can kill philosophy.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 mehmet azizoglu

Dear Alex,
I think it is Wittgenstein who declared the end to philosophy in beginning of 20th century and assigning the task of it as only the analysis of language. so discouraging to hear that from such big philosopher but I never lose my faith in a "groundwork" that philosophy has so far built up. Sorry for my discursive message here but I sometimes really need help on how I should approach philosophy considering that science has taken its path to the sea of data with tangible consequences while philosophy became "obsolote". maybe I should adopt a pragmatic approach to it?

ushta

Mehmet









--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The ecology of choice
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 12:52 PM



What makes you think that I said that philosophers are superior to sociologists???

I never said any such thing.
Philosophers do the GROUNDWORK on which sociologists then make hopefully good sociology and scientists then formulate hopefully good science. That's jst the way it is.
No hierarchy. That's just in your imagination. Just forget about that whole "top bottom" thing.
Best
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

Dear Alexander, I don't see philosophers as superior to sociologists. ;-)
I don't subscribe to this top-bottom approach anymore, because there are movements in both directions.
Besides, I surely know that Lacan has already died. I'm not that stupid.
Zizek isn't as PRAGMATIC and EMPIRICAL as Illouz. His way of applying to Lacan to contemporary society is a bit sloppy. And Illouz is a much better sociologist than Beck, since Beck is a theorist and not necessarily a researcher in the first place.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The ecology of choice
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 09:21 Uhr


Well, the problem is that Lacan is dead and Illouz is not a Lacanian.

Furthermore, Illouz is a sociologist while Zizek is a philosopher (a constructor of concepts, which then sociologists like Illouz and Ulrich Beck and others use).
Which is why Zizek quotes for example me but never Eva Illouz in his works. ;-)
Perhaps you could write a book comparing Illouz and Lacan? Honestly! Sooner or later you will just have to become a writer, Dino!
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

Oh, I know that Zizek is a Marxist. :-)
He is trying to save Marxist thought into the 21st century.
But wouldn't it be nice to listen to a conversation between Lacan and Illouz? This would be quite interesting.

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am So, 19.9.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The ecology of choice
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 19. September, 2010 13:14 Uhr


Zizek actually writes about a freedom of choice as if there existed one. He is very defiant against postmodern theory. Which is good, as Zizek SHOULD be read as a modern-day Marxist critic of contemporary society, givingmany new insights but not necessarily getting it right. He is after all not a Pragmatist you and me, Dino!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/19 Special Kain

So what's Zizek's take on the issue of choice in his new book, then?
Has he changed his theory about choice as not being a choice per se?

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Sa, 18.9.2010:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The ecology of choice
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 18. September, 2010 21:13 Uhr


Slavoj Zizek also writes about "the turning of people into objects" in his new tombstone "Living in the End Times" (where he again quotes the Swedish philosophers Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist in several places, there you go!). But Zizek has another take than Illouz and would probably find her theories too limited and lacking. I need to check out both books thoroughly to know better.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/18 Special Kain

Dear friends,

I'm desperately looking forward to reading Eva Illouz' upcoming new book, "Why Love Hurts".
It will be focussed on how the conditions of choice have changed. We usually mistake choice for a fixed property like rationality. But as soon as the ecology of choice changes, our choices will change accordingly. And it is Illouz' sound observation that many people don't know how to cope with choice. Therefore, choice often creates confusion and apathy, since we never really know what we want.
So we become maximizers - people who are never really satisfied with what they have, someone who's constantly begging for more: younger and sexier partners, a better and more prestigious job, better friends, etc. The people around me turn into consumer goods - from the first cell phones carried around in cases to iPhones. The obvious inequality can easily be observed when looking at mating rituals: Men who desire women will be able to choose as long as they're well situated, wealthy and socially interesting - but straight women (and gay men) have less time to find a partner. In their early 30s, they will have to pick what is "good enough", since men mostly care about their partners' youth and sexual attractiveness (that fades with age).
So choice becomes something that has to do only with ourselves - what we take for our emotional and rational preferences, and how we prioritize between our preferences.
As Zoroastrians we should keep track on this!!!

