Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Association of the Week : The Hand

Author: Paulo Coelho

The hand is the part of the body that most often is used symbolically. We find it already in prehistoric drawings in caves such as Gargas and Pech Merle in France as well as in other continents such as South America and Australia.

The hand expresses actions and feelings that can be either positive or negative depending on the circumstance. In Semitic cultures, the hand represents power and very quickly it was used as a symbol for royal power. To touch then something with the hand is a magical act. We can also find this in the West, where it was believed that the king of France could cure his subjects by simply placing his hand on them.

There is also a distinction between the right and the left hand. In Ancient China for instance, the right hand would mean the way of action, whilst the left hand would lead to the way of non-action. In the west, the right hand would be seen as the way of the just whilst the left hand would lead people to the wrong path.

Now you take the floor: what do you associate with the hand?

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