torsdag 24 december 2009

The Four Aspects of Asha

Dear Dino

Well, then I disagree. As long as Art has an observer, it deals with "beauty". Here is how I see things:
The concept of "beauty" is as intertwined with "Art" as the concept of "truth" is with "Science". I don't know of any artist or art critic whatsoever who would not happily define his or her work as a "constant return to the theme of aesthics". Aesthetics in this sense of course being synonymous with Art itself.
We can go on and on and argue forever about whether beauty is achievable or not, or whether something has a "beauty" or not (as most discourse on Art does). Modern and even more so postmodern art "questions" our presumptions, but always from the point of an expanded (or sometimes even more limited) idea of beauty.
To say that Art can not be defined, in Bourdieu's sense or whatever, is just plain sloppiness. It is also wrong to say that Art is strictly discursive, because discourse is not discourse unless it constantly dwells around a theme. The days when you could say that "something is Art because it hangs in a gallery" are definitely over.
So here is a theme, which at the end of the day, will also be an issue of which aesthetics is preferable to another one, in other words: Which aesthetic combination is the desired or more interesting "beauty".
As you can see, I'm not merely satisfied with postmodern defintions. "Ugliness" onluy being interesting in relation to "beauty" meaning that when you define somethingas "ugly" and "Art" at the same time you are merely saying that the "ugly" is "Beauty 2.0".


2009/12/24 Special Kain

No, Dino is not missing the point there. ;-))
Not all art is about beauty or discovering new forms of beauty. Some art is about ugliness itself - or has nothing to do with beauty or ugliness at all. That's why aesthetics isn't enough. There's also the opposition between honesty/authenticity and fake. But we're free to add many more oppositions, since art is the one social field (in a Bourdieuian sense) that has the most gray areas and can't be entirely grasped within the categories at hand. That's much easier with law and politics.

Ushta, Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 24.12.2009:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Asha vs Asha-Vahishta
Datum: Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2009, 16:48

Dear Ardeshir

If there is a disagreement here, it must clearly be a soft one. ;-)

One possility is to describe Asha-Vahishta's relationship to Asha as similar to Mazda's relationship to Ahura. Not a seperate concept but an aspect of the same concept taking the human condition into account. Vahishta is the product of the mind when applied to the principle of asha. Awe and beauty is what the mind produces when in tune with asha. In other words: Vahishta! Remember that we are Mazdayasni or Mazdaiasts rather than Ahurayasni. That is why Parviz's point is so important: Asha-Vahishta is the founding principle of Zoroastrian ethics!

Dino also pointed out that Art deals with ugliness as much as beauty. I believe that is perhaps missing the point with art. When Art deals with "ugliness" it does so in search for new forms of beauty, for example in discovering beauty in places which had previously been regarded as ugly, as to expand our horizons in the experience of Art. A way to avoid misunderstandings here is to simply say that Art deals with Aesthetics. As such, it is one of the four aspects of Asha.


2009/12/24 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Alexander and Parviz,

my point has been all along, that ashaa is the dynamic, intelligent and ingenious principle behind the fabric of reality/order, be it the cosmic order and/or human order. that is simply all. there is a difference between knowings and knowledge. also there is a difference between ashaa and cosmic and/or ethical laws. ashaa vahishtaa is NOT a seperate concept, neither in the rig vedas nor in the poetic gathas. it is the element of awe, wonder and beauty, that is so inherent in the creative principle behind the ever-evovling fabric of reality. furthermore , i always said that ashaa demonstrates that there is NO such thing as fixed, monolithic laws anywhere. everything in our reality is a field of awesome possibilities.

i respectfully dissent with ur positions


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Alexander Bard wrote:

Dear Ardeshir and Parviz

I agree Parviz doesn't have to be angry to get his point across, but I still believe he has a very good point which does not have to do with The Gathas (let's not fall into the trap of throwing Gathas verses at each other, Ardeshir, let's THINK creatively instead) but with us INTELLIGENTLY reading and understanding The Gathas and the Zoroastrian history of ideas.
And one point that has to be made here is that Asha-Vahishta not IS awe, beauty, whatever in itself, but that it BECOMES awe, beauty, whatever through our PERCEPTION. We as observers are through our wise MINDS producing these qualities, we even choose to apply these qualities, they are not there beforehand as factually given. Otherwise we have misunderstood and vulgarized the concept in The Gathas, and that would be a big pity.
Consequently, Asha-Vahistha has everything to do with a difference from Asha only and as such, as Parviz correctly points out. Asha-Vahishta is Asha applied as principle, through our free choice (not through following some Law as automatons but through a pure and free choice). It is therefore very important to make this distinction. We DECIDE that the awe is there, it is not there as factually given. A dead mind (rather than a wise mind) does not experience any Vahishta.
We should thank Parviz for pointing this out, even though the point can be made in a friendly manner and does not have to addressed aggressively. But I understand and see Parviz's frustration: Let's think and live The Gathas, let's not retard ourselves to merely quoting machines. OK?


2009/12/23 ardeshir farhmand

Dear Parviz,

i posted a response to ur claim regarding the difference between ashaa and ashaa vahishtaa as claimed by u, and argued that ur point view has no gathic support. please read the article,
also if u don't mind me asking, why do u sound so angry in ur messages???? or is this just my perception?? ?? we are here to exchange ideas in a respectful manner. we agree to disagree at times. and my point is if we are the disciples of the ancient bard zarathushtra, we should cite his visions first and then draw our conclusions accordingly.


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Parviz Varjavand wrote:

Dear Ardeshir,

I am glad that you are in Law. When in Sassanian times they wanted to judge if a person was telling the Truth, Asha, they would hold the person's head under water while a person would shoot an arrow and a horseman would gallop and try to retrieve the arrow and bring it back. If by the time the arrow was brought back, the poor person had not drowned, he/she was telling the truth, was an Ashavand. If the person had drowned, he /she was a lier, a Drojwand. I can see you and Alex beeing confortable in such a court of law, because you do not diffrenciate between Asha and Asha-Vahishta. Those who think of Asha as a monolit can do such things. If you do not get wat I want to say, have a happy day! I hate to waste my breath.

Karma be with you!

--- On Tue, 12/22/09, ardeshir farhmand wrote:

From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The Concept of Asha/Asha vs Dao
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 8:23 AM

Dear Parviz, Alexander and Dino,

Thanks for ur kind comments, i am truly humbled. i greatly concur with Alexander
that terms such as ashaa, vohumanoe, and many others should not be translated, but clearly and lucidly explained.

it is also of paramount importance to understand such terms/concepts as they were understood in the poetic gathic language of three to four thousand years ago. as i repeatedly affirmed, manoe in the poetic gathas is much more than our today's definition of mind, it is consciousness, awareness. the german bewusstsein seems to be the closest match.

Parviz and Dino brought a very interesting point, and that is what is the practical implication of ashaa in our daily lives. this is the subject of another article, that i would be happy to elaborate on this weekend.

However, quoting Alexander the following description seems to closely fit the ancient exegesis on the subject:

"-Science deals with the pursuit of truth
- Art deals with the pursuit of beauty
- Politics deals with the pursuit of the good
- Love deals with the pursuit of passion"

Parviz, i need to affirm the following; that mixing ashaa with cosmic or ethical laws is not subsantiated by the poetic gathas, and is similar to equate knowings/bits of info with knowledge or rather meta-knowledge/ wisdom.

ashaa is the creative principle behind the rules. since my background is in law, let me give the following example. i have to say in start, that this example is not perfect, but approximate enough.

when u are in court, u must look into the laws, and follow certain rules, otherwise there will be chaos. but ur job is to be CREATIVE and think of ingenious ways to interpret the laws and expand their implication in favor of the party u represent. if the laws/rules were black and white at all times, there would have been no need for amendements to the constitution and/ or creation of new laws by the congress. in this context, u could say the ashaa here is the creative intention behind the laws, and the ability to make them evolve/grow and expand to brighter horizons.


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