14 Words by Email

Saturday, 25 February 2012

PYTHAGORAS

"The Pythagoric Letter two ways spread, Shows the two
paths in which Man's life led. The right hand track to
sacred Virtue tends, Though steep and rough at first,
in rest it ends; The other broad and smooth, but from
it's Crown On rocks the traveler is tumbled down. He
who to Virtue by harsh toils aspires, Subduing pains,
worth and renown acquires: But who seeks slothful
luxury, and flies, The labor of great acts, dishonor'd
dies." ........Maximinus

Music encompasses every phase of human life. It is the precondition of man's very existence; a key to the knowledge of ultimate truth; and the trainer and conditioner of man's earthly life. Aristotle tells us that the followers of Pythagoras believed that the motion of the great sphere like bodies of the universe must produce a noise, since on our own earth the motion of bodies far inferior in size and speed of movement has that effect. Also, when the sun and the moon, they say, and all the stars, so great in number and in size, are moving with so rapid a motion, how should they not produce a sound immensely great? Starting from this argument, and the observation that their speeds, as measured by their distances, are in the same ratio as musical concordances, they assert that the sound given forth by the circular movement of the stars is a harmony. This harmony the great avatar and teacher of teachers Pythagoras referred to as the "Music of the Spheres."
Music lies at the very beginning of the universe; through it's harmony, number and perfection order is brought into the world. Thus at every level of existence music is a controlling factor. It is one of the ultimate truths of a universe framed in the beginning by its Maker in musical proportions. After imposing order upon the material of the soul, which is imagined by Plato to be a length graduated by the various musical proportions, the Maker of the world split this fabric lengthwise into two halves. These he formed into a cross, joining them in their centers. Then he bent each into a circle with the ends meeting opposite their first point of contact. The outer circle became the sphere of the fixed stars having but one motion. The interior circle, however, was subdivided into seven other circles which were the individual orbits of the seven planets. The first circle's motion is the motion of the Same while that of the second is the motion of the Different. Weaving these heavenly motions of the soul together with material of the four elements, the structure of the entire universe is finally completed. The great German philosopher Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe was quoted as saying: "Eternal harmony converses "within itself". Yes, the harmonies are eternal, but they are also self-sufficient: the conversation takes place within the bosom of God and does not require validation in the phenomenal world."

"God "has represented Himself in the world," and the way he
has done so is through mathematics: "I sometimes wonder
whether the world of nature and all the beauty of the heavens
is not symbolized in geometry." ..........Johanne Kepler

