1. Most modern Zoroastrians do not believe in a CONSCIOUS afterlife. Still, many do, for various reasons. So there is a wide agreement within the community to disagree peacefully, between the monists (who do not believe in any conscious afterlife) and the dualists (who often do, believing there is a soul separate from the body). Most Zoroastrians rather refer to the concept of the after-life more in the patter of "we return to where we come from", death is the return to the world-as-one, we are no longer separated from the world the way we must be as individuals. Such a belief can be encompassed by monists and dualists alike. Many Zoroastrians, including most of the western converts, are also Spinozists. They prefer to regard Zarathushtra as a precursor to Spinoza (there is even a historical link between Zoroastrian and Spinozist philosophy via the Sufis). There are also many Zoroastrians who have taken a string interest in Zen and Daoism, which seem quite compatible with Zoroastrian thinking.
2. Reincarnation is not a widely spread belief among Zoroastrians, neither historically nor in modern Zoroastrianism. There is no foundation for reincarnation in The Gathas or in the larger Avesta. The concept of reincarnation seems to have been adopted in India after the Iranian and Indian tribes were separated from each other. This does not mean that occasional Zoroastrians cling to such beliefs. But they have little support in Zoroastrian history, scripture or tradition for such beliefs.
3. Zoroastrianism is most of all a RELATIVISTIC religion, it always has been. To Zoroastrians, searching for truth, improving and testing your ideas constantly is a good in itself. This is the search for asha. This also explaisn why the religion has strong ethics but no moralism and why it is more than anything TOLERANT. It is the ATTITUDE towards life as sacred and open and interesting, which all Zoroastrians have in common. Dogma is far less important than attitude. So feel free to conduct your own search for the truth and still regard yourself as a Zoroastrian!
2008/9/17 Zaneta Garratt
Hi Ronald, there are 2 Parsi groups, Iln-I-khshoom and the Pundol group, that believe in reincarnation but they are very different from the rest of the Parsis-they are quite mystical and a bit hindu-influenced in a way- but as far as I can see I imagine you will find a few Parsis who do not belong to these groups who still believe in reincarnation anyway, there are a few Christians too who believe in this, but most Parsis and even Christians believe in an afterlife without reincarnation- Best wishes to you from zaneta
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 16:30:20 +0000
Subject: [Ushta] Re: Life after Death in Zoroastrianism.
Thank you very much for this Verses of the Gatha. I think that the
Zoroastrians which believe in Reincarnation are the Indian Parsi, or
is this wrong? I heard that the Indian Parsis are influecend from
Hinduism, but i don't know if this is really right.
For me this Verses of the Gatha - are speaking about Life after