Sunday, April 1, 2012

The School of Pythagoras

By Geoffrey Whitehead

Long ago in a far off land a school had been established. This school was known far and wide as “The School of Pythagoras”. It was situated right in the middle of a fairly large village called “Pythagoras Hill”. The school was a little bit different from most because majority of the boys and girls who attended the school were over 40 years of age. The students could not leave the school because no high school would accept students with such a poor understanding of maths.

Now this was really quite strange because all of the students of Pythagoras Hill State School thought that maths was their best subject. They thought they had maths all sown up. In fact they believed that now that they had enrolled at The School of Pythagoras, maths would no longer be a matter of concern. You see, this school followed the text called “The Great Mathematician Pythagoras”. The school believed that as far as maths goes this text could not be beaten. The book was held in so high regard that no other text was allowed to be used and any students caught reading other texts would be expelled immediately.

The book was primarily about Pythagoras and his theories of mathematics. It was not written by Pythagoras himself but by some of his followers. Unfortunately as well as containing mathematical laws which are still held as being fundamental mathematical principles today, it also contained some misinterpretations of theories, some theories which were incorrect, and some theories made up by the writers themselves which were right off the track completely. They apparently thought that they knew Pythagoras well enough to include their own theories alongside of those of Pythagoras.

The writers of the text were so astounded by the mathematical discoveries of Pythagoras and his supernatural ability to calculate the seemingly incalculable that only they believed him to be “God’s Only Real Mathematician” and no one else could possibly attain the same standard of mathematical ability, therefore it would be useless to try.

Many men, before and after Pythagoras have tried to reach such mathematical excellence but all have failed. Therefore, according to the writers of the text it is only natural to assume that Pythagoras must have been a special man sent to Earth specifically for the purpose of giving his entire life to maths so that man no longer should have to worry about working out difficult maths problems.

And so it was, Pythagoras had become a sort of maths “Saviour” to all of his followers.

They students of Pythagoras Hill State School from time to time would be asked to recite certain passages from their maths text book like –

“No one gets into high school except by Pythagoras and whosoever believeth in him should no longer have to persist with maths to be accepted into high school.”

And

“There is no other name given in Heaven or on Earth whereby man shall be saved from having to do high level maths.”

The students believed these quotes to be of ultimate truth but none of the students had ever left year seven – so no one ever really knew for sure. The education system simply made the students at Pythagoras Hill State School repeat year seven all the time and hoped that one day they would realise the truth and leave the school with the aim of furthering their knowledge of maths. Their maths was so bad they didn’t even realise they were repeating year seven all the time.

From time to time teachers of maths from higher spheres of learning would be saddened by the unusual set of circumstances and would enrol at the school as staff to try and somehow encourage the brighter students to go on and study more maths. They were often very much appreciated because their learning was sometimes obviously in advance. Sooner or later they would be discovered speaking of that which was contrary to the school text and naturally they would be asked to leave the school. The school would then pray for the teacher to accept Pythagoras as Creator of all Maths and come to know that with Him no more maths is necessary.

They say that somewhere in another mathematical sphere the great Pythagoras is still doing maths and teaching others, but every time he hears of the growing numbers of the school of Pythagoras he cries a silent tear and wonders how the maths he taught so long ago got so mixed up.

He wonders if the students of Pythagoras Hill State School will ever realise that it is their divine purpose to one day all be mathematicians like Pythagoras...

G. WHITEHEAD
Circa 1985

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As a sort of bizarre P.S. and to close this post with something even more contentious...




I bow out at around 3.10 mins in terms of supporting the meaning but I thought it was worth posting to see how you all feel about this passionate person with a passionate message.

Oh, and just to be super, duper clear I do not hate religion. Our vision would be to simply to bring more Love (and therefore Truth) to every organisation and religion on the planet. Hating will never be as strong as loving, and love never excludes anyone from its gifts or promise.


With love for your weekend,

Mary

8 comments:

  1. Ah Religion...it's a scarey word to some and a comfort to others. My objections are to "form and fashion" ..creeds and liturgies which are of little value...I just want to share 2 quotes to illustrate my feelings about religion...After 10 years of spiritual study I realised that all of what I had learned was what someone else believed - my mind was full of what someone else had concluded or imagined......and.....the average church service is full of reminders that we are selfish, sinful people and unworthy to come before God. We are encouraged to deny ourselves and make more sacrifices in our lives. While this message is important when we are tempted to be self-centred, it is not helpful if we already feel worthless and have low self esteem. The message most of us need to hear is that God values us as unique gifted people, made in his image, with a calling to use our gifts in the world. Or as Fred puts it so eloquently in chapter 4."...Each possessed some power to augment the happiness of his fellow."...I suppose my own personal experience is that the desire for truth has to be stronger than our desire to conform to any belief system and to discover a way to discern truth that is rational and reliable.

