“Pythagoras was said to have been the first man to call himself a philosopher; in fact, the world is indebted to him for the word philosopher. Before that time, the wise men called themselves sages, which was interpreted to mean those who know. Pythagoras was more modest. He coined the word philosopher, which he defined as one who is attempting to find out. … He traveled among the Jews and was instructed by the Rabbins concerning the secret traditions of Moses. … Pythagoras was initiated into the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Chaldean Mysteries.” ~Manly P Hall
Pythagoras the Philosopher
Many know of Pythagoras as primarily a mathematician. In truth, he was a spiritual philosopher more than a mathematician. His studies in the field of mathematics were primarily to understand the relationship of mathematics to creation and to the development of the soul. His mathematical studies were mainly to help in the study of geometry as the language of the soul. He, like many other spiritual philosophers believe the soul to understand geometric shapes rather than words, or at least to be affected by them. (When I was in High School, geometry was my favorite math class. Now I understand why.)
I was not aware, however, that he invented the word “philosopher” to describe himself as a seeker of truth because he thought the term “sage” was too egoic. It makes perfect sense, of course, that one interested in spiritual growth and higher states of consciousness would shun anything that boosts the ego. Not that he or any sensible spiritual teacher taught that the ego should be utterly destroyed. He taught rather that it had to be kept in check with the spirit and soul taking the lead rather than the ego.
Pythagoras the Student
There is an important lesson found in the quote. Pythagoras wasn’t born with great wisdom and knowledge. He was born a seeker, no more. Pythagoras didn’t just declare himself a philosopher or sage. He spent years traveling and studying under the great mystery schools of the time (much as Jesus is said to have done by some).
The Philosophy of Pythagoras
- Here are a few examples of the teachings of Pythagoras and his school.
- Mathematics is the basis for everything and geometry is the highest form of mathematics.
- Numbers have personalities.
- The world depends on the interaction of opposites: male & female, hot & cold, dry & wet, etc.
- The cosmos can be better understood by recognizing the mathematical relationships within them.
- No man is free who cannot control himself.
- As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace.
- Choose to be strong of soul rather than strong of body.
- The Pythagorean community treated men and women as equals.
- Each number has meaning (numerology)
- The number one is the number of reason 1
- Two is the number of opinion
- Three is the number of harmony
1. 2017 is a one in basic numerology. 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10, 1 + 0 = 1. So this is a year of reason, unity, joining, becoming part of the whole.