It has been a long held belief in the ancient mysteries that after the last Great Flood the fundamental knowledge of the cosmos had survived to the remaining world inscribed upon two great pillars, one of marble and the other of brick. Upon the marble pillar were written the Astronomical discoveries and upon the other were written the secrets of music carved it is believed by Jubal, known as the father of music and musicians. This knowledge known as the prisca theologia, was believed to have been revealed in origin by God, to the first men. The writings possessed all the divine word that man needed to know, and having survived the last great chaos on earth were eventually rediscovered, one of them found by Hermes and the other by Pythagoras who both imbibed this secret knowledge and passed it on through their philosophies. Pythagoras was the first man who applied to the universe the name 'Kosmos', and who first called the earth round.The very word 'Philosophy' itself was coined by Pythagoras who held that no mortal was entitled to claim the honor of possessing wisdom; the term 'The Wise' should be reserved for the gods, who alone were perfect in wisdom. The Greeks of his day commonly used the word 'Sophos', meaning 'The Wise', which he personally regarded as arrogant. He therefore devised the word, Philosophus, which meant, "a lover of wisdom." Philosoper, is also a word that might accurately represent a person who is seeking the truth.
The Thrice Great Hermes Trismegistus was known to have been an inspired Aryan Egyptian seer who lived and wrote at the very dawn of antquity: he was indeed the inventor of writing with hieroglyphs, and so many discoveries of wonder that he alone more than any other man to have ever walked this earth could rightfully be titled as the "Father of Human Civilization". Second to Hermes and Orpheus in wisdom and as a semi divine initiate would undeniably have to be Pythagoras. In fact the first great exponent of the Orphics was Pythagoras. The mother of Pythagoras who's name was Parthenis, was a woman of great intellect and ambition and she made it her lifes focus to see to it that her son would possess the greatest knowledge on earth by first learning to comprehend the innermost secrets of the Egyptian mysteries. The parents of Pythagoras were aristocratic and wealthy by the standards of the time, his father, Mnesarchus was a cutter of precious stones.
In the year 580 B.C.E. while Pythagoras was still in his mothers womb, both parents were journeying through Delphi and decided to consult the Oracle at Delphi at the Temple of Apollo to see if the Fates would promise them a safe trip home to Samos. The Pythian priestess completely ignored their question and instead, solemnly announced from the Tripod of divination these words: "Parthenis was then with child and that she would soon give birth to a son destined to excel all men in wisdom and beauty. This child, she foresaw, would devote his whole life to the benefit of mankind and would attain immortal honors that would be remembered to the end of history." It is handed down that Pythagoras' mother at the time Pythagoras was ready to advance in his studies, eagerly sold all of her fine jewelry so that her son would have the advantages of an Egyptian education. Women in those days were forbidden to learn the divine secrets but the mother of Pythagoras was determined to know them and was confident that her son would learn the divine mysteries and tell her. Pythagoras at age 18 had already studied with Hermodamas of Samos, and before he was 20 attended the classes of Pherecydes at Syros. These masters had opened up new horizons for Pythagoras but did not satisfy him.
It was at the age of 20 that Pythagoras left his home in Samos and headed off to Egypt to knock upon the great bronze temple doors and present himself to his teachers. Among the first wise ones that Pythagoras visited before embarking to Egypt were Thales, of Miletus, and Bias, of Priene, both wise men of high renown. It was Thales who strongly urged Pythagoras to sail straight to Egypt and associate with the priests of Jupiter; if the young man would do this, he would become the wisest and most divine of mortals. The Egyptian priests of the temples were known to strongly guard the arcane mysteries they possessed with zealous if not jealous dread.
Upon his arrival Pythagoras was immediately turned away with the explanation that no foreigners could ever enter the sacred portals---that the initiates must be those born in the shadows of the temples and nurtured in the faith from infancy by holy virgins. Even with his credentials from the Pharaoh Amasis, the priests of Heliopolis would not except him and he was dispatched to Memphis, and there the masters sent him to the ancients of Diospolis. Pythagoras cleverly found a sponsor to represent him and convince the high priests that he was in fact a living son of Apollo of which he certainly looked the part being a youth of exceedingly handsome qualities and remarkable knowledge and dignity for his age. Hard pressed by Pythagoras the wise Masters eventually gave in and instructed him to appear before the door of the temple naked at midnight on a specific night and he would be admitted. On that appointed hour Pythagoras approached the huge majestic doors of the temple and knocked but the only answer was a hollow echo. It was a cold and windy night and Pythagoras was chilled to the bone and continued to pound on the doors with a stone and called out aloud demanding admittance. He now heard the barking of angry dogs within but continued to demand admittance and soon found the dogs were let loose upon him which he fought with his desperate strength. By morning Pythagoras was still standing naked before the temple doors and the Egyptian workers passing by threw stones at him until all at once he heard the creaking of the doors begin to open and stepping inside found himself in dense darkness as he stumbled down upon the cold stone floor. A voice in the darkness demanded to know if he wished to go on, to which he replied, "I desire to go on." A black-robed figure wearing a mask, then appeared with a flickering candle light and Pythagoras was led into a stone cell where his head was shaved, and he was given a course robe and then left alone for many hours.
