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Artwork by Paolo Piglia, LIFE Magazine, 1984 Year in Pictures

Divine Eyes

Your eyes are remarkable. They are actually extensions of your brain, and portal of entry for approximately 90% of all the information you receive in a lifetime. In the retina of each of your eyes are more than 125 million photoreceptors that perform the equivalent of ten billion calculations per second.

Eyes have been called the windows of the soul. Looking deep into the eyes of another can be one of the most intimate connections you can have with another human being, or animal.

It is no surprise then that the human eye has become a divine symbol. Whatever religious culture you're born into or later adapt, this divine eye is probably mentioned. Some examples include (in order of appearance):

"This is the knowledge above all other: purifier and king of secrets, only made plain to the eye of the mystic... But you cannot see me thus with those human eyes of yours. Therefore, I give you divine sight. Behold, this is my yoga power." – Krishna

"The eye opened and closed, blinking once perhaps as it does every million years." – Ancient Egyptians

Third eye "How can he lose the way, who is beyond the way? His eye is open." – Buddha

"In every man there is an eye of the soul, more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes, for by it alone truth is seen." – Socrates

Headlight "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light." – Jesus

(Matthew 6:22 has also been translated: "The light of the body is the eye. If, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.)

"Imitate Jesus and Socrates." – Benjamin Franklin

Top illustration: Paolo Piglia, LIFE Magazine, "1984 Year in Pictures"

Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
Author and webwright: John D. MacArthur