onsdagen den 27:e juli 2011

Crime and punishment (was: Free will)

I believe it is a lot easier than that, we just have to skip the 19th century assumption that there is LOGIC involved in human behavior, there rarely is. Rather what we have here is HABITS (which ironically is what "ethos" means in Greek). This is how I locked my front door yesterday so if nothing new under the sun has happened, this is the way I will lock my door tonight as well etc. We act by using assumed default assumptions which we, just like other flock animals, have LEARNED from older members of our own tribe. Elephants and dolphins and apes do the same thing. The only time we possibly apply logic is when we encounter a brand new situation we have never encountered before. But we will still assume models of behavior we have practiced before as default options. This is how I do things so this is who I am, would be the proper Zoroastrian conclusion from this.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

Agreed, but it still doesn't solve the issue I was addressing: WHY do people act according to a common metaphysics? This is the key sociological question for which there are lots of different answers, both from sociologists as well as from criminologists.

So we agree on the basic notions: people expect others to act "as if", knowledge is what makes societies collapse etc., but the key sociological question is still open to debate. One of the answers that we often encounter in psychology and biology is that human beings are social animals and their existence requires cooperation. Because it is cooperation and win-win games that make the human race flourish and expand.


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am
Mi, 27.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Crime and punishment (was: Free will)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Mittwoch, 27. Juli, 2011 22:02 Uhr
I disagree with that cynical notion. We know perfectly well that lots of nasty things are going on all the time. The reason why we trust strangers has a lot more to do with a common metaphysics which permeats civil society, a kind of trust which in Zarathushtra's world is "Civilization": For example, a 100 euro-note is actually PHYSICALLY worth about three cents. But we expect others to accept it as worth 100 euros so we BEHAVE as if it is worth 100 euros. Which works. It is precisely when we start behaving according to our KNOWLEDGE that society collapses and falls into paranoia and distrust. Paranoid people are usually right about the facts, what makes them unhealthy is that they think people will be behave in accordance with knowledge rather than in accordance with an ETHICS which they sympathize and identify with. Ethics doesn't pay attention to what OTHERS do or think, it starts and ends with the question: "What would I do, what in all of this is me?". Places that obsess Parviz like Auschwitz are precisely places that LACK ETHICS, this results in the absence of asha as principle, replaced by druj (I kill you because I have already killed myself). Nietzsche used the word "ressentiment" for this.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

Even sociology and criminology cannot fully explain why people act according to social norms.
Some criminologists argue that it is "blissful ignorance" that keeps people from distrusting their neighbours and fellow citizens. Because people are less friendly and less polite when feeling unobserved. If we knew what happens behind doors, we would be a lot more distrustful.
It is a rather pessimistic and Machiavellian take on human nature: social order (norm conformity) requires "blissful ignorance", people need their fellow human beings as moral police officers, etc.
Isn't this exactly the struggle that Zarathushtra was addressing in The Gathas?

Ethics, or blissful ignorance?

I disagree with that cynical notion. We know perfectly well that lots of nasty things are going on all the time. The reason why we trust strangers has a lot more to do with a common metaphysics which permeats civil society, a kind of trust which in Zarathushtra's world is "Civilization": For example, a 100 euro-note is actually PHYSICALLY worth about three cents. But we expect others to accept it as worth 100 euros so we BEHAVE as if it is worth 100 euros. Which works. It is precisely when we start behaving according to our KNOWLEDGE that society collapses and falls into paranoia and distrust. Paranoid people are usually right about the facts, what makes them unhealthy is that they think people will behave in accordance with knowledge rather than in accordance with an ETHICS which they sympathize and identify with. Ethics doesn't pay attention to what OTHERS do or think, it starts and ends with the question: "What would I do, what in all of this is me?". Places that obsess Parviz like Auschwitz are precisely places that LACK ETHICS, this results in the absence of asha as principle, replaced by druj (I kill you because I have already killed myself). Nietzsche used the word "ressentiment" for this.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

Even sociology and criminology cannot fully explain why people act according to social norms.
Some criminologists argue that it is "blissful ignorance" that keeps people from distrusting their neighbours and fellow citizens. Because people are less friendly and less polite when feeling unobserved. If we knew what happens behind doors, we would be a lot more distrustful.
It is a rather pessimistic and Machiavellian take on human nature: social order (norm conformity) requires "blissful ignorance", people need their fellow human beings as moral police officers, etc.
Isn't this exactly the struggle that Zarathushtra was addressing in The Gathas?

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am
Mi, 27.7.2011:

Yes, consequences are often hard to predict. To practice asha as principle was never easy. But it is the true and proper way to go since everything else is based on faulty assumptions. Yes, situational approaches are often useful but sometimes they infringe negatively on the long-term effects of a society too. For example, when taken to extremes we stop trusting our fellow neighbors and civil society deteroriates. So this has to be taken into account as well. It is a hard but necessary balancing act which decisions to make.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

I'm not sure if I can follow you here, because the consequences are never easy to predict, unless you're talking about severely disturbed people such as psychopaths who are likely to harm other people. As a criminologist I know some criminals that should be locked away for the rest of their lives, because they are not able to learn and train less harmful behaviours.
The situational approach has taken over criminological thought. If you don't want people to steal bicycles, you invent and use bicycle locks. If you don't want people to rob other citizens at night, you invent and use credit cards and street lamps. So rather than dig deep into a criminal's psychological past you strategically reshape the environment. An open door may tempt a saint! The situational approach works in general prevention as well as in individual prevention, especially since criminals start their careers by seizing little tempting opportunities and refining their skills.

Free will and decision management

Excellently put!!!
This is a statement of literature, Dino! Spot on!
I much prefer the term "decision management" to the old dualist dilemma of "free will". It deals with what we actually do, not with whether there is a soul to begin with which can either do or not what we obviously do anyway.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

So freedom isn't simply there, it is something we provide ourselves with.
This learning process is two-folded: the freedom-from (we break free from restraints) and the freedom-towards (we co-create a larger number of choices).
Freedom of choice entails the ability to MANAGE AND ASSESS CHOICES much like we're requested to manage and assess information in our global internet environment. It is decision management that matters in this context.
In Zoroastrian and existentialist terms, we become the choices we make. This is perfectly in tune with Nietzschean ethics: self-enrichment and self-enlargement. Identities become works of art!
Since we're smarter than individualists, we already know that social identities and their social environment are part of the same feedback loop. This is why Zarathushtra was addressing persons (men and women) as well as communities! And this is why ethics is situational and not absolutistic, addressing the players involved and their interactions simultaneously.

Free will

Excellent choice of issue!!! I agree with you and Dewey on this issue.
The problem with the debate on "free will" is that it takes it starting point in Christian or Humanist dualism. What we need to do is to restart the discussion on "will" and "freedom" from a MONIST perspective instead. We will then likely end up in a very different place compared to the endless tug-of-war between dualists and determinists. Both those camps are wrong.
For example: "Holding a criminal responsible for his or her acts" assumes dualism to begin with. As if the body of the person and the action of the person are two different things. In Mazdayasna, they are one and the same thing. The history of a body is just another dimension of the body itself, as viewed back in time and towards the future.
So justice should not be about holding people responsible for whatever but is rather an issue of what the expected consequences are of a certain body being in a certain place (for example roaming about or being locked up) both for that body and for other bodies it will encounter. Including how other bodies may act if a certain action is followed by a certain "punishment". Think asha, not revenge!
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

Dear brothers and sisters

I'd like to discuss the issue of "free will" vs. determinism since it has recently popped up here on The Ushta List. Also, freedom of choice is key in Zoroastrian philosophy.

This debate is obviously about absolutes: radically free will vs. every act is pre-programmed. Genetic determinism has been quite popular because it gives simplistic explanations for complex issues. It is something that the media can easily present to their audiences and with which ambitious politicans can justify the current power structure. Luckily, it is quite controversial and shakes the very foundations of our modern societies: the law. How do we punish criminals if no-one can be held responsible for their actions?

In fact, genetic determinism has never been widely accepted within the scientific community. We are genetically pre-programmed to develop certain character traits or get certain diseases, but it is our lifestyles and our environment which also influence the outcome: our current "self". And there is still no answer to the question which forces have a stronger influence on who we are than others. Both sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have failed. There is empirical evidence that things work differently.

We can reduce this debate to the question whether "we" make decisions or if something else (our genes, the Freudian subconscious, etc.) make these decisions for us.

So far all scientists agree that contingency comes with complexity. As complex beings, we're constantly forced to cope with contingency which means means that things aren't necessarily the way they are - they could have been different. And history has proof that people have done improbable things (please see Peter Sloterdijk: "Du musst dein Leben ändern").

The pragmatists define "free will" in terms of learning experience and self-control. The better we are at coping with complexity, the more we know and the more options we co-create, the more freedom we have. Freedom is something we give ourselves by increasing our intelligence. As John Dewey would say,freedom and intelligence come hand in hand. So the smarter we are, the more choices we have and the better we can cope with the ever increasing number of choices. Our environment gradually turns from restraints into an "ecology of choice".

