|Blog Home||Mazdan Musings - Daniel Levie|
by Daniel Levie - 2016
The Mazdan Way: The Universal Path to Wisdom
Life in Getig
The potential omnipotence of God
The Supremacy of Mazdan Myth over Zurvanite Myth
Man and Evil
Nature of evil and immortality
Necessity of God and Man
Moral Good Moral Evil
Jesus as Savior
The Progressive Mind
Mazdan Pre-Ritual Purifying Visualisation
The World of Stone and Steel
Prison Ministry Objective in the OTWL
This small volume is meant to be a meditation on Mazdan topics. It is designed to encourage good thoughts. It contains seed- thoughts. It is filled with short, mini-essays which can be absorbed by the initiate in a short period but which help to understand some basic principles in Mazdan thought. It is a look at some Mazdan ideas from inside the Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord. It is not a Doctrinal work of the OTWL.
You will find within also poems/hymns in invocation to the Bounteous Immortals, and the yazatas.
This small offering is meant to inspire good thoughts, good words and good actions. It is our hope that you will find something within these pages that leads you to contemplate the Principle of Consciousness, Ahura Mazda. And just as importantly, we hope that it brings you a measure of happiness!
May you come ever closer to the Original Fire.
The Mazdan Way: The Universal Path of Wisdom
When one does a bit of research on the universalism of the Good Religion taught by Zarathushtra, the prophet, it is rather interesting to consider that we are the voice of reason to the world on the subject of the inclusiveness of all into the faith. Zarathushtra was all about the spreading of his new faith and was a proselytizer. How else to spread the faith of love and universal goodness? Ahura Mazda did not reveal the Good Religion for a few people to simply enjoy and to hoard. The power of the Lord of Wisdom would be and is in fact weakened as the faith becomes exclusive along ethnic lines.
This is where the Mazdan Way distinguishes itself from the Zoroastrian religion. We are Mazdans, in that we are inspired by the Source of Zarathushtra’s vision, the Good Mind (Vohu Manah) itself. Certain Persian kings adopted the religion and spread it to those they conquered, following the proselytizing legacy of the First and Only Necessary Prophet. Zarathushtra was given the instruction to spread the universal Good Religion to the world and as Mazdans, or those who worship the Source of Zarathushtra’s vision, Ahura Mazda, we would be remiss not to seek to converts. It is the duty incumbent upon us to change the world for the better and to perfect it. This is done, partly, by convincing others to remember their reason for existing in the world. To perfect it according to Ahura Mazda’s, the Creator, plan. We can do this as Mazdans.
Our mission is a little more difficult in the sense that the tradition has been stilted to the point where no “outsiders” are permitted. However, we have the privilege of sharing to the whole wide world the absolute model of perfect wisdom and there is little that is more satisfying than doing just that. When we remember our origins and our mission, we become fascinated with the idea of the hastening of that eventuality, the perfected world, the defeat of the Druj in the cosmos. We are each Arch-Agents, working alongside as allies of Ahura Mazda, at this moment in history with the one goal of perfection. Perfection of ourselves first, which brings about a cosmic perfection proportionate to our own.
The driving Truth (Asha) of the Mazdan Way in the West is that we are indwelled by an enduring perfect wisdom, that of Ahura Mazda (Pure Focused Consciousness). This is the best gift we receive from the Wise Lord, who transcends gender, who transcends all things. We activate this Wisdom by our Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds, and by our Devotion to the Good Mind (Vohu Manah). Ahura Mazda is often tripled in the tripartite being (the divine formula) of Ahura Mazda-Asha-Vohu Mana. This in translation becomes Wisdom-Truth-Good Mind (or Focused Consciousness-Cosmic Order-Conscience).
There is reason inherent in the choice to fight for the Good, as the Good is that which is eternally beneficial to humanity, both individually and communally. The enshrined intellect is fostered as the main tool in learning to aid the Wise Lord in perfecting the world. One must have knowledge of the world in which one exists and knowledge of one’s self, as knowing how to change the world for the better entails knowing how to interface with the same. As such, Mazdans do not disdain the body. Nor do we attempt to sublimate the mind. Each are perfect (and potentially) tools for aiding the Lord Mazda in overcoming the restrictive and constrictive forces of Angra Mainyu/Ahriman and the Druj (the Lie).
Light is energy.
Imperishable Light is the same as saying Light that has always been and always will be. This is true of all energy. The Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy states that matter and energy are the same and can only be transformed.
Ahura Mazda created the cosmos out of the Imperishable Light in which he dwells. He created it of his essence.
God is himself Consciousness. From his Consciousness he created Man. So long as mankind exists, Ahura Mazda will exist. The Wise Lord defines consciousness and therefore existence. Should existence cease to be, it would become non-existence, which is defined as non-consciousness. Consciousness is characterised as Wisdom and therefore Good.
Ahura Mazda (pure, focused consciousness), could it cease to exist would cease to be Good. This is an impossibility as non-existence is characterised as Evil.
It is then logical to assume that Pure, Focused Consciousness--that is God--will not be denied existence!
For this reason we seek the Light of Wisdom in this life and will define it in the next life!
Life in Getig
As a Mazdan I am always trying to see the world of day to day life through the eyes of the prophet Zarathustra. Yet in our modern world people often forget morality, and it makes it hard on those who hold fast to their ethics and moral goodness. I have to check myself at times because falling into immorality is infectious. It is imperative to keep the choice always in the front of the mind. Entertaining cruelty by allowing oneself the pleasure it can give you is similar to committing cruelty oneself. The Mazdan view is that cruelty is a tool of the Lie. We see it around us, we actively romanticize it in our video games , getting high on it from cinema, even wishing it on others as if it were a narcotic. We cannot purposefully surround our souls with violence and expect it not to contaminate the essence of goodness in us. We can't expect the world to become more compassionate while supporting the lust for violence. Words are NOT enough . Our formula is threefold: good thoughts, good words AND good actions. I emphasize AND because to speak goodness but act in opposition is promoting the worst mind. AND cannot be replaced by OR in the formula. As a Mazdan I pray five times each day in a ritual setting when I can, and informally otherwise. I do this because it is the Mazdan way , but also because it reframes my moral compass. When I pray I create a resonance clear back to the prophet Zarathustra. He prayed five times daily, and taught us to do the same.
