Saturday, April 28, 2012

Monotheism means there is only mind.

A questioner asked:
I was reading about it from the wikipedia.

"Ahura Mazda's creation—evident as asha, truth and order—is the antithesis of chaos, which is evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict."

"Zoroastrianism (as well as later Manicheism) may still have influenced elements of Buddhism, especially in terms of light symbolism."

"Daena (din in modern Persian) is the eternal Law, whose order was revealed to humanity through the Mathra-Spenta ("Holy Words"). Daena has been used to mean religion, faith, law, and even as a translation for the Hindu and Buddhist term Dharma."
It seems Zoroastrianism may have a significant influence in both Buddhism in China as well as well as Judaism and Christianity in the west.

Interesting stuff... Would be interested to hear thoughts from others :)

To me, it seems like everyone wants to say their own religion influenced the others.  It may be a historical truth that Zoroaster/Zarathustra was a prophet in the time of 1400 BCE but to the extent that Zoroasterian themes crop up in other cultural areas is not indicitative of cultural transmission per se.  I don't see any direct linkage with Buddhism but there is a case to be made for overt cultural cross polliination and influence of Zoroasterian themes in the development of Jusaism and Christianity.

The cultural archeology is interesting, but to me the psychological archeology is far more fascinating. But for those interested in the cultural anthropology, here's a link for an interesting story about the Zoroastrian roots of Judaism's monothesim and Paul's Mithraic version of Christianity as being essentially an heretical Christianity.   

In my view, the importance of "light" as an image for "awareness" transcends any particular culture and is inherently deep and profound in the psyche/mind. I'm using the term "psyche/mind" to mean the Mind only (cittamatra) of the Lankavatara. 

In other words, every culture gets the meaning of light as the symbolic image for the essence of our existence without any need to imagine cultural transmission.  Even physics has come to the conclusion that "light" is the essence of the universe, that everything is stardust, and light is just another way of saying energy which is the vibration that is reality. 

From the Buddhist perspective, the "problem" with the usual interpretation of Zoroastrianism (and all three of the great religions of the Lavant that appear to have been influenced by Zoroastrianism) is that it does not escape the literalization of good and evil.  The objectification of the idea of truth and falsehood is the activity of the 6th and 7th consciousnesses working together to close the veil of the source of mind.   The drama that is then created is a childish fantasy that the veil can be reopened by a victory of the good over the evil.  In fact the very investment in that drama is the glory of Mara because that is an endless loop of conflict with infinite regression.   The self-glorification of humanity by positing a "special" role in that conflict by playing the crucial role of aiding the good to overcome the evil is the childish wishfulfillment of roleplaying. 

But, that doesn't mean we should throw out the baby with the bath water.  Within every childish fantasy is the seed of truth. Our longing for "God" is because awareness longs to return to its source. We conceive of "God" in monotheistic terms because mind is one mind--there is mind only--and this mind is the one true suchness as source.  Within the consciousness of humanity is the special aspect of self-consciousness inherent in the light itself.  Humans have a special relationship with the universe in being able to reopen the veil of the 8th consciousness and realize the transformation of wisdom. But it is not done by "good conquering evil" in the dramatic sense of storytelling that posits one side of the opposites can defeat the other pole of the duality, but in the awareness itself that becomes aware of the inherent unity of all opposites just as light cannot manifest without the polarization of the wave into a peak and a trough. With the direct non-cognitive awareness that the opposites of good and evil are the peak and trough of the vibration of light itself, the Dharmakaya comes to conscious realization in a self-less-consciousness and manifests the purity that transcends the duality of the pure and the impure and realizes the goodness that transcends the duality of good and evil.