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The word physiognomy originated from Greek language. While physio means nature, gnomy means to judge or interpret it. Although physiognomy actually refers to the art of judging or interpreting the traits of nature of a person by reading their whole body, the word has, somehow, come to be associated with reading only the face.
Physiognomy is the art and science of reading character from the facial and bodily form. Under another aspect it means the divination or interpretation of a person’s lineaments in prognosticating his future. Phrenology, or the art of reading the skull, and palmistry are branches of physiognomy. Physiognomy can assist psychics when giving a face-to-face psychic reading.
The art of Physiognomy has an ancient origin, and was held in high regard by the Greeks, who relied heavily upon it in assessing a man’s character or fitness for a higher position. They taught that men might be compared with the animal in their Physiognomy and character, some being noble and leonine, others swinish and brute-like, and so on.
The face is regarded as the most reliable and popular gateway to the inner world of the person. It provides a kind of first information report-FIR- about the traits of their nature and personality. The knowledge of physiognomy helps the reader to judge whether the person is a god or a devil or somewhere in between and at what level.
Face is composed of several features-forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth including lips and teeth and even ears. Face emanates two types of expressions. One, it tells about the abiding nature, the mental make-up of the person and second, it speaks of what is going on in the mind in response to the situations and events occurring at a particular point of time.
All the features of the face instantly reflect the constantly changing moods. They work harmoniously and complement each other in creating a unified expression on the face.
Character portrayed by features
Face, they say, is an index to the mind of a person. The practice of face reading was extensively used to understand the nature of the person in ancient times and it continues to be followed even now.
It is believed that Pythagoras, the great Greek philosopher and mathematician, was the first creator of physiognomic.
According to a legend, Greek philosopher Socrates, who lived as far back as 399 BC, when confronted by a physiognomist, was told that he was given to immoderate sensuality and violent outbursts of passion. His students became furious by the ‘false’ reading because they felt that their teacher was a sober and saintly person. Socrates, however, acknowledged that he actually had these vices, but controlled them through rigorous self-discipline.
Aristotle believed that it was quite possible to judge the nature of the person from the features of the face. He explained in his book
Prior Analytics that the body and soul-meaning natural emotions, desires and passions—could influence each other and bring about changes in them. He thought that each change in the soul would create a corresponding indication on the face and the same would enable us to understand the trait of nature.
Aristotle’s inferences hold true even to-date.
It should, also be noted that the person’s temperament or mood rarely remains static. It keeps changing constantly, sometimes, even without any apparent rhyme or reason. This is how the nature has made the man. Sometimes, an essentially bad person performs noble deed, while a good person commits a vice.
It is truism to say that one may read a man’s character from his face. The impression we get from ones countenance depends highly on form and expression. Some faces are noble, even in repose; and others, until lit up with a smile, are dull or even repelling. But the calm, reposeful and dignified face may go with an empty mind, and everyone knows that beauty of a statuesque, classical, placid type often accompanies an intellect unrelieved by flashes of brilliancy or sparks of wit.
The problem of judging character is complicated by the extent to which everyone dissimulates - often unbeknownst to themselves. The repressions and limitations imposed by civilized society ensure that from the cradle, man refrains from doing what he wishes to do, or from showing emotions that are unacceptable to people about him.
Training and education of the young is largely concerned with self-discipline, and we all learn to mask our feelings. Some people are more successful in this than others; but when, under stress of strong emotion or great provocation, the control is relaxed or even abandoned altogether, the observer sees a strange and sometimes horrible, picture of primal feeling expressed in an unbridled manner.
A person under the influence of alcohol or amphetamines, or when recovering from anesthetic, may redirect on his face, the very depths of his mind and there, we see the true man as he is. The calm Juno of a woman may reveal her hidden traits: we learn that instead of a limpid pool, her character is a very maelstrom of conflicting impulses. The man of integrity, who takes a leading part in the religious life of the group to which he belongs, is betrayed, perhaps as a fundamentally a libidinous and sensual pleasure lover.
One must learn not to judge such persons based on these manifestations; rather we should acknowledge that in leading a moral and socially correct life in spite of such underlying impulses - in bravery and sternly combating the hidden urges – they are worthy of the highest praise.
Who can read the face?
Every person can to a varying degree. Most people can read the face only vaguely and sometimes, even seasoned experts or hardwired investigators make mistakes in reading the faces. This is where the role of the psychics comes in.
Psychics are often endowed with innate abilities such as intuition, hunch, sixth sense, clairvoyance, telepathy and empathy. They can look through the eyes and other features of the face and go deep down into their minds and souls of the people to extract the truth about their nature.
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