Pythagoras & the Nazareans

Pythagorean Connection to Mt. Carmel

We know from ancient documents that both Essenes and Pythagoreans shared many things in common. Both were vegetarian, both wore white, and both were deeply immersed in Qabbalistic studies. Pythagoras was nicknamed "the long haired one" which further links him with the northern Nazarean Essenes who were all Nazarites (long hairs). History has preserved for us a link between Pythagoras and the Mt. Carmel Essenes:

"In Phoenicia he (Pythagoras) conversed with the prophets who were the descendants of Moses the physiologist, and with many others, as well as the local heirophants . . . . After gaining all he could from the Phoenician Mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt, forming as it were an Egyptian colony. . . . On the Phoenician coast under Mt. Carmel, where, in the Temple on the peak, Pythagoras for the most part had dwelt in solitude . . . Mount Carmel, which they knew to be more sacred than other mountains, and quite inaccessible to the vulgar..."(Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus)


Golden Verses of Pythagoras


1 FOREMOST HONOR THE IMMORTAL DEITIES, AS THE LAW DEMANDS.

2 THEN REVERENCE THY OATH, AND THEN THE ILLUSTRIOUS CHAMPIONS, THEN VENERATE THE DIVINITIES UNDER THE EARTH, DUE RITES PERFORMING.

3 THEN HONOR THY PARENTS, AND ALL THY KINDRED.

4 AMONG OTHERS MAKE THE MOST VIRTUOUS THY FRIEND, LOVE TO MAKE USE OF THEIR KIND WORDS, AND LEARN FROM THEIR DEEDS THAT ARE USEFUL;

5 BUT ALIENATE NOT THE BELOVED COMRADE FOR TRIVIAL OFFENSES, BEAR ALL ONE CAN, WHAT ONE CAN, FOR POWER IS BOUND TO NECESSITY.

6 TAKE THIS WELL TO HEART: ONE MUST GAIN CONTROL OF ONES HABITS; FIRST OVER APPETITE, THEN SLUMBER, AND THEN LUXURY, AND ANGER.

7 WHAT BRINGS ONE SHAME, DO NOT UNTO OTHERS, NOR UNTO THYSELF, FOR THE HIGHEST OF DUTIES IS SELF INTEGRITY.

8 LET BALANCED ORDER BE PRACTICED IN WORDS AS IN DEEDS; THEN MAKE THE HABIT, NEVER INCONSIDERATELY TO ACT.

9 NEITHER FORGET THAT DEATH IS APPOINTED TO ALL, THAT POSSESSIONS HERE GLADLY GATHERED, HERE MUST BE LEFT.

10 WHATEVER SORROW THE FATE OF THE DEITIES MAY HERE SEND US, BEAR; WHATEVER MAY BEFALL ONE, WITH PATIENCE UNMURMURING;

11 TO RELIEVE IT, SO FAR AS ONE CAN, IS PERMITTED, BUT REFLECT THAT NOT MUCH MISFORTUNE HAS FATE GIVEN TO THE GOOD.

12 THE OPINION OF THE PEOPLE IS INCONSISTENT, NOW GOOD, AND NOW EVIL; SO LET THEM NOT INTIMIDATE ONE, NOR KEEP ONE FROM ONES PURPOSE.

13 IF FALSE SLANDER COME TO THY EARS, BEAR IT IN PATIENCE, YET THAT WHICH I AM NOW DECLARING, FULFIL IT FAITHFULLY.

14 LET NO ONE WITH SPEECH OR WITH DEEDS EVER DECEIVE THEE, TO DO OR TO SAY WHAT IS NOT THE BEST.

15 THINK BEFORE ACTING, THAT NOTHING STUPID RESULT; TO ACT THOUGHTLESSLY IS THE ROLE OF A FOOL.

16 WHATEVER WILL NOT LATER BRING ONE REPENTANCE, THAT ONE SHOULD CARRY THROUGH.

17 DO NOTHING BEYOND WHAT ONE KNOWS, YET LEARN WHAT ONE MAY NEED; THUS SHALL ONES LIFE GROW HAPPY.

18 DO NOT NEGLECT THE HEALTH OF THE BODY, KEEPING MEASURE IN EATING AND DRINKING, AND EVERY EXERCISE OF THE BODY, AND BY MEASURE IS MEANT WHAT WILL NOT LATER INDUCE PAIN.

19 FOLLOW CLEAN HABITS OF LIFE, BUT NOT THE LUXURIOUS, AVOID ALL THINGS WHICH WILL AROUSE ENVY.

20 AT THE WRONG TIME, NEVER BE UNRESTRAINED, AS IF ONE DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS PROPER; NOR SHOW THYSELF STINGY, FOR AN APPROPRIATE MEASURE IS EVER THE BEST.

