Loss of Faith


Loss of Faith
by Shazde Asdola Mirza

I lived through the 10 years of sanctions, civil war, mass executions, Iraq-Iran invasion and Iran-Iraq counter invasion. Also, I lost friends and family members to that madness and chaos. I was shell-shocked (as you can tell) threatened and detained, attacked and investigated. But after all these many years, when most things can be forgotten and even somewhat forgiven, the one regret I have is the “Loss of Faith”!  

Among the immigrant crowd in America, the one group that I have least liked, are from the ex-communist block. I am sorry to say and generalize, but they come across as the least human (compassionate, helpful and even happy). They seem to me as the most heartlessly conniving, calculating and scheming. Unfortunately, a Russian colleague recently made a very similar comment about us Iranians!  

I guess it takes one to know one! The mass deception called Russian Communism, in that respect, was very similar to our own Iranian Islamism. From cradle to crate, they were indoctrinated that the “Great One” had figured everything out, and the little ones had to blindly follow, obey and suffer. And by the way, if the little ones didn’t … there were cruel and unusual punishments beyond imagination!  

So the “State Sponsored Faith” planned to leave no free space in our hearts and minds for any other faiths. Worst of all, seeing how inhuman and hollow that seemingly “grand ideology” was, most of us became faithless and heartless machines. Seeing how great idealists could turn into great traitors (under torture). How everyone could be raped and beaten into submission. How utterly insignificant and helpless the humanity could be … enslaved by the demons … conquered by the plague.  

Most of us simply relinquished our humanity, just to stay alive. Or perhaps it was the other way around - that our humanity escaped our earthly bodies to seek refuge in a dark lonely corner. Either way, we simply Lost Faith.  

Before throwing stones at me and laughing me out of the site with jeers and hackles, just try to recall when you had Faith … any faith. When you were not a bio-mechanical machine, but a soul. Not lonely, but connected to so many other humans, connected to so many generations past, as well as coming. Connected to the whole existence, to the whole being. When your little drop of humanity was one with a grand ocean, and that grand ocean was the smallest drop of your tears of hope and joy.

For me, that joy can’t return through sex, drinks or drugs. It’s like trying to quench a colossal thirst by sea water. I would like to sue all the demonic “Isms” … for our Loss of Faith.


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Flying Solo

If you are going to quote

by Flying Solo on

Shazde Jaan,

If you are going to quote me, afford me the courtesy of including the whole quote not just the part that suits your argument. :)  I wrote: "  It is natural to be disappointed when the one thing one hangs one's belief in ends up letting us down."

I did not say "It is natural to be disappointed" - big diff. :)

Loneliness is the ultimate prison.  Agreed. That is different from thinking alone, knowing alone and believing alone, unencumbered by a set of beliefs fed to one from the cradle.


Shazde Asdola Mirza

It's not "natural" to be disappointed

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Dear Solo,

Natural seldom disappoints ... unnatural does it all the time!

Flying within the folds of the "natural" world, I have seldom been disappointed. But whenever, I've walked astry through the wilderness of unnatural things, people and behavior ... then disappointment was the order of the day.

Love is natural. Faith is natural. Beliefs are not shackles.

Segregation is evil. Domga and single-minded ISM is abnormal. And loneliness ... loneliness is the ultimate prison.

Flying Solo

A new beginning

by Flying Solo on

Shazde Jaan,

It is natural to be disappointed when the one thing one hangs one's belief in ends up letting us down.  But we are let down constantly and continuously from cradle to grave.  I think it is natural to wish for a leader or an 'ism' to shine light on our paths, in youth. To hold on to that line when we have gone through the tunnel of life (good bad and ugly) is unrealistic, IMHO. Is it cynicism or simply recognition of reality?  Ultimately we find the only person that can be relied upon is the self - the rest are simply variations of illusions; projections of our imagination.  Ever fallen in love and thought the world of the other, and after a season, maybe two, you sit back and wonder what you saw in the person? Now - is it because the person fooled you or is it you fooling yourself or neither - simply us, moving through time, projecting what's within? Tough call. ;)

Does that sound ideal or a nice clean way to accept our encountering of 'mediocrity'?  I don't know. I'd rather fancy it as liberation of the soul - to then fly wherever, whenever, solo, I am afraid, as it appears a journey only to be taken by oneself.

