To become a Zarathushtrian it is not necessary
to join any segment or organization, whether it
is classical or non-classical. A Good Mind exists within the individual
who joins with others to collectively form a group. This collective mind
or organization should never have control over one’s mind. This freedom
has been granted to every individual by Ahura Mazda since the time of
creation. Joining organizations does not make us Zarathushtrians; it just
makes us members of that organization.
Some 4000 years ago, Zarathushtra suggested
that we should bring people of our religion together through the Good
Mind; as recorded in the following stanza:
"Now, Wise One, every person, who has linked his religion with good mind
through devotion and invocation, is a noble person of serenity through
righteousness. He lives, with them all, in Your dominion, Lord." (Gathas,
It clearly states that to live in the dominion
of Mazda, we have to link our religion with the Good Mind. There are no
linkages to any organization, culture, tradition or race, which would be a
requirement to reach the dominion of Ahura Mazda. It also explains the
universality of Zarathushtrianism when it refers to "them all".
Following is a report presented by
an organization of scientists after many years of research and studies,
which supports the view proposed by Zarathushtra in ancient times:
The American Anthropological
Association concluded that there is no relationship between biological
race and other human phenomena (such as social behavior and culture).
Since the 1950s anthropologists had come to
question the very existence of race as a biological phenomenon. This
rejection was based on three facts. First, they pointed out that the
preponderance of evidence suggests that all human beings are descended
from a common ancestor. Second, they observed that there are many
biological differences between people that are not taken into account by
race (for example, blood type). Finally, they pointed out that often times
the genetic differences between members of the same race are greater than
the average genetic difference between races. For example, the variation
in blood types within specific groups is 85%, but the total variation
between groups is only 15%.
"Race" was a mode of classification linked
specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It subsumed a growing
ideology of inequality devised to rationalize attitudes and treatment of
the conquered and enslaved peoples. Proponents of slavery in particular
during the 19th century used "race" to justify the retention of slavery.
The ideology magnified the differences among members of humanity,
established a rigid hierarchy of socially exclusive categories underscored
and bolstered unequal rank and status differences, and provided the
rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given.
Early in the 19th century the growing
fields of science began to reflect the public consciousness about human
differences. Differences among the "racial" categories were projected to
their greatest extreme. Ultimately "race" as an ideology about human
differences was subsequently spread to other areas of the world. It became
a strategy for dividing, ranking, and controlling colonized people used by
colonial powers everywhere. But it was not limited to the colonial
situation. In the latter part of the 19th century it was employed to rank
one another and to justify social, economic, and political inequalities
among peoples. During World War II, the Nazis under Adolph Hitler enjoined
the expanded ideology of "race" and "racial" differences and took them to
a logical end: the extermination of 11 million people of "inferior races"
(e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, and so forth) and other
unspeakable brutalities of the Holocaust.
"Race" thus evolved as a worldview, a body
of prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human differences and group
behavior. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human
species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into
"racial" categories. The myths fused behavior and physical features
together in the public mind, impeding our comprehension of both biological
variations and cultural behavior, implying that both are genetically
determined. Racial myths bear no relationship to the reality of human
capabilities or behavior. Scientists today find that reliance on such folk
beliefs about human differences in research has led to countless errors.
At the end of the 20th century, we now
understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into
infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. No human
is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments,
dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are
developed within sets of meanings and values that we call "culture."
Studies of infant and early childhood learning and behavior attest to the
reality of our cultures in forming who we are.
It is a basic tenet of anthropological
knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any
cultural behavior. The American experience with immigrants from hundreds
of different language and cultural backgrounds who have acquired some
version of American culture traits and behavior is the clearest evidence
of this fact. Moreover, people of all physical variations have learned
different cultural behaviors and continue to do so as modern
transportation moves millions of immigrants around the world.
How people have been accepted and treated
within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on
how they perform in that society. The "racial" worldview was invented to
assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted
access to privilege, power, and wealth.
Given what we know about the capacity of
normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that
present-day inequalities between so-called "racial" groups are not
consequences of their biological inheritance but products of historical
and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political
WHEREAS all human beings are members of one
species, Homo sapiens, and
WHEREAS, differentiating species into
biologically defined "races" has proven meaningless and unscientific as a
way of explaining variation (whether in intelligence or other traits),
THEREFORE, the American Anthropological
Association urges the academy, our political leaders and our communities
to affirm, without distraction by mistaken claims of racially determined
intelligence, the common stake in assuring equal opportunity, in
respecting diversity and in securing a harmonious quality of life for all