So was to begin an ongoing series of difficult testing which Pythagoras was only too willing to bear knowing that each obsticle was necessary to gauge his will and determination, such as running across burning hot sands where he sank to the waist to where he felt sure he would perish. Always a voice at the most extreme moment would call out loudly, "Do you desire to go on?" His answer was always, "I desire to go on!" As with all initiations the initiate soon comes to find that most of the dangers that they fear are simply illusions. The Egyptian Masters grew to have such a high and esteemrd regard for Pythagoras that he was given every oppurtunity to learn and know the inmost secrets known to man and he would spend 25 whole years of his life learning this God given sacred knowledge in the Egyptian temples until he encompassed all that could be taught save that knowledge which was incomprehensible. From Egypt he then journeyed to Babylon and discoursed with the Magus Nazaratus. Some affirm that he studied with the last of the Zoroasters, the fire priests of Persia. From Babylon he pushed on to Crete and Sparta; and then made his celebrated journey to the Far East. According to records preserved by the Brahmins, Pythagoras reached India, and there he was initiated into Brahmanic Rites in the cave temples at Ellora and Elephanta; he is still believed to be the only non-Hindu of ancient or modern times to be accepted into full membership.
Pythagoras also studied with the Arabs, the Chaldeans, and the Druid priests of Gaul. In every place that he visited he sought out the most learned, discoursed with them and compared their doctrines. In the end, after his initiation into fourteen systems of world religions, he solomnly asserted in conclusion that all religions were identical in principle, serving the same God, teaching the same virtues, and practicing the same esoteric disciplines. Religions vary as do people. Pythagoras recognized that people, too, are arranged in a hierarchy, and that they vary enormously in their receptivity to philosophy. Some are little more than animals, and require the same loving attentions, while others are little short of Gods. Consequently he reserved different degrees of teaching for the different levels.
By the time Pythagoras was ready to return home to Samos he found that his mother had already died. He was welcomed home with great honor were crowds flocked to hear his lectures and royalty paid him profound obeisance. In time Pythagoras found that the people of his home town began to view him as too aloof, austere, too severe in his methods and when he began to expose the local officials for their sloth and indifference, he was invited to go elsewhere to teach his science of life. He journeyed into Southern Italy, and at Crotona built his Temple to the Muses and founded the Pythagorean School. All the people of his time viewed him as the wisest and most learned living man on earth.
Pythagoras was the principle exponent of Greek mystical philosophy. The Pythagorean doctrines were circulated throughout the Greek state and are to be found, at least in part, in the teachings of most of the Greek thinkers who followed him in time. Some of the Maxims that Pythagoras taught his followers were these: Cut not into the grape. You hope too much in this condition, so are afterwards depressed.--- Wise men are neither cast down in defeat nor exalted by success.--- Eat moderately, bathe plentifully, exercise much in the open air, walk far, and climb the hills alone.--- Above all things, learn to keep silence---hear all and speak little.--- If you are defamed, answer not back. Talk convinces no one.--- Your life and character proclaim you more than any argument you can put forth.--- Lies return to plague those who repeat them.--- The secret of power is to keep an even temper, and remember that no one thing that can happen is of much moment.--- The course of justice, industry, courage, moderation, silence, means that you shall receive your due of every good thing.--- The gods may be slow, but they never forget.--- It is not for us to punish men nor avenge ourselves for slights, wrongs and insults---wait, and you will see that Nemesis unhorses the man intent on calumny.--- A woman's ornaments should be modesty, simplicity, truth, obedience.--- If a woman would hold a man captive she can only do it by obeying him.--- Violent woman are even more displeasing to the gods than violent men---both are destroying themselves. Strife is always defeat.--- Debauchery, riot, splendor, luxury, are attempts to get a pleasure out of life that is not our due, and so Nemesis provides her penalty for the idle and gluttonous.--- Fear and honor the gods. They guide our ways and watch over us in our sleep.--- After the gods, a man's first thought should be of his father and mother. Next to these his wife, then his children.---Wear not the image of God upon your jewelry---do not make religion a proud or boastful thing.--- Help men to a burden, but never unburden them.--- Leave not the mark of the pot upon the ashes---wipe out the past, forget it, look to the future.--- Eat no fish whose fins are black---have nothing to do with men whose deeds are dark.--- Eat not the heart--- do not act so as to harrow the feelings of your friends and do not be morbid.--- Never stir the fire with a sword--- Do not inflame people who are wrathful.---Assist a man in raising a burden; but do not assist him in laying it down.---Receive not a swallow into your house.--- Decline from the public ways, walk in unfrequented paths.

