The Symbolism of the Eye

The reflection of the eye is a reflection in the macrocosm, but also in the moral life:

“Knowledge manifests itself as clearly as light, like the white of the eyes, and his insight sparkles in him like their radiant power, while in his essence the mind shines like the pupil of the eye.”

The eye symbolism (the All-Seeing Eye, the Eye of Horus, Hamza, the Eye of the Buddha – all known examples that carry a root of knowledge) is always associated with “spiritual vision”, “window to the soul”, the formation of a view (view; opinion) , also “sending power rays”. Embodiment of the ability for spiritual and physical expression. An interesting contrast is that according to many cultures, evil beings can petrify or make the subject unprotected from view.

In the points below, I will lay all the aspects of the symbolism of the eye in different cultures and aspects: 1. Psychology; 2. Christianity; 3. Muslim/arabic view; 4. European and Masonic; 5. Asia; 6. Antiquity; 7. Ancient; 8. Scientific Data.

Psychology

Psychological symbolism gives an interpretation of the eye as an organ of light and awareness, because it allows the perception of the world and thus gives it reality. As the Swiss psychoanalyst Ernst Friedrich Apelt interprets:

“Dreaming of the eyes is associated with this act of awareness of earthly existence. In dreams, eye suffering is not uncommon. Naturally, they are connected with the complex limited psychological visual ability, with the inability to see life correctly in this state.”

Psychoanalysts can interpret the eye in dreams as a disguised symbol of the female genitalia.

In a lecture, the famous clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson makes a very interesting interpretation of the “eyes” of the hat of the Babylonian deity Marduk in comparison with the idea of ​​the “Eye of Horus”: the perception of the ancient symbol as a hint of increased attention. This means concentrating, listening, looking (figuratively and literally) over a problem, hence, interpreting as the idea that it is very important to pay attention/see a problem or philosophical view of life, as well as dealing with urgent choices to improve the conditions for more good existence. Thus the symbolism of the eyes on such a supreme deity emphasizes “divine seeing / hearing / attention.”

Christianity

A symbol of the Trinity, the divine omnipresence and divinity, the “Eye of Providence” is depicted in a triangle with the top facing up in the rays of the Sun. Angels, cherubim and seraphim, are depicted with eyes on the wings, a symbol of their insight and superhuman wisdom. In Biblical texts, it can be found that the cure for suffering was performed on the eyes and many rites to this day contain their ritual washing with water, and in some cases in sacred wells and springs. In the Jewish Synagogue, there is the same symbolism leading to sinful non-recognition – “Blindness did not recognize Jesus as the true savior.”

“Eye of Providence”, Supper at Emmaus (1525) by Pontormo

Muslim/Arabic View

“Nazar”, derived from Arabic and meaning “sight, observation, attention”, is the name of the bizarre amulet against evil, which is a blue eye. The amulet is known to Azerbaijanis, Bengalis, Indians, Kurds, Persians, Greeks, Pakistanis. The phrase “nazar lag gayi” is used when someone is affected by an evil eye, and it can be “given” through compliment, jealousy, envy. It is believed that the evil eye can get you sick, so the amulet is used with the phrase “By the will of God” (“MashAllah” in Arabic). For the ritual against the evil eye against enchanting children, they should be protected from compliments that would attract trouble, and hot peppers would be used by holding them in one hand, circling the child’s head, then the peppers would be burnt to ashes.

In Turkish, the amulet is called “bonchuk” (göz boncuğu, “eye bead”), it is believed that the amulet originally came from the Mediterranean and was associated with the production of glass, as Arab artisans engaged in glassmaking settled in Izmir in the end of the 19th century. Certainly, the roots can be traced back to the ancient world, as glass beads were made in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Carthage, Phoenicia, Persia and the whole Roman period (making beautiful glass vessels was a sign of the supreme art of fragile material).

