We will now begin a seven-part series on the number One.
We will use the Pythagorean terms when describing the numbers 1-10 (Monad, Dyad, Triad, Tetrad, Pentad, Hexad, Heptad, Octad, Ennead & Decad) because these terms imply a much deeper meaning that just a simple quantity that most modern minds associate with numbers.
As we have previously discussed, Sacred Geometry is the study of the patterns and proportions, with a foundation in mathematics, that all life and reality is built upon.
It ALL begins with the inexpressible point, the Circle, the number 1, the Monad.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 BC) said, “From all things One and from One all things.”
“Heraclitus was famous for his insistence on ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe.”1
He said “All entities move and nothing remains still.” and “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
It is fascinating to note how similar this is to the physics we will learn in Cosmic Core and Dewey B Larson’s quote that “All is Motion.”
We will now delve into the topic of the Monad, the “One”. However, as Miranda Lundy writes, “According to one perspective, one cannot actually speak of the One, because to speak of it is to make an object of it, implying separation from it, so misrepresenting the essence of Oneness from the start, a mysterious conundrum.”
The point is, that one must contemplate and meditate upon the idea of Oneness. No words can be used to express the profound implications of unity. It must be found within by each individual.
We discussed this in Article 4. Wars have fought and torture has been committed over this concept of naming what cannot be named, and forcing others to interpret truth through all too narrow channels.
For our purposes we will attempt to explain, recognizing all the while that truth and knowledge lie within and it is the duty of each person to seek it there.
The Monad – Oneness
Monad means “to be stable”.
Think of the Universe (the seen and unseen) as the Monad. The universe is a dynamic steady-state universe. It is steady. It is stable. It is timeless. It is infinite. Yet it is ever-changing.
Monad also means:
Unity, Infinity, The One, The First, The Seed, The Essence, The Builder, The Foundation, The Space-Producer, The Immutable Truth and Destiny; The Silent Force; Mirror of Wonders; God, Great Spirit, The Still Eternity and Permanence
The above terms can be seen in relation to the science of the esoteric stream of knowledge taught here at Cosmic Core:
The Seed – fractal-holographic geometry
The Essence – the Aether or Essence Medium, also consciousness is the essence that builds life.
The Builder – consciousness that creates geometry that reality is built upon
The Foundation – consciousness creates geometry. Physical matter precipitates upon geometry to form life, space and time
The Space-Maker – the metaphysical source that, through consciousness, creates the physical reality of space/time. It literally creates space itself.
Mirror of Wonders – think again of the fractal-holographic nature of reality – mirrors within mirrors within mirrors – infinite reflections of a single Source; that which contains infinite dimensions and zero dimensions.
Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room—Love Forever
Permanence – the steady state universe, Infinity and timelessness.
Now think about these terms in relation to spirituality:
Unity. The Immutable Truth and Destiny. The Silent Force. God. Great Spirit. The Still Eternity.
The truth is within and requires no words.
For the Monad is the point, the seed, and the destination – the circle, center and the purest tone.
It is all things – seen and unseen, the creator and the creation, time and timelessness, finity and infinity, polarity and unity.
Keith Critchlow writes in The Hidden Geometry of Flowers, “The nature of one and oneness is both deep and profound. This concept can be taken as complete simplicity, as well as the greatest philosophical mystery. As with love, it embraces and coheres all.”
Critchlow adds, “Oneness then becomes a profound experience and has been called atonement which is at-one-ment.”
Monad – 1
The Monad is symbolic of:
Absolute Unity, Infinity, Equal Expansion in all directions and Cycles.
It is often used as the symbolic representation of God. You may define the word ‘God’ as you choose. You may use it, or discard it. Again, the truth is within and requires no words.
J. Krishnamurti said, “Listen, Life is One, it has no beginning and no end. The source and goal live in your heart.”
The Oglala Sioux sage Black Elk said it this way, “We know that we are related and one with all things of the heaven and the earth…the Morningstar and the dawn which comes with it, the moon of the night and the stars of the heavens…Only the ignorant person…sees many where there is really one.”
“We may smile at such beliefs, thinking them to be antiquated, naïve, and unscientific. Nevertheless, there is an element of truth here,” writes Gyorgy Doczi. “There is a wholeness in which everybody and everything is related, just as the diversities of these [geometric] patterns are related. All people and all things are indeed neighbors.”
The Monad is the All-Including One.
The numbers are to the Monad what the branches of the tree are to the seed of the tree.
As Keith Critchlow writes, “A true poet or true philosopher (lover of wisdom) will inevitably arrive at the concept of inseparability when meditating on the cosmos.”
