The Science of Physiognomy: Can You Really Tell a Person’s Character by Their Appearance?

The obvious assumption that a man’s exterior reflects his interior, and that his countenance reveals his whole character , is so widely accepted that it seems to hold true.

For example, the following facts are enough proof: people are always eager to see those who are good and evil, or those who have achieved extraordinary things. What does it look like. That’s why people like to go where famous people are likely to be; and why the media, especially in the UK, is working on portraying these people in such detail and compellingly. Then, they will be brought to us very quickly—through the hands of painters, sculptors or photographers, this kind of precious image description satisfies people’s psychological needs in the most perfect way.

This point of view is also confirmed in such a situation: in daily life, people will carefully observe the appearance of everyone they come into contact with, trying to discover his moral character and morality secretly from his external characteristics. intellectual ability. It’s not that appearances don’t matter, as some stupid fellows think. If soul and body are two different things, the relationship between the two is like that of a man to his clothes.

Human appearance is like hieroglyphs-of course, it can be deciphered for sure, and each of us carries such a complete alphabet with us. In fact, a person’s looks can often tell us more interesting things than his mouth. For the countenance of a man sums up all that he has to say, and records all his thoughts and feelings. Moreover, language can only say what a man thinks, and his countenance conveys the thoughts of nature itself.

Therefore, everyone is worth watching, even if they are not worth talking to. As an independent thought of nature, each individual is worthy of observation; so is the highest beauty, for it is a higher and more general idea of ​​nature–it is the thought of nature in each particular. This is why beauty is so fascinating to us—it is the basic, primary thought of nature; while the individual is only a subsidiary, secondary thought of nature, a corollary.

In private, people adhere to the principle of judging by appearance. While there is nothing wrong with this principle, it can be difficult to apply. The ability to apply this principle is partly innate and partly acquired through experience. But no one can see it completely and completely, and even the most experienced people will inevitably make mistakes. It is not, however, that looks deceive us (whatever Figaro may say), but that we deceive ourselves—read something in someone else’s visage that is not there.

Physiognomy is undoubtedly a great, sublime, and profound art, the principles of which must never be learned from abstract principles. The first condition for viewing a person is to observe a person from a purely objective perspective, which is not easy to do. Even the slightest tinge of subjectivity, such as a slight dislike or preference, a speck of fear or hope, or even our own impression of the other’s point of view, can cause this hieroglyph to become distorted. The sound of language can only be heard by those who do not understand its meaning, because when thinking about the meaning of language, the symbols themselves will not be noticed. Similarly, physiognomy can be used correctly only with strangers—that is to say, with faces whom one has rarely seen or talked to, whose faces are not yet familiar.

Therefore, strictly speaking, only the first glance can produce a purely objective impression of a person’s face, and it is possible for us to decipher his character traits. A smell is only perceived by us when first encountered, a wine is only tasted by the first glass, and likewise, only by seeing a face for the first time , will give us a complete impression. So, if you are very confident in your physiognomy, you should pay special attention to the first impression you make of others, and keep it in your heart, and even write it down with a pen—if this person is very important to you. The acquaintance and communication in the future will make you gradually forget this impression, but it will definitely be confirmed one day in the future.

We need not hide from ourselves the fact that every impression is generally very unpleasant. How vulgar are the faces of most people! With the exception of a very few beautiful, kind, intelligent faces–which is extremely rare–I believe that most of the new faces, to a sensitive person, will bring a feeling like a shock, a sensation , because a strange and surprising complex can cause unpleasant sensations.

To be honest, the appearance of ordinary people is really regrettable. There are such people whose vulgar character and animal-like low intelligence are clearly engraved on their faces. People can’t help but ask, how can they come out with such a face, why don’t they put on a mask to meet people? Not only that, but some faces make people feel uncomfortable just to glance at them.

