The Great Monad

Here is a symbol of tremendous antiquity which is worthy of notice. It is borne on the Korean ensign and merchant flag, and has been adopted as a trade sign by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, though probably few are aware that it is the Great Monad, as shown in the sketch below. This sign is to the Chinaman what the cross is to the Christian. It is the sign of Deity and eternity, while the two parts into which the circle is divided are called the Yin and the Yan—the male and female forces of nature. A writer on the subject more than three thousand years ago is reported to have said in reference to it: "The illimitable produces the great extreme. The great extreme produces the two principles. The two principles produce the four quarters, and from the four quarters we develop the quadrature of the eight diagrams of Feuh-hi." I hope readers will not ask me to explain this, for I have not the slightest idea what it means. Yet I am persuaded that for ages the symbol has had occult and probably mathematical meanings for the esoteric student.

I will introduce the Monad in its elementary form. Here are three easy questions respecting this great symbol:—

(I.) Which has the greater area, the inner circle containing the Yin and the Yan, or the outer ring?

(II.) Divide the Yin and the Yan into four pieces of the same size and shape by one cut.

(III.) Divide the Yin and the Yan into four pieces of the same size, but different shape, by one straight cut.

See answer

Math Genius