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Isaiah 45:7 King James Version (KJV)

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

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8 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Monotheism started with Zoroastrianism.   No Devil.

 

 

 

Zoroastrianism is kind of the mother of all dualism. There's also quite a bit of monotheism in very old religions, just after a different manner. The Egyptians, for example, appear on the surface to have a proliferation of Gods but properly understood these various Gods were only various aspects of a supreme unity, like facets on a gem. Same can be said of Hinduism to some extent,as well as of Taoism. 

 

"You shall have no other Gods before me" is a bratty child's admission that they are limited, that there are Gods outside themselves of whom they are jealous. 

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Yeah, it can fairly be said that Zoroasterianism  is also the mother of religious dualism because after Zarathustra died his followers introduced the concept of a Devil because they couldn't handle taking responsibility for their thoughts, words and deed.  They had to find someone/thing else to blame their bad behavior on.

 

But I will agree that most societies have never had monotheistic religions.  Dualities:  Good vs Evil.

 

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22 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Monotheism started with Zoroastrianism.   No Devil.

 

 

 

Do you mean the Zoroastrians did not have concept of devil ?   Original  PIE roots of the words  ( devil, evil,  deviant , etc )  , daeva ;

 

the daevas are "wrong gods", "false gods" or "gods that are (to be) rejected". This meaning is – subject to interpretation – perhaps also evident in the Old Persian "daiva inscription" of the 5th century BCE. In the Younger Avesta, the daevas are noxious creatures that promote chaos and disorder. In later tradition and folklore, the dēws (Zoroastrian Middle Persian; New Persian divs) are personifications of every imaginable evil.  - Wiki.

 

They may well have started the devil concept .

Also ;

 

The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman (Anglicised pronunciation: /ˈɑːrɪmən/). Angra Mainyu is omnimalevolent. Angra Mainyu is Ahura Mazda's evil twin.  - Wiki.

 

Many assert that Zoroastrianism is not monotheism but  henotheism  because of these above issues.   There is another term, which I forget at the moment ,  that is specific to their belief , it means that  Zoroastrianism  will become  monotheistic in the future , once Ahriman is 'deposed' and becomes non-existent .

 

 

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13 hours ago, 七星門 said:

 

Zoroastrianism is kind of the mother of all dualism. There's also quite a bit of monotheism in very old religions, just after a different manner. The Egyptians, for example, appear on the surface to have a proliferation of Gods but properly understood these various Gods were only various aspects of a supreme unity, like facets on a gem. Same can be said of Hinduism to some extent,as well as of Taoism. 

 

"You shall have no other Gods before me" is a bratty child's admission that they are limited, that there are Gods outside themselves of whom they are jealous. 

 

This too is henotheism 

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9 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Yeah, it can fairly be said that Zoroasterianism  is also the mother of religious dualism because after Zarathustra died his followers introduced the concept of a Devil because they couldn't handle taking responsibility for their thoughts, words and deed.  They had to find someone/thing else to blame their bad behavior on.

 

But I will agree that most societies have never had monotheistic religions.  Dualities:  Good vs Evil.

 

 

 

Thats an interesting view and I agree somewhat.  In reading the scripture, at first, it seems to be  ascribing  dualism to originating in thoughts and deeds ; the mind  ....   good mind or bad mind . Later it appears to have been mythologised into 'beings' .  Yet other readings seem to put the personifications first ; at a much earlier time people did ascribe these forces to 'outside' beings / entities.

 

Not sure though, the dating of the various texts is tricky and I dont know enough about that to discern what actually came first. At a guess, people generally, at earlier times , seemed to believe more in the outside influences; angels demons gods, etc. in driving human behaviour .  Any 'internal responsibility'  for 'psychology' seems to have come much later.

 

But then again, this may be a result of modern thinking ; back then, there may have not been as much differentiation between 'outer and inner'  or ,  'the mind'  may have not been limited to its biological generator , that is, it 'interfaced with' or was an aspect of the 'great mind' ,  'anima mundi' world soul.

 

But, for myself, not believing in Gods  ( well, at least not believing in Gods in the way modern people think more ancient people believed in them ) , I  think the process generates from 'mana ' , a type of concept for 'mind' . But that comes from 'Mainyu'  a concept of an entity , God or demon .

 

"Aka Manah is the hypostatic abstraction of accusative akem manah (akәm manah), "manah made evil". The objectification of this malign influence is the demon Aka/Akem Manah, who appears in later texts as Middle Persian Akoman and New Persian Akvan. "

 

" In the Younger Avesta, Akem Manah is unambiguously a demonic entity, an auxiliary of Angra Mainyu. "

 

-  ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aka_Manah

 

I prefer the idea of  'psychological complex '  ;    a pattern of  desires, behaviours,  actions that have gained their own power and operate outside of the will and sometimes consciousness and ego of the individual.  The 'complex' seems to have more power than the person that has them, or the person that tries to change them .    In this case, yes, it is like an 'outside' force' . 

