Don’t know anything about Zoroastrianism, and you wanna know more about it? Well then….
Hello dear reader, if you have not pressed the “x” button or clicked away from this post, and if you are planning to read on, hi. You deserve a gold star.
In this blog post, we will be talking about Zoroastrianism, and its two forms of dualism. Why talk about The Greeks, you may ask? Well, the Greeks are undeniably beyond compare - leaving us behind a mass of theories, philosophies and artworks, forming the basis of all of these aspects, valued by many.
What is Zoroastrianism? Zoroastrianism is a primordial (basically meaning very very very old) Persian religion that was founded by Zoroaster. By the 3rd century, Zoroastrianism and Zoroaster’s philosophies had been swept throughout the Middle East. Ahura Mazda (Ahura meaning light, and Mazda meaning wisdom) is the Zend name for “The Creator”, and is only God of Zoroastrianism. Ahura is also described as the utmost spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism, along with being the most frequently invoked (invoked meaning like “consulted”, or prayed to) spirit of the Yasna.
Zoroastrianism revolves around three sets of beliefs:
- Good Thoughts,
- Good Words &;
- Good Deeds.
What did Zoroaster proclaim of the Gods? Zoroaster proclaimed Ahura Mazda as an uncreated spirit who is wise, compassionate and righteous, as well as the creator and guardian of truth, supporter and the keeper of justice. It was also said that Ahura Mazda composed “Yazatas”, which are angels, to help us keep safe from evil and to protect us from harm. Daeveas were considered as evil, and are called Ahriman Daeveas a lot in Zoroastrianism, which were said to be incarnated as sinful and hostile spirits to battle against Ahura Mazda and all goodness. The presence of Angra Mainyu was the birthplace of all evil and despair in the cosmos. To the last point of background information, Zoroaster stated that Ahura Mazda was not an invincible God, and used the assistance of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu and his spirits, which attempted to anguish humans away from the path of morality, to ultimately be destroyed.
What is dualism, and what are the 2 types of dualisms? - The believers of Zoroastrianism believed in dualism.
- Cosmic dualism - the belief that the world we live in is in a constant battle and struggle amongst the opposites, good and evil. The fight between good and evil, (again going to remind you to refresh your mind, dear reader) is between the two gods - Ahura Mazda, who represents the good & Angra Mainyu, who is represents, the evil. Followers of Zoroastrianism regarded Ahura Mazda as the “good”, the “light” and “order”, while on the other hand, Angra Mainyu to the believers was the “evil”, the “dark” and “chaos”. Both of these Gods are believed to be endlessly at war with one another, in order to achieve dominance over the other.
- Moral dualism - incorporates humans to join in the fight between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu to pick sides between good and evil. Moral dualism was greatly emphasized on because it is believed that humans are a crucial part of this battle. Humans “battle” this war through their everyday life choices. For example, if one were to lie, it would be in support of the evil side (Angra Mainyu). But if one were to speak of the truth instead, their actions would be supportive of the good side (Ahura Mazda).
Why is dualism on a whole is so significant? It was believed to be a contributing factor in keeping the world in order.
So take it as this - if you were a believer of Zoroastrianism, you would pretty much be deemed as a warrior in your everyday life.
Like oh, my, Ahura Mazda!!!!!!!! (。･o･｡)
Xoxo, Caitlin Loo Elizabeth Gan Lauren Chong
P.s. If you're interested in knowing more about the background and the reaons of what sparked this battle between the two Gods, you may read more about it here!