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Consider the human hand. A starFish-shaped appendage assembled by an infinite flow of ever-more diverse interactivity over thousands of millions of years. If the truth is written anywhere, it must also be written here.

Arbiter of our every hope and activity — the hand is a highly specialized extension of biocognition itself. For at least thousands of years, we’ve been counting our hands, and for most if not all of that time, we’ve been counting ‘5’ every time we count a hand. But think more carefully about this matter, for your hand is the primary agent that executes your will. Without it, you would be hard pressed indeed to manipulate anything. Of course, you might use your secondhands — feet. But both hands and feet are required, and both are intimately involved in nearly every possible act that requires any physical component whatsoever.

In short, your hand is the agent of your will.

At first glance, it might seem irrational that there could be a better or more important way of counting our own hands — or that the way we count our hands could be improved such that the result altered our relationship with intelligence in our favor.

Our species has been counting our hands since we’ve been counting, and though a surgeon and layperson might count differently, we all generally agree that we count ‘10’ when we count our hands — 5 for each hand. I grew up counting this way, the same as everyone else I know. No one ever showed me any ‘other way’, nor did I expect such an unlikely thing might ever happen. This count ‘makes rational sense’, in a general way, yet there is at least one other way of counting the hand that makes far more sense — it remembers unities and links to other scales of form and manifestation.

This makes it ‘more like us’, without defining ‘what that is’.

Many of us learn to count ‘on our hands’. Our first exposure to counting in general is often with ‘fingers’, and if our first exposure is skewed in a way that is commonly invisible, it could radically cripple our relationship with unity and separation — in general. This, in turn, would cripple our relationship with our own intelligence.

It did.

The meanings about separation and unity implicit in our counting-games will tend to become the bases of meaning and relation themselves. Because the numerism we favor grants value and meaning-precedence to separation, all of our metaphoric constructs do the same thing.

Anything omitted or mistranslated in the basis of our counting-games has been similarly omitted or mistranslated in our congress with metaphoric relations, particularly in how we assemble and evaluate identity. This means our bases of comparison are completely misfounded, and lead to openly irrational positions which defend themselves (in our persons and cultures) as ‘the only rational position possible’.

From this perspective, we may observe that it is possible to completely re-author the principles and potentials of our own intelligence, by gently adjusting certain root-features of the gardens from which our form of intelligence takes its inspiration, and ‘how we count’ is a crucial precursor to nearly everything else we do with intelligence. To reverse the currently catastrophic situation we find ourselves in as regards unity and separation, we can play a new counting-game, one with the following characteristics:

1: A way which values ‘the unifying body’ — centers at scales from which elements emanate.

2: A way of counting which perceives and sustains multiple simultaneous ‘counts’ of an entity, at least one of which is known to lead to infinite progressions of new scales and dimensions of itself.


In order to establish how and why these matters are of import, we’ll pursue a hand-counting game that leads to ‘other scales of itself’. To begin, we will suppose the following:

A: How we count our hands matters because a subtle shift toward greater general accuracy alters how we perceive and relate — in general — by establishing the meanings and linkages of the concepts of unity and separation.

B: That a hand has ‘two sides’, each with unique counting-features worthy of distinct attention. The inside has (obvious) lines of division, while the outside is (more generally) unified.

C: That we shall labor to conserve multiple models and sums when counting an object — particularly any organismal symmetry.


The Human Count

Most humans are taught and required to count their hand as ‘5‘ — for ‘5 members’. The body which unifies the members has a name — the palm — but it is not counted. In short, ‘the part of the hand that unifies the members doesn’t count’. This seemingly innocuous oversight turns out to have catastrophic ramifications for human intelligence.

Effectively, this means that the metaphor of the unityBody does not exist in its common form on our planet. This is, in part, because how we count our hands prescribes certain features of how we form metaphors about unity and separation in general, and what is included or excluded from those metaphors. Since this element (the palm or unifying body) has neither count nor precedence-value, it is functionally de-valued. Although it is ‘clear’ that the hand itself is a unity, this too, is discarded as ‘a given’ — and not counted. This mode favors and enforces a fallacious precedent: that separate members are the whole and focus of counting in general.

