Understand, Divide and Order

April 19, 2010

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This is the fourth post about the rheomode, a language experiment of David Bohm.

The first post was about why I was so excited to find out about the experiment, the second post about the reasonwhy Bohm was searching for such a language and the third post was about the introduction of the rheomode.

In this post I want to go into the form of the rheomode. The form (as I understand it) is made of two basic components, the meaning and the process.

In my previous post I went into the meaning of the word ‘relevance’ and said that in this post I was going into the process of that word. But before I do that, I can better expand the meaning of a few other words he uses.

So apart from ‘relevance’ (which got the root form ‘to levate‘) he also uses the following words:

  • Understand
  • Divide
  • Order

It are rather well known words, but he expands their meaning at bit. I want to quote Bohm here about the meaning of each word, before I go over to the process of the words.


Let us consider the Latin verb ‘videre’, meaning ‘to see’, which is used in English in such forms as ‘video’. We then introduce the root verbal form ‘to vidate‘.

This does not mean merely ‘to see’ in the visual sense, but we shall take it to refer to every aspect of perception including even the act of understanding, which is the apprehension of a totality, that includes sense perception, intellect, feeling, etc. (e.g. in the common language ‘to understand’ and ‘to see’ may be used interchangeably).


Let us now go on to consider the verb ‘to divide’. We shall take this to be a combination of the verb ‘videre’ and the prefix ‘di’, meaning ‘separate’. So, ‘to divide’ is to be considered as meaning ‘to see as separate’. We thus introduce the verb ‘to di-vidate‘.


In the understanding of the true meaning of the divisions of thought and language established for our convenience the notion of order plays a key role. To discuss this notion in the rheomode, let us then introduce the verbal root form ‘to ordinate‘.

Verbs as the root form

So the following verbs are used to show the root form of the rheomode:

  • To Levate
  • To Vidate
  • To Dividate
  • To Ordinate

Bohm uses them to show a certain process that can be followed with each word.

First the search for a word that gives a meaning as broad and deep as possible. Then the search for a way to make it dynamic, so look for the verb as the root form.

And finally he starts with the process. He goes to highlight the word, focus, observe if it is relevant in the context and makes a generalization.

That process is explained in a very extensive way, and I will try to go into that in my next post.


Understand divide and order


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