Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “zoroastrianism”

What Ever Happened to the Golden Rule? – Roger Ingalls

Nothing infuriates me more than religious intolerance. It’s hypocrisy at its worst.

American religious fanaticism is becoming pandemic and worrisome because most groups and pursuing an agenda of intolerance. This is a path to trouble. Someone once told me that the two most fanatically religious places in the world were the Middle East (Islam) and the United States (Christianity) and being young and naïve at the time, I said, “that’s crazy”. Now I know better – that old man was right.

Most faiths have an “Ethic of Reciprocity” or what’s commonly known as “The Golden Rule”.

Christianity: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12, King James Version.

Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” Number 13 of Imam “Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths.”

Judaism: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”, Leviticus19:18 

Brahmanism: “This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you”. Mahabharata, 5:1517 ”

Buddhism: “…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?” Samyutta NIkaya v. 353 

Confucianism: “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.” Mencius VII.A.4

Shinto: The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.

Roman Pagan Religion: “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.”

Native American Spirituality: “All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.” Black Elk

Ancient Egyptian: “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.” The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 – 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest written Golden Rule.

Zoroastrianism (The oldest one-God religion and the foundation for Judaism, Christianity and Islam): “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself”. Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5 and “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.” Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

These religions, and many others, promote the basic idea of reciprocal fair treatment. If this is so, why are we so intolerant of other’s beliefs?

Perhaps we need to do a little self-examination. Do we truly practice the teachings of our religions or are we just hypocrites?

Special thanks to thesynthesizer.com for the various golden rules.

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Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

A Zoroastrian Revival

Let’s talk truth. When it comes to the environment, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have failed miserably. These monotheistic religions are not overtly hostile toward the environment but they place humanity in an elitist position, thereby relegating all else to servitude.

Prior to the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, mankind worshipped many gods with a significant portion dedicated to mother earth. The so-called pagan religions respected nature and, in turn, help protect the environment. Then along comes the big three monotheistic religions—endorsing man’s entitlement over all things earthly—and the entire ecosystem begins to progressively deteriorate.

Man has forgotten how to work with nature and now pushes against her, consuming a lot of energy in the process. We are so out of control that we use 10 fossil fuel calories to produce one calorie of food. These fossil fuels—in the form of pesticides, fertilizers and desiel—have turned the soil barren and the skies brown. Take a shovel to any industrialized farm and turn over the dirt. You will not find anything living; no worms, no ladybugs and no beneficial bacteria. It’s all dead. Plants will only grow with more fertilizer and more pesticide—death breeds death.

It’s odd that these three faiths would have such little respect for all creatures and earthly elements when one considers their origin. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all derivatives of Zoroastrianism. Yes, that’s right, Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic—one god—religion dating back to 2000 BCE or 4000 years ago.

The three prevailing “one almightly god” religions are fundamentally the same and, for all practical purposes, just copy-cats of Zoroastrianism. However, Zoroastrianism has one major difference. From its inception, it preached ecology and care of the environment with respect and reverence for nature. Zoroastrians must protect the sky, water, earth, plant, animal and fire. At the end of times, when “all things” are harmonious, mankind must give the world back to God in its original perfect form.

The eco-friendly beliefs of Zoroastrians are in stark contrast to the trivial considerations Judaism, Christianity and Islam gives to nature. Imagine what the world would be like today if these three religions also copied the environmental aspects of the original “one god” religion.

Perhaps we need a Zoroastrian revival.

-Roger Ingalls

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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