philosophy

Pythagoras’ Teachings are Relevant Now

I want to talk about Pythagoras. He was born on a Greek colonial island, Samos, in the Mediterranean Sea, over 25 centuries ago. When Pythagoras is mentioned now, the common reply is, “I don’t like math.” Pythagoras did live according to a strict philosophy he called, historia, or inquiry.  He was a highly respected man of his time, and his teachings are still apropos.

The first ten numbers (Pythagoras did not use zero) are particularly significant, and make up what he called the “tetraktys,” which Pythagoras taught is an image of the created and eternal realms. pythagoras_tetractys

The symbolism of each number from one to ten describes the process of creation and evolution.

Music is not simply a form of entertainment, according to Pythagorean philosophy, but an expression of the harmonia, the devine principle that brings order to chaos and discord.

Pythagoras told the leaders of his time, that they were entrusted by the people, to govern without selfish purposes. They should govern in a manner that the governed country can be passed down to its children, as a hereditary possession. The governors could achieve this by recognizing their own equality with the citizens. Only justice can be in a position of authority.

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In order to promote justice, Pythagoras recommended that people extend the sense of brotherhood to their animals. He urged them to treat their animals with kindness, not to sacrifice them in rituals, and as much as possible, not to eat them. He reasoned that those who respect kinship between people and animals, recognize to a greater degree, their interdependence with other people.

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