So the question is not whether there is "free will" but if we're creative and smart enough to do things (the freedom-towards vs. the freedom-from). This freedom is directed at THE FUTURE. While "free will" is an entity with which we're provided irrespective of our environment, this positive and future-oriented freedom (in terms of intelligence and the ecology of choice) refers to a PROCESS.

Ushta,
Dino

tisdagen den 26:e juli 2011

Overcoming relativism

Correct! This is a philosophy of "action" rather than "observation", again, this is why we speak of "process philosophy".
I would refer to this as "The Overcoming of Relativism". As in overcoming nihilism etc.
Coming from cultures embedded in Abrahamic thought, this is what we have to proceed with and battle against. Zarathushtra meets us at the other end, as the original pragmatist PRIOR to the development of dualist, hierarchical Abrahamic and later post-Abrahamic thought. Showing us and proving that none of that was ever needed.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 Special Kain

So affirmative nihilism would be the liberal ironist's worldview that is based on the belief that no vocabulary (theory, religious faith) is objectively superior to other vocabularies, but that the MULTITUDE of vocabularies is in itself sacred.
What Zarathushtra and the pragmatists can teach us and our contemporaries is how to avoid RELATIVISM. It is so fascinating that Zarathushtra never speaks about the past in The Gathas. He is only interested in THE FUTURE. And this is where our words and actions have their consequences. It is the outcomes of our words and actions that eventually smash relativism. People just need a broader perspective, because from their point of view all values are relative in an utterly relativistic sense: their values relate to outdated institutions such as the nuclear family and nationalism.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am
Di, 26.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Overcoming nihilism (was: Pantheism as the thinking man's atheism)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 26. Juli, 2011 22:55 Uhr

Yes, you're absolutely correct.

In my books with Jan Söderqvist, I have even differentiated between THREE forms of nihilism post-Nietzsche: Naive niihlism (I am not consciously aware that I no longer believe in objective truth), cynical nihilism (I am aware that I no longer believe in objective truth but I still BEHAVE as if I did) and affirmative nihilism (I have overcome the mere idea of objective truth and endear myself to subjective including inter-subjectice truths instead).
Zarathushtra is of course already at Step 3 since he never had to deal with Abrahamic faiths and go through the first two. ;-)
Ushta
Alexander

Overcoming nihilism (was: Pantheism as the thinking man's atheism)

Yes, you're absolutely correct.
In my books with Jan Söderqvist, I have even differentiated between THREE forms of nihilism post-Nietzsche: Naive niihlism (I am not consciously aware that I no longer believe in objective truth), cynical nihilism (I am aware that I no longer believe in objective truth but I still BEHAVE as if I did) and affirmative nihilism (I have overcome the mere idea of objective truth and endear myself to subjective including inter-subjectice truths instead).
Zarathushtra is of course already at Step 3 since he never had to deal with Abrahamic faiths and go through the first two. ;-)
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 Special Kain

Dear Alexander and Hampus

There are different nihilisms out there.
When speaking of Nietzsche's philosophical inquiries, we have to recall that Nietzsche was a huge fan of Russian literature. There was a literary nihilism in the 19th century (Turgenjev, Dostojevskij) of which Nietzsche was perfectly aware and which strongly influenced his take on nihilism.
For example, Nietzsche differentiates between passive nihilism ("Everything has been in vain!" - "Our Christian interpretations have failed us, so no interpretation could ever be valid!") and active nihilism (those strong characters who nolonger need such crutches as god, governments, etc.).
Also, pragmatists were sociologically smart enough to see that there are not only subjective values, but also inter-subjective values that we share with our social surroundings and had already existed long before we were born. What is so fascinating about pragmatists and their influence on modern social sciences is that they studied how such intersubjective values are being co-created in social situations. So they - like Nietzsche - were scientifically and philosophically concerned with the CONDITIONS OF VALUE PRODUCTION in modern societies where god nolonger has anything to say.

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Di, 26.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Pantheism as the thinking man's atheism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 26. Juli, 2011 22:25 Uhr



The term "nihilism" is HISTORICALLY linked to the adieu of Christianity in Western thought. What Nietzsche referred to as "The Death of God". Nihilism means "world without meaning". However, there is already with Nietzsche and with the other Pragmatists then a MOVEMENT away from outright nihilism to SUBJECTIVE values which they all celebrate, Nietzsche especially in "Also Sprach Zarathustra". So nihilism is OVERCOME by the very thinkers who created it in the first place. Or to use Hegel against nihilism: To state that there is and can be no value is IN ITSELF the establishment of a value. As Dino would say: It is impossible to LIVE and to THIK without any values whatsoever. Already the newborn child sets prioritities. Zarathushtra's point is that we should understand that these values become our actions which then become our histories and thereby become WHO WE ARE. I would even add that atheism needs to be overcome in the same way. Atheism is an impossible position. The way out is pantheism, which is just another term for taking a religious or post-religious position in regards to the something that exists rather than nothing (religious monism). Pantheism is consequently the thinking man's atheism.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 hampus lindblad

Dear Alex and Dino,

Thank you for your thoughts!

Dino, what's your definition of being a full-time nihilist? I'm probably using the terms sloppily too, but I'll try to improve my accuracy as we go along. And what's the significant difference between existential nihilism and existentialism in your view?

Now I'm just going to try taking a mental dump right here, hoping it won't stink so much as to make it unbearable for all you innocent bystanders.

Here goes:
Maybe I should have written fatalism instead of determinism. Or would that just bring in more confusion? But I think nihilism gives us the freedom to genuinely "create". It sort of sets the stage (by not setting it).
Then enters consciousness, eventually followed by self-consciousness, beginning to stare into the abyss. And suddenly that strange loop that we have woken up into. Now we can't create independent meaning for the same reason that there can be no independent matter, all is process, so what we are left with is "taste" for lack of a better word. Ethics is a form of taste. Decoration, both of the interior and the exterior. So we obviously don't have power over what physically happens to us, but through thought it is at least possible to achieve the power to shape what those events and experiences MEAN TO US. What mirrors back. And that is enough to turn everything on it's head. And maybe even trigger similar thought patterns in others happening to be in our vicinity. From microcosm to macrocosm. Like meme propagation. Basically I think that if we focus on the awareness of the strange loop, within the moment, then we create for ourselves at least some degree of movement in regards to surfing the causal wave of process. Or maybe I'm just full of it? :)

Ushta,
Hampus

Zoroastrianism vs Utilitarianism

The reason why utilitarianism does not work is indeed because utility can not be measured. So alternatives can not be empirically compared. Utilitarianism is also weakened by social psychology. People tend NOT to choose utility when given the choice between alternatives. Instead they tend to do as Zarathushtra predicted: They choose according to who they see themselves as, rather than according to maximum utility. The movie "matrix" showed this with maximal effect.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 Daniel Samani

Dear Alexander,

It start to sound more like utilitarianism, with the fine but yet important distinciton that it's asha and not utility that's being summed up. How can one count or measure ether one? Asha as explained here is alteast more honest - in that it agree that it's our desires that drives what we consider asha (and therefore point to causality of subjects). Could you please clearify the term superstition - as in delusional druj perhaps or/and lack of irrelevant metafysics?

I am aware that with few reference points the closest that come to mind are utilitariansm. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of that line of tought. To me it's an immature way to cope for lack of objektive absolutism in an nihilistic reality. To calculate course of action is not intressting to my mind. To my mind when one develop asha one can't choose durj - character is destiny as Sigmund Freud put it.

Zoroastrism to my mind is character based - and does therefore not think there is a free will as widely held in the west.

Ushta
Daniel


2011/7/25 Alexander Bard

If I blow you up with a gun, it is asha that the gun works.

However, the consequences of me blowing you up, the fact that I lose a friend who I will dearly miss, is also asha.
Asha USED is of course always the sum of all possible ashas.
Zarathushtra's point being to construct a concept ENTIRELY FREE FROM SUPERSTITION. It is the world of superstition which is ultimately the world of druj. Parvuiz is right: Asha is the laws of physics in their widest possible monist sense.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 Daniel Samani

Dear Alexander,

So with historical facts you mean that aggression leads to blowback if one look at history? And that liberalism have worked in the past ;) Could you make it more clear in what way these examples work - do you mean data for reference? How is weapons and ammuniton somthing that works? You mean that in the right time and situation, one can use weapons to do somthing constructive?

Ushta,
Daniel

Pantheism as the thinking man's atheism

The term "nihilism" is HISTORICALLY linked to the adieu of Christianity in Western thought. What Nietzsche referred to as "The Death of God". Nihilism means "world without meaning". However, there is already with Nietzsche and with the other Pragmatists then a MOVEMENT away from outright nihilism to SUBJECTIVE values which they all celebrate, Nietzsche especially in "Also Sprach Zarathustra". So nihilism is OVERCOME by the very thinkers who created it in the first place. Or to use Hegel against nihilism: To state that there is and can be no value is IN ITSELF the establishment of a value. As Dino would say: It is impossible to LIVE and to THIK without any values whatsoever. Already the newborn child sets prioritities. Zarathushtra's point is that we should understand that these values become our actions which then become our histories and thereby become WHO WE ARE. I would even add that atheism needs to be overcome in the same way. Atheism is an impossible position. The way out is pantheism, which is just another term for taking a religious or post-religious position in regards to the something that exists rather than nothing (religious monism). Pantheism is consequently the thinking man's atheism.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 hampus lindblad

Dear Alex and Dino,

Thank you for your thoughts!

