The phenomenon of evil eye is widely spread all other the world and seem to be beyond religions and culture. The fear of misfortune caused by envy must be a strong mechanism built in a human nature. Is envy indeed that powerful?
I found a very detailed information on the subject in Wikipedia, listing evil eye ways in various countries. However the article misses Russia, the land of strong folk beliefs in evil eye and similar stuff. I used to be astonished by the popularity of these fears and the people making money on “curing” from evil eye.
On the other hand, I remember fainting several times in my childhood for no reason after visiting some less friendly relatives when my grandma had to cure me with some funny tricks ( but it did help!). They say that children, being so pure are too sensitive to the negative attention and therefore react physically.
There are two other similar phenomena for which I could not find any special terms.
If someone looks at another person with adoration, appreciation and any kind of a positive attention, really meaning nothing bad, they say it still can lead to misfortune for the subject. The the old English word for it,”overlooking” implyfies that the gaze has remained focused on the coveted object, person, or animal for too long and thus might have caused trouble. The folk wisdom warns that happens when we look at the sweet babies and lovely people. If is work this way, what could be the mechanism of causing problems with good intentions? Is it because people who “overlook” are not that positive themselves? Or is it something else?
The good news is that there is the third phenomenon which has no certain term (because it is so rare?) but has a tremendous positiv impact on the subject: I would call it “good eye”.
It is the glance of a very pure, innocent person which is so powerful and joyful, salvaging and healing. Almost everywhere in the world the sparkling child eyes are considered to be of that quality.
In Germany, for example babies were taken to the stable for their glance was considered benevolent for the domestic animals. The card-player would let a child see their cards in the beginning of a game in order to bring good luck. In the folklore of many countries there are stories about saints who could heal the burn-wound with their pure eyes or redeem from the curse.
One of the best descriptions of “good eye” found in the literature is the one of Buddha eyes: free from judjement, free from envy and desire, free from intention and ulterior motives…Pure.