tisdag 19 juni 2012

Zoroastrianism, Syntheism, Zen, and Daoism

Dear Mats The main thing Zarathushtra's philosophy has in common with Daoism and Zen is that they are all PROCESS philosophies (mobilism) as opposed to philosophies assuming objects and fixations (eternalisms). Chan, the common thread between Zen and Daoism in China, also has Persian roots (it was brought to China by Persians rather than Indians, all Indian philosophical texts were actually first translated to Persian before arriving in China). And as for theory and practice, needless to say, all philosophies include both. It's just that Ushta if a forum where we often thrive on theory as very little else in Zoroastrian culture is theory, almost everything else deals with 100% practices. But one does not exclude the other. Ushta Alexander 2012/6/14 Mats Andrén > > Hi! > > From time to time Alexander mentions a connection between Zarathustra's thoughts and Daoism. It would be interesting to hear a bit more on this. I am certainly no expert on religion and I know quite little about Zarathustra, so correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the Syntheism argued for here by Alexander/Dino is a substantially more intellectually, and rationally, oriented kind of endeavor than Daoism (and Zen). The talk I have been hearing here has mostly been of a quite theoretical kind, relating to ideas of Nietzsche, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and so forth — orbiting around traditional western philosophical issues of truth and reality — and quite little about the practical directness of Daoism — which is, I would say, more about ways of living (a practically oriented kind of wisdom which is skeptical of the discriminating powers of the "mind") than ways of thinking about how to live (a more theoretically oriented kind of wisdom, which encourages "thinking" and rationality in a more detached, or "pure", form). Just to give one example of what I mean with a more practically oriented kind of wisdom one might mention Masanobu Fukuoka's ideas about (or rather ways of doing) farming: a hybrid of philosophy and (actual) practice with clear connections to Daoist philosophy (even though he didn't call himself "Daoist"). > > Not sure if you agree with what I wrote above, but in either case, the fact that there might be differences between Zarathustra's thoughts (at least in the form conceived by Syntheists/Syntheism) and Daoist thought is of course no argument against the idea that there might also be connections and similarities: I am sure there is. So, to summarize, I have two questions: > > 1. Do you agree with what I write in the first paragraph about a possible difference in orientation between Syntheism and Daoism when it comes to the conception/role/value of rationality? If not, are there other differences? > > 2. What do you perceive the most salient connections/similarities to be between Zarathustra's thoughts and Daoism? > > (To clarify, when I talk about "Daoism" here I am of course not talking about later "alchemist ideas", relating to eternal life, supernatural powers, and stuff like that, but mainly about Lao Zi, Chuang Tzu, and Lieh-Tzu etc — but it seems fairly clear that this is what Alexander refers to too, when he talks about about Daoism.) > > I wish you all a good day. > > /M

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