The question of “Why do evil and misfortune befall the innocent and the good???” is an old age question, and in a limited sense it’s true. It is not uncommon to see the plight of the good compared to the rule of the evil in this world.
Plight and suffering is not limited to good human beings alone, but is extended to innocent animals and the rest of the living world, including this good earth.
BUT WHY is it that the malicious seem to have the upper hand at times??? Why is it that in this universe, evil appears to have the advantage???
In the beautiful religion, we are not born as sinners and per our view there is no glory in gloom, suffering and misery. So what is behind the undeserved misfortune in this world???
To better understand the why, we should have a better understanding of the concept of evil in the Zoroastrian religion.
In the poetic gathas and the authentic Zoroastrianism; evil like everything else, has its origin in the realm of “mind/spirit;” more precisely, it has its origin in an “afflicted, narrow and frustrated mind/spirit.”(See Yasna 32.3, 1st rhymed verse line and Yasna 32.5, 2nd rhymed verse line.)
While Ahúrá Ma(n)zdá is the “boundless mind/spirit (minöán minü;) the “FORCE” of “genius, luminous vision and realization,” the “endless mind-power capable of manifesting its brilliant thoughts/visions.”
Evil is the afflicted mind-energy; the very spirit of “frustration, gloom, agony and failure.”
The stagnated spirit of evil, consumed by “destructive lust” for and “envy” (areshk) of “the unlimited mind power” of Ahúrá Ma(n)zdá in accomplishing and realizing his luminous thoughts/visions; insinuated his malice, cruelty and frustration into the material manifestation of the Gd of Genius; inflicting it with his misery, wreck and ruin.
But Ahúrá Ma(n)zdá is the knower of every remedy and formula; (See Yasna 29.6, 1st and 2nd rhymed verse line.)
Hence, he has trapped the narrow mind/evil in the limited confines of time. For the ages of this world are the best formula/solution to the undoing of evil and the ultimate triumph of the spirit, (See the ancient commentary of Yasna 44.17, 2nd rhymed verse line.)
But throughout ages, all beings in the continuum of time and space (not limited to mortal men) have the ability to make choices, and those choices will create consequences that will make each of us either a co-partner with the pristine force of imagination, creativity and progress OR a slave of stagnation and limited view.
This “power to choose” not only gives evil/narrow mind the exposé, but the possibility of advantage at certain points/periods in time.
We are a bundle of mind energy, either bright and brilliant or gloomy and deficient. In any finite point in time and space, if there is simply more “miserable and negative energy,” there will be temporary trophy for evil and the good suffer an eclipse.
Hence, we read in the poetic gathas, Yasna 46.6, 3rd and 4th rhymed verse line; “the treacherous holds in high esteem/wow the malicious and the liar///while the virtuous loves/favors the good and luminous.”
The afflicted spirit has been unleashed in time and space, pressing his advantage at every point. Like attracts like, and misery likes company. But is all hope faded??? Will evil/narrow mind have dominion over all life on this dimension even to the ending of the world???
Zaraþúshtrá asks in his poetic gathas; will not the right living be saved from fall and ruin???/// will not the fruitful be set apart from the destructive liar???See Yasna 29.5, 3rd rhymed verse line.
The passage of time wields a series of events, and until the jigsaw puzzle pieces fall into place, it’s hard to comprehend how time can so effectively empower spirit and overcome evil.
How Ma(n)zdá are the working of the ages allied to You and affectionately embrace You??? (See Yasna 44.17, 2nd rhymed verse line.)
The ages of this world make only sense when viewed from an infinite and eternal view. From an unlimited view, a lot of what we cherish and see as success turns meaningless, trivial and only passing. Shadow after all is a passing thing, and all that really matters might not be what we see/realize today from our vantage point in time and space.
There is much evil and agony in this world. But the key point about it is our attitude. Our attitude could be that of anger or hurt to such an extent that we never go beyond it – which then becomes the defining moment of our lives, in a certain sense the stagnated point, where life stops and the spirit is crushed and beaten, just like evil.
On the other hand, our attitude could be that there is real good in this world worth moving on and fighting for; that in the end darkness and distorted, limited vision are passing things, and at the end of all things, all that really matters is our connection to eternity , the unbounded, luminous vision of things and triumph of the spirit.
Not that I have not been heard that I have not prevailed thus far (See Yasna 43.12, 2nd rhymed verse line)
I really get absorbed in these things-the epistemology of time and the spirit. Probably-infact, certainly because I have distorted eyesight which doctors have not been ably to directly treat yet, the physical world seems ‘unreal to me most times (i was perfect until about 20). I feel an intuitive surge to agree while reading this,, so I take that what is the nous within your telling of the cosmology, is true and vital.thank you dear Ardeshir.