We can't pray for violence on our enemies, Asha takes care of this as we continue righteous thought , word and deeds. Praying for evil to an all good God is absurd. My enemy is his own judge - he faces the bridge alone .
I say all this to invite the world, to invite you, to join in our goal of making wonderful this world of ours. This we do by making wonderful our core selves. A world filled with Goodness is a Good World!
Your very purpose is as a soldier in the Mazdan Army.
Initiation is a life-long process of becoming. It is generally thought of as tri-phasic.
Phase 1: Separation
Phase 2: Becoming
Phase 3: Return
A transmogrification of the soul/mind is the ultimate goal of a life of good thoughts, good words and good deeds.
We can find multitudinous initiatory allegories in the Gathas and other Mazdan texts but life itself it is which may be qualified as the model of initiation of the soul.
In Menog we are Individual proto-souls. We are then voluntarily removed/separated from our fravashis to become manifest in Getig. We must learn through the many Ordeals in life in Getig. Our reason for being here, to have descended, is that in our separation we might make great lasting change in our Selves, which corresponds to great lasting change in the world around us. This is a pretty good definition of magic. The Ordeals we encounter and overcome in life help eradicate evil, lifting us by degrees closer and closer to Ahura Mazda, our Creator.
We are each subject to the temporary victory over life. This is the physical death which, while it is a product of daevic forces of anti-life, we are able to transform. We are further purified by final Ordeal of molten metal. This final trial rids our souls of everything that was excessive and deficient (which is why even the righteous pass through it) as we are prepared for Immortality.
We are finally returned to our Source of origin in Wisdom, present once more with the Principle of Wisdom and Consciousness, purified and having been reunited with our fravashis. We are again physical yet endowed with undying essence, having removed evil from the world.
"Of the Life Hereafter"
"Yet know, vain sceptics! know, th’ Almighty Mind,
Who breathed on man a portion of His fire
Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confined,
To heaven, to immortality aspire."
The Teachings of Zoroaster, by S.A. Kapadia, , at sacred-texts.com
This tells us that Mazdan initiation is the cultivating and realization of God-Essence first breathed into us by Ahura Mazda himself. We are indwelled by Original Fire. Mazdan initiation is about raising this fire to its greatest purity. This is ritually reflected in an allegorical way via the purification of the 16 fires.
What we can see in this is the sacred numbers 16, and 7 (1+6).
The sixteen fires are symbolic creations which are internal fires or "charx" , the first 7 of which are Ahura Mazda and his Bounteous Immortals. The next 9 are seen in the following:
Daē pa Ādur
Daē pa Mihr
These are ritual days for the physical fires but are present in astral form within the subtle body of the Mazdan initiate.
The potential omnipotence of God
That Ahura Mazda is not yet omnipotent is the logical answer to the existence of evil in the world. This however may be more appropriately said as Ahura Mazda IS all powerful, and that He CAN defeat evil. In fact the way that He is doing exactly that is through His special weapon, humanity. (Yep, that means you!)
Ahura Mazda spent thousands of years creating the universe. This does not mean that he is not capable of creating the universe. It means he, and only he, is capable.
That Ahura Mazda has created a special weapon to use in destroying evil, and has deployed that weapon (with the omniscience that He/we will succeed) means precisely that He not only can defeat evil, but is in the process of it!
This means Ahura Mazda IS all-powerful. We, because of our limited temporal perspective, must say that He is TEMPORARILY not all-powerful. Yet He has placed His Pure and Powerful Mind firmly inside us and we are defeating evil. We are not to be of the mind that God, that idea in the sky, is waiting to become powerful enough to destroy evil. That would be like you and I seeing evil and doing nothing because its too big a task to take on at the moment. No, we must view Ahura Mazda as defeating evil RIGHT NOW, using us as the only weapon that can defeat evil!
By this logic, Ahura Mazda is All-Powerful.
Zarathustra spent a good amount of time in a cave in the desert. We think of this and can appreciate his visions.
The roof of the cave must have had small particulate minerals shining, sparkling, shimmering , like the stars. It was to him as the vault of heaven. This "starry sky" with its moisture and condensate accumulated moisture which dripped down like water from the starry heavens. This water created calcified stone (earth) in the form of stalagmite and stalactite. Water into earth. Watery Earth gives rise to Flora. Flora sustains cattle/animals. Cattle nurtures man. Man first discovered fire from heaven, lightening, descending to earth. He then replicates it, cultivates it.
First Ahura Mazda created the Sky to give water
Second He created Water to sustain Earth
Third He created Earth to sustain vegetation
Fourth He created vegetation to sustain Cattle
Fifth He created Cattle to sustain Man
Sixth He created Man to tend the Fire
Seventh He created Fire to sanctify the Creations as a bridge to God.
These creations were created to aid in the continuity of each other, so that the Foul Spirit would be Undone.
The Sky was in the form of an egg, a sphere, of hard and adamant minerals, stones, irredescent and fluorescing.
The stone of the Sky like the interior of an immense cosmic cave seeped water in the form of moisture and condensate. This was the purpose of the Sky.
The Water dripped down as rain and dew, and was perfect in its form, and good. It housed the potential for all existence. But the seeds of Man and Bull came from fire. The water striking the stone created calcium deposits, stalagmites, which in time would build a continent. The water in its perfect form was liquid, and was the sustainer of purity. This was the purpose of the waters.
Earth in the form of landmass arose from the water. This became all earth. Algae began to cover the stony earth. In its thickness progressing, and evolving other vegetable life, through perfect design. From these evolved all manner of living things which from the waters draw life. This was the purpose of the earth and vegetation.
Cattle and other beneficial life began to graze on the foliage and grasses, and a natural order was sustained. The plants and trees as well as breathing life-forms enjoyed the warm sun upon them. Mankind , whose life-force like the Cow/oxygen derives from the fire of Mazda, began to be sustained on milk and cheese from the Cow. This was the purpose of the Cow.
