Friday, January 02, 2015

Daily 2 Cents: The Evil Eye of Envy -- Car Turn Signal Lodged in Man's Arm For 51 Years -- How Could a Woman Just Vanish?


The Evil Eye of Envy

Through the ages, people have always feared various forms of evil. Folklorist Alan Dundes, in his edited volume The Evil Eye: A Casebook notes that "the victim's good fortune, good health, or good looks — or unguarded comments about them — invite or provoke an attack by someone with the evil eye. If the object attacked is animate, it may fall ill. Symptoms of illness caused by the evil eye include loss of appetite, excessive yawning, hiccups, vomiting, and fever. If the object attacked is a cow, its milk may dry up; if a plant or fruit tree, it may suddenly wither and die."

People believed, and still believe, that some people possess the evil eye. Their glance or gaze results in loss of energy. They spread negativity wherever they go. They feed on other people’s energy. The concept of witch and vampire has its origins in this idea. Then there are people who grant energy copiously; these are the saints and the gods and the holy men, even performers and film stars, who attract vast crowds.

When children fall sick for no apparent reason, when things suddenly start to go wrong or when road blocks come your way repeatedly, people say, the evil eye has struck. The idea is prevalent in almost every corner of the world. Ancient Irish legends speak of the evil eye of Balor, the one-eyed giant which inspired the concept of the Eye of Sauron in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The evil eye havoc, stemming from neighbor's envy, is called a curse or 'hex'.

The best way to understand the concept of evil eye is to accept the idea of auras. All human beings have an aura around them, known as the subtle body. It is a kind of energy shield emerging from our physical and mental health status. A beautiful or healthy object has positive aura, which is why looking at them makes us happy; they energize us. An ugly or unhealthy object has a negative aura, which is why looking at them makes us unhappy; they sap us of energy. It is possible to draw energy from positive aura objects and lose energy to negative aura objects.

An evil eye, on the other hand, can cause us to lose our aura, feel drained and powerless.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the 'Eye of Horus' protected one from the evil eye. Ancient Romans used phallic images to keep away bad luck. In Turkey, the blue 'Nazar' amulet is sold everywhere. In many Arab countries, one finds the hand of Fatima or Khamsa or Hamsa, which is a palm-shaped amulet to ward off the evil eye. Many Muslims believe that saying 'Mashallah,' or 'God wills it' creates a protective shield from the evil eye. The apparently modern idea of keeping your fingers crossed has its origin in using the Crucifix to keep away evil and ensure success.

In Edwin and Mona Radford's Encyclopedia of Superstitions they note that in many places "a cross-eyed or squinting person was almost universally feared. To meet one on the way to work is still regarded as a bad sign by miners, fishermen, Spanish bullfighters, and others who follow dangerous trades." Though such an affliction is clearly not the person's fault, nonetheless "any visible defect in the eye is readily associated by the superstitious with the evil eye." The evil eye is also said to be prevalent among the Roma (formerly known as Gypsies).

Babies and children are said to be especially susceptible to harm from the evil eye, and in many countries including Greece, Romania and India, praising a child publicly is sometimes considered taboo, for the compliment will draw the attention of the evil eye. In order to counteract the evil eye, parents of a thoughtlessly praised child may ask the person who gave the compliment to immediately spit in the child's face. Because the momentarily exalted youngster has been brought down a peg, any harm by the evil eye is unnecessary; this spittle salve is harmless yet insulting enough to negate the compliment.

The buri nazar (evil eye) is a big deal in India. It comes from the idea that a gaze can cause harm and commonly believed that, should someone curse you with it, the negative energy will bring about all kinds of illnesses and misfortunes. Anyone can possess an evil eye transiently. This follows envy, or even adoration, of something pretty or beautiful, like a child, who is most susceptible to nazar. Inadvertently, even a mother's gaze, can drain the child of positive aura resulting in sickness. The threat of this prompts people into taking enthusiastic protective actions ranging from drawing big black dots, the nazar ka tika, on babies’ foreheads to chanting mantras, and engaging the services of Hindu priests and astrologers, to ward it off.

The best way to deal with the evil eye is to avoid it in the first place, but there are ways to protect oneself. The method varies by culture, geographic region, and personal preference. Amulets can be worn to deter the evil eye, often using the color blue (symbolizing heaven or godliness) and an eye symbol. Charms, potions, and spells can also be prepared; garlic can be used to deter the evil eye, and some believe that just saying the word "garlic" offers protection.

Some shops sell nothing but talismans designed to ward the eye off. Often, people will hang up chilies, limes, and lemons as a homemade alternative. There are even places online that sell fruit-based wards to protect homes and offices against the evil eye, should you desire to improve your lot.

Alan Dundes notes, we "should keep in mind that the evil eye is not some old-fashioned superstitious belief of interest solely to antiquarians. The evil eye continues to be a powerful factor affecting the behavior of countless millions of people throughout the world."

