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He is the invisible Spirit, of whom it is not right to think of him as a god, or something similar. For he is more than a god, since there is nothing above him, for no one lords it over him. For he does not exist in something inferior to him, since everything exists in him. For it is he who establishes himself. He is eternal, since he does not need anything. For he is total perfection. A being can have a relationship with a God but not the Monad as that would be a contradiction.
The Apocryphon of John, 180 AD.

The Monad, also know as The One or Absolute, is an emanation of God, its equivalents in other religions and myths being Brahman of Hinduism and Ein Sof of Kabbalah. In Gnosticism he is the Supreme Father and the source of all that is right and luminous, in contrast to Yaldabaoth, the source of all evil and darkness.

Overview

Monad in Gnosticism is a name to refer to the New Testament God and Father of Jesus Christ, besides being the consort of Barbelo, the Holy Spirit. The Messiah describes him as Ineffable and inaccessible to all things and all entities in the universe, being superior to Christ Himself. The concept behind Monad was probably inspired by Plato's idea of ​​the universe being divided into two spheres, one of mind and the other of matter, with the first entity of the universe and responsible for emanating all creation being an impersonal being external to all creation, called the One or Monad.

In contrast to Monad is Yaldabaoth, also called Demiurge, Saklas and Samael. Yaldabaoth is seen as the God of the Old Testament, being the creator of the world and the evil ruler of creation, an entity ignorant of the upper sphere and seeing himself as the only true God.

Appearance

The Monad is an incredibly simple aspect, being simple, it is practically impossible to describe in its entirety, as it is practically non-existent. Jesus describes Monad as being neither corporeal nor incorporeal. Some would describe Monad as a powerful light encompassing all levels of creation or would describe it as similar to Ein Sof - the void of non-existence. The Monad is represented as a circle with a point inside it within a two-dimensional plane.

However, Monad was interpreted as gender neutral, or having both genders, being a hemaphrodite. Since God is all-encompassing, he encompasses both masculinity and femininity.

Personality

The Monad is described by Jesus as an extraordinarily benevolent and incorruptible entity, being described as "the blessed who bestows bliss" and "immeasurable light, which is pure, holy and immaculate".

Indicating that he is not just a good being, but is the essence of that which is pure, perfect and holy, the personification of the goodness of the Ineffable and Unknown Father. Indeed, it is implied that there is a great dualism between the Monad and the Chief Archon, Yaldabaoth, who is seen as the source of evil, darkness and chaos, the Shadow that is left in the absence of light of God.

Alongside Brahman, Monad has been seen to poke into peoples dreams, that have met any of them, as seen when Ein Sof walks around creation and meets many people, Monad immediately intervenes by warning the people that have met him.

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History

Myths and Legends

Philosophy

Monad (from Greek μονάς monas, "singularity" in turn from μόνος monos, "alone") refers, in cosmogony, to the Supreme Being, divinity or the totality of all things. The concept was reportedly conceived by the Pythagoreans and may refer variously to a single source acting alone, or to an indivisible origin, or to both. The concept was later adopted by other philosophers, such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who referred to the monad as an elementary particle. It had a geometric counterpart, which was debated and discussed contemporaneously by the same groups of people.

Gnosticism

In some gnostic systems, the Supreme Being is known as the Monad, the One, the Absolute, Aiōn Teleos (the Perfect Aeon, αἰών τέλεος), Bythos (Depth or Profundity, Βυθός), Proarchē (Before the Beginning, προαρχή), Hē Archē (The Beginning, ἡ ἀρχή), the Ineffable Parent, and/or the primal Father.

Prominent early Christian gnostics like Valentinus taught that the Monad is the high source of the Pleroma, the region of light constituting "the fullness of the Godhead." Through a process of emanation, various divine entities and realms emerge from the One. Arranged hierarchically, they become progressively degraded due to their remoteness from the Father. The various emanations of the One, totaling thirty in number (or 365, according to Basilides), are called Aeons. Among them exist Jesus (who resides close to the Father) and the lowest emanation, Sophia (wisdom), whose fall results in the creation of the material world.

According to Theodoret's book on heresies (Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium i.18), the Arab Christian Monoimus (c.150–210) used the term Monad to mean the highest god that created lesser gods, or elements (similar to Aeons). In some versions of Christian gnosticism, especially those deriving from Valentinius, a lesser deity known as the Demiurge had a role in the creation of the material world separate from the Monad. In these forms of gnosticism, the God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, is often considered to have been the Demiurge, not the Monad, or sometimes different passages are interpreted as referring to each.

Quotes

I am the will of the universe. I am the whole of it, and at the same time, I am but a single part of it.
The Monad.
The sacred book of the Egyptians about the great Invisible spirit, the Father whose name cannot be pronounced, he who came from the heights of perfection, the light of the light of the aeons of light, the light of the silence of providence and the Father of silence. Three powers came out of him; they are the Father, the Mother and the Son, of the living silence, which came from the Incorruptible Father. These arose from the silence of the unknown Father.
Apocryph of the Egyptians.
The Lord of the Universe is not rightly called 'Father' but 'Forefather'. For the Father is the beginning (or principle) of what is visible. For he (the Lord) is the beginningless Forefather. He sees himself within himself, like a mirror, having appeared in his likeness as Self-Father, that is, Self-Begetter, and as Confronter, since he confronted Unbegotten First Existent. He is indeed of equal age with the one who is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.
Eugnostos the Blessed.
It existed before anything other than itself came into being. The Father is one, like a number, since he is the first and the one who is just himself. However, he is not like a lonely individual. Otherwise how could he be a father? For whenever there is a "father", the name "son" comes. But the only one, who is the only Father, is like a root, with tree, branches and fruit. He is said to be a father in the proper sense, since he is inimitable and immutable. Because of that, he is a spinster in the proper sense, and he is a god, because no one is a god to him nor a father to him.

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