In the early days of graphology, analysis consisted solely of summarizing the qualities of the writer as indicated by definite signs with only one meaning. It remained that way in the French school to a large extent. Rougemont defines upright writing as reasonableness. So, if someone writes in a reasonable manner, he must be reasonable.
It was here that Klages and others who followed his teachings splintered off. Because all basic elements of handwriting, according to Klages, have a dual meaning, the graphologist analyzing the handwriting must decide which of the two meanings applies to the specific handwriting. The introduction of the criterion of the “form standard” of the particular writing was Klages’ solution to the problem. His teaching was that the two qualities indicated by the same element of writing were simply the good and bad sides of the same tendency, linked together like the two sides of a medal.
A proclivity for greatness and magnanimity is indicated by large writing. It can also indicate a lack of realism, boasting, or consideration. So, what quality does the writer possess? Klages’ response is that it depends on the general standard, as well as the “form degree” of the writer’s handwriting. If this standard is high, if the writing demonstrates that the writer is full of vitality, talent, and spontaneity on the one hand, and on the other hand, has the power and skill to harmonize all of these latent qualities and create an individual and rhythmic style of writing, then his formstandard is high, and in the majority of cases, every element must be taken as a good sign, the higher quality of the tendency. As a result, if the writer writes large and has a high “form degree,” he is a personality of greatness and magnanimity.
If the form standard is low, either because the writing lacks spontaneity or originality, or because the writer lacks the discipline, vigour, and skill to master and harmonize his divergent and conflicting motives, then each writing tendency must be explained within the context of the lower quality. If a writer writes large, you can assume he exaggerates and dramatizes himself, boasts, bullies, and lacks consideration and a sense of reality.
Klages devised a five-degree formstandard. He did not, however, provide any specific guidelines for categorizing handwriting into these five levels. Judgement and classification must be based on general experience, practice, comparison, and intuition. A high degree of handwriting is characterized by vitality, originality, and harmony. A low degree of “form-standard” is characterized by banality, weakness, and a lack of coordination.
Saudek, who consistently tried to replace pure intuition with fixed technical rules, accepted the form degree among Klages’ followers. He used seven degrees as a starting point for his analysis, but they were all based on three main characteristics:
- Quickness is a sign of spontaneity.
- The application of space as a metric for intelligence.
- Letter formation originality as a sign of originality.
Saudek created an elaborate table with all the characteristics of quick and slow writing, including neutral signs that can be found in both, because he considered spontaneity and its graphological sign of quickness to be the most important clement in judging handwriting, especially Dritish handwriting. Brooks, in particular, expanded and popularized his teaching. Brooks declared that there are no definite signs in writing at all, ignoring all of the remarkable discoveries of the French school in this direction, and attempted to cover 80% of all handwritings by elaborating a few basic elements, particularly the element of quickness. Of course, this is another extreme, just as one-sided as relying solely on definite signs.
Pulver has not written a book about the process of analysis itself because he considers it premature until he has published everything on the basic elements that must be considered when analyzing; however, the way he approaches the problem makes his analysis technique very clear. He accepts Klages’ assertion that each basic element has multiple meanings, but he expands on it in the following way. It is not true that each element has only two meanings, one for the good and one for the bad aspects of the same tendency.
There are many more meanings for the graphological elements, each one relating to a different aspect of the human world. The form degree does not always determine whether the positive or negative aspects of a tendency apply to the writer’s personal qualities. All sides of a tendency, both positive and negative, can coexist in the same personality. Every personality can have both positive and negative tendencies, as well as positive and negative potential developments of the same tendency. The general standard of the writing cannot be used to determine which qualities and tendencies are dominant; instead, each graphological element and sign must be carefully compared to corresponding elements and signs in the same writing. Even so, it isn’t enough. Every element must be considered anew in each sphere of human nature, spiritual, biological, social, material, and sexual, and compared to other elements and signs in the same sphere.
We’ve arrived at the crux of the matter, where previous analysis has failed – the main reason, in my opinion, why graphology has yet to gain the public support it deserves. Up until now, the analysis techniques taught in popular textbooks, regardless of school, have been haphazard, journalistic, or historical in nature, and have not taken into account the many facets of human personality. This type of investigation merely satisfies curiosity and provides a superficial description of a person, similar to how a quick glance in the mirror reveals some prima fade striking feature. However, this is insufficient. If you describe a man as cultured but excitable, sensual but unbalanced, you are saying a lot but not enough. You don’t say what kind of work he can do, whether he’s honest or a liar, whether he wants to travel or settle down, whether his sensuality qualifies him as an artist, or whether it manifests itself in a normal or perverted form.
Our doctor, who knows our stomach, our club friends, who know our manners, our business friends, who know our dependability, our banker, who knows what we spend, our teachers and office colleagues, who know our capacity and working technique, and our wives, who know something about our temper and private lives, all see us differently.
If graphology is to gain a foothold, it must go beyond simply presenting a snapshot of what the graphologist sees at first glance or finds interesting, but must also attempt to satisfy and answer the questions of all of these people with their various points of view, as well as the writer himself, who is concerned with both his objective and subjective position in the world.
To make the characterological side of analysis more systematic, we need to think about groups of qualities in different spheres of life that the graphologist must look for one by one when working out an analysis.
When analyzed this way, the same graphic elements may reveal positive qualities in one direction and negative qualities in the other. A man who writes large may be inconsiderate and boastful in his mannerisms, but he may possess leadership qualities in his field. A man who writes upright may be independent in his thinking and professional capacity, he may be even-tempered, but he may also be uninterested in social situations and a slacker at work. But how can one tell if he is sluggish and uninterested? Other handwriting elements such as slowness, degeneration of upper and lower lengths, pressure weakness, and neglected writing must all be carefully examined. In all doubtful cases, the general form standard also comes into play.