21 DO ONLY THOSE THINGS WHICH WILL NOT HARM THEE, AND DELIBERATE BEFORE ACTING.

224 NEVER LET SLUMBER APPROACH THY WEARIED EYELIDS, ERE THRICE ONE REVIEWS WHAT THEY THIS DAY HAVE DONE; WHEREIN HATH ONE SINNED? WHAT DID ONE? WHAT DUTY HAS BEEN NEGLECTED? ALL, FROM FIRST TO LAST REVIEW.

23 IF ONE HAS ERRED, GRIEVE IN ONES SPIRIT, REJOICING FOR ALL THAT WAS GOOD.

24 WITH ZEAL AND WITH INDUSTRY, THIS THEN REPEAT; AND LEARN TO REPEAT IT WITH JOY, THUS WILT ONE TREAD ON THE PATHS OF HEAVENLY VIRTUE; SURELY, I SWEAR IT BY HIM WHO INTO OUR SOULS HAS TRANSMITTED THE SACRED QUATERNARY, THE SPRING OF ETERNAL NATURE.

25 NEVER START ON THY TASK UNTIL ONE HAS IMPLORED THE BLESSINGS OF THE DEITIES.

26 IF THIS ONE HOLDS FAST, SOON ONE WILL RECOGNIZE, OF DEITIES AND MORTAL MEN, THE TRUE NATURE OF EXISTENCE, HOW EVERYTHING PASSES AND RETURNS.

27 THEN WILL ONE PERCEIVE WHAT IS TRUE, HOW NATURE IN ALL IS MOST EQUAL, SO THAT ONE HOPE NOT FOR WHAT HAS NO HOPE, NOT THAT ANYTHING SHOULD ESCAPE ONE.

28 HUMANS YE SHALL FIND WHOSE SORROWS THEY THEMSELVES HAVE CREATED, WRETCHES WHO SEE NOT THE GOOD THAT IS SO NEAR, NOTHING THEY HEAR.

29 FEW KNOW HOW TO HELP THEMSELVES IN MISFORTUNE, THAT IS THE FATE WHICH BLINDS HUMANITY IN CIRCLES.

30 HITHER AND YON THEY RUN IN ENDLESS SORROWS, FOR THEY ARE FOLLOWED BY A GRIM COMPANION, EVEN DISUNION WITHIN THEMSELVES.

31 UNNOTICED, NEVER ROUSE THEM, AND FLY FROM BEFORE THEM! FATHER ZEUS, O FREE THEM ALL FROM SUFFERINGS SO GREAT, OR SHOW UNTO EACH THE ONE WHO IS THEIR GUIDE.

32 YET DO NOT FEAR, FOR THE MORTALS ARE DIVINE BY RACE, TO WHOM HOLY NATURE EVERYTHING WILL REVEAL AND DEMONSTRATE.

33 WHEREFORE, IF ONE HATH RECEIVED, SO KEEP WHAT I TEACH THEE, HEALING THY SOUL, YE SHALL REMAIN INSURED FROM MANIFOLD EVIL.

34 AVOID FORBIDDEN FOODS, REFLECTING THAT THIS CONTRIBUTES TO THE PURITY AND REDEMPTION OF THY SOUL.

35 CONSIDER ALL THINGS WELL, LET REASON, THE GIFT DIVINE, BE THY HIGHEST GUIDE.

36 THEN SHOULD YOU BE SEPARATED FROM THE BODY, AND SOAR INTO THE AETHER; YE WILL BE IMPERISHABLE, A DIVINITY, A MORTAL NO MORE.
 

Josephus, writing between A.D. 75 and A.D.85, tells us that the Essenes were Pythagorean in lifestyle.

"The sect of the Essenes maintain that Fate governs all things, and that nothing can befall man contrary to its determination and will. These men live the same kind of life which among the Greeks has been ordered by Pythagoras."
 
 

Pythagorean & Ossaean (Essene) Parallels

Pythagorean Lifestyle (Bios Pythagorikos)
Essene Lifestyle (Josephus, Philo,etc.)
A state of purity is brought about by purifications, washings and lustrations, by a man's purifying himself from all deaths and rebirths, or any kind of pollution, by abstaining from all animals that have died, from mullets, from gurnards, from eggs, from such animals that lay eggs, from beans, and from other things that are prohibited by those who have charge of the mysteries in the Temples. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They work until about 11 A.M. when they put on ritual loincloths and bathe for purification. Then they enter a communal hall,where no one else is allowed,and eat only one bowlful of food for each man, ! together with their loaves of bread. They eat in silence.
The Gods should be honored at all times, extolling them with praises, clothed in white garments, and keeping one's body chaste... - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius

They wore a white garment that was pure. - Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus

. . his dress was white, very clean; his bed clothes were also white. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius

They make a point of having their skin dry and of always being clothed in white garments.

During this time each postulant is given a . . . white garment.

