Albert Einstein, What Was He Thinking?
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein
In the Spring of 1955, when Albert Einstein passed away, he was in his mid seventies. Eventually, it was discovered that the pathologist who performed the autopsy snuck away with Einstein’s brain in a jar. Everyone wanted to know what went on in the mind of this phenomenal and idiosyncratic genius, and someone was apparently willing to risk his career and reputation to find out. Within a few years, slices and slivers of this famous brain were in the secret possession of an unknown number of, most likely salivating, curious brain researchers. In 1978 a research journalist located the pickled brain and what remained of it was handed over in a Tupperware container to the University Medical Center at Princeton and the research continued.
What they had previously found was that his brain was basically normal. It had the same amount of neurons as most brains they claimed. What was notable then was that the two hemispheres were thought to be symmetrical, which can relate to being ambidextrous. Although Einstein wrote with his right hand, there are arguments for the possibility he was switched from being left handed to right as a child. This was a trend at the time. In the hands, there are a few markers to look for when trying to decide if someone is left or right hand dominant.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~ Albert Einstein
When I look at a brain I think immediately how similar the intricate rows of sulci and gyri are to the ridges and furrows on the palms and soles. Since the early days of the computer, hand analysts have been claiming the hand is a print-out of the brain’s computer. In another article I have written about how the nervous system is an important and influential aspect in the initial development of the ridges.
Although scientists have taken his brain apart and studied it with the latest technology, unless you can interpret the scientific jargon in the report and are able to relate the different sections of the brain to behavior and cognizance, along with knowing what normal and abnormal relate to, you probably still wonder what is behind the genius of Einstein. An interesting find was that rather than having more neurons, there were instead a greater amount of glial cells. This is the material the neurons are packed in. What researchers discovered was the communication between these cells and their control over the neurons. It appears the glial cells were listening to the communications among the neurons and made associations at another level. Einstein apparently had more of the cells that give us the “ah ha” moments.
Albert Einstein’s Right Hand
Albert Einstein’s Left hand
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” ~ Albert Einstein
Fine lines criss cross the palms in all directions forming large and small grids. This shows a very busy, detailed and analytical mind. The chaotic nature of the fine creases is reflected in the apparent disorder on his desk.
The book “A Perfect Mess,” by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, describes the method behind the madness. “Mess isn’t necessarily the absence of order. A messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system. In general, on a messy desk, the more important, urgent work tends to stay close by and near the top of the clutter, while the safely ignorable stuff tends to get buried to the bottom or near the back, which makes perfect sense. The various piles on a messy desk can represent a surprisingly sophisticated informal filing system that offer far more efficiency and flexibility than a filing cabinet could possibly provide.”
Of course, I’m quite proud to say I have some things in common with Einstein, too… for instance his filing system. Click on the photo for a closer look at the details of his desk, as it was left at the Institute for Advanced Study, when he passed away. There are bundles and packets of papers tied with string and calculations on a chalkboard. What is most remarkable to me is that there are few books on the shelves or his desk. Mostly papers, files, and folders filled with his vast collection of information. Frozen there in the photos of a cluttered desk might be found a piece of the mind of Albert Einstein. I had to wonder if he knew of his impending death and everything on the desk was in intended order.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein
The main lines in the hands are formed by tracing the radiants or one of the three ridges that flow from the triradii under the fingers. The ridges are not sharp in these prints, but enough of the flow of ridges is visible to be able to identify the general direction they move and the location they leave the palm. I have traced them in a general way, leaving out the ridges that were not clearly visible.
Typically the main line from under the index finger, known as Main Line A, ends on average right about where Einstein’s ends. Usually the non-dominant hand’s main line moves farther down into the palm than in the dominant. It appears that both main lines end at about the same location. This is fairly common on people who claim to be ambidextrous.
In this close-up of the left interdigital area between the ring and little fingers there is the appearance of a vestigial loop. This is formed by a convergence of ridges in a portion of the interdigital IV zone. A complete loop here, when found, is considered to relate to a person’s ability to grasp things. They tend to have a witty mind and their own special kind of humor. A vestige is a formation that is incomplete or a unique disturbance in the flow of the rows of parallel ridges. People with an unusually formed pattern in this area tend to relate to the experience of having themselves find humor in places not noticed by others. Laughing out loud alone in the theater might be a common trait.
