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Face Reading Fun: What Abe Lincoln's Face Says about Him

By Narayan-Singh, Ph.D.

We are entering a stage in human evolution that will literally demand of us that we truly comprehend each other in a loving and well-grounded manner. And one of our most startling responses to this need is our increasing ability, as humans, to read each other's faces.

Because of our evolutionary history and the nature of our souls, the ability to communicate with each other via the face is a built-in capability for all of us. The facial expressions we exhibit over and over in our lives reflect our reactions to and our interpretations of the events we encounter. The trillions of facial expressions we make shape the muscles of the face. These expressions create a road map of our experiences and of our resulting manifestation of who we are in the world, which we wear everywhere we go.

The Nine Areas of the Face

The face divides into eight functional areas, plus the full face, making nine. Each of these nine areas reveals different aspects of who we are; what we have experienced; and, as a result, where we are going.

Imagine a face divided in half vertically from the top of the head to the tip of the chin. Then imagine another line dividing the face running from ear to ear located just above the tip of the nose, creating a cross line, like in a periscope.

Use a cover-up device that allows you to expose just one area at a time. For a photograph, two business cards will work for this purpose. Concentrate on the area you are interested in so you can read that area, without distractions from the rest of the face. Left and right refer to the person's left and right, not your left and right.

The face reading that results from this process gives you two levels of information. On the one hand, there is the pragmatic level, in which your concern is what to do with regard to the person. But the more basic and crucial element in this process is your compassionate comprehension as you seek to come from the heart in your understanding. The pragmatic level flows out of your compassion, not the other way around.

The outline proceeds in a sequence that I’ve found produces the best cumulative comprehension of the face. Following this order builds up a picture of the person that is very profound and productive.

  1. Right Mouth: This shows what it took to fit in with their family. It also illustrates how they deal with people as a result.
  2. Left Mouth: How they feel about people as a result of what it took for them to deal with the people in their life.
  3. Full Mouth: How they are experienced and treated by other people, their persona as the core of their personality.
  4. Right Eye: Their experience of the world swirling around them and their resulting relationship with the world.
  5. Left Eye: Their relationship with themselves, as in their self-concept, the way the world has treated them, and where they seem to be going.
  6. Both Eyes: Their experience of life, how it feels to them, what their experience is, and their reaction to it all.
  7. Right Side: How they do it. This is how they run their life, how they handle the world, and their tool kit for survival including success strategies required in all the environments they have encountered.
  8. Left Side: Who they are "from the socks up" (motivationally, in their intention, interpretation, and intervention system).
  9. Whole Face: This is their destiny, their purpose in life and their role in the world as they play out their cosmic and personal intentions in their life—their reason for coming here.

Honest Abe: A Test Case

Let us consider a person we all know—Abraham Lincoln:

  • His right mouth reflects the intensely enforced "party line" he had to follow as a child. He was not allowed to speak his mind about anything. He ended up an astute observer as other people plied their trade interpersonally in his presence. Little did they know who was watching and learning.

  • It also shows that he was rather taciturn and withholding of his take on things for the most part, as he hewed to the politically correct way of speaking much of the time. However, he could and would speak out frankly if the situation called for it.

  • His left mouth shows that despite it all, he really cared about and liked people in general. However, again, due to the harsh nature of the people surrounding him all his life, he maintained a very careful control on his self-expression and interpersonal vulnerability.

  • His right eye indicates that his relationship with the world around him was one of severe despair and depression. He was rather blown away all the time by what he witnessed happening around him and to him in those primitive and destructive times.

  • Meanwhile, his left eye shows that his relationship with himself was one of the attitude "me last" a lot of the time. This reflects the rather cruel way he was treated much of his life, which he took at some deep level as his just deserts for being what he was.

  • Both eyes seem to be saying that he found life excruciatingly difficult to deal with every step of the way. He was in deep disappointment and demoralizing pain all his life. His world was gothically dreadful in many ways.

  • His right side indicates that he operated out of massive compassionate comprehension all the way along. He found that his inherent knowingness and his profound observations all his life created deep wisdom and practical success, and he relied extremely heavily on them to "get him through the night."

  • Where he was coming from, bottom line, as shown in the left side of his face, was a deep-seated stance of all-inclusive lovingness and a desire to teach and to make things sensible, sane, and spiritual as much as he possibly could. He knew very well what he was up against, but he was here on a mission from which he never veered.

  • His whole face is that of a master teacher who came here to jump-start the elevation of the collective consciousness. During his time, the degradation of the human spirit was the norm. He deflected the downward spiral of the self-destruction of the human race. He succeeded far beyond his wildest dreams. All the way to the end he functioned out of the "humble pie" humility that both his soul and his life history ingrained in him.

My hope is that this example gives you some idea of what compassionate comprehension from a face reading looks like. It is the heartfelt understanding that is the only true purpose of face reading.


Narayan-Singh, Ph.D., served as a professor of psychology at the University of Portland. He developed a heart-centered face-reading system based on modern psychological awareness. He is the author of over 35 books (two on face-reading), numerous articles, and many audiotapes and videotapes. He practices from his home in Seattle. For more information, visit