Those are the four states through which we pass, according to Pythagoras of Samos, he of the hypothenusal theorem.
ABOVE: He's got the whole world in his hands. Kids pay begrudging homage to him every time they take the SATs, but in his time Pythagoras was spoken of on nearly divine terms, known as the founder and prophet of a secretive religion that appears to have stressed transmigration (before it was violently suppressed in a Waco-style incident.) He was also the first person to call himself a philosopher, to suggest that the cosmos could be explained mathematically, and to figure that the length of a string altered musical pitch (worship him, guitar enthusiasts!) Add that he was one of the first animal rights activists: a famous anecdote has him stopping the beating of a dog because he swore that he could hear a dead friend's voice in the pup's yelps.
Pythagoras would have loved "Le Quattro Volte" ("The Four Turns") where we follow one such hopping soul from an old goatherd in the Italian province of Calabria to a goat to a tree to charcoal. At least I think that is what the movie suggests, because director Michelangelo Frammartino doesn't tell us anything.
ABOVE: You are a man. ABOVE: You are a goat. ABOVE: You are a tree. ABOVE: You are a charcoal kiln. There is no dialogue in "Le Quattro Volte." We see most of these changes from long shots that only slowly reveal action but offer absolutely no commentary. We are freed to meditate. It's not unlike strolling through goat country with a Trappist monk, which means that most viewers have never seen anything like it, and realistically, most viewers won't WANT to see anything like it unless they're feeling simultaneously very adventurous and very chill.
They will miss out on a rare lyrical gem that encourages contemplation, silence and patience, and understands that nature isn't background scenery as we drive from home to work. The Universe is more than just people.
And, according to Pythagoras, PEOPLE are more than just people. We are also the Universe.