måndagen den 28:e februari 2011

God, Mind, and The Universe

I would even go as far as to say that according to Zarathushtra (and I agree) The Mind is The Attribute of God, God's most innate expression. When discussing what God is, I prefer to just go straight to the obvious monist conclusion; God is Whatever IS. God is not that which does not exist. So God is The Universe.
To say that Mind is God is somehow just falling into a new dualist trap:
- So you say that Mind is God? Does that mean that God is only Mind and that which does not have mind is outside of God?
There you have the problem with the statement "Mind is God". It is better to say "The Mind is the Expression of God".
Just like for example "Nature is an Attribute of God" or "Space is an Attribute of God".
Zarathushtra called The Universe "Ahura" and Mind "Mazda". One does not make sense without the other to us as humans (which is what interested Zarathushtra, he was NOT interested in an all-encompassing theological explanation of the world but in a pragmatic explanation of how we as humans are bound to EXPERIENCE existence).
One is the Substance (Ahura) and the other the to us humans most meaningful Attribute of the Substance (Mazda). But please not that Zarathushtra actually rarely mentions the two together in The Gathas (clearly indicating that they should NOT be used together as some omnipotent Abarahamic deity).
Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/28 Parviz Varjavand

Ushta Dino,

Thank you very much for trying to make things clear for me without talking down or lecturing. While I do not believe in Goblins or the Soul and I think they are both cut from the same cloth which is creatures made up by Devyasna, I also do not believe that my Mind and my power to think (Mazda) and a Rock are one and the same and cut out of the same cloth of Monism. Will the Rock some day become my Mind (as if it is not already there ;-), I do not know? But it is hard for me to put a Thinking Mind and a Rock in the same shoe box and call them the same thing and both god.

For me, the Mind is God and a small part of the Big Mind (Mazda) which dwells in Life Forms and not in rocks. This is why I have been calling myself a Mazdaist rather than any of the other categorizations you have listed. I worship the Mind in nature and not the rocks or what volcanoes spew out. Am I very off? I specially would appreciate if Mehrdad Farahmand who is a good scientist if he would post a crit about what I am trying to say.

With you in Mazda,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sun, 2/27/11, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011, 2:56 AM


Hi Parviz

Monotheism = there is only one god
Polytheism = there are several gods

Monism = there is only one substance
Dualism = there are two substances

Monism + monotheism = there is only one god and only one substance and they're both one and the same

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Sa, 26.2.2011:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 26. Februar, 2011 22:24 Uhr


Hi Alex,

You say you are a "Monist Monotheist". I thought that a Monist Monotheist is called just a Monist because you can not have a Monist Dualist, but I think that you can not have any Monotheism other than Dualistic Monotheism.

Parviz

--- On Wed, 2/23/11, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: "Ali Jafarey"
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 10:50 PM


Dear Parviz and friends

Let's clarify one thing once and for all: Monism and monotheism are not opposites.
The opposite of monism is dualism (or even polyism), the idea that there are at least two radically different substances in the universe that are somehow mystically interacting with each other (although no dualist has ever been able to explain exactly how this would work since it remains to be explained through which substance the two communicate). The belief that God and Creation are two separate entities is a perfect example of dualism (where it remains to be explained how God interacts with Creation in that case). While making God and The Universe synonymous is a requirement for monism.
As you can tell, I'm very much a monist myself. I do not find any credible evidence of any second substance anywhere. If there is a soul it is very much a part of the body itself, as modern neuroscience has also shown to be the case (every emotion or feeling we experience corresponds to en exact physical reaction in the brain).
The opposite of monotheism is polytheism, the belief that there are several rather than just one god.
Needless to say, I'm a monist monotheist, which is another word for a pantheist (The Universe and God are one and the same thing and substance). The famous atheist activist Richard Dawkins calls pantheism "the thinking man's atheism"; in other words he considers pantheism the only credible religious belief of all. The intelligent choice we can make is between atheism and pantheism, anything else is basically humbug.
I agree with Dawkins 100%.
And I'm convinced Zarathushtra, the author of The Gathas, and his contemporaries, were pantheists too. I don't see any evidence of dualism in his worldview as dualism was introduced by the Egyptians and the Babylonians to control their agricultural societies much later in history. Which in turn explains why the Abrahamic religions are dualist and not monist like Mazdayasna.