Ushta,
Dino

Mithraism as opposed to the Book Religions Part 3

Not really.
The word occult is totally inappropriate here. Mithraism existed independently of or even before Christianity and was therefore NOT some Satanic or Occult cult.
Raher it was a CYCLIST religion put in practice and as such perfect for a modern post-secular religious or metaphysical experience. The bullfighting in Spain and France is a typical remnant of Mithraic culture.
And the exclusion of women is a myth. Many mithraea have traces of women found in them, including seating especially reserved for women. It's just that Mithraism was especially popular among soldiers in the Roman Empire who happened to be men. That's all.
It's just that Mithraism is surrounded by so much Christian bullshit it is unbelievable. But then again, Mithraism was (and perhaps still is) the chief opponent to Christianity.
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

We only know very little about Mithraist philosophy, dear Syn. For example, what we know for certain is that there were occultist secret societies where everybody was welcome to join - except for women. They were obsessed with astronomy and astrology. But since they were forbidden to tell anybody else about their secret rituals, we don't know what was really going on in those caves.

Mithraism as opposed to the Book Religions Part 2

Yes, Mithraism was definitely more about Art than Text.
It was about creating a spiritual bond within The Community more than anything else. Parviz has written extensively about it here before. A spiritual bond which is far stronger and more transgressive than say a regular Zoroastrian prayer gathering (which I fidn rather lacking bu comparison).
Since we live in the new Roman Empire today (or rather now The Global Empire that I write about in my next book which is out in English next year, also with a chapter devioted to Mithraism), then we also have the need to respond to the Power of the Empire by pursuing a closeted religious practice such as Mithraism.
I believe people are already doing it, in various online and artistc communities. They just don't have a name for it yet. That's what we need to provide.
- Dölj citerad text -
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

So do you think that Mithraism is less about philosophy and more about art?
What do we know about the occultist secret societies performing rituals in those caves?
Would contemporary Mithraism look like art movements? Where the artists would strictly and persistently turn their lives into works of art - TO LIVE art and aesthetics rather than discuss it?
Oh, that would be me more than ten years ago. When I was a teenager and decided to combine The Artist with The Work of Art! Something that I have been pursuing ever since.

Ushta,
Dino

Mithraism as opposed to the Book Religions

Dear Dino and Syn

You're both welcome to join the Mitharic crusade!!!
Dino, the point is that Mithraism never was a SCRIPTURAL RELIGION; it was more an artistic expression where each community independently of the next one, set its own agenda. Sure, the Christians burned most Mithraic texts but they never dogmatic texts but rather ritual instructions anyway.
So Imthraism was the concept of Ahura Mazda put to practice: Being and Mind in a cosmic dance (symbolized in all Mithraic pictures as Sol the Being and Mithras the mind, in conversation and cooperation).
So, Mithraism should want even you to be religious, Dino, since it is not about scripture but all about PRACTICE. Think of Mihraism as a collective artistic expression. Everything Religion shold have been before the Book Worshippers (now apparently also Zoroastrians) arrived on the scene.
Burning Man in the Nevada Desert is Mithraism in practice, perhaps knowing or not knowing about it (although all my burner friends are well aware of the Mihtraic practice they are involved with precisely as such).
And I firmly believe that the only way to NOT have a book religion is to get rid of the books to begin with. Burn them all!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

Dear Syn, you're remarkably smart!!!
I have had similar feelings for several months now, since there's too much struggle over nonsense. If Mitharism is Mazdayasna philosophy PUT TO ACTION, without all the nonsensical talk about angels and secret armies hiding on a mountain and pointless statements about whether god dwells in his/her own creation or not, then that is what should be promoted.
But what historical evidence is there about Mithraist philosophy? There are no scriptures left. There are the opponents' dismissing statements only.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Syn schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Syn
Betreff: [Ushta] A Rebirth of 'Zoroastrianism', Hail Mithras
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 15:08 Uhr


>>>--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote 19/9/10:
Dear Friends
I have decided to stop referring to myself as a "Zoroastrian" and instead decided to refer to myself as a "Mithraist". Besides the fact that all my Western friends find Mithraism far more attractive and adaptable to a modern society than Zoroastrianism, it also once and for all removes at least me from any conflicts with Parsi isolationists (a pathetic conflict which I have decided to not fight anymore, just let the isolationists kill themselves as a community, I could not care less, I only care about cosmopolitan people interested in Iranian philosophy anyway). It doesn't change my relationship to Zoroastrianism in general. And Ushta has always been open to both "Zoroastrians", "Mazdaists" and "Mithraists". It's just that my change of label makes it easier for people to understand where I'm at, and also makes them far more interested and even engaged. We even started a Swedish Mithraist community last week, founded by people who love to call themselves Mithraists but not interested in the label of Zoroastrians.
Ushta
Alexander<<<