“Nazar Bonchuk” amulet against “evil eyes”

The Middle East has another very famous symbol and amulet, and it is called “Hamza” (Arabic: خمسة, Latin: khamsah, Hebrew: hamesh). Represents a hand that has an eye in its center, and the depiction has several variations: with 5 fingers and in the middle an eye or jewelry resembling an eye; with 3 fingers and 2 symmetrical thumbs on each side and in the middle – the eye. In Islam, the 5 fingers represent the 5 pillars of Islam (faith, prayer, alms, fasting, missionary work); in Judaism the 5 fingers represent the 5 sacred books of the Torah; in Buddhism and Hinduism, the hand represents the energy of the chakras (the eye is the chakra in this case); in Christianity it depicts femininity and goodness, calling the symbol the “Hand of Mary” showing its elevation from an ordinary person to the mother of Jesus Christ.


This symbol also passes through the various subsequent religions, and like other ancient symbols, this one is preserved in meaning, vision and meaning: protection, light, wisdom, the gaze of a deity. It is also called the “Hand of Fatima” (daughter of Muhammad, Islam), the “Hand of Miriam” (sister of Moses, Judaism), the “Hand of Mary” (the mother of Jesus Christ, Christianity) and the “Hand of the Buddha” ( the enlightened, Buddhism).
The eye of the hand in Asia represents the belief in the chakras of the hands and the gaze of the Buddha, and in the West (Christians, Muslims, Jews), the eye is a symbol of God.

However, the root remains in antiquity. According to one thesis, it originated in Carthage (Phoenicia, North Africa), where the hand was a symbol of the goddess Tanit (equivalent to Ishtar/Astarte) and was used to protect against the “evil eye”. Another thesis compares the hand with the amulet of the “Two Fingers” associated with the cult of Isis and Osiris and, of course, has parallels with the symbolism of the “Eye of Horus”.
Its most common depiction is a seemingly three-fingered hand with 2 symmetrical thumbs on either side (representing the two hands on top of each other) and in the middle of the eye. However, when the symbol is with the fingers down, it looks like and most likely has a direct connection with the depiction of the “Eye of Horus”.

European and Masonic View

Old Irish heroic legends tell of the one-eyed king of the demonic Phomorians, Balor, whose evil gaze could affect the battlefield if four men raised his eyelid. And the Norse raised as the main deity the All Father Odin – who had one eye because he gave his other to the giant Mimir in order to receive wisdom and knowledge.

The visual of the eye symbolism is a worldwide recognizable symbol thanks to the Freemasons. It is a symbol in many lodges for the “All-Seeing Eye” depicted in a triangle of “crown of rays”, as a symbol of the Trinity, and as a symbol of the Divine – “God always sees”. These beliefs, along with the Masonic compass and line, refer to God as Creator and Architect, an all-seeing, all-consuming figure of constant vigilance over human affairs. This symbol is located above the master’s chair and must remind all these attributes of the Creator, so that the Mason can strive for it, despite human imperfection.

“The eyes that see so much are a hint of the constellations in the sky that shine everywhere. The white in them symbolizes the purity of the ether, their clarity – its brilliance, the pupil – the stars in the etheric space. Their moisture indicates the moisture with which this same ether is soaked by the upper waters, so as not to be damaged by the higher layer of fire (fiery sky, empire).”

St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

The modern world is familiar with the “Eye of Providence”, which is widespread in Christianity, but even more so through Masonic symbolism, as conspiracy theories have become very popular. The well-known symbol with a pyramid and an eye in the pyramid is the Masonic symbol on the back of the one-dollar bill.

The eye is shrouded in the light of God, representing His power and omnipresence. Masonic symbolism inserts the “Eye of Providence” through the Great Seal of the United States, which has the function of approving and confirming the authenticity of government documents of the United States government. On one side is a bald eagle with 13 arrows (another Masonic symbolism) and an olive branch (Christian symbolism), and on the other side is a pyramid with 13 steps (the 13 founding states), and on top of it an eye in a triangle. At the base of the pyramid with Roman numerals is the year of US independence.

