To give someone the “evil eye” means to look or glare at them with a malevolent intention. This expression seems to be spread across the globe and its equivalent can be found in many cultures today. It is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, or Mesopotamia, and the practice was believed to send bad luck to the recipient. It can be described as a “curse” or as ill-wishing, and the sender has only to glare at their victim for its effects to begin to take effect. There is mention of the Evil Eye curse in Roman and Greek texts as well as in the Bible and the Quran. Some people maintain that this form of cursing somebody dates back over 3000 years into human history. The belief that one can cause harm to another person through the power of the eyes may have its origins in the fact that the concept of envy seems to figure largely in most accounts of Evil Eye curses. We see that others have more than we do, or that they have a better life than ours, that they behave in a way that causes us to envy them and so we turn that envy into a glare and focus our negativity through our eyes onto them. At its simplest, belief in the curse of the evil eye can help to explain why bad things sometimes happen to good people. On the other hand, many people see the Evil Eye as a curse that will rebound onto the perpetrator, especially if the intended recipient is a good or innocent person. In this way it has often been linked to the idea of karma, of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” and can therefore be seen as a kind of simplistic moral code for communities to live by.
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