Hello Alexander

Your post above has fascinated me. For a month now I have avoided any discussion on the subject of Zoroastrianism [I have even avoided Z forums], as I have become completely exasperated with it, due mainly to the dominance of the Isolationists, who seem to have successfully silenced all open debate or interest in the religion and philosophy of Zorastrianism by their obsession with racial purity. So much so that on the 20th August I wrote a long post expressing my disatisfaction with the Zoroastrian community/religion, asking why anyone would feel it necessary to seek Sedreh Pushi from Z. priests who are themselves only Z. priests by their compliance with the wider Z. community, which it seems to me, is now nothing more than a 'culture club'. However I refrained frrom posting what I wrote as I did'nt want to appear overly negative or criticle, yet your post above indicates to me that Im not the only one feeling so disatsified, and interestingly enough I likewise have returned to studying Mithraism, which was one of my previous catalysists for my original interest in Zoroastrianism.

This is a copy of what I wrote [in its raw and unedited version] on the 20th August [I kept a copy of what I wrote so as to ponder its implications, perhaps edit it and then decide if I was ready to post it somewhere]:

"Having hovered on the extreme fringes of the Zoroastrian 'scene' for some time, Im struck at how often the subject of acceptance arises, and how un-accepting, or just plain uninterested, so many cultural Zorastrians are, of those not born to 'racialy pure' Zorastrian parents. It also suprises me at how blind such isolationist Zorastrians are to the fact that such 'racialy pure' Zorastrians will be extinct within approx. two more generations or so, as the 'racialy pure' Zoroastrian community is decreasing by 9% every 10yrs.

I am personaly now begining to feel very aggreived at having my interest in the Zoroastrian religion not only bluntly dismissed by many [particularly by the Indian Parsi community], but also because so many seem to ignore the need to encourage those outside the ancestral cultural community, to get involved in any way, thus I am fast begining to feel that there is no need to persue any communual interests at all, even Sedreh Pushi seems to now be a pointless endevour. In fact I seem to be losing any interest in ever trying to share with any 'old time' Zoroastrians, and feel I would happily see them all die out, at least there would then be the possiblility of a new revival without all the accumulated ritualistic and cultural druj.

So my question is why bother finding an 'old time' priest for Sedreh Pushi [or someone who has been given authority by them], a priest who would himself simply base his authority on very dubious traditions and some druj belief that priestlyness is passed down through a particular family? Why not just simply confirm oneself before God and ignore those who would bicker and argue if one is 'racialy pure' or not, or if ones Sedreh Pushi is valid? Why bother to even try and be included in any 'old time' Zoroastrian community? especialy when there is so little encouragement, even from so called 'progressives' and 'restorationists' who are themselves also being weighed down by the isolationist agenda, and why bother to even visit or attempt to visit any of the existing Fire Temples/Prayer Halls? Perhaps it would be best to simply leave such places to those who would simply use them as cultural centres rather than spiritual meeting places.

Why not just split away completely, and completely ignore the ruins of what is left of a Zorastrianism, which now seems to be nothing more than a club for those with a particular ancestral lineage, and start all over again somewhere else. Who cares what some 'priest' thinks simply because he was born into the right family and can now repeat the Avesta backwards, and who cares what some racialy pure isolationist believes purely on the basis of his parents ancestry. Asha is not the monopoly of any one race, family or priesthood."

Like you, I have been slowly coming to the same conclusion that Mithraism is the way forward, and have at been meditating on this [and Greek Orphism - as I believe there to be some similarities and correlations] very deeply for some time now, so you can imagine my suprise and intrigue when I saw your post while browsing this morning. It is encouraging to see that others have likewise come to some similar conclusions, even going so far as to put those thoughts into action, however as I personaly have no friends on a similar wavelength I have been unsure as to how to proceed as yet, though Im sure time will tell - with the grace of god and the bounteous immortals.

Ushta

Syn-Hudanush

Mithraism vs Mazdaism Part 3

Dear Parviz

I believe you completely uinderrate me.
The problem with Zoroastrianism is that I frankly don't see how ANYBODY is going to breathe any life into it. It's like everybody is waiting for a grand revolution in Iran after which Iran would become Zoroastrian - which it definitely will not, it will go secular, so they are in for a deep disappointment - or for Parsi women in India to finally decide to breed with their cousin husbands and have lots of children - which they will not and which would in any case not include or bother me the slightest.
Mithraism is IN ITSELF not dogmatic but rather a practice of rituals and artistic expression that works perfectly for a modern secular society. A religion definitely without dogma (no sacred old books and "teachings").
I certainly could make something out of Mithraism, definitely something artistic. And have we not talked about Mithraism anyway here on Ushta now for years when we have discussed what "Mazdaism" could be like.
So I'm not going to spend any more time on some vain romantic Iranian nationalist project of which I or my friends do not feel a part at all. When I talk about Zoroastrianism to my freinds they lose interest. When I speak about Mithraism they get totally excited. What more advice do you need on what to choose?
The underlying "Mazdayasna" philosophy is the same anyway. But without LIFE in something it can not BE MAZDA. It will be just babble.