Fair warning...before seeking retribution, seriously weigh if a suspected misfortune is actually from an evil eye attack or simply non-supernatural bad luck. The consequences can be deadly.

The Evil Eye: The Classic Account of an Ancient Superstition (Vol i)

Curses And Their Reversals - Plus: Omens, Superstitions And The Removal Of The Evil Eye

Death by Envy: The Evil Eye and Envy in the Christian Tradition


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Man finds car turn signal lodged in his arm

Arthur Lampitt discovered that the bizarre object had been embedded in his left arm for over 51 years.

The 75-year-old's remarkable story started back in 1963 when he had been involved in a car accident while driving to work. He broke his hip and suffered minor injuries from flying debris but went on to make a full recovery.

Around 10 years ago however Lampitt had been visiting a courthouse with his wife Betty when he inadvertently set off the metal detector. Confused, he went to a hospital and had an x-ray done which revealed a metal object lodged in his left arm.

The anomalous item was around the size of a pencil but hadn't caused him any noticeable harm or discomfort so he decided to take no further action to have it removed or examined.

A few weeks ago however Lampitt ended up back in hospital when the object unexpectedly shifted inside his arm, prompting doctors to recommend he have it removed as soon as possible.

When the object was finally extracted however everyone was amazed to discover that it was the metal turn signal lever from the car he had been driving when he crashed over 51 years earlier.

"We see all kinds of foreign objects like nails or pellets, but usually not this large, usually not a turn signal from a 1963 T-Bird," said Dr. Timothy Lang who performed the operation.

Lampitt, who is now recovering at home, has plans to turn the lever in to a novelty key chain. Read more at CBS News

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How could a woman just vanish?

ON SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2013, Dottie Rust and her hiking partner, Regina Clark, made their way from Carrabassett River to Poplar Mountain, part of an ambitious hike across a section of the Appalachian Trail in western Maine. The terrain was challenging, but conditions were good that day: sunny skies, cool temperatures. The two hiked down Lone Mountain, crossed a couple logging roads and streams, then began a steep ascent up Poplar Ridge. Clark is a faster hiker, but Rust is more experienced, so the latter would call out periodically, reminding her partner to look for the white blazes delineating the trail.

Near the top of Poplar Ridge, they stopped and took in the topography. Thick vegetation walled the trail on either side. Beyond it, precipitous cliffs dropped more than a hundred feet into caves and boulder gardens deep enough to swallow a truck. “My gosh,” Clark said to her friend, “if you were six inches off the trail here, you’d be gone. And no one would ever find you.”

Less than an hour later, the two southbound hikers arrived at the Poplar Ridge Lean-to, a covered camping shelter. There they met Geraldine Largay, a 66-year-old hiker from Tennessee heading north. Gerry had a big smile, a warm disposition, and an energy that belied her age. Rust and Clark were spending three weeks hiking a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, but Gerry was a thru-hiker: She intended to hike all 2,100 miles of it. Three months into her journey, she had completed nearly 1,000 miles and, by all accounts, was having a great time.

Other hikers would spend that Sunday night at the Poplar Ridge shelter — a northbound female hiker who kept to herself, two young men heading south — but the three women hit it off. They spent their evening together, cooking their dinners over compact backpacking stoves. Rust and Clark were instantly enamored. Here was a woman who had been an Air Force nurse, who had banded seabirds on a Pacific atoll, and taken her family on trips to Costa Rica and Spain. “She was just full of confidence and joy — a real delight to talk to,” recalls Rust.

The three women shared trail gossip; they talked about work; they compared husbands. Gerry said that George, her husband of 42 years, had been running support throughout the hike and would be waiting for her in his SUV at the trailhead near Route 27, about 22 miles away, on Tuesday. That impressed the hikers. So did Gerry’s level of preparation.

On Monday morning, Rust and Clark awoke after Gerry, just in time to watch her down an instant breakfast drink and then don her backpack. She was planning to spend that night at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to, about 8 miles north, then hike an arduous 13 miles more in time to meet George by Tuesday evening.

There was a chill in the air, and Gerry was wearing a bright red fleece. She was absolutely beaming — so much so, in fact, that Rust asked if she could take her picture. “It’ll make the perfect Christmas card,” she told her new friend. Gerry mugged for the camera, waved goodbye, and then turned toward the same challenging half mile of trail Rust and Clark had traversed the previous day. A few seconds later, they watched Gerry disappear into the heavy foliage.

She has never been heard from since. Continue reading this interesting piece at Boston Globe

Geraldine Largay: Missing while hiking the Appalachian Trail

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Native People's Code of Ethics

1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.

2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.

6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.

7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.

8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.

10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.

11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.

12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.

14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.

15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.

18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.

19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

This originally appeared in the “Inter-Tribal Times,” October, 1994

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