No real attention is paid to which side of the hand is counted, since in this model there’s no place-position for sides, whole, scales of assembly, or unifiers. Our count is flat, linear, and values only the ‘most divided’ dimension of those available.

We simply count our hands as five. End of story, end of our interest in the topic.


The Beast Count

‘A beast knows what the humans have forgotten: That you must count what has precedence first, both in order to remember its precedence, and to insure that your children do not discard it accidentally...’

For the ‘beast’s count’ , begin by noticing that the inner surface of the hand is ‘the divided side’ — where divisions are written in more-or-less obvious lines. Turn your left palm toward your eyes and spread the members of your hand gently. If you allow your fingers and thumb to curl naturally, you will see very obvious lines or ‘divisions’ in the members attached to the palm (and the palm itself, but this is a matter for another place). On the other side, what you have is many very vague lines, and few, if any, distinct, clear divisions. We will call the inside the side of distinction and the outside the side of unity. Not only are they not at war, or even in confict: both sides are necessary to have a hand in anything at all…

In this way we can establish a model where distinction has more general precedence on what we’ll call the inside (palm-side) of the hand, whereas on the outside, the unity of the hand (as a nameworthy assembly) has precedence over the divisions.

For the ‘beast count’, we grant precedence to the unityBody — the palm — by counting it first, as 1. We simply undo the major mistake of modern homo-sapiens in this regard. This establishes that the hand is founded in unity, first. We then proceed to the thumb — the ‘thinking member’, and on to the fingers, (or working members) in order.

Even a ‘beast’ sees the unifying body first.


The Beast’s Count preserves and grants ordinal precedence to the counting-and-meaning value of the unifying body, without which the members are rendered into isolates. Granting precedence to the unityBody does not threaten the individuality of the members, [i.e: fingers co-operating do not comprise a communist nation] but instead enhances this resource dramatically — each ‘discrete member’s diversity, uniqueness and prowess is exponentially magnified in harmonious linkage with the others — via the palm.

For this and related reasons, the Beast Count is vastly superior to the Human count, by virtue of its organizing principle and extensibility to other metaphoric relations involving groups of any kind.


The Angel Count

‘An angel knows that the most important thing is to count is the unity itself, only then does any ‘portion’ gain meaning…

This count looks on the outside from above, so turn your left hand palm-away to proceed.

From here we aware of the Human and Beast Counts, but we see, count and value unities first. Since the Human Count is included in the Beast Count, it is preserved, but not ‘re-added’ to produce the sum.

See the whole, then see through the whole to the unityBody and members.

1 — for the whole hand, the unity of it — whereby it is a singular Entity.

1 — for the palm, the unityBody of the hand.
1 — for the unique or ‘thinking’ member
4 — for the ‘working members’, or fingers.

+ — for link to the next scale of the star.



Now things start to get interesting.

The Angel’s Count sees the unities and distinctions of the hand, but it values the connectivity-member highly, and preserves a special place for this understanding as a part of its count. This is the place where the unityBody of the hand connects to a similar manifestation of ‘starhand’ at another scale — via the wrist.

The body begins with a unity — by which the members are connected, and this unity has 5 members, including a thinking member.

Each of the ‘working members’ linked to the body has 3 major parts, like each of the ‘working members’ of the hand — fingers. Each of the body’s working members ends in a star, except the Head.

The thinking member has 2 basic sections like its handworthy instance, the thumb. Yet the ‘thinking member’ of the body has an inverted starHand — 7 ‘entrances’ — or members which lead ‘inward’ — only one of them is physically expressive — the mouth.

Thus the startling symmetries we discovered in the hand are clearly and uniquely re-expressed at the next scale — the body.


As a whole, the general counts are the same:


Human: 5
Beast: 6
Angel 7+


Human: 5
Beast: 6
Angel 7+(!)

The Angel Count conserves all counts distinctly, then renders them into scale-sets, which link via a transport that morphs as it crosses the (asymptotic) scale-boundaries.


The Angel might say: “The Invisible Hand in the Head hath a second kind of wrist(!). And the ‘palm of the body’, has the ‘second scale’ of the Hand’s wrist. Both of these are invisible...to the eyes that see light. They are visible to the eyes that see connectivity, however — and those are — as you say — ‘inside you’.”





contents and concept © d. de stefano, 2004