 

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Perhaps we could call it an outside force in that we inherit it genetically ... we have two ; one is like the 'Id' very self centred and ego driven as an individual survivor - takes what it wants and acts regardless.  A very old programme in the 'hind brain' , virtually 'reptilian' .

 

The other, has to do with being primates and evolving to live in social extended family groups ; behaviour is modified 'descent' and considerate of others and the group process , the 'Superego'  which modifies the 'base instincts'   has developed as this helps us to live together and that has proved to be beneficial to the species.

 

So it is internal, as we have it , but it is also a 'spirit' or force or 'information' that  we inherited .

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27 minutes ago, Nungali said:

Perhaps we could call it an outside force in that we inherit it genetically ... we have two ; one is like the 'Id' very self centred and ego driven as an individual survivor - takes what it wants and acts regardless.  A very old programme in the 'hind brain' , virtually 'reptilian' .

 

The other, has to do with being primates and evolving to live in social extended family groups ; behaviour is modified 'descent' and considerate of others and the group process , the 'Superego'  which modifies the 'base instincts'   has developed as this helps us to live together and that has proved to be beneficial to the species.

 

So it is internal, as we have it , but it is also a 'spirit' or force or 'information' that  we inherited .

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpersonal_psychology

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1 hour ago, Nungali said:

 

Do you mean the Zoroastrians did not have concept of devil ?   

 

Yes, that is my understanding from reading the Zoroastrian site.  Initially there was no devil.  But after Zarathustra's death his followers created one.  

 

Historical records regarding Zarathustra and his religion are near non-existent.  

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50 minutes ago, Nungali said:

Thats an interesting view and I agree somewhat.  In reading the scripture, at first, it seems to be  ascribing  dualism to originating in thoughts and deeds ; the mind  ....   good mind or bad mind . Later it appears to have been mythologised into 'beings' .  Yet other readings seem to put the personifications first ; at a much earlier time people did ascribe these forces to 'outside' beings / entities.

 

Sure, given that most religions start out being animistic mythology, with the forces of nature being personified.  But I think that this is what Zarathustra was breaking free from.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nungali said:

 

This too is henotheism 

 

Ooh, good word, thanks! 

 

1 hour ago, Nungali said:

Not sure though, the dating of the various texts is tricky and I dont know enough about that to discern what actually came first. At a guess, people generally, at earlier times , seemed to believe more in the outside influences; angels demons gods, etc. in driving human behaviour .  Any 'internal responsibility'  for 'psychology' seems to have come much later.

 

But then again, this may be a result of modern thinking ; back then, there may have not been as much differentiation between 'outer and inner'  or ,  'the mind'  may have not been limited to its biological generator , that is, it 'interfaced with' or was an aspect of the 'great mind' ,  'anima mundi' world soul.

 

Very apt observation. I'm inclined to think that the psychologizing of the universe is just another model, neither better nor worse than the traditional numinous model but a model that fails to provide an adequate explanation of the experiential praeternatural  phenomenon. 

 

I will even assert that the rise of mind-body dualism with the internalization/psychologizing of spirits, gods, &c. is as far from the ancient conception as you can get & significantly hinders progress on the path. It deprives the universe of Wonder

 

The Gods are real & objective beings.  Water is Qi, liquid & flowing, vaporous & aethyreal, coagulated & firm, generating all things. There are spirits everywhere, Gods in the stars, beyond all this there is an emptiness & mystery that is almost Lovecraftian in its immensity, illogicity, & potential to terrify if one chooses fear over awe. 

 

There is no "mental" aspect separate from the "physical" that adequately models the universe as these traditions describe them. There is no separation, the freezing of water is a phenomenon as "spiritual" as the resurrection of the body. 

 

We are swimming in a model of reality that we take for granted, like a fish in water, the map is not the territory . I am of the opinion that we shouldn't cleave too tightly to one model or another but develop the mental elasticity to use models as tools depending on the task, rather than bludgeon all of human experience into one (currently) predominant model & regard that as absolute reality.

 

This applies to our self-created  models as well, holding onto an emotionally charged memory that fundamentally defines who we believe a person is of themselves in reality, rather than realizing we only cling to an illusion; e.g. if Sally told me I had a bad haircut, we create a model of Sally that says "Sally is mean, Sally doesn't like me" & we thereby perceive Sally & write a narrative that is dictated by our Sally-Model (the past) rather than the Sally that is directly in front of us (the present). 

