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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Monadism is one of the twelve fundamental worldviews discussed by Rudolf Steiner and assumes that all world events result from the interaction of independently existing, completely independent monads. In the zodiac, monadism corresponds to the sign of Sagittarius. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz advocated such a doctrine in his Monadology published in 1714.

„Now there is another possibility: that someone does not come to the workings of spiritual entities in the ways we have tried to go, but that he nevertheless comes to the assumption of certain basic spiritual beings of the world. Leibniz, for example, the famous German philosopher, was such a person. Leibniz was beyond the prejudice that anything could exist in the world merely materially. He found the real, sought the real. I have described the details in my book "The Riddles of Philosophy". He was of the opinion that there is a being which can form existence in itself, such as the human soul. But he did not make any further concepts about it. He only said to himself that there is such a being that can form existence in itself, that expels ideas from itself. For Leibniz, this is a monad. And he said to himself: there must be many monads and monads of the most varied clarity. If I have a bell here, there are many monads in it - as in a swarm of mosquitoes - but monads that do not even reach sleep consciousness, monads that are almost unconscious, but which nevertheless develop the darkest ideas within themselves. There are monads that dream, there are monads that develop waking ideas within themselves, in short, monads of the most varied degrees. - Such a one. Such a man does not come to imagine the concrete of the individual spiritual entities as the spiritualist does; but he reflects in the world on the spiritual, which he only allows to be indefinite. He calls it monad, that is, he is only concerned with the imaginative character, as if one were to say: Yes, spirit, spirits are in the world; but I only describe them in such a way that I say they are variously imagining beings. I take an abstract quality out of them. There I form this one-sided world-view, for which above all so much can be put forward as the spiritual Leibniz put forward for it. That is how I form monadism. - Monadism is an abstract spiritualism.“ (Lit.:GA 151, p. 42f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.