In ODODU each letter is assigned a fundamental archetypal meaning. The contention is that this meaning can be derived from a symbolic form which illustrates this meaning, and how the meaning might have evolved from the relational nature of the universe. Thus the lexicon of ODODU contains not only a definition of the meaning of a word but also an argument as to how that meaning was derived from fundamental characteristics of ourselves and the universe.
Start with the ODODU alphabet, which is:
It is not actually a linear alphabet, although it can be expressed in a linear fashion as; U, I, E, A, O, Q, Y, H, D, P, R, B, C, L, T, K, S, G, F, X, N, M, W, and Z. It also can be presented pictorially as;
This representation of the alphabet utilizes pictographs instead of letters. We have assumed that each letter represents a fundamental archetypal meaning which can be derived from a symbolic form which illustrates this meaning and how it might have evolved from the relational nature of the universe. The pictographic alphabet presents one such interpretation. The following discussion expands on this construction and provides a derivational argument for the assignment of meaning to the letters of the alphabet.
The derivation of ODODU will begin by using the four fundamental types of relation, self relation, linear relation, relational relation, and interrelational relation (see Relational Systems), as the first four letter/concepts in ODODU. These are the letters U, I, E, and A and they are designated as vowels. They are considered as indefinable so they will simply be described and exemplified as follows:
The U concept is conceived in terms of a relation which is related to itself. Its natural symbolic representation is a dot or a point. We represent this concept in ODODU with a capital letter U. Here a period would be a better choice than a U but the period on a modern keyboard is often hard to see and does not look like a letter. So U was used as a substitute because it was a vowel, did not obviously fit any of the other categories, and could be related to the U in Universe.
U is self relation. It is the origin, a beginning or an end. It can be viewed as a point in the universe and thus would possess only location, no width or length or mass. It would represent a unique perspective for the rest of the universe.
The concept I can be conceived as a relation whose relating is undefined except for the requirement that it not relate other relations. It relates something to something else. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line. What the line connects is undefined in terms of its primary exemplification but we can think of many specific examples. If V is related to J, then this could be represented as V¾ J. This concept will look like the letter I. Usually we will consider it to be a straight line but this interpretation requires a context such as a plane or a volume to have much meaning. It also can be viewed as a distance between two points.
The concept E can be conceived as a relational relation, that is, a relation related to another relation. Just what is related to the additional relation is undefined in the same way as for the letter I above, but whatever it is, it is related to a relation. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line, one end of which terminates somewhere in the middle of another line. The concept itself looks like the middle horizontal line ending at the vertical line in the letter E. From a geometrical perspective E could be viewed as defining a surface or a plane.
The concept A can be conceived as interrelation, a relation relating other relations. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line which connects two other lines, somewhere other than at their ends. It looks like the letter A. In this case the cross bar is the defining relation. The two lines which the interrelational relation connects may or may not themselves intersect. Thus the pictograph above could represent a Cartesian coordinate system comprising three mutually perpendicular coordinate axes. In this sense an A could represent the concept of a three dimensional space.
In a similar manner the next four letter/concepts are the vowels O, Q, Y, and H. They are presented as follows;
The concept O is the concept of distinction. It can be viewed as a form of self relation in that it is a circular line which curves back onto itself, much like the snake eating its tail. In this sense the O is an accurate representation of the concept itself. However, since it now exists within the context of UIEA it also can be viewed as a closed surface or sphere in three dimensional space. O represents a boundary, a separation of two different things or places, the inside from the outside.
Q can now be seen as a cross. A line or relation which crosses the distinction or boundary. This could be an interaction between the inside and the outside, or an interaction between something inside with something else outside. It could be only a relation or relationship between two such things or places. It also could be a movement or transferal from one side to the other.
Once a boundary or a distinction is established it may not be obvious as to how to tell them apart and so Y, the next letter concept, establishes the ability to mark or represent one or both of the distinguished things or spaces. The concept is one of tagging or labeling, marking something so that it can be distinguished from other things.
