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Exposition of Pythagoras’ Principles

A detail from the frontispiece from volume 3 (of 6)

of Sylvain Marechal’s ‘ Voyages de Pythagore’

Paris, 1798, Engraving by Dambrun,

from our Via-HYGEIA library.


Another sharing for the day from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, an extract from Sylvain Marechal’s ‘The Journey’s of Pythagoras’, Volume V, Paris Deterville.1799. Page 298 to 307. English translation from the French by Via-HYGEIA.


God, in the tongues of all nations, and since there are thinking men, is the word the most full of things. Because God is all; God knows all; therefore, there can be only one all.

God is unknowable and unspeakable. We must not speak of him with words. The wise men stay silent about God, and content themselves to draw on the sand the symbol of unity. That is his God. The unity, multiplied by itself, become the totality of the numbers. God also, in multiplying himself by himself, becomes all. All is again God.

God is for the universe what the unity (monad) is for the numbers. Unity is in all numbers; numbers emanates all from unity.

God is Universal. Adod (Means ONE – Macrob, 1-18) is the only name that suits him, the only word that can define him.

Unity is the only complete, perfect and uncut number that contains the whole.

God is the only whole and perfect being. To define God, the wise man lays a point. God generates the world, like the point generates the cube. The cube is only the repeated point.

God, the Unity and the point are three things that are only one.

Everything that exists, does by number, weight and measure or harmony.

This is why the words, order and god, are two perfect synonym.

If you are asked: ‘What is health?’ Answer: ‘Harmony’. ‘What is virtue?’, ‘Harmony’. ‘What is good?’, ‘Harmony’. ‘What is beauty?’, ‘Harmony’. ‘What is God?’ Again ‘Harmony’.

Harmony is the soul of the world. God is one; he is not like some think –out-of-this-world-but in the world itself, full in the fullness of the world. In him all beings are formed, immortal like him; their work is his. God is the soul of all things.

God is in the universe and the universe in God. The world and God are one.

The common man, in worshiping Jupiter and his brilliant metempsychosis, doesn’t believe shaking hands with the Wise man.

God is the sum of our souls.

We should not say: ‘One made all’.

But we would rather say: ‘All is one’.

Let’s say also: Man, fraction of the great unity, is fragile and changing in nature. The great unity alone is immutable.

If you are asked: ‘Of all the human knowledge, what is the most beautiful?’ Answer: ‘The science of numbers’; because it is the most certain, even more certain than the science of the bodies. Bodies deteriorate; they are even not there at the end of the speech they were the objects of, what they were at the beginning of the speech. Numbers, on the contrary, don’t change in all eternity. Let’s leave behind us the mercantile and rough arithmetic and elevate ourselves to the great results of the sacred science of the numbers.

Let’s give a kind of cult to the quaternary and to the great unity it proceeds from, to bring the people to acknowledge one day, only one and only nature from which flows the elementary properties that the mind of man, to feel good in trying to grasp them, classifies into roughly into four.

My dear Disciples, if you are asked: ‘Why is it that for the people of Arabia, Assyria, Chaldea, Egypt, Greece, Persia, Lydia and their Etruscan colonies, etc., the name of God is made of four letters?’ Answer: ‘Because this word expresses the four main attributes of nature.’ However, because the peat has not been initiated, let’s agree to imprint in our writing a different character, whether they would use the word universal soul or God. The first expression should be favored at the expense of the other.

If you are asked: ‘What is nature?’ Answer: ‘An ever-flowing source’. ‘What is God?’ Say: ‘It is nature’. ‘What is nature?’, ‘It is God’.

Nature and God is the same thing and form one only whole. God is also nature considered as a whole.

Nature is what we can see from God. God is what we cannot see in nature.

God is life, the soul of nature; nature is the body of God. In order to know well God, we need to know well nature.

If you are asked: ‘What is the universe?’ Say: ‘God’.

If you are asked again: ‘And God?’ Say again: ‘The Universe’. Add also: ‘The universe and God are one whole and do everything.’ There is no wedding more perfect than of nature and God; they cannot separate one second, without ceasing being forever.

The body and the soul, which could not exist without the other, offer the naïve image of nature and God, as they are their emanations.

If you are asked: ‘God, who is he?’ Say: ‘It is the Chaos untangled.’

If you are asked: ‘What is God?’ Say: ‘Everything beautiful and perfect.’ If this person asks aloud this question to you: ‘Does God Exist?’ Answer by the gesture of silence. If the careless insists in his question a third time, leave him.

If you want to be alike the gods, like them know how to be silent!

If you are asked: ‘Does the wise have a God?’

Say: ‘The God of the wise is in his genius.’

If you are asked: ‘What are the gods?’ Say: ‘All the beings above us.’ The sun and the stars, the wise and the benevolent men are gods.

If you are asked: ‘Where is God?’ Say: ‘Everywhere and nowhere.’

And again if asked: ‘What is he?’ Answer: ‘God is the soul of all the bodies and the spirit of the universe.’

Gods are parts of nature; God is the nature itself, the great animal, the animal itself.

When asked: ‘If the winemaker makes his God with the wood of his vine, which matter composes the divinity of the wise?’ Say: ‘The wise makes his God from all nature.’

If you are asked: ‘What is God?’ Say: ‘For the wise, it is reason; for the common people, it is what wants the poets and the priests.’ Finally, if the common people ask what God is? Let’s say: God is all that you see, hear, touch. During the day, it is the sun; during the night it is the moon. God is the air that you breathe, the waters that quenches your thirst, the fruit that you eat. When you harm yourself, he is harmed. In respecting yourself, you respect him. Love him in you, Love yourself in him. God is everything.

The universal soul is the working of the mechanisms of the great Everything acting on himself. The particular souls are the working of the parts that the Whole is composed of. The souls, as old as the world, will last as long as it will. Alike, they don’t have a beginning nor will they have an end.

If you are asked: ‘What is thought?’ Say with Egypt’s greatest scholar, Thoth: ‘The body is a brazen basin that, when agitated, produces the sound of thought and speech, its daughter.’

If you are asked: ‘When arrived to the term of life, what do we become?’ Say: ‘What becomes of the stream when it merges with the neighboring river; what becomes of the river when if merges with the ocean, where it was perhaps born.’

Void is an empty word.

Death is an improper term.

Soul and life are synonymous.

Man and the other beings are composed of similar parts; but the arrangement of these parts is not always the same. Some are more or less fortunate due to some relations that we only see the results. The chain or the whole is hidden to us and this chain that retains all is necessity, destiny. Even God is bound to it.’


Original French


Pythagoras. Bas relief from the Chartres Cathedral.


Exposition of Pythagoras’ Principles

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