torsdag 10 december 2009

Zoroastrianism and Stoicism Part 2

Dear Tomash

Historically speaking, Stoicism IS a Zoroastrian school of philosophy!!!
Its enormous popularity in the Hellenistic empire (including Persia) is laregly due to the fact that the ideas of the Stoics originated in Persia as much as in Greece. The Stoics were monists (strongly opposed to Plato and the Egyptians and Judaists) and in general had a worldview and a cosmology that was identical with Zoroastrianism.
Watch out for two things though: Stoicism is widely embracing of a universal determinism (not on an individual level though, which is kind of contradictory, and also not all Stoics) and most of all does embrace asceticism, something Zoroastrianism has always been opposed to. In Zoroastrianism, drives and desire should be embraced as they are asha too, as long as they are made free within a constructive mentality (uncorrupted) there is nothing wrong with our drives and desires in Mazdayasna.
If Zen is one school of thought with "Zoroastrian origins" that ended up in the east, the Stoics did pretty much the same for "Zoroastrian thinking" in the west. They strongly deserve to be revived.


2009/12/11 Tomash

Dear Alexander,

Here's a blog I regularly visit that deals with Stocism:

The author here gives commentaries to the Meditations of the greatest Stoic Marcus Aurelius. What I find interesting about the Meditations (and also the Enchiridion [Handbook] of Epictetus) is their usefulness. Just look at this part:

What I know and constantly keep learning from Zarathushtra I try to compare with this Stoicism and create a suitable philosophy that I would feel most comfortable in. Both philosophies have the same goal: being good in this life, not preparing for the afterlife. Stoicism give great advices on how to deal with pain and sorrow and the evils of everyday life in the most positive way, and this I admire the most and try to learn how to do it.

As for Zoroastrianism, so far I am astonished by this so highly ethical philosophy. It is something I cannot avoid studying about. I definitely want to learn as much as possible about it and share it with others.


--- In, Alexander Bard wrote:
> Hi Tomash
> Dino is correct! The main difference between Zoroastrian philosophy and
> Stoic philosophy is that we take a positive approach towards existence as
> our starting point. Not so much as an emotion but rather as an ethical
> imperative. You can compare this if you like with Nietzsche's motto "Amor
> Fati" (Nietzsche loved the Stoics). The world is sacred to us, the world in
> itself carries no value to the Stoics. In this the Stoics have the same
> difference from Zoroastrianism as Brahmanism in India (the Indian Stoics,
> the majority of Indian yogi are Brahmanists) who also see no intrinsic value
> to existence, which we do.
> But there is more to this issue: Stoicism has its ROOTS in Iranian
> philosophy. Whereas Plato had his starting point in the Egyptian worldview,
> the Stoics, as opposed to Plato, took their main inspiration from the
> Persians, who practiced philosophy at least 1,500 years before the Greeks.
> I would recommend that you call yourself BOTH a Zoroastrian and a Stoic for
> now. I'm personally a Zoroastrian, as a philosophical origin, but I'm also a
> Spinozist and a Nietzschean, which is perfectly compatible with
> Zoroastrianism, as I believe Stoicism is too.
> Ushta
> Alexander

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