Dino, what's your definition of being a full-time nihilist? I'm probably using the terms sloppily too, but I'll try to improve my accuracy as we go along. And what's the significant difference between existential nihilism and existentialism in your view?

Now I'm just going to try taking a mental dump right here, hoping it won't stink so much as to make it unbearable for all you innocent bystanders.

Here goes:
Maybe I should have written fatalism instead of determinism. Or would that just bring in more confusion? But I think nihilism gives us the freedom to genuinely "create". It sort of sets the stage (by not setting it).
Then enters consciousness, eventually followed by self-consciousness, beginning to stare into the abyss. And suddenly that strange loop that we have woken up into. Now we can't create independent meaning for the same reason that there can be no independent matter, all is process, so what we are left with is "taste" for lack of a better word. Ethics is a form of taste. Decoration, both of the interior and the exterior. So we obviously don't have power over what physically happens to us, but through thought it is at least possible to achieve the power to shape what those events and experiences MEAN TO US. What mirrors back. And that is enough to turn everything on it's head. And maybe even trigger similar thought patterns in others happening to be in our vicinity. From microcosm to macrocosm. Like meme propagation. Basically I think that if we focus on the awareness of the strange loop, within the moment, then we create for ourselves at least some degree of movement in regards to surfing the causal wave of process. Or maybe I'm just full of it? :)

Ushta,
Hampus



On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM, Special Kain wrote:

Dear Hampus

I don't think that there ever is nihilism and determinism combined. Personally, I think that it is impossible to be a full-time nihilist, because there always is something that we hold to be true.

The same goes for Descartes' radical doubts, for example. Even such radical Cartesian doubts require LANGUAGE, and language requires SOCIAL MEANING: socially shared practices and uses of SIGNS that already existed long before I was born. This is where I agree with Peirce's radically pragmatic critique of Cartesianism.

What you probably meant was existentialism. We were thrown into this world - without ever been asked - and we will be kicked out one day. There is misery and random suffering for no reason at all. There is no god, there is no greater purpose in life, there is no life after death. And yet we're technically doomed to give meaning to existence and co-create values. This is where such great thinkers as Zarathushtra, Nietzsche, Rorty and - to a lesser extent - Derrida step in!

Ushta,
Dino


--- hampus lindblad schrieb am Di, 26.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Asha, Druj, and Ashavahishta
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 26. Juli, 2011 15:13 Uhr



What I don't understand, and still would like an answer to, is what sentences of mine there are that warrant these explanations? Where and how did I trivialize the concept of asha? Or suggest that Mazdayasna has anything to do with detailed divine recipes of what to do, when to do it, and wearing what type of silly hat? Without a clear answer to that the sum of this thread will not add up and make sense to me, despite the fact that I feel that I completely agree with most of it's parts.

Sorry if I seem sensitive but I just want to get this right. Well, that and the suspected fact that my dopamine levels are probably fairly low at the moment.

If we act according to who we are, or rather who or what we identify ourselves to be, how do we then go about being as creative and constructive as possible in the process of identifying ourselves? I feel that the koan boils down to the relationship (of the relationships, of the the relationships...) between self-consciousness and what process philosophy tries to describe. I want nihilism without determinism. GIMME!

Ushta [in theory],
Hampus


On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:50 PM, Special Kain wrote:

Correct!!!

The Gathas talk about WHAT we should do (contributing to progress, developing a constructive mentality, being righteous etc.), but never about HOW we should do it. Such formalisms are for other religions where you're being told what to do in different specific situations.
Instead, The Gathas are full of Zarathushtra's questions. He was seeking answers. And yet he suggests every person make up their own mind and decide for themselves which path they want to go.

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 25.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Asha, Druj, and Ashavahishta
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 25. Juli, 2011 21:50 Uhr



There is not a single example in the entire Gathas of "what is the right thing to do".

Zarathushtra is correctly not interested in specific choices but in "mentalities" and thereby in "self-identities". His idea of a society of asha is simply what we would refer to as a "civilization".
To him, there are no indepedent choices, choices are the results of contemplation first and foremost concerning "who we are to ourselves". As ethical beings.
So you don't become your acts as much as you act according to who you are: Thoughts, words, actions...
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad
I agree, and have in reality never stated anything differently... You are reading into my text something I didn't express.
Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame, yet it is the sum of the myriad of individual "decisions" based on that cluster effect that shapes the world both around and within us. What matters is not who is to blame - or to be credited - for the "choice" in a particular situation, but that the "choice" is asha.

Ushta,
Hampus

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 7:06 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:
I don't think we should trivialize a concept like asha by making it an issue of individual choice, that in itself is quite 18th century bourgeoise to be honest. Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame. If there ever is to be peace between Israel and Palestine it will never come about through just one decision by one person in one situation but must be organized on a far higher level, especially politically.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad

Yes, but then the next question arises about how to pragmatically break the druj chain of causality. How to insert asha awareness into the mind of the Hamas member about to launch the katyusha rocket, or the IDF soldier with his finger on the trigger, just about to squeeze off a shot whilst aiming at a group of protesters? There's a quite staggering amount of forgiveness needed in order to even begin to turn this positive feedback loop around.

Words might be the origin of actions, but that doesn't diminish the truth in the saying that actions speak louder than words. And I'm sure you agree.

Ushta,
Hampus



On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Israel vs Palestine is quite simple:

Any worldview which starts with the assumption that one belongs to a superior race or religion which motivates the stealing from and even killing of other races or religions is druj at its very heart.
Living in peace with and respect of your fellow human beings is asha.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad

Dear Parviz,

I confess to still not being able to follow you. Do you not think it somewhat unfair to belittle the social scientist's aspirations to increase the level of understanding within his or her field of research? It's very natural that one, generally speaking, can not come to the same type of "hard" facts and conclusions within the social sciences as is possible within research dealing with the strength of materials or the atomic weight of chemical elements. The reason for this I would say is simply a problem of potential precision in measurement and the extreme complexities associated with experiments in social science; thus resulting in a much wider margin of error. But that does not make social science any less scientific nor the exploratory ambitions of social scientists any less noble than those of let's say nuclear physicists or chemists. In other words, they do the best they can with what data is available to them...

And I disagree with your tango example as well. Asha could never dance passionately with Druj. When Asha would lead right, Druj would go in the opposite direction. Or perhaps even knee Asha in the balls and thus put a swift end to the dance altogether. Asha only dances with Asha.

I would rather say that the mental image you conjure up with the highly skilled and passionate dancers is actually a very effective metaphor of Asha in action. If we could only somehow force all Israelis and Palestinians to regularly dance tango with eachother then I'm sure the troubles there would soon be over. Dancing is all about making things work, and ideally work in a way that is beautiful to behold or partake in. What is that if not Asha?

Ushta,
Hampus

Why the questions are more important than the answers

EXACTLY!!!
The Gathas is full of questions (mostly without answers) for a very good reason.
To Zarathushtra, life is a process, and the important thing is to CHOOSE THE RIGHT QUESTIONS and then answer those questions according to one's self-identity regardless of the opinions of others. Just like process philosophy from the pragmatists to Gilles Deleuze.
The Abrahamic religions (and Western philosophy before the pragmatists) instead assume that the questions are given (and then always refer to how you can serve and not question the current power structure) and focus on the right answers (which is why if you answer the question wrongly you go to hell). This is why Zoroastrianism is completely incompatible to Abrahamic faiths the same way that process philosophy is the opposite of Descartes. The neighbors of Mazdayasna in the world of religion are instead Brahmanism, Taoism and most of all Zen.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/26 Special Kain :
As a question-based philosophical religion, Zoroastrianism is radically different from all answer-based religions where you're supposed to keep your mouth shut and just act in accordance with the given answers.
We are encouraged to raise questions and seek the answers for ourselves - with the explicit aim of acquiring knowledge and a far-sighted perspective. This also explains why Zoroastrianism is an essentially egalitarian religion where all creatures within the biosphere are seen as equals.

måndagen den 25:e juli 2011

Civilization or The Society of Asha

There is not a single example in the entire Gathas of "what is the right thing to do".
Zarathushtra is correctly not interested in specific choices but in "mentalities" and thereby in "self-identities". His idea of a society of asha is simply what we would refer to as a "civilization".
To him, there are no indepedent choices, choices are the results of contemplation first and foremost concerning "who we are to ourselves". As ethical beings.
So you don't become your acts as much as you act according to who you are: Thoughts, words, actions...

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad
I agree, and have in reality never stated anything differently... You are reading into my text something I didn't express.
Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame, yet it is the sum of the myriad of individual "decisions" based on that cluster effect that shapes the world both around and within us. What matters is not who is to blame - or to be credited - for the "choice" in a particular situation, but that the "choice" is asha.