Ushta
Alexander

söndagen den 27:e februari 2011

Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification! Part 4

2011/2/27 Peter Schogol
Dear Alexander,

As I understand it, there are a number of alternatives to pantheism. Panentheism, in which the sum is more than the totality of the parts; theism, in which the totality moves the parts but not vice versa; polytheism, in which there is no one overarching totality rather a multiplicity of near- or quasi-totalities; henotheism, in which the totality is refracted in a multiple of hypostases or avatars; atheism, in which the totality, if there is one, is not an agent; and so on.

Zarathushtra broke aggressively with polytheism and panentheism requires dualism of which there is no trace before Egyptian agricultural feudalism and certainly not in Central Asia 3,700 years ago. So logically you will have to remove all alternatives until you end up with monist monotheism. None of the others apply to the Gathic author.

To say that it is up to the questioner to demonstrate that Zarathushtra was not a monist doesn't strike me as intellectually honest.

To say that somebody is intellectually dishonest strikes me as being intellectually dishonest in itself. Back to you: Where do you find any traces of dualism in The Gathas, centuries before such ideas developed in a very different part of the world?

One cannot prove a negative. If there are passages in the Gathas which may be read monistically or pantheistically, we should be able to identify them.

Not necessarily. You need to KNOW within which society a certain text was produced. For example: You would not ask me to prove that America does not exist in a European text from the 12th century because you KNOW that America was discovered by Europeans in the late 15th century. To still debate whether America as a continent is a conscious phenomenon with 12th century authors is fruitless if not outright idiotic. How could dualism possibly serve what Zarathushtra tried to communicate? It serves no role whatsoever within his ethical system.

Also, you say that Zarathushtra precedes Judaism by at least 700 years. What are you using for a start date for Judaism?

King David is the first know historically existent person in Judaism so Judaism as Judaism would have developed some decades before King David steps onto the historical scene. There are for example not a shred of evidence that Abraham or Moses ever existed, we have to refer to them as mythological creatures. As we have to with Judaism before the exile in Babylon where the faith was properly developed.

Ushta
Alexander

Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification! Part 3

Dear Peter

The alternative to pantheism (montheism with a monist worldview) is dualism but there is not a single trace of dualism in any culture on this planet before the arrival of organised feudalism (likely Egypt but could also be Babylon). So the question is not whether Zarathushtra contemplated monism versus dualism, dualism was simply unheard of in his culture and at his time in history.

That means that the burden of evidence does not lie with me when I claim that Zarathushtra is a monist monotheist (the world is one substance and this substance is Ahura, to which Mazda is added as the expression of Ahura; the same as Indian Brahmanism by the way, which no Indian intellectual would ever dream of regarding as dualist), the burden lies with those who claim that Zarathushtra for some strange reason was a dualist a thousand years before any feudalist culture takes off. It makes absolutely no sense to refer to Zarathushtra as a dualist. The only reason I can find to do so is when people try to make Zarathushtra an Abrahamist long before Abrahamistic faiths even existed. Which is of course utter nonsense.

Zoroastrianism is an Indo-European belief system and not a Semitic one. It is also at least 700 years older than Judaism.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/27 Peter Schogol

I have been away from the universe of Zoroastrian discourse for several years, and while I am aware of your conviction, Alexander, that Zoroastrianism is or could be reckoned to be pantheistic I don't recall how you arrived at that belief. I am not saying it's implausible -- far from it. But if the Gathas are where the buck stops it would seem that the Gathas should be able to provide a grounding for a pantheistic interpretation. In my ignorance I can't make out that connection.

Rather than ask you to sum up your conviction (unless you wouldn't mind doing that), I would ask to be directed to the most salient post to this group where the ground for a pantheistic interpretation may be read.

Ushta,
Peter (Skye) Schogol
Lexington, KY

Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification! Part 2

Exactly!!!
Which is why there is no point going on about monism and then attacking monotheism. Makes absolutely no sense.
If one is a monist one has to be either an atheist (one substance which is not divine) or a pantheist (one substance which is divine or should be treated or observed as divine). And pantheism is monotheistic, one divine substance = one and only god = monotheism.
The Abrahamic faiths are also monothestic but dualistic. That is the difference from Zoroastrian Pantheism.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/27 Special Kain

Hi Parviz

Monotheism = there is only one god
Polytheism = there are several gods

Monism = there is only one substance
Dualism = there are two substances

Monism + monotheism = there is only one god and only one substance and they're both one and the same

Ushta,
Dino

--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Sa, 26.2.2011:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 26. Februar, 2011 22:24 Uhr

Hi Alex,

You say you are a "Monist Monotheist". I thought that a Monist Monotheist is called just a Monist because you can not have a Monist Dualist, but I think that you can not have any Monotheism other than Dualistic Monotheism.