Then in search of a strong symbol representing the newly formed American state independent of England, the “Fathers of America” ​​Benjamin Franklin (Mason in the Grand Lodge of St. John, Philadelphia; and the Grand Lodge in Pennsylvania; publisher of the “Great Constitution of Freemasons” – the first Masonic book published in America), John Adams (Mason in the Grand Lodge of St. John, Boston, Massachusetts) and Thomas Jefferson (there are no records in the Masonic archives that he was a member, but the ideals and company in which he was and communicated were definitely Masonic ), offer their own versions of the print. They were not accepted, but in 1782 Charles Thomson proposed the vision of the press with the elements of previous proposals, and so these images became a strong United States symbol. Charles Thomson was inspired for colors and ornaments from the book Elements of Heraldry by Antoine Pyron du Martre, and wrote about the back:

“The pyramid means Power and duration: The eye above it and the motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause. The date below is that of the Declaration of Independence, and the words below it mark the beginning of a new American era that begins on that date. “

Obverse (left) and reverse (right) side of the Great Seal, adopted in 1782. The obverse depicts the national arms, while the reverse depicts “A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded by a glory, proper” and the Latin mottoes Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum

Note: It is not clear where the symbolism of the pyramid came from, at least not officially. The “Eye of Providence” has an obvious Christian root, as Freemasons often profess Christian interpretations, but the very combination of the pyramid and the eye strongly suggests that it is not a specific and strictly Christian symbol, but the ancient Egyptian (“The Eye of the Horus ”,“ The Eye of Ra ”,“The Eye of Atum”). The Egyptians also attached importance to the eye as something mystical and observing people, as if (according to the Christian symbol) God always observes us for our deeds (in the case of the Egyptian Horus/Ra/Atum).
Also, it is interesting that this symbolism was decided to impose on the seal: a way to authorize government documents (the seal as a tool was used over the millennia in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages, Mesoamerica).

However, as can be seen from 16th century paintings, the “Eye of Providence” was still depicted in a triangle, so that one can consider the influence of Egyptian symbolism on Christian, and perhaps indirectly on Freemasonry. Although the motto under the pyramid on the back of the US State Seal reads: “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, in translation: “New order / direction for the era / in time”, a phrase from the Roman poet Virgil. That is, we cannot talk about ignorant people, but on the contrary, about many educated people at the head of a new state.

Asia

Shiva with an open third eye and Parvati with a bindu, Jaipur, 1800 г.

In Hinduism and Lamaist art, the eye is represented as “Bindu” – a point between the eyes, representing the third eye of enlightenment and spiritual essence. It is interesting to note that a third eye can be found on fossils of reptiles’ forehead from the Mesozoic era, and the New Zealand lizard tuatara (Hatteria, Latin), and it is still observed rudimentarily today. Researchers and scientists have not yet been able to answer whether there is an overlap between these reptiles and the understanding of the third eye in Asian cultures, but there is an interesting data on the so-called “naga” or “snake people”.

The third eye in the Hindu notion and tradition is a mystical concept representing the openness of the mind and the attainment of enlightenment through the senses of imagination and intuition. Described as the “Ajna chakra” (in Buddhism, the “eye of consciousness”), it sees beyond human understanding, it also perceives visions, auras, chakras, the ability to predict – for this reason these people were told that they were seers. According to Hinduism and Buddhism, Ajna is located around the middle of the forehead, while in Taoism it is believed to be located between the two physical eyes, and when the third eye is opened by certain techniques, it extends to the middle of the forehead.

In addition to the symbolism of one eye, there is also the symbolism of the two eyes that appear on every stupa (Buddhist temple) and on almost every Buddha statue in India, Nepal, Thailand, Burma, China, etc., sometimes called “Buddhist eyes”, “Eyes of wisdom”. The eyes are depicted slightly closed, showing a state of Nirvana and emphasizing harmony and synergy in a state of meditation and open consciousness. Buddhism also emphasizes the third eye, which is depicted between the two eyes of the stupas, the third representing the openness of the mind seeing the inner world, while the two eyes see the outer world. According to Buddhism, if we are wise, we see beyond the exterior and the material world.

