The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster

By Miles Menander Dawson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII RIGHTS OF THE HERD

THE Good Mind, which underlies all morality, is then not merely the exercise of reason pure and simple, but its exercise to forward the fostering care of every beneficial creature, the "carefulness" which it was Zoroaster's expressed mission to promote.

It was, accordingly, the prime essential of the Zoroastrian creed that unless the fall of a sparrow was beneath the benevolent notice, of God, and, what is more to the purpose, that its loving care is the plain duty of man, he must not leave the exercise of this Good Mind toward God's creatures to their creator, alone, but must do his part in all regards, with intelligence and eager willingness.

This religion, as has been said, sprang up in very primitive days among the herdsmen on the plains of Asia, which are now in Persia or in Russia, or near there, about the Caspian Sea.

It found its very conatus in the protection of these settlements and their herds of cattle from marauders who sallied forth from mountain fastnesses to prey upon the possessions of the husbandmen and who left a trail of pillage, of rapine and of ruthless destruction of men and beasts behind them. Against these would-be "supermen" of that day, with the "will of power," the herdsmen asked succor from the beneficent forces of the universe, crying unto God:

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