Mal’ Occhio

24 02 2009

Somewhat related is the following quote from Couliano’s Eros and Magic in the Renaissance :

Ficino remains of the same opinion as Plato and Galen: in the act of seeing, “the internal fire” is externalized through the eyes, mixed with the pneumatic vapor and even with the thin blood that engendered spirit. That theory is confirmed by Aristotle himself, who relates that menstruating women who look look at themselves in the mirror leave little drops of blood on its surface. This can only mean that it is the thin blood brought to the eyes along with the pneuma.

See also this post on the existence of the evil eye in Mexican culture.

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Koranic Recitation

24 02 2009

Somewhat related, I found the following poem on a new blog that you all need to visit. Here is a taste:

When in a vision I saw
A mullah ordered to paradise,
Unable to hold my tongue,
I said something in this wise:

‘Pardon me, O Lord,
For these bold words of mine,
But he will not be pleased
With the houris and the wine.

He loves to dispute and fight,
And furiously wrangle,
But paradise is no place
For this kind of jangle.

His task is to disunite
And leave people in the lurch,
But paradise has no temple,
No mosque and no church.’

-Muhammad Iqbal