"Consult and deliberate before you act, that thou mayest not
commit foolish actions. For 't is the part of a miserable man
to speak and to act without reflection. But do that which will
not afflict thee afterwards, nor oblige thee to repentance."
.........................Pythagoras

The school that Pythagoras built in Crotona grew rapidly in size until it became the cheif attraction in the city. In the gardens in front of the institute there was erected a statue of Hermes and on its pedestal the words: Eskato Bebeloi; No entrance for the profane! The population of the town actually doubled in size as result of the flow of pilgrims that flocked to the school. Students of Pythagoras were directed in studies in music, mathematics, medicine, ethics and the science of government. Pythagoras admitted woman to his school on the same basis as men and with equal opportunity for advancement to all the grades. Many students came to the master hoping to gain a shortcut to the wisdom that Pythagoras had learned in his 20 years of study in Egypt. Pythagoras was the age of 60 when he married the daughter of one of the chief citizens of Crotona. His wife was named Theano, daughter of Brotinos of Crotona and she bore him two sons Arimnestes and Telauges, and a daughter Damo. At a later date Telauges became the master of Empedocles to whom he handed down the secrets of the Pythagorean doctrine.
Both Pythagoras and his wife attempted to establish an enlightened Utopian Community but again the townspeople took offence finding the Pythagoreans far too aloof and soon jealousy set in and it all boiled down to Town verses Gown. The Pythagoreans who numbered about 300, forbade any strangers to enter within their walls and were in essence a law unto themselves. Many inaccurate rumers began circulating with heated prejudice running high among the townspeople. On a particular night, led by a band of drunken soldiers, a mob made an assult upon the Temple and the buildings were burned and most all inside were killed in the flames. It has remained a belief that Pythagoras escaped and he lived on to the age of 100 years. Other accounts reveal the Pythagoras did indeed escape with two of his students Archippus and Lysis but was hunted down and killed a short time later and crucified. Figures of Pythagoras crucified on a cross were reportedly known among the Greeks in those times but later stricken from history books because it conflicted with the dramatic symbolism of the death of Christ promotion centuries later during the time of the Roman empire.
Not unlike the grim end to all of the works and labors of Pythagoras, Orpheus also, suffered a not so unsimilar end. After a series of revolutions, the tyrants of Thrace committed his books to the flames, overthrew his temples and drove away his disciples. A concerted effort was then made by his detrctors to obliterate all the great knowledge that he had left to mankind and efface his very memory leaving no signs whatsoever of his existence. The immediate acknowledged successor to Pythagoras was Aristaeus, the son of the Crotonian Damophon, who was Pythagoras' contemporary, and lived seven ages before Plato. Being exceedingly skillful in Pythagoric dogmas, Aristaeus carried on the school, educated Pythagoras' children, and married his wife Theano. Pythagoras was said to have taught his school 39 years.
In his teachings Pythagoras correctly observed that all things are linked together proportionately, by justice and harmony---call it what you will. By cultivating an awareness of harmonic forming principles and working within the bounds set by necessity, mankind possess the potential to become a sacred steward of the earth and co-creator with Nature; but the inevitable corollary is that humanity also has every power to create and inhabit a hell on earth of its own making. The simple fact remains that the scales of justice are inexorable---it is a principle of Nature, and not merely of human morals, that each should receive his due. If we poison our rivers, we poison ourselves; if we act in stupidity, it is only appropriate that we suffer the consequences. After the destruction of the Pythagorean institute at Crotona, the survivors, and later, their disciples, formed themselves into a kind of secret brotherhood and they scattered throughout Asia minor and were able to recognize each other by secret signs and passwords. In the years to follow it would be Plato who would become the rightful successor to the mysteries of the Samian sage.

"If you would, therefore, deserve praise, you must endevour to
resemble the gods." .....................Pythagoras