Man grew up strong on the earth, cultivating the soil, domesticating the cow and other beneficent animals. He roamed the lands and began to settle in areas suitable to him. He witnessed the movement of the heavens, discerning patterns in them. He witnessed rain, storms and fire made from lightning. He learned to control the Fire. To harness it. Create it by friction. He sat around the fire, for light and warmth, creating community around it. He found the Consciousness of God within it. He began to contemplate and found consciousness in himself. This was the purpose of Mankind.
The fire man harnessed was from heaven and descended to earth. It purified that which it touched. Cleansing, vivifying. God was present in the fire, in symbolic form. Man began to seek his Creator through the fire. It became a path between the worlds. This was the reason for fire.
Mankind must seek Wisdom. This is the quest. We are specific manifestations of Wisdom, that is Mind. The general Principle, or First Form of this Wisdom is the Original Fire, The Wise Lord. Just as Man seeks to actualize God within by cultivating the divine Gift of consciousness, so does God seek recognition of His essence (Wisdom) by and in man. This is the only way man reaches his Original state of Purity in life, which is the state of God evident in him.
There are two kinds of wisdom. Innate wisdom is that which is able to recognize goodness and rightness. Accumulated wisdom or acquired wisdom is that superior thinking which when coupled with innate wisdom seeks out new wisdom by virtue of its rationally - intuitive quality.
Innate wisdom is intuitive. Acquired wisdom is that which is learned. Together, reason or learned wisdom informs intuition and creates a portal to the divine essence, or Original Wisdom. This is the meaning of the quest.
Spenta Mainyu, the active creating principle through which Ahura Mazda created all things:
Spenta Mainyu has become equated with Ahura Mazda over time. It is the personification of the spirit of the Wise Lord, not an anthropomorphic illustration of it. In the ancient texts of the Avesta it is one of a pair of mentalities. These are Spenta (good/progressive) Mainyu (mind) and the Angra (evil,backward) Mainyu (Mind). When we make choices that are Good we improve the state of the progressive spirit in the world. As every choice is one of choosing between the better and the bad, we see the importance of Spenta Mainyu in the world. It is the Holy Mentality of God and in Man.
Spenta Mainyu is the Archangel who has governance over man. Mankind could be said to exist due to the presence of Spenta Mainyu as without it we become animals, regressing back to primates (the tenth race of humans).
In ethical order Spenta Mainyu is first. This puts it at the beginning of things in our number lore. Without knowledge of God, Spenta Mainyu is the Divine that man knows, unaware of a personal name, yet as he has conscience he has possession of Spenta Mainyu and has the desire to thwart the oppositional forces of the hostile mind.
In the creation order it is the sixth. Man is the sixth physical manifest creation. Spenta Mainyu exists because mankind exists. The idea of Mainyu mind evidences this.
We have mentioned that man was created, and on the order of the creation of the Amesha Spenta, the holy spirit (Spenta Mainyu) is the overseer and constant creator of man's purpose. Therefore Spenta Mainyu is the creative and moving force of Ahura Mazda in the world (getig). It is man's constant companion.
The supremacy of the Mazdan myth over the Zurvanite
Because it is our position that Mazda created sentience among all other things we must reasonably assume that Zurvan did not create Ahura Mazda. Time (Zurvan) is an abstract construct, and can only be conceived in/by conscious mind. (God is pure Mind from which all other gods are derived). Ahura Mazda created the universe. At the moment the universe came into being both time and space began. One doesn't exist without the other.
Consciousness did not arise from non consciousness. Ahura Mazda is the creator and principle of consciousness. Using his Mind, his consciousness, He created all, including Time. The Wise Lord is then the Source of all gods, including Zurvan, or Time.
We hold the Zurvanite myth as an imprecise model for the Cosmic creation. However it may be useful as an esoteric analogical model for bringing something into being. As we know that Doubt is the source of much delusion, and can bring a magical act to ruin. The idea that all thoughts are creative is a reality. We guard against doubt with the Truth of Light and Wisdom. In the Zurvanite myth, after wit came first. This is illogical, but shows that doubtful thoughts too create in unforeseen ways, or perverts the original idea of creation.
Fire is the most sacred of elements in most religions. As fire reaches only heavenward we are encouraged to strive for our own higher spirituality. Fire is the consuming force that gives focus to Thought. As we focus intently upon Good Thoughts, we can look into the Flame of God and burn away distraction. Darkness and fog of mind are dispelled at once and thoughts are "seen" more crisply, sharply. Asha is the Fire of Ahura Mazda, and sacred. It is to the Mazdan, the synthesizer of the other elements, therefore it is the uber element. As earth in the form of wood is synthesized by fire the Mazdan is gifted with pure Ash, needed for ritual. As water is synthesized by fire, healing steam is created, and impurities are cleared from the water.
The element of Fire is both creative and destructive, and while Mazdans hold fire sacred we also lend great respect to it. In order to use it we must simultaneously tame it. Control is necessary, but it is a relationship between the divine (fire) and the human. The Mazdan feeds the fire in order that it continues to exist and in return a gift is exchanged (this is the ancient Indo-European concept of sacrifice) of light , heat, disease control, etc.
It is the hearth fire that our ancestors used to warm their homes, we use it to cook our food, we sit around it to ward off the darkness of night, keeping at bay the lurking scorpions and dragons at the edge of the firelight .
Unlike earth, water and air, fire does not exist in a natural state. Fire must use/consume other elements in order to exist. Fire is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into other forms, giving in return products that are just as divine as they are now Artificially created: heat, light, ash.
Where did we come from? Why are we here? To where will we return?
We all were there.
We began in Menog. This is the Divine realm where is present the Mind of Mazda, and the world is present in the vision/plan of His Mind.
We all are here.
We became tangible in Existence, in Getig. This is the "fleshing out" of the Divine Plan. The admixture of Menog and Getig, of Mind and Body. The state of Earthly existence.
We will all return to our beginnings in Wisdom.
We will return individually and finally corporately to perfection as Paradise is realised.
In a macrocosmoligical scheme, this is a good representation of the shamanic/initiative process where Menog is the original state before the transformation into material reality. This is not a better or worse state, as the Gnostic formula of descent into matter is anathema to Mazdans.
Existence in Getig is for the improving/perfectioning (initiation) of the Self, and in the process the world is consequently perfected. This is the age in which to cultivate immortality of the Self.