The final vowel, H, now represents the possible ways of interrelating all of the preceding concepts. It includes relating different bounded spaces or their marked states or contents and provides for a view of a totally connected and interrelated universe.
The following presents the pictographic derivation of the consonants.
This is the concept of consciousness and it is represented by the pictograph;
Here a point, U, is contained within a boundary or distinction, O. Since our primary assumption is that the universe is comprised of conscious entities and their communicating languages this will represent a conscious entity, like you or I. This entity exists and it is distinguished from everything else in the universe. Thus UDU is consciousness, the fundamental particularized unit of existence and the universe. Each UDU represents a unique component and perspective of the universe and the universe itself is composed of such bounded conscious entities.
This is the concept of desire, need, and it is represented by the pictograph;
In UPU a conscious entity UDU experiences the most primal urge. It wants. It hungers. It desires. This is a driving force which acts on the UDU. It is represented as a linear relation. It bears directly on the consciousness.
This is the concept of emotion, feeling, and it is represented by the pictograph;
The presence of desire in the conscious entity generates an emotional response, a feeling. The feeling is related to the desire. Hence the defining characteristic is the relational relation. The feeling is derivative from, and coexistent with, the desire or want.
This is the concept of choice, decision, and it is represented by the pictograph;
The interrelation between want and emotion generates choice, decision. The consciousness entity is not static but must act to continue to exist and survive. This is resolved through the interrelation of desire and feeling.
The first four consonant words; UDU, UPU, URU, and UBU, represent a psychological or mind basis for the conscious entity. Given the primary assumption that consciousness is the defining characteristic of the universe, and of those of us who comprise the universe, then these are the initial archetypal concepts. Since they culminate in choice, the decision to act, there then needs to be a way for this to happen. Therefore the next group of four archetypal consonant words involve a derivation of how a conscious entity can act to implement choice. Thus;
This is the concept of body and it is represented by the pictograph;
Here a cross is made originating from within the psychological conscious boundary and continuing into the rest of the universe outside the psychological boundary. But it is a self relational cross so it creates a new distinction via the act of the cross. This generates a body, an entity outside the psychological boundary but containing it. This allows the conscious entity to employ other aspects of the universe to effect the choices and decisions it makes. Having such a body allows it to act, therefore;
This is the concept of action, and it is represented by the pictograph;
By generating a liner relational cross (not the self relational cross which created the body itself) the conscious entity can now act in the universe. It can do something in response to the choices it makes at the psychological level. The linear relation extending outside the body allows action on, or interaction with, other elements of the universe.
This is the concept of sensation and it is represented by the pictograph;
Once the body acts it is essential to get feedback as to the effect of the action. Therefore the body generates another cross, this time of a relational relation nature. This constitutes sensation. The detection of other things and events in the universe outside the body of the conscious entity. This detection ability will allow for the recognition of consequences of actions which the body itself has preformed. By correlating and interrelating these consequences with the actions performed we get;
This is the concept of creation and it is represented by the pictograph;
This is creativity. The body, under the direction of the psychological consciousness, can now create things in the universe outside of the body of the conscious entity. The creative ability allows us to correlate our actions via our sensations and thereby make and use things to respond to our wants, feelings and choices. It also allows some conscious entities to create new conscious entities. Here a new consciousness is created by an existing conscious entity. An example illustrating this asexual reproduction could be represented as;
A second example illustrating sexual reproduction could also be diagrammed as follows.