Buddha’s eyes on the stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

Antiquity

Head of Polyphemus. dated to the 4th century BC.

In ancient mythology, creatures with one eye are the Cyclops – a race of giants that Jason argues with – here it should be noted that the oral tradition in the Mediterranean has long been unwritten. Homer later describes the Cyclops with one eye, but mosaics, busts, and late works can be seen, represented by Polyphemus (the Cyclops with whom Odysseus argues) not with one but with three eyes.

The myth of the gorgon Medusa killed by Perseus describes how he directs her stone gaze at her with a mirror and so she petrifies herself.

Fortuna, the goddess of luck and happiness, was blind because she scattered her gifts indiscriminately. Justice is also portrayed blindfolded, because it must judge impartially without being able to deceive itself – and to this day a symbol of the judiciary.

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians painted two eyes on their boats and ships. Thus the gods were always with them and protected them from calamities at sea or protection and defense in enemy battles.

Replica of the trireme (warship) “Olympias”

The Evil Eye – according to the classic authors, “Тhe Evil Eye” is a collective for the evils in the world, for everything wrong. This definition has been widespread from ancient times to the present day in Asia, America, Africa and Europe, and especially the Mediterranean. According to Plutarch, the eyes can be very dangerous and poisonous to the eye, and Pliny the Elder adds to the description as “the power of eye charm that can kill those on whom they look” (referring to African traditions that mentioned the eye).

Kylix eyepiece (530-520 BC), written in Halcidian text, features an eye motif to repel the evil eye.

Ancient

Egypt – Uedjat, Eye of Horus, Eye of Ra and The Eye of Atum

Wedjat / Uraeus- to understand the symbolism of the eye in Egyptian mythology, we must first answer the question: What is Udjat / Wedjat (wḏꜣt, wedjat or udjat) and Ureus (from Greek οὐραῖος, ouraîos, “on the tail”; from Egyptian jꜥrt (iaret), “cobra breeding”)?

This is the name of the famous eye named after the goddess Wedjat (Uraeus: when the symbol is explicitly mentioned, without emphasizing the goddess), which is the basis of this symbol (other goddesses associated with the eye are Hathor, Sekmet, Bastet, Tefnut, Nekhbet and Mut). Wedget’s pictography is depicted as a cobra around a disk, which represents the Sun, and the cobra represents the goddess.

Sometimes Wedjat is depicted with a human body and a cobra’s head, other times with two snake heads, and in a third interpretation: a snake body with a human head. He is also a patron of Lower Egypt, and this emphasizes the importance and influence of the character Wedjat on her pictogram symbol. We can also conclude that the cobra is always associated with goddesses because it represents the female beginning and birth.
According to myths, Wedjat was Horus’ nanny when he was a child.

Thoth depicted as a baboon holding the Eye of Chorus, statuette 7-4 BC.

Eye of Horus – accentuates one of the two eyes, although it can sometimes be seen that both are depicted. A myth about Horus and Seth tells of their rivalry, as Seth removed one of Horus’ eyes in battle, and Thoth later restored it to him. Horus did not take his eye again, but gave it to his father Osiris, giving him knowledge and additional wisdom. Thus the symbol “Eye of Horus” is literally the third eye that sees / accepts wisdom and knowledge. Also used as a talisman for well-being, healing, protection from evil eyes.

According to Egyptian myths, the Eye was broken into several parts / hieroglyphs, and Egyptologists claim that the fractals described to the hieroglyphs were important in ancient Egyptian mathematics. The hieroglyphs with their fractals are: smell (1/2), sight (1/4), thought (1/8), hearing (1/16), taste (1/32), touch (1/64). However, when they come together to build the Eye of Horus, the fractals become 63/64, and this 1 / 64th particle is thought to have been lost in the restoration of the Eye by Thoth, and according to another interpretation: perfectionism is impossible, even with the gods.

