This section is from the book "The Practice Of Palmistry For Professional Purposes", by C. de Saint-Germain. Also available from Amazon: The Practice of Palmistry for Professional Purposes.
So far we have stated and briefly demonstrated:
The existence of an imponderable vital fluid - known as electricity - surrounding us and the world at large; and
The paramount influence of the hand in every manifestation of human nervosity.
Let us now connect these two statements, and logically admit that from this outward, universal source of the world's instinctive life to the particular center of man's instinctive life - the brain - the vital electricity will follow the channels so admirably prepared for it, the fingers, and, its task performed, return over the same road to the common reservoir of physical and mental power; the operation being performed with ceaseless activity until partial or total death results from the withdrawal of the said fluid from part of the body or from the whole.
It goes without saying, or rather without useless repetition, that the complicated system of nerves acts as a network of telegraph wires in transmitting from finger tips to cerebellum the ever traveling fluid.
And it is certainly not strange that this electricity, passing ceaselessly over the palm of the hand, should leave upon this ultra-sensitive surface distinct traces of its constant action, those traces lighter or deeper according to the intensity of the nervous impression that has been un-dergone by the subject.
If anyone should tell you that these lines and signs in the palm have been traced by the movements of the hand, by its opening and closing, etc., answer them that those markings are found ten times more distinct and numerous in the hands of idle society women than in the palms of busy workers, and are also perfectly plain and strangely eloquent in the hands of babes but a few hours old
And as to the existence or these lines and signs in the palm absolutely depending on the continuity of the passage of the fluid from finger tips to brain and from brain to finger tips, the inspection of a paralyzed hand will settle forever any doubt, on that score, as in that "dead" hand these markings shall have vanished, while its sister hand will remain alive and lined. The congenital idiots - supplied with half developed brains - display, in their hands, but a minimum of lines, just as their intelligence lacks the average amount of strength and development.
It is here that the admirable discovery of M. d'Arpentigny in reference to the shape of finger Tips and the existence of Knots (or bulging of the finger-joints) comes to the assistance of the great theory upon which Modem Palmistry has laid its strong foundations.
With Aristotle, Muller, Herder, Bichat, Humboldt, and many other, among the loftiest thinkers the ear ever produced, I have affirmed that we are surrounded with this imponderable fluid, whose nature remains the deepest of all mysteries and the knowledge of which constituted, doubtless, one of the unrevealed secrets of ancient Kabbala. "The psychic forces," wrote Aristotle, "are manifested through this slightest breath, this Aura, that fills the concavities of the brain," and Alexander von Humboldt added: "Around the human nerves there does exist an invisible atmosphere."
Man's Nerve System.
This fluid we are slowly conquering, as we harness it to our modern discoveries and develop some of its minor powers under the name of electricity. Of it, we know that much: that it is attracted by points and that it affects our nervous system to a most extraordinary degree -even unto death.
Now d'Arpcntigny, who does not attempt in his book to establish any correlation between the shape of hand or fingers and the existence of any external or internal nervous fluid, indirectly and unwittingly demonstrates the exactness of the above theory. For he divides finger tips into four classes, the pointed, the conical (or semi-pointed), the square and the spatulate (or widened), and he bestows upon each type certain characteristics, physical, mental and moral, that correspond exactly with the more or less facility in the attraction of the vital fluid through those diversely shaped tips. Surprisingly enough, his conclusions and mine, although reached through radically different methods, culminated in identically the same results.
First, he tells us of the pointed fingers that their possessors are endowed with an unusual amount of inspiration, intuition, even genius. I add - what he does not seem to have suspected - that if they are thus endowed it is because the tapering of their fingers attracts more freely the vital fluid and allows it to perform its life-producing action quicker and better.
The conical tips - the tapering of which, although still noticeable, is much less pronounced and begins only from the middle phalanx - are characterized by d'Arpentigny as artistic fingers, but already less ideal in their tendencies and performances. I explain this by the reduced facility of the fluid in penetrating the hand and thence the brain.
With the square tips, the ingenious writer strikes a type of hand he evidently dislikes, although he calls it the useful. Here he introduces to us the hand of the utilitarian, little influenced by lofty impulses and "of the earth earthy." I feel no surprise at this diagnosis, since the absence of a pointed tip. by interfering with the even flow of the fluid, places the subject farther horn the all-powerful influence: of the vital center.
Finally, in his spatulate tips. d'Arpen-tigny defines the hand obeying material instincts, devoid of any higher aspirations and finding its whole delight in the bettering of its worldly condition. Further away from the pointed shape, it is easy for me to understand how the fluid, finding increased difficulties in pen*trating the subject's organism, fails to endow him with its purest and best characteristics.
Thus have the shapes of the finger tips and their influence, as revealed in the examination of thousands of hands, affirmed the absolute truth of this axiom: that the vital fluid penetrates through the fingers because they are points - and penetrates more or less freely according to the degree of acuity of those points. Do we not read in Muller's Physiology that "the rapidity of the nervous action varies according to the nature of the individuals?" We add and we prove with d'Arpenttgny: "According to the shape of their finger tips."