Parviz

--- On Wed, 2/23/11, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: "Ali Jafarey"
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 10:50 PM

Dear Parviz and friends

Let's clarify one thing once and for all: Monism and monotheism are not opposites.
The opposite of monism is dualism (or even polyism), the idea that there are at least two radically different substances in the universe that are somehow mystically interacting with each other (although no dualist has ever been able to explain exactly how this would work since it remains to be explained through which substance the two communicate). The belief that God and Creation are two separate entities is a perfect example of dualism (where it remains to be explained how God interacts with Creation in that case). While making God and The Universe synonymous is a requirement for monism.
As you can tell, I'm very much a monist myself. I do not find any credible evidence of any second substance anywhere. If there is a soul it is very much a part of the body itself, as modern neuroscience has also shown to be the case (every emotion or feeling we experience corresponds to en exact physical reaction in the brain).
The opposite of monotheism is polytheism, the belief that there are several rather than just one god.
Needless to say, I'm a monist monotheist, which is another word for a pantheist (The Universe and God are one and the same thing and substance). The famous atheist activist Richard Dawkins calls pantheism "the thinking man's atheism"; in other words he considers pantheism the only credible religious belief of all. The intelligent choice we can make is between atheism and pantheism, anything else is basically humbug.
I agree with Dawkins 100%.
And I'm convinced Zarathushtra, the author of The Gathas, and his contemporaries, were pantheists too. I don't see any evidence of dualism in his worldview as dualism was introduced by the Egyptians and the Babylonians to control their agricultural societies much later in history. Which in turn explains why the Abrahamic religions are dualist and not monist like Mazdayasna.

Ushta
Alexander

onsdagen den 23:e februari 2011

Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification!

Dear Parviz and friends

Let's clarify one thing once and for all: Monism and monotheism are not opposites.
The opposite of monism is dualism (or even polyism), the idea that there are at least two radically different substances in the universe that are somehow mystically interacting with each other (although no dualist has ever been able to explain exactly how this would work since it remains to be explained through which substance the two communicate). The belief that God and Creation are two separate entities is a perfect example of dualism (where it remains to be explained how God interacts with Creation in that case). While making God and The Universe synonymous is a requirement for monism.
As you can tell, I'm very much a monist myself. I do not find any credible evidence of any second substance anywhere. If there is a soul it is very much a part of the body itself, as modern neuroscience has also shown to be the case (every emotion or feeling we experience corresponds to en exact physical reaction in the brain).
The opposite of monotheism is polytheism, the belief that there are several rather than just one god.
Needless to say, I'm a monist monotheist, which is another word for a pantheist (The Universe and God are one and the same thing and substance). The famous atheist activist Richard Dawkins calls pantheism "the thinking man's atheism"; in other words he considers pantheism the only credible religious belief of all. The intelligent choice we can make is between atheism and pantheism, anything else is basically humbug.
I agree with Dawkins 100%.
And I'm convinced Zarathushtra, the author of The Gathas, and his contemporaries, were pantheists too. I don't see any evidence of dualism in his worldview as dualism was introduced by the Egyptians and the Babylonians to control their agricultural societies much later in history. Which in turn explains why the Abrahamic religions are dualist and not monist like Mazdayasna.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/24 Parviz Varjavand

My very dear Ostad Jafarey,

For me, the whole history of man's intellectual development does not pivot on Zarathustra and we would be talking about Mazdayasna and Devyasna today regardless of his being there or not. We just would call it as having our thoughts Science-happy or Faith-happy, or something like that. Since Science does not support the existence of any single Supper Intellect making everything else up as a Carpenter (God) would sit in his workshop and make Chairs (Me and the rest of creation), I give myself permission to dismiss that idea as unscientific.

I however can not dismiss that there is a lot of intelligences at work in nature and that I am also part of this whole mix. So I see some kind of intelligence at work every time I blow my nose, and I think to myself that I must be some kind of God that just blew its nose. That is all that makes sense to me and makes me happy when I think of God-power. The bigger picture of a Supper Duper God having made me in a way that I can blow my nose and that I must bow down to Him and say thank you every time I blow my nose does not make me happy, does not turn me on, does not make me go into Yasna.

