Lesson 2: The Monad And The Duality

Welcome to Lesson Two. You will notice that I am fond of using italics and boldface to highlight specific words. Anything highlighted can be considered a vocabulary word or concept that I want to bring special attention to. Boldface is a topic that I recommend doing further personal research about.

Milk As A Microcosmos

Before we get esoteric, I want to talk more milk. Specifically, I want to take milk and break it down to its most basic elements for you to show science and metaphysics often talk about the same principles simply with different words.

Food and beverages have three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These macronutrients provide calories (energy) and we humans need all three of them to physically function and maintain good health. Ordinary unflavored milk is primarily composed of water, fat, proteins, and lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide sugar; aka a kind of carbohydrate.

Uncontaminated water doesn’t have fat, protein, or carbohydrates in it. Humans depend on water to live but water doesn’t provide us with energy.

Now water is a chemical compound whose molecules each contain two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Hydrogen is the chemical element attributed with the symbol H and the atomic number 1. It makes up about 75% of the universe. Hydrogen is everywhere and it is probably the very first material THING that was created during the first when our universe had its Big Bang or otherwise sparked into existence.

But before there was Any Thing, even a single atom? The universe was The Monad: the totality of all things without form or void. Now imagine what it was like for ancient mystics and philosophers to intuitively know that something like the Big Bang had happened to create first hydrogen and then everything else. They just didn’t have the technology to prove it or the precise language to articulate it the same way.

To borrow someone else’s math about water and correspond it to milk? The average volume of a drop of milk is  0.05 mL; you get about 20 drops of milk per milliliter . So that would mean there are over 1.5 sextillion molecules in a drop of milk and more than 5 sextillion atoms. My brain can’t grasp numbers that big very well. And yet, at the tiniest fraction of a second, at the creation of creation, the universe was that small. All of creation began as a dot, a point, that expanded. Science says so now; many world religions and/or philosophical systems have always so said so too. The Jewish Kabbalah says so and esoteric tarot, which is firmly rooted in a Westernized version of it best called the Qabalah says so too.

The Monad no longer exists in material reality- it didn’t exist for an entire second after creation. It is just an esoteric concept for us now. The Monad never had polarity or duality, never had a single atomic bond. It was a Whole. A Perfection without any kind of opposed electrical charge. Duality came into manifestation with atoms and molecules.

Polar Duality In Science & Metaphysics

“Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” — The Kybalion.

“In Chinese mythology, Yin and Yang were born from chaos when the universe was first created and they are believed to exist in harmony at the centre of the Earth. ” – Mark Cartwright

Now hydrogen has the molecular formula of H2; it is a molecule is formed of two hydrogen atoms bonded together. A hydrogen atom is composed of a single negatively charged electron, moving around the positively charged proton which is the nucleus of the hydrogen atom. A nucleus is basically the center and most important part of any object, movement, or group. This is science.

Look at the picture and read the caption. See the correspondence?

Yingyang as a fundamental Chinese esoteric concept dates back beyond 3rd century BCE. The same concept expresses itself in a number of other traditions but yinyang is my personal favorite for a lot of reasons.

I’ve made a list of other polar dualities that are very commonly associated with one another in esoteric tarot. It is a terrible mistake to place a value judgement of one column being “bad” and the other column being “good.” As a species, we’ve gotten ourselves into a terrible mess. False equivalencies and other related fallacies are deeply tucked into the human collective subconscious. Out perceptions search for information that reinforce our personal truths to us. This leads to preferences and bias which in turn leads to bigotry and discrimination.

Law of Duality: Any concept or force may be divided into two totally opposite concepts or forces each of which contains the essence of the other. Opposites can be defined only in relation to each other. – Bill Whitcomb, “The Magician’s Companion”

YINYANG
EarthHeaven
ReceptiveCreative
Negative Charge (-)Positive Charge (+)
PassiveActive
MoonSun
LeftRight
BlackWhite
ColdHot
FormForce
NightDay
SpiritMatter
WomanMan

Using The Law Of Duality Wisely

You might have noticed I didn’t include any value-based examples on the list below. There’s no bad/good, evil/good, wrong/right, despised/cherished or even you/me and us/them. All of these things are definitely polar dualities too. They are also the concepts that create bias and because of something called The Law of Association in occult philosophy, the more often we include those ideas in our chat about duality, the more we apply them to everything else we are chatting about. It is just how the human brain works.

Binary code (zero and one), electrons and protons (negative charge, positive charge), yin and yang? They just are, neither a better thing or worse thing than the other. The same goes for every other duality too.

Mastering the ability to strip value judgements and bias from how we think, act, and feel is one of the true Keys of Wisdom.


In future lessons, you will see me use the terms Yin-aspected or Yang-aspected a lot. In this context, aspect making a mental attribution of Yin or Yang as a quality of whatever we are talking about. It is very common in tarot (and a lot of other subjects) for us to talk about things being masculine or feminine. I won’t be doing that. I’m only going to talk about Yin and Yang aspects or affinities: which side of the chart above something is conventionally placed. I’m only going to suggest you practice using this methodology too.

Binary & Beyond

I mentioned that binary code corresponds very well with yingyang. In a binary numbering scheme there are only two possible values for each digit: 0 and 1. Yin and Yang. A binary digit (better known as a bit) is the smallest unit of data on a computer; each bit has a single value of either 1 or 0. Just as binary code is at the core and omnipresent in computer technology, archetypal symbolism that corresponds to yinyang is at the core and omnipresent in how humans perceive and interpret reality.

But reality (esoteric or exoteric) isn’t written or perceived ~exclusively~ in binary. For example, there are trinary and quadric elements in play as well and they are just as essential to esoteric tarot.

End of Lesson Exercises

Exercise #1
Watch the YouTube video from The Nemeton on The Monad – Divine Metaphysics (~20 minutes) which provides a mystical perspective on the same topic. Just write down your own thoughts in your journal. It brushes into a lot of topics (Gnosticism, Kabbalah) that will appear in discussed in future lessons. It is okay if it all doesn’t make sense right now, write about what does.

Exercise #2
Go through each of the Major Arcana cards of an RWS-based deck and note any kind of Ying-Yang polarities you spot in the images in your tarot journal.

Exercise #3
Pick a pairing off the list in the chart where you feel a bias towards one column or the other. Try to write a paragraph in your journal where which you compliment and criticize them equally.

Lesson 3: Trinary and Triplicities

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