Is the all-seeing eye a symbol of divine omniscience or sinister influence? Today it symbolises control and domination by a shadowy elite, but its original use was quite different. This article traces its use and meaning back to ancient times, when it was a symbol of divine providence, powerfully representing spiritual truth and awakening.
Humanity is Losing Its Precious Symbology
The all-seeing eye is a powerful esoteric symbol which is widely misunderstood and misused today; few know what it originally stood for. It was originally symbolic of a higher spiritual power or God, a watchful caretaker of humanity or an awakened spiritual part within. But these days it has quite different associations.
Today the all-seeing eye is more likely to be seen as an “Illuminati” symbol of control and surveillance by elites who to a large degree run the show on this planet at this time. This is because, over time, dark sinister forces have taken over esoteric symbols that for thousands of years were used to convey positive, helpful, uplifting spiritual messages and principles. The all-seeing eye is a prime example of how spiritual symbols have been hijacked and inverted. There has not really been much push to understand the symbol’s original meaning or to reclaim it for the spiritual significance it first conveyed.
This is the first in a series of articles I am presenting that will take a closer look at individual symbols, and delve into their origins and history to uncover their deeper esoteric significance. I am writing these as part of an effort to reclaim these positive esoteric symbols and restore them to their previously esteemed state.
Universal Nature of Symbolism
Symbolism has long been used by humanity to communicate ideas which are best crystallised in a compact form. As the well-known saying goes, a picture tells a thousands words! Esoteric symbols are alive today as they were in the ancient past, but there is much confusion surrounding their usage, history, intent, and meaning.
In ordinary life we use symbols to show at a glance important information such as traffic and road signs amongst many other symbols which are widespread and common today. Some other examples are corporate logos and certification statuses.
Symbolism is also especially used in the communication of non-physical, spiritual ideas, phenomena, and processes.
The all-seeing eye is one of the most powerful and widely used – and misused – symbols of all. In this article I trace its use from the earliest of times through to the 18th century, and show what the symbol originally stood for. My next article will examine its use from 18th century freemasonry onwards, and show how it has since been hijacked and misused.
Use of the All-Seeing Eye in Ancient Cultures
Image: Shiva’s third eye
We perhaps find the precursor to what eventually became known as the all-seeing eye in the Rig Veda, a sanskrit text thought to have been written over 3,000 years ago and one of the oldest known texts. In it there are many references to the sun and to other deities as being an eye in heaven, as an eye which reveals creation, or an eye which never closes.
One can liken this to being symbolic of a high level of awakened consciousness that advanced spiritual beings have and which an ordinary person can potentially attain.
The Hindu god Shiva has three eyes. The third eye or brow chakra eye is known as the eye of Shiva, possessor of all knowledge, which when opened will destroy anything it sees. Thus it is a symbol of knowledge which destroys evil and ignorance.
This again can be likened to an awakened higher spiritual part of a person which sees the truth of things and can then eliminate within a person’s psyche that which is opposite to and blocks divine consciousness from manifesting more. In this way it is a “creative destruction” of evil to transform it into higher consciousness.
Even in modern times, the eye of Shiva is used in jewellery to give protection against evil to its wearer and to gain wisdom and understanding from the world, from life events and from the self, for positive transformation.
Image:Buddha’s all seeing eye
In Buddhism, Buddha is referred to as the Eye of the World. It is typical for temples in Nepal to display a graphic of the “Eyes of Buddha” as shown to the right – notice it includes a mark for the “third eye” as well. The eyes are also known as the eyes of wisdom and compassion.
Statues of Buddha typically show a dot in the mid-brow to represent the third eye.
Eye of Osiris
It is interesting to find that the Egyptian hieroglyph for their god Osiris contains an eye as shown below. So as with Hinduism and Buddhism we find a spiritual deity being represented in ancient times as an eye.
Eye of Horus
Image:Hieroglyph for “Osiris” contains an eye
In ancient Egypt, the all-seeing eye was known as the Eye of Horus or the Eye of Ra and also formed part of the symbology of Wad-jet. Through various myths they were symbols of protection, healing and restoration. The left eye of Horus was said to be the moon and his right eye the sun.