The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon

Entertaining Ideas

CHARLES KNOTT: WHAT IS THE HUMAN SPECIES? Looking with Anthony Stevens at C. G. Jung's "2,000,000 Year-Old Self"

Entertain has three definitions: to amuse or interest an audience, to offer hospitality, and to consider something. In the latter sense, to entertain means to "hold in between" (thanks to James Hillman for pointing that out). We can best see what is meant by "entertaining ideas" if we call to mind the familiar phrase used in rhetoric: "On the one hand, this ... and on the other hand, that ...." To entertain an idea suggests holding a thought in such a way that you can look first at one angle and then another, turn the thought, gaze into its depths, blow on it to stir up its fire, open it up with images, test it for sense and resonance.

Among the images we have on this page, there is Rodin's The Thinker, hand supporting head, imagined to be the location of thought. (A Pueblo Indian of the American Southwest once told C. G. Jung that white people must be crazy to imagine thinking with the head instead of the heart. How much there is left for all of us to learn!) In the human figure's primate counterparts, the hand is similarly positioned, and we can see more clearly that the fingers are in close proximity to the mouth, suggesting that thought is also held in between hand and tongue, both organs of expression.

In this chamber of our salon, we offer food for thought that we hope will entertain you in all three ways.

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Copyright 2014, Barbara Knott. All Rights Reserved.