Eye of Horus is considered a solar symbol, but the left or right eye can often be depicted, as the case may be, with the left representing the Moon and the right the Sun.

The Eye of Ra – is (also) called the Wedjat of the goddess, or Uraeus. It is depicted as a cobra around a solar disk, as the deity Ra was considered a direct representation of the Sun. In the myths where the deity Ra is emphasized, the symbol represents the rising of the Sun (the birth of Ra), which ascends to heaven (goddess Nut). Another interpretation is that the disk represents Nut’s womb, from which Ra was born (sometimes depicted as a child in a solar disk). It has sometimes been interpreted that Ra enters the body of the celestial goddess Nut at sunset, conceiving her to give birth to the sunrise again, so the disc is the eye, the womb, and the mother of the reborn child Ra. Hence the emphasis on the feminine energy of the symbol, which describes an endless cycle of insemination and birth of the new sunrise to become the new sunset, to have a sunrise again.

The eye of Ra, part of the stele of the temple at Karnak during the time of Ramses III (1186/5 – 1155/3 BC)

Opponents of Ra are the forces of darkness and chaos (Apep), which try in every way to destroy the order (Maat) that Ra maintains every day. Apep’s gaze was destructive, and only Ra’s gaze could resist it. According to some texts, Apep was so powerful that he could harm Ra’s eye and even steal it during battle (here it is very reminiscent of Balor’s Evil Eye and how Balor used his eye in his battle against Lugh and Tuatha Dé Danann in Irish mythology).
However, the power of Ra’s eye was incinerating, and according to ancient texts, the fiery eye helped destroy Apep. This interpretation coincides with the belief that the eye symbol can avert any evil (the good eye of Ra against the evil eye of Apep => against evil eye/s).

According to one myth, when Ra was a pharaoh, his subjects began to ridicule him, and as punishment he sent his daughter, the Eye of Ra. He took her out of the urea and sent her in the form of a lion, declaring war on humanity and exterminating thousands. Her anger was terrible and Ra was afraid that he would kill everything alive and asked her to return, but she refused. So he arranged for 7,000 jugs of beer and pomegranate juice to trick her into thinking it was blood, and she drank a bloodthirsty sip. She slept for three days and had a terrible hangover. Thus humanity was saved from total destruction.

The Eye of Atum – the symbol can be a continuation of the power of Atum, the first deity in Egyptian mythology, which self-creates and creates everything else. Sometimes the Eye is also called the “Eye of Atum” because Atum and Ra are sometimes associated in the same sense with the Sun, other times the “Eye of Ra” is the Sun and the “Eye of Atum” is the Moon. In the third case, the “Eye of Atum” and the “Eye of Ra” were completely different symbols, representing Ra separately from Atum.

According to old texts (2055-1650 BC), the myth of the Eye describes the time before the creation of everything and everyone, when the creator deity (Ra or Atum, it is not clear) is alone. The children of this creator god, Shu and Tefnut, had been lost in the chaos of the primordial Nu broth. The creator god sent his eye to look for them and returned with them, but the creator god already had a new eye. Thus it became a separate deity-helper and was honored with the honor of standing at the head of every ruler from now on (Uraeus). When the children returned, according to some, the creator god shed tears, according to others – the eye itself. In the second version, the eye watered Egypt and thus gave life. The first people were born from the tears of the eye.

Depiction of Wedjat-eyes (the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra, with an emphasis that the eyes are different – Sun and Moon), a stela from the 16th century BC.

In conclusion: The better-known symbols “Eye of Horus” and “Eye of Ra” are often equated as reciprocal or identical meaning, although the two symbols are essentially of different mythological character and interpretation, but are close in that they represent light, wisdom, the Sun (in the Biblical texts: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, Christ as an allegory of the Sun) and the right eye, the “Eye of Ra” (of the Sun), so that the approximation and change of definitions fade in time, but the symbol remains anyway: whether it is Wedjat, Ra, Horus, Atum, Thoth, or some other name of a deity representing the solar system, accent and meaning to the ancients, the eye has been a particularly important symbol and has been preserved and transmitted through other cultures over the millennia.

