from You're Simple! Monadology for Children
1. Look at this, then: a thing which has no parts.
2. There are things which have several parts; therefore, we can think
of a single part. It's simple.
3. This simple thing which I call a monad cannot be split, neither can
it be extended. It has no shape.
Everything that is, is made from these!
4. A monad is always unbitten and is unbreakable. It can't disassemble.
5. Neither can a monad just appear naturally. How can you put together
something which only has one
6. A monad can be created spontaneously – poof! – or it can be
7. A monad has no pattern and it is not an engine. It is not open.
8. Monads do have qualities. They jostle and fill up the fullness of
the full world.
9. Each monad has a different quality.
10. Every monad is constantly changing. Look, they're doing it now, the
fickle little things!
11. A monad is either changed by divine will or from an interior force.
12. Each simple substance also changes individually.
13. This creates a multiplicity of states and relationships.
14. A multitude within a unity is called perception. This is not the
same as consciousness. A monad is
not a mind.
15. The internal force which causes change is called appetite. Yum,
yum! Appetition moves towards a
16. We are but simple substances and we perceive a multiplicity of
things in a variegated world.
17. Imagine this: a machine structured to produce thought. Now we walk
into it as if it were a mill.
Don't lean on that cog! Watch out for that lever! The place gets bigger
in relative proportions, but
where is perception to be found in this mad machine? Perception is not
to be found in a composite
thing. It is not a structure but a simple thing which perceives.
18. Simple substances or created monads contain a certain perfection of
self-sufficiency. Let's name
19. We could call these monads souls, if by soul we mean anything that
has appetites and perceptions.
But some souls also possess memory, and so we must distinguish between
a mere monad and a monad
proper, with memory.
20. In a dark and dreamless or when we faint at the latest news, we are
cut from memory, and we are
mere monads; but the soul recovers, and then it is a monad.
21. But hold your horses! A mere monad still has perceptions. Its every
state is a perception – though
that state may be a daze, a craze, or a dizziness. Also imminent death.
22. The present of a monad is pregnant with its future.