The Monad is called Mind, because the mind is stable and has preeminence. Preeminence means ‘the fact of surpassing all others; superiority’. This means the Mind – that is consciousness – is the Source that exists before physical reality.
Consciousness refers to more than just thoughts. It refers to soul, spirit, intuition, inspiration, imagination, faith, emotions, ideas, beliefs…etc. Consciousness creates all things and contains all things. It has preeminence over physical matter. Consciousness creates matter and not the other way around.
The Monad also means hermaphrodism, because it is both male and female. This concept of the Monad is above any one gender or any one religious concept.
Within the Monad there are no opposites. There are only merging tendencies. Within each individual consciousness all things are contained. Certain aspects are activated over other aspects, but the Mind contains all things.
This means the Divine Mind and each individualized mind. Each male is also a female and each female is also a male. We choose to play out certain roles in certain lifetimes because we learn more about our potential that way. The idea is to learn to appreciate the unique aspects of being male or female in physical life all the while knowing that both are equally valid, important and meaningful.
However, it is wise to remember that each person is an infinite being and contains all qualities, whether those qualities are active or in potentiation. We may be male today, but in other lives we are female, and vice versa. And there are many ways to be male and many ways to be female. None have to live lives uncomfortably stuffed into a stereotype that does not fit them. Sterotyping is harmful and dangerous and is a sure sign you are not thinking for yourself. When you stereotype your mind is being controlled by the narrow-minded expectations of others.
The Monad is both odd and even, for being added to the even it makes odd and to the odd, even. This idea harks back to Pythagorean teaching in which the mathematical qualities of numbers were studied to gain a deeper insight into their symbolism.
This means that the Monad (1) added to an even number equals an odd.
(1 + 4 = 5), or as we learned (2 + 1 + 2 = 5). The Monad brings movement to that which is still.
Conversely, the Monad (1) added to an odd equals an even.
(1 + 27 = 28) or (16 + 16 = 28). The Monad brings stillness to that which moves.
The Monad is all things and therefore balances and harmonizes all things.
In fact, when we recognize that Unity is the truth and we are all connected and we are infinite beings with a grand unified consciousness, we begin to see each other person, animal and plant as our brother and sister, if not a part of our very selves. This perception in our mind automatically brings about more harmony and balance in our lives. That is when our minds become unified, our lives automatically become harmonious.
The Monad was also referred to as God, because it is the beginning and end of all, but itself has neither beginning nor end. It is time and timelessness. It is finity and infinity. Once again, it is ALL things and it connects and contains all things.
Furthermore, the Monad is Good, for such is the nature of God.
Again, use or don’t use the term God. But nowhere in the esoteric teachings or Cosmic Core is it said that the Monad is a human being separate from humanity. In fact, we are saying precisely the opposite. There is no separation from the divine and human. There is no separation between infinity and finity. We have finite lives but within us is an Infinite Soul that lives on. The Divine is within each spark, each dust mote, each photon, each atom, each plant, insect, animal and human…
The point is, there is no separation, and God, if you want to use the term, is ALL things. It is both all things in their individuality and the combination of All things. In these terms, the Whole is Greater than the sum of its parts. The Wholeness of all in reality is Divine yet that spark of the divine lives in all things in all its glorious infinitude.
Between greater and lesser the Monad is equal. It is the great balancer – that which can find diversity within Unity and harmony within diversity.
In multitude it is mean. Again, this means it is the great balancer among the diverse multitudes. Unity is what we all have in common – each of us, no matter how different we are and no matter what form we are taking (photon, plant, insect, animal, human, star…etc).
Between intention and remission it is middle. This can be taken many ways. One way is that intention is ‘an aim or plan’ and remission formally means ‘forgiveness of sins’. Therefore, the Monad is the action between the two. When one intends to heal, transform, ‘be saved’ or ‘be washed clean’ the force of the Monad (Knowledge of Unity) is what makes one guilt-free. It is what allows the inexplicable change that occurs when one heals, forgives themselves, forgives others and moves on with a life of peace, joy and harmony. For lack of a better term, it is the ‘magical’ act of forgiveness. For forgiveness is the only way to eradicate guilt, pain, fear and grudges. That is – forgiveness of the self and forgiveness of others.
The Monad is the benevolent force that makes it possible to heal. When one has truly and fully healed from a trauma one understands the ‘magical’ act that has taken place. One feels a completely new person with a completely new life. What makes that possible? It is something unseen that only occurs within the consciousness? It is the force of the Monad – a benevolent, good, unifying force. Knowledge of Unity can heal us, if only we recognize it and then harmonize with it.