So I am Mazda-yasna as one that gets happy that as a creature it has the power to blow it's own nose. This I call Monist Mazda Yasna. I do not get happy if I have to thank some Supper Intelligence for making me in a way that I can blow my nose every time I blow my nose, so I do not think that I am a Monotheist Mazda Mazdayasni person.

If my version of Monist Mazdayasna is not one hundred percent scientific, I do not care. It just makes me more happy (go more into Yasna) than the Monotheist Mazdayasna version of our religion. The Monotheist Mazdayasna version of Zoroastrianism looks an awful lot like the other versions of Monotheism that is gobbling up the minds of the masses of humanity on the globe and I do not feel there is any glory in riding that train.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Wed, 2/23/11, Jafarey@aol.com wrote:

From: Jafarey@aol.com
Subject: Re: [zoroastrians] The Paradox of Choice, and the PIR
To: solvolant@yahoo.com, zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 12:19 PM



In a message dated 2/22/2011 8:23:04 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, solvolant@yahoo.com writes:
For me anything scientific is Mazdayasni and anything unscientific (if talked about in a religious context) is Devyasna. So if Zaratushtra has things to say about rewards and punishments I may encounter after death, he is talking about Devyasna. Also, if he talks about a God that is separate from his creation, he is again talking about Devyasna and I have to reley on Faith to understand him.

I can take Devyasna if a very pretty woman talks about it, because I would concentrate on her cute lips as they move withought having to understand anything they are saying. But when bearded men dead long ago talk Devyasna, I have a hard time with that.

Yours as always,

Dorud, my dear,

For me too <> And for the last 80+ years of cool and collected, search and research study of the Gathas (Gahan), I have found it quite scientific.

My request is: Please read the Gahan coolly and collectedly and you will see that <> He speaks only about the consequences of one's acts. Yes, <> His search and research helped him to discover that the universe is <> an orderly harmonious systematic universe. This could not happen unless there is some super-intellect being behind it. In his language it becomes Mazda Ahura. It is after his cosmic, environmental, and social studies that he founded his <> to present a fresh and ever-refreshing guidance to the Way of Good Life.

Here I would like to be enlightened on Monism, because so far I have not been able to understand it. We are as creators, maintainers and promoters of things, from the stick and stone tools of the Stone Age, 650,000 years ago to our up-to-date electronics, but why are we separate from them all along and yet say that the Cosmos is either its own creator and maintainer or is one with the creator and maintainer? Please, give me a single instance of Monism. Which branch of proven science shows it?

I am sure that you know that the word mazda/medha for super-intellect existed in the Indo-Iranian language but it was Zarathushtra who applied it to his discovery of the Creator-Maintainer-Promoter, and that he is the first person to deny <> as a deity and reject superstitions, and that his immediate followers coined the terms Mazdayasna and Daeva-yasna.

You conclude: <> Yes, Zarathushtra was as bearded as other contemporary men and dead long ago, but he was the FIRST to talk against Daevayasna and today we are only the multi-millionth. If there were no Gahan, you and I would not be talking about Mazdayasna and Daevayasna.

Mehr afzoon,

Ali A. Jafarey

torsdagen den 10:e februari 2011

Zoroastrianism vs Reincarnation

Wrong!
If you do not remember anything from a past experience, then frankly the YOU that is now was not there. It was another "you".
Modern neuroscience has actually proven one thing once and for all and that is that the subject is an UTTER ILLUSION.
There is only a body. No subject outside of the self-deception of the body.
So since there is no soul that can reincarnate to begin with, neuroscience has proven not only that souls do not exist (only brain-chemicals exist) but it has consequently proven that reincarnation is pure nonsense. THERE IS NOTHING THERE TO RE-INCARNATE to begin with!
The fact that Zarathustra was clever enough to not even mention this sort of nonsense is even further evidence that Zoroastrianism is completely and utterly incompatible with these, for lack of a more appropriate word, crap!
Ushta
Alexander/suggests the reincarnators here go and start some old ladies´ tea gossip club somwhere, why don't you just call Shirley MacLaine and hang out with her instead?

