Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Zoroaster

Minorities in the Process of Disappearing: Iraq Case (April 29, 2009)

 

            Germany has selected over 2,500 minority refugees of Iraq from the concentration camps in Jordan and Syria to be given political asylum. These selected refugees are mostly minority Christians and some Kurds of the Yazidy denomination.  The first batch is of 120 refugees. The first phase is the transit camp of Friedland, close to Gottingen, where the refugees undergo medical examination, learn the German Language, and dwell in austere furnished rooms, well heated with showers and toilet along the corridors. There is nothing to do within the transit camps and the best meeting period is at meal time.  The next phase is assigning the refugees to districts and temporary residences until they find jobs.  A refugee may apply to his preferred location but it up to the German government to assign him.

            Beside formal refugees there are many adolescents (less than 18 of age) not accompanied by adults (about 5,000) who were whisked away by their parents outside Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea “for better life opportunities”. These non accompanied adolescents land in one of eight camps reserved for minors. They are aided to depositing asylum applications, learning the German Language, and offered medical assistance.   Half the minor refugees obtain residency permit and the other half are tolerated to stay 6 months and renewable. Then they are directed to youth foyers. At the age of 18 the adolescents can rejoin families who accept them in their homes.

            There are over a dozen minorities of ethnic and religious sects in Iraq.  The Christian minority sects were expulsed from the Byzantium Empire after the conclave of Necee (in current coastal Turkey) in 325 on grounds of “heresies”.  Emperor Constantine had supposedly converted to Christianity in an empire that was “pagan” prevalently.  Many of these Christian sects seek refuge on inaccessible mountains in Mount Lebanon and in regions outside the Byzantium Empire such as in Armenia, Iraq, and Iran.  These sects managed to survive for two thousand years; the first 600 years they survived because the successive Persian Empires were lenient with religious beliefs; when Islam conquered Persia and the major part of the Byzantium Empire in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and the eastern part of Turkey starting in the year of 640 these sects enjoyed the formal recognition and protection in verses of the Koran. The Prophet Muhammad named the Christian, Jewish, and Yazidy sects are believers in the One and Unique God Allah.  The other main factor for their survival was avoiding daily mingling with the Moslems and deciding to be secluded in isolated communities: They had their particular traditions and religious laws and they preferred to keep low profiles.

            Many of these sects have their own verbal and written languages and have their literature. For example, the Sabi2a sect writes in “mandaic”, a language mingling Aramaic and ancient Sumerian.  The Sabe2a (baptismal) revere John the Baptist and had communities by the Tigre River south of current Baghdad and wore white robes and had Spartans daily customs of avoiding meat and fire for cooking. They were around 30,000 and are now reduced to around 6,000. Among these minorities we have the Assyro-Chaldean sect and the Kurdish Yazidy sect who are remnants of the Zoroaster religion.

            The regime of Saddam Hussein protected and even favored many of the Christian sects.  As the US invaded Iraq, al hell broke loose; the extremist Sunni Moslems (Arabs and Kurds) waged campaigns of terrorism and extermination against these minorities. Finally, Sweden permitted many minorities who mainly fled to Syria to apply for asylum.

Nietzsche’s “Thus spoken Zarathustra” (February 20, 2009)

Zarathoustra “The one who owns old camels” (a tradition in antiquity to tone down the status of famous personalities in order to avoid jealousy and the cursed eyes) is considered the reformist Prophet (7th century BC) of the Ahura Mazda religion in antique Persian Empires.This Empire extended from Turkey to the Indus River (Pakistan).

Nietzsche wrongly adopted the meaning of the Greek name of Zoroaster “The Star of Gold“.  The God Ahura Mazda (The Lord or the Wise Spirit) re-organized the Universe in order to lock in his arch enemy Angra Manyu (The agent of evil thinking) in a time capsule. Thus, people in the universe have to deal with the “Devil of lies, confusion, errors, and death” before they are freed out of the time constraint

In the antiquity, Ahura Mazda represented the day, and the Sun was the symbol of divinity, and fire was the medium through which Ahura Mazda listened to prayers and spoke. 

