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The Eye and Female Symbolism

Friday, April 06, 2007


The renaissance ophthalmologist, Juan Murube, MD, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain, president of the International Society of Dacryology and editor of the Sources in Time section of the peer-reviewed journal The Ocular Surface, wrote a most interesting article in the January 2007 edition called The Ocular Surface and Its Symbolism. This week our Friday Pearl column addresses Dr. Murube’s brilliant literary enfeoffment to his readers.

Dr. Murube suggests the eye to be the most important and, no doubt, the most powerful feature of the body. The healthy eye symbolizes vision and knowledge. In general, an open eye represents observing and learning; a closed eye represents the blocking of the entry of information during abstraction, meditation or sleep, and blindness represents a total lack of visual information, which makes the subject different from his sighted peers.

The eye is the first part of the body that one observes in others. Evolution and cultural uses have given the muscles of the eyelids a rich repertoire of expressions to communicate enticement, love, anger, benevolence, information, etc. A healthy tear film gives the ocular surface its seductive brilliance and reflective and refractive qualities.

In Greek mythology, Medusa could transform, with her eyes, any man or any object into stone – if or when she so chose. Celtic legend suggests that Tricastal, a champion of Ulster, could kill enemies just by looking at them. In Indian culture, the frontal eye (the third eye) of Shiva, which represents fire, can burn things into ash. And the proverbial "evil eye" is thought to be a malefic effect induced by the glance of witches or envious persons. The evil eye superstition still exists in much of the world’s population. We might add that many females, who are neither witches nor envious, have found it necessary to develop "evil eye" skills to occasionally ward off unwanted suitors.

The eyes were first identified in ancient culture art and literature with the sun, stars and moon because of their round form and their light emission. Although most cultures no longer make decisions based on the cycles of the moon, Dr. Murube suggests that some superstitious ophthalmologists still refuse to operate on the eyes on Wednesdays (the day the sun and moon were created) to avoid the risk of causing loss of vision.

Some Friday Pearl readers suggest it could be because they have standing Wednesday appointments for a symbolic game that celebrates small round spheres - and heavenly fairways.

Dr. Murube gracefully pointed out in his paper that the eye and the vulva were frequently represented in ancient engravings and painting, as well as in modern photography. Sometimes it's not entirely clear when they mean the one - or the other. The eye socket and the vulva have many similarities in their morphology, as seen in the art below:***

· The eyelids are similar to labia majora and labia minora

· The pupil’s response to light is similar to vaginal response to stimulation

· Lacrimal and meibomian gland output is similar to Bartholin gland lubrication
Interestingly, a number of gynocologists also recognize the morphology similarity and recommend BioTears oral supplementation to systemically address vaginal dryness and to increase vaginal and cervical mucosae host defense. What's good for the eyes is good for the entire body.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA - Biosyntrx Chief Research Officer %Ellen%

*13 Rock Painting in which probably the concepts of vulva and eye are mixed.
*14 Rock painting in the Negev Desert (Israel) can be interperted as an eye or vulva.
*15 Eye photo poster courtesy of the XII International Festival of Erotic Cinema (Barcelona 2004)

PEARL

On a bit less literary and most serious medical education note: A special April 2007 edition of The Ocular Surface is devoted to the the International Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) report, which establishes new guidelines for evaluation and management of dry eye disease (DED).

This new report presents findings and recommendations prepared by specialized subcommittees representing over 60 worldwide dry eye experts. If you are not a current subscriber, we suggest you may want to become one because this edition will, no doubt, be a keeper in every eye care professionals reference library. www.theocularsurface.com

BioTears Oral GelCaps scientific rationale http://www.biosyntrx.com/Product.php?ItemID=1

Crestpoint Management, LTD instrument announcement:
Daya Descemet

References

The ocular surface and its symbolism. Murube J. The Ocular Surface 2007 Jan;5(1):6-12 [PubMed - in process]
Andrew de Roetth (1893-1981): dacryologist who introduced the term dry eye. Murube J. The Ocular Surface 2004 Oct;2(4);225-8
If there were no tears, the dot in the center of the eye would not be called a pupil. Murube J. The Ocular Surface 2003 Apr;1(2): 51-2
Autoimmune diseases and sjogren's sysdrome, an autoimmune exocrinopathy. Fox PC, Ann NY Acad Sci 2007 Mar 1 [abstract]
Innate host defense of human vaginal and cervical mucosae. Cole AM. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2006;306: 199-230. [abstract]