In time the Monad is Now, because eternity knows neither past nor future. Much has been written on the ever-present moment of Now. This thought deserves deep contemplation.
The Monad is also referred to as Form, because it circumscribes, comprehends and terminates. Form equals geometry. Everything in reality is organized by standing waves of geometry. This will be discussed in great detail in the Science section of Cosmic Core.
And, the Monad is called Love, Concord and Piety because it is indivisible. Once again, it is Unity. Unity is one thing we all have in common. Recognizing we are all a part of a greater consciousness allows us to have more compassion for others. It allows us to recognize the fact that when we hurt another, we are hurting ourselves. When we lie to another, we are lying to ourselves. When we steal from another, we are stealing from ourselves. Knowledge of unity breeds compassion and love. It breeds concord rather than discord. It breeds piety, which is reverence – that is, a reverence for all life.
The Theology of Arithmetic – Iamblichus
Now we will take a look at the meaning of the Monad as prepared by Neoplatonist philosopher, biographer of Pythagoras, Greek mystic and mathematician Iamblichus (245-325 AD).
We will list the qualities of the Monad with minimal additional comment. Many of these concepts are mirrored above.
The Monad is the non-spatial source of number [Beyond space and time].
It is called stability – it preserves the specific identity of any number with which it is conjoined:
1 x 3 = 3
1 x 27 = 27
1 x 888 = 888…etc.]
Everything has been organized by the Monad, because it contains everything potentially.
It is the point and angle (with all forms of angle.) See the image below with all polygons inscribed in a circle.
It is All geometry – all Platonic solids, Archimedean solids and other compounds and combinations. See the image below of Metatron’s Cube which contains all Platonic solids.
It is the beginning, middle and end of all things (quantity, size, quality, time, space).
It is the form of forms [Again, all forms are based upon a few simple forms of geometry (Platonic solids & the sphere]. It is the form (geometry) of forms (life forms & matter).
It is creation thanks to its creativity and intellect thanks to its intelligence.
It is pure light.
It is sun-like and ruling.
It has the power to make things cohere and combine, even when they are composed of many ingredients and are very different from one another. [There is Diversity within Unity and Harmony within Diversity. Unity does not mean everyone is the same. We must rejoice in our individuality and through knowledge of unity we can harmonize with one another without having to all become identical automatons. That would be the exact opposite of health, harmony and positive evolution.]
The Monad produces itself and is produced from itself. It is self-sufficient.
It is the cause of permanence – the preserver and maintainer of natures.
It does not alter from its own principle [of Unity], and forbids anything else to alter [Nothing can escape Unity], but is truly unchanging and is the Fate Atropos (The Fate ‘not to be turned aside’).
For however far it is extended, or however many extensions it causes, it still prohibits outrunning and changing the fundamental principle of itself [Unity] and of those extensions.
It is the seed of all – both male and female simultaneously – it produces the nature of both without distinction.
It contains the principles of both matter and form, of craftsman and that which is crafted.
The potential of every number is in the Monad.
It is productive and disposed to share itself with everything.
It is called ‘matrix’ on the grounds that without it there is no number.
‘Monad’ when added up equals 361 [1 away from the circle or 360º].
The Monad is likened to moral wisdom, for what is correct is One [Unity is Truth].
It is also called Being, Cause of Truth, Order, Concord, What is Equal among Greater and Lesser, the Mean between intensity and slackness, the Instant Now in time, Friend, Life, and Happiness.
The Monad is in Potential. [The knowledge of unity is within all things. Recognition of this can transform life and reality as we know it for the positive. However, if we don’t recognize it, it does not disappear. It simply waits within.]
Arithmetic of the Monad
1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321
Any number multiplied by unity (1) or divided by unity always remains itself
1 x 1 = 1 2 x 1 = 2 3 x 1 = 3 4 x 1 = 4…etc.
“Unity always preserves the identity of all it encounters.”2
1 is the only number that, when added to itself, produces a result greater than when it is multiplied by itself:
1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 1+1+1+1+1 = 5
Monads are “perpetual living mirrors of the universe” according to the great German polymath and philosopher Gottfriend Wilhelm Liebnitz (1646-1716).
Mirrors represent the Fractal-Holographic nature of Reality and the idea that each individualized consciousness is a reflection of the One cosmic consciousness.
