Shahriar Shahriari

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Modern Packaging of Zarthushti Values

Self-improvement has now become a multi-billion dollar industry in North America. But it is no longer for the eccentric who is hovering beyond the margins of the mainstream society. In fact, the mainstream is voraciously devouring seminars, tapes and books related to self-improvement.

Furthermore, with the unprecedented financial success of the baby-boomers, and their increasing disillusionment with the materialistic world, many are searching for spiritual alternatives. The recent popularity of meditation, yoga, and other eastern techniques, as well as philosophical and religious schools of thought attest to this.

New super-stars like Stephen Covey and Anthony Robbins are emerging, and old mavericks such as Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peal and Earl Nightingale are being heralded as modern prophets who were much ahead of their time.

A deeper look at the underlying philosophy which permeates that of many of these modern gurus reveals our own Zoroastrian values. Whether it is Robbins preaching action, or Covey urging us to think about our values before we act, or Hill talking about the power of our thoughts, we have heard them all before. In fact, in a recent conference, I heard General Norman Schwarzkopf delivering his basic message: `Do what is right'. Well, isn't that what the Ashem Vohu prayer tells us? And more?

Then why is it that in spite of all of these teachings, we seem to need these master motivators to come and tell us what to do? My suspicion is because we take our own for granted. Because the grass is always greener over there. And because following the mainstream, we are also mesmerised by the modern packaging of our own old values.

It is time that we look deeply into our own teachings and values, but most importantly, and put them into practice. It is time to realise that history has come a full circle back to what Zarathushtra preached so many millennia ago. It is time to act like Jamshedji Tatas and Rostam Guivs of our community of the old countries.

It is time to realise that our survival is not enough. We need to become a successful and prosperous community if we are going to last. And we can only achieve success through practising the values preached by Zarathushtra, and being adopted by modern gurus, one individual at a time.

Shahriar Shahriari
1995, Vancouver, Canada
FEZANA Journal - Winter 1995 - Pg. 98

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