I believe Dino has explained the difference between Zoroastrian and Buddhist philosophy spot on. It is a difference of attitude towards existence as such. We can agree on many things, but the diiference of attitude is the core difference.
Also, about the translation we were discussing of "first and last" versus "first and latest", the most important thing is not what we like to hear the most, but rather which translation that catches the original meaning in Avestan the best. Since the expression is used metaphorically in the original text, the translation of "first and last" was widely believed here to better catch the intended meaning.
We can then like or dislike phrases, but in the world of translation, getting the text right compared to the original is what it is all about.
2009/5/9 Special Kain
- Dölj citerad text -
First of all, welcome! Make yourself comfy. :-)
Your words definitely are very interesting and your observations quite smart, but please don't confuse the model with reality. When I was saying that every coin has two sides, I didn't say that we would have to flip the coin back and forth, because we can learn to see the PARADOX as it is (and subsequently create new paradoxes). What really matters here is the idea that there's only one world (monism) that we see as a multitude of different things (pluralism). But there's one overriding principle only. In Buddhism you still have the distinction between reality (or supreme reality) and illusion (different appearances). You don't have this distinction in Zoroastrianism, which makes it even more fascinating. Rather than opposing such appearances, Zoroastrians don't see any of them in that philosophical sense at all and willingly surrender to what's going on. We don't have such hierarchical relationships between different levels of The Real, not do we think that there ought to be such relationships. We don't think that this world is an illusion that we have to overcome in order to be in tune with The Ultimate Reality Behind All Appearances. We want to love this world as it is, and active participation is a sacred duty to us. As a Zoroastrian philosopher I reject all transcendentalism, but sincerely respect panentheists that don't agree with me on this. When digging deep into mysticism and occultism several years ago, I learned to see GOD as the union of immanence and transcendence (although I say that god is the universe and all the stars within).
Furthermore, you can read the Gathas literally or poetically. So I see the Gathas as a collection of inspiring poems, a key to develop and maintain a constructive mentality and become a better person. So, studying the Gathas can lead us to much more beautiful places and much more interesting identities. But inspiration can also be found elsewhere.
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: The Essence of Zoroastrianism and The Difference of Wills
Datum: Samstag, 9. Mai 2009, 6:47
I am new here. I hope I am not over stepping or being presumptous in posting on my first day here. Posts seem interesting here.
>>>>>The Mahayana philosophy is the consequence of the attempt of obtaining DETACHMENT from reality. It is not really concerned with seeing the world correctly, rater it is the consequence of a specific will and the nurturing of this will, the will towards detachment, towards accepting death as the ultimate outcome and possible "essence" of life<<<<<
Your understanding of this is totally different from mine. My understanding of it is that Mahayana philosophy is very concerned with seeing reality as it truly is, Seeing the world as it is. Death is seen as one with life. They are not separate. One can not live without death, and one can not die without life. To try to avoid death would be avoiding life.
It isn't a detachment from reality Buddhism is teaching, but a detachment to illusionary attachments and perceptions.
Of course you may be right on this and I could indeed be wrong. I perhaps am familiar with only one type of Mahayana Buddhism and undoubtly it is a large subject with different views within it.
Someone mentioned the "two sides of one coin". The expression does mean "the same thing" in English but in Buddhism I understand it to mean that while one looks at one side of the coin they are not seeing the other side and therefore not "seeing" the whole together. It's sort of an explanation of englightenment. Many people think of enlightenment as being bliss. Enlightenment in Buddhism is not the experience bliss or of oneness either. It is "seeing" Reality as both multiplicity and oneness in the present, in the same moment, instead of seeing only one or flipping between the two. In the example of the coin, and relating it only to sides, it would be the seeing of both sides simultaneously instead of having to flip it back and forth.
On another subject, the Gathas. (Which is what this group is about I think )I really like the translation that someone posted ( in a post with a bunch of different translations) that said "the first and latest." Instead of "First and last." Then there was an explanation in another post saying the implications of no aging. What I like about it, using that particular wording of "First and latest" is that latest brings it more into the present, as it is happening now. When I read it as "First and Last" it seems as if it's all finished and done with. "First and Latest" seems on going, now, continuously beoming the latest, right now.
Someone else mentioned they didn't think it was necessary to read the Gathas ( as in all the time.) In my experience intellectually picking apart scriptures is sometimes good and insightful, at other times a hinderance. Intellectual study, although good and necessary in my view,does not make up or replace the reading of scriptures as a vehicle to spiritual awareness. So for me, I can attempt to read the Gathas intellectually. But I can also read the Gathas as a way to clear the mind of all thoughts. In my case, I try to fill my intellectual thinking self with the words of the Gathas and when the mind is clear of all other outside thoughts to let the words of the Gathas fade into the silence of meditation. I don't know if that person has tried using the Gathas in such a way, but if haven't and they think it might be worth while to try, they may find it something to their liking.
Well, I certainly have written a much longer post then I thought I would write, if you have read this far, let me just wish you all happiness and health.