ZOROASTRIANISM

Zoroaster asked, "Who established the course of the sun and stars' Through whom does the moon wax and wane' Who has upheld the earth from below and the heavens from fallings' Who harnessed swift steeds to wind and clouds' What craftsman created light and darkness' What craftsman created both sleep and activity' Through whom exist dawn, moon, and eve' (Yasna

44, 3 -6)
Zoroaster Answered: The Father of Order, God.
What then created evil and is disorder Zoroaster believed that Evil co-existed with Good. Angra Mainyu is the source of pollution, misery, suffering and death and everything like mold and rust that eats into things otherwise good. There is a constant conflict between Ahura Mazda (God) and Angra Mainyu (Evil) and both have armies to assist them in this conflict. The world is a battleground between good and evil - an example of dualism. But since evil is only real in the world when it gains possession of material things, the human body becomes the focus of conflict. Humans are at the forefront of the battle against evil, which mean that Zoroastrianism is a deeply moral religion.

For the West, one of its most important seminal ideas was that good and evil fight an unequal battle in which the former is assured of triumph. God's omnipotence is thus only temporally limited. Man must join n this struggle because of his capacity of free choice. He does so with his soul and body, not against his body. It was seen that the opposition between good and evil is not the same as the one between spirit and matter. Contrary to the Christian or Manichaean dualistic religion founded by the Iranian prophet Mani, the attributes of fasting and celibacy are proscribed, except as part of purificatory rituals. Man's fight has a negative aspect, nonetheless: he must keep himself pure; i.e avoid defilement by the forces of death, contact with dead matter, etc.

Thus Zoroastrian ethics, although lofty and rational do have a ritual aspect that pervades. On the whole, Zoroastrianism is optimistic and has remained so even through the hardship and oppression of its believers. Though Zoroastrianism was never as aggressively monotheistic as, Judaism or Islam, it certainly represents an originating attempt to unify beliefs under the worship of one supreme god while retaining the trappings of the polytheistic religions as in those of the ancient Greeks, Indians, and other early peoples. Its other salient feature, namely dualism, was never perceived in an absolute, rigorous way.

Mithras

Beside Ahura Mazda, Mithras is the most important deity of the ancient Iranian pantheon. Mithras, together with Anahita, is the only other deity specifically mentioned. Mithras has a hint of connection with the sun, more specifically with the first rays of dawn as Mithra drives forth in his chariot. In western Iran the identification was complete, and the name Mithras became a common word for "sun." In spite of his connection with the sun, Mithras functioned preeminently in the ethical sphere.

The word mithra was a common noun that meant "covenant, contract, or treaty". Mithra was the God Covenant, the celestial deity who oversaw all solemn agreements that people made among themselves and who severely punished anyone who broke the terms of a covenant, whether it was between individuals or between countries or other sociopolitical entities.

In his capacity to seek and find out the covenant breaker.  Ahura Mazda's Mithra is described as sleepless, ever-waking, having 1,000 ears, 10,000 eyes, and a wide outlook. He is portrayed as a great warrior who intervenes on behalf of those faithful to treaties by throwing the treatybreakers into panic and defeat. As a sovereign deity, Mithra bore the standing epithet of one who keeps under his protection the territories of those who worship him and abide by their covenants. Anyone may observe, here, the beginnings of the institution of the Law and the concomitant use of force to enforce Mithras's demand that covenants be honored. The 59 foundations of fair dealing and living up to your promises are apparent. The stele of the Hammurabi Code is a clear derivation.

It is certain that Zoroaster had identified one of the basic human drives, the need for trust and its obverse the need for the avoidance of betrayal. Any student of the modern jurisprudence of Agency law can see the transcendent importance of the basic contract's covenant in the rules of the agency fiduciary duties such as honesty, fidelity, loyalty, accountability, commitment to the objectives, in effect, the paramountcy of the covenant's obligations. A person of good character will be scrupulous in complying as a point of honor. 

(Tangentially, it should be mentioned that some how Mithras's name was used by the important Roman mystery religion, Mithraism, which was popular throughout the Roman Empire, especially among the centurions. It had rituals including the sacrifice of a bull for its blood. But Roman  Mithraism seems disconnected to the Iranian origins. At least it is difficult if not impossible to trace because of the fundamental differences.)

Zoroaster had a clear vision of humanity's moral choices. He counseled good words, good thoughts and good deeds.

Today, this ancient faith still counsels: "Our basic beliefs are simple. Choose truth and oppose lies. Always strive for good words, good thoughts and good deeds."

Zoroaster can truly be called the first prophet. Though Egyptian beliefs are even older, that religion died with the Pharaohs of old. Zoroaster's novelty was the obvious concern for good spiritual growth during life. The importance of his mission was that he offered a solution to the question of: Why' Why does evil exist in a God-ordained world' It seemed that either God was not all good or he was not all powerful. Zoroaster saw in the world a clear sign that evil was an independent force that must be confronted and combated Hasn't recent history given us good

cause to adopt this Zoroastrian view' Truth supports what is good, creative, while falsehood leads to what is bad, negative, and destructive. The eternal battle of good versus evil should be main objectives of religious institutions.

Zoroaster's Warning To All Who Defend the Good.

A chronic problem of human institutions such as Religion, the Toadies, Sycophants, and other Liars. Blind Faith versus Healthy Skepticism: Though faithful believers are usually blind to the truth when the slick fawning, yes-men (and women) purvey their lies (it should be acknowledged that the truth is hard to identify.) It is a great flaw of religions that the faithful are not eternally vigilant.  They must always be ready to root out those very able sycophants of the Leading Liars who are "spinning" their frauds to grasp greater power and more money. Too many of them pose as church leaders when they are liars worse than the hypocrites. Most of us are aware that juries, psychiatrists, lawyers, television viewers, etc., have a very difficult time separating the il-liars from the virtuous others who are telling the truth. Strange as it may seem the believers among church goers seldom consider the possibility that the preachers, and their stooges, may be misrepresenting God because they can profit from the false visions that they conjure. It is a happy hunting ground for hypocrites. 

 Zoroaster warned that life would continuously call upon humans to separate the self-seeking liars from those who truly believed and who also supported the truth. Though most human institutions suffer from this very serious problem, religions are particularly susceptible to this rotting disease. Though skepticism is a healthy human quality, under the circumstances of a religion where "proofs" and "evidence" are hard to come by, church leaders are quick to attack doubters as just wrong-headed. They will even try to scapegoat them. Those who are spiritual but not religious have often had bad experiences with misleading church leaders who use their authority to demand obeisance not only to God but also to themselves.

For centuries church leaders have demanded blind faith to their version of the scriptures in spite of the clear contrary evidence of biblical scholars that should cause a modification of what is taught so we will adhere to the truth The failure to separate the good and honorable church leaders from the purveyors of perfidious fraudulent lies about God has driven million away from the churches. These merchants of mendacity use their false visions to gain power over their followers. The mendacious, tyrannical Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus - was a classic power grabber who cloaked mere personal opinion and self-promotion as the gospel truth. They then send their money  spongers out to soak up donations from the blind-faith believers. As in days of old, this flaw continues to be a main weakness of religious institutions because the "men of the cloth" are too often impersonators of the truth-sayers. The hypocrites tend to rise to the top as they support each other. Those who are spiritual but not religious have chosen their own path to God and they seek to serve God by helping other humans rather than work through such a tainted religious institution. This is in part, because even when the defrauders are discovered the faithful rarely defrock them and do not remove them from leadership positions. Religions should be the golden standard in that regard by setting an example for other institutions in our world community of humans.

The prophet of old, Zarathustra, taught that each individual had a free choice between good and evil. Following the path of  Asha righteousness would lead to salvation even for lay worshippers. Until his time, heaven was the preserve of the upper classes; hell was reserved for the laity. Zoroaster, condemned animal sacrifice; denounced the use of drugs and the adoration of fire. The ritual of fire was to come later. His basic doctrine was rational, anti-ritual and anti-sacrifice encouraging followers to come to personally experience God.

The clear simplicity of Zoroaster's message was to worship only one God, to seek happiness in this life, and choose well good over evil, always.          It is only human that the careerists who hustled for employment took this precious jewel that had been dropped into the ocean of life and soon encrusted it with weeds and barnacles of idols, other Gods and duties to the priesthood and obscured the way to find God.

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We hope the MeetingHouse has prepared the Way. As you read about God, Love, and Money we hope your mind compares how human imagination has perceived these quitedifferent creations, objects, or beliefs.

Submitted to One and All, By Dr. James R Cooper, Pastor MeetingHouse for Aspiring Spirits

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