Wisdomism

Wisdomism is the worship of wisdom. The Persian word for wisdom is Mazda. So alternative names for Wisdomism are Mazdaism or Mazdayasna.

Mazdeans believe that Mazda or wisdom which is embodied in the world is the cause of all productive , constructive or life-supporting activity.

Wisdom is something that resides in the mind – and where a mind is full of wisdom it is called Humanah – the Good Mind.

Mazdeans strive to develop Humanah – the Good Mind – and consequently to have Good Thoughts, Good Speech and Good Deeds which help build a world which is good to live in.

Mazdeans recognise Asha – a word that refers both to the underlying natural law which explains how everything works and a world ordered the best way it could be with respect for these laws.

Mazdaism was founded by Zarathustra – a philosopher who may have lived around 3700 years ago in Bactria in ancient Iran. Zarathustra lived in a time of chaos where the villages were continuously plundered by bands of robbers and where people were in thrall to superstition peddled by greedy barons and unscrupuluous priests. Zarathustra developed a philosophical system or ideology which aimed to help people break out of superstitious thinking and see the world as it really is – something created by people by their own actions. The world could be a good world if only people took the right actions – and so learning to do this and doing it is the most important thing.

Zarathustra composed a series of songs to expound his ideology which are called the Gathas. The Gathas are included in a larger scripture known as the Avesta.

Some Mazdeans are pure Mazdeans – or what we could call Zoroastrian Humanists – worshipping Mazda alone, forsaking all pagan practices and concentrating solely on developing their Good Mind.

However many people find this humanistic Mazdaism too austere and popular Mazdaism incorporates aspects of the pagan religion around at the time that Zarathustra lived.

Very popular was the god Mithras. Mithras is the god of good relationship – of covenants kept, of friendship, of justice, of good order in the world and the wisdom and good government which brings it.

Mazdaism was once a major world religion and while it has a big impact on other religions the numbers of people practising the original Mazdaism has been dwindling to small numbers. However today there is a growing interest in Mazdaism – in Iranian lands, in Western countries and in Latin America. Some see it as having a crucial role to play in a world becoming more unified, yet less happy.

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