Ron comes from a Pentacostal Christian background.
In Pentacostal Christianity, the time is spent on so called Bible classes. People read Bible quotes back and forth forever discussing the meanings of these quotes and then often end up with worldviews like that the world is soon to come to an end and we are getting close to the apocalypse etc. The outside world is of no interest. The TEXT is serious stuff to these people. Thinking for yourself (as in Zoroastrianism) is of no interest whatsoever, the text is everything. Even Science itself has to be subordinated to The Sacred Text. This is why Pentacsotal Christians come up with such mad ideas as Creationism. They become blinded by a BOOK which they worship more than any god.
Ron has taken this approach with him to Zoroastrianism (were slavish studies of holy texts are historically speaking compeletly alien) and found a couple of friends in Dina and Ali who then have gone on to construct Gathas-classes together they way Ron previously pursued Bible classes. This is why they post 99% of postings on the non-Ushta fora on the internet. I'm happy for them that they have found such enthusiasm for their little project. Ironically, the rest of humankind seem not too concerned though.
Again, the point is to NOT to think for yourself, NOT to use your mind, NOT to be a Mazdayasni, but rather to instead change your mind as to fit the holy scripture. Ironically they pursue this mission using a text authored by an illiterate who lived long before books even existed. And an author who NEVER, not even once, said that we should slavishly follow hos orders but who rather always said that we should think for ourselves and that this independent thinking of ours is sacred and is what makes us Mazdayasni!
I couldn't care less about these Gathas-classes. I have much more important and interesting things to attend to, as do every other Mazdayasni I know besides the three people in question.
But Ron is correct that I don't believe in a male god with a penis. On the other hand, an Indian Brahmanist does not believe in the existence of any gods with blue skin and elephant noses either. Those beliefs are for the little people, we should know better. For example, by understanding that The Universe and Ahura Mazda are one and the same thing. So I'm a Zoroastrian in the same sense that a wise Brahmanist is a Hindu or a wise Zen teacher is a Buddhist. Nothing more, nothing less.
Funny then, that these Gathas-worshippers have not even bothered to study what the terms "Mazdayasna" and "Ahura Mazda" mean in Avestan. The meanings of these key words speak volumes. What is a little collection of sang poems compared to the stroke of genius to construct and then use these terms?
2008/7/11 Parviz Varjavand <email@example.com>:
>>>"Ushta Mobedyar>>>" I see you are still attempting the impossible, to argue with a closed mind. Mr Bard has, after careful deliberation , (perhaps tinted by his life's experience, perhaps not) chosen not to belief in a god or a creator or anything other than a purely materialistic process and reality. It is his choice, and it must be respected as such. Hopefully he has learned that all of our beliefs must be questioned constantly , and thus he will test his beliefs , and perhaps change them . But regardless, his is a considered and informed choice ,as such, it is his and trying to convince him otherwise is not what we as Zs are supposed to do.After all, Z tried to convince Bendva and when he realized that Bendva had a closed mind and had made his choice; he stopped trying to convince him. In fact, right after he realized that there was no way to persuade Bendva, he recommends to us that we abandon all relations with the wrongful.The only area in which I would maintain discourse with Alex, in a doctrinal way of course since I can and would relate with him civilly and socially, is to debate him on his idea that he can opine about Z without refering to what Z said in the Gathas and on he issue of on the one hand denying Z when it suits his doctrine and embracing him when its suits his doctrinal purposes. I use to object to him using Z's name to teach what are, obvioulsy, not Z ideas But, even that, he has somewhat abandoned and in addition one can tolerate these as, very, different interpretations . Not that tolerance means agrement, of course.I think your time would be better invested in debating Mr Bard on the issue of his refusal to use the Gathas, than on what he himself beliefs as far as the deity or evn reality is concernedHowever, if you choose to do this, it is your choice as well. Just be mindful that others might just become turned off and avoid all your postingsUshta Te'Ron (who hopes endless debates on what people believe rather than on Gathic doctrinal points, will be abandoned)"<<<Dear friends,How very Ron-like to take an argument that is going on on the Ushta list and then broadcast it all over the internet on sites that he and his companions in their kind of Asha (Deceit is a kind of Asha after all because it works for the deceitful) have made sure that Alexander or I can not publish our views. Also the comparison of Alexander to Bendva is interesting. Some scholars argue that Zarathustra refers to Bendeva in a derogatory way in the Gathas calling him a homosexual. The reason he does this is also rather interesting (read your Gathas, especially between the lines, if you want to find juicy stuff). Maybe Bendva had some interesting things to say (like Alex) and that was one way of shutting him up.I really enjoyed Ron's last wish in his post: >>>" 'Ron (who hopes endless debates on what people believe rather than on Gathic doctrinal points, will be abandoned)"<<<.To Ron, Zoroastrianism is not about sane and wholesome beliefs and ways of thinking; it is about arguing back and forth Gathic Doctrine till the cows come home. How Pristinely Purified of Good Thinking our religion has become in the hands of Ron and the Ron-like.Ushta,Parviz Varjavand