The Making Wonderful is the death /transformation of the multiverse and the disruption or eradication of evil in all existences. The physical individual death is the embarking point of the ascending back into the original perfect state of Purity.
The physical world of getig was created as a barrier or front to stop and diminish the effect of Angra Mainyu. Once this is completely accomplished -- and it MUST be completely accomplished -- a return to perfection is a personal reality to come. The multiverse will be a perfect blend of mind and material, as both are equally good.
On an initiatory note, the Frasho-kereti is the making wonderful the entire cosmos. As we began this to illustrate the shamanic process, we now see that the world is perfected by that same process and the immortal state is aimed for, and ultimately reached, in both man and the world.
Man and evil
There are two ways to see the world and our part in it. Number one- we are responsible for our good and our evil. Number two- we are responsible for our good but the devil is responsible for our evil. The first states that there is within us both good and evil, and we are comprised of these twin mentalities. Like the cartoon of the devil and angel on either shoulder always convincing for good or ill we choose always between them. We are morally accountable.
In the second we are inclined toward good in all things but there is an external evil which seeks to pervert the good we strive for. Since we are good then we cannot possess this evil and therefore it is necessarily external to us. In this ideology we are innocent and can't be held responsible for evil.
I believe these stem from the concepts of man and God but we tend to confuse the two. Mankind possesses two mentalities. Religion has mythologized this and said that God, like humans, is possessed of good mindsets and bad mindsets or intentions. In this way God becomes like man, loving and jealous, compassionate and severe, kind and wrathful, reminiscent of a demon rather than the divine Father. God is flawed because we are flawed, God is made in the image of man.
On the other hand, God is seen as purely good, and cannot possess qualities other than good. This means that when an evil or bad thing happens, God did not cause it. God did permit or allow it because he cannot abide evil. It is not a god-authored test of faith. If it happened contrary to good, it is contrary to God. Modern thought is finally catching up to ancient yet progressive ideas about God. In this line of thought man is only potentially good, and can err. When we confuse psychology with theology we create God in our image. However, when we see God and man maturely, then our mythology reflects that God is archetypal and we are made in his image. But because we are IN the world and age in which good and evil are intermingled we are subject to err, unlike God who cannot, must not be capable of making errors due to having imperfect human mindsets intermingled with both good and evil. He does not possess evil qualities.
The danger in knowing this is that we teach what we know, and we err. We have a human habit of confusing human qualities with divine qualities. Psychology with Theology.
We are godly not when we confuse ourselves with God but when we maturely and responsibly see God as our Creator, and our potential.
The nature of evil and immortality
Ahura Mazda created the existential universe from his existence. Existence, originating in God is Good. Ahriman attacked the created world from outside. Therefore Ahriman originated outside existence. This means evil is negative existence, or non-existing. Let us examine this briefly.
Wisdom is good. That which is devoid of wisdom is evil. If evil is characteristic of lack then it is parasitic. Deceit is the lack of honesty. Poverty, the lack of prosperity. Chaos can be only seen as lacking order.
Now it becomes evident that lack depends upon existence for definition. Truth is not defined as an abundance of, or even the right amount of deceit. Joy is not the abundance of despair. This proves the negative or non-existential nature of evil.
Humanity experiences evil nonetheless, and has the potential to capacitate evil, becoming an agent thereof. This is the reason the choice to think, speak and act in a good way is paramount. We exert our existence, and the existence of goodness (which defines existence), and the existence of Ahura Mazda. This has the affirming effect. It also is evidence of the triumphant nature of Goodness over Evil.
If good did not exist, evil could not have even the illusory/apparent existence it enjoys . However, we know that there will come a renewed existence devoid of the taint of evil. This is evidence that Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are NOT equal in power. Ahura Mazda exists apart from Ahriman. Yet Ahriman only exists as a taint upon goodness as an unfortunate side effect to conscious(ness).
If evil had no apparent existence, good would still have actual existence. If good ceases to be, there can be no evil independent of it.
The evil of the opponent is experienced in the mind of humanity. The mind is a prerequisite to the experience. Perspective can eradicate evil in the universe. Let me repeat that. Perspective can eradicate evil in the universe. Evil is impotent. Its only agents are so because of ignorance and ill-informed choices. As Dastwar Stephen Flowers has stated, there's no such thing as a conscious act of evil. Conscious equals Wisdom.
Necessity of God and Man.
1. Ahura Mazda is present in the world, in humanity.
2. Ahura Mazda communes and interacts with His creation through Humanity (humans are necessary) .
3. Humanity receives aid from the Amesha Spentas (Amesha Spentas are necessary) .
4. Each Amesha Spenta represents one aspect of Ahura Mazda. (The seven comprise the One) .
Zarathustra taught a COSMIC religion over a tribal one. This really signaled the beginning of the cosmic, or universal tribe. God, he taught, is not Aryan , nor Arabic, Scythian nor Semitic. God, he told us, is the God of the whole Universe.
When we revert to tribalism it clogs up the cosmic system. You can't be racist, discriminate, shut out, or even be elitist and be Mazdan. Being a Mazdan means that you are fully a member of the faith whether you are a card carrying initiate in a temple or a lone soul practicing the three - word motto. It means you are a member of the human race.
True cosmic religion unifies the cosmos, as we worship the same omnipresent God, everywhere found throughout the cosmos, seeing all places in the universe. Ahura Mazda is the God of all people and all things.
He is the Cosmic God.
This is what we mean by being a universal religion.
Wisdom equals good. God is good.
God is Wisdom.
Lack of wisdom equals lack of good.
Opposite of wisdom is opposite good.
We must grow into wisdom, into intelligence, into experience. Conventional thinking would then say that the closer one is to infancy, the closer to unwisdom. The most empty/devoid one can be is birth. This kind of illogic leads to the thought that we are born evil. The silliness of this is that children would be evil in their innocence, pure evil. This is original sin.
This, we reject. We teach Original Purity. Good, like evil, is chosen. It is a choice . The child doesn't choose, he is naturally devoid of wisdom.
In time all will be educated. Experienced. We gain toward wisdom. This is HOW we are able to choose (only when we know the difference, are able to discern can we be held accountable for choosing wrongly.) Only this is sin/evil. This creates either deficiency or excess (in our personal sphere due to personal choice.)
