figure one (1) - elaborated from a simple vertical stroke - is at
least semi-ideographic as a relic tally-mark (basically identical
in this respect to the Roman numeral . I'). This figure has obvious
phallic resonance (especially in contrast to the sign for zero (0)).
Its relation to the figure seven (7) is supported by numerological
analyses (since seven cumulated (28) reduces to one).
figure . 1' designates the number one, first odd number (with odditude
of aleph-null), and the zeroth prime (first prime = 2).
is the lowest cardinal number, and the first ordinal.
digitally cumulates to one.
Keypad direction: South-West.
modulus-2 systems the numeral one bears all (non-zero) values (corresponding
to powers of two). Binary informatic systems code electronic 'on'
number one is exceptionally multivalent. It has two basic cardinal
values - both deriving from its status as the smallest, basic, or
irreducible factor defining the natural number series - that of the
elementary, the atom, the unit or module - 'one alone' - and also
that of the whole, the complete, unity as totality, the universe.
Its ordinal value as first, primary, principal, or initial is fractured
by the ordinal function of zero, but retains much of its ancient dignity
as the beginning of the counting series.
addition one bears a diversity of quasinumerical and logical associations,
including self-identity ('oneself,' 'one and the same'), nondifferentitation,
uniqueness ('one of a kind'), logical universality, uniformity, and
- at a further remove, or more problematically - singularity (anomaly,
exception), and the unilateral ('one-sided,' unbalanced, disequilibriated).
also has a complicated syntactical-linguistic usage that interlinks
with its numerical and logical functions. In particular it operates
as a carrier of nominal and indefinite reference ('the one that,' 'someone
or anyone,' 'once upon a time'), which extends also to relation ('one
monotheistic cultures One attains a supreme dignity, identifying God
directly with 'the One' (or 'the Old One'). In this context one is bound
to the 'I am that I am' of YHVH, and to the absolute concentration of
religion within the assertion that 'there is no God but God.' H P Lovecraft
upsets this exclusive and definitive sense of the One by reintroducing
the plural and multiple, whether grammatically as in the case of 'the
Old Ones,' or thematically, as in that of Yog Sothoth, who is described
as the 'all in one, and one in all.'