I actually find it very interesting that "liberal" and "orthodox" are not opposites but rather the same thing within Zoroastrianism. In thise sense we are all thre eboth liberal and orthodox and I'm happy to call myself an orthodox Zoroastrian too.
It seems deifferences are rather between which texts we find important and how we relate to them (if giving priority to texts at all).
2010/2/1 Parviz Varjavand
As you may know by now, I do not accept the authority of any Sacred Book be it the Denkart or The Tibetan Book of the Dead, I accept the authority of clear thinking minds expressing their ideas in as plain a language as even a child can understand. Plain talking is the greatest art in Philo-Sophia or Mazda-Yasna. The most important persons we should be talking to are children because it is their fresh minds that is being formed by our talks to them. As for Dastoor Kotwal or others of his rank wanting to debate you, "Good Luck", they are too busy hiding behind their interpretations of their Sacred Books (Vandidad and the likes) mumbling to themselves pronouncements that only they can decipher.
I do understand English to some degree, but when it comes to understanding what you are trying to express, I am still at a loss. You say "by hostile energies/forces i mean "angra" and other limiting energies that believe in determinism and fixed, bleak world". Do these "hostile energies" exist in our minds created by the way we think or do they have an existence independent of our minds? Where do "the hostile influences and forces which would have the creation stick as tightly as possible to the disorder, unregenerate habits and ugliness to which it has been reduced.(A.F.)" come from? Do you believ that they are the "TWIN" of the Good Forces, as the Gatha seems to suggest?
P.S. May you not give me "Good Forces have "Existance" while bad forces have "Non-Existance" just as Darkness is the absence of Light"; that answere is such a joke, philosophically speaking.
--- On Sun, 1/31/10, ardeshir farhmand
From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Is Zoroastrianism really dualistic??? ///A View!
Date: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 1:28 PM
My views are very orthodox, if u read or accept the authority of Denkard or any other ancient exegesis; u will find out that the whole body of our avestan literature and their commentaries has been formed as a footnote to and a commentary around the enchanting gathas.
dr jaffary merely reminded the zoroastrians of this forgotten FACT, he did not invent something new in that aspect. however, his utter dismissal of the ancient exegesis and reliance on western scholars instead, and his mechanical science txt-book translation are his unique approach.
there is a diffrence between orthodoxy and orthopraxy or concieved orthopraxy. furthermore, i cite my sources, and i believe every traditionalist should do the same. so if u do not agree with me, ask mr.mistry or dastoor kotwal to please cite their opposition, i think it would be lively debate.
now, as far as what u did not seem to be clear on; by hostile energies/forces i mean "angra" and other limiting energies that believe in determinism and fixed, bleak world
On Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 1:08 PM, Parviz Varjavand
High Dastoor Kotwal calls his views of Zoroastrianism as being "The Orthodox Views" (in his Harvard papers) and the best teacher of the Orthodox Views today is Khojeste Mistry of Zoroastrian Studies, Bombay. To base all that Zoroastrianism IS on the Gathas is a path that Ali Akbar Jafarey made popular and is a close parallel to how Islam is based primarily on the Sacred Koran. So, I do not agree that there is anything Orthodox about your views, you are inventing your vision of Zoroastrianism as much as anyone else coming up with fresh ideas about it today. We would love to hear your views, but please do not try to protect yourself behind the shield that your views are Orthodox while that of others are not.
Since in a post of yours that followed this, you seem to feel that this post of yours is very important, I took the time to read it many times. I may be a dunce, but the more I read, the less I understood what your exact vision of our Din is. For example, could you please explain to me what you are trying to say in this passage:
>>"According to the enchanting Gathic teachings; to suggest that everything is equally the will of God is a very convenient suggestion of the hostile influences and forces which would have the creation stick as tightly as possible to the disorder, unregenerate habits and ugliness to which it has been reduced."<< A.F.
I would appreciate your kind patience with me.
--- On Sun, 1/31/10, ardeshir farhmand
From: ardeshir farhmand
Subject: [Ushta] Is Zoroastrianism really dualistic??? ///An orthodox View
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Cc: "mehrdad farahmand"
Date: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 9:11 AM
Welcome to ushta, an intellectual zoroastrian discussion group. i am an orthodox zoroastrian and here is the the orthodox view/take on ur question.
Zoroastrianism has been labeled as a dualistic faith, mostly since its coming into contact with biblical religions/culture. To begin with, comparing biblical tradition with Mazdyasna/Zoroastri anism is not a wise or correct approach. They come from vastly different cultural and historical backgrounds and understanding Zoroastrianism in biblical terms leads only to confusion and misunderstanding of Zoroastrianism. A better approach would be comparing the compatible Vedic and Vedantic tradition and/or ancient Norse literature with Mazdyasna.
An important part/element of the above dualism charge against Zoroastrianism has its roots in the notion that since all things owe their origin to God/Divine Source, all their activities also proceed directly from God. According to the poetic Gathas and the established Zoroastrian tradition it is truly a TERRIBLE theory to attribute all that takes place as God's direct working.
According to the enchanting Gathic teachings; to suggest that everything is equally the will of God is a very convenient suggestion of the hostile influences and forces which would have the creation stick as tightly as possible to the disorder, unregenerate habits and ugliness to which it has been reduced.
According to the enchanting songs of Zarathushtra the ultimate nature/origin of the world/existence is "khratü" or "speñtá mainyü" or Vohümanö; described respectively as an insight/wisdom/ will that knows, effects and realizes, an auspicious spirit/understandin g, and an energy, passion, spirit, wit/awareness which is imbued with awe, wonder, beauty and amazement. (look at the third line of Yasna 28.1, the fifth line of Yasna 44.7 and the first line of Yasna 34.2.)
Yet, despite the world's divine origin, here in the material nature the "foresight, wisdom and vision/mazdá," is veiled by ignorance, inconscience, interia and lack of vision; and what takes place here does NOT proceed directly from the divine meta-knowledge.
Hence evil is closely associated with lack of vision and growth (Yasna 30.3,) and is a non-being, non-living phenomenon (Yasna 30.4,) a truly non-existent delusion or "drüj."
When Vohümanö is established its rule in the world, then the world will be a genuine expression of the divine will/wisdom. It is the struggle between the outdated/old/ stagnated and the vibrant/growing/ fresh and new that forms the crux of our religion (Yasna 34.15.)
The truth/ashá of Vohümanö/vast wit and vision; has got mistranslated, tainted and distorted (Yasna 32.9.)
We see the falsehood in the world and the distortion of the pristine truths, and realize that this illusion must be replaced with the pristine energy and passion that manifested this creation. And to express the pristine vision, spiritual wisdom and progress in every thought, word and act is indeed our beautiful religion (See the thirld line of Yasna 28.11.)