An English In Kentucky


















 Friday May 27th 2016Tim Candler9


      There's a 1919 argument that suggests Zoroaster in his hymns preached to Cattle people who occasionally enjoyed a little casual vegetable gardening and maybe in the dull end of civilization, sheep. His object was to put cattle at the center of  his religion, and he was firm in his belief that his people could unite around the care and the defense of cattle against the enemies of cattle, rather than just sit around, drink the milk, hold the odd barbeque, tell stories about high adventure, and one has to believe, engage in a long tradition amongst Cattle people which is to passionately indulge Cattle Raiding. Zoroaster was a Saint, some would call him a prophet, he was a monotheist, he believed that One God created the world he lived in, and like so many, his idea of harmony included an understanding of how we people should behave toward each other. "Truth is the best of all that is good and the desire for truth is the truth from him who represents the best truth." It's a very clumsy paraphrase of a line or two in one of the Zoroastrian hymns, and it precedes a suggestion that there's a distinction between intellect and thought. Thought was an idea, intellect was that part of mind that determines whether a thought was a good idea or not which suggest truth is unknown, it's like a straight line that travels endlessly and it does so gently or wisely if allowed to. An analogy with today is too obvious to point out, all the same worth bearing in mind that Zoroaster was  possible preaching the word some three thousand years ago, he was most likely a shoe maker by trade and he might well have been murdered by a follower of another religion. A schism if you like.  



      In time, the religion Zoroaster founded served a people who had become increasingly dependant upon agriculture, so it wasn't just cattle the religion had to serve for the benefit of stability and the social cohesion of an economic order often united by external attack. You couldn't have cows paddling about in the cabbage patch even if the cows were somehow more important than cabbages. It was long after Zoroaster had gone from this earth, passages of his hymns were modified to include the notion that the earth rejoiced when her soil was tilled to grow corn and she mourned because she missed her vocation when the earth remained sterile, or unproductive to people. Wilderness was the domain of devils, it was a duty to render the wilderness fertile, and indeed adherents were obliged to ceaselessly engage in agriculture no more and no less than in other healthy activities. And if you have a mind to read a translation of the sacred hymns you'll find that they have a lot to do with enlightenment or better ways of being and there's an ambiguity in the poetry that lends itself to a struggle between good and evil, that doesn't have something like a rustic Ten Commandments, and yet at the same time retains that nagging doubt that the texts were essentially an early attempt at a Human Resource Manual. For my part the issue has long been how might I join with The Great Randomness when my own mortal coil has wound it's last utterance. The Zoroastrian solution to the End Times has always summed it well for me. And it's great sadness to discover that there's a good chance that the Prophet Zoroaster might not actually have held firm to the idea that upon death a body should be raised up onto a high place where it might achieve oneness with the elements by contributing to the diet of omnivores who can climb and the Princes of Our Air, the Turkey Vultures. It's a horrible thought, but probably I'm doomed to contribute to the coffers of a Funeral Home that's owned by a Hedge Fund.


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