Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult;
guard then thy faith.
Revere the memory of the illustrious heroes, of spirits, demi-gods.
Be a good son, just brother; spouse tender; and good father.
Choose for thy friend, the friend of virtue; yield to his gentle counsels. Profit by his life, and for a trifling grievance never leave him,
if thou canst at least,
for a most rigid law binds power to necessity.
Pythagoras represents the eternal pilgrim, in Philosophia Perennis: the perennial philosophy of life. He was a seeker of truth par excellence. He staked all that he had for the search. He traveled far and wide, almost the whole known world of those days, in search of the masters, of the mystery schools, of any hidden secrets. From Greece he went to Egypt, in search of the lost Atlantis and its secrets.
In Egypt the great library of Alexandria was still intact. It had all the secrets of the past preserved. It was the greatest library that has ever existed on the earth – later it was destroyed by a Mohammedan fanatic. The library was so big that when it was burnt, the fire continued for six months.
Just twenty-five centuries before Pythagoras, a great continent, Atlantis, had disappeared into the ocean. The ocean that is called Atlantic is so called because of that continent, Atlantis.
Atlantis was the most ancient continent of the earth, and civilization had reached the highest possible peak, but whenever a civilization reaches a great peak there is a danger: the danger of falling apart, the danger of committing suicide.
Humanity is facing that same danger again. When man becomes powerful he does not know what to do with that power. When the power is too much and the understanding is too little, power has always proved dangerous. Atlantis was not drowned in the ocean by any natural calamity. It was actually the same thing that is happening today, it was man’s own power over nature. It was through atomic energy that Atlantis was drowned; it was man’s own suicide. But all the scriptures and all the secrets of Atlantis were still preserved in Alexandria.
All over the world there are parables, stories, about the great flood. Those stories have come from the drowning of Atlantis. All those stories – Christian, Jewish, Hindu – they all talk about a great flood that had come once in the past and had almost destroyed the whole civilization. Just a few initiates, adepts, had survived. Noah was an adept; a great master, and Noah’s ark is just a symbol.
A few people escaped the calamity. With them all the secrets that the civilization had attained, survived. They were preserved in Alexandria.