Ideas are Objects that Strike - Knowing is Possessing

  • Description of motion:  Hands up protecting the face, palms facing outward.  
  • Date Observed: 12/24/14 at dinner party.  Many people seated at table (10-12)
  • Example:  "Woah! (hands up toward face) Don't say those kind of things in here!"
  • Use:  Used to shield yourself from an unwanted/harmful idea that is being expressed.  
  • Metaphor:  Knowing is Possessing.  Ideas are Objects that Strike. 
  • Explanation:  If Ideas are Objects that Strike then harmful ideas are harmful objects that strike.  When someone speaks and a harmful/unwanted idea comes out, we put our hands up to protect ourselves from it.  Since Knowing is Possessing, we don't want the harmful idea inside of us so we shield ourselves from it, hoping that it will ricochet off our protective posture and not be absorbed inside of us.
  • Origin: Defending ourselves against unwanted attacks has been a human experience since the beginning.  We shield ourselves from attack by protecting our head or our body with our hands.  Ideas can be just as harmful as a physical blow to the body, and so we use these early gestures of protection to shield ourselves from these harmful ideas as well.
  • Note:  Other defensive gestures with metaphoric content are: one hand raised with palm facing out meaning "Stop", the hand "batting" something away meaning "Not a problem" or "No big deal", and the gesture of covering the eyes which implies Seeing is Understanding.  Since Seeing is Understanding, the eyes are covered implying either, "I don't see so I don't understand" or "I don't want to see, because I don't understand."