torsdag 7 augusti 2008

Pantheism vs Panentheism

Dear Friends

I believe what Ron is describing in such detail is what is called PANENTHEISM.
Parviz Varjavand and I instead propose PANTHEISM.
Both beliefs have existed in parallel within Zoroastrianism for centuries and I believe we have all adopted an acceptance that our religion of tolerance can include both beliefs.
For example, Dina McIntyre has come out as a Panentheist and Arthur Pearlstein and several Parsi mobeds in Mumbai and Pune have come out as Pantheists.
I will always listen to the arguments of the Panentheists but have so far seen no reason for me to accept Panentheism, neither in my own beliefs nor as if there was any Panentheism evident in The Gathas.
We may even have to accept that Zarathushra might not have cared less and considered such distinctions meaningless or unimportant. I frankly don't think the difference really affects the everyday lives we live and which Zarathushtra chose to focus on in his teachings and poems. So we should be able to live with both beliefs in parallel for many more centuries to come. I guess we are just going to have to leave it at that and friendly agree to disagree. Our religion is all the richer for it.
Please let me make one clarification/correction though: Pantheism does not imply that God is material (if we can even speak of God, I prefer to speak of Mazda). Instead Pantheism implies that God and The World are one and the same thing and that this one thing is then ONE substance. So if The World ultimately turns out to be spiritual rather than material (let's see where physics will take us next), than so is Mazda. The important thing in Pantheism is instead that God and World are one and the same substance, regardless of whether thos substance is material or spiritual or eventually needs some other label.
Other Pantheist belief systems are those found in Zen and Chan Buddhism (which are both offshoots of Zoroastrianism, introduced to Japan and China by Persian traders and philosophers), Brahmanism in India (the philosophical aspect of Hinduism), most schools of Sufism, large parts of Shia Islam, and in Spinoza's philosophy in the west (which had Sufi orgin, while Sufism of course has Zoroastrian origin).
What makes Mazdayasna Pantheism unique is the division between Ahura and Mazda, as Existence as divine and sacred in itself (Ahura) and the mind of this existence as the truly divine (Mazda). This explains why Zarathushyra ararely uses the terms Ahura and Mazda together. He stresses different attributes of the one substance when he speaks (God or The World is one substance with an infinite amount of attributes).
So let's emphasize that the Pantheist school of Zoroastrianism is not just any Pantheism.
I'm also convinced that Zoroastrian Panentheism has many unique qualities compared to say Christian, Judaist or Islamic dualism. But I prefer to leave it to well educated Zoroastrian Pantentheists, such as Jafarey, McIntyre and Delavega to explore these possibilities. But it's all very interesting to listen to and learn from.


2008/8/7 ztheist

Ushta Mobedyar

I ha e warned you about PV before and you did not listen But forgetting about PV , very easy for me,. let me just say that we have finally come to 100 % agreement when you say below :

"Sohrevardi's statement does not mean that God is material, as you have explained in your AleParMism or PAlMism(=new cult of Alexander and Parviz or Parviz and Alexsander version of Mazdayasni). Sohrevardi does explain that world is a part of Spiritual unique God, the thing that is taught in gAthA, not directly but indirectly."

Not only are you right about the cultic nature of the so called Mazdayasna that POV talks about but does not really define it, but you have said precisely what I have said in regards to God. Creation is part of God , this of course means :
1 God is greater than creation ,
2. God is not creation neither is creation God .
3 Creation is part of God and God is beyond it as well

This is what Sohrevardi and Zarathushtra said , at least that is what it is inferred in the Gathas and taught directly by Sohrevardi.

So, I believe, we have come to happy harmony as far as I am concerned.

Ushta Te

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