Articles > Mystery
Big Sister is watching you!
Enclosed are thoughts about various things, such as Big Brother watching you... or is it nosy Big Sister with her all-seeing eye following you everywhere? Just be assured that they are always there, even right now gazing upon you through a hole in the webpage, curious what you are doing this very moment! "May I cast an eye on you?" was the question an old friend had asked to a girl during a dissection class... A miniature version of above image I would also use as the website's unmistakable favicon. Another attempt to give the web presence something unique, something vivid and catching the eye - by having an eye on unexpected visitors right in the address bar of the internet browser.
There are so many things to see, most of the time just hidden right in front of our eyes. Isn't nature beautiful?
Nearby picture was taken on the "Cherry Blossom Trail" during an Emmaus walk on Easter Monday. The beautiful walkway stretches from Donnerskirchen to Purbach in Austria's most eastern province of Burgenland and you can actually see Lake Neusiedl in the background. Any fresh blossom in spring may remind us of resurrection from a long, cold winter, a state of death.
The Holy Grail on the other hand, for being connected to a feeling of happiness upon its discovery, can be taken as a symbol of paradise on earth. Just as the Philosopher's Stone represents omniscience or the Fountain of Youth eternal life even, as part of the human pursuit for his own creator's almightiness. Even more crucial than the symbol is the quest itself.
To strive for more, where the "what" may vary individually, reaching from recognition, insight, justification, entertainment and a lot more up to happiness and satisfaction. In our personal quest we might have to face disappointment until getting into a position to find a chip, an atom, or just an idea of our own grail, whatever it may be. Good luck anyway!
The "Cherry Blossom Trail", locally known as "Kirschbluetenweg", between Thunderchurch and Purecreek (Donnerskirchen and Purbach) represents one of the nicest walking trails in the east of Austria - when the cherries are in full blossom.
Looking into those Sad Eyes...
What do you feel when looking into sad eyes? Do you sympathize with the person behind or just turn away? Do you remember when you were very sad yourself or try to suppress those thoughts? We usually remember the extreme. Very happy as well as very unpleasant moments. At one point of time I recall drawing sad eyes. Maybe on a piece of paper, in thoughts about this and that, probably struggling with something, while listening to music at home, maybe during a lesson at school, during a workshop. I don't remember any more. Sad moments, reflected in the most important part of a face. Sad eyes, an expression of a deep feeling of loss and sadness, can be overwhelming to see, can touch you deep inside. "If there's a tear on my face, it makes me shiver to the bones, it shakes me babe," as Alice Cooper had put it some thirty years ago in his ballad "I Never Cry."
What I have always admired though are these smiling eyes. An expression of silent happiness, which can be felt just by looking into each other's eyes, even without seeing the accompanying smile that may play on the lips. "Here's looking at you, kid" is the famous line Humphrey Bogart said to Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca." In German it translated to "Ich schau' Dir in die Augen, Kleines - I'm looking into your eyes, little one."
Giving someone the "Evil Eye" on the other hand is an occult sign of trouble. In ancient superstition up to medieval witch hunt, theory had it that malevolent gaze and bewitching stares could cause bad luck, harm or even death. As Gillan & Glover used to sing: "Evil woman got a spell on me she given me pain and misery..." Especially babies were believed to be most vulnerable against evil eyes by strangers, as a form of explanation for high infant mortality rates. Talismans and charms of various kinds would offer protection again the sorceress powers of an evil look and resulting misfortunate effects. Among the ancient Egyptians the eye of the god Horus was worn for magical protection.
Up to these days, in Greece and Turkey amulets are sold on the street to ward off the evil eye, an ability mostly attributed to people with blue eyes. Numerous souvenir shops offer the "Nazar charm", a popular counter spell in form of another blue eye, also known as the lucky eye or evil eye stone. With the Scandinavian music group Europe: "I'm not superstitious! I have no doubt that there's a reason, how things turn out..."
An Eye for an Eye
The eye is the body part able to perceive light, which is further on translated into a visual, a picture calculated by this supercomputer called brain. As light is often associated with truth, also the eye became known as a symbol for spiritual ability. Closing the eyes forever on the other hand is a synonym for death, even though there are many who "have eyes but they cannot see" (Psalm 115:8).
The blindfolded quest for someone to lean on, for a reason in life, is the topic of an old Whitesnake song: "Like a blindman, I can feel the heat of the sun. But, like a blindman I don’t know, I don’t know where it’s coming from." In one way or the other, aren't we all blind for certain things that matter, really?
One of the cruellest things is to take away one's eye sight, a synonym for ultimate injury and crime. "Eye to an eye"-justice is a common expression for retribution. Obviously, it is based on the bible verse "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" from the Old Testament (Exodus 21:24). It follows the underlying idea of equal compensation of damage, of fitting counter punishment, as also addressed in Babylonian law, summed up in the "Codex Hammurabi."
