Pythagoras on the Purpose of Life and the Meaning of Wisdom

By Maria Popova (

The Greek polymath Pythagoras (c. 570–c. 495 BC) ignited the golden age of mathematics with the development of numerical logic and the discovery of his namesake theorem of geometry, which furnished the world’s first foothold toward the notion of scientific proof and has been etched into the mind of every schoolchild in the millennia since. His ideas went on to influence Plato, Copernicus, Descartes, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein, and the school he founded made the then-radical decision to welcome women as members, one of whom was Hypatia of Alexandria — the world’s first known woman astronomer.

Alongside his revolutionary science, Pythagoras coined the word philosopher to describe himself as a “lover of wisdom” — a love the subject of which he encapsulated in a short, insightful meditation on the uses of philosophy in human life. According to the anecdote, recounted by Cicero four centuries later, Pythagoras attended the Olympic Games of 518 BC with Prince Leon, the esteemed ruler of Phlius. The Prince, impressed with his guest’s wide and cross-disciplinary range of knowledge, asked Pythagoras why he lived as a “philosopher” rather than an expert in any one of the classical arts.

Pythagoras (Art by J. Augustus Knapp, circa 1926)

Pythagoras, quoted in Simon Singh’s altogether fascinating Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem(public library), replies:

Life… may well be compared with these public Games for in the vast crowd assembled here some are attracted by the acquisition of gain, others are led on by the hopes and ambitions of fame and glory. But among them there are a few who have come to observe and to understand all that passes here.

It is the same with life. Some are influenced by the love of wealth while others are blindly led on by the mad fever for power and domination, but the finest type of man gives himself up to discovering the meaning and purpose of life itself. He seeks to uncover the secrets of nature. This is the man I call a philosopher for although no man is completely wise in all respects, he can love wisdom as the key to nature’s secrets.

Complement with Alain de Botton on how philosophy undoes our unwisdom, then revisit other abiding mediations on the meaning and purpose of life from EpictetusToni MorrisonWalt WhitmanRichard FeynmanRosa ParksFyodor Dostoyevsky, and Martha Nussbaum.


Translation is a 5-step system of syllogistic reasoning using words and their meanings and histories to transform the testimony of the senses and uncover the underlying timeless reality of Being/Consciousness.

Translators:  Hanz Bolen, Melissa Goodnight, Richard Branam, Mike Zonta.

Sense testimony:  Reciprocity of giving and getting may become unbalanced when the commonwealth isn’t recognized.


1)  Truth is one Possessor, one Possession, full to overflowing and cannot be added to; incomparable, unequalled, with no counter balance; the all-knowing, all-recognizing Commonwealth.
2)  One Infinite, Consciousness Beingness, That I AM, is always subjectively encountering (recognizing) its very own (ownership) everpresent mirror, that ceaselessly reflects equivalently the perfectly proportionate correspondence of inseparable assured mutuality.
3)  All is One Truth, related in Commonwealth, The agreement of Self Evident Knowing and Value, The only Presence and Power, only giving and taking, touching and tasting, the only universal Integrity in Each and Every Individuation and Agreement besides which there is none else. All is the Commonwealth of Truth in Self Evident Agreement.
4) Truth is this consistency, self Existing, indwelling essential (In-Voice), Autismical accuracy, self captivational splendorousness , licensed for pure enuring Kingdom of causational excitement, Being self commanding Awareness.

The Sunday Night Translation Group meets at 7pm Pacific time via Skype. There is also a Sunday morning Translation group which meets at 7am Pacific time via  See Upcoming Events on the BB to join, or start a group of your own.

“In All Seriousness” Podcast #4 | Subject: Blockchain

Published on Feb 25, 2018
“In All Seriousness” Podcast #4, Feb. 2018

Subject: Blockchain

Guests: Brigida Santos and Danette Wallace

Host: Peter Joseph
Roundtable: Summer Perry, Michael Jordet


Soundcloud Channel: @user-148391635

About TZM:
The Zeitgeist Movement is a global sustainability activist group working to bring the world together for the common goal of species sustainability before it is too late. Divisive notions such as nations, governments, races, political parties, religions, creeds or class are non-operational distinctions in the view of The Movement. Rather, we recognize the world as one system and the human species as a singular unit, sharing a common habitat.

LIKE The Zeitgeist Movement @
FOLLOW The Zeitgeist Movement @


Translators: Alex Gambeau, Zoe Robinson, Ned Henry, Heather Williams

SENSE TESTIMONY: Oppression is rampant

5th Step Conclusions:

  1. One Infinite Power of Truth is Now Unconditionally energizing All Life.
  2. Truth Being, is pressing to the Whole, Complete, Formless Force of Oneness.
  3. Consciousness as the One Infinite Source of All manifestation is ever present as non-judgmentalness.
  4. Rampant Equality is the Birth of Freedom.