Ushta,
Hampus

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 7:06 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:
I don't think we should trivialize a concept like asha by making it an issue of individual choice, that in itself is quite 18th century bourgeoise to be honest. Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame. If there ever is to be peace between Israel and Palestine it will never come about through just one decision by one person in one situation but must be organized on a far higher level, especially politically.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad

Yes, but then the next question arises about how to pragmatically break the druj chain of causality. How to insert asha awareness into the mind of the Hamas member about to launch the katyusha rocket, or the IDF soldier with his finger on the trigger, just about to squeeze off a shot whilst aiming at a group of protesters? There's a quite staggering amount of forgiveness needed in order to even begin to turn this positive feedback loop around.

Words might be the origin of actions, but that doesn't diminish the truth in the saying that actions speak louder than words. And I'm sure you agree.

Ushta,
Hampus

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Israel vs Palestine is quite simple:

Any worldview which starts with the assumption that one belongs to a superior race or religion which motivates the stealing from and even killing of other races or religions is druj at its very heart.
Living in peace with and respect of your fellow human beings is asha.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 hampus lindblad

Dear Parviz,

I confess to still not being able to follow you. Do you not think it somewhat unfair to belittle the social scientist's aspirations to increase the level of understanding within his or her field of research? It's very natural that one, generally speaking, can not come to the same type of "hard" facts and conclusions within the social sciences as is possible within research dealing with the strength of materials or the atomic weight of chemical elements. The reason for this I would say is simply a problem of potential precision in measurement and the extreme complexities associated with experiments in social science; thus resulting in a much wider margin of error. But that does not make social science any less scientific nor the exploratory ambitions of social scientists any less noble than those of let's say nuclear physicists or chemists. In other words, they do the best they can with what data is available to them...

And I disagree with your tango example as well. Asha could never dance passionately with Druj. When Asha would lead right, Druj would go in the opposite direction. Or perhaps even knee Asha in the balls and thus put a swift end to the dance altogether. Asha only dances with Asha.

I would rather say that the mental image you conjure up with the highly skilled and passionate dancers is actually a very effective metaphor of Asha in action. If we could only somehow force all Israelis and Palestinians to regularly dance tango with eachother then I'm sure the troubles there would soon be over. Dancing is all about making things work, and ideally work in a way that is beautiful to behold or partake in. What is that if not Asha?

Ushta,
Hampus

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 5:37 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Hampus,

Let me try and answere your good question, "could you please expand on your statement that to you Asha is "only Laws of Physics" that one should not "tag mental things to"?"
To me, science and the scientific method works best when we are where laws of Physics works best. As an architect, I work with "strength of materials" in order to render my buildings as earthquake-proof as I can. Yes, it is not a perfect science, but I can show how I arrive at conclusions I arrive at more or less scientifically. I can not understand how a "Social Scientist" can consider him or herself a scientist on the same wave length as a strength of material scientist!

I will put a Communist and a Capitalist and a Nazi social scientist in the same room and they will not agree on any single issue about what the Asha of running a government is. In mental realms Asha and Druj dance together like a couple dancing Argentine Tango most passionately. As reference to the videos that you mention, remember that I am talking to you from Tehran with a band-with that is only 21.3 kbps, I can not watch Youtube.

In my take on Zoroastrianism (or Muzdaizm as I call it) we have Asha and AshaVahishta (also Vahishtayi Ashem or Ashem-Vohoo). Asha Vahishta means "That Asha Which Is The Best". Asha as laws of science applies only to where the laws of Physics works best and it is by Asha Vahishta that we try to approximate when we are dealing with issues in the Minoo or Menog or Mental world. A marriage counselor has no solid Asha to judge the couple by, only Asha Vahishta of what may work best for that couple.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

From: Parviz Varjavand
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Mon, July 25, 2011 6:58:07 AM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Asha and Druj

Dear Hampus and Dino,

Is Asha with Israel or the Palestinians?

Parviz


From: Special Kain
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Mon, July 25, 2011 1:18:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Asha and Druj


Dear Hampus

I agree!!!
When studying the works of Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey and Richard Rorty, I discovered that Zarathushtra was the first PRAGMATIST in history. Especially Peirce and Dewey were brilliant thinkers, but their key messages were already written down in The Gathas.
In modern words, Zarathushtra was not only a process philosopher ("the world's constant renewal"), but also a pragmatist.
Besides, ethics can only be situational and pragmatic, since ethicists are not obsessed with absolutes.

Ushta,
Dino


--- hampus lindblad schrieb am So, 24.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Asha and Druj
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 24. Juli, 2011 21:37 Uhr


Dear Parviz,

I find your message quite confusing. How could we not tag mental things to Asha when the whole foundation of Mazdayasna - unless I am completely mistaken in what I've gathered so far - is all about focusing on our mental processes as the foundation for our words and actions and therefore also the driving engine behind all human interactions and events?

The phenomena you describe with "Asha sales-persons" constitutes a problem in a community where there are no mental checks and balances. Where they don't actually practice what they teach, nor update and translate what they teach in rhythm with the surrounding culture. And that can in my mind only arise in environments where people have done exactly what you prescribe; i.e. stopped tagging mental things to Asha. And yes, it's obviously a very common problem in our world, but I don't see how an even further decoupling of Asha-awareness from our "mental things" would work to alleviate anything?

What makes Mazdayasna such a constructive (and eternally modern) way of thinking to me is that it seems to contain within itself a sort of self-regulatory system akin to the scientific method. It deals with ideas that work, much in the same way that science deals with what is proven to be approximately true through duplicable experiments and the gathering of empirical evidence. And just as genuine scientists never speak of any absolute truths but rather theories and pragmatic approximations, the same should in my mind go for the classification of thoughts, words and actions as Druj or Asha. It is the intention and aspiration towards Asha that one should dwell within - not the vain and narcissistic illusion of being a perfect Ashavan. Because of course Asha and Druj does not exists in and of themselves! Just like ethics...

From what I understand Asha is not a static mental state, a religious golden watch, attained as a sort of permanent gift awarded to the true believer for a long and faithful service. Asha is rather a intelligently designed, ethics-optimizing process, willfully projected and latched onto the neutral background processes that constitute the physical Universe. And Druj is simply the varying degrees of lack thereof. Zoroastrianism would at it's core then consist of highly situational and inherently adaptive, ethical formulas if you will. Nothing MORE and nothing LESS. Process philosophy! The antithesis of religious kitsch and empty rituals. And nothing like the religion seen practiced in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWQhFdeRTyk

The elder man being interviewed seems kind and loving but is hardly a great thinker. And it is not a great mystery, nor a tragedy, that the Parsis have trouble keeping their young interested if they have devolved into practicing more or less pure fetishism. I don't possess enough insight into Parsi culture to determine whether that is actually the case or not, all I'm doing is reacting to this one particular video and a couple of other glimpses of Parsi culture encountered on the net. So please forgive me anyone that might feel offended by what I'm writing.

With that said though, I won't deny that I actually see more of Ahura Mazda in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxEdqsr8QWI
Funny or not funny as it may seem in the eyes and ears of the beholder. I propose that one possible partial litmus test of a potential Ashavan is the ability to laugh at him or herself, or parodies of Zoroastrianism and/or Zarathushtra too for that matter.

I want to end by clarifying that I am of course very open to the possibility that I could be completely mistaken in regards to most, if not all, that is written above! I haven't even read through the complete Gathas as of yet, so my understanding of all this is very much limited for the time being - and I might be projecting heavily. So, to cut things short after all of my freewheeling above, could you please expand on your statement that to you Asha is "only Laws of Physics" that one should not "tag mental things to"?

Ushta,
Hampus



On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Folks,

To me, Asha is only Laws of Physics.
Because the minute you want to tag mental things to Asha, the waters become very muddy soon.
Everybody will claim that their Druj is Asha if you put up with it long enough.
The Asha sales-persons become too many, every self centered despot and dictator starts claiming that they are
an Ashavan but their Druji opposition is throwing curve balls at them and not letting their Asha succeed.
The mudslinging that "mine is Asha, yours is Druj" becomes a street brawl for all everytime.
How do you propose to solve that problem?
In old Zoroastrian Tradition, they would pour molten bronze on your chest; if it burned you and you died, yours was a Druj;
if it did not burn you and you lived, you were on the side of Asha.
They did this to Moobed Adorbad Marasepandan and it did not burn him, so they knew that what he preached was the Truth.
Try this on a friend you do not want around any longer! It does work!? They either ran away or die, either way you get rid of them!

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

From: Special Kain
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sun, July 24, 2011 5:37:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Meaning of Druj


Dear Hampus

We agree!
Asha is that which works in the long run. Druj is that which works at first, but which will prove the feedback loop between sender (people acting in accordance with druj) and their surroundings to be destructive - the vicious circle as studied in modern psychology and systemic psychotherapy.
The doctrine of asha is tough: the people involved are always part of the very same situation. This is why we should focus on the little actions we undertake that reflect our mentalities and habits and adjust them accordingly. This is why far-sightedness is so important!

Ushta,
Dino


--- hampus lindblad schrieb am So, 24.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The Meaning of Druj
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 24. Juli, 2011 14:32 Uhr


Dear Dino

Do you see a contradiction between our texts? If so please point me to it!

Ushta,
Hampus




On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Special Kain wrote:

Dear Hampus

Asha means three things: the true order of the things, the relentless pursuit of the truth and truthfulness. In order words you are ethically obliged to be honest with yourself and live in accordance with your desires, as well as enable the people around you to enjoy themselves and live accordingly.