2011/2/10 mehrdad farahmand

The argument from having a memory of a past life does not prove or disprove reincarnation and it has nothing to do with the question here: whether Zoroastrian religion rejects it or accept.
I do not have any memory of when I was 2 yrs old. Does that prove that my second life year did not exist. How about if I get into an accident and get global amnesia. Does that mean that my life before the accident was fantasy? Of course not. So continuity of memory is no criteria. In modern neuroscience, we know that remembering is not an act of recollection but reconstruction. Meaning how I remember something today is directly informed, if not determined, by my present attitudes, emotions, and belief system.
Again Zoroastrianism does not explicitly accept reincarnation, but it does not explicitly address it to reject it. It simply ignores it and focuses on something else that deems to be more important.
Also, the fact that most Zoroastrians do believe something or not is sociologically interesting but philosophically irrelevant. Truth is not a democratic thing...unfortunately.

mf

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:
Well, I strongly disagree and the vast majority of Zoroastrians with me.
Unless you can tell where and when you lived any past life, Syn, this is nothing more than superstitious rubbish and exactly the sort of meaningless fodder Zarathushtra was vehemently and correctly against.
Zoroastrianism is not just open to any rubbish idea coming from anywhere. Especailly one not grounded in facts but just in pure fantasy lalaland.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/10 Syn

Extremely interesting post MF, thank you for your contribution. I particularly like your assertion that Behdin is agnostic on this issue, which though I do personaly believe in reincarnation myself, I would much prefer there to be open debate on the issue rather than any dogmatic closure. For me reincarnation makes perfect sense from not only a philosophical perspective, but also a Behdin perspective which itself can fully embrace both the Buddhistic and Vedantic approach. However the concept of a one off physical ressurection, as found in Judaism and Xianity, which places so much importance on the temporal body just makes no sense to me and based as you quite rightly mention on a dualistic set of socio-political concepts. However I would like to meditate further on your contribution before replying in any greater depth.


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, mehrdad farahmand wrote:
>
> One should be very careful about rejecting or embracing the notion of
> reincarnation right off the bat, because the reasons for assuming or
> rejecting this view is more important than the actual belief. Religions
> usually assume two approaches to a more fundamental question of finality and
> purpose of existence. Either they assume resurrection, or they accept
> reincarnation. The reason for assuming each is simply to make sense of
> seemingly nonsensical world. There must be a point to all this, which
> transcends this and informs this. Here, you have a division between ethical
> and metaphysical religions. Abrahamic religions are primarily ethical in
> nature. They care about crime and punishment, vice and virtue. Hence, they
> are deeply dualistic. Accordingly, they all assume a resurrection that is
> intimately judicial in nature and leads to reward and punishment. These
> religions have no metaphysical concerns. All ontological questions are
> answered for them. Consequently, they are not philosophies at all, but
> elaborate eschatological, ehtica, systems of conduct.
> Vedanta and Buddhism are philosophical religions on other hand. They have
> ethics and eschatology, but their primary concern is a metaphysical one.
> Buddhism assumes a process ontology and Vedanta assumes a substance
> ontology. Hence their views of personal identity differs too. For Buddhist,
> there is no substantial self, but there is a process and personal identity
> is defined by connectivity based on a causal chain. The Vedanta assumes a
> substantial self, which hides a non-dual self of pure consciousness that is
> atman. Hence, in Vedanta personal identity is based on continuity rather
> than connectivity. The question of finality is, however, central to both
> religions. Why am I here? The Buddhist assume that we are self-actualizing
> process guided by the principle of dharma and karma. Hence, they use the
> metaphor of a lotus. The point of reincarnation is not punishment or reward,
> since these are dualism specific to samsara and not the non-dual nirvana. In
> nirvana, these concepts impressed by dualism have no meaning and existence.
> Hence, the point of reincarnation and existence is self-actualization. I am
> not punished in the next life, but in each life I assume different roles and
> live them till I understand all and this understanding, prajna and vidya,
> leads to salvation. It is like an actor choosing to play different roles in
> different films in order to become a better actor. The next role is not the
> punishment for the last role. It is all about perfecting your craft.
> In Vedanta, the same notion of moksa exists and it is present in the Vedas
> and Upanishads and it has nothing to do with Dravidans. Here, however, the
> goal of evolution is not to be reached in an evolutionary process but to be
> realized in an revolutionary event, since the Brahman is Atman and Atman is
> in us all. Hence, the different lives are assumed to find that revolutionary
> event. In each life we assume new roles and learn and when this knowledge
> reaches a critical mass, then that evolution happens.
> Zoroastrianism is a metaphysical religion as well and in that it assumes a
> process ontology like Buddhism. Hence, it does assert all existence as a
> self-actualizing of a lawful process. Arsha is the lawfulness aspect of the
> ultimate reality and mazda is its creative aspect. As far as the last
> station of existence, it does agree with Buddhism and Vedanta in that it
> assumes a unifcation with the ultimate ground of existence. The terminology
> is really secondary since the the root of the traditions seems to be very
> similar if not identical. Call it paradise, or moksha, nirvana. Call it
> Brahman, Shunyata, or Ahura Mazda. Now, the question is what happens in the
> time this ultimate goal is not achieved. Here, Zoroastrianism does not
> openly advocate reincarnation, but in some cases it can be implied or
> inferred. On the other hand, the resurrection is also not embraced the way
> of Abrahamic religions. This is, however, a secondary question. The primary
> question is the matter of ultimate salvation. So, I think Zoroastrianism is
> more agnostic about it than anything else. Buddha was agnostic about these
> questions as well, since they can become distractions on the path with most
> important goal, as it was proved to be in the Christian Middle Ages.
>
> Now there is Sherlie Maclain version of reincarnation found on the streets,
> from Mumbai to Los Angeles, and any New Age bookshop. That constitutes the
> majority of believers, but this is matter of quantity and not quality that
> can be philosophically be taken seriously.