During slavery in Egypt, the Israelites found themselves being treated unjust. As part of clan liability, punishment of one's failure was extended to the whole family. By stating "an eye for an eye," god was actually putting a limit to punishment, which should not go beyond the damage caused by the criminal act. In order to better capture the intent to restrict compensation to reasonable measures, you may formulate "only one eye for one eye."
As time went by, (not just in Casablanca) the focus shifted to emphasize the importance of showing forgiveness rather than always pursuing vengeance and equal penalty. In the New Covenant this would be later contradicted by the instruction to love your neighbour and to endure provocation and injustice until the good will prevail in the end: "Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." (Matthew 5:38, Luke 6:29). Or as an often quoted saying goes: "Der Gescheitere gibt nach - The clever one gives in."
Amulets to ward off the evil eye, blue eyed "Nazar charms" are omni-present in Athen's historical Plaka, at the foot of the Acropolis. "Blue eyes" Frank Sinatra would have been happy.
The All-Seeing Eye is watching over you
The All-Seeing Eye stays on not only as the mark of Rambaldi, fictional inventor and seer in the cult-TV-show "Alias." But most of all it is a sign that relates to the concept of the Eye of Providence, symbol for the Lord observing our deeds. It goes back to the Egyptian Eye of the falcon headed god Horus, whose injured eye's healing represented renewal. At the same time it represents the avenging eye of the sun-god Ra and stands for royal power and indestructibility of the soul. Favourable in ancient believe of rebirth and reincarnation, it parallels the sunrise after the night. Sailing the sun boat, the solar barque, across the sky, Ra was said to give light to the world. Other sun deities like the Greek sun-god Helios and its Roman equivalent Sol instead drove a chariot of fire across the sky each day. A modern day depiction of Helios' rayed crown can be seen adorning the Statue of Liberty, which is said to be inspired from the Colossus of Rhodes. They all originate from times, when the sun was worshipped for its life-giving power without which there would be no vegetation nor life on this planet. In hieroglyphs, Ra is associated with the glyph of the eye as the most distinctive Egyptian symbol. As stated in Moustafa Gadalla's highly speculative book "The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity," the eye is the part of the body able to perceive the light, and is therefore a symbol for the spiritual ability.
Dan Brown's novel "The Lost Symbol" explores the legend of a Masonic Pyramid hidden in Washington D.C. and explains the symbol of a pyramid without its tip: "Known as an Unfinished Pyramid, it was a symbolic reminder that man's ascent to his full human potential was always a work in progress. Though few realized it, this symbol was the most widely published symbol on earth. Over twenty billion in print. Adorning every one-dollar bill in circulation, the Unfinished Pyramid waited patiently for its shining capstone, which hovered above it as a reminder of America's yet-unfulfilled destiny and the work yet to be done, both as a country and as individuals."
As speculated in the popular movie "National Treasure," also the Eye of Providence may have found its way from Egyptian mythology through Masonic symbolism to the Grand Seal of the United States and the reverse side of the one dollar bill. The Latin motto above it reads: "Annuit Coeptis - He favours the undertakings."
Ever since the undertaking of achieving their colonies' independence from their British home country and forming the "Novus ordo seclorum - New order of the ages," which is mentioned in the lower section of their seal, American leaders have boldly regarded themselves as an instrument of destiny, according to George Washington having the "Smiles of Providence" on their side.
By adopting the transcendent eye symbol they have managed to transport divine right from royal dignity to ordinary presidency. As part of a remarkable balancing act between supernatural religion and profane political ideology, they created and established god given legitimacy to parliamentarism and elected leadership. Consequently, the religious statement "In God We Trust" can be found on the ultimate symbol of materialism, on transient mammon.
And even in these modern times, the more stuff becomes important to one in an increasingly materialistic world, the harder it is to let go and the bigger the wish may get to return to the same. Nevertheless, as my father in law once put it, where we are going after this life, we can't take a trailer with us. For unlocking the gates of death, the Egyptian Ankh symbol, a cross with a loop on top, hieroglyphic character for life, had been given into the hands of their dead. It is interesting as ancestor of the symbol for Venus and female, as well as for the Christian cross, which is often referred to as sign of life in church carols. Hanging from the neck of a friend these days, it would not surprise me to also find this ancient cross on many shoulders in times when tattooing has evolved from prison occupation to a public sport, among others rediscovering German runes for similar purpose. While related Neo-Paganism can be found behind the unsuspicious term of a nature religion (as opposed to the main revealed religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam). But before getting too far off topic, let me press the off button (for now).
"I don't know where I'm going, I don't know what I'm doing, but it feels alright.
I have one eye to Morocco, I only have to follow through the scented night."
(One Eye to Morocco, Ian Gillan, 2009)
That's it, folks!