Druj is all the pretty and fluffy lies we tell ourselves in order not to live passionately and authentically. It is all the things we do in order to hide ourselves and grow bitter and cynical. And it is all the words and actions that prevent other people from enjoying themselves and living to their fullest potential, such as tyranny, betrayal, resentment, slavery and so on.

Since everything starts inside our minds, we have to be willing to be honest with ourselves and to develop a constructive mentality. It is a question of attitude.

Ushta,
Dino


--- hampus lindblad schrieb am Sa, 23.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The Meaning of Druj
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 23. Juli, 2011 23:01 Uhr



But when I write about druj "working" it's not meant to signify working for the individual propagating it through his or her actions. Druj would be inherently and omnidirectionally destructive (at least in a sort of net effect calculation) and thus work against it's "host" or propagator, even on the short term basis. The only way it can seem to work on the short term would be through a sort of Ponzi scheme type of process. Or one could use the basic dynamics of addiction to illustrate something similar.

So what I mean by "working" is rather that it is a successfully replicating process (e.g. hate breeds hate) which is also why I brought up Darwinism. It would also happen that non-druj events trigger druj-causality through sheer tragic misunderstandings and so on.

Ushta,
Hampus

On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 8:55 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Druj merely works in the short run, but the original meaning of druj ("that which does not work") does not refer to short-term causes and effects but to the long-term perspective. So you're both right, just talking about two very different perspectives. Please note druj does not mean "that which does not function" and even less so "that which does not exist" but rather "that which does not work in the sense of returning a pride in onself, an authentic self-identity".

Ushta
Alexander

Sanskrit and Avesta

German is not older than the Scandinavian languages. They share the same roots but modern German was actually constructed in the 19th century. It is if anything a very young language. And the Scandinavian languages are the written versions of the far older spoken dialects of Old Norse. All these tongues have their roots in ur-Germanic. The same goes for Avesta and Sanskrit, one is not older than the other. Yes, Indian philosophy is similar to Iranian, Brahmanism is similar to Zoroastrianism. But Brahmanism has a Buddhist influence coming from the idea of suffering as primary. And it also has influences from Dravidian thought, for example reincarnation, which is completely lacking in Zarathushtra's philosophy.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 Daniel Samani
Dear friends,

Thank you for your informetive posts! But what does this tells us in regards to process philosofy and nomadism does Indian and perhaps even Africa have similar examples of tought?

What I have heard Sansikrit is older then Avestan - just as German is older then the Scandinavian languages.

Ushta
Daniel

Asha and Monism

None of them, of course.
Asha is not a person, asha does not take sides.
Asha is rather about such things as historical facts, population figures, financial resourcesm weapons and ammunition, the hearts and minds of people, bot those who live in Israel and Palestine and in other parts of the world, etc.
Asha is how things work. Yes, asha is indeed the law of physics in the widest sense of the term, as others have already pointed out here (Dino and Hampus) mental processes are also under Asha in a Monist worldview.
So in other words: Asha and Monism require each other. Zarathushtra COULD NOT HAVE BEEN a dualist. Only a monist (and a pragmatist at that) can use a concept such as Asha as the foundation for his or her teachings.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/25 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Hampus and Dino,

Is Asha with Israel or the Palestinians?

Parviz

From: Special Kain
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Mon, July 25, 2011 1:18:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Asha and Druj

Dear Hampus

I agree!!!
When studying the works of Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey and Richard Rorty, I discovered that Zarathushtra was the first PRAGMATIST in history. Especially Peirce and Dewey were brilliant thinkers, but their key messages were already written down in The Gathas.
In modern words, Zarathushtra was not only a process philosopher ("the world's constant renewal"), but also a pragmatist.
Besides, ethics can only be situational and pragmatic, since ethicists are not obsessed with absolutes.

Ushta,
Dino

--- hampus lindblad schrieb am So, 24.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Asha and Druj
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 24. Juli, 2011 21:37 Uhr

Dear Parviz,

I find your message quite confusing. How could we not tag mental things to Asha when the whole foundation of Mazdayasna - unless I am completely mistaken in what I've gathered so far - is all about focusing on our mental processes as the foundation for our words and actions and therefore also the driving engine behind all human interactions and events?

The phenomena you describe with "Asha sales-persons" constitutes a problem in a community where there are no mental checks and balances. Where they don't actually practice what they teach, nor update and translate what they teach in rhythm with the surrounding culture. And that can in my mind only arise in environments where people have done exactly what you prescribe; i.e. stopped tagging mental things to Asha. And yes, it's obviously a very common problem in our world, but I don't see how an even further decoupling of Asha-awareness from our "mental things" would work to alleviate anything?

What makes Mazdayasna such a constructive (and eternally modern) way of thinking to me is that it seems to contain within itself a sort of self-regulatory system akin to the scientific method. It deals with ideas that work, much in the same way that science deals with what is proven to be approximately true through duplicable experiments and the gathering of empirical evidence. And just as genuine scientists never speak of any absolute truths but rather theories and pragmatic approximations, the same should in my mind go for the classification of thoughts, words and actions as Druj or Asha. It is the intention and aspiration towards Asha that one should dwell within - not the vain and narcissistic illusion of being a perfect Ashavan. Because of course Asha and Druj does not exists in and of themselves! Just like ethics...

From what I understand Asha is not a static mental state, a religious golden watch, attained as a sort of permanent gift awarded to the true believer for a long and faithful service. Asha is rather a intelligently designed, ethics-optimizing process, willfully projected and latched onto the neutral background processes that constitute the physical Universe. And Druj is simply the varying degrees of lack thereof. Zoroastrianism would at it's core then consist of highly situational and inherently adaptive, ethical formulas if you will. Nothing MORE and nothing LESS. Process philosophy! The antithesis of religious kitsch and empty rituals. And nothing like the religion seen practiced in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWQhFdeRTyk

The elder man being interviewed seems kind and loving but is hardly a great thinker. And it is not a great mystery, nor a tragedy, that the Parsis have trouble keeping their young interested if they have devolved into practicing more or less pure fetishism. I don't possess enough insight into Parsi culture to determine whether that is actually the case or not, all I'm doing is reacting to this one particular video and a couple of other glimpses of Parsi culture encountered on the net. So please forgive me anyone that might feel offended by what I'm writing.

With that said though, I won't deny that I actually see more of Ahura Mazda in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxEdqsr8QWI
Funny or not funny as it may seem in the eyes and ears of the beholder. I propose that one possible partial litmus test of a potential Ashavan is the ability to laugh at him or herself, or parodies of Zoroastrianism and/or Zarathushtra too for that matter.

I want to end by clarifying that I am of course very open to the possibility that I could be completely mistaken in regards to most, if not all, that is written above! I haven't even read through the complete Gathas as of yet, so my understanding of all this is very much limited for the time being - and I might be projecting heavily. So, to cut things short after all of my freewheeling above, could you please expand on your statement that to you Asha is "only Laws of Physics" that one should not "tag mental things to"?

Ushta,
Hampus

On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Folks,

To me, Asha is only Laws of Physics.
Because the minute you want to tag mental things to Asha, the waters become very muddy soon.
Everybody will claim that their Druj is Asha if you put up with it long enough.
The Asha sales-persons become too many, every self centered despot and dictator starts claiming that they are
an Ashavan but their Druji opposition is throwing curve balls at them and not letting their Asha succeed.
The mudslinging that "mine is Asha, yours is Druj" becomes a street brawl for all everytime.
How do you propose to solve that problem?
In old Zoroastrian Tradition, they would pour molten bronze on your chest; if it burned you and you died, yours was a Druj;
if it did not burn you and you lived, you were on the side of Asha.
They did this to Moobed Adorbad Marasepandan and it did not burn him, so they knew that what he preached was the Truth.
Try this on a friend you do not want around any longer! It does work!? They either ran away or die, either way you get rid of them!

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

lördagen den 23:e juli 2011

Bodhidharma and The Zoroastrian Origin of Zen (Chan) Philosophy

Bodhidharma was clearly a Persian Zoroastrian trader, possibly a Mitharist of sorts. From Soghdia, a Persian kingdom in Central Asia (current Uzbekistan) with extensive trade connections to China. The idea that Bodhidharma was an Indian prince is of course nonsense, meant to ascribe him royal status. No Indian prince would leave India to move to China. This is why Zen is originally Persian and not Chinese or Japanese philosophy.

Dino is right. We can't lose our personal responsibility. Zoroastrian ethics is tough: We are the things we do, responsibility is automatic and not chosen or conscious. And as for the roots of desire, desire is rooted in drive. It is the process of consciosuness that makes us process drive and when we do so desire is the outcome. Desire is utlimately the desire for desire itself (therefore constantly replacing of escaping itself). But it is also the only possible ethical standard. Just make sure your empathy works as empathy is an integral part of desire: The will not to merely enjoy pleasure (the dilemma of modern humans) but to enjoy the enjoyrment of others as caused by or going through ourselves. Zizek calls it by its proper name: Love!

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/23 Special Kain

Please see:

Jeffrey L. Broughton (1999): The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen (Berkeley: University of California Press)

Broughton notes that Bodhidharma was a Persian from Central Asia.