Why Reincarnation is not a Zoroastrian belief

Dear Brother

I have never encountered any belief in personal reincarnation among Indo-Europeans. Death is rather "the return to the world-as-one", not some kind of bridge to a new individual existence.
It seems rather obvious that the reason why reincarnation popped up and became popular in India was because it was an import from Dravidian religious beliefs. Which makes it the main difference between Iranian and Indian religious beliefs. Zoroastrians do not believe in reincarnation. Except for some old Parsi ladies with a fablesse for Hindu folk beliefs, I have never heard Zoroastrians speak about this.
It would certainly help if you could supply some FACTS that strengthen your claims. Otherwise they look rather like wild fantasies and not a proper history of ideas or theology. Zarathsuhtar certainly does not mention reincarnation even once in The Gathas. Applying Hindu beliefs on to Zoroastrianism when they were never there in the first place is no better than trying to turn Zoroastrianism into an Abrahamic religion (which it clearly is not either).

Ushta
Alexander

2011/2/10 Syn

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard wrote:
>
> No, Zaneta, the Hindus do not.
> They creamate their dead because they have done so for thousands of years.
> It is an efficient way of getting rid of human remains, both for nomads and
> for people living in heavily populated areas.
> The idea that this custom has anything to do with reincarnation was
> introduced much much later and then in folk Hinduism only. Reincarnation was
> instead a Dravidian idea that Indians picked up when Indo-Iranians arrived
> on the Indian subcontinent.
> This is why you find no belief in reincarnation in Iran or in European or
> Central Asian Paganism.
> Ushta
> Alexander

I have often wanted to discuss the subject of reincarnation with Zoroastrians as it is one of the main subjects in which I personaly seem to disagree with the main body of the Zoroastrian community. Having searched to see if the subject has been discussed before I came across this particular comment [above] which has motivated me to reply.

Though a belief in reincarnation has many different versions, ie some believe one is only born as human, others as animals also, some that we remain as one sex, others that we are only born again due to some specific unfinished reason or mistake and some that we simply transmigrate through the whole of existance untill we eventualy achieve enlightenment [or from a Zoroastrian/Behdin perspective untill the 'good' prevails], the concept of reincarnation does seem to have been quite universal within many different cultures throughout the world and certainly a concept well known amongst some Indo-European peoples, so is certainly not a belief system that was restricted soley to pre-Vedic Indians.

One notable example of a group of Indo-Europeans that believed in reincarnation were the Celts, the Romans and Greeks noted their belief in reincarnation very specificaly. The Classical Greeks and Thracians thesmelves were were also known to believe in reincarnation. Even the Poetic Edda of the Norse peoples mentions their belief in reincarnation and their similarities to the Iranian peoples is often noted by others.

Thus my question is can one be Zoroastrian and believe in Reincarnation [as with Ilm-e-Kshnoom] or do modern Behdin now believe that the very belief in reincarnation immidiately put one at odds with the main thrust of Zoroastrian philosophy and how many people here actualy believe in reincarnation as I do.