The Zeitgeist Movement

The Zeitgeist Movement is a non-profit organization established in the United States in 2008 by Peter Joseph.[1][2] The organization advocates a transformation of society and its economic system to a non-monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism.[3][4][5]


In 2007 Peter Joseph produced and self-financed a live performance art piece which ran for six nights in lower Manhattan that he entitled “Zeitgeist”. According to Joseph in an interview in 2012, he was surprised after a version he made of this performance (Zeitgeist: The Movie), the first film in the Zeitgeist film series, went viral on social media with millions of views.[6]

The Zeitgeist Movement was formed in 2008[7] by Joseph shortly after the late 2008 release of Zeitgeist: Addendum, the second film in the ‘Zeitgeist’ film series.[8][9]The ideas were based on the Venus Project, a societal model created by social engineer Jacque Fresco.[8][10] In the Venus Project, machines control government and industry and safeguard resources using an artificial intelligence “earthwide autonomic sensor system”, a super-brain connected to all human knowledge.[11]

In its first year, the movement described itself as “the activist arm of the Venus Project.”[12] In April 2011, partnership between the two groups ended in an apparent power struggle, with Joseph commenting, “Without [the Zeitgeist Movement], [the Venus Project] doesn’t exist – it has nothing but ideas and has no viable method to bring it to light.”[8] In an interview, Fresco said that although the Zeitgeist Movement wanted to act as the ‘activist arm’ of Venus project, Joseph never clarified what that would entail, and Fresco’s ideas of how to change society were not followed. As a result, Fresco withdrew participation in the Zeitgeist Movement.[13]

The group is critical of market capitalism, describing it as structurally corrupt and wasteful of resources. According to The Daily Telegraph, the group dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading, and embraces sustainable ecology and scientific administration of society.[14][15][16][17][18]

The first Zeitgeist documentary which predates the organization Zeitgeist movement, borrowed from the works of Eustace MullinsLyndon LaRouche, and Austin radio host Alex Jones. Much of its footage was taken directly from Alex Jones documentaries,[19]such as his documentary Terrorstorm.[20]

VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.[9]

More at:

My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

Image By Joshua Jordan/Unsplash (
My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

My Feelings Are Not My Enemies


In one of my most vivid memories, I am about 12, standing near the dining room table at home. One of my brothers stands a few feet away, next to a pale wooden bookcase. He teases me — as he regularly enjoyed doing — about one thing or another, and in an explosion of rage, I throw a metal pointed nail file at him. In my memory, I feel terror as soon as the file leaves my hand, afraid where it might land, what it might do.

With a thump it sticks into the bookcase next to my brother. He laughs at being able to antagonize me so thoroughly, and shrugs it off, but for me it becomes the template for the danger of emotion.

As a child, I had a volatile temper expressed mainly at home, where, from my parents on down, emotions erupted on a regular basis. But that was only for private display. Anger in particular, especially for someone black and male, was a dangerous way to operate in the world, even though it was also the dominant channel of emotional expression among so many men in TV and films and in real life.

My emotional expressiveness drove me easily to both anger and tears, and I didn’t know what to do with this soft self, this permeable, thin membrane that bled feeling so easily.

I come from a family of arguers, and often was undone by the emotions swimming just below the surface of any arguments I tried to make. In part to compensate, in high school, I joined the debate team, trying to build the thickness of my rational, reasoning skin, hoping that it could protect me from the passion always so tightly attached to my values and reactions.

I don’t need to look far for the source of my opinions about emotions. Then, as now, I lived in a culture that applauds those who stay under control. I knew from school to church to what I saw on the nightly news that to describe someone as “emotional” was rarely a compliment. Then, as now, we were told that we wouldn’t be heard until we “calmed down.” Then, as now, this was a common criticism of marginalized people seeking a place at the table of power. The message was the same: the path to better decisions and solutions lay through reason and rationality alone.

I don’t deny that the search for evidence can yield information that expands clarity. But too often behind the deification of the rational lurks the illusion of certainty, as if we have (or can find) enough evidence and facts to always know the solutions. As if evidence alone can erase human fallibility.

Even scientists looking at identical information disagree about causes, significance, problems, solutions, and even whether what they’re looking at is evidence. The scientific process itself assumes a sea of uncertainty that we can only cross incrementally.

I spent much of my early adulthood caught in the gap between my emotional disposition and the calm exterior I was supposed to project. In journalism, my first field, it meant valuing cool objectivity; in academia, it meant privileging broad, all-encompassing theory (the more rationalistic the better) over the messy, felt particulars of individual lives, a messiness that was very present inside me.

Through the years, anger and sadness have warred inside me, and when I suppressed both feelings they reemerged as uncertainty and self-reproach, anxiety and depression.

No one event changed my way of thinking. I turned to medication, therapy, and self help groups. But along the way, mainly because I couldn’t escape my feelings, I began to pay more attention to them, to listen to what they had to tell me, and I started to see what my feelings did for me and not just what I thought they did to me.

I saw places in my life where feelings helped pull me off paths that intellect and rationality — aligned with conventional values — told me I should travel. I recognized emotion-driven decisions that at the time seemed disastrous — notably my choice during a deep depression to drop out of college as an undergraduate — but that eventually affirmed who I wanted to be instead of who I thought I should be.

