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The Healing Project: You Can Read Yourself

"Dermatoglyphics and palmistry both derive from comparative hand topography...One is high tech, the other ancient wisdom." ~ Richard Unger, Life Prints

I want to read myself.

Life Prints written by Richard Unger, a foremost authority on hand reading and the founder of the International Institute of Hand Analysis, has captured my attention.

He has read over 50,000 hands in his lifetime.

I had the pleasure of speaking to him last year and found him to be quite charming and intent on sharing his knowledge.

He coined the term soul psychology and uses dermatoglyphics (the study of skin markings or patterns on fingers, hands, and feet, and its application, especially in criminology), to help people feel more secure and confident about the way in which they navigate their life paths.

Knowing your life’s purpose by understanding the lessons that appear in your life is a vital aspect of discovering your personal truth.

Without delving too deeply into the subject (I encourage you to read the book), I will say that there are four main fingerprint types—some with variations.

These types speak to THE FOUR SCHOOLS he has identified. They are:

Service, Love, Wisdom, and Peace.

The chapter on the School of Service intrigued me greatly.

He calls service “paradoxical,” because service consciousness requires that we experience all aspects of ourselves that are not aligned with service (e.g. self-absorption, misinterpretation of obligation). He calls them “service errors.”

He lists four steps to Service Mastery:

1. The setup.

You do something for somebody.

2. (a) All is going well.

(b) Complications arise.

You do more and more -- and things get worse.

3. Escalation.

Frustration appears. Explosions erupt. Resistance results.

4. Breakthrough.

There is an energy shift and servicing feels rewarding.

Servitude yields a different outcome. Frustration. Frustration. Frustration.

Unger created a Master of Service checklist (Life Prints, p. 32):

  • Masters of Service are free to say yes or no to requests.

  • Masters of Service take their own needs into account, along with the needs of others.

  • Masters of Service can renegotiate agreements as circumstances warrant.

  • Masters of Service have learned that doing for others is its own reward. The wonderful feeling that joyous service brings is not a function of the reactions or behaviors of other people.

The question he poses is:

“When does healthy concern turn into grossly inappropriate self-sacrifice?”

I love the art of serving humanity. But, sometimes, the lines can get blurred. In those moments, servitude cloaks itself as service and does its lethal work.

By remaining aware of the difference, we can create a kinder more fertile environment for open dialogue and an increased enthusiasm for our Divine service assignments.

High self-worth culminates balance.


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