So we cannot blame those who are able to escape to the mountains, to live in isolation, to escape the painful feeling of meeting new faces. The metaphysical explanation for this is that each person’s personality is in line with his living experience and is thus formed. If anyone still needs a psychological explanation to satisfy him, let him ask himself: What can be expected from people who have lived their lives small-minded, filled with base thoughts and desires that are vile, selfish, and jealous? What kind of faces do they have? These thoughts and desires will be imprinted on his face and will accompany him throughout his life. Moreover, all these marks, after a long and repeated repetition, eventually became the obvious wrinkles and blemishes on his face.

Therefore, the appearance of most people will shock people at first glance. Only after time accumulates, people can gradually get used to a person’s face, that is, the feeling of this impression has become numb and dull, so it is no longer affected. its impact.

A wise and wise face is the result of years of characterization, formed by countless short-term typical contractions and stretches of the face, which is why the outstanding and rational face can only be gradually formed, and only in the later years. These people’s outstanding appearance The characteristics can be revealed, and only a slight trace is revealed in youth.

But on the other hand, this is exactly consistent with the astonishment at seeing faces for the first time mentioned above, that is, only with each glance can we see the true and complete impression of other people’s faces. To get a purely objective, true impression, we must have nothing to do with the observed person, and, if possible, never even talk to him. Because conversations tend to make people feel close and friendly, and bring us into a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship with subjectivity, which will immediately interfere with our making objective and true judgments. Because everyone is trying to earn respect or favor for himself, and a person who senses that he is being observed will immediately use all his disguises to confuse us with his posturing, hypocrisy, and flattery. The initial clear impression fades in an instant.

As the saying goes, “Time reveals people’s hearts.” But in fact, it should be said that “the longer the time, the easier it is to be deceived.” Our first impressions are only confirmed later when these bad qualities are exposed. Sometimes a “deep friend” is an unfriendly person, and in this case, we can’t find anything from him. The further acquaintance with other people is because the first impression of this person warns us that when we talk to him, his true person and character, including his upbringing, are revealed; that is, not only his natural nature, Moreover, the wealth he obtained from the entire human race was revealed together.

A young man was introduced to Socrates and asked Socrates to test his abilities. Socrates said to him, “Speak, so that I may see you clearly.” He was undoubtedly right in using the word “see” rather than “hear.” For it is only when a man speaks that his expression, especially his eyes, becomes alive, and his wit and ability are revealed from his countenance.

To gain a pure, elementary grasp of a man’s nature from his appearance, we must observe him when he is alone. Any society and speech will add to him influences that are not his own, and mostly in his favour, thus heightening his behavior and reflexes at this time.

We may be able to tell whether a person is a fool, a fool, or a genius from behind. A fool’s movements are languid, slow, numb and sluggish, and every posture reveals stupidity; similarly, a person’s cleverness, wisdom, diligence and seriousness will also appear outside.

The reason why geniuses and fools are so different is that the larger and more developed a person’s brain capacity is, the smaller the spine and nerves connected with it are, and the higher his intelligence is.

A man’s countenance expresses his intellect more than gesture and movement, the shape and size of the head, the contraction and movement of the muscles of the face, and especially the eyes—from the small, dull, dull, dead eyes of a fool , to the radiant and sparkling eyes of a genius, there are all kinds and shapes. Even the best prudent and wise men have different looks from those of genius. The former is subject to the weight of submission to the will, the latter is not.

Of course, moral character is also related to the physical constitution and individual organs of a person, but it is not as direct and clear as the connection between intelligence and it. Every one, therefore, loves to show off his intelligence, to display it at every possible opportunity, as something he has always been content with. However, he seldom exposes his moral character casually, and many people even cover it up intentionally, and a lot of practice and practice have made this method of concealment perfect day by day. At the same time, as I said before, mean thoughts and useless efforts always gradually burn deep marks on the face, especially in the eyes.

Therefore, in the concept of appearance, it is extremely easy to conclude that a person will never create immortal great deeds, but it is difficult to ensure that he will not commit heinous crimes.

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