Other associations with the eye are: the Dawn (which is before the Sun in the night sky) and the star Sirius.

And a funny etymological game: the god Osiris can be divided into “os” and “iris”, and “oz/os” in Latin according to the medical dictionary can be an abbreviation of “o´culus sinis´ter”, ie. “Left eye”; and “iris” as the medical anatomical term for a vertical membrane with a round opening where the pupil is. Thus the play on words becomes: “Os-iris: the left eye and the iris.” Although “Osiris” is the Latin name, the Egyptian is pronounced “Asar”, but the translator in ancient times may have been inspired by the myth of Horus, who gives his eye to his father Osiris.
Of course, this is speculation, but the etymological dictionary says that “iris” comes from the Greek “iridos” and is of unknown origin.

Mesopotamia

In Mesopotamia we find the gods of heaven, who are called “igigi” with the translation “Eyes in Heaven; the observers” – that is very reminiscent of the observers in the Bible (egregore égrégore, egrḗgoros, translated “awake, observers”; seraphim angels, who are depicted with wings and many eyes). They are sometimes synonymous with the celestial Anunnaki, but some texts suggest that the igigi may have been servants of the Anunnaki, or their subordinate younger gods, but were later replaced by humanity, which became the new “favorite” of the Anunnaki.

We should also mention the cult of blue eyes, which are present all over the world, but also in the oldest civilization with a script that science recognizes, namely the Sumerians, and here this cult is present. It is clearly emphasized that people with blue eyes are held in high esteem.

Excavations at the temple of Ishtar (the Mesopotamian goddess associated with sex, war, justice and political power -> Athena Paladas in Greek mythology), archaeologists have found a statuette of Ebih-Il, mayor of Marie, depicted with blue eyes. The Sumerians are often described as Semitic or African, but there is no hard evidence that blue eyes were common. According to speculation, blue is a symbol of heaven and divinity.
Other blue-eyed figurines have been found in Egypt, Peru and India.

Ebih-Il, 25th century BC.

Paleolithic and Neolithic

Although from the Paleolithic and Neolithic there is no record of religious practices with pronounced mythology and described in as much detail as in Egypt, Mesopotamia, or proto-Indo-European cultures; it still has very interesting data on the importance of the eyes. Hyperbolized, we can find them in archaeological finds from 7-8000 years ago, anthropomorphic figures with impressive eye size. This may suggest that always in our familiar human history, the eyes have been a symbol of expressiveness and character, as well as a central place in the depiction of the essence.

Ceramic anthromorphic vessel, second half of 6,000 BC, Svilengrad region, Bulgaria

Note: I am presenting something speculative here, but in the research I could not help but be impressed by the closeness of the vision of the kanatiza with the eye. First, what is kanatiza: a very ancient symbol spread almost everywhere in the world (America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, New Zealand), always considered a sacred and very important symbol, used to protect against evil eyes, light, wisdom, cultural symbol of identity, gender, homeland, unity. The name “kanatitza” comes from “kanat“, meaning literally “wings” in Turkish, where its oldest unchanged version was discovered in Anatolia 5,300 years ago. Around 3000 BC, the Old Kingdom of Egypt is 2700–2200 BC, but it was inhabited there for 250,000 years by humans; Proto-Indo-European culture is around 4500-4000 BC, and later became post-Anatolian culture 3900-3300 BC. – here coincides the crossing of cultures with the open vessel with the ancient symbol (in the study of proto-Indo-European languages ​​and the settlement of peoples).