On the hypothenar, or moon area of Einstein’s right palm, there is a configuration that very closely resembles the column or comb vestige. This is a formation where rows of horizontal ridges meet vertical ridges surrounding the thenar, or Venus, mount. People with this arrangement of ridges in this area of the palm tend to have particularly organized minds. They are very good at linear thought or being able to scan through their brains for the information they seek, like it’s filed on a shelf in their brain.
Einstein was Jewish. From the many bar and bat mitzvah’s I’ve read hands at, I can attest to the fact that the raja loop, or interdigital loop between the index and middle fingers, is more commonly found on those with Jewish ethnicity. So is finding patterns between all the four fingers. An aura of charisma and charm often surrounds the owners of these raja loops. This loop forms on the same mount (the Mount of Jupiter) that the Ring of Solomon and Empathy lines appear. Einstein has a trace of these lines.
“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose we know not, though sometimes sense it. But we know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Isn’t it strange that I who have written only unpopular books should be such a popular fellow?” ~ Albert Einstein
A noticeable feature in Einstein’s hands are the many fine and deep creases. The photos show full based palms and thick, sausage-like fingers. He was a man of very deep emotional feelings. He experienced life strongly through emotions and sensations of empathy. People with thick middle sections to their fingers have good listening skills. They tend also to be magnets of people looking for a listening ear.
“He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” ~ Albert Einstein
In each hand, the head line starts out clearly separated from the life line. This feature represents independent thinking. Here is a person who is not naturally of the herd mentality, but rather someone who follows their own path in life. There are no strong vertical lines under the index finger, so leading others isn’t an interest either. He’s going his own way, following his own star, and if you wish to follow down the path, you may. The right head line starts out clear and stays that way until past the middle finger. This shows alert clear thinking from the start. He may appear absent minded and lost in thought, but he hasn’t lost the initial thread of the topic of the moment. Starting out straight shows an initial effort toward clear, practical, and meaningful thought. As the crease bends downward under the ring finger it becomes illustrative of an abstract, dreaming, and creative mind.
“I think and think for months and years, ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” ~ Albert Einstein
Long middle sections to his fingers show a love of detail and spending time planning, organizing and thinking things through. Combine these with the long head lines with their forks and branches and you have the ingredients for a person who has a patient mind and doesn’t like to be rushed to conclusions.
“I hate crowds and making speeches. I hate facing cameras and having to answer to a crossfire of questions. Why popular fancy should seize upon me, a scientist, dealing in abstract things and happy if left alone, is a manifestation of mass psychology that is beyond me.” ~ Albert Einstein
Pink arrows on the right hand point to a crease that floats at the end of the head line, running parallel to the downward branch. Since it’s disconnected, it shows the ability to disconnect from the world once he is deep thought. This line is often on people who either daydream or meditate frequently, or both. You’ll find it, also, on the hands of those who can get lost for hours in video games. It’s a good ability to have when you need to concentrate in a place with a lot of activity and movement going on around you.
The purple arrows point to a fragmented Sun Line, also called a Line of Apollo. This is a crease that runs down into the palm from under the ring finger. It would show that Einstein put effort into developing his natural skills and gifts. It is made up of dual creases running side by side. At the head line it changes direction aiming to the outer corner of the palm. This is the area of the subconscious and abstract thinking. His work was as much a hobby as it was his profession. He was gifted in a number of ways. The blue arrow at the top of the Sun Lines points to a spraying of creases aiming upward toward the finger. This shows a pleasure in giving and presenting. He gave of himself because it gave him pleasure, not with expectations in return from those to whom he gave, nor because of their expectations.
“I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.” ~ Albert Einstein
The narrow space between the head and heart lines, under the middle finger, shows that he didn’t like to compromise when it came to his principles and values. He also didn’t like to find himself in situations where other people’s efforts, that may not be to his standards, would reflect back on him. This works in combination with the independent head lines.
“The ideals that have lighted my way and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.” ~ Albert Einstein
The healer’s marks (yellow arrow) are vertical lines under the little finger. These are on people who are sensitive to their environment and the energy of the people who occupy that space. They relate to a form of empathy. These lines in Einstein’s palm connect to his own Mercury or health lines (pointed to in orange) which continues in an almost straight fashion down the palm. This combines several energies. These health lines illustrate a mind-body connection. Strong gut feelings. The healer’s markings connecting with them would show a very physical source of intuition. Along with the previously mentioned raja loop, this would show a strong ability to read people and the environment in a very physical and mentally intuitive way. He would feel compelled to fix or correct things. If he were in the medical profession, it would be healing related, but for him it was understanding the universe by fully comprehending it.
