IEML Alphabet and Basic Dialectics

Twenty-five lower-case letters

We have seen in the page on semantic primitives the meaning of the primitives E (emptiness), U (virtual), A (actual), S (sign), B (being) and T (thing). Let us also keep in mind that:

  • O = U⊕A
  • M = S⊕B⊕T
  • F = O⊕M

As F contains five primitives, there is twenty five possible strings of two non-empty primitives (F⊗F). These strings are represented by 25 lower-case letters. To learn more about the regular construction of the elements go to this page.

Like the primitives, the twenty-five lower-case letters have a master meaning, but they are also organized in semantic symmetries, so that each letter represents a position in a tetrad (symmetry four, like in a square), hexad (symmetry six, like in an hexagon) or ennead (symmetry nine).

The Ennead

In this section, from the ten upper-case IEML letters we will build twenty-five lower-case letters.

Paradigm for the nine interdependent dimensions of human experience (M ⊗ M)

The above table illustrates an IEML paradigmatic table with the creation of nine IEML letters from the primitives. Remember that M = S ⊕ B ⊕ T. So the M ⊗ M multiplication generates the nine possible one-to-one connections between S, B and T. Just like the six semantic primitives did, these nine lower-case letters represent basic concepts that will shape the IEML dictionary.

IEML paradigms have been designed to map all the significations of the domains they represent and to help create the widest diversity of meaning. In building the IEML dictionary, various metaphysical, epistemological, anthropological and existential points of view were taken into consideration. For instance, IEML elements (morphemes) can express both Eastern and Western philosophies. In accordance with this œcumenical philosophy, the title « interdependent dimensions of human experience » points to an inclusive and open stance.

  • Reflection (s)
    Signs and symbols fuel the power of the mind to reflect, understand, form judgments and generate further symbols. Deduction, induction, interpretation and imagination are obtained by combining signs. The idealist traditions that include Plato, Plotinus, Berkeley and Hegel, as well as a large part of the major meditational philosophies of India, are based primarily on the act of reflection.
  • Language (b)
    Signs lead to communication. A message is sent to a subject who makes sense of it. The philosophy of language and the philosophy of communication both focus on speech, its powers, its limits and the media it bathes in.
  • Memory (t)
    By the gesture of inscription, a sign is reified into a thing. Without any means of recording, there is no memory and therefore no notion of time, history or evolution. Likewise, the great religious traditions based on sacred texts fall under this archetype.
  • Society (k)
    A community self-organizes through symbolic systems. The members of a clan may have a totemic animal. We fight under the same flag. We exchange economic goods by agreeing upon their value. We obey the law. As good citizens, we commit ourselves to our promises and contracts. We are bound by conventions. Sociology has highlighted these essential symbolic functions that make up society.
  • Emotion (m)
    Beings orient themselves towards other beings. Desire, love, hatred, fear, indifference or compassion, are all emotions that circulate between us. Pious people, poets, artists, and comedians know about the centrality of emotions in human life. Psychoanalysis, a large part of clinical psychology, and plain common sense insist upon the importance of affective links.
  • World (n) Human beings express themselves in their physical environment. They inhabit it, they work in it using tools, they name things and endow them with value, creating an ordered world, a cosmos. Anthropology, law, and other disciplines of social sciences and humanities have underlined the relevance of this archetype.
  • Truth (d)
    A descriptive message contains a representation of reality. A proposition is true if it is a correct description of a state of things. Logical and analytical philosophical traditions are primarily interested in the notion of truth and the problems of reference. Likewise, epistemology and cognitive sciences place the construction of true belief, or knowledge, at the foundation of their approach.
  • Life (f)
    Matter becomes animated. Living creatures are embodied. Eating and drinking are amongst the most obvious ways by which a thing is transformed into being. Phenomenological schools (who participate also to the reflection archetype) emphasize the lived experience of the subject. Empirical, biological and medical traditions find their concepts in the living body and its functions.
  • Space (l) A point connects to other points. Geometrical and physical spaces are constructed on relations and proximities. Geometers, topologists, atomists, materialists and physicists base their concepts on space.

Let’s add that the nine letters resulting from M ⊗ M can also be used to represent any ennead, that is whatever dialectic of nine concepts.

Actions and Actors: the Hexads
Concepts resulting from F ⊗ F (IEML lower-case letters)

O ⊗ M generates verbs representing six kinds of actions:

  • The row U⊗M displays three virtual (or latent) verbal modalities: know (related to sign), want (related to being) and can (related to thing).
  • The row A⊗M shows three actual (or manifest) verbal modalities: say or communicate (using signs to express oneself), be committed (to someone or/and to something) and do (something in the material world).

M ⊗ O generates nouns representing six kinds of actors.

  • The row S⊗O shows two types of actors related to sign: ideas in the virtual realm and messages in the actual realm.
  • The row B⊗O displays two types of actors related to being: subjects, or abstract forms of subjectivity, on the virtual side and existing individuals on the actual side.
  • The row T⊗O illustrates two types of actors related to thing: objects, references and forms of objectivity in the virtual column and bodies or material things in the actual column.

There are analogical semantic relations between the cells of the same row (same substance) or column (same attribute) for each of the two hexads. Note the system of analogies between actions and actors: each actor is semantically connected to the action that results from an inverse multiplication: idea/know, message/say, subject/want, individual/commit, object/can, body/do. Beyond the six actions and six actors, the letters coming respectively from O⊗M and M⊗O can also be used to represent whatever dialectic of six concepts: hexads.

Interaction Phases: the Tetrad

In order to understand O⊗O we have to think about the basic sensorimotor cycle. Let’s begin with the inner sanctum of personal existence that does not manifest to senses: to exist. Then, from this virtual place, we act. As a result, our actual environment is transformed and a new reality appears or happens. Finally, from the actuality of external happening, we perceive back to our inner existence. Note the two intertwined oppositions :

  • wa act (in –> out) / wu perceive (out –> in)
  • wo exist (in –> in) / we appear (out –> out)

/wo. wa. wu. we./ can be used to model whatever quaternary semantic symmetry.

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