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  2. Hi Amanda, thanks so much for your reflections and participation here. My feelings are also that a focus on 'form & fashion', rather than having a deep substance to our relationship with God, is where spiritual life can loose its meaning.

    I believe none of us are exempt from these dangers. Regardless of whether we count ourselves to be a part of a formalised religion or not we still need to be aware of whether our 'faith' is one focused on facade and appearance, or one that is full of pure intent and heartfelt longing.

    I admire your desire for truth. I feel that with this desire we have the building blocks for true integrity and strength of character. Thanks again for your input.

    Love to you,
    Mary

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  3. Hi Mary thanks for the reply. Personally I actually find my desire for truth annoying at times - as my Mum used to say to me....."You just won't take no for an answer". It doesn't make for an easy life. And I've had a lot of feedback/reflections from my kids when they ask a simple question and get a complicated answer (in their eyes) and express their annoyance to me! I was just reflecting yesterday about childhood habits where because we didn't have electronic gadgets and 24 hr tv, when I was a child I would do handstands over and over again until I was happy with it for no other reason than just the love of doing it. I think that perseverance and doggedness must be part of my character. I've attempted to immerse myself in all that you and AJ are teaching because I now realise I was looking for teaching with depth, integrity and authenticity and for the people teaching to have those qualities.Now I need to start testing these teachings more in my own life....I think.

    With Love


    Amanda

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  4. Hello Mary,

    Thank you for your post today. In 5 days I am getting Baptized. In my 28 years I've had great freedom to experience my soul and develop my relationship with God, as my family is not religious. I am so grateful for the example my parents presented to me and the learning opportunities I've had. About four year ago I was called to learn more about Jesus. Unlike other soul adventures I found myself full of judgement and fiercely resisting the idea of Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
    The congregation I was learning with was very loving, very progressive and very helpful. I had found resources and relief from my social anxiety, but I still had great judgement and anger at the institution.

    Skip to last fall when the Occupy movement came to Toronto and landed on Sacred ground. The land at St. James Park is occupied Missassauga-Credit First Nations Land and I stood in solidarity with them in demanding full apologies from the Church over the residential school atrocities. They may have asked God's forgiveness, but for true reconciliation and healing here and now, they must issue an apology to the people.

    At the Occupy camp there was an abundance of loving and peaceful people who acted as pillars in the turbulent and unpredictable environment. By the time Christmas came around I found myself witness to many miracles and began studying to receive baptism at St. James Cathedral. At the same time I had the desire to initiate myself into this tradition I found the Divine Truth Youtube Channel.

    I am so grateful for your presence. It strengthens my faith in God.

    I have spent many hours watching and reading. I've had one particular question in mind over the last few months and this blog post confirmed what I felt in my heart. I have been hesitant and fearful in my desire to be confirmed in this institution because of my judgement of the pain and suffering it has created and the errors it has promoted, but now I feel how the tradition is only as true as the people practicing it. I feel so deeply the desire to share love and bring light to the corners of the hearts of men and women; it is this desire that drove me to be an artist and a Christian. I am part of the Love Evolution. My name in Latin is Vera Icon; True Image. I pray for the courage to live up to it.

    As I get anointed with oil on Saturday night I will hold you and Jesus in my heart and trust in God.

    with gratitude, love, and light,
    Veronica

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  5. The young man in the video made some waves here in the states ... pretty controversial is he ... telling the truth & all ... at least some of it ... It's like that crazy poet Ani DiFranco said "God's work isn't done by God ... it's done by people" ...

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    Replies
    1. Oh how I wish I could work word magic like Ani :)

      Another of her great lyrics I've been feeling lately (from her song 'Animal')....

      "When you grow surrounded by willful ignorance, you have to believe that mercy has its own country and its round and borderless"

      Here's to the vision of a world - borderless, mercy-filled, brimming over with crazy grace and brotherly love.

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  6. Awesome story and analogy. Geoff had a profound insight years ago it seems - I was surprised to see the date of his story, as if he knew your teachings in the 80s too. I can see why you posted that - amazing! Thanks Geoff and Mary. I'm writing a story kind of similar, about a school for kids in their sleep state with one of the kids meeting the Principal at the end (with a capital P :) ). My little almost 3 year old daughter gives me a tonne of ideas! My only barrier is my self-doubt, has been for a long time... moving slowly into that slowly though, so will hopefully get to the other side and can share.

    David

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