I expect there comes a time in one's life, when one lets go of all beliefs, all shackles come off and it is then that one accepts life simply for what it is - day by day - moment by moment without expectation in anything or anybody. Can you tell I have been spending a good bit of time with some seasoned seniors?

Don't know whether any 'government' per se could ever capture the essence of what one individual experiences on the journey into self.  I expect when we are young we insist that there ought to be a way, an answer, an unwavering belief, a set of tenets that would work eveyr time, for everyone, in every portion of history. Much of what religion and ideology teach is good - in theory.  And yes - adhereing to some of those tenets may (or might) keep the person on the straight and narrow, to the benefit of the larger community. But then we get older, we wake up one day and laugh our heads off - knowing that all along - we all were fooled into it.  Faced with the farce, we can lose faith and we do lose faith but we still need to live with ourselves - and hence the journey to self begins.  (Do men travel down this path or is it one just for women?  I wonder)  

Intellectuals make the best dinner companions and the dullest life partners. No? ;) 

Great blog as always. 

Niloufar Parsi

SAM - you misunderstood me

by Niloufar Parsi on

i wasn't so much promoting such revolutionary breakdown of structures. was just describing how we may have got to this faithless place. was even hinting that we should swing back to a more faithfull place (not in a religious way).

revolutions don't always come violently, but they usually do. and it is hard to find examples of immediate success with them. so i agree with you there.

i don't actually believe in revolutions. and for the same reason, SAM, i oppose another revolution in iran! i think we should try and help this one evolve better rather than oppose it and fight for its downfall.


Shazde Asdola Mirza

"once all structures are broken down and freedom is achieved"

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

NP: Perhaps that's where we differ the most - whether breaking down and revolution against the status quo are such great things.

I can't think of a single act of break-down and revolution which has moved any society forward, without actually building on the previous system's institutions and practices. The one relatively "positive" revolution that comes to mind is that of USA against England, which created (at least in some aspects) moderate improvement. However, the USA kept almost all the English traditions of liberal democracy alive, and even built on them.

Other break-downs and revolutions, even the great ones in France and Russia, are simply appalling. Reading those histories, I can barely help vomiting in disgust and screaming in shame. Let alone our own "great" revolution of 1979.

Most break-downs result in a failed-state. Faithless and confused people are more likely to turn into pirates, terrorists and savages; than civilization builders. Hence, the state of "permanent break-down" which has accompanied the uncivilized human history from day one to now, is nothing to cheer for. All of the uncivilized forms go through frequent and violent break-downs, almost once every generation. The civilized ones ... much less frequently.

PS: dear 13th Legion

Thanks for your kind comment and the lovely video link. Have peace, kindness and hope with you all the time.

13th Legion

Shazdeh jaan,

by 13th Legion on

I’m sorry to have caught your new blog a bit last, was busy jousting with Sargord P  over spilled milk and diarrhea on DK’s blog this morning ;), but back to your story:

I don’t know much brother, but I think that faith is like love, it comes and goes..in and out of our moments in life, the most important thing for us is not to lose our HOPE, one thing that is for sure is that everything is in a constant state of change and  no  one thing last forever, he challenge is that when things get suckey we have to try to maintain a positive perspective and keep on keeping, please don’t give up on hope brother man, I’m sure your faith will return, I play hide an go seek with mine all the time and she always returns ;)

Much love brother ;) we are all more or less in the same boat!




Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

am sure you are right about the limitations on how we evolve, though i wish you would elaborate a bit on the basic types you had in mind.

from how you describe the issue, i think you still maintain some faith in 'truth'. would this be correct? if so, perhaps this is the unifying faith. i am not saying that it is. am merely suggesting that it could be.

in addition to those basic types of government, there are historical milestones that were/are technology driven. they tend to affect government too, at least in form, if not substance. but i suspect also in substance.

but coming back to the 'freedom drive', i didn't mean it in quite such an optimistic tone as yours. i'd guess that the pendulum is swinging back perhaps. and your blog may be an example of this. once all the structures are broken down and freedom is achieved, i guess we would become busy setting up alternate structures that the next generation might want to overthrow for the sake of freedom! perhaps we are stuck in trotsky's state of permanent revolution and don't even know it!


Shazdeh et al

by Monda on

شازده، مهربان، فرامرز، هوشنگ، ویلدموس...

ممنونم از یادآوری هاتون.



World Kindness Day®

by vildemose on

Wherever there is a human being,  there is an opportunity for a kindness. ~~Seneca Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle .~~Plato


The Ripple

by vildemose on


The best way to find

by vildemose on

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. 
Mohandas Gandhi 


In perusing our happiness,

by vildemose on

In perusing our happiness, I think we should peruse a spiritual rather than religious understanding of divinity. I think the most significant element is that a single human life does have meaning, and can make a positive difference in the world. We must peruse life and happiness and extend it to all those who come around us. This little village of ours is becoming even smaller each day.

We must learn to coexist, regardless of where we live and our differences. We must learn, teach, and share. We need to go beyond the business of religion and being spiritual beings. We are in need of reaching out into territories unknown, to enrich our thoughts. We need love and lots of it:

Let Thy beauty to unfold Let Thy life melt in the ocean of love Let Thy heart be open in kisses rain Let us fathom to the state of being alive, Let us see how fountains the tears of the motherland, spray the dust O, lift me from ecstasy of life, I cry, I dance, I laugh I swim, I walk, I die let true-self to ignite us within, where it break at last To life and humanity, A Friend


Throw Yourself Like Seed”

by vildemose on

Throw Yourself Like Seed” By Miguel de Unamuno: Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit;
Sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
That brushes your heel as it turns going by,
The man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.
Now you are only giving food to that final pain
Which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
But to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
Is the work; start there, turn to the work.
Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field,
Don’t turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
And do not let the past weigh down your motion.
Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s dead in yourself,
For life does not move in the same way as a group of clouds;
From your work you will be able one day to gather yourself.


Spiral Dynamics and Science

by vildemose on

Spiral Dynamics and Science of Memetics The Theory that explains everything:
//www.amazon.com/Spiral-Dynamics-Mastering-Values-Leadership/dp/1405133562 Spiral Dynamics reveals the hidden codes that shape human nature, create global diversities, and drive evolutionary change. These magnetic forces attract and repel individuals, form the webs that connect people within organizations, and forge the rise and fall of nations and cultures. This book tracks our historic emergence from clans to tribes to networks and holograms; identifies seven Variations on Change, and adds power and precision to the design of human systems and 21st century leadership.

Spiral Dynamics is an extension and elaboration of the biopsychosocial systems concept of the late Clare W. Graves; work that Canada's Maclean's Magazine called 'The Theory that Explains Everything'. The authors mesh UK biologist Richard Dawkins' concept of 'memes' with Gravesian 'value systems' in crafting a timely transformational change formula and process. Their concept of MEMES represents the first major statement of the new 'Science of Memetics.'

See all Editorial Reviews



by Mehman on

I love the fantastic graphic you posted above!

Nice article.





Shazde Asdola Mirza

Dear Vildemose and other friends: thanks again

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Your thoughts, comments and poems are very encouraging and heart warming.

NP: your "freedom drive" question is a good one. Breaking of the boundaries to build new ideas and ideals, even new faiths! It all sounds good and I am all for it ... exploring, discovering and changing. However, apart from the positive-attitude mask which we need to use at work and play, to come across as a brash driver and a grand winner, deep inside I believe that the more we change the more we stay the same.

