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  • Writer's pictureEfthimios Sifounios

The Pythagorean beliefs

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

The Pythagorean beliefs were a set of religious and philosophical ideas developed by the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras and his followers. These beliefs centered around the idea that numbers and mathematical relationships were the keys to understanding the nature of the universe and the soul. The Pythagoreans believed in the concept of metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls, and that the soul could achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment through a process of purification and contemplation of mathematical truths. They also believed in the existence of cosmic order and harmony, which they called the "music of the spheres." These beliefs had a significant influence on the development of Western philosophy and science.




Pythagoras and his followers believed in the concept of metempsychosis, the idea that the soul is immortal and passes through a series of lives, possibly in different forms. They believed that the soul could become "purified" through living a virtuous life and that by contemplating mathematical truths and contemplating on the inner essence of things, one could achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine. Pythagoreans were also known for their belief in the idea of the "music of the spheres", which holds that the movements of celestial bodies make a kind of music, and the harmony in the universe is reflected in the principles of mathematics. They believed that the universe was made up of numbers and that the properties of numbers, such as harmony and proportion, were the key to understanding the nature of the universe. Pythagoreanism also had a strong influence on ethics, they believed in the importance of living a virtuous life, and that virtues are closely related to numbers, for example, the idea of the "golden mean", which is the middle point between the two extremes, is seen as the virtue of moderation.




In terms of society, the Pythagoreans were known for their tight-knit community, in which members were expected to follow strict rules, such as not eating meat, not stealing, and not lying. They also had a strong emphasis on education and the pursuit of knowledge and were known for their contributions to mathematics, science, and philosophy. Overall, Pythagorean beliefs had a significant influence on the development of Western thought, and many of the ideas developed by Pythagoras and his followers continue to be studied and debated by scholars today.



Pythagorean society was known for being a tight-knit community, in which members were expected to follow strict rules and live according to a certain code of ethics. This community was known as the "Pythagorean brotherhood" or "Pythagorean society". Members of this society were expected to live a virtuous life and to pursue knowledge and understanding through the study of mathematics and philosophy. In terms of the soul, the Pythagoreans believed that the soul is immortal and passes through a series of lives, possibly in different forms. They believed that the soul could become "purified" through living a virtuous life and that by contemplating mathematical truths and contemplating on the inner essence of things, one could achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine.

The Pythagoreans also believed that the soul is connected to the body and that the soul is what animates the body, they also believed that the soul is connected to the universe and that the soul can only be at peace if it is in harmony with the universe. The Pythagorean society was also seen as a way to achieve the purification of the soul, the members were expected to follow strict rules, such as not eating meat, not stealing, and not lying, and these rules were seen as a way to achieve a virtuous life and to purify the soul. Overall, the Pythagorean society was a community of individuals who shared similar beliefs about the soul, the universe, and the importance of living a virtuous life. They believed that by following these beliefs, one could achieve spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine, and society was seen as a way to support and encourage this pursuit.


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