Richard Unger founded the International Institute of Hand Analysis in 1985 with the aim of expanding the role of hand analysis in the world. He has been practicing hand analysis since 1969. Richard shares his insights and views on the world of spiritual studies, the quest for inner knowing and his formidable knowledge of our hands.
What is your definition of a fingerprint?
One fingerprint by itself has no meaning; just as one letter of an alphabet has no meaning by itself and even a word put together with the same letters can have many different meanings. It is only by looking at the ten fingerprints and the surrounding context of the hand that I am able to see the whole picture. Context is everything.
The ten fingerprints reveal what I call your soul psychology: your life purpose and life lesson. The hands have taught me that each of us has a specifically designed reason for appearing on this planet. I could look at your fingerprints the day you are born and see what your life purpose is. I could look at your hands many years later and, as we all know, your fingerprints would not have changed. What I would not know until I spoke with you is whether you are in direct pursuit of that purpose or not. If you are, life is good. If not, your life is becoming more and more meaning-less as time goes by.
What role does ‘psychology’ play in what you practice?
While doing a reading, the hand reader not only has to see what is going on in someone’s hands, more importantly, he or she must be able to translate this into something that the reader can follow and be able to use to their advantage. All spiritual modalities face the same challenge. I hope that fingerprints will help forge a common language that can open a better discussion into these topics.
In a nutshell, how would you define Life Purpose and Soul Psychology?
Some people debate the actual existence of life having a purpose other than what each person invents. We are search-for-meaning creatures alive in a meaning-less universe. This is the governing ethos in psychology today.
I say otherwise. Before we are born, we have a purpose that is specific to each one of us and it is printed on our bodies in the form of our fingerprints. I define Life Purpose as a daily practice, a consciousness to inhabit as opposed to any outward state of affairs, a constantly evolving enterprise. Life Purpose is soul generated, somehow outside of time. It belongs to you, yet somehow it was there before you were born.
Do the shape and lines of our hands change as our personality develops/shifts, or is it a matter of simple aging and wear and tear?
It is all of the above, however, there is nothing that you can do to make a line change – playing the piano, manual labor – these do not shift the lines on our palm which are a function of the nervous system not of physical flexion.
The fingerprints, of course, are another story altogether. The shape of our hands changes minimally after the age of fifteen or so and the lines continue to change, sometimes quite dramatically over time. My job as hand reader is to look at these two maps, the changing lines and hand shape and the unalterable fingerprints and align them with my client’s current circumstance: then discuss the optimal life for the person sitting in front of me and the pathway to create that life if my client is not there already.
Would you describe hand analysis as mystical or practical, and why?
It is both. Hand analysis deals with spirituality, one’s search for meaning. As such it is mystical, that which is beyond the tangible. On the other hand, it is the most tangible thing in the world. I can point to x, y or z in a person’s hand and show that person how to improve their life. That is eminently practical. Whether my client is willing to change or not is another story.
Do you believe our fingerprints can be altered in the womb, depending on external factors experienced by the mother – or are they predestined?
Yes, the mother’s emotional, physical and general state of affairs can absolutely influence the development of the fetal fingerprints. In fact, the conversation with the father of the child changes the chemistry of the mother’s blood stream that is shared with the developing human. So yes. And let’s not forget the genetic and biological heritage of our ancestors as influential to the fetus as well.
In Switzerland I worked at a clinic treating children with big problems. In many cases, I could not find anything wrong with their hands, but when I looked at the handprints of the parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. I was often able to find themes that made life difficult for the child. In a nutshell, the family story was the problem confronting the child, not anything about the child him or herself. This highlights just how inter-relational family dynamics can impact a person.
Is hand analysis a life calling for you and how has it shaped the person you are today?
I was reading hands ten years before I decoded my fingerprints, and then went on to decode those of others. I recommend people refer to my website if they want to learn more (or read my book, LifePrints).
According to my fingerprints, my life purpose is: inspire the masses. This means doing some form of mass communications, reaching people that I will never actually meet. Thank you for allowing me to do more of that today.
What can you tell us about the IIHA and what it has to offer?
Not everyone wants to learn how to read hands, most people just want to know what their hands say. But if you want to learn to read hands, great. Check out the website for info. Anyone can learn to read hands (just like anyone can learn to play the trombone). The tricky part Is that once you start, the more you talk to people and hear their stories, the more hand reading will change you. But that’s the good news, isn’t it?