Atomic Number 1 = Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the lightest of all elements. The majority of the Universe’s mass (75%) is Hydrogen. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is undetectable by human senses. It is always bonded to itself or something else to fill its outer shell. “We owe most of the energy on our planet to hydrogen. The Sun’s nuclear fires convert hydrogen to helium releasing a large amount of energy.”3
Atomic Number 11 = Sodium
Sodium is the sixth most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. It is a vital element for living organisms. “In humans sodium is important for maintaining fluid balance in the cells and throughout the body. The electric potential maintained by sodium ions is critical for nerve function.”4
That is, sodium is critical for consciousness to work in the physical body.
Sodium is also highly reactive. The pure metal spontaneously ignites in water. It also floats on water.
Don’t let the above two images fool you. Remember, there are no electrons. There are only electron clouds that contain geometric fields in potentiation.
The One and The Center of One
Miranda Lundy writes, “The One is the limit of all, first before the beginning and last after the end, alpha and omega, the mold that shapes all things and the one thing shaped by all molds, the origin from which the universe emerges, the universe itself, and the center to which it returns.
Like light from the Sun or gentle rain, the One is traditionally perceived as unconditional in its love, yet its majesty and mystery remain veiled, and beyond apprehension, for the One can only be understood by itself. As such, One is always alone, all one, and no thing can exist to describe it.”5
Randall Carlson tell us, “All geometric constructions begin with a single point, represented by the moment that the point of the compass or the point of the pencil contacts paper. The construction can commence with either a straight line or the arc of a circle. Through the combination of straight lines and arcs the entire edifice of geometry can be produced. In the compass itself we have symbolized the primordial duality of Rest and Motion, of stillness and action, for one point of the compass remains fixed while the other moves, generating the center and the circumference of a circle, generatrix of all subsequent form.”6
The Center as the Axis Mundi
John Michell writes, “In sacred geometry, either the central dot or the circle is taken to represent the pole of the universe, passing vertically through the center of the diagram. The pole of the universe is the inner symbol of the canon, the fount of orthodoxy and the standard of universal law.” 7
“The center,” Keith Critchlow adds, “is the controlling point, and represents, by a projection into the third dimension, the ontological axis and is thereby symbolically outside time and space. The center is simultaneously the non-directional point and the non-measurable moment. Because the center is indivisible it symbolically represents the primal unity which is both source and goal of the existent.” 8
That is, the point is both non-dimensional and totally dimensional. It has zero dimensions and all dimensions simultaneously. It represents our gateway to the metaphysical reality and our relationship with that infinite reality.
The center, in cosmology, also symbolizes the axis mundi, the world tree, and the sushumna – ‘a ray joining every being to the spiritual Sun’.
“The Sushumna is the central energy channel of Nadi that travels the full length of the middle of the spinal cord. It is the channel through which pranic energy flows and through which we experience Kundalini Awakening.”9
Kundalini awakening occurs when the chakras are balanced and the 6th chakra, or 3rd eye, can be used as a portal to tune into the metaphysical reality and experience the Source of Infinite Consciousness.
The enclosing of the circle around the point denotes the ‘cosmos within from the relative chaos without’.
This is an important point. We continually mention that chaos is a part of the Universe, and not the Universe itself. Chaos exists in the physical. The metaphysical is not chaotic. It is a fount of all that is ordered, harmonious and beautiful.
Recall from Article 9 about Chaos theory:
“An important reflection we can learn from The Chaos Theory is the ever-changing flow of life. There’s an infinite amount of possibilities in between the plans and pursuits we dream up in our own realities. They are called OUR realities because we build them with our minds equipped with our own truths. The life we have been living is the life we have chosen for ourselves because it is what we believe we deserve. In the event that we find ourselves longing for another kind of life, we can weave it into the wonderful chaos that is our reality.”10
The axial ascent up the Sushumna, World Tree or Pillar is a universal and archetypal idea present in mythologies around the world.
