Here's some basic information that relates to the last few posts...
There's been a ton of research done on the universal and cultural nature of facial expression. Here's some research that was done on young children that's highly regarded.
It's much more difficult to do research with adults because as people grow up, the culture teaches them to hide some emotions and emphasize others.
Adults can willfully deceive, so what we think we see in their faces may not represent anything other than what they want us to see.
Some professional actors have minute control over every muscle and twitch in their faces and bodies. They practice hard to develop this part of their craft. I'm sure we've all known amateurs who can turn the emotion on and off like a faucet.
Here's a link to the research:
Most researchers agree that the basic emotions of anger, fear, sadness, and disgust are universal and biological in all populations. These emotions can usually be recognized in facial expressions. The emotions of joy (sometimes called humor-amusement) and love are also considered universal and biological, but there's less agreement about them. Of course, culture plays a big role in how these emotions are acted out in various societies.
In India, artists and sages haverecognized for centuries three additional basic emotions -- wonder, peace, and heroism. I find this fascinating in light of Campbell's work and his studies of Sanskrit and the Upanishads.
The basic concept of Self, as it is meant in this thread, is based on the work of Carl Jung. Jung described the Self as the totality of the whole psyche. Most of the Self lives below the level of conscious awareness. He said, "The Self
is at once the nucleus and the whole sphere."
The Self, as it is discussed here, is bounded within the sphere. It is not to be confused with Atman, which has also been translated to mean self. Atman is not enclosed. The Self that Jung was talking about is enclosed within the biological entity of the human body.
Self-esteem and self-image, as the terms are usually used today, relate to Ego -- the conscious part of our awareness, what we think and want and fear. Physical appearance belongs in that category, too.
When we look into the face of our partner and feel on a deep level that we are glimpsing into their soul and our own at the same time, it's a pretty good bet that another basic archetype, a part of the Self, has been activated -- the anima/animus.
There's much information on all of these Jungian concepts available free over the 'net.