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The method of logogriff
essay [ ]
about the wonders of words

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by [Sydonay ]

2010-06-10  |     | 



It was a very useful linguistic tool that I learned to faculty from one of my teachers. That method is called logogriff and consist in seeking inside of one word in the purpose to find there another word or words. This method is quite simple and could be a very good way to find hided words, with strong meanings, inside of another words.

In a daily conversational dialogue or, if we would try to apply this method to an ordinary word, thelogogriff could appear to us as a method with little importance.
Instead, in the case in which we chose to apply our method to meaningful literary construction as proper names which belongs to gods and goddesses or denote powerful and 'heavy of meaning' concepts, we would see that this method will become more interesting than we have been tempted to consider it in the first place.

Jung have said that our mind is divided between conscience and unconscious, the first one taking or having the same gender as our physical body, mean while the second one being always of contrary sexual value. More exactly, for a man, the gender of his conscience will be, in most of the cases, the same with his sexual or physical gender, situation in which his unconscious will be female. In the case of women the things will stand exactly in an opposite way.

Embodied in his theory of archetypes this inversion could be understood as follows: our unconscious have a gender identity and this gender identity will be always countersexual versus our conscience. Jung have integrated this empiric proof or fact into his large theory of archetypes saying that this kind of mental state could be named animus, for women and anima- for men.
Therefore, our unconscious will take a countersexual value, and this fact will be true not only to a lexical level, but will be true in fact, searching the proofs in our minds. More exactly, our personal unconscious will be personified countersexually, fact which explains the names chosed by Jung to denote it, animus- a male name for women's unconscious and anima- a female name for men's unconscious.
This belongs to jungian theory of archetypes which is based on the main distinction between conscience and uncounscious. In this theory Jung asserted that only our socially avalaible and desirable mind contents- as thoughts, emotions, and so on- will be keeped in conscience shaping so called persona- social archetype. Persona means mask in ancient Greek language. In most of the cases every human individual has at least two personae, therefore, each human must own at least two pictures about himself or herself, which are made in synergistically social tension between citizens of one society.
Quite often, one from these two social masks are used in social frames as jobs, social life, circle of friends and the another one is used in a family situation, at home, with our relatives. But our personae are compatible each other making together our conscious attitude, in some cases it is possible that an individual to own just one persona.
In opposition, every human, man or woman, has an uncounscious where our counter-socially mind contents are keeped, hided by the eyes of society. To this category belongs ours countersexually features. In the first place and moment of time, when Jung has conceived his theory of archetypes, he has prefered the aforementioned names of persona and personae in matters concerning our conscience and the word "shadow" or "slave" when he have spoken about our personified uncounscious. He has used this words thinking about its psychogenesis- because uncounscious is populated with mental contens after psychological process of repression, that means that not only counter-sexually thoughts and emotions could be placed there.

But, after a proper view, we should see that, normally, and countersexual features would be introduced to the process of repression, fact which explain this extra-colour of functional concepts in his theory. In the case in which we would wish to apply this theory to the whole world or universe- fact which could reach a high degree of probability countering jungian statement about simple substantial nature of all universe (theory which says that entire world is composed from a single type of substance, and this one being of mental nature.
In other words, the entire universe is psychoid), and, as I just said above, in the case in which we would be tented to do so, we could apply these kind of distinctions to an universal scale or to gods of various cultures. That means that we will be able to use jungian concepts personifying the whole universe and, as Jung himself have told us, in his wonderful intellectual legacy, thinking that God himself is the conscience of the world, case in which will be very likely that God-world to have his own universal uncounscious.
From a sexual point of view, this universal uncounscious could be called "the bride of God", something as Sophia, which had been the name of the wife of God in early Christianity. Instead, from a more general and vague point of view, this universal uncounscious would be named "Devil".

Begining from here we could see the analogy between theory of archetypes conceived by Jung and literary method of logogriff. More exactly, in the case in which we would aplly the logogriff to certain names of deities, we could find interesting similitudes. The main such similitudes I have saw watching literal structure of a group of four words which denotes four main deities of Aegyptian pantheon. These gods and goddesses makes together two divine couples, one of them belonging to 'the right side', being composed from divinities of light, the other one belongs to 'the left side'. This gods are Osiris and Isis, respectively, Seth and Nephtys.
If you'd try to see literal structure of these proper names then would be very easy for you to see that the name of positive god, Osiris, contains in itself the entire name which stands for his bride and sister, Isis. Instead, in the case of the other couple, the things are exactly in the opposite way, that means that the proper name of Nephtys contains in itself the whole name of his husband and brother, Seth.

This assymetrical symmetry should be more interesting because he respects psychodynamic conditions held and asserted by Jung in his theory of archetypes: Osiris could stand for human conscience and Isis for his uncounscious, this sentence could be elevated to a macrocosmic level, also, case in which we could speak about God and his anima.
Instead, Seth, as expression of human/man unconscious, is entirely contained in his wife name. That would be as, through this pair of deities, we'd have a representation of the case that reside in a human conscience which is dominated by his unconscious. Knowing that these holy names, transliterated from ancient Aegyptian language to a Latin alphabetic form, respects their original phonetic form we'll be bind to recognize the validity of this method of logogriff, whose application became successful, at least in this example.


Logogriff is composed from two Greek words, 'logos', which, in this case signify 'word' and 'griffe', which means claw. In conclusion, logogriff means to scratch the matter, literal matter of one word.

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