This idea is exemplified by:
- Yggdrasil/World Tree (Norse mythology)
- The Nail Star (Konyak and Chukchi)
“In many different shamanic cultures, we encounter again and again the idea that the Pole Star marks a tiny hole – a gap, window, or enctrance- that leads out of the physically perceptible world of space and time to the invislble spirit-world. Through this hole the gods pass to-and-fro. So also do the souls of the dead…The idea that the passage between worlds is a tiny point serves to remind us that we are not considering here and additional fourth or fifth physical dimension. Rather we are taking dimensions away, we are removing them one after another until we reach a point that vanishes into ‘nowhere’ a kind of ‘negative space’ in which matter is replaced by spirit.”11
- The Sky Nail (Samoyed)
- The unmoving Pole Star
- The Christian Cross
- The Tree of Immortality (Islam)
Painting of life tree in interoer of Shaki Khan palace, Azerbaijan National Art Museum
- Bodhi Tree (Buddhism) – the sacred tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment
- The Tree of Life (the Elixir of Life in Alchemy)
Valentinus Basilius & Georg Beatus, woodcut on paper, 1613
- Thor’s Oak; sacred groves, Sacred Tree at Uppsala, Irminsul pillar (Germanic paganism)
- Gaokerena World Tree (Ancient Iran) – the sacred Haoma tree which bears all seeds
- Vilagfa (World Tree/Tree of Life in Hungarian mythology)
- The Golden Pillar/Modun (Mongols)
Golden Pillar of Ralong Monastery, Credit: Sukanto Debnath
- The Iron Pillar (Kirgis, Bashkir, Siberian Tartars)
Iron Pillar, Qutb Complex, Delhi India, 1193-1245 AD
- The Solar Pillar (Teeut)
Solar Pillar Phenomenon seen in Istra, Moscow region of Russia
- The Oak (Slavic, Finnish, Baltic)
Angel Oak, John’s Island, South Carolina
- Iroko orisha (Sacred Tree in Yoruba mythology)
Iroko by Aurilda Sanches
- Kien-Mu/Jian-Mu (Chinese World Tree)
- Borjgali (ancient Georgian Tree of Life)
- Sacred Fig/Ashvattha (Hindu)
- Tree of Humanity/Kalpa Vriksha Tree (Brahma Kumaris religion)
- Tree of Dawn/Austra koks (Latvian)
- World Tree (Maya, Aztez, Izapan, Mixtec, Olmec)
- World Tree or Tree of Life (Turkic mythology)
- Wish-fulfilling Tree (South Asian religions)
Cinatamani Lokesvara with a kaprabrikshya (wish-fulfilling tree)
- Tree of Life (Ancient Assyria)
Assyrian tree of life, from Nimrud panels.
- Etz Chaim (Tree of Life in Judaism)
- Tree of Life (Kabbalah)
- Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Christianity)
Line engraving by T. de Bry after J. van Winghe
- Mount Meru, Mount Kailash, Kunlun Mountain, Mount Ararat, Mt Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, Hill of Uisneach, Mount Olympus, Mauna Kea, and the Black Hills
Mount Fuji, Japan
- Pagodas, Stupas, Ise Shrines, Ziggurats, Steeples, Minarets, Stelae, Pyramids, Obelisks, Hearths, Altars and Totem Poles
- The World Pillar – “the central stake used as a gnomon for geometric and astronomic orientation in the layout of the stone circles”
- The golden flues of the Sky House (Ostyak)
- Seven flues of the Sky God – through theses seven flues (7 chakras) Earth (or shamans, mystics…etc) pass from one cosmic zone to another
- ‘Land of the young’ & ‘the delightful plain’ (ancient Irish)
- ‘Land of promise’ – or the world of the source of supernatural knowledge
These all imply transcendence up the vertical axis or a point through which consciousness passes from space/time to time/space (the physical to the metaphysical) and gains knowledge of Unity in all its Infinite glory.
The famous psychologist Abraham H. Maslow refers to the ‘peak experience’ as “a clear perception that the universe is all of a piece and that…one is part of it, one belongs in it.” From this follows a sense that “the sacred is in the ordinary…that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends and family, in one’s backyard…To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.”
Critchlow adds, “The static primary circle…is an unmoving presence (an eternity) against which we can measure our worldly eccentricity as we traverse the years and the circuits of our lives.”
- Schneider, Michael, A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, Harper Perennial, 1994
- Lundy, Miranda, Sacred Geometry, Bloomsbury USA, 2001
- Carlson, Randall, The Meaning of Sacred Geometry part 2: What’s the Point?, Sacred Geometry International, 16 November 2012, http://sacredgeometryinternational.com/the-meaning-of-sacred-geometry-ii-whats-the-point
- Michell, John, The Dimensions of Paradise: Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order on Earth, Inner Traditions, 3rd edition, 2008
- Critchlow, Keith, Time Stands Still, Brecourt Academic, 2nd edition, 2007
- The Order in Chaos Theory, 12 November 2015, //medium.com/@universalintelligencespace/the-order-in-chaos-theory-192e2d67154a“>https://medium.com/@universalintelligencespace/the-order-in-chaos-theory-192e2d67154a>
- Naydler, Jeremey, The Future of the Ancient World: Essays on the History of Consciousness, Inner Traditions, 2009