måndag 20 september 2010

Mithraism vs Mazdaism Part 3

Dear Parviz

I believe you completely uinderrate me.
The problem with Zoroastrianism is that I frankly don't see how ANYBODY is going to breathe any life into it. It's like everybody is waiting for a grand revolution in Iran after which Iran would become Zoroastrian - which it definitely will not, it will go secular, so they are in for a deep disappointment - or for Parsi women in India to finally decide to breed with their cousin husbands and have lots of children - which they will not and which would in any case not include or bother me the slightest.
Mithraism is IN ITSELF not dogmatic but rather a practice of rituals and artistic expression that works perfectly for a modern secular society. A religion definitely without dogma (no sacred old books and "teachings").
I certainly could make something out of Mithraism, definitely something artistic. And have we not talked about Mithraism anyway here on Ushta now for years when we have discussed what "Mazdaism" could be like.
So I'm not going to spend any more time on some vain romantic Iranian nationalist project of which I or my friends do not feel a part at all. When I talk about Zoroastrianism to my freinds they lose interest. When I speak about Mithraism they get totally excited. What more advice do you need on what to choose?
The underlying "Mazdayasna" philosophy is the same anyway. But without LIFE in something it can not BE MAZDA. It will be just babble.


2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

Not as easy as you make it sound Alex,

Rituals of Zoroastrianism are well established, but how are you going to explain the Bull Slaying of Mithra for example? What ever you say, some wise-ass from a corner having read some stupid article somewhere is going to shout you down "No, No, No, This is not it. I have it from the top that it means Blah Blah Blah. Then it is your word against his/hers, and the Academia strongly influenced by Judeo-Christian elements will shoot you down every time because they have a duty to make Mithraism look unattractive. If Mithraism becomes attractive, Christianity will look like a sad misunderstandings of the basic tenets of Mithraism, and so many are planted in academia just to not let this happen. You will have so many fights and insults on your hands that it will drive you baddy. Jafarey or Kotwal or the Farahmand brothers are a peace of cake compared to the guys barricaded behind the defense line against Mithraism; you will eventually be accused of Anti-Semithisem and that is where you will be forced to throw in the towel and run from the field.


--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 1:09 AM

Dear Dino and Parviz

To Parviz: Mithraism is the merger of Zoroastrianism with intelligent Western Paganism. It is Zoroastrianism with a richer cultural expression added on top. Think of Mithraism as Zoroastrianism-Plus!
Finally we have a religion which can attract the enormous and fast-spreading Burning Man generation!
And Dino, it is precisely the PHILOSOPHICAL aspect of Zoroastrianism which we are saving by changing our label from Zoroastrianism to Mithraism. We keep the philosophy, but change the artistic expression and ceremonial rituals to something far more exicting and befitting the modern world than just Zoroastrianism as it is (basically a museal activity of rather bland apologetism).
I can't see why we can' have the best of two worlds!!! Mithraism with Ahura Mazda!


2010/9/20 Special Kain

I can fully understand Alexander's move.
For example, I'm deeply frustrated with most Zoroastrians' talk about their own faith. As if it was nothing but a pacifist mix of Christian and Muslim theologies.
On the other hand, it has all the ingredients that make it philosophically fascinating: civilizationism, environmental thought, equal rights for all, the love of wisdom, and the praise of education and intelligence.
In the end, we are what we practice.


--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Mo, 20.9.2010:

Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 20. September, 2010 05:07 Uhr

Alex my brother, it is hard not to like you. (I have tried! ;-)

See you at the next Burning Man. You have great visions and count me in as a side-kick. Nahid and her husband and Dr. Mench will need a role too and will probably join in.
What are we going to tell everybody that Mithraism IS? Even Nabarz has not figured his ass from his elbow yet when it comes to the fellow with the red cap.

Mehr Afzoon,

--- On Sun, 9/19/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 7:04 PM

I'm not abandoning anybody here, Parviz! Far from it.

Mithraism is just an old Western extension of Zoroastrianism anyway, with a very central role given to Zarathushtra and his philosophy, actually even more so than within Zoroastrianism.
The problem is that Zoroastrians seem to care too little about their own future and their own religion to really believe it can be a thriving and growing religion for anybody, least of all themselves.
Mithraism simply seems more suitable, in one form or the other, to take global and universal.
Zoroastrians can't seem to talk about their faith without making conversions an issue. And I have grown tired of this. There is no room for visions.
Mithraism I could even take to Burning Man and it would work wonders. It is CULTURALLY exciting, easy to turn into artistry. By comparison, Zoroastrianism is bland and unimaginative. You get the picture!
It's a change of labels, Parviz, not a change of faith!

2010/9/20 Parviz Varjavand

Dear Alex,

Mithraism also has many who claim to know it better than you, and then when they talk, they dish up loads of trash in the name of Mithraism on your plate that just looking at it will make you want to vomit. Don't go there, you are not safe there either. You are an original thinker and your original thoughts fits more within the framework of Mazda-Yasna than Mithra-Yasna. Mazda-Yasna is a living religion while Mithraism is dead. Living things have permission to change while it is very hard to bring a dead thing back to life and then make this Frankenstein that you have brought to life behave like a living creature and dance a graceful dance on the stage of world thought.

Mazdaism is a version of Zoroastrianism that you helped have a life here on Ushta. Please do not abandon your friends here, me amongst them. If you know any good teacher amongst the Mithraists that you respect, please guide us to his/her writings and teachings, otherwise, please stay here and help us raise this baby that you have helped give life to.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz Varjavand

--- On Sun, 9/19/10, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Mithraism or Mazdaism
To: "Ushta"
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 4:20 AM

Dear Friends

I have decided to stop referring to myself as a "Zoroastrian" and instead decided to refer to myself as a "Mithraist".
Besides the fact that all my Western friends find Mithraism far more attractive and adaptable to a modern society than Zoroastrianism, it also once and for all removes at least me from any conflicts with Parsi isolationists (a pathetic conflict which I have decided to not fight anymore, just let the isolationists kill themselves as a community, I could not care less, I only care about cosmopolitan people interested in Iranian philosophy anyway).
It doesn't change my relationship to Zoroastrianism in general. And Ushta has always been open to both "Zoroastrians", "Mazdaists" and "Mithraists".
It's just that my change of label makes it easier for people to understand where I'm at, and also makes them far more interested and even engaged.
We even started a Swedish Mithraist community last week, founded by people who love to call themselves Mithraists but not interested in the label of Zoroastrians.


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