Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Eye of the Watcher

Throughout the history of mankind the eye has provoked the most primal of responses.

It is not surprising, for having a disturbing feeling that you are being watched by unseen eyes is basic to most all living things. Through eons the unease at the presence of a fixated iris has been passed on from generation to generation until the actual sight of an eye upon you is naught but the confirmation of what the rest of your body is telling you.

You are being watched.

It is the feeling of being prey. It is a learned trait that has been passed on to future generations for survival in a cruel and violent world.

Sometimes this natural response to the predator/prey instinct seems preternatural.

You cannot explain it,but you know you are being watched.

I am sure most of you have experienced that hair raising feeling of being watched by unseen eyes. You don't know why, but you know there are eyes upon you.

Perhaps some of you are feeling that sensation now.

In our modern times with Internet communication, and the proliferation of hackers and government oversight, it is a fact that there are unseen eyes upon you, watching your every move.

You are being watched.

Sometimes though, you do not have that unsettling feeling of being watched while sitting in the glow of a monitor alone in some secluded room. No. It is while you are at work, or at play. It is while you were taking that leisurely walk in the woods that lie not far from your home.

You could swear you were being watched.

There is an eye upon you.

What is the intent of that elusive watcher out of nowhere?

Is it something that plans your destruction; are you the prey for a superior predator that is merely stalking you?

Or is it something else?

History is also abounding with references to an 'all seeing eye'. From the beginning of human culture, religious iconography has been imbued with an eye symbol. Be it Wedjat (the ancient Egyptian eye of Horus), The third or inner eye of Eastern Mysticism or the Western eye of providence; the symbol of the eye often connoted deeply spiritual truths for the follower. The believer was either protected from evil, the object of divine oversight or imbued with deep spiritual knowledge or wisdom.

The eye symbolizes an active presence.

There are also folklore traditions of the malevolent eye gazing upon you, wishing you ill will. The most popular of these instances is the curse of the evil eye. A person of magical power is said to have the ability to curse with but a look from their eyes. This belief spans many millenia and cultures; it often spawns the production of various amulets or counter hexes to ward off the evil power of the dark enchantment.

So historically there are many meanings to the symbol of a watching eye. However to many in our culture today the symbol of the disembodied eye conjures a creepy and loathsome feeling of menace. Perhaps it is the ancient fear of the watching predator or pop culture referencing such as the evil eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings.

Of course it would be very disconcerting if one would encounter an actual disembodied eye in real life.

Moreso if you discover the eye is connected with a phenomena that you have been trying to explain, and something you have put off as a hallucination or signs of old age or disease.

And greater the perplexity of the situation if the phenomena occured in a church.

I have referenced the church that I attend here on this blog numerous times. After many investigations by various local paranormal groups St. Paul's United Church of Christ here in downtown Erie has officially been declared haunted by at least two groups. It has been featured on local news stations and was host to a paranormal tour this Halloween season. One of the videos caught at the church will also be featured in an upcoming episode of the new show Ghost Lab.

This past Halloween night Erie County Paranormal once again investigated the church. As a Church Council Memeber I sat with them while they did the investigation. Usually when I have my turn at hosting the church for an investigation I catch up on my reading (or sleeping!) in the Pastor's Study. However, this time I thought I would join in on the fun and stationed myself in the santuary with a camera and digital recorder. I sat in the back pew and sang hymns and prayed hoping to perhaps catch an occasional voice that might sing alone. Alas, there were no such phantom voices on my digital recorder after the night. However, it was a very strange night to say the least.

Throughout the night I was seeing tiny flashes of light all over the Santcuary. Like tiny pinpoints flares of a flashlight quickly turning on and off at various areas in the air. There were white ones and red ones. None of these seemed to have an outside source. It was if they appeared and dissapeared out of nowhere.

This was not the first time I had experienced this phenomena at the church. Last year while talking with the leader of the same team in the church's fellowship hall, we both experienced the blinking tiny lights floating in mid air. At that time we both chocked it up to being near a high electro magnetic field that was on the other side of the hall. We thought we were halucinating.

This previous Halloween though, I saw this phenomena while in the midst of others who did not notice it. I again counted it up to either hallucination or old age. Later in the night though as two of the groups members sat across the sanctuary in the chior loft, the lights began to occur more frequently. And one of the other members saw them as well. All night I had been taking photos wth my digital camera, and I tried to see if I could catch these lights on camera. Luckily, and to my astonishment, I did. Here is the photo:

The most obvious explanation for this photo is that it is an orb, and therefore a piece of dust reflected from the camera light. I did catch many orbs in the church that night, in fact there is an orb in this same photo-almost in the exact center. However all the orbs I caught were the common phantom half lit circle. This object is very bright, appears very high in the ceiling (50 ft) and oval in shape. And it is exactly what I had been witnessing all night. Bright tiny oval flashes. I was curious what I would find if I magnified the flash to see if I could make out the image more clearly. to my surprise I caught this:

Take a closer look at the enlargement:

At first I was a little disturbed. My mind raced back to Lovecraftian Literature and to the vivid images of August Derleth where the ancient evil ones constantly observes the Earth waiting for the eventual invasion of the ancient evil horde and he total destruction of mankind.

But a much better esoteric explanation can be found within Scripture itself.

Revelation 6:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

This verse describes the Angels of God before His throne.

Angels are not only God's messengers, they are also God's eyes over the Earth. Not limiting His omnipresence, they observe with a distinct free will and compassion that is their