“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” ~ Albert Einstein
The heart line bends down at its end and touches the life line. This is often on people who have gone through an experience early in life where they have had their ‘bubble burst’. In the right hand, the heart line has faint branches that want to aim up to the index finger. This would show a natural ability to trust and perhaps to be idealistic. When this crease bends down strongly, it shows its owner has learned early that they must rely more on trusting themselves and not on others.
In books about hand anatomy, it is stated that the coming together of the heart, head, and life lines, indicate a stronger hand grip, particularly in males. This can also be symbolic of being forced to get a strong grip on life and reality.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein
The yellow and green color can be seen to form a fanning out of the creases while they aim to the bottom outer corner of the palm. The fate (green) and head line endings all fan in a parallel fashion. This shows both a reaching down into the depths of the soul as far as one can go, and at the same time the ability to bring back to the conscious world the results of both productive activity and insight. Like roots.
Creases that arc from near the wrist on the thumb half of the hand, and rise in a big curve over to the percussion, I call the Star Trek Line. These creases form on people that enjoy thrills and desire to go where no one has gone before. It’s beyond just a pioneer spirit as this energy is more about fearlessness and thrills. People in power tend to have these markings, along with those who enjoy x-sports. In older palmistry books, this formation (red arrows) has been referred to as the via lascivia regarding a passion for gratifying physical desires.
When his wife asked him to change clothes to meet the German Ambassador: “they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits.” – Albert Einstein
The lines that radiate out from the thumb show a sensitivity to picking up on what other people project at them. The more these creases cross the life line the more a person cares what some one else thinks. This energy also increases with these lines rising toward the fingers, especially in the direction of the little finger. Once they begin to aim downwards, the person has shifted toward having people around them that care more about what he thinks than he cares about what they think.
The vertical creases that make up the grid effect across the entire thenar mount represent blocks to the free flow of the radiating lines mentioned above. Like inner walls. This grid of lines appears on people who like to challenge and debate things. The combination of the grid pattern here and whorls on both thumbs would increase the enjoyment of playing devil’s advocate and debating for the fun of it.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ~ Albert Einstein
Einstein had seven of his finger prints as whorls. People with many whorls tend to love research and studying. They are very curious and tend to delve deeply into whatever they are involved in. Another quality of those with these concentric or spiral circle finger prints is the ability to easily make associations and connect the dots. I wonder if most people with these whorl patterns have more glial eavesdropping on the neurons in their brain tissue…
His right middle finger had a loop pattern. This would stand out in the midst of the whorls as different and therefore stand out in his personality. The loop here would allow a flexibility in seeing that other people had different backgrounds and perspectives than his own.
His thumbs are thick and a bit stubby, although not particularly short. There appears to be a balance between being willful and rational. The thicker lower section would show a bluntness in his speech, saying what he thought without worrying too much about diplomacy.
As much expected, the features in Albert Einstein’s hands very closely match his ideals shared in quotes collected over his lifetime. It’s beyond the scope of this blog post to do a complete hand reading, which is also limited by the poor quality of prints available. However, I do hope this bit of analysis arouses curiosity into the world of reading hands.
What was Einstein thinking? From reading his palms, I think he was a free spirited person with the great ability to use his imagination and sensibilities to their fullest. He never stopped exploring the outer reaches of his mind or the inner reaches of his soul. A book on philosophy lay on his desk at the end of his life, at the top of the stack and close at hand.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein
As always, your comments are welcome below.
in joy and peace,
Post Blog Post: Coincidentally, as I finished writing this I discovered a Facebook friend had just shared a wall post saying that the huge hand print collection of Marianne Raschig, including Albert Einstein’s, will go on auction at Sotheby’s in London on June 5 and 6!! How cool is that!? The prints below are a much truer representation of Einstein’s hand shape than those that have been floating around the internet scanned from the book. Especially interesting to note will be the size of his fingers here as compared to the other images available. I can’t wait to see what kind of bids will be offered and who will be the chirology connoisseur that has the winning bid! Click on the photo for a link to the article.
Looking at these prints side by side, you can see the right head line is much cleaner and sharper than the one on the left all the way to the end. The heart line has more feathering in the left hand showing emotional and personal aspects of his personality. These are just a couple of things that support that Einstein favored using his right hand and I would read him as right hand dominant.