Parviz is right. And I disagree with him that hois position is only followed by a minority of Zoroastrians, I believe it is the other way round. At least her in Europe, there are hardly no followers of the idea that The Gathas is sacred book. It is just a smart book. As for your question: When you chill water below zero degrees centigrades it turns into ice. When you heat it above 100 degrees centigrades it turns into steam. No, truths are not valid everywhere and at all times, truths are always dependent on the cirumstances. Even physical truths. So even more so mental truths, including how we DESCRIBE the physical reality with a very non-physical thing, language! Since language is the tool with which to describe truth and language is fluid, then "truths must be considered fluid" too (this is the foundation for the philosophical school called "Pragmatism"). This is the major difference between Zoroastrianism and the Abrahamic faiths: We understand that the conditions for truth also regulate what truth is possible. The meat-truth decides what truth is possible. And the fact that Truth is not forever valid is actually a possibility for us, a POSSIBILITY FOR HUMAN FREEDOM and CREATIVE EXPRESSION, not a problem but a possibility.
2011/8/22 Parviz Varjavand
Truths that are for all times and never change are written in sacred books that are for all times and no man is allowed to change them. These books are usually written not by man but by God. If you want to have Gatha or Vandidad be such books for you, there are a majority of Zoroastrians that will stand by you. Alex and Dino seem to be Mazdaists and they are writing the rules for what they wish to belive in. I am a Muzdaict and have my own school of thought all together. No shortage of crazy people when you choose to look at Zoroastrianism close up.
--- On Sun, 8/21/11, yazed kapadia
From: yazed kapadia
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Meaning of Asha and The Concept of Truth
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2011, 8:18 PM
Can truth be dynamic? Should a truth not be a truth at all times?
On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 8:55 PM, Alexander Bard
I agree, I agree, I agree!!!
However my point all along as been that if we are too afraid of making truth-statements (such as: I am actually right and you are actually wrong when the current situation actually is a fact) then we are just castrated beings and no more Mazdayasni then we would be as extremists and absolutists of the Ronald Delevaga or Usama bin-Laden type. It is about avoiding not one ditch but also about avoiding falling into the other ditch. Castrates are no better at living a full Mazdayasni life than absolutists.
To understand Zarathushtra here is not to be against Truth as an absolute but to claim that Truth does exist BUT IS FLUID RATHER THAN STATIC. It is the idea of static truth we are against, not truth as the utlimate horizon of our ethical being.
Being a Mazdayasni means also DARING to make the EXISTENTIAL ACT of pronouncing a truth when such a truth is evident to us, since this is what gives us SUBSTANCE as human beings, this is what manifests Mazda within us.
Zarathushtra's point is that THINKING the right thought is only the beginning. The full Mazdayasni identity also requires opur vocal statement of the truth of the moment and the ACTION accordingly. The silent proper thinker is not in itself a full Mazdayasni.
We can't oppose dictators like Assad in Syria by sitting silently in cafés thinking that in another era and another time Assad could have been a good guy (truth as always and only relative). As Mazdayasni, we have to cross the street and demonstrate against the likes of Assad making ourselves THE TRUTH of that moment although Truth in the long run is in flux. Act ethically to BECOME ETHICAL BEINGS!
2011/8/21 Parviz Varjavand
I gave the example of a vegetarian and one who eats meat also as the difference between Giti and Minoo, remember! I said in both cases we kill something living to eat, but since vegis are silent when we kill them while animals cry and bleed a lot more, we are justified to differentiate between the two realms.
What I all along objected to was Truth as an absolute, as one monolith in the Minoo against Droj as a Monolith. This I objected to because people who tend to think in black and white like that are more likely to write books such as Mein Kamph. Please read me more carefully and you will see that we are not far apart on this issue of what Asha is in the Minoo realm at all. If Asha was ONE THING in Minoo, we would have almost no choice at all. When we have many Ashas lined up in our mind Minoo, it is then that we can choose the Asha Vahishta or the best amongst them.
When I read my Ashem Vohoo over and over again, I get high, because it tells me this over and over. Ashem (Asha) is great, but Ushta goes to the one seeking the Vahishtayi Ashem or the Highest Asha. It never tells me what the Asha Vahishta is, (as in Semitic religions) it leaves it up to me to choose it. And why should I choose it? For the Ushta or ultimate Bliss that I will get as a reward if I do!
Show me any other religion with a Mantra this profound, and I will convert to it! Our Mantra is the most powerful there is.
Ashem Vohoo Vahishtam Asti.
Asha is good and is the best.
Ushta Ahmayi Heyad Ashayi,
Ushta upon whom seeking that Asha (which is),
THE HIGHEST (BEST OF) ASHA.
--- On Sat, 8/20/11, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The Meaning of Asha
Cc: "Dina McIntyre"
Date: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 10:43 AM
Very very good, then have settled on a great and important agreement!!!
If there was confusion on this topic it could be because I don't even talk of asha but of asha-vahishta when it comes to the ETHICAL aspect of asha which can of course only be PRECEIVED as an existential choice by minoo, not in itself as a physical phenomenon only, even though it could be proved to be such a thing deep beneath (pretty much ironically like physics is in itself always in flux, there is no such thing as fixed physics).
The important thing is that the laws are not the same. I would prefer to speak of THE MENTAL REALM as an EMERGENCE coming out of the physical realm, still 100% physical but PERCEIVED as a world of its own.
For example, we all know that the color yellow is a certain wavelength of light but we do not perceive it as such, we percieve the color yellow not for its wavelength but for its YELLOWNESS which our minds add to the wavelengths our sight picks up.
2011/8/20 Parviz Varjavand
This has been my point all along.
While Asha has hard laws applying to it in the Phisical or Giti realm, it does not have such laws in the Minoo or Mental realm. In the Minoo, you have to choose from amongst many Asha their best. So Asha in Giti and Asha in Minoo are not the same.
--- On Fri, 8/19/11, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The Meaning of Asha
Cc: "Dina McIntyre"
Date: Friday, August 19, 2011, 3:01 PM
I don't think anybody should sign any contract stating that they promise to follow asha.
That would be way too Abrahamic. We as Zoroastrians live with a fluid and flexible ethics, not with a fixed and assumed objectively valid moralism. We become our actions but we are not our actions in advance!
We have no commandments since it is the CIRCUMSTANCES that always determine what is the right thing to do (what is likely to be the best long-term outcome). And this can never be detailed in advance but rather has to always BE LIVED WITHIN THE MOMENT OF DECISION ITSELF.
Zarathushtra was indeed NOT an Abrahamist. So why would he ask us to behave as if we were?