The human hand is so beautifully formed, its actions are so powerful, so free and yet so delicate that there is no thought of its complexity as an instrument; we use it as we draw our breath, unconsciously.
Hands to the Earth: How Movement Can Change the World | Priyanka Singh
Our existence on Earth is a result of perfect synchronicity and rhythms. Some of the components that are essential for life have traveled from far away, just to bring this possibility to all of us existing in this period. The particles of the universe are linked together; according to quantum entanglement, subatomic particles of the universe have the possibility of being closely linked even across billions of light-years of space. The change in one particle will impact the other, regardless of the distance. (Space.com)
Since we are a part of this universe, we might mirror these actions. We are entangled with each other mysteriously; our actions are unique yet unified at the same time; we are traveling in space and time and determining the new possibilities of life on Earth. We move our hands effortlessly, performing each and every single action with such ease that we often forget that it’s probably one of the greatest gifts of nature that has unfolded itself through evolution.
We have arrived at a juncture where our hands truly own the power that determines our existence and life as a whole. The use of hands has orchestrated the course of humanity, creating language, tools, and lighting fires that can bring peace or destruction to our surroundings.
The eventual change in the upper limb, giving way to hand movements, gave freedom, and gradual bipedalism allowed early humans to create tools, making them top predators. According to anthropologist Peter C. Reynolds, the process of creating tools was not necessarily a solitary endeavor; it could have been a primarily organized practice where a group of early humans came together to create tools, and this process in itself requires effective communication through gestures, facial expressions, and sounds. This could be one of the reasons for the fabrication of language.
“Gestures are the key landmark in the evolution of language.”
Dr. Adrien Meguerditchian
We still share some basic elements of communication with our fellow primates. There is a similarity in the methods of communication between humans and other infant primates; they interact with their hands and often point towards desired objects. Nonetheless, human language is very complex and requires a combination of cognitive properties.
Communication is essential for sharing any kind of knowledge, and language is, by extension, a result of this need. We continue to share our knowledge through modern tools, i.e., technology, and communicate through the use of our hands.
The shift to a bipedal structure and the movements of the hand could also be contributing factors to brain enlargement. The human hands are capable of complex movements that are not found in our closely related primates. For example, we can easily touch our thumbs to the pinkie finger; this simple movement is only possible for homo sapiens. It’s called ulnar opposition. It’s difficult to evaluate when and how exactly we became capable of this particular movement; nevertheless, it provides additional benefits for our species. The brain was the last organ to evolve, and brain enlargement is fueled by the complex movements that the human body eventually became capable of.
The human hand remains a prominent anatomy in matters of magic, mysticism, and religious and ritualistic practices. In native tribes, the healer’s hand, or shaman’s hand, creates healing and is a sign of fortune. In religious practices around the world until today, we follow a particular hand form to contact the divine. In meditation practices, mudras help to interconnect the mind, body, and soul to cultivate a deeper awareness. The blessings are often given from the hands, and protection is also offered with hand forms such as the hamsa hand.
“The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand.”
Our hands do set us apart; we all have our unique fingerprints, and our palms are the map of our desires and potential. The lines on our palms can reveal a great deal about our character. However, what remains surprising is that the lines on our hands are subject to change; they can modify themselves with our actions and changing desires. How the mind and hand coordinate and change these lines could not be revealed. Nonetheless, it is the greatest sign that we are capable of changing not only our destiny but the destiny of those around us; through entanglement, we can change everything that comes into contact with us.
Even in moments of helplessness and ecological crisis, it’s still in our hands to change our reality.
I hope our hands will be a symbol of kindness; may they be used to create wonders and harmony, not war and destruction for other inhabitants of the Earth. I will call these hands ecological hands that move in awareness and create things of beauty and peace. They plant seeds, write letters, hold others, and act for their creator, in the process of becoming the creator themselves.