Monad (in Theosophy)
Theosophical term that literally means a unit (Greek monas).
The Monad is frequently described as a ‘‘divine spark,’’ which
is an appropriate expression, for it is a part of the logos, the
divine fire. The Logos has three aspects—will, wisdom, and activity,
and since the Monad is part of the logos, it also has these
three aspects. It abides continually in its appropriate world, the
monadic, but in order that the divine evolutionary purposes
may be carried out, its ray is borne downward through the various
spheres of matter when the outpouring of the third of the
three life waves takes place.
It first passes into the spiritual sphere by clothing itself with
an atom of spiritual matter and thus manifests itself in an atomic
body, as a spirit possessing three aspects. When it passes into
the next sphere, the intuitional, it leaves its aspect of will behind,
and in the intuitional sphere appears in an intuitional
body as a spirit possessing the aspects of wisdom and activity.
On passing in turn from this sphere to the next, the higher
mental, it leaves the aspect of wisdom behind and appears in
a casual body as a spirit possessing the aspect of activity.
To put this somewhat abstruse doctrine in another form, the
monad has, at this stage, manifested itself in three spheres. In
the spiritual it has transfused spirit with will; in the intuitional
it has transfused spirit with wisdom; and in the higher mental
it has transfused spirit with activity or intellect; and it is now a
human ego, corresponding approximately to the common
term ‘‘soul,’’ an ego which, despite all changes, remains the
same until eventually the evolutionary purpose is fulfilled and
it is received back again into the logos.
From the higher mental sphere, the monad descends to the
lower mental sphere and appears in a mental body as possessing
mind; then betakes itself to the astral sphere and appears
in the astral body as possessing emotions; and finally to the
physical sphere and appears in a physical body as possessing
vitality. These three lower bodies—the mental, the astral, and
the physical— constitute the human personality, which dies at
death and is renewed when the monad in fulfillment of the process
of reincarnation, again manifests itself in these bodies