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As far as symbolism goes, The All-Seeing Eye has been around for a long time. Many cultures throughout history have regarded the eye as a divine symbol. Representative of constant vigilance, an unblinking, untiring eye, like those of the judging Gods, would witness the ultimate truths missed by fallible men. It is also commonly associated with the sun, heavenly observation and the protection of God. It is usually depicted as a single human eye surrounded by radiating beams of light. It is also often used in conjunction with other religious or superstitious symbols, like the pyramid and the circle.

Where can I see the Eye?

It appears on the Great Seal of the United States, which is printed on the American one dollar bill. Created by Benjamin Franklin, an American Founding Father and Freemason, the Great Seal took several years to create. The First Continental Congress requested a seal of state be created to show the birth of a new nation under god. Franklin and a group of men took four years to draft the seal and another two years to get it approved. The Seal depicts an unfinished Pyramid, lit from the east side and dark on the west. Representative of the state of the United States in 1776, and the east to west colonization of the New World, the Pyramid features an all-seeing eye in the capstone. Used to represent God, it was Franklin's commentary on the divine help he felt allowed the United States, as a country, to accomplish anything.

The use of a noted symbol of Freemasonry, where it represents the Great Architect of the Universe, the Great Seal is at the heart of many conspiracy theories. Franklin freely admitted borrowing the symbolism from the Masonic tradition. Fears of Illuminatic control of the government of the United States based on this use of the eye symbol continue today. Known as The Cryptic Eye of Chaos, the Masonic deity of entropy and dissolution, the eye symbol used by the Freemasons was said to have been discovered on the crypt of most excellent Grand Master Hiram Abiff, grand architect of King Solomon's temple. It is often combined with the square and compass in Masonic symbolism.

The Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian god, is believed to be the source of many of the modern uses of the eye symbol. Believed to be inspired by the "Eye of God" that appeared in the sky during total eclipses of the sun, the eye was a powerful symbol to the star watching Egyptians. To see an eclipse was to see your God. The ancient Egyptian myth that explains eclipses tells of a cosmic battle between the solar falcon god Horus and the sun eating serpent god Set. The sun's corona, visibly concentrated into the star's equatorial regions, appear around occulting disk of the moon during an eclipse. Appearing like a bird's wings spreading out on either side of the "black sun", the eye represented proof of the existence of their gods to the ancient Egyptians.

Many superstitions believe that one can give an evil eye to curse somebody to bad luck and illness. The All-Seeing Eye is one of many forms of reflective eye-charm used as a talisman against this danger. In its specifically protective role, the All-Seeing Eye is always on guard to protect the bearer from evil glances. A similar talismanic function was assigned to the protective Wadjet Eye of Ancient Egypt and the Third Eye of Buddha.

The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the 'all seeing eye' pierces through, and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect.

~ Mark Twain ~

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