Author Archives: Daniel A. Samani

Building civilisation for the purpuse of living once

We are all going to die someday. Therefore a post-atheistic religion must credibly deal with how we can live our life once. Historically, theistic faiths have denied this, in one way or another. And although atheistic positions of such religions intelligently point this out, that doesn’t give life more richness; it only negates that one way of living life is dependent on an illusion of eternity. A presupposed eternal existence that transcends our immediate experience, as such; Syntheism is as much an atheistic critical unlearning as it is a creative co-learning of how to live life to it’s fullest.

In our experience of others, it is common that we project on them. Some people, like Freud, assume that projections come from past personal experiences, while others, like Jung, argues that they are grounded in an evolutionary timeframe of biology, with patterns of experiences that he called — archetypes. Whether you agree with the pioneers of psychoanalysis, and much of the inspiration to the research of psychology to this day. The take away from this is that we need to learn the difference between internal consciousness and external reality.

In projection we and others are mirrors.

There is at least two ways of relating to others, a sexual of the finite bodies and an intimate of the infinite consciousness of another. With a lover, we, of course, want the seemingly impossible, both. Spirituality is about how to live life to the fullest. We, therefore, both have sexual, spiritual practices, that digs into the depth of the sensual and erotic interplay in relationships. And intimate spiritual practices, which brings unity within ourselves and a direction of how we can contribute together with others. And therefore also both learn how to love strangers, and to create the conditions for higher forms of collaboration.

When we stop seeing reality as something static and eternal, but instead something that is creating and re-creating itself without our involvement, but that we are invited to play a minor part in co-creating, a temporary gift called life. Life becomes engaging, and working hard together with others, we might as well co-create internal and external paradise. Utopia is, therefore the process of mutually enriching expansion of consciousness and civilisation – simultaneously. So, we can ask ourselves how we can innovate more clever and creative ways of collaborating unitedly?

Haurvatat: enlightenment by doing

We have the Gathas to understand its meaning it is clear that we have to think of Asha, Haurvatat ect as proper philosophical concepts in the Deleuzian sense. Meaning that each concept connects to other concepts.

Science as a sacred process

For example, Ahura is a concept, one can then ask, what is the Asha of Ahura? From that, we get the process of understanding how the Universe works. A concept we today more or less associates with Science and the scientific mindset. Although that might not be entirely accurate,  due to the history of ideas up to this point in time. Many scientists today still has Abrahamitic and Platonistic assumptions still lingering on. That being said, Mazdayasna as a religion and a way of thinking is not in any way hostile to the enterprise of science, quite the opposite due to the reasons stated above. The impulse is not so much to subjugate to or resist Ahura, but to engage with Ahura.

Acting in harmony with yourself

The same way, Mazda is a concept, one can ask, what is Asha of Mazda? Which is a pure ethical notion. Of thinking in alignment with Asha. For the purpose of speaking in alignment with Asha. For the purpose of acting in alignment with Asha. In contrast to how the 21-century in Western contexts often understands spirituality. It’s then not enough to just think Asha. Asha is not just a conscious experience. That would be to my understanding to undermine the deeper meaning of Asha. Instead, although the focus is on thoughts, words and actions. We ought to evalutate the effects in reverse order, of actions, words and thoughts. This might also be the reason why Mazdayazna has never had Monasteries as far as I am aware of.

Eternal now as ethical ideal

This brings me to trying to get a more clear understanding of Haurvatat, and it’s meaning as a concept. The way I have come to understand it has similarities how Zen teachers discusses Enlightenment. The point is that each moment (what we can understand as thoughts, words and actions) influence the next moment. And that in each moment Enlightenment is possible. So that we have a flow of moments. And as long and as far as they in each moment is in alignment with Asha. We call that sequence of moments Haurvatat.

Further reading:

Intensities and phenomena in a relationalist universe

Thoughts on mentality

There are four choices of attitude-colored actions toward others: (1) Ask for something with the expectation of not give anything in return; (2) Give with the expectation of getting something in return; (3) Ask for something in return for something else; (4a) Give for the joy of giving; (4b) Receive for the joy of receiving. Where 1 and 2 has a mentality of begging, and 3 a mentality of whoring. We have all been screaming babies. And there is always an honor to make the least bad choice.