We hold this to be true because good and evil are choices we must make at every turn.
So one of the features of original purity is that ignorance is the lack of wisdom, like innocence. Sin is the willful opposition to it. Likewise, evil is not the lack of ethics, but the willful opposition to it. One can't be born into sin, but must choose it. Purity is an original state and a potential state in the world.
Sin is a force or forces which effect us from without unconsciously. True evil cannot be a conscious choice because evil cannot be conscious. It is devoid of consciousness.
Ahura Mazda is the name Zarathustra gave to God. It means Wise Lord. Ahura is the benefactor, the creator of the World, of Truth and Order. Before we were born to the world, we were present with God. The Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord (OTWL) teaches that every human was once a proto-soul that volunteered to come into the world and to fight the Good Fight, as it were. When Ahura Mazda decided to create the world (Asha) in manifest form as a way to defeat Ahriman, the souls who were to become humans decided to aid in that fight. It is for this reason that humans are seen as being essential Good. We only come into the taint of Evil in the manifest world, as we are then subject to the wiles of the agents of Ahriman. We are not being tested by God for reasons of judgement or faith as in some of the more mainstream religions. We are good already or we would not be here. Because of this there can really be no conscious evil as Consciousness itself is Good. The opposition to all that is Good, then, is non-consciousness or unthinkingness promulgated by the Lie. As Mazdans we are to reside ever in the Truth.
Moral Good vs Moral Evil
The Idea or Form of Evil is an Archetype. It was in astral existence before the creation of the universe. It opposed the mental prototype of the universe which was formulated in the Mind of God. As a way to defeat it, or render it powerless, God created the Material world, but evil was able to infiltrate it. (This was a trap for evil). Moral Evil exists as a thought-form resulting from the intentions and thoughts of Man. Evil is a mental construct.
Moral evil depends on the existence of man because it exists in the mind of man. Mind is the reflection of menog. Therefore good exists in the mind of man. This means that the only tool or weapon that is capable of defeating moral evil is the Mind of humanity. This can only happen with the advent of Good Thinking, Good Speaking and Good Action.
Humanity is the battleground of Good and Evil. It is the arena of Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu. Had man not been endowed with the gift of Original Fire, Moral Good would not exist in the world. Likewise evil could not exist either. Moral Evil is an unfortunate side effect of Consciousness. It is not created. Only God creates. Evil is like a well intentioned plan that effects peripheral damage while creating an intended good result. Evil happened.
But why is evil in the world? When good was in the realm of menog evil began to creep close to the edge of the Light, evincing itself. Malfunctions of thought, which led to malfunctions of speech brought on malfunctions of action in the world.
Good is effected in the world of bones because of the three word formula. Without it good cannot flow into the world from its point of origin in God. (God is Consciousness). As we think, speak and act we bring about either Moral Good ( by following three word formula) or Moral Evil ( by unthinkingly speaking and acting). What exists in Menog is Good. It can flow into the relative world. When we don't follow the three word formula, the process of thought becoming word becoming flesh is perverted, Evil becomes evident.
It is by accident that Moral Evil is sustained. Humans do things because of motives and are thereby motivated. We don't seek to flesh out a plan that would destroy us or our loved ones. We only bring about evil in an accidental or misguided way. Evil is a contingency. This is why a conscious act of evil is impossible. A properly planned action that is consciously constructed is devoid of evil.
Evil may come into the world due to what we may term mental defect. Defect is an apt descriptor of what evil is in a moral sense. We combat evil by curing the defect in the mind first, then curing it in the relative world. This applies to deficiency as well as excess. The mind which harbors deficient or excessive thoughts harbors evil. Just as the body harboring deficient or excessive nutrients harbors disease and malady. We eradicate evil with moderation--by doing away with all forms of extremism (celibacy, fasting, gnosticism are subtle forms of extremism).
God needed a vehicle whereby Good could enter the battlefield in the same way Evil would become evident in that arena. When he asked us in our proto-forms to volunteer (by free will) we all jumped at the chance to render evil ineffective. Therefore we are the only way in which God (=consciousness ) can destroy evil. (Now are you beginning to see why god is temporarily unable to destroy evil ? Because we are still in the process). We are given God-ness (consciousness)-- the only life with true consciousness and conscience--and we must use it to fight nonconsciousness.
As we perfect our minds, and dispel once and for all doubt , depression, ineffectiveness, dependency, etc we are dispelling evil from the mind and therefore we disrupt its flow into the world via our words and actions.
Humanity is the necessary weapon against evil in the world.
1. Menog is the original immortal state.
2. Getig, once created perfect, is now possessed of mortality (temporarily) as a result of evil
3. Man is a composite being of mind and body
4. Menog is the immortal realm of thought / heaven
5. Getig is currently the Mortal realm of body / Earth
6. The division of the mind and body is fatal, and is the result of death
7. The Renovation of the world in the final time is the re-unification of heaven/mind with earth/body.
8. All humans are tasked with becoming more good in our thought, word and action
9. Each good thought, word and action brings the Renovation nearer, as the world becomes more good
10. Renovation is the accomplishment of every human's goodness, comprehensively.
11. When goodness through humanity's efforts becomes Perfection, evil will be rendered impotent.
12. As evil is rendered impotent by humanity's efforts , Ahura Mazda becomes Omnipotent.
13. Man's body and mind will be re-united as heaven and earth are newly real-ized, and mortality is replaced by immortality.
Jesus as savior
When speaking of saoshyant Jesus, we should make the point that he, LIKE EACH OF US, existed in the divine realm before taking on a human life.
This illustrates that his incarnation (being present with the Father prior to being born as opposed to being created in the womb) is not unique.
According to Jesus we are to be about the work of our Father just as he was. This makes us sons of God, Ahura Mazda. (Have I not said that you are sons of god?)
Also when we speak of original purity as opposed to original sin, we remove the importance of the crucifixion and subsequent supposed resurrection . No longer needed is the sacrifice of another -jesus-to cleanse us from the sins of another-adam. It puts responsibility for our errors and for the correction of our sins via virtue squarely on us. Then we can focus rightly on the Teachings of Jesus which are Mazdan teachings, instead of the Story of Jesus told by haters of Jesus, and by those who never knew him.
