I’ve undertaken the study of Pythagorean philosophy recently as part of my metaphysical reading and it’s not easy going.
“I’m struggling a little with the Pythagorean concept of Number,” I told M, “and it’s just the early part of my reading.”
He looked up from the ball game he was watching.
I continued. “You know, the Pythagoreans saw One not as a number but as the principle that underlies Number. One is the principle of Unity from which all things arise and Two is Duality, raising the possibility of one thing relating to another. Three is Harmony or the joining together of two extremes.”
I sighed. “It’s not quantitative at all and it’s hard.”
“Well,” M. said, “I learned it a little differently.”
“Really?” I asked. I knew he’d had more than one philosophy course. “Tell me.”
He looked very serious.
“Well,” he said, “I learned that One is the loneliest number.”
“Right,” I said, following along. He continued, deadpan:
“Two can be as bad as One, it’s the loneliest number since the number One.”
BaDa Boom! I got it. And he started laughing. So did I.
Those aren’t philosophies at all. They are the lyrics to the Three-Dog Night song, One.
It’s going to be a long study, I think, and I should probably keep my concerns to myself.