I don’t mean that emotions are infallible or that reason doesn’t have a major place in my life. But when I attend to, rather than try to banish, them, my feelings offer me information; they provide clues that something may be wrong in the story I’m telling about myself and the world.

Over a lifetime I’ve learned the difference between feeling my emotions and indulging them, between listening to certain impulses and allowing myself to be commanded by them. And I’m still learning.

But my anger and my shame, my pleasure and my pain, my ecstasy and anxiety, my joy and my despair help reveal my values, motivations strengths and needs. If I don’t know myself I can’t know why I react to the world as I do; I can’t distinguish the fear that says I’m in peril from the fear that arises when faced with the need to change. What separates true threats to my well-being from simple discomfort at being wrong?

I’ve also come to question the division of feelings into “negative” and “positive.” We label happiness, contentment, and joy “positive.” But what do my feelings say about me if I experience joy or happiness at others being demeaned? We call anger, fear, depression, and grief “negative.” But don’t those feelings serve me when they’re telling me that something’s wrong and needs attention? And isn’t it dangerous to overlook the way culture tries to police our feelings?

I think of the educated, intelligent women, past and present, encouraged to medicate or procreate away — or simply ignore — their discontent about society’s limitations on their lives. I think of LGBT people who are told to this day that their desire for even self-acceptance is a symptom of sin or disease. I think of people of color told to overlook — or rise above with forgiveness and a smile (rather than anger) — the oppression and violence visited on them. I think of those with mental and physical disabilities told to feel grateful (rather than angry) for the crumbs they get from a culture that refuses to commit to increasing access.

Is their anger, their depression, their fear, their grief “negative”? Or is it a healthy, positive response to a culture that encourages them to devalue themselves?

Examining recently the work of the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio has deepened my sense of emotion and feelings as essential to our sense of self, and even to the ability reason. He defines emotions and feelings this way:

“For neuroscience, emotions are more or less the complex reactions the body has to certain stimuli. When we are afraid of something, our hearts begin to race, our mouths become dry, our skin turns pale and our muscles contract. This emotional reaction occurs automatically and unconsciously. Feelings occur after we become aware in our brain of such physical changes; only then do we experience the feeling of fear.”

Damasio contends that emotions and feelings are central to human consciousness and they play a critical role in reasoning itself.

“Rather than being a luxury, emotions are a very intelligent way of driving an organism to certain outcomes,” he has said. “And we know this because if you’re deprived of those emotions then, lo and behold, rather than being a sort of coolheaded reasoner, you become a rather poor reasoner.”

In my own case, my impulse to reject my emotional/feeling self was driven by the risks involved. In my family, work, relationships, and even writing, expressing feelings ran the risk of opening myself to rejection or ridicule.

The way my feelings and emotions could render me vulnerable frightened me for a long time. It seemed easier, behind a calm, reasonable veneer, to stay safe and project a dispassionate persona, wielding the shield of certainty that would keep anyone from seeing the trembling me beneath.

I don’t mean to downplay the life-and-death consequences that can come from allowing anger, anxiety, or depression to overtake me. More than once, I’ve mentally walked that path almost as far into the abyss as it can go.

But I no longer see my depression and grief, anxiety and anger, as enemies. I try to treat them as messengers sent to caution me: to remind me of the need for self care; to help me reassess and release attachments; to encourage me to reexamine values; to suggest that it’s time to revisit and revise the story of my identity. To come to my rescue.

Editor’s note: We’re curating a series of essays on men and vulnerability. If you have a story to share or an idea to pitch, email us at

Peter Joseph with Jimmy Dore. Full Interview, April 2018 [The Zeitgeist Movement]

Published on May 29, 2018
Jimmy Dore Conversation. All 5 parts. Thanks to Jimmy. #thenewhumanrightsmovement

Original Uploads
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Peter’s book: http://www.thenewhumanrightsmovement….

Robert De Niro on trust fund brats

Carl Van Loon (played by Robert De Niro) to Eddie Morra (played by Bradley Cooper):  “Your deductive powers are a gift from God or chance or a straight shot of sperm or whatever or whoever wrote your life-script. A gift, not earned. You do not know what I know because you have not earned those powers. You’re careless with those powers, you flaunt them and you throw them around like a brat with his trust-fund. You haven’t had to climb up all the greasy little rungs. You haven’t been bored blind at the fundraisers. You haven’t done the time and that first marriage to the girl with the right father. You think you can leap over all in a single bound. You haven’t had to bribe or charm or threat your way to a seat at that table. You don’t know how to assess your competition because you haven’t competed. Don’t make me your competition.”

“In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,

But vaster. We are fools and slight;
We mock thee when we do not fear:
But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.

Forgive what seem’d my sin in me;
What seem’d my worth since I began;
For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.

Continue reading “In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Book: “How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics” by Michael Pollan

How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics

How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics

by Michael Pollan (Goodreads Author)

Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? One of America’s most admired writers takes us on a mind-altering journey to the frontiers of human consciousness

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forwardas a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinatedby the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.