[extropy-chat] humor: evil eye

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Oct 31 07:09:57 UTC 2006

Amara writes

> The evil eye is an ancient tradition in Turkey. (Usually when I see it
> around someone during my travels, then I know that they have a link to
> Turkey.)

Yes, but keep in mind WHY it's there and WHAT it's for!

> The evil eye is a superstition that probably goes back a thousand+
> years. It's everywhere you go in Turkey, that symbol is far more
> pervasive than mosques. Every restaurant has an evil eye or two, it is
> hanging from the mirrors in people's cars, tacked to the sides of
> buildings, worn as earrings, as a part of good luck necklaces on babies...
> Here is a short history:
> http://www.business-with-turkey.com/tourist-guide/evil_eye_amulet_nazar_boncuk.shtml

Yes, but let me quote the meat from that:

       Have you just had a new child? Bought a new car? Built a new office building?
       Worried that your "friends" and others are filled with envy about your good
       fortune? The protection of the Nazar is used for anything new or likely to
       attract praise. The belief is that even well-intentioned compliments include a
       conscious or unconscious dose of envy and resentment. The bead reflects the
       evil intent back to the onlooker. It somewhat resembles an eye and it is said
       the typical blue color is a factor in protecting the user.

So it's *not* a superstition, as you wrote above.  It's real:  


It's other name is Envy.   It's interesting that not *one* of the messages in this thread
mentioned the word "envy".   Not one.

I think that the author of a book I'm reading, "Envy" by Helmut Shoeck, is onto something:

There is an ongoing unconscious conspiracy to ignore the role of envy in human affairs
and as an explanation for much of human conduct.  I attribute this mainly to the reluctance
by anthropologists and other sensitive people to criticize primitive societies, in which envy
plays such an overpowering role.

And is probably playing a vastly understated role even in ours.


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