Mysticism and Harmonics

A contribution of Willibald Limbrunner


Mysticism usually has a negative connotation today. The definition according to Wikipedia:

The term mysticism (from Greek μυστικός mystikós’ mysterious’, to myein, mouth or eye close ‘) refers to reports and statements about the experience of a divine or absolute reality as well as the effort for such an experience.


In the popular sense, “absolute reality” is interpreted religiously. The term “absolute reality” would, as such, require a comprehensive treatise of European history. Nevertheless, the results of modern research today are staged as “absolute reality”. That, too, wants to be critically questioned. Mathematics may still be seen as the refuge of a reality that still has the status of an absolute reality today. There is nothing wrong with mathematical rules because they lead to correct results. But only within the mathematical axiomatics and not in relation to the world we perceive. Both, the world of perception and mathematics were joined together in a wonderful symbiosis two and a half thousand years ago.

Today, Pythagoras of Samos is considered the beginning of this symbiosis between mathematics and the world, between idea and reality. Pythagoras is considered the discoverer of the relationship between the length of a string and its sound. Today we would want to see that as a connection between wavelength (string) and frequency (sound). For the sake of simplification, we leave aside the physical definition of the Sound.

This relationship unites two seemingly incompatible things. The inner-worldly experience of sound and the physical-mathematical aspect of sound production. In doing so we arrive at what the Greeks called “myein”, the “closing of the eyes”, the inner-worldly experience of an “absolute reality”, which opposes us as the mathematical ratio of two sounding strings. We have what is succinctly called intervallic ratio in music. However, it is profoundly “mystical” and is named in the harmony of Hans Kayser’s “Acroasis” (Hearing).

A harmonic aspect ratio can be reduced to two whole numbers:

A harmonic aspect ratio can be reduced to two whole numbers:

“The whole numbers were made by the good Lord, everything else is human work.”
Leopold Kronecker

In the mystery of the whole number, the religious aspect of mysticism in mathematics appears as an absolute reality.

Since the discovery of Planck’s quantum of action by Max Planck and the unraveling of the atomic structure, the Pythagorean number-one philosophy is no longer speculation.
Werner Heisenberg writes:

“… since the famous work of Planck in 1900, such demands were called quantum conditions. And these conditions brought just that peculiar element of numerical mysticism into atomic physics, which was mentioned earlier. Certain quantities to be calculated from the orbit should be integer multiples of a basic unit, namely Planck’s quantum of action. Such rules were reminiscent of the observations of the ancient Pythagoreans, according to which two vibrating strings sound harmoniously together when, at the same tension, their lengths are in an integer ratio.”

Werner Heisenberg, Der Teil und das Ganze, 8. Aufl., 2010, Piper Verlag, München, p.47


Mysticism and quantum physics meet in new and unexpected ways. In fact, such statements are not in the near. The atom is a hoard of very concrete harmonic Connections:

Harmonious reflections on modern ideas of the Atom.


Many mystical texts as well as the imagery of hermeticism are permeated with harmonics. Evidence of Pythagorean knowledge is found in almost all mystical movements. Many examples can be found in Robert Fludd. Fludd’s “Himlisches Monochord” became a harmonic theme, but is an illustration to Heisenberg’s quote:

However, I have made even deeper considerations that show that the mystical texts provide surprising explanations if we read them correctly:

Die Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis

Neue Auffassungen um das Herz als Organ

Jacob Böhme, Mysterium Pansophicum