 

That turned into a bit of a ramble, I'm passionate about models & reality. :lol:

 

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Scholars assume that Isaiah wrote
45:7 in response to Zarathustra belief ,so the intuition of TDB
Is correct.
It seams that Isaiah is saying that
God is both dark and light.
But in Hebrew יוצר אור form light
Is less then בורא חושך  create darkness . 
So there is a hierarchy where darkness is above light .

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ברא that is translate in KJV
As create is not accurate .
ברא in Hebrew is a verb attributed
Only to God .it is creating out of nothing . וn Hebrew you can not say
That a human ברא . 

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22 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Sure, given that most religions start out being animistic mythology, with the forces of nature being personified.  But I think that this is what Zarathustra was breaking free from.

 

 

 

 

A very advanced teacher for his times then !   

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Polytheism is religion of the unconscious (right brain).

 

Monotheism is religion of consciousness (left brain).

 

Monotheism is a product of literacy and literate alpha-betic causality (left brain).

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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21 hours ago, 七星門 said:

 

Ooh, good word, thanks! 

 

 

Very apt observation. I'm inclined to think that the psychologizing of the universe is just another model, neither better nor worse than the traditional numinous model but a model that fails to provide an adequate explanation of the experiential praeternatural  phenomenon. 

 

I feel this is because the model is in its early forms and has become restricted and limited by some.  psychology has some interesting concepts and terms that are real and workable, just as astrology has in understanding the makeup of the human 'psychic anatomy'  ( psychic , as pertaining to 'the psyche' )   but psychology is not the be all and end all answer IMO, its a stage of perception we are collectively going through that is being modified.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9MxNn8P7w

 

Quote

 

I will even assert that the rise of mind-body dualism with the internalization/psychologizing of spirits, gods, &c. is as far from the ancient conception as you can get & significantly hinders progress on the path. It deprives the universe of Wonder

 

It removed  an essential 3rd principle . And as you say, developed a duality that took over human understanding , what seems to have been eliminated is 'soul' ; the triad  body , spirit, soul  .   Spirit and soul got sorta squashed together and both became a ghost like double in polarity with  body . Then they became 'mind'  or anything 'non-corporeal '  ... essentially the 'ideal'  , so now we have a duality or 'real' and 'ideal'  (of the mind ) .

 

If you haven't read it already, you might find this interesting ;

 

664216.jpg

 

 

Quote

 

The Gods are real & objective beings.  Water is Qi, liquid & flowing, vaporous & aethyreal, coagulated & firm, generating all things. There are spirits everywhere, Gods in the stars, beyond all this there is an emptiness & mystery that is almost Lovecraftian in its immensity, illogicity, & potential to terrify if one chooses fear over awe. 

 

There is no "mental" aspect separate from the "physical" that adequately models the universe as these traditions describe them. There is no separation, the freezing of water is a phenomenon as "spiritual" as the resurrection of the body. 

 

We are swimming in a model of reality that we take for granted, like a fish in water, the map is not the territory . I am of the opinion that we shouldn't cleave too tightly to one model or another but develop the mental elasticity to use models as tools depending on the task, rather than bludgeon all of human experience into one (currently) predominant model & regard that as absolute reality.

 

Agreed .  I am a 'multiple solution' type .  

 

 

Quote

 

This applies to our self-created  models as well, holding onto an emotionally charged memory that fundamentally defines who we believe a person is of themselves in reality, rather than realizing we only cling to an illusion; e.g. if Sally told me I had a bad haircut, we create a model of Sally that says "Sally is mean, Sally doesn't like me" & we thereby perceive Sally & write a narrative that is dictated by our Sally-Model (the past) rather than the Sally that is directly in front of us (the present). 

 

That really annoys me !     You point out a minor issue and all of a sudden are 'in the enemy camp' !  

 

 

Quote

 

That turned into a bit of a ramble, I'm passionate about models & reality. :lol:

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nungali
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1 hour ago, Nungali said:

 

 

A very advanced teacher for his times then !   

Please keep in mind that it has been several years since I did my reading of Zoroasterianism so I can't really go too far with a discussion unless I go back and reread the site.  If I recall there were two sites that I visited searching out info at the time.

 

Yes, I'm sure he was a man of great wisdom.  I suppose that this is why there are still followers of his original teachings.

 

 

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On 13/03/2018 at 9:50 AM, Marblehead said:

Please keep in mind that it has been several years since I did my reading of Zoroasterianism so I can't really go too far with a discussion unless I go back and reread the site.  If I recall there were two sites that I visited searching out info at the time.

 

Yes, I'm sure he was a man of great wisdom.  I suppose that this is why there are still followers of his original teachings.

