Francoeur (Un pont pout Zarathoustra, 2014) offers a memoir about channeling the spirit of the prophet Zarathustra.
The author writes that it was a November day in 2007, during a retreat at a Lake Tahoe hotel, when she first encountered a spirit repeating its name in a voice that only she could hear: “Zarathustra, Zarathustra”—also known as Zoroaster, the founder of the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, believed to have lived sometime between 1700 and 1300 BCE. For seven years, the author says, Zarathustra communed with her via visions and encouraged her to spread his message, which resulted in this book. In the first two chapters, Francoeur focuses on asserting the truth of the relationship, however unbelievable it may seem to readers. In the subsequent 17 chapters, she writes in the voice of Zarathustra, sharing his words of peace and self-fulfillment: “I am here to mirror back to you who you really are. I want you to learn about your true identity, I want you to let yourself bloom, whatever limits your mind has set on this truth for whatever length of time.” In addition to offering advice on how to live, the book provides stories about Zarathustra’s time on Earth, including tales that center on lessons he learned in his youth and his love of his wife, Lara. Readers may be surprised that Zarathustra doesn’t discuss many of the concepts associated with Zoroastrianism—neither Ahura Mazda (the god of Zorastrianism) nor the Avesta (the faith’s sacred texts) are even mentioned. But perhaps it’s unsurprising that a prophet’s positions might evolve a bit over the course of 3,000 years. This book presents a Zarathustra for the 21st century, eschewing dogmatic cosmology in favor of the nonsectarian, individual-centered affirmations of contemporary spiritualism. Most readers will likely not be persuaded, but such revelations have rarely been met with widespread enthusiasm. Overall, the book is most interesting when it recounts narratives from Zarathustra’s life. However, these memories and parables aren’t quite as poignant as one might hope. For a man who’s been credited with inventing monotheism, this book’s Zarathustra seems to have run out of original ideas.
An unusual faith-based message, attributed to a deceased prophet.