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  • Writer's pictureEfthimios Sifounios

The influence of Pythagoras in mysticism

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher, and mathematician who lived in the 6th century BCE, had a significant influence on mysticism, particularly through his ideas about the soul and the afterlife, and his belief in the harmony and order of the universe. His followers, known as the Pythagoreans, developed a complex system of numerology and cosmology based on his teachings, which were intertwined with mystical and religious beliefs. Many of his ideas were later adopted and expanded upon by other mystic and esoteric traditions.




Pythagoras and his followers believed in the transmigration of the soul, the idea that the soul is immortal and can be reborn into a new body after death. They also believed in the concept of "purification" or "purging" the soul through moral and ethical living, and the practice of contemplation and self-reflection.

Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans were also known for their belief in the harmony and order of the universe, which they saw as being based on mathematical principles. They believed that the world was created and is governed by numbers and that everything in the universe, including the soul, is connected to numbers. This led to the development of a complex system of numerology, which was used to understand the hidden meanings and connections in the world.





Pythagoras and his followers also believed in the existence of a "cosmic mind" or "world-soul" that pervades the universe and is responsible for its order and harmony. This idea is similar to the concept of a "cosmic consciousness" or "universal mind" that is found in many mystical and spiritual traditions.

In addition to these beliefs, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans developed a way of life that included communal living, vegetarianism, and strict rules of conduct. They also had secret teachings that were only revealed to initiated members, and some suggested that they practiced meditation and other forms of spiritual practices.

Overall, Pythagoras and his followers were a significant influence on the development of mysticism and esotericism, their ideas and teachings have been passed down through the centuries and continue to be studied and discussed in the modern world.


Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans believed that numbers were the fundamental building blocks of the universe and that everything in the world could be understood through numbers. They believed that the world was created and is governed by numbers and that everything in the universe, including the soul, is connected to numbers. They believed that numbers had a spiritual dimension and that certain numbers were sacred or divine. For example, the number 1 was considered to be the source of all numbers, and the number 10 was considered to be the perfect number, representing the universe.

The Pythagoreans believed that the study of numbers and their relationships could reveal hidden truths about the world and the universe. They developed a complex system of numerology, which was used to understand the hidden meanings and connections in the world. They believed that numbers could reveal the secrets of the cosmos, including the nature of the soul, the afterlife, and the nature of the gods.

In addition to their belief in the power of numbers, the Pythagoreans were also known for their belief in the harmony and order of the universe. They believed that the universe was created and is governed by a "cosmic mind" or "world-soul" that pervades the universe and is responsible for its order and harmony. This idea is similar to the concept of a "cosmic consciousness" or "universal mind" that is found in many mystical and spiritual traditions.

The Pythagoreans also believed in the concept of "purification" or "purging" the soul through moral and ethical living, and the practice of contemplation and self-reflection. They believed that the soul could be purified through living a virtuous life and that this would lead to a better afterlife and possibly even immortality.

Pythagoreanism was also known for its communal living, vegetarianism, and strict rules of conduct. They also had secret teachings that were only revealed to initiated members, and some suggested that they practiced meditation and other forms of spiritual practices.

Pythagoras and his followers were a significant influence on the development of mysticism, cosmology, mathematics, and philosophy. Their ideas and teachings have been passed down through the centuries and continue to be studied and discussed in the modern world.

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