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Monad (from Greek μονάς monas, "unit" from μόνος monos, "alone"), according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for Divinity or the first being, or the totality of all beings, Monad being the source or the One meaning without division.
For the Pythagoreans, the generation of number series was related to objects of geometry as well as cosmogony. According to Diogenes Laertius, from the monad evolved the dyad; from it numbers; from numbers, points; then lines, two-dimensional entities, three-dimensional entities, bodies, culminating in the four elements earth, water, fire and air, from which the rest of our world is built up.
^Fairbanks, Arthur, Ed., "The First Philosophers of Greece". K. Paul, Trench, Trubner. London, 1898, p. 145.
^Sandywell, p. 205. The generation of the number-series is to the Pythagoreans, in other words, both the generation of the objects of geometry and also cosmogony. Since things equal numbers, the first unit, in generating the number series, is generating also the physical universe. (KR: 256) From this perspective ‘the monad’ or ‘One’ was readily identified with the divine origin of reality.
^This Pythagorean cosmogony is in some sense similar to a brief passage found in the DaoistLaozi: "From the Dao comes one, from one comes two, from two comes three, and from three comes the ten thousand things." （道生一、一生二、二生三、三生萬物。） Dao De Jing, Chapter 42