Pythagoras was born in 560 BC, on the Greek island of Samos, generations before Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, or Alexander the Great. Pythagoras is the earliest, best-known Greek philosopher, though he never wrote a word (to our knowledge).

All of what we know about him comes from what his students wrote, and from this, we know that Pythagoras was a mathematician, philosopher, speaker, teacher, musician, and religious leader who believed that numbers literally comprise our material world at its most fundamental level. Beyond atoms, electrons, nucleii, protons, neutrons, up quarks, down quarks, muons, gluons, or even eleven dimensional strings, there are only numbers. Matter can be broken down ad infintum, but mathematics govern the entire process at every step.

Pythagoras – the spirit within him, at least – was once many other people, so this bears mentioning in his biography. From Diogenes Laertius,

“Pythagoras remembered everything – how he first had been Aethalides, then Euphorbus, then Hermotimus, then Pyrrhus, the Delian fisherman. When Pyrrhus died, he became Pythagoras.”

Reincarnation, or metempsychosis, was the reality known by Pythagoras. On Pythagoras’s first visit to Troy, he saw a shield from the famous battle nailed to a wall. He recognized the shield, and broke down into tears – it was his shield, when he fought in the battle of Troy in a previous life, as Ephorbus. Pythagoras informed all around him that his name, Ephorbus, was inscribed on the inside of the shield. The crowd was intrigued by the unlikely claim, and removed the shield to find it inscribed exactly as Pythagoras had predicted.

Pythagoras venerated the tetractys – a shape so holy that Pythagoreans would swear oaths on it, like the Bible in modern western culture. A tetracys is made of six points in the shape of a hexagon, with one at the middle, and with three at each corner to form a triangle with exactly ten dots. The tetractys is actually an unbelievably deep metaphor, on which this author will expound greatly in the near future. To give a quick summary, the tetracys is a computer, and gives us insight as to how computers will work in the future. Aristotle studied Pythagoreanism, and teaches us that

“…the Pythagoreans represented the world as inhaling ‘air’ form the boundless mass outside it, and this ‘air’ is identified with ‘the unlimited’. When, however, we come to the process by which things are developed out of the ‘unlimited’, we observe a great change. We hear nothing more of ‘separating out’ or even of rarefaction and condensation. Instead of that we have the theory that what gives form to the Unlimited is the Limit. That is the great contribution of Pythagoras to philosophy, and we must try to understand it.”

It’s one thing to say that mathematics governs our reality, but it would be an entirely different statement to say that numbers are our reality. At first, this seems like saying that because a newspaper article is about a story, that newspaper article is that story. In short, our reality arises out of perception, and our perception is governed by mathematics. We never truly “see” anything, we only see our perception of it.

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