The Thinker

Susan Schwartz shares her thoughts while looking at Rodin’s famous sculpture in the Summer issue of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 53, Summer 2006:

Looking at Art Through the Eyes of Jin Shin Jyutsu

While serving as a docent at the Baltimore Museum I often spent time looking at Rodin’s famous sculpture, The Thinker.

Auguste Rodin, during a trip to Italy in 1875, became keenly aware of the achievements of the past: Michelangelo, Donatello and Ghiberti were sources of inspiration. His vision of man’s ambivalent state, marked both by misery and greatness, found its center when he received a commission from the French government to create a sculpted bronze door, The Gates of Hell, and a portal for the entrance to the Museum of Decorative Art in France. The portal’s theme was Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Rodin’s conceptualization of The Thinker was inspired by his reading of the poem. The sculpture’s placement at the top of the grand portal likely has to do with Rodin’s intention that the figure not stand for a particular person, but rather for Mankind. In fact, Rodin never named the work. The commission was never finished or installed. Several figures from The Gates of Hell were shown individually.

When conducting a tour I’d often spend time viewing The Thinker, I’d have children look and put their bodies in the same position as the sculpture, to “become” The Thinker. Observing can be done through the eyes of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Physio-Philosophy.


Rodin Thinker

“Art is Art.”

I remember Mary telling me, “I can see everything through the eyes of Jin Shin Jyutsu.”

What do we see when we look at art? What does The Thinker tell us about ourselves: What is the sculpture made of? What is its texture?

The sculpture is made by pouring hot molten bronze into a mold. It is very solid and massive. Originally intended to be placed above the doorway as part of The Gates of Hell, it is huge, massive and heavy, and conveys a profound sense of power and drama. The irregular surface is a departure from the cool, impersonal smoothness of the classical tradition.

The Thinker is twisted and has placed his right elbow on his left knee. Most people see his body as if his right elbow is resting on his right knee. His posture shows him reflecting “the diagonal mediator”, and harmonizing left and right and right and left.

The Thinker reflects mental and emotional themes. The depths that deal with mental and emotional issues are 2nd and 5th. Second Depth’s texture is solid. There is no better example of solid than a bronze cast sculpture. When we get stuck in our thinking we become very solid, with no movement. This piece is immovable. The Thinker is resting his knuckles on his chin near Safety Energy Lock number 21 ~ he is helping digest his thoughts. His elbow is resting on his knee and energizing his Ones to help him get moving; moving through this thoughts, moving through the portal of life.

The Mediator: Mediator is about 3. it is at the 3s that the Mediator begins the journey up the back of the arm and down the front, traveling across the sternum, crossing and crisscrossing around the body until it arrives at the opposite Safety Energy Lock 1 when it becomes one with the opposite Supervisory circulation pattern.

Sculpture deals essentially with the purposeful relationships of volumes in space. As you look at this sculpture you can notice the solid casting, or you can look at the negative space. Negative space is an important component in sculptures. Here we have many triangles of negative (empty) space.

Triangles reinforce our awareness of the Mediator. Triangles are about 3s. So we have three in one: Body, Mind and Spirit, or Main Central, Supervisors and Mediators.

Rodin was a genius. He wanted to express the inner truths of human psyche. The Thinker’s gaze penetrated beneath the external appearance of the world, exploring this realm beneath the surface.

“Awareness ~ NOW KNOW MYSELF”

“Looking helps us to integrate our world, Helps us to Now Know Myself”.

There are several castings of The Thinker in museums in America. Take time and look. Look at his massive hands and fingers. What do you see?

Thank you, Susan,

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.