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

Not as easy as you make it sound Alex,

Rituals of Zoroastrianism are well established, but how are you going to explain the Bull Slaying of Mithra for example? What ever you say, some wise-ass from a corner having read some stupid article somewhere is going to shout you down "No, No, No, This is not it. I have it from the top that it means Blah Blah Blah. Then it is your word against his/hers, and the Academia strongly influenced by Judeo-Christian elements will shoot you down every time because they have a duty to make Mithraism look unattractive. If Mithraism becomes attractive, Christianity will look like a sad misunderstandings of the basic tenets of Mithraism, and so many are planted in academia just to not let this happen. You will have so many fights and insults on your hands that it will drive you baddy. Jafarey or Kotwal or the Farahmand brothers are a peace of cake compared to the guys barricaded behind the defense line against Mithraism; you will eventually be accused of Anti-Semithisem and that is where you will be forced to throw in the towel and run from the field.

Parviz


--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 1:09 AM



Dear Dino and Parviz


To Parviz: Mithraism is the merger of Zoroastrianism with intelligent Western Paganism. It is Zoroastrianism with a richer cultural expression added on top. Think of Mithraism as Zoroastrianism-Plus!
Finally we have a religion which can attract the enormous and fast-spreading Burning Man generation!
And Dino, it is precisely the PHILOSOPHICAL aspect of Zoroastrianism which we are saving by changing our label from Zoroastrianism to Mithraism. We keep the philosophy, but change the artistic expression and ceremonial rituals to something far more exicting and befitting the modern world than just Zoroastrianism as it is (basically a museal activity of rather bland apologetism).
I can't see why we can' have the best of two worlds!!! Mithraism with Ahura Mazda!

Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Special Kain

I can fully understand Alexander's move.
For example, I'm deeply frustrated with most Zoroastrians' talk about their own faith. As if it was nothing but a pacifist mix of Christian and Muslim theologies.
On the other hand, it has all the ingredients that make it philosophically fascinating: civilizationism, environmental thought, equal rights for all, the love of wisdom, and the praise of education and intelligence.
In the end, we are what we practice.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 05:07 Uhr


Alex my brother, it is hard not to like you. (I have tried! ;-)

See you at the next Burning Man. You have great visions and count me in as a side-kick. Nahid and her husband and Dr. Mench will need a role too and will probably join in.
What are we going to tell everybody that Mithraism IS? Even Nabarz has not figured his ass from his elbow yet when it comes to the fellow with the red cap.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz

--- On Sun, 9/19/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 7:04 PM


I'm not abandoning anybody here, Parviz! Far from it.

Mithraism is just an old Western extension of Zoroastrianism anyway, with a very central role given to Zarathushtra and his philosophy, actually even more so than within Zoroastrianism.
The problem is that Zoroastrians seem to care too little about their own future and their own religion to really believe it can be a thriving and growing religion for anybody, least of all themselves.
Mithraism simply seems more suitable, in one form or the other, to take global and universal.
Zoroastrians can't seem to talk about their faith without making conversions an issue. And I have grown tired of this. There is no room for visions.
Mithraism I could even take to Burning Man and it would work wonders. It is CULTURALLY exciting, easy to turn into artistry. By comparison, Zoroastrianism is bland and unimaginative. You get the picture!
It's a change of labels, Parviz, not a change of faith!
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

Mithraism also has many who claim to know it better than you, and then when they talk, they dish up loads of trash in the name of Mithraism on your plate that just looking at it will make you want to vomit. Don't go there, you are not safe there either. You are an original thinker and your original thoughts fits more within the framework of Mazda-Yasna than Mithra-Yasna. Mazda-Yasna is a living religion while Mithraism is dead. Living things have permission to change while it is very hard to bring a dead thing back to life and then make this Frankenstein that you have brought to life behave like a living creature and dance a graceful dance on the stage of world thought.