This is in stark contrast to simply needing to believe that he was a son or The son of god, and died for sins we might be innocent of, and believing he was raised from the dead.
The progressive mind.
Good is the progressive. The growing which is beneficial. This is generally thought of as the good mind's domain . The Good Mind is Spenta Mainyu.
Spenta Mainyu is the progressive moving force by which everything was created.
When this creation is progressive by which we mean good, it is expansive and further creates.
Angra Mainyu is the retarding mind, the constrictive spirit , hostile to progressive goodness. We see it retarding growth of good things. The idea that evil can also be creative is odd to some, but can be verified by such existing creations like viruses and noxious creatures , scorpions , wasps etc
The Wise Lord thought of existence. He imagined things. Possibly he ordered a chaotic existence in his mind. In pure light and consciousness he ordered an intricate universe we know as menog. From his dwelling place in pure consciousness he detected (outside himself) pure ignorance in the darkness. In omniscience he understood that ignorance in its natural state seeks to infiltrate wisdom. Atrophy seeks to diminish thought. So he wisely fleshed out his imagined world, and called upon all souls who would to become incarnate in this new barrier between the wisdom of the mental realm and the ignorance that sought to destroy it. All souls gladly agreed!
We are born warriors in the fight for goodness, to eradicate evil, doubt, death. By good thoughts. Good words and good action for the sake of the good alone. This will be the needed evolution to destroy the evil mind and its effect on the creation of the Wise Lord.
Excerpt from the Teachings of Zoroaster, by S.A. Kapadia, , at sacred-texts.com
After a youth has attained the age of fifteen and sought the Zoroastrian Law, he is enjoined to be liberal in thoughts and deeds, pious, and religious in ceremonial rites, just and wise as a ruler, truthful and honest in his dealings, careful in keeping the elements pure and undefiled, active in destroying evil, attentive to the care and want of the domestic animals, industrious in cultivating and irrigating land, persevering in education of himself and others, temperate in all desires, and useful to mankind in promoting harmony, concord, and unity amongst his kinsfolk, friends, and others. He must carefully weigh the merits and demerits of every step he has to take on the path of life. If by want of knowledge or ignorance, he does anything which turns out to be a sinful act, he must, at the earliest possible opportunity, rectify and remedy the same. From his early youth he is taught the belief that all his good and evil deeds will be duly recorded; that with the flight of time they will grow, multiply, and accumulate. On the day of the ascension of his soul, the recording angel Mehr Davar will ask him to render an account of his short span of corporeal life, before bidding him enter that place of supreme bliss, known to the modern Parsis as "Garothman Behest."
This should serve as a guide to right thoughts, words and behavior to all Mazdans. These are timeless values which Zarathustra wisely gave us almost four thousand years ago. Should we adhere to these principles, everything else finds its right way. In this we will establish the desirable kingdom.
Mazdan Pre-ritual purifying visualization
To prepare for praying the five daily Manthras, this visualisation is a purifying rite. It also represents the wearing of the sudreh symbolized by the central world within which is Vohu Manah , and the tying of the kusti which is represented by the four worlds surrounding the center.
When a working begins at a point other than the progressive mentality and wisdom it becomes influenced potentially by daevic forces outside the magi. He begins from wisdom and proceeds with a good mind.
The well intentioned , well minded, and knowledgeable Magian leaves no room for daevic mingling in the affair .
Using the model of the Mazdan universe , reach up and with your right hand and pull down violet light from Spenta Mainyu above into Vohu Manah within. It is transformed into orange light. Then holding your right hand out to the right bringing the energy to your right into Asha where pulsing it turns red. Then bringing it down direct the glowing light your feet into Armaiti . In Armaiti it becomes green. Now bring it up directly before you in sovereignty of Khshathra Vairya . Now it becomes yellow like the Sun. Pull it back into Vohu Manah within your core and thru to Haurvatat behind you, cleansing you turning electric blue. Taking that cleansed , watery energy to your left into Ameretat making it indigo, completing the sacred place, outside of time therefore immortal/eternal.
The prayer or rite can then commence:
Ashem vohu vahishtem asti
ushta asti ushta ahmai
hyat ashai vahishtai ashem
Yatha ahu vairyo atha ratush ashat chit hacha
vangheush dazda manangho shyaothananam angheush Mazdai
khshathremcha Ahurai a yim dregubyo dadat vastarem
Jasa me avanghe Mazda
The World of Stone and Steel
The Mazdan Way is the only true universal religion for a humanity that seems to be growing in size yet diminishing in morality and ethics. There are those who regardless where they find themselves, cannot stand for injustice in the world around them. We are not seeking those people so much, as they are already Mazdans by their very actions and thought processes. Our goal is not amassing numbers, but changing those we come across by our Thought, Word and Deed so that they also desire to be an agent of change (for the Good). Who we are looking for are those individuals possessed of the intellectual propensity to understand the precepts of the Mazdan creed, and to change their positions in the World with Bones. The very men and women we need to fight the battle against ignorance, constriction, disease and evil are those already present in the battlefield of concrete and steel.
In the Mazdan religion we are not to be simply thinkers of the good thought. We must become the actual change that we desire in the world. The Lie (druj) is always present to combat the good thought and infect it with the force of ignorance. We must then prove ourselves ever present in that fight as well, not simply saying pleasant words and expecting change to occur.
Truth is often misunderstood by the casual observer of Mazdaism, confused with the idea of truth which is the concept of being devoid of false statements. Real Truth can be found in the cosmos, as it is the order of the cosmos itself, as designed and set into motion by Ahura Mazda to reflect the image of the spiritual or mental world and to work as a shield from Ahriman. The blueprint of the physical lies within the mental. The individual who thinks True Thoughts, speaks Good Words, and performs Good Actions has become acquainted with the process of bringing about ones desire in a Magical way, as expressed In the Mazdan path. Truth is that which is known to be pure and filled with Quality.
We need to begin the process of transforming the world one mind at a time. This means that the change needed in the work is the transformation of mankind-- change from one form or state to another. This comes from adoption of certain rituals in ones life, such as thinking correct thoughts for sustained periods of time, learning to speak the language of the Mazdan in detailed articulation, and the performance of prayer and ritual as well as good deeds.in the world. One must set goals and purpose to reach them. Goals such as Purity, Industriousness, Permanence/Endurance, Wealth (as a means for self sufficient life), Strength to protect oneself and ones Wealth, Foreknowledge (cunning) to overcome ones enemies and the Lie , and Esteem of ones society so that movement in that society comes with relative ease.
The Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord provides an environment for the Mazdan to develop along these lines. The process of self-transformation (initiation) is hard and is described as the task of Kings. Yet that is the quest of the Mazdan, to become Good in all things and to seek the Good in all things.
Prison ministry objective in OTWL
The purpose and goal of the Mazdan Prison Fellowship (MPF) is to begin a transformation which is to be a "perfectioning" of individual minds. As Mazdans we believe that no mind is unworthy of salvaging, and that all humans are come in to the world to aid in the fight of good vs evil, as agents of Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord. This is to be seen as a valuable tool in the fight against non-conscious action and ignorance so prevalent in the world , and more so in the prison system. It is the goal of beginning the reforming of minds toward the Good.
Promoting Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds in a prison setting is a rather revolutionary goal amongst inmates who are inclined toward groupthink and brutishness. We aim therefore to alter that type of thinking in those men and women incarcerated. This will peripherally alter the perception of those incarcerated , from incorrigible to rehabilitatable. This is a laudable goal in an environment utterly devoid of morality and ethics.
The goal of improving (moving toward the Good) the inside world is a reflection of the larger goal of the OTWL, of transforming the outside world, or Western society. These each begin with the individual mind.
Ritual items needed for Mazdan prayer in prison are actually quite sparse in comparison to the more elaborate rituals needs one might expect. As prisoners rarely have approval to light even a candle for worship, the answer will be a battery operated candle, with a small bulb, to be used only for prayer. Any electricity or light- source will suffice, and as Darban-I-Den suggests, even the Sun is a source of light to face for purposes of prayer.
Incense is also already approved for many religious faiths in prison so it will be readily available for purchase, to be stored in a designated area to be used only for religious purposes per prison regulations. (A goal may be for this to be changed [via contact between the OTWL and the facility for verification of need] so that the Mazdan is able to observe the five Gahs individually in the privacy of his/her cell). Where incense is called for, stick or cone incense will be sufficient and is the approved form in prison in general already.
Where the approval for burning incense is prohibited, one may consider using scented oils for the sweet odor required, and frankincense as well as myrrh are available in oil form. As the fire will be either a candle or an artificial flame, the metal tongs and metal ladle will not be listed as being a necessary ritual item. However, the texts produced by the OTWL have them listed as such and so will still be recognized as such, even for the MPF.
The sacred bowls for holding ritual consumables and offerings will be wooden or earthenware, as metal is generally not considered safe in a prison or institutional setting.
A white cloth for ones altar can be purchased from one of the approved vendors, and can be used on the cell furniture to produce an altar. Size permitted is 33'' x 44''
An altar table, however small will be hard to obtain but should be argued for with agency chaplains. There are catalogue order vendors that carry very small altars which have for legs.
Rituals for institutionalized individuals will still follow those in The Good Religion, only they will have to be altered for use by the institutionalized. It should be noted that the recurring of the mathras is necessary for creating a link not only between oneself and the greater Temple, but with Ahura Mazda itself. Ritual power is a reality in Mazdaism. This is cultivated by observance of ritual prayer and by conducting oneself with Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds.
Mazdan Prison Fellowship
The Mazdan Prison Fellowship provides a Gateway to the Temple in that it introduces one to the principles and Doctrinal tenets of the Mazdan Way.
MPF is a means to find the Good in each particular human, even if they had made mistakes in their past. The key to understanding the Value in this is to remember that we were ALL free to choose to come here to fight for Good, or not to. We each are here due to that choice.
It is our hope that the MPF, as a lesser vehicle for the OTWL, will aid in the tipping of the balance in favor of the Good.
This collection of musings is a new way for the author to speak to the aspiring Mazdan initiate . It is hoped that as more of these are offered more Mazdan initiates will begin to produce thought-provoking musings not unlike this one. If you have ideas you would like us to explore in a later offering please send your suggestions to kilianstave4299(at)gmail.com .
This is a series of inspired poetry. Or hymns if you like.
They are meant to inspire , invoke, aid in community of self and god as well as with the Mazdan way.
This is the first inspired poetry coming from within the Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord.
1) Ahura Mazda
2) Vohu Manah
3) Asha Vahishta
4) Spenta Armaiti
5) Khshathra Vairya
1. Ahura Mazda
O Mazda Ahura,
Just rewards ensure
Good for Good
Upon we, Your Temple!
Prosperity and Happiness
Upon we, who spread
Prosperity and Happiness!
Upon we, who perform daily ritual!
O Ahura Mazda,
Your Spenta Manthra
Is upon our lips
Shaking our core
Transforming our Minds
And the world about us!
Let it ring out
In the seven spheres (continents)
And the Sixteen Worlds!
O Mazda, our Ahura
Legitimize our movement!
Upon our brow
Set your precious gems,
Shimmering as the stars
Gleaming like the Light
Of your Original Fire!
Within us, Awaken!
About us, be present!
As in Menog,
So in Getig!
As we have prayed,
So let it be given to us
2. Vohu Manah
O Vohu Manah
Thought within me,
To the best choice
You who first appeared
To Asho Zarathustra,
In my vision let it be seen-
That which Best and Worst
O Vohu Manah,
Best Thought you are,
And Best Thinking!
Protector of Gaush Urban
By whom we are sustained,
Grant Your Mind
Entwined with mine!
You who are shared between God and Man,
I would hear You!
O Vohu Manah,
My own choices
Aid me in choosing.
Which makes wonderful
Guide my Thoughts,
Knowledge in the World,
And in my Soul,
3. Asha Vahishta
O Asha Vahishta
Who is Truth in the Worlds and Hearts,
We exist because you exist.
O Truth, Joiner of all things, you are convalence.
You, when called by right action, Come!
O Asha Vahishta,
Cosmic Order, Best Truth,
You are Justice meted.
And desserts awarded.
How brilliant your course
'Cross expanse, azure!
Gazed upon on in verdant pasture.
You are all that is ordered, and Orders.