This paper investigates the relationships between Mithraism, Persian culture, Zen and Mahayana Buddhism:

http://iloapp.waalmdiplomacy.org/blog/journal?ShowFile&doc=1272139314.pdf

Ushta,
Dino

--- hampus lindblad schrieb am
Sa, 23.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The Ethics of Process Philosophy
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 23. Juli, 2011 20:14 Uhr

Dear Dino,

Yes, Alexander has mentioned this connection to me earlier. That and the Zoroastrian influence on Greek thinking as well. It's highly interesting! There doesn't seem to be easily accessible information on the subjects though (although admittedly my searches on Google have been fairly quick and shallow). The etymology on the word Ch'an usually stops at mentioning how it is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyana meaning meditation or meditative states (with no mentioning of Persian traders or the like bringing the ideas of Zarathushtra into China) and I've never seen any mention of Zoroastrian influences in descriptions of Zen history.
Would be great if someone here could elaborate more on the subject and/or refer me to online information!

Ushta,
Hampus

On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 7:18 PM, Special Kain wrote:

Dear Hampus

There is a strong connection between Zoroastrianism and Zen philosophy, culturally and historically. It is the habits that we take that make a difference. The thoughts we think determine what we will say. The words we speak determine what we will do.
According to Aristotle, we are what we repeatedly do. And this is where such great thinkers like Zarathushtra, Bodhidharma, Spinoza, Peirce and Dewey agree!!!
Deweyan speaking, we live in accordance with asha when our words and actions co-create new possibilities and encourage growth on different levels. We are obliged to foster progress and contribute creatively to "the world's constant renewal".

Ushta,
Dino


--- hampus lindblad schrieb am Sa, 23.7.2011:

Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The Ethics of Process Philosophy
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Samstag, 23. Juli, 2011 17:02 Uhr

Yes, I feel that I understand and agree completely! But I still also feel that without the further clarification that you just gave an example of, the term relevant in and of itself is too "open" to different interpretations. It's an eternal "middle man" of sorts. On the other hand I would be hard-pressed to find a better alternative.

So desires then. What does Lacan say about the origin of desires apart from the purely/directly biological ones? And is there some sort of hierarchy of desires in your view? And if so what does it look like? What, if any, means do we possess to influence and direct our driving desires? How does one in your mind go about coupling and aligning often unconsciously driven desires to an intellectually conceived vision of a more akashic self? To me it seems this is all tied to the scope of one's identity. We need to enlarge our identities, without losing the sense of individual responsibility, in order to bring harmony into our interdependent desires.

I like the focus on the smaller choices as a way to steer larger processes. This bottom-up approach seems to me to be what Zen has really come to emphasize. If we just take care to be conscious and steadfast in the smaller things the rest follows naturally, like the simple work of individual cells making up the fantastically complex process of a human body.

One a sidenote I just discovered that the phrase "The Devil is in the details" evolved out from the opposing statement that the details is in fact rather the abode of God. They never quite seem to be able to decide what's what, the Abrahamites...

Ushta,
Hampus - who is sick with fever and thus preemptively apologetic for any feverish misconceptions...

The Meaning of Druj

Druj merely works in the short run, but the original meaning of druj ("that which does not work") does not refer to short-term causes and effects but to the long-term perspective. So you're both right, just talking about two very different perspectives. Please note druj does not mean "that which does not function" and even less so "that which does not exist" but rather "that which does not work in the sense of returning a pride in onself, an authentic self-identity".
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/23 hampus lindblad

Daniel,

I don't see what that proposes to explain. If druj had been simply "that which doesn't work" then how come we are still surrounded by it in so many ways? In my view druj is just as present as asha, and it can never be "eradicated" but "merely" deselected and de-emphasized. If it simply "didn't work" than it would have been eliminated through Darwinian processes by now, no? And thus leaving no room for our personal and in my mind sacred aspirations towards asha.

Druj and asha both "work" in my mind, but they are opposing sides of the same logic. Or if that sounds too tautological to you then maybe it can be expressed better as "the same logic applied in coherence with opposing intentionalities". Maybe that brings me dangerously close to the dualism that we try to distance ourselves from - but I'd like to think that my form of dualism is of a different type... ;)

Compare the differences and the similarities between a lover and a rapist for a rough analogy of my conception of asha and druj. Technically they might be doing more or less the same thing, but yet the difference couldn't be any greater. But the general, underlining logic follows the same pattern of influence and force application (whether the force is fear and violence as in the case of the rapist or the ability to instill lust and pleasure when it comes to the lover).

Ushta,
Hampus

On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 6:05 PM, Daniel Samani wrote:

druj is that which does not work an are therefore by defult irelevant!

2011/7/23, hampus lindblad :

> I have a problem with the term relevant used in this fashion as processes
> can be relevant to druj just as they can be to asha. The relevancy is what
> ascribes them asha or druj "status" is it not? Isn't the point that the
> underlining Universe isn't partial to asha or druj, but that that's where
> our consciousness makes an entry on the stage and get's to partially steer
> whether our particular play - viewed from the end of our personal reality
> tunnel - is to be themed based mainly on asha or druj? With varying degree
> of overlap to the other parallel plays (or processes) taking place in the
> minds of our fellow beings of course.
> Or what am I missing?
>
> Ushta,
> Hampus

The Ethics of Process Philosophy

"Constructive" or "relevant" always have to be constructive or relevant in relation to something which in itself is eventually constructive and relevant in relation to our and our fellow human beings' drives and desires. We will always begin with and end up at the drives and desires of ourselves - as Jacques Lacan pointed out - and also the drives and desires of others - according to Zarathushtra, what he would refer to as "Civilization". Being "constructive" or "relevant" in relation to an isolated desire to destruct - such as today's terrorist in Norway - is the exact opposite of what Zarathushtra meant. It is PRECISELY these people who "storm into villages and kill and destroy" that Zarathushtra is so vehemently opposed to in The Gathas. They are druj in that they have identified themselves with their own hatred and act it out accordingly. It even goes beyond "choice" interestingly enough. Zarathushtra sees mentality neither as choice nor substance but rather as "character", as in many minor choices made over a long period of time. This is why we should pay attention to the small changes in our mentality, this is why we should meditate daily to push our mentalities in the right direction. A process ethics if ever there was one. ;-)
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/23 hampus lindblad

I have a problem with the term relevant used in this fashion as processes can be relevant to druj just as they can be to asha. The relevancy is what ascribes them asha or druj "status" is it not? Isn't the point that the underlining Universe isn't partial to asha or druj, but that that's where our consciousness makes an entry on the stage and get's to partially steer whether our particular play - viewed from the end of our personal reality tunnel - is to be themed based mainly on asha or druj? With varying degree of overlap to the other parallel plays (or processes) taking place in the minds of our fellow beings of course.
Or what am I missing?

Ushta,
Hampus

On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 1:33 AM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Sure thing!

The interesting opposition is not "truth" vs "lie" but rather "relevance" vs "irrelevance".
What we need to do philosophically is to connect "relevance" with "constructivity" and as its opposite couple connect "irrelevance" with "destructivity". Then we have better and more relevant (!) translations of "asha" and "druj" too.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/23 Special Kain

I think we're all pop cultural nomads today in the sense that we have joined different subcultures at different times. We discover something else and we choose to adopt a new set of identities that are in tune with these newly discovered subcultures. Or we co-create something new with like-minded people either online or in the so-called "real world". I have always been part of different subcultures both online and offline. Both online and offline subcultures had a strong impact on who I have become.

Frankly, I don't see any state of mind as more natural than another. This is where I agree with John Dewey and Richard Rorty. Zoroastrian ontology is not "truer" than any other ontology. It's just a vocabulary that creates more possibilities than restraints. And that's why I have chosen to fully identify with Zoroastrian philosophy!

Ushta,
Dino

fredagen den 22:e juli 2011

Asha vs Druj (Relevance vs Irrelevance)

Sure thing!
The interesting opposition is not "truth" vs "lie" but rather "relevance" vs "irrelevance".
What we need to do philosophically is to connect "relevance" with "constructivity" and as its opposite couple connect "irrelevance" with "destructivity". Then we have better and more relevant (!) translations of "asha" and "druj" too.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/23 Special Kain

I think we're all pop cultural nomads today in the sense that we have joined different subcultures at different times. We discover something else and we choose to adopt a new set of identities that are in tune with these newly discovered subcultures. Or we co-create something new with like-minded people either online or in the so-called "real world". I have always been part of different subcultures both online and offline. Both online and offline subcultures had a strong impact on who I have become.

Frankly, I don't see any state of mind as more natural than another. This is where I agree with John Dewey and Richard Rorty. Zoroastrian ontology is not "truer" than any other ontology. It's just a vocabulary that creates more possibilities than restraints. And that's why I have chosen to fully identify with Zoroastrian philosophy!

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 22.7.2011:

And there is a lot of evidence that the situation was similar in China and India. It is Taoism which predates Confucianism and not the other way round. Just as Brahmanism is older than Hinduism. As Gilles Deleuze has pointed out: Process philosophy is natural for nomads. It was only with the introduction of feudal ownership of agriculture and permanent settlements that static models were required and popularized. Modern technology is reintroducing us to nomadism again, we are becoming technological primitivists, as Brian Eno has pointed out. Time to rediscover nomad thought then!