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On the problem of Envy

Our instinctive ability to engage in the emotions is one important part of the human condition. An emotion is affective state experienced a few minutes by a subject. And works as a signal of the body’s surrounding events. The subject’s actions follow how it understands emotions. With the scientific method, we need to deepen our emotional understanding, with spiritual needs in mind, that we can then apply in practices and rituals.

Bodily map of simple (Upper) and complex emotions (Lower) associated with words.

Bodily map of simple (Upper) and complex emotions (Lower) associated with words.

The difference between the subject’s experience and the body’s expression of some emotions makes its emotional complexity clear. Darwinian reasoning says, shaping of emotions by evolution need a bodily expression. Therefore, simple emotions are distinct in both emotional experience and expression. Fear has both characteristics for example. Complex emotions are radically different, lacking both a distinct experience and expression. Envy has the characteristics of complex emotion.

In short, nowhere does it appear more clearly that man’s desire finds it’s meaning in the desire of the other, not so much because the other holds the key to the object desired, as because the first object of desire is to be recognized by the other. – Jacques Lacan

Envy and desire preconditions the capacity to imagine the mental experience of others. There are two known passive attitudes to the other, self-defeating envy and admiration. Self-defeating envy says: “I want what you want because and as long as you want it.” The attitudes logical conclusion is crushing the other. Which results in the object losing its sensed value. And attitude of admiration says both “I let the other enjoy for me”, and “I only desire what you desire, I only want to fulfill your desire”. What’s the active attitude of envy and desire? We find it in the attitude of self-assertive envy that says: “I desire what you desire, I want to fulfill my desire.”

Envy expands in a nonhierarchical society. An obvious effect because the emotion is dependent on empathy. Because the higher possibilities for empathy in a nonhierarchical society. Contrary to the common view of envy as the result of a hierarchical society. How does this make sense from an evolutionary perspective? Since proper hierarchical societies only emerged about 6000 years ago – while humans appeared about 200,000 years ago – if hierarchical societies are what form the basis for envy. There couldn’t be any evolutionary basis for envy.

The common view is that envy is bad. Christianity has hammered this down excessively for two millennia, by declaring envy as a deadly sin. One of the ten commandments directly state that: “You shall not desire anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Deuteronomy 5:21). A totalitarian threat of disconnection towards the sinners breaking this command. No wonder then that envy connected tightly with shame, or more precisely fear of disconnection. Fear of disconnection imposes avoiding behaviour and alienation from others. The fear or disconnection makes it tempting to cover expressing the emotion. This avoiding action, however, does nothing else, then straighten the anxiety. To overcome this calls for radical vulnerability.

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” – Brené Brown

The self-defeating way the Atheist behave to the religious makes it obvious how, in fact, the Atheist suffers from severe religion envy. The Atheists self-defeating way in finding joy in to humiliate the religious person typifies this point. The destructive temptation remains, as long as this attitude towards religion is upheld. Belief in the end boils down to how you choose to act. What distinguishes genuine belief becomes clear ones reaction of others acting differently, if it’s disturbed and envious or not. Why would you desire differently than your belief, if your belief is genuine? Syntheism to me is an imaginative approach to the Atheist’s problem of belief – recognizing through envy the deep desire of humanity to be religious. However, in recognizing this need assertively co-create genuine beliefs for our time in history.

Misunderstand and being misunderstood.

I am autistic, and as such I can recognize the temptation to view eternalisations as ends in themselves. So when people talk, my spontaneous impulse is to compare my eternalisations with what they are saying, without realizing that the eternalisation has been mobilised. A great example of this is the stranger who greet you by saying “how are you doing?”. The normal non-autistic response to this would be to simply reply by saying “Fine, thanks”, realizing that the stranger could not care less of how you are doing, the autistic response on the contrary is to take the question literally and answer truthfully to the question.

The same occurs when I in my mobilistic creativity want to communicate my thoughts. I talk without realizing that people can’t follow what I am saying, because for them the symbols I am using is following a different structure or logic. In the end, we are all misunderstood in this way. We are all alone. Most of the time without realizing it (I suspect). So where can we find a common ground for solidarity between each other? What we understand as the past is always restructured from the acts that happens now. So my answer is that we find it in mutual acts.