Pythagorus, numbers and Three Dog Night

August 6, 2014

Ancient Greek Sculpture Bust of Pythagoras

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.

33 comments on “Pythagorus, numbers and Three Dog Night
  1. I already love him 🙂

  2. Hahaha! Love it. I’m with hubby, I’d rather listen to 3 Dog Night than read about The Pythagorean theory…..and I’m a big reader! Too funny, made me laugh out loud this morning.

  3. Barbara says:

    Oh I don’t know – a little levity may help with such a heavy subject – I’d come back to him for more every now and then when I needed a break.

  4. Lana says:

    So funny! He would get along well with my husband, who is definitely the comic relief in my house.

  5. Your hubs is working up to “I fought the law and the law One… unity .”

  6. Jay Lickus says:

    Did you tell M….

    “You’re still the one
    I want to talk to in bed
    Still the one
    That turns my head
    We’re still having fun
    And you’re still the one*”

    * Orleans 1976

  7. kim tackett says:

    perfection. I think he’s a keeper! And I am so impressed with you and your studies (really).

  8. If there was a perfect answer, he certainly came up with it. Sure made me laugh!

  9. Karen says:

    Haha, Carol, sounds like a convo between me and Wendy! We’re always tossing song lyrics back and forth. 🙂

  10. Donna says:

    Just so you know I got it immediately, even without the hint, I have always known one is the loneliest number

  11. Hahahaha! Love that. Funny guy you have. And one with great musical taste. Thank you for today’s earworm!

  12. Sheryl says:

    And now I am singing that song in my head…

  13. Ruth Curran says:

    Nice that you have someone who will not let you take yourself too seriously! Heavy exploration need s a little humor or it gets too…heavy.

  14. Thank you so much for inspiring me to learn something new, again today. I had no idea what Pythagorean Philosophy could possibly be.
    Your husband is awesome, brilliant and so funny!

  15. I don’t think that song is part of my mental jukebox. And no, don’t hum it for me. I’ll just enjoy your husband’s sense of humor.

  16. Ha ha! Love that song and now can’t get it out of my head!

  17. I don’t know how you are making it through that! I would be crazy. It’s weird since my wreck/sickness I can’t deal with numbers at all. Words are fine, numbers I start getting anxiety thinking about them. I’m really not explaining this well. I see numbers and I can’t function with them. I can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide. I can’t balance my checkbook, I can’t add up the tip at a restaurant. I start getting stressed out and I panic. I have never been this way in my life. As a mail carrier, numbers were a huge part of my job. I knew every single house number for 16 mail routes in 3 post offices (towns). That’s a boatload of house numbers etc. I could memorize them the first time I read an address, I was very good at my job because of this, now I can’t manage more than one digit numbers together. It’s very odd and scary….why do I end up telling you things I would never tell anyone else? This is something I hide because I am afraid of being ridiculed or taken advantage of. It makes me feel very vulnerable. One the other, Three Dog Night…One Is The Lonliest Number…I wore this song out when I broke up with my very first boyfriend! So funny to think about now.

    • Well, here’s the good news: it’s not at all quantitative. But I’m having trouble looking at #s as having qualitative characteristics. I could write a book on how bad I am with arithmetic–Nancy’s captcha is simple arithmetic, do you know that? Ahhh.

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