Lecture Hall/Archives - Newsletters




By Richard Unger

Reprinted from the Hand Analysis Newsletter Vol. 4 Issue 3

As an avid newspaper reader, I have always found it interesting to note how, no matter what city I'm in, all the writers apparently went to the same school of journalistic style-crafting. At least it seems they must have, because they all use the same stylistic touch. It's kind of like noticing the thin upper lip and terse tone on all the news-anchorpersons. Whether it's San Francisco, New York City or Austin Texas, there's only one TV accent.

Of course, there may be no conspiracy at all. It could be accidental the way you've got to scan down to the third paragraph (at least) before you can tell what the story is all about.

So, here in the third parapgraph, you finally get to find out that this edition of the Hand Analysis Newsletter focuses on a particular fingerprint combination (two or more arches + two or more tented arches) and the life challenge associated with it: "Fear and Avoidance in Expressing Feelings." While those with multiple arches and tented arches specialize in learning emotional courage, no matter your own combination of fingerprints, this is a central skill to master on any life path.

The Eagles

This summer, Alana and I went to Europe for six weeks to teach palmistry, read hands, and see the world. In the final moment of packing, I stuck a handful of cassette tapes in the last remaining centimeters (gotta think metric) of my luggage. Later, recovering from jet lag, I found only two of the six albums were ones I could enjoy listening to more than once, so I got to listen closely to the words of this Eagles song of twenty five years ago.

Sing or hum along if you know the melody. If you aren't familiar with it, maybe someone from the next older generation than yours can hum it for you. In any event, the lyrics from this song somehow reach deep into me even though I do not have the fingerprint pattern they so beautifully evoke.

Desperado [The Eagles...1972]


Why don't you come to your senses?

You've been out riding fences

For so long now.

Oh, you're a hard one.

But I know that you've got your reasons.

These things that are pleasin'


Can hurt you somehow.

Don't you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy.

She'll beat if she's able.

The Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.

Now, it seems to me some fine things

Have been placed upon your table.

But you only want the ones that you can't get.


Oh, you ain't gettin' no younger.

Your pain and your hunger,

They're drawing you home.

And freedom...oh freedom,

Why, that's just some people talkin'

Your prison is walkin'

Through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the wintertime?

The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine.

It's hard to tell the night time from the day.

You're losing all your highs and lows

Ain't it funny how the feeling goes...


Desperado...Why don't you come to your senses?

Come down from your fences, open the gate.

It may be rainin'

But there's a rainbow above you.

You better let somebody love you

Let somebody love you

You better let somebody love you

Before it's too late.

To make sure you don't miss the central theme of the song, it's repeated a few times right here at the end: "You better let somebody love you, before it's too late." Let's look at a few of the underlying metaphors and how they relate to multiple arch and tented arch patterns.

This song is being sung to someone with the nickname, Desperado. What does Desperado mean? Literally, it is the desperate one, an archaic term for an outlaw. Figuratively, it stands for someone on the outside, a person who feels apart, disconnected from others. Imagine carrying this nickname your whole life. People see you, they wave hello. Desperado, Hi there. It's part of your identity. However, if this song is being sung to you, what was once a colorful invention is now becoming more and more the story of your life.

Each of us carries a personal myth, an heroic tale in which we get to play the lead. Through this filter, all the events and people in our life take on a specialized significance. To me, this song calls out to the Desperado part of me that sees others as dangerous, potential rejectors with the power to wound. If I'm not careful, this part of me will make decisions to exclude, the better to guarantee my safety. Worse, this sub-personality thinks its insular attitude is healthy, cool. Above it all.

Both the tented arch and arch patterns represent tendencies to avoid feelings: the tented arch by over-mentalizing, the arch by running around a mile-a-minute, too busy to feel. We have found that those possessing two out of ten fingerprints in either category, or, even more pronounced, two of each type out of ten fingerprints, face a lifetime designed to teach the hard lesson of not letting others in. Maybe "Desperado" should become their theme song.

The Heroic Stoic

The personal myth continues its solo journey: playing poker, riding fences; a real cowpoke from the old West: hard as the plains, silent, hat brim hiding his eyes, head tilted into the rain. But the opening question hangs in the Western sky: Desperado, why don't you come to your senses? Why not wake up and feel...oh oh, the wound, it hurts too much to feel.

The Eagles seem to understand this so well: the winter sky refusing to snow, what an interesting twist on the motif of the eyes that won't (or can't) cry. The heroic stoic: holding it in so long he can't remember why, now threatened with not remember how.

Our Desperado is definitely at the desperate stage, even if he doesn't know it yet. Not in touch with his desires ("only wanting the ones he can't get"), so numb he doesn't even know when his feet are cold, Desperado is in danger of being caught and sentenced to an entire life of loneliness.

What about the Desperado in you? Is he in there? Seen or unseen? Spoken or unspoken? Riding the trail, on the edge? And are your fences designed to make good neighbors and protect your herd or are they serving another purpose? Good questions to ask, because when, some day, you're heading for the last round-up, it might just be too late.