3,738 years later the
message is still relevant. Still vital to our success in this life. Still
vital to our success in delivering the ultimate goal of Zoroastrianism,
Freshokereti - the renewal of the Earth.
of my favorite things about Zarathushtra’s philosophy is that it empowers
those who choose to accept it and live by it. We are not victims of a
wrathful illogical God; we are not sinners; we do not have to submit to a
powerful God (and his supposed representatives on Earth) to be saved; and we
don’t have to take on faith irrational concepts and beliefs.
empowered humans, perhaps for the first time, to understand how the world
could be and how to work to perfect it. Basically, we become co-creative
with Ahura Mazda.
Zarathushtra was the first
prophet and philosopher to proclaim that there is one wise creator; that the
world evolves according to some basic laws of goodness; that humans have an
element of godliness in them that gives them the power to think and choose
righteousness or goodness in everything we do; and finally, that humans can
and should co-create and perfect the world through their good choices.
The principles of
Zoroastrianism are based on truth and justice, connected with wisdom and
tied together with the concept of free choice. And when they ask what the
purpose of our existence is here on earth? We have the answer; it is to
renew the world, through righteousness!
Zoroastrianism forces us to
think of issues greater than those that concern us individually. We have to
focus on the world at large. What Zoroastrian solutions can we come up with
for problems that all humans are facing?
What we care about as a
community, the things we do for the world and for others, may be the best
indication of who we are as a community of Zoroastrians. The goal of the
religion is not the happiness of the individual but making others happy.
shifts the focus from an individualistic highly personal way of thinking to
a much broader, less self-absorbed way of thinking, acting, and living. That
is, doing what is good or "best" in each situation is often different than
doing what is advantageous or convenient to an individual. This has
implications for how we live our lives, how we interact with others in
person and in a societal setting, and how we choose leaders. I like to think
of Zarathushtra’s message as that of the image of a butterfly flapping its
wings in one part of the world and setting into motion a series of events
perhaps causing a hurricane in another part of the world. Zarathushtra's
message can be the wing moving people's minds in a small way completely
changing the kind of life they lead -- away from living a life focused on
what's best for one alone, and towards living a good life that improves the
world for all people and beings in the world.
What does all this mean? It
means we have to work towards perfection in every aspect of our lives. Each
individual has God’s most important attribute within him or her; the
attribute of the Good Mind. Each individual has full freedom to choose to
think and speak and act in good and righteous ways (according to the law of
Asha). Those who choose to follow their good mind and transform good
thoughts into words and action everyday and in each and every choice -large
and small - help move the world closer to completion and perfection. In this
way each person has the potential and ability to be a co-leader with God in
renewing and perfecting this world.
As individuals we must
continually strengthen our Good Mind - that ability to know the right path
or choice in a situation - and the capacity for loving others within
ourselves. We have to strive to understand and choose the right and good
path in every choice we make in our lives, not for any reward, but because
it is the right thing to do. This process starts within ourselves; and as we
individuals are transformed, it affects our families, then our neighbors,
then our communities, then our countries, and ultimately the entire world.