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Monad

System Attribute: 
Universality
Term Designation: 
Totality
Term Characters: 
Diversity in Unity
System Description: 

"We have defined the Universe of Experience as the sum of all possible situations. In doing so, we imply that it is an organized complexity; for without organization there would be no meaning to the word 'possible' and, without complexity there could be no 'situations'. This universe, as it presents itself to us in our immediate experience, is not separated into subjective and objective realities, but simply what it is. We can express this by saying that the first stage in coming to terms with any or all experience is to see the Universe as a Monad.

The monad is an undifferentiated diversity. We meet this state of affairs whenever we turn our attention to a new situation, large or small. The monadic character of the universe as a totality, is present in all its parts. Every such part appears in its immediacy as an undifferentiated totality of which we know nothing except that it is what it is. But, side by side with this bare knowledge, we are led on, by the conviction that it is a structure, to hope to understand it by examining its content more closely. This combination of confused immediacy and the expectation of finding an organized structure gives the monad a progressive character. It is what it is, but it holds promise of being more than it appears to be.

This starting point is very important for the development of understanding. We shall call it the act of identifying the monad. The act requires both cognition and judgment, that is Fact and Value, and so takes us into the Domain of Harmony. We do not yet know anything clearly, but we can select a particular region out of the totality to be our field of study, understanding and action. If the region is primarily composed of mental images associated with words, we call it a 'universe of discourse'. If it is a class of objects, we call it a 'population'. If it is a complex of energies, we call it a 'field'. If it is a situation requiring action, we call it a 'problem'. Common to all of these descriptive names is the property of challenging our capacity for understanding."

from The Dramatic Universe, vol. III; p.14

References for the Monad:

An extract from The Monad by Anthony Blake (2003) The full work is available from DuVersity Publications (click here).

The American philosopher C. S. Peirce founded his metaphysics on what he called the principles of ‘firstness’, ‘secondness’ and ‘thirdness’. His firstness is very close to our concept of the monad. For more information see the Commens Peirce Dictionary