Re: [GTh] Monadology and the I Ching
- Tom Saunders writes:
> Leibnitz says, "the 'Monad' means that which is one, has no parts and isTo me, it's very clear. He meant that a monad has no parts which can exist
> therefore indivisible."
> Where Leibnitz got these ideas is not clear.
independently of each other. For if it did, then each of those parts would
itself be a monad, and the thing of which they were "parts" wouldn't be a
"monad" - it would be a composite. Yin and Yang, for example, cannot exist
independently of each other. Neither can the three persons of the Christian
trinity. Unlike the parts of a hammer, for example, the "parts" of a monad
can't come into existence at different times independently of each other,
and then be joined together. If they could, then each of those "parts" would
itself be a monad.
Consider the number one as the prototype of a monad. The ancients knew, of
course, that the number 1 could be further divided, but not in the same
sense that the number 2, for example, can be separated into two "monads". It
might be expressed as the difference between a conceptual "part" (e.g., 1/2)
and an existential "part" (e.g., two 1's within the number 2). In terms of
Yin and Yang, for example, they're conceptually different (hence conceptual
"parts" of a whole), and yet one can't exist without the other (hence
they're not true existential "parts" of a composite thing). So Leibniz was
in the mainstream of monadological thinking, even though his system differed
> The four, becomes the eight trigrams of the I Ching.I don't know why you say this. The trigrams are composed of two types of
lines, not four.
With respect to Empedocles, I don't see how he can be treated as a
monadologist. As I understand it, his system was based on four elements
driven by two _opposing_ (not harmonious) forces - love and strife.
The relevance of this discussion of monadology to Thomas is rather indirect.
You've called it a "descending monadology" - which I suppose expresses the
intuition that it envisages that the complexity of creation will be rolled
back into the single spiritual thing from which it arose. Saying 77 ("I am
everything; everything came out of me."), taken together with the "roll
back" sayings supports that view. As do Crossan and Davies in separate
essays. If that's what you're saying, then, it's certainly well-supported
within the scholarly community. The question of HOW this will come about (in
the estimation of GThom's authors) is a separate question. We might be
tempted to think that it has something to do with individual human beings
transforming themselves, but presumably that wouldn't effect the rest of the
material world. (If human beings die out, you've still got rocks and plants
and other animals, right?) So they were probably thinking not that
individual transformation would _cause_ the "roll back" of the world, but
that individual transformation was something that one should undergo in
preparation for the transformation of the world. It should be noted,
however, that if saying 77 and the "roll back" sayings weren't original to
Thomas, then this analysis wouldn't necessarily hold for the original.
Mt. Clemens, MI