At the genetic level, we haven't changed since a million years ago, so why should our key behavioral drivers be any different. I mean, we have some new clothing and such, but we are basically the same Homo Sapiens we were at least 100,000 years ago. So even after changing and chasing and choosing, I believe that we end up where we started: at certain discreet and definable behavioral patterns.

Faith is a central part of those "behavioral patterns". As an example, we don't analyze our "walking", which is a very complicated motor action. From a young age, we develop certain automatic sequences to gain confidence and "faith" in putting one foot ahead of the other and go ahead in a sequence of controlled-falls.

Same is true of the societies, where it appears that without much thinking and analyzing, we develop faith in certain institutions and certain behavioral patterns. Although such Ins and Pats may appear widely dispersed and variable, they invariably fall into a small number of "types". For example, if one weeds away all the mumbo jumbo of sociology, we find that there are only three fundamental types of governments.

Same for the religions and faiths. We search high and low for that most precious cargo, the ultimate truth, the philosopher's stone - yet we have always fallen within the grasp of three or four distinct belief systems.


In a vision blurred by

by vildemose on

In a vision blurred by tears, I watch as hope flaps its wings and flies away across the sky that once painted many coloured dreams Leaving me behind, waiting helplessly; Words caught in my throat; Silently willing it to turn around and come back to me.--me Words from Meister Eckhart's poem "The Hope of Loving."
What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey

to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover’s
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither like fields if someone close
does not rain their

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

great piece! really enjoyed reading it.

perhaps we are also experiencing the logical path of the 'freedom' drive? doesn't its progress require a deliberate breakdown of faith and other types of boundaries?


Mehrban said it

by divaneh on

The real faith is faith in ourselves. I lost my faith in super naturals and old fairy tales when I was seventeen and have never looked back. We don’t need to believe in lies just to belong to a larger group of people who seek comfort from those lies. We don't need to create a big protector in the sky to help us come to terms with ourselves or our difficulties. We need to be true to ourselves and that is the faith that worth having, especially in the society where pretence to faith has a long history.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

The curse of "ideological society"

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Dear Hoshang and Oktaby: much appreciation for your sound stands against the "ideological society" ... in two different but similarly sound comments and approaches.

Yes, Erich Fromm is a good reminder for a great read on this subject.

And yes, nothing beats a heart-felt poem to take the message home.

Thanks to both of you.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

شراب سرخ و دکتر نوری عزیز

Shazde Asdola Mirza

لطف شما پایدار باشد که در حکم آب چشمه زمزم است برای این دل‌ خسته و معذب.




by oktaby on

The soul, you have to fight to keep. Faith is the eternal hope for triumph of light over dark and increasingly looks like an illusion. Perhaps it has always been 

بر روی ما نگاه خدا خنده می زند،

 هر چند ره به ساحل لطفش نبرده ایم.


زیرا چو زاهدان سیه كار خرقه پوش،
پنهان ز دیدگان خدا می نخورده ایم  


پیشانی ار ز داغ گناهی سیه شود،
بهتر ز داغ مهر نماز از سر ریا.


نام خدا نبردن از آن به كه زیر لب،
بهر فریب خلق بگوئی خدا خدا.


ما را چه غم كه شیخ شبی در میان جمع،
بر رویمان ببست به شادی در بهشت.


او می گشاید … او كه به لطف و صفای خویش،
گوئی كه خاك طینت ما را ز غم سرشت.


توفان طعنه، خنده ی ما را ز لب نشست،
كوهیم و در میانه ی دریا نشسته ایم.


چون سینه جای گوهر یكتای راستیست،
زین رو بموج حادثه تنها نشسته ایم.


مائیم … ما كه طعنه زاهد شنیده ایم،
مائیم … ما كه جامه تقوی دریده ایم؛


زیرا درون جامه بجز پیكر فریب،
زین هادیان راه حقیقت، ندیده ایم!


