Pythagoras, A Silent Inductee
The first “pure mathematician” directed a school in which, among other things, the disciples were vegetarian, silent and held no personal property.
Speak not without light about Pythagorean matter.
We know very little of Pythagoras’ life. Unlike later Greek mathematicians, Pythagoras left behind no written books. He never wrote because he did not want to be tied to the written word, he wanted his thoughts to live beyond the corporeal death, in the mind of his disciples. Through it he induced the freedom behind retaining the initial knowledge of a master, and transform it to continue its life. Currently, his theories continue to be thought and rethought. Some consider him to be the first pure mathematician, and the society he headed, mystical and scientific, followed a secret code that to this day makes Pythagoras a mysterious and magnum character.
After returning from a trip that explored the entire continent, where he became inducted into the mysteries of Babylon and Egypt, Pythagoras founded a school in the city of Crotone, where he gathered a small group of disciples, which he later named mathematikoi. He taught them the secret wisdom he’d been taught in foreign lands, as well as the foundations of mathematics, music and astronomy, which he considered the triangular base of all sciences and arts. The mathematikoi with the Society permanently, they had no personal property and they were vegetarians (Pythagoras believed that consuming meat was an impediment for reasoning). His school also had a series of initiations, since it demanded that its students passed different courses, until the passed the most advanced one, they would not be allowed to come into direct contact with him.
Pythagoras was not an extremist; he was actually preaching moderation. One of his favourite statements was:
We must avoid with our utmost endeavour, and amputate with fire and sword, and by all other means, from the body, sickness; from the soul, ignorance; from the belly, luxury; from a city, sedition; from a family, discord; and from all things, excess.
It’s hard to encompass his entire cosmogony in an article as short as this, but perhaps we can understand that to him, God was the monad (every single one of those indivisible substances, of a different nature, that constitute the universe), we can understand nature through his teachings. He taught that, in its deepest level, reality has a mathematical nature; that philosophy can be used to purify our soul; that certain symbols have a mystical meaning; that the soul can be elevated become one with the divine and that stars and men return cyclically. Of the latter he believed that the soul was a number with a movement of its own, which experiments a form of consecutive transmigration in different species until it found its final purification. A symbolic vision shared with Buddhism and Orphism that enables us to recognise a type of supreme awareness that the mathematician belonged to.
In terms of their research, what sets the Pythagorean school apart from others, was that the mathematician and his disciples were interested in the principles of mathematics, the concept of the number, the concept of the triangle and other mathematical shapes, and in the abstract idea of demonstration. Meaning, in the poetics of the number, and not in the resolution of mathematical problems.
The most famous fragments of Pythagoras’ teachings are contained in some of the Golden Verses, the summary of the complete philosophical system that represents the foundations for the educational doctrines of Crotone. These verses encourage Man to think carefully and industrially of the concerns of everyday life, and to prefer the treasures of the mind and the soul to the accumulations of their mundane possessions. The verses also promise us that if we leave behind our material nature and cultivate self-control instead, this will at last be acceptable in the eyes of the gods (the perfect monad), thus will become one with them and partake in immortality.
Something essential for Pythagoreans was silence. This is an additional reason as to why we do not know more about this master’s doctrines; nonetheless due to the transmigration of his ideas, we know have this hidden cosmogony, another tool that enables mankind’s illustration.
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the