tisdag 1 juli 2008

The spirituality of Mazdayasna - a monist take on spirituality

Dear Mehran

In The Gathas (and in Avestan times in general, just like in Sanskrit times in India) spirituality and materiality were one and the same thing. So the spirituality on The Gathas is not a belief in a spirituality DIFFERENT and SEPARATED from material existence. The idea that materia is EVIL and that spirituality therefore has to be a totally different substance from materia to be GOOD is a gnostic idea. It arrives in the history of ideas some 400 years AFTER Zarathushtra died and this idea came from Egypt but was alien to ALL Indo-Europeans, such as the Iranians and the Indians. So it is true that The Gathas is full of spirituality. Youäre cirrect about that. But this is a Zoroastrian spirituality that defines materia as being spiritual (good) in itself, much like modern physics discusses materia as being spiritual in its foundation. It's a MONIST and not a dualist spirituality. This is why we love and hold the world as being sacred whereas the Egyptian thinking evident in Judaism, Christianity and Islam holds the material world as being evil in itself.

Alexander Bard

2008/7/1 MoobedyAr Mehran Gheibi <mehran_gheibi@yahoo.com>:

Dear Alexander


There are tens of evidences that I wrote you many times, that show there is a strong belief in spiritual ahoorA mazdA in gAthA and avestA. But you tell, no there is such things in gAthA.

Nik-o shAd bAshid
KhodA negahdAr,
MoobedyAr MehrAn Gheibi.

--- On Mon, 6/30/08, Alexander Bard <bardissimo@gmail.com> wrote:
From: Alexander Bard <bardissimo@gmail.com>
Subject: [Ushta] There is no God in the Gathas (although you are of course free to believe in God or whatever anyway)
To: "Ushta" <Ushta@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: "Zoroastrian Friends" <zoroastrianfriends@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, June 30, 2008, 4:53 PM

Dear Friends

Please note that the word "God" or its equivalent (like the Greek term "Theos" on which the word "theism" is built) is never used anywhere in The Gathas or any other founding scriptures of Zoroastrianism.
Zarathushtra's metaphysical concept of Ahura Mazda is in itself not personified (it is even comprised of a feminine and a masculine word which are even hardly ever used together by Zarathushtra himself). Personification is not needed for Ahura Mazda (or Ahura or Mazda separately) to function as a concept. And classic monotheism did NOT exist at the time of Zarathushtra (it was invented in Egypt hundreds of years AFTER Zarathushtra had died).
This does not mean that Zoroastrianism can not be theist. But there is no foundation for theism as a dogmatic principle in Zoroastrian literary history.
This is why Zoroastrianism - just like Buddhism - shows such a variety of beliefs theologically. Both theist and pantheist versions of the religion ahve apparently always existed with the pantheist versions of the religion (pre Zarathushtra) even predating the dualist-theistic varieties.
And pantheism can correctly be referred to as atheism since the elimination of a god separate from the rest of existence (a requirement for pantheism) is the opposite of dualist theism (a-theist as opposed to dualist theism).
We are just going to have to accept that there are full-blown Zoroastrians who are theist, atheist and pantheist and all kinds of varieties in between.
The Gathas do not support any specific stand in itself on this issue. At least certainly not any theist-dualist dogma.

Alexander Bard

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