آن آتشی كه در دل ما شعله می كشید،
گر در میان دامن شیخ اوفتاده بود؛


دیگر بما كه سوخته ایم از شرار عشق،
نام گناهكاره رسوا! نداده بود.


بگذار تا به طعنه بگویند مردمان،
در گوش هم حكایت عشق مدام! ما.


 هرگز نمیرد آنکه دلش زنده شد به عشق

ثبت است در جریده عالم دوام ما

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Dear Rea

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Please don't be offended. You are partially right; it is a question of being foreign to the group, but not just being a foreigner.

For example, look at my last week "article" written in Farsi. I spent many many days over a three month period to design, write and edit it to what I thought was the "perfection". I had even readied myself for so many left and right and the middle arguments and discussions which could be generated, from Kurt Godel, to Rumi, to Tao Te Ching. That tale is the culmination of my years of spiritual investigation and meditation. So what reaction do I get? Next to nothing!

But no worries. The only real measure is closeness to the whole, being with others, and feeling the togetherness. If we are being "foreign" to the whole's spirit, then perhaps we should change our approach and try to get closer and more understanding.

M. Saadat Noury

Dear Shazde Asdola Mirza

by M. Saadat Noury on

Thank you for sharing your very thoughtful article that reminds me of the poems on this link about Faith and Infidelity!

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

امشب شب بزم است و ساز و جام شراب... الحق که شازده از بزرگان است اعظم و والا جاه..

قطعه‌‌ شعری به یادمان امد که در زمان نوجوانی آن را به همراه استاد با تار و همراهی سنتور مینوازیدیم و بد ندیدیم که در اینجا آنرا به شما و دیگر دوستان تقدیم کنیم :

ز روي مهرو وفا، ياد از وفا كردي فداي مهر و وفايت كه ياد ما كردي دلم كه به نشد از هيچ دارويي، دردش به نسخه يي تواش از خط خود دوا كردي دگر چه مي كني اي آسمان دون با من دل مرا كه تو از دوستان جدا كردي يكي منم كه به پاداش راستي اي چرخ تو سرو قامتم از بار غم دوتا كردي رها مكن دلم از دام زلف خود اي يار كنون كه دامنت از دست من رها كردي نبود شيوهٌ پيري به دهر دلبازي نظام را تو بدين كارآشنا كردي

سایه شما از سر ما کم نشود.

شراب قرمز.


Hoshang Targol

Shazdeh jan, your observations are right on, so are every single

by Hoshang Targol on

other comment in here.

Once stuck in an ideological " society"  ( I put it in quotation marks because once ideology rules over you, , any ideology, there's not much of a society left to speak of) the fiber of your morality is basically non-existent. I've had many Russian, Polish,...co-workers and the similarities with what you describe is right there. Although to be fare, most Checks I've met didn't fit this pattern. Maybe it was due to their Bohemian background? I don't know!

So, what is the solution? Perhaps reading Forough's " Once again I'll greet the Sun"  could be a good start. On the philosophical side of it Erich Formm has a very interesting essay on this very topic: on how to maintain Hope in face of overwhelming hopeless circumstances. Old age is not helping me to recall the  main lines of his argument. Thanks for reminding me of him. Once I read that essay again I'll write you about it.

Last but not least, what Faramarz  refers to as " random acts of kindness" is basically what has kept my "faith" in humanity alive. Hoping for a hopefull weekend for all, all puns intended! 


I have a feeling

by Rea on

non-Iranians are not welcome here.

Tant pis.  ;o)


Hauntingly sobering and true

by vildemose on

What might there be left for one worth defending once that absolute minimum of collective dignity is finally lost?I often suspect we all do “know” the nature of this misfortune plaguing us and yet we remain too afraid to let go. Control freaks afraid of pain and perceptions end up having to tolerate more than any sane human being should bear.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Thanks MPD and Rea

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

MPD jan: very funny.

Rea dear: best of luck with the "promotion".



by Rea on

Hope they all ignore you wherever you are.