He prohibited the eating of animals because he wished to train and accustom men to simplicity of life, so that all their food should be easily procurable, as it would be if they ate only such things as required no fire to cook them, and if they drank plain water, for from this diet they would derive health of body and acuteness of intellect. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius "They do not offer animal sacrifice, judging it more fitting to render their minds truly holy.
He used to forbid them to offer sacrificial victims to the Gods, ordering them to worship only at altars which were unstained with blood. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They send offerings to the Temple, but offer no sacrifices since the purifications to which they are accustomed are different. For this reason, they refrain from entering into the common enclosure, but offer sacrifice among themselves.
He also forbade them to swear by the Gods, saying that every man ought so to exercise himself as to be worthy of belief without an oath. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They refuse to swear oaths, believing every word they speak to be stronger than an oath.
Some authors assert that he himself used to be contented with honey, honey-comb and bread, and that he never drank wine during the day. He usually ate vegetables, either boiled or raw . - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius

As to food, his breakfast was cheifly honey; at dinner he used bread made of millet, barley or herbs, raw and boiled. To quiet hunger he made a mixture of poppy seed and sesame, the skin of a sea-onion, well washed until entirely drained of all outward juices, of the flowers of the daffodil,a dn the leaves of mallows, of paste of barley and chick-peas, taking an equal weight of which, and chopping it small, with honey of Hymettus he made it into a mass. Against thirst he took the seed of cucumbers, and the best dried raisens, extracting the seeds,a dn corriander flowers,a dn the seeds of mallows, purslane . . .wheat meal . . ., all of which he mixed up with wild honey. - Life of Pythagoras by Porphyry

Then they enter a communal hall,where no one else is allowed,and eat only one bowlful of food for each man, together with their loaves of bread.
He showed to his disciples that the soul is immortal, and to those who were rightly purified he brought back the memory of the acts of their former lives. - Life of Pythagoras by Porphyry They believe that their souls are immortal, but that their bodies are corruptible. They believe the soul is trapped in the body and is freed with death.
By erasing from common life everything private, while increasing everything held in common...for among his disciples evrything was common, and the same to all, no one possessing anything private. - Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus Their life style is communal. They have a common purse. Their salaries they deposit before them all, in the midst of them, to be put to the common employment of those who wish to make use of it.
They gathered in a common dining room . . . Then were performed libations and sacrifices, with fumigations and incense. Then followed supper, which closed before the setting of the sun. They ate herbs, raw and boiled, maize, wine and every food that is eaten with bread. . . .The supper was followed by libations, succeeded by reading. The youngest read what the eldest advised,a nd as they suggested. - Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They live together in brotherhoods, and eat in common together. Everything they do is for the common good of the group.

Not only do they share a common table, but common clothes as well. What belongs to one belongs to all.

On them he likewise enjoined supression of speech, and perfect silence, exercising them for years at a time in the subjugation fo the tongue, while strenuously and assiduously investigating and ruminating over the most difficult theorems. - Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They eat in silence.

During meals they are sober and quiet and their silence seems a great mystery to people outside.

After subjecting a candidate to such trials, he allowed him to be neglected for three years, still covertly observing his disposition towards stability, and genuine studiousness, and whether he was sufficiently adverse to glory, and ready to despise popular honors. After this the candidate was compelled to observe silence for five years...- Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus Those desiring to enter the sect are not allowed immediate entrance. They are made to wait outside for a period of one year. . . Having proved his constinence during the first year he draws closer to the way of life and participates in the purificatory baths at a higher degree, but he is not yet admitted into intimacy. His character is tested another two years and if he proves worthy he is received into the company permanently.
He considered luxury the first evil.- Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They share the same way of life, the same table, even the same tastes; all of them loving frugality and hating luxury as a plague for both body and soul.
He used to practice divination, as far as auguries and auspices, but not by means of burnt offerings, except only the burning of incense. - Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius Some of the Essenes became expert in forecasting the future.
Do not neglect the health of the body, keeping measure in eating and drinking, and every exercise of the body...- Golden Verses of Pythagoras Their food and drink are so measured out that they are satisfied but no more.


Pythagorean & Nazareans (N. Essene) Parallels

Pythagoras
Nasaraeans
Pythagoras was known as the "Long Haired One". All Nazareans were life long "Nazarites" who never cut their hair.
Pythagoreans honored marriage and said that it deified women. Nazareans all married and eschewed Ossaean celibacy practices.
Pythagoras studied on Mt. Carmel. Nazareans had their main School of the Prophets on Mt. Carmel.
Pythagoras studied 22 years in Egypt & 12 years with the Magi. Yeshua and other Nazareans studied in Egypt and were associated with the Magi.
Pythagoras suggests a simple / raw diet for at least a portion of the year. Yeshua, in the Gospel of Peace, suggests a simple / raw diet for at least part of the year.
Pythagoras built and worshipped in bloodless temples. Nazareans, especially the Beni-Aumen Order, built and worshipped in bloodless temples.

The Nazarenes of  Mount Carmel
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