Aša

for flute

Artwork: Jusepe Ribera (1600-1652); Philosopher with Mirror.
Instrumentation: flute
Duration: c. 5' 20"
Date: 11 June 2020Location: Queens, New York, USA

Asham Vohu


“There is one way and that is truth,

Truth is happiness,

And happiness belongs to him

Who desires the truth only for the truth.”


This is one of the three fundamental prayers that Zoroastrians perform at any time and place, whether for the beauty of nature, the truth and purity of fire, good words or deeds, or at various significant events of life. Four thousand years ago, in his book Gathas, Zoroaster used the word Asha (truth) 162 times in his poems and considered it the key to the order of the universe. The first quality that guides us to light. Any thought, speech, or action that is in line with the universal conception of Asha is “good” and progressive, and those others of inverse qualities are considered “bad” and deterrent. (Khazaei, 2007) Friedrich Nietzsche has also invested in truth and truthfulness as a fundamental quality for the measure of value. He, too, maintained that truthfulness, despite all its unfortunate potentialities, is a nessecity in order to advance in life. “In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow.” (EH Pref., 3) Notwithstanding that Nietzsche deems truthfulness to be an essential value, he regards us in need for illusion to be able able to live well.


“How much truth does a spirit endure, how much truth does it dare? More and more that became for me the real measure of value.” (EH Pref., 3) “I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the great majority of people lacks an intellectual conscience. … I mean: the great majority of people does not consider it contemptible to believe this or that and live accordingly, without having first given themselves an account of the final and most certain reasons pro and con, and without even troubling themselves about such reasons afterwards.” (GS 2) “No, life has not disappointed me… ever since the day when the great liberator came to me: the idea that life could be an experiment for the seeker for knowledge.” (GS 324) “A thinker is now that being in whom the impulse for truth and those life-preserving errors now clash for their first fight, after the impulse for truth has proved to be also a life-preserving power. Compared to the significance of this fight, everything else is a matter of indifference: the ultimate question about the conditions of life has been posed here, and we confront the first attempt to answer the question by experiment. To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question; that is the experiment.” (GS 110) “How can we make things beautiful, attractive, and desirable for us when they are not? And I rather think that in themselves they never are. Here we should learn something... from artists who are really continually trying to bring off such inventions and feats. Moving away from things until there is a good deal that one no longer sees and there is much that our eye has to add if we are still to see them at all; or seeing things around a corner and as cut out and framed; or to place them so that they partially conceal each other and grant us only glimpses of architectural perspective; or looking at them through tinted glass or in the light of the sunset; or giving them a surface and skin that is not fully transparent — all that we should learn from artists while being wiser than they are in other matters. For with them this subtle power usually comes to an end where art ends and life begins; but we want to be the poets of our life — first of all in the smallest, most everyday matters.” (GS 299) “‘Giving style’ to one’s character — a great and rare art! It is exercised by those who see all the strengths and weaknesses of their own natures and then comprehend them in an artistic plan until everything appears as art and reason and even weakness delights the eye.” (GS 290) For Nietzsche, the value of art has always stood against the value of truth — he deemed art a saviour for us undertaking the truth through science.

Your own esthetical and sensuous nature can be a manifesto itself, to articulate creative schemes, that possess virtue and grandeur, that is competent to reconstruct the ruptured rhizomes from within to establish a new nature, an alternative form that could rejoice in the charm of your origines.

Saman Samadi - Aša.pdf