As an individual Pythagoras exhibited extraordinary self control on all occasions. He was never known to be angry, unkind, quick tempered, or impatient. He was humble even in the presence of men whose knowledge was far less than his own, and would devote many hours to solving problems of local farmers, merchants or anyone who was in difficulty. A strong contributing factor to his gentleness of spirit was known to have resulted from a tragic incident which occured in his early years of teaching. A student that he was instructing obviously dull-witted could not comprehend even the simplest parts of philosophy and kept asking the same question over and over again. Pythagoras was patient for the longest time; but at last becoming weary with the young man's density of mind, rebuked him severely for his slowness. The youth, who adored Pythagoras, and simply lacked the mental capacity to understand, was brokenhearted and drawing a dagger from his cloak killed himself there on the spot at his master's feet. From that time on till the very end of his life Pythagoras never rebuked a man for any reason whatsoever. Pythagoras not unlike Apollonius were so majestic in their appearance that people at times in passing them on the street would drop to their knees believing that they were in the presence of a god.
In the teachings of Pythagoras, mathematics was the master science and the key to all heavenly and earthly knowledge. Pythagoras has always been viewed as a scientist because of his incessant views upon the laws governing mathematics, astronomy, and music. It could be said that Orpheus was the priest, Pythagoras was the scientist, and Plato was the philosopher. The most sacred symbol of the Pythagorean sect was a pyramid of ten dots, called the Tetractys arranged in triangular form of 4 dots at he bottom 3 dots above 2 additional dots above that and 1 at the top. The Pythagoreans also venerated the 'Tetrahedron'---the symmetric solid composed of four equalateral triangles and the absolute symbol of the World Mystery. It was strictly forbidden to ever talk anything at all about the Tetrahedron to the profane.
Pythagoras carried the teachings of numbers a great deal farther than any before or after him. In each number he defined a principle, a law, an active force of the universe. He said, however, that the essential principles are contained in the first four numbers, since all the others are formed by adding or multiplying them. In the same way the infinite variety of beings composing the universe is produced by the combinations of the three primordial forces; matter, soul, spirit, under the creating impulse of the divine unity which mingles and differentiates, concentrates and separates. Along with the chief masters of esoteric science Pythagoras attached great importance to the numbers seven and ten. Seven, the compound of three and four, signifies the union of man and divinity. It is the figure of the adepts, of the great initiates, and, since it expresses the complete realization in all things through seven degrees, it represents the law of evolution. The number ten formed by the addition of the first four numbers, and containing the former number, is the perfect number, par excellence, for it represents all the principles of divinity, evolved and re-united in a new unity.
On finishing the teaching of his theogony, Pythagoras showed his disciples the nine Muses, personifying the sciences, grouped three by three, presiding over the triple ternary evolved in nine worlds, and forming, along with Hestia, the divine science, guardian of the primordial Fire---The Sacred Decad. Pythagoras like other great initiates was able early in his lifetime to penetrate through the narrow door into the immensity of the invisible universe. He would instruct his adepts to awake within themselves direct vision of the purified soul, and arm themselves with the torch of intelligence, with the science of the sacred principles and numbers. He regarded the universe as a living being, animated by a great soul and filled with a mighty intelligence. Spirit in itself, whether in the far-away sky or on earth, must have an organ; that organ is the living soul, whether bestial or sublime, obscure or radiant, retaining, however, the human form, the image of God.
The ancient Greeks recognized three orders of human souls, classified to natures or qualities. The first order was that of Essential Heroes who were described as the perpetual attendants of the gods; they were the order of world sages born out of the divine nature to fulfill the will of the gods. The second order was that of the Terrestrial Heroes; these possessed a high degree of impassivity and purity and formed the Golden Chain of Homer, which binds the earth to the Olympian state. Hecules, Thesus, Pythagoras, and Plato were terrestrial heroes. Though not actually divine, they possessed divine powers and virtues, and were born into the mortal state principally to benefit less advanced human beings. The third order was simply called Corporeal; it contained those human souls who descended with intemperate passions and appetites and lacked the virtue of purity. It was to redeem these, that the terrestrial heroes were born. Only one's own efforts and acquired wisdom can free one from this migration around the states of being. Nevertheless, there is every reason for piety towards the Gods, and for gratitude to Pythagoras and those others who have taught the means to attain freedom through rational conduct and the philosophic life.
Pythagoras represents to us an adept or avatar of the highest order, possessed of the scientific mind and cast in philosophic and spiritual mould to which the spirit of modern times most nearly approaches. Men the likes of Hermes, Orpheus, Pythagoras or Apollonius, these men have bore different names in different times in history. They are primordial men, adepts, great initiates, sublime geniuses, who transform and metamorphose humanity. So rare are they that they may be counted in the long stretch of our history on one or two hands. Providence scatters them here and there at long intervals of time, like stars in the heavens. How brilliant they shine in the darkness! How close their names remain to our lips over centuries of time! They are the lights in the darkness and will continue to return so long as men will listen.

"Man is a microcosm, which means a compendium of the
universe; not because, like other animals, even the least,
he is constituted by the four elements, but because he
contains all the powers of the cosmos. For the universe
contains Gods, the four elements, animals and plants. All
of these powers are contained in man. He has reason,
which is a divine power; he has the nature of the elements,
and the powers of moving, growing, and reproduction."
.........Pythagoras
Ron McVan

0 comMENTS:

Post a Comment

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More