 

 

 

I looked into it a bit further ;   the earliest Avestan 'scripture'  are the Gathas and that is where the concept of  Spenta, Vohu and Angra Mainyu first appear  ( in the 'Spenta Mainyu Gatha'  )  , and usually translated as 'mind' , as it appears in the this translation of the relevant hymn ; 

 

http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/Zarathushtrian/gathas_spenta_mainyu_gatha.htm

 

Yasna 47 - 51 

 

 

 

Regarding Translations of the terms and  stages of development and understanding ( re ;  personification / deification  Vs  'quality' )

 

But with the advent of Zoroastrian studies, led and encouraged by Western scholars, a change set in. Studies of the Gathas and the later Avesta revealed that spenta mainyu was referred to as an entity. And since then, almost all Zoroastrians and those who are well acquainted with the Zarathushtrian religion know the term spenta mainyu. Because the Gathas and the later Avesta were translated into English and other European languages, mostly by Christian scholars who had the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit in mind, the term has conventionally come to mean the Holy Spirit. The general notion about it is that it has an adversary, Anghra Mainyu, the evil spirit. The two are locked in a pitched life-and-death combat. The victory, of course, will go to the Holy Spirit.

 

Meaning:
Spenta is derived by many philologists from an Avestan/Sanskrit root spi/svi, meaning "to expand, swell, increase." Many, therefore, render it as "incremental." The Pahlavi rendering of afzûnik, meaning "increasing," fully supports the translation. This is further strengthened by the later renderings mahattama (greatest), gurutama (most important), and particularly, vriddhi (increasing) in Sanskrit, and afzûni in Persian. There are other scholars who prefer to derive it from spit/shvit, to be bright, to be white, and consequently connect it with holiness. The renderings by most of these scholars range between "beneficent, bounteous, bountiful, incremental, holy and virtuous." Each scholar has reasons for his/her rendering. While scholars have reason to differ, the familiar and convenient "holy" has been taken for granted to be the meaning so much so that fundamental Iranians, in their drive to purge Persian of all Arabic words, have replaced moghaddas with sepanta! "Holy" is in vogue, both with scholars and the laity.

I accept the traditional meaning on philological and contextual grounds. I render it as "progressive, promoting, promoter." As we shall see, it reflects the Gathic concept better. The Gathas emphatically advocate progress and advancement.


Mainyu is, as far as I know, derived by every scholar and Avesta/Sanskrit dictionary from man, meaning "to think, contemplate, meditate." Ervad Kanga gives "spirit, mind, brain" and Bartholomae gives "Geist, als Sitz des Denkens und Wollens - spirit/mind, the seat of thoughts and intentions." Even the Sanskrit dictionaries define it as "mind, zeal, spirit, mood, mettle." And "spirit" here only means "temper or disposition of mind" and NOT "a supernatural being or essence."

Although many know that yu is an agentive and instrumental suffix, none has bothered to translate it as "an instrument, a way, a mode of thinking," and therefore "mind, mentality." A few instances in the Gathas show that mainyu and manah are interchangeable (S 6:6 = Y 33.6; S 7:2 = Y34.2). Pahlavi and Persian do not help much because they have the same word as menok and mînu except for a few times when menishn, thinking, has been used. The root for "think" is menidan.  The Pahlavi literature shows its connection with "mind" and "mental." Sanskrit renderings of adrsyah, paralokih, even manasah (mental), and other synonyms point towards an "invisible, outer" entity. Whatever the earlier renderings, the scholars have taken the by-now-popular translation of "spirit" in the Christian sense as quite suitable to their interpretation of a perpetual war between the so-called twin spirits. It suits them better. A departure may well topple the dramatic dualistic theory!

Many present Ahura Mazda as Spenta Mainyu and therefore elevate Anghra Mainyu to make him an adversary of the God of Good, and thus continue to write on the continuous fight between the two. As a result, Zoroastrians have been characterized by many as the people who believe in dualism.

As already pointed out, there was a time when the Zoroastrians believed in this dualistic "theology." The Vendidad tells us this and so do the writings written by and/or ascribed to the Sassanians and to those who followed them. New light on the Gathas and the later Avesta has changed views among intellectuals. But we see again a recession, because with the coming into prominence of a new class of Zoroastrian scholars with their academic roots in the dualistic scholarship of the later Avesta, the theory of the dualism of Ahura Mazda and His adversary is reappearing in certain quarters.

 

  ( extract )  ; 

 

http://www.zoroastrian.org.uk/vohuman/Article/Spenta Mainyu.htm

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Originally a monotheism of deity but  a dualism of 'good and evil'  in humans . 

 

 

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That is a rather good and safe response.  I have no problem with suggesting that dualism has always existed in humans.  I have mentioned before, I believe that our brain operates on the concept of dualism.

 

 

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Nope.  I have only one brain.  Certain areas of it control certain aspects of my life.  And yes, the areas switch duties occasionally, especially if one area is damaged.

 

But the two hemispheres of our brain is valid.

 

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