It's been three days since Lorine left for Portugal to join her sister and mother who are holidaying there. I could not join because of the deadlines at work. My two sons opted to stay behind with me. Last night the topic at the dinner table was 'evil eyes' and is it merely a superstition. Leander popped that question and i had a hard time explaining the 'phenomenon'!
From my own experience as a child, specially growing up in Goa, where people are pretty superstitious, i've had my fair share of 'evil eye' attacks and the frequent runs to the 'disht-kan' (The lady who removed the spell). I still remember her sitting outside her hut in Mandel in Margao, rubbing some wierd smelling roots on a stone and spraying the water thrice on the face with much force, accompanied by the 'i believe'.
Most of us in Goa has experienced this sometime or the other in their lifetime (I believe?). My grandmother explained it to me as being the ill effect of somebody's envy or praise. It is important to understand that the person who praises the child is not evil per se. IT JUST HAPPENS!
A typical account of such a mishap might be: "I dressed the baby in new clothes and took him to town and a woman who has no children saw him and said, 'Oh, what a pretty child!' and as soon as we got home he began to vomit!" The "evil" in these accounts of the evil eye indicate that it is thought to be situational in nature and that it is caused by a failure to restrain envy within proper social bounds.
Mentions of the evil eye in the Bible clearly refer to the role that envy and covetousness play in its development. We can read in Proverbs 23:6 "Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meat" and likewise in Proverbs 28:22, "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him."
Then over in Mark 7:21-22, we see that the early Jewish Christians believed in evil eye, for it is written there that when Jesus Christ lectured about defilement, he told his followers that evil eye comes forth from a man and defiles him just the same as if he had committed a physical crime: "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness."
There are many 'cures' followed by people in various countries, some of which may be: Olive oil dripped into water with prayer...Wax dripped into water with prayer ... Coals or match heads dropped into water with prayer ...Passing a whole raw egg over the face, then breaking it ...Breaking an egg in a dark, shadowed place, unseen ...breaking an egg and drawing a cross on the victim's forehead ...Victim drinks three sips of holy water ...Victim is bathed in holy water ....
As for me, i believe in one tried and tested method which has never failed me. It is to confess Holy Scriptures and certain assertions daily. For example: I AM THE BODY OF CHRIST, SATAN HAS NO POWER OVER ME, SICKNESS HAS NO PLACE IN ME.