O Asha Vahishta,
Protect our Sacred Fire,
Invest your joining powers,
In we, who give you worship.
Order us in your measuring way!
Happiness is our Way.
Into your hands
We deliver the Lie,
To be made Truth!
4. Spenta Armaiti
O Spenta Armaiti,
You whose nature is Piety,
We know you in
In our Reverence.
Goodness, because of you,
Resides within us.
In rhythmic lines,
We adore you-with adoration of Wisdom,
O Spenta Armaiti
Unblocks the way .
Teach us Charity
And love of Earth
Whose Keeper you are!
Through you all good things flow,
Even wisdom and
From Ahura Mazda.
O Spenta Armaiti
You give us that which
In Humility we are grounded.
Give us Thought, o Daughter and Wife,
In good measure.
Growth in fecundity, fertility your gift .
Our Mother we
With open arms,
To thee reach!
Wisdom sired you, o Piety.
And Earth is your Devotion!
5. Khshathra Vairya
O Khshathra Vairya,
O Sovereignty desired,
Whose essence is ore.
Your word is our throne.
Bow thy scepter
Adamant, your Sudreh,
Of hardest gemstone.
Increase the boundary of our influence!
O Khshathra Vairya
Whose companion is the Golden Orb,
And the Light Without Beginning,
You give us water ,
And Purity is your rule.
O longed for, Wished for
Gird us about in strength!
O Khshathra Vairya,
Crown of kingship,
Who guards the Heavens-
Sky who shields the skies.
In battle be our Sword and Spear!
Armor of our Order,
Fire within the stones
Protector of Metal,
Stone and Mineral,
May you be called complete!
My eyes are ever
Your companion, wind,
Guides the Waters to us.
You have the Rain
At your command.
Its care is yours.
To you we come,
First approaching water .
For Wholeness is our
From Water we have come.
In Original Purity.
You who guard the
Guard Purity also.
There is within you
Within you are the Fravashis of the Righteous-
Those who guide the Water and the Rain.
Cleanse our Minds,
Make pure our Temple,
And rush the waters
Of life to those in need!
Hail to you
In the ebb
And the flow!
And long life,
In our Vitality we invoke You!
The Green and golden leaves
You, our weal!
Grows at your command!
Ambrosia of the Blessed,
Fourth of Wise Lord's
Without you our mouths are empty!
No words of praise
Upon our lips.
You are comfort
And our pleasure
O joy of Life-Long-Lived!
Who smites the daevic Hunger and Famine
Grant us longevity
In our Order.
Without you , no Ushta
Amid the mirth
And sated-- you are present!
You who are the bread of life!
Who guards with Haurvatat
Against Hunger and Thirst,
Come now among us!
Principle of contract
In early morning
The dawning day is to come
The Spenta manthras i pray.
This my covenant with Wisdom ,
Light of day
Friend of man and bull
Ravens alight in your presence.
Three grains i count from your image
Thus i sow, and so shall i reap.
You of one thousand Eyes and as many ears
Understanding is yours and conceptualizing.
Wide pastures are in your sight ,
To our benefit.
Oath is honored as you are remembered our friend,
First in clasped hands
We adore you in our word
In our bond.
Hail bright light of truth!
Yazatas of Prayer
My good words are echoed through You!
O resounding resonance
Do carry forth my prayer formula into eternity!
Yazata, and protector of Getig,
Our world and wisdom watch over!
At the Separation recall my prayers as witness
To tip the balance
In my favor!
Who art the scale and discrimination,
Guide us safely across the Bridge
That Bridge of Souls
We all must cross!
Keep us from the wiles and woes
Of the Hostile Mentality.
You who know our Minds
From our sendings in Prayer!
Whose sway is seething summer days,
Protect us from the drought !
White splendid steed
Come chase the black horse away!
Defend us from apaosa!
O hope of better coming days
Friend of Garden Paradise.
Bull of Golden Horns!
Shining like the Original Fire
Upon the Horizon
Reflecting on waters!
Shield us from all errant stars
Straying to rain down in the home of Winds!
Youth of radiant beauty!
Your shape, mutable
But in essence, you remain.
Our rampart, guard us
With Asha keep us!
You whose reign ever-felt,
Kusti of Orion,
All-good now guard
Lady of Pure Waters!
You who heal by cleansing
And make fertile the lakes
From which the Saoshyants shall emerge.
Beautiful in Beauty.
From whom all rivers
And streams have origin,
Flow into our lives in purity
And in life-increasing fertility !
O with sons and daughters increase us!
Strong in goodness,
You are efficacious against the daevas!
Wide-flowing and Healing,
To you we turn
Before seeking the Presence of Pure Focused Consciousness.
You are the Prosperity spanning the Seven Continents.
To us come ever closer,
You Who are the beginning of Charity.
Who speaks for the Lords--
Invoker of the Seven,
Your blessing upon us
O Prophet Very-White
Whose fravashi is adored,
To Wisdom speak
O Asho Zarathustra!
Bright and Radiant Star,
Great luminary amongst us
Your glory is famed
Illuminate us each day anew!
Who God entrusted with Cosmic Mystery
Moment by moment
Our Daena inform!
O Asho Zarathustra!
Who tirelessly taught,
Teach us to teach
To the Lie let us give Truth.
For you have shown us the way
To make wonderful the world.
Came the Good Mind to us
Because of You!
You, who Gaush Urvan required,
Now require safety
For all beneficent life!
Full circle has come
THE GOOD RELIGION. Darban I Den. Lodestar.
THE MAZDAN WAY. Stephen E. Flowers Ph.D. Lodestar.
ZOROASTRIANISM: An Ethnic Perspective. Mistree.
THE MAZDAN INSIDE . Daniel Levie 2016. Forthcoming.
The ideas herein are products of intense study and contemplation. I cannot thank enough the following:
Dastwar Stephen Flowers Ph.D for his guidance and for introducing Wisdom to my Mind, Paiti-Maga-Paiti Aelfric Michael Avery, Ramishgar Pablo Miguel Vasquez for his introducing me to a very erudite committee of sages, Paul Frederick for his Sagacity, and Lucas Wilson whose sparse words carry weight.
This HTML version with some rearrangement, typing corrections - and possible new errors! - prepared by Marcus Zartianus