Comparison in the image below of several things (from left to right): 1. Variation of kanatiza from a carpet from village of Chiprovtz, Bulgariai; 2. Shiva depicted with a third eye from Cambodia; 3. The winged Mesopotamian god Eridu; 4. The disk of the sun known as the “Eye of Ra”; 5. A seal depicting the “proto-Shiva” lord of the beasts; 6. Sri Yantra: a mystical diagram in Tantra representing the cosmos, the human body, merging into unity (material world, consciousness and divine mind) and worship of the Goddess (female energy in man, creativity, emotion; representation through the goddess Devi Tripura Sundari); 7. Seraphim: first in rank angels, approached to the throne of God.

Can kanatiza be qualified as the “winged disk” or the “Eye of Ra”, or as the “third eye of Shiva”, the “Eyes of God”, the “Guardian Angel first to God”? It could, despite its simplistic depiction, seem to combine the symbols of the wings and horns (which in Mesopotamia and Egypt denote the gods) as well as the eye, and the arrangement and colors are like yantra (yantra is a kind of mandala directed) for the worship of deities).

How to interpret it? Maybe like “Only the gods have an open mind” or “Open your mind and you will become gods”, or maybe like “Strive for the heavens and the gods who have an open mind for the cosmos”? So far there are no answers, only speculation. Maybe it would still be best to take for ourselves the pursuit of the cosmos and the evolution of consciousness, but let the symbol be a symbol and maybe one day we will understand.

Scientific Data

While symbology deals with the interpretation of the eye, medicine considers an extreme example of “one-eyed syndrome” (cyclopia or polyphymia). This is an extreme form of birth defect, which is the failure to separate the eyes in the embryonic stage. The defect is named after the mythological Cyclops (Greek Mythology) and affects 1 in 16,000 animals.

Eye of Horus

Let’s look at the “Eye of Horus” symbol through the anatomy of the brain and what science can tell us what the symbol might suggest. Along with the scientific breakdown, I will apply the 6 fragments of the myth about the broken “Eye of Horus”, which are: smell (1/2), sight (1/4), thought (1/8), hearing (1/16) , taste (1/32), touch (1/64).

Horus’ Eye Dissection, image: landofpyramids.org.

The pupil and the eye itself – the inside of the eye is the thalamus, the pupil – middle commissure or interthalamic adhesion. The middle commissure connects the two halves of the thalamus, and it is involved in the regulation of the sense organs without the sense of smell, as well as for the distribution and processing of information to the cerebral cortex. It is also responsible for the circadian cycle (biological clock, sleep and wakefulness), regulation of consciousness, blocking certain emotions so that the brain can concentrate on important tasks.

Eyebrow – outlines the corpus callosum. This is the connecting bridge between the two halves of the brain and through it information is transmitted intensively. The corpus callosum is extremely important for complex mental activities, language learning, problem solving, as well as for creative projects and endeavors (as it connects the left-logical and right-creative halves of the brain).

The Foot – it is quite interesting because it seems to be a connection of the whole eye, as it starts from the thalamus, passes through the hypothalamus and ends with the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is a type of bridge between the nervous and endocrine systems, as it receives signals from the nervous system and stimulates the endocrine system through chemical responses. Often referred to as the “endocrine control center”, the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland, but also produces two hormones: ADH (stimulation of body fluids) and oxytocin (responsible for the urethra in women during pregnancy). Below the hypothalamus is the pituitary gland – it is influenced by the stimulation of the hypothalamus so that the pituitary gland can stimulate metabolism (thyroid gland), calcium levels in the blood (parathyroid gland), kidneys (adrenal glands -> adrenaline, steroids cortisol and audosterone), sex hormones (gonads), pancreas (blood sugar), etc.

The Short Edge of the Eye – falls exactly on the anterior commissure (consisting of white matter). It connects the two hemispheres and transmits information between the frontal lobes. It has a role in the regulation of smell, emotion, speech, hearing and memory.