Mazdaism is a version of Zoroastrianism that you helped have a life here on Ushta. Please do not abandon your friends here, me amongst them. If you know any good teacher amongst the Mithraists that you respect, please guide us to his/her writings and teachings, otherwise, please stay here and help us raise this baby that you have helped give life to.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sun, 9/19/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: "Ushta"
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 4:20 AM



Dear Friends


I have decided to stop referring to myself as a "Zoroastrian" and instead decided to refer to myself as a "Mithraist".
Besides the fact that all my Western friends find Mithraism far more attractive and adaptable to a modern society than Zoroastrianism, it also once and for all removes at least me from any conflicts with Parsi isolationists (a pathetic conflict which I have decided to not fight anymore, just let the isolationists kill themselves as a community, I could not care less, I only care about cosmopolitan people interested in Iranian philosophy anyway).
It doesn't change my relationship to Zoroastrianism in general. And Ushta has always been open to both "Zoroastrians", "Mazdaists" and "Mithraists".
It's just that my change of label makes it easier for people to understand where I'm at, and also makes them far more interested and even engaged.
We even started a Swedish Mithraist community last week, founded by people who love to call themselves Mithraists but not interested in the label of Zoroastrians.

Ushta
Alexander

söndagen den 19:e september 2010

Mithraism vs Mazdaism Part 2

I'm not abandoning anybody here, Parviz! Far from it.
Mithraism is just an old Western extension of Zoroastrianism anyway, with a very central role given to Zarathushtra and his philosophy, actually even more so than within Zoroastrianism.
The problem is that Zoroastrians seem to care too little about their own future and their own religion to really believe it can be a thriving and growing religion for anybody, least of all themselves.
Mithraism simply seems more suitable, in one form or the other, to take global and universal.
Zoroastrians can't seem to talk about their faith without making conversions an issue. And I have grown tired of this. There is no room for visions.
Mithraism I could even take to Burning Man and it would work wonders. It is CULTURALLY exciting, easy to turn into artistry. By comparison, Zoroastrianism is bland and unimaginative. You get the picture!
It's a change of labels, Parviz, not a change of faith!
Ushta
Alexander

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand


Dear Alex,

Mithraism also has many who claim to know it better than you, and then when they talk, they dish up loads of trash in the name of Mithraism on your plate that just looking at it will make you want to vomit. Don't go there, you are not safe there either. You are an original thinker and your original thoughts fits more within the framework of Mazda-Yasna than Mithra-Yasna. Mazda-Yasna is a living religion while Mithraism is dead. Living things have permission to change while it is very hard to bring a dead thing back to life and then make this Frankenstein that you have brought to life behave like a living creature and dance a graceful dance on the stage of world thought.

Mazdaism is a version of Zoroastrianism that you helped have a life here on Ushta. Please do not abandon your friends here, me amongst them. If you know any good teacher amongst the Mithraists that you respect, please guide us to his/her writings and teachings, otherwise, please stay here and help us raise this baby that you have helped give life to.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sun, 9/19/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: "Ushta"
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 4:20 AM



Dear Friends


I have decided to stop referring to myself as a "Zoroastrian" and instead decided to refer to myself as a "Mithraist".
Besides the fact that all my Western friends find Mithraism far more attractive and adaptable to a modern society than Zoroastrianism, it also once and for all removes at least me from any conflicts with Parsi isolationists (a pathetic conflict which I have decided to not fight anymore, just let the isolationists kill themselves as a community, I could not care less, I only care about cosmopolitan people interested in Iranian philosophy anyway).
It doesn't change my relationship to Zoroastrianism in general. And Ushta has always been open to both "Zoroastrians", "Mazdaists" and "Mithraists".
It's just that my change of label makes it easier for people to understand where I'm at, and also makes them far more interested and even engaged.
We even started a Swedish Mithraist community last week, founded by people who love to call themselves Mithraists but not interested in the label of Zoroastrians.

Ushta
Alexander

Mithraism vs Mazdaism

Dear Friends

I have decided to stop referring to myself as a "Zoroastrian" and instead decided to refer to myself as a "Mithraist".
Besides the fact that all my Western friends find Mithraism far more attractive and adaptable to a modern society than Zoroastrianism, it also once and for all removes at least me from any conflicts with Parsi isolationists (a pathetic conflict which I have decided to not fight anymore, just let the isolationists kill themselves as a community, I could not care less, I only care about cosmopolitan people interested in Iranian philosophy anyway).
It doesn't change my relationship to Zoroastrianism in general. And Ushta has always been open to both "Zoroastrians", "Mazdaists" and "Mithraists".
It's just that my change of label makes it easier for people to understand where I'm at, and also makes them far more interested and even engaged.
We even started a Swedish Mithraist community last week, founded by people who love to call themselves Mithraists but not interested in the label of Zoroastrians.

Ushta
Alexander