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

I think there was process philosophy only before the Greeks got obsessed with static models. I guess Plato was deeply frustrated with Athenian society. His philosophy was a neurotic expression of his very own escapism!
It took such travellers as early American settlers, Spinoza and Nietzsche to reintroduce process philosophy into western thought. ;-)

Nomadism vs Absolutism

And there is a lot of evidence that the situation was similar in China and India. It is Taoism which predates Confucianism and not the other way round. Just as Brahmanism is older than Hinduism. As Gilles Deleuze has pointed out: Process philosophy is natural for nomads. It was only with the introduction of feudal ownership of agriculture and permanent settlements that static models were required and popularized. Modern technology is reintroducing us to nomadism again, we are becoming technological primitivists, as Brian Eno has pointed out. Time to rediscover nomad thought then!
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

I think there was process philosophy only before the Greeks got obsessed with static models. I guess Plato was deeply frustrated with Athenian society. His philosophy was a neurotic expression of his very own escapism!
It took such travellers as early American settlers, Spinoza and Nietzsche to reintroduce process philosophy into western thought. ;-)

Zoroastrianism for the internet age - patience patience patience...

I agree wholeheartedly.
The thing though is that these things take time, lots of time, sometimes spanning over several generations.
But I agree, seen in this patient light, Mazdayasna can both be perceived as all of process philosophy in summary, but also as an anchor into the early history of civilization. Process thinking and not absolutism is the natural state of mind to humans. It is the beliefs in objective truth and dualism which is the historical deviation.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

If everyhing starts with choosing the right mentality, people deserve to be free to choose their religion as they see fit.
The Parsis have been misguided. The consequence of their intolerance and racism is nothing but their extinction!!! In this sense, their faith is downright destructive.
On the other hand, building communities is a sacred activity. So is there any religion more suitable for the global internet environment? I don't think so.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Special Kain schrieb am Fr, 22.7.2011:

Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Khashatra and Armaiti
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Juli, 2011 12:44 Uhr

According to Bahram Varza, the Gathic message is all about contributing constructively and creatively to the constant renewal of this world - our thoughts nurture our actions and our words, our actions and words have real consequences in this world (human beings as co-creators).
There's no talk about any other worlds (heaven, hell, astral planes, etc.) in The Gathas. There's no talk about heavenly father figures, punishment, salvation, sins, confessions - this junk is for Abrahamites and their masochistic desires.
I only disagree with Varza's panentheism.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 22.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Khashatra and Armaiti
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Juli, 2011 12:16 Uhr

Correct! Bahram Varza is BRILLIANT!!!

I often wonder also if not the German language - the language of process philosophers par excellence - is more suitable for Gathas and other Avesta translations than English is.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

I guess Bahram Varza meant the same thing when he defined Armaiti as "balance" and Khashatra as "that which follows good actions".
For everybody who doesn't know Varza yet, he has translated The Gathas into German. According his studies, Zarathushtra was a philosopher and teacher who said that people don't need any prophets nor blind faith in order to contribute constructively to civilization. All it takes is a constructive mentality to start with. In this sense, people are "doomed" to choose between blind faith and their capacity to think critically and independently. Zarathushtra never called himself a prophet. Prophets are for Abrahamites.

Ushta,
Dino

Zoroastrianism as PROCESS philosophy! (Plato vs Heraclitus)

Correct! And I couldn't agree more.
The true relative of Zarathushtra among the Greek philosophers, or rather the Greek who was inspired by Iranian thought, was Heraclitus. Definitely not Plato, by far the most "Abrahamic" of the Greek thinkers and only therefor enormously popular in Europe and the Middle East...
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

According to Bahram Varza, the Gathic message is all about contributing constructively and creatively to the constant renewal of this world - our thoughts nurture our actions and our words, our actions and words have real consequences in this world (human beings as co-creators).
There's no talk about any other worlds (heaven, hell, astral planes, etc.) in The Gathas. There's no talk about heavenly father figures, punishment, salvation, sins, confessions - this junk is for Abrahamites and their masochistic desires.
I only disagree with Varza's panentheism.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 22.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Khashatra and Armaiti
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 22. Juli, 2011 12:16 Uhr

Correct! Bahram Varza is BRILLIANT!!!

I often wonder also if not the German language - the language of process philosophers par excellence - is more suitable for Gathas and other Avesta translations than English is.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/22 Special Kain

I guess Bahram Varza meant the same thing when he defined Armaiti as "balance" and Khashatra as "that which follows good actions".
For everybody who doesn't know Varza yet, he has translated The Gathas into German. According his studies, Zarathushtra was a philosopher and teacher who said that people don't need any prophets nor blind faith in order to contribute constructively to civilization. All it takes is a constructive mentality to start with. In this sense, people are "doomed" to choose between blind faith and their capacity to think critically and independently. Zarathushtra never called himself a prophet. Prophets are for Abrahamites.

Ushta,
Dino

torsdagen den 21:e juli 2011

The Case Against Objective Absolutes

I agree with you 100%.
What we DESIRE is to live to life to its fullest and most intense IN ITS VERY MOVEMENT.
This is the opposite of ideas of objective absolutes.
Dino has said exactly the same thing as well. I'm glad we could sort out the verbal confusion.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/21 Daniel Samani

Dear friends,

The title is confusing I now realize - my intent where to bring light to to connection between absolutism, perfectionsm, moralism and suffering. This I view as destructive idealism - my basic belief here is that constructive way of thinking bring about constructive belieafs. And as I argue that perfectionistic fetishes are indeed empty and destructive - it's child the absolutism is also destructive. This is the creaton that have reached my mind when I read other works of philosophy.

Ushta,

Daniel

Khashatra and Armaiti

Khashatra is the "desire achieved through progress or movement" or "desire achieved and fulfilled through action" or "fulfillment of desire through action", in other words, the fulfillment of the triad of good thoughts, good words, good acts. Armaiti is the "spirit of generosity" or "the desire to give and make others enjoy fulfillment and achieve desire". So what Zarathushtra is saying is literally that Ahura Mazda is becoming MANIFEST in the very fellow human beings who live within and achieve and desire Khashatra and Armaiti. As you can tell, I don't think neither self-dominance or serenity are very appropriate translations here. Way too Abrahamic translations according to me. ;-)
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/21 Daniel Samani
Song 1 (Hat 28)

3 O Righteousness (Asha), O Good Thought (vohu manah),
I shall sing you songs that no one
has sung before.
then, I shall offer them to Mazda Ahura,
and to those who have attained the power of Self-Dominance (Khashatra),
and have crossed into the realm of Serenity (Armaiti).

This I interpet as one need the power of Kashatra to grasp Zarathustras message - according to him. I essentially in my last post put my view on how on attain it. And why perfectionsm is a lie (druj) - that in consequence bring about suffering.

Ushta,

Daniel

tisdagen den 19:e juli 2011

Ethics, Idealism, Haurvatat

We should never use the words good and evil. Merely using the words brings us in the wrong direction. I don't see any reason why I would use terms like "astrology" or "dualism" either as they only direct me towards stupid myths (druj) away from the truth (asha). To stay within the realm of Zoroastrian ethics we should use words like "constructive" or "destructive" or "right" and "wrong" referring to constructive or destructive mentalities. The concentration camps of World War II were immensely "destructive" against humanity rather than "evil", just as an example.

Also, be careful when you use the term "idealism" in a philosophical discussion, it seems you use it in a sloppy Swedish sense where "idealism" is mistaken for "perfectionism". Idealism in English is a philosophical school lead by GHW Hegel in the 19th century and has really nothing to do with the private strife for perfection in life. That is "perfectionism". Which I have pointed out "haurvatat" has nothing to do with. "Haurvatat" is much closer to "harmony" rather than "perfection" in contemporary English.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/19 Daniel Samani
Dear Alexander,

I for myself think you are right in what you say (even though I must admit I haven't read ether Spinoza or Habermas work). But how does one relate to the reality of confusion and blurryness (as you put it) others in our society is captured in. If one agree (or clame to agree) on the ethics worldview but still use words as good and evil to colorize how one view the world. Simply ignoring this I feel wont help - how do we create ourself out of this mess?

Ushta,

Daniel

måndagen den 18:e juli 2011

Ethics vs. Morality

The modern philosophical distinctions - from Spinoza to Habermas - is that ethics deals with right vs wrong while morality deals with good vs evil. The distinctions are blurred with the rather weird English term "moral philosophy" which actually deasl with ethics and not with morality. Ethics is that which we discuss when we compare value systems, ethics is a philosophical disipline dealing with causes and effects of choices made. Morality is rather a THEOLOGICAL exercise, dealing with what is assumed to be a divine wish. Personally I love ethics but couldn't care less about morality (being an amoral but ethical person myself). All the Abrahamic religions are MORALISTIC, while Mazdayasna is a system of ETHICS. The moralist wants to do what God tells him or her to do and force others to do the same (Usama bin-Laden and The Pope are both moralists). The ethicist is engaged in finding WHO HE or SHE IS, as a foundation for making the right decisions in life (we behave according to who we are). Zarathushtra was the first major ETHICIST in human history.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/18 osred90

I think the Greek word ethos meant habit or custom (in Greek) the same as Latin mores, but 'ethika' meant the science of behaviour. So maybe ethics is something that implies thought to discern the right action whereas mores is just the customary action.

Osred.

--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Special Kain wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> The more I have studied Zoroastrian philosophy, the more I have concluded that The Ethical Choice is at the very heart of it all.
> The word "ethics" derives from the Greek word "ethos" which means "attitude" and "character" in English, whereas the word "morality" > derives from the Latin word "mores" which means "habits" and "customs" - the way we use to deal with certain things or with certain
> groups of people, the way we use to cook and eat, and what we eat, etc.
> There is no choice in morality. So either you follow orders or you're "morally reprehensible".
> This is Zarathushtra's contribution to mankind: by adopting a certain attitude, your thoughts change, your words change and your
> actions change - and, voilà , you're co-creating a different world. Ethics is much more brutal - intellectually and emotionally - than
> morality.
>
> My two cents,
> Dino

fredagen den 15:e juli 2011

What Zoroastrianism (Mazdayasna) is and is not

Dear Parviz

You want a sect with a book of rigid rules lead by a pope.
I want a word for a wonderful community I belong to who already live a life I want to live. That word is Mazdayasna and since Mazdayasna was originated by a guy called Zarathushtra I can live with the fact that most people refer to this movement as Zoroastrianism.
The fact that people disagree on details within Mazdayasna is a STRENGTH and not a weakness. The totalitarian set of rules you are looking for was precisely what Zarathushtra was opposed to and why I joined his teachings and followers in the first place.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/15 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Dino,

What is your definition of a Zoroastrian and Zoroastrianism?
To many, it should be the name of a religion that has some structure to it.
Where do I go to find that structure that many or a few agree upon?
I need a community of like minded persons so that I can feel I belong amongst sane adherents to the same religion. Where do I find this community and the ABC of what they agree upon?

Usta
Purviz


From: Special Kain
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Fri, July 15, 2011 2:01:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Dialogue with Zoroastrains!!!


Dear Parviz,
There is nothing wrong with LSD. ;-)
Besides, I'm part of the Zoroastrian online community. I have made great friends in different parts of the world. And I have discussed Zoroastrian issues with people from all over the world - former colleagues who, like myself, used to work for one of Germany's largest independent agency networks.
But if there is anything I can do to support Zoroastrians in Iran or elsewhere, please let me know.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 15.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Dialogue with Zoroastrains!!!
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 15. Juli, 2011 10:45 Uhr


Dear Parviz


You have no idea of what you're talking about.
There are people converting to Zoroastrianism in Europe all the time while you sit and puke your cynicism in your isolated glass tower.
You want a sect for yourself, we want a living thriving community. And we're getting what we WORK towards while you're not getting what you want. The fact that people aren't reporting their work to you as you wish is no excuse for you not getting the facts for yourself.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/15 Parviz Varjavand

While the dialog in Iran remains at its lowest common denominator, our friends in the West like Alex or Dino are flying so high that they sound more like persons on an LSD trip than any real force within a wholesome community. I know that I am acting crazier than anybody else around, but I feel it is more productive to act crazy in a systematic manner rather than to buy time by off the cuff cleverness that lead nowhere and in fact shatters any meaningful line of thought.


From: Alexander Bard
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Fri, July 15, 2011 3:28:27 AM
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Dialogue with Zoroastrains!!!


It sounds like "Defamation and Prosecution of Zoroastrians".

If this is what the Iranian government or its cohorts are spending their time and money on, then this is no more a dialogue than any "Dialogue with the Jews" would have been in Nazi Germany in 1938.
What is the situation like for our dear Zoroastrian brothers and sisters in Iran today?
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/14 Bahman Noruziaan
A new web site has come into existence from Iran. The title of the web site is "Dialogue with Zoroastrians"
http://zartoshtimosalman.parsiblog.com/

The site invites participants in critical discussions about Zoroastrianism and Islam. The site claims that it will remove any comments that are insulting any of the two religions.

Te first article though bring up the issue of uncertainlty about the time of Zarathushtra with this title "belittling a big weakness". Basically saying it is a big weakness that the accurate time of Zarathushtra is not known and we the Zartoshis try to show it as not significant!!
http://zartoshtimosalman.parsiblog.com/Posts/239/%da%a9%d9%88%da%86%da%a9+%d9%86%d9%85%d8%a7%d9%8a%d9%8a+%d8%b6%d8%b9%d9%81%d9%8a+%d8%a8%d8%b2%d8%b1%da%af/

The other article is called "One Hadith", a saying, in which the question of whether Zartoshtis are People of the Book or not is raised. In analyzing the saying of one of Shia Imams, the write concludes that : 1-In the time of Imam Zoroastrians did not have a book!!, 2-Their prophet was "Damasb" and they , Muslims can not say whether he was Zartosht or someone elase, 3-Their book was called "Jamasb", 4-Their book was very big, 5-Zoroastrians themselves killed their prophet and and burned their book.
http://zartoshtimosalman.parsiblog.com/Posts/238/%d9%8a%d9%83+%d8%ad%d8%af%d9%8a%d8%ab/

In another article titled, "Two Hadiths about Zoroastrians" the writer brigns about the subjet of marraige with mothers and sister among Zartoshtis and claims that according to one of Shia Imams, such marriages were allowed among Zoroastrians. The writer conclues from the conversation between a Muslim man and the Imam that 1-No one should insult Zoroastrians, 2-At the time of Imam such marriages were common among Zartoshtis and as such those who want to bring historical !! evidence can refer to this saying, 3-Muslims need to respect Zoroastrains beliefs despite Muslims not accepting them as being the highets of immorality.

Zarathushtra, Spinoza, Nietzsche

It would be great if there was more literature around but coming from a person who insists that Zoroastrianism is (correctly) NOT a faith of a book, I'm quite baffled to hear you demand more literature as a CONDITION for proper conversion. Have you become Ali Jafarey all of a sudden? Counting souls rather than being concerned with people LIVING Mazdayasni lives? Personally I recommend people to read Spinoza and Nietzsche and then practice their teachings after which they will be good Zoroastrians. In addition to the good old "Gathas" of course. Seems to work pretty well, I must say.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/15 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

Please help me see what it is that these persons converting are converting to!
There must be some literature somewhere that is deep enough for someone to read and want to convert to, where is that literature? Don't run away from what I am asking by saying "read your Gatha, it is all there". That answer is like "read your bible, it is all there", it is a cop out. Thanks for using the word "puke" while referring to what I try to express! I will not stoop as low as you while trying to express what I think of your writings.

Parviz

torsdagen den 14:e juli 2011

Haurvatat as being in balance with oneself as an eternally changing substance

I agree. The opposites perfection/imperfection make no sense. How can something that is in eternal change/movement/progress be termed as either perfect or imperfect? This is why translating Zarathustra's concept of "haurvatat" as "perfection" makes absolutely no sense. It should rather be translated as "in balance with itself, in its own constant progress eternally". Or as for example "asha" best of all not translated at all. English is too limited.
The translation of haurvatat as perfection is, again, an Abrahamic infiltration in Zarathushtra's unique thinking.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/14 Behnaz Larsen

Definition of living and dead requires that one knows which being/concept one is referring to. If you consider Mazda as wisdom, than you cannot put a limitation on it. Is it dead, alive , imperfect or unlimited? How do u imagine him, it? These are questions for an individual to answer to himself. Mazda exists in your heart and hopefully in your head and if u like to have it imperfect so it can remain alive and progress then so be it. However know that you have not believed in the unlimited, ultimate wisdom as might or might not exist. I chose to believe in an unlimited ripe wisdom because I am very tried of relying only on my own wisdom.


On Jul 14, 2011, at 10:00 AM, Special Kain wrote:
Dear Alexander and Parviz,

All things perfect have stoppped developing and are therefore static and dead. This isn't just some process philosopher's sophisticated thesis, this is an actual fact.
When I still was a small child and attending school, we had our parents talk about their jobs in class. My father said that in the business world stagnation equals death. So I was about 8 or 9 when I became a process philosopher. ;-)

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 14.7.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The superiority of Zoroastrianism over Itself.
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
CC: "Kambiz yeganegi" , "Mehrdad Farahmand" , "Ardeshir Farahmand"
Datum: Donnerstag, 14. Juli, 2011 02:05 Uhr

The terms perfection and imperfection mean nothing unless you SPECIFY what you mean.

"Haurvatat" for example has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with perfection. Haurvatat means "in constant progress" or "forever evolving" as opposed to that which has stabilized and stopped progressing (which Zaratushtra as process philosopher is always opposed to).
Mazda is whatever it is. Ascribing perfection or imperfection to Mazda is just childish to me. Itäs just a view. It doesn't alter or explain what Mazda is.
Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/13 Parviz Varjavand
You can not be a Monist if you have a PERFECT Mazda at the start.
Since my Muzda is as imperfect as I am when we start, my Muzdaism has no problem with Monism.
You have to choose, Is it Mazda for you or Muzda?