The Elongated Edge of the Eye – falls exactly where the pineal gland (Glandula pinealis) is located. It is responsible for regulating the cycles of sleep and wakefulness. It is no coincidence that it is called the “third eye”, as it is directly related to the presence or absence of light, which the eye perceives and transmits as a signal and stimulation for biochemical processes. The pineal gland produces the hormones melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is a major regulator of the biological rhythm of sleep and wakefulness and is stimulated more than darkness, and in the presence of light is produced in smaller quantities. Serotonin regulates and stimulates cognitive functions related to memory and learning, mood, appetite, sleep, wakefulness. Serotonin, if present in small amounts, causes depression, poor memory, feelings of inferiority, low mood.
Also two types of commissure are present in this area: posterior commissure and habenular commissure. The posterior is responsible for the pupil reflex in light (contraction, dilation). The habenular, located in front of the pineal gland, is responsible for the nuclei that regulate the biological clock for wakefulness and sleep, learning, stress responses, pain processes, and reproductive behavior.

The Spiral – starts from the thalamus, continues along the cerebral queduct, and ends in the cerebellum, whose main function is the movement and coordination of the body. Responsible for limb movement, walking, muscle contraction and relaxation, eye movement, and helps with speech. Movement signals are sent by the brain, but the cerebellum is a regulator for better performance of motor and coordinating functions. Movement to be performed, first a signal is sent from the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum interprets the movement from the limbs and sends a pattern of execution of the thalamus and from there to the brain – so the circuit is completed with the help of the small brain and thalamus to regulate better performance.

Symbol comparison, brain dissection and close-up view

Conclusion: Assuming that the ancient Egyptians did have such a deep knowledge of medicine, neurology and endocrinology, the Eye of Horus and the above scientific data can shake hands about the importance of this region of the brain and definitely the myths of wisdom and light, as well as Eastern philosophies for meditation in dark environments (like dark rooms, or caves; stimulation of melatonin and serotonin), and all the teachings about the importance of the third eye, the conclusion of all this is: sleep, wakefulness, emotion, thought, experience, regulation, control of movements. Definitely the wisdom of myths comes to life through scientific interpretation and data.

But contrary to some teachings, which focus only on the pineal gland as the “third eye”, the “Eye of Horus” includes the entire regulatory center, including the pituitary gland. In this sense, the question “Which is more important: the pituitary gland or the pineal gland?” – can be concluded as “Everything is important because it works in perfect sync.”

The Eye as an Organ

The eyes are a sensory organ that is responsible for the perception of image and light and are perhaps our most commonly used sense, or at least the sense we rely on the most (except in certain cases such as blindness). The optical system is a complex device and is present in both animal species and mollusks, arthropods and chords.
In humans, the eyes convert light into electrochemical impulses in neurons, and in more advanced organisms, when light is collected from the environment through rod-shaped and conical cells, it regulates its intensity, focuses to obtain an image; converts the image into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. This type of eye is usually spherical with a device: vitreous, focusing lens, iris, pupil.

Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

The first proto-eyes developed in animals about 600 million years ago, and in most vertebrates and some mollusks, light is reflected in the retina of the eye. The eyes have a different structure according to their species, as well as differently developed function in different species. A simpler device are eyes like pits reducing the angle of light, while a more complex device differs in shape, color, sharper long-distance vision, depth perception, monocular vision increasing the field of view.

Different types of eyes: the most complex color vision system in the world is in the Mantis shrimp; the trilobites, now extinct, had calcite crystals that formed the lenses of their eyes and reached from one to thousands of lenses per eye; with a narrow field of view have jumping spiders with a pair of simple eyes and smaller eyes for peripheral vision; some insect laurels, on the other hand, have stem eyes that present a rough image, but can be sensitive to vision up to 1,000 times at night; some snails can only “see” a dark and light non-detailed image; deep-water organisms see infrared to avoid extreme temperatures; the coptela Pontela has three lenses on the eyes, another copepod Copilia has two lenses in each eye; most mammals, birds and reptiles vitreous fluid has a higher refractive index of light than air.

There is other information about the different types of eyes, functions, variations, colors, but let this article end with a few cosmic objects that resemble the shape or vision of the eye, and end with: “What is above, so below” (Hermetic principle).

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