Faithful of Zoroaster, ancient Lords of the Near East, heirs of Cyrus, spare me a moment of your time; for I have recently contemplated converting to your ways, only to ultimately decide against it. It is only out of respect and consideration that I compose this letter explaining why; for it would be a disservice to Truth to not attempt to bridge our understandings into a more perfect perception of existence.
But first, let me recognize our commonalities, for they are legion! After all, did the Chaldeans not teach Pythagoras in Babylon, who in turn taught Father Plato? As such, can there be any doubt that the Wise Lord and the King Sun are one and the same? Yea, it could not be more obvious to me that we share the same Supreme God, the eldest of existence, He who first emanated from Oneness. Our God is Goodness given being, a raging inferno of noble compulsion that lights even the darkest recesses of Man.
Our God is the ultimate embodiment of Wisdom, the greatest of the Virtues, selfless, and the ally of the righteous. Is it not identical to liken the burning star around which Earth revolves to God, as we the students of Julian do, and to worship at a sacred flame in your manner? Is the Sun not the most sacred of flames? And is it not so that all the lesser Gods and Goddesses emanate from the Supreme God as the Divine Aspects? Zoroaster and Plato are in absolute agreement: Good is good because it is Good, and this principle reaches beyond even Godhood into Eternity.
However, while we are in the utmost agreement on Goodness, we could not disagree more concerning Evil; and here is the divide that I could not cross. In your understanding, Goodness and Evil are equivalently quantified and diametrically opposed; the joyous Ahuramazda is balanced by the nefarious Ahriman, the great devil, evil-given-form. You do not observe the cycles of time, but view the flow of history as strictly linearly, marching towards an ultimate defeat of your personified evil and the cleansing of existence itself as a consequence. At first, I told myself that this difference was insignificant, that perhaps your eldest teachers had formulated a Noble Lie; but the more that I contemplated, and the deeper I delved, the more that I found your misgiving to be suboptimal for the betterment of Man.
It is the greatest difference that I will address at length, that which is the very nature of evil; and it surprises me that you who so meticulously venerate fire and liken it to God are so misguided on this. The nature of Emanation, that is, the descendance of existence, can be likened to a flame. At the very core of the flame is where it is purest, and from the entirety of the flame bursts forth heat and light alike. Coldness and darkness are experienced in relation to one’s proximity from the flame; and the shadows grow and grow until eventually one is engulfed in black emptiness, incapable of even perceiving one’s own body. It is in this which we both know to be true that the nature of evil can be understood, or rather, that it can be understood to have no nature; for as darkness is merely an absence of light, and as coldness is merely an absence of heat, so too is evil merely an absence of Good.
With the non-nature of evil established, we can then re-assess your cosmology; for how could evil ever emerge from Oneness – which you call Akarana – as it has no fundamental essence unto itself, much less at the same primordial moment as the incarnation of Goodness? It is critical to understand that the flame demonstrates how Goodness and Perfection are fundamentally identical, for it is only upon this foundation that we can build morality. This is chiefly why you err so greatly in creating a partner for God, whether you mean to or not; for in doing so you place evil very close to the seat of Perfection itself. Additionally, if Good and evil were such cobelligerents, seated equally in the Divine Hierarchy that transcends temporal space, how could one possibly overtake the other? Is balance not absolutely required by such Dualism? And it is here that we reach the difference in instruction, that is, how we encourage others to do better. In telling people that there is a devil, you establish a caricature of every misdeed and shortcoming, a foil, an excuse to ease the consciences of those who succumb to their lesser natures. We need only look at the Christians to see the end result of this: considering themselves afflicted by irresistible temptations sung in their ear by a greater force, they find themselves truly blameless in their shortcomings. No! People do evil because they choose to, or at the very least, because their spiritual potency is insignificant compared to the animal impulses of their bodies. You know that we live in a Kingless age, where men are forced to redeem themselves; and in such conditions all must grapple with their own inadequacies. We must tell men the truth: there is no Demon-Lord haunting us. If you wish to see a real devil, go look in the nearest mirror. He is waiting there, with all of his arrogance and deceit and greed.
It is he who must be vanquished; and he is vanquished through the championing of the Cardinal Virtues which brings our spirits closer to God. It is in this manner that we strive for Evolan Being, the Idea of Man.
Despite my critique, I conclude this letter with only the fondest sentiments. It is my deepest wish that the Platonists and Zoroastrians can dismiss the political rivalries of yester-millennia and establish closer ties and dialogues. Consider this letter a foray into that noble aspiration. God Lives!