In addition to creating things by manipulation of things outside of a given conscious entity's body, or the asexual or sexual creation of new conscious entities, there is another type of creation which conscious entities can do and this relates to the creation of signs and language. To illustrate this concept we derive;
This is the concept of symbol and it is represented by the pictograph;
Here the conscious entity is designating or identifying some part of the universe as a symbol. Usually what is designated is external to the body of the conscious entity but it could designate its own body, or a part of its body, or some creation made by its body, as a symbol. Once a symbol has been designated it is assigned a meaning via;
This is the concept of meaning and it is represented by the pictograph;
The meaning is specified or designated or identified by the conscious entity and then related to the symbol previously or simultaneously designated. Once this has occurred there is an image generated by the conscious entity which is related to the relating of symbol and meaning. this generates;
This is the concept of image and it is represented by the pictograph;
When an image is created in this manner it can persist in the universe external to the creating conscious entity. However, there is a type of image which includes the creating conscious entity and this is then considered to be a memory. It can be shown as;
A further elaboration shows images persisting in, and associated with, memory as;
The interrelation of all of the symbols, meanings, and images by conscious entities is what generates language, and the thoughts, ideas, and concepts which comprise this interrelating. This is thinking. This is the creation and use of language. This is;
To represent UXU, thought and language, through the use of the pictographs would involve taking the letter symbols, the pictographs, and the sentences we have used so far, and placing them in the various bounded areas of additional pictographs, and then connecting them to other similarly constructed pictographs. We will illustrate this in the following manner. First lets take the initial UFU pictograph and rearrange it as follows:
Now if we expand the three outer loops we get;
This gets a little confusing so lets go back and add some color to the rearranged UFU pictograph as follows:
Now when we expand the outer loops it looks like:
Adding white and black this becomes:
At this point we still can detect a conscious entity, an UDU, in the center which is generating all of this. However, if we invert the white and black to,
then we no longer can detect any creator or generating conscious entity for the pictograph or its created image. Inverting the white and black again generates;
where we again cannot detect any creator for the image.
There are lots of interesting interpretations we can make of these pictographs. For now we will mention only a few and return in the future for a more detailed discussion.
The UXU pictographs look like Venn diagrams and this suggests a connection with set theory and basic logic as represented by an algebra of propositions. This fits in nicely with the contention that UXU represents thought and thinking. We also notice that there are two sets of four colors which can also be interpreted as consisting of a 1 to 3 pattern, much like the pattern we have deduced for our two sets of vowels. Thus we could say that the last UXU pictograph is composed of UIEA, represented as black, blue, yellow and red, and of OQYH which would be represented as white, green, purple and orange. We could also interpret this as relating to music where UIEA, the black, blue, yellow, and red quartet represents a C major seventh chord and OQYH, the white, green, purple, and orange quartet represents a D minor seventh chord. The two chords together comprise all the notes of an octave musical scale. This would consist of all the white keys on a piano for an octave in the key of C. This suggests that ODODU may be able to be "spoken" through musical tones alone and is not strictly dependent on our ability to speak with defined sound patterns which we identify as words. More on all of this in the future.
Thus it would seem that this is as far as this can go. There are no more increasingly subsumptive pictographs to draw that aren't already included, at least conceptually, in UXU. But fortunately, we still have the real world to deal with.
When we started we assumed that the universe is comprised of conscious entities, like you and I, which communicate and interact with each other using language. We also assumed that relation was the fundamental reality which underlies all of this. So how can the physical world be compatible with these assumptions? How does it fit in.
So far, all of the concepts presented have been illustrated with pictographs which have been bounded. We have assumed an inside and an outside and there has always been something inside that is connected in some manner to consciousness. The assumption has been that such boundaries and what they contain are real and we have always been able to identify the connection to consciousness. But this may not always be the case. There may be some boundaries that we can detect, but for which we are not able to detect a connection to consciousness inside the boundary. We now define such boundaries as things.
Suppose we consider the last two pictographs of UXU. If we were to put an axis through the center of the pictograph, perpendicular to the plane of the paper or screen, and rotate it we would see the following, which we will call;
This is a thing. We can detect it. It is real, but we cannot detect its creator or its role as consciousness or language. We can see how we can interact things, or they can interact with each other, as;
In a similar manner we can consider the concept of property or characteristic related to things and their interactions as;
The last possibility of ways to connect or interrelate things can then be represented as;
Now we find that these four pictographs showing UNU, UMU, UWU, and UZU are the basic representations of Relational Systems Theory. We have returned to our starting point.