There were countless sub-divinity representing values of Ahura Mazda and many personalized divinities like Mithra (God of justice represented by the Sun) and Anahita (Goddess of the water), and the God of wind, destiny, and so on.  The forces of life and good will ultimately vanquish the forces of evil and death.

So far, there are no historic proofs, archeological or epigraphic discoveries for indices that Zarathustra, Abraham, Moses, or Lao Tseu did exist except in oral traditions. 

It appears that the concepts of angels, the Judgment of the dead, the Holy Ghost are interpreted from the Zoroastrian religious tradition.  The history of humanity is enclosed in three time periods of 3,000 years each:

The first period witnesses the encapsulation of Angra Manyu; the second period witnesses the awakening of Angra Manyu and the terrible confusion and instauration of death; the third and last period experiences the last struggles between the forces of evil and good.  The number 3 in all religions of the antiquity is a divine number, and corpses were laid by three in the tombs.  The number thousand should not be taken literally because it refers to a huge number. 

Thus, when Zarathustra was born he knew that he is living in the last period and that he will not die and would return to Ahura Mazda.  The disciples of Zarathustra claim that their Prophet learned to be in communication with Ahura Mazda.

The Greek philosophers were fascinated with the teachings of Zarathustra and they emulated many concepts of the Ahura Mazda religion for the good life, beauty, the rejection of ascetic life and celibacy, and devotion to heavy drinking. Soldiers would go to combat wearing all their jewelries. The Persian King would revisit his decisions taken when fasting, and would verify his previous decision after he is literally drunk.

Many Mazdi followers fled persecutions in south east Iran in the provinces of Yazd and Kerman in the 10th century and immigrated to India and Bombay. The French explorer Anquetil-Duperron traveled to India in 1755 and learned Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, and Farsi in order to investigate the religion and traditions of the Mazdi followers who were established in the region of Surat (northern region of Pakistan and bordering Afghanistan). 

Anquetil-Duperron published three vast volumes titled “Zend Avesta, the work of Zoroaster“.  There are large communities of Mazdi in California and India. The Bahai followers adopt the Mazdi beliefs in addition to Islam and variant of Judaism.

Even current Iran, the Islamist Republic, celebrates the Mazdi festivities of New Year (Nawrouz) and the Red Wednesday, a festival of fire and pleasure.

In the summer of 1881, Nietzsche was sitting by the lake of Sils-Maria in Switzerland; it is located 6,000 feet above sea level and “far from things human”.  He said:

“I was waiting for nothing.  Beyond the good or evil, I was enjoying of light, shadows, the lake, the noontime, and of no purpose. Then, friend, suddenly one became two and Zarathustra walked by”  That is when the decision to write “Thus spoken Zarathustra” had taken flesh and for over two years, Nietzsche would resume his manuscript where ever he is located.

 Since the Zoroastrian religion professed the duality between good and evil and thus, according to Nietzsche, Zoroaster preached an “extra-morale” doctrine beyond the good and evil and proselytized the eternal return of man, a sort of an extension to the doctrine represented by Dionysus.  The Greek God Dionysus had the power to change and to be transformed into another player; this power is mainly of lightness, perpetual movement, and erotic.

Nietzsche would sign a few of his articles Dionysus. Thus, Nietzsche wrote: “Only the one who can change is related to me.  This life, as you are living it now and had so far lived, you will have to re-live it many other times. You will have to learn to be kind to yourself and toward life. You have got to mark the future of the being with the highest will for power“.

While the German philologists claimed that Zoroaster invented morality, Nietzsche would argue that Zoroaster preached the contrary to morality and that he was the representative of thinker on life. 

Nietzsche contrasted Zoroaster to Socrates whom he judged to cling to a moral set.  (I think Socrates is being evaluated according to what Plato said about Socrates’ teaching.  It is Plato that ascribed to set of moral standards and of eugenics practices for a new Republic.  Socrates wanted to dialogue with people in power to discriminate those who are free thinkers and reflect on prevalent moral standards from those who abide by religious dogmas and current paradigms)


adonis49

adonis49

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