Sooner or later in our human experience, we find ourselves on holy ground, exploring the terrain between the question “who am I?” and its exquisite answer “I am”. In essence, it is from within this spiritual and philosophical paradigm that people seek the aid of healers who use divinatory tools to enter their psyche.
The formula for interpretation in five element chirology, as well as the spiritual and ethical principles of chirology, have their origins in ancient Buddhism. Buddhist principles have given a strong philosophical framework to hand analysis. The once fragmentary hand reading craft now has principle, influenced by many hallmarks of Buddhist teachings, some of which I have shared herewith:
- Annica – impermanence. Everything changes, existence is always in a state of flux. The changing lines and shape formations of our hands reflect the nature of change relevant to individual transformation. Buddhism explains that there is no individuality as such. We have no individual soul, nor do we have any on part of ourselves which can be described as ‘self in itself’. Our essence is constantly changing and the psyche is a process, not a thing. The whole nature of self is illusory, therefore what lies beyond, that is, the harmony of the universe, holds the key to enlightenment.
- Anatta – no soul/self. There is no intrinsic definable, fixed, eternal part of a person that can be referred to as ‘me’ or ‘I’. The hands reflect anatta in that there is nothing in a hand that can be defined as our essential identity. Self/individuality/personality are but an appearance that has arisen.
- Dukkha – un-satisfactoriness/suffering. Dukkha encompasses annica and anatta as impermanence and the indefinable involve suffering and pain (life’s process). In the interpretation of a hand dukkha is encompassed in terms of the Buddhist focus on loving kindness and specifically the orientation toward helping people understand themselves so as to reduce dukkha (suffering). Through perceiving the hand as a mandala of the whole of your being, as a map which can explain the nature of being human, a greater awareness will come, which will free us from dukkha.
- The Three Fires – greed, hatred and ignorance – which need to be overcome. The idea of spiritual emancipation is upheld. Chirology seeks to communicate the awareness of higher knowledge. The elements manifest from dense (earth) to intangible (air) – symbolically representing the evolution of human consciousness, from ignorance, greed and hatred towards wisdom, compassion and enlightenment.
- The Five Skandhas – the 5 factors or aggregates which together make up the individual. These are ever changing, physical and mental energies whic determine the nature of what we call ‘I’ or ‘me’. The ‘5 Skandhas’ is the description given by the Buddha of the aggregates, which have elemental relationships that together manifest human form and consciousness. The elements are the interpretive tool, or the ‘language of chirology’.
- Form/matter – includes the elements earth, water, fire and chi. Ruled by earth. Earth’s (physical) principle characteristic is solidarity of intent and the desire to preserve and stabilise.
- Feeling – all sensations experienced through the contact of the sense organs with the physical world. Ruled by water. Water (emotional) seeks to unite the universality of all forms of experience.
- Perception – gives rise to recognition (in relation to the senses) Ruled by fire. Fire (vocational) has a goal and is characterised by purposeful activity.
- Mental formations – that which directs the mind toward chosen activity, which produces karmic effects. Ruled by air. Air (mental) seeks to understand and to express that which is not obvious or ordinary.
- Consciousness – reaction or response connected to the senses. Ruled by chi. Chi (spiritual) is unknowable, its context is universality.
These profound concepts, principles, nomenclatures and ‘the principle of graduated materiality’ gives chirology its counselling context that of the physical, emotional, vocational, mental and spiritual realms of human experience.
Let’s not forget that the ancient knowledge of the healing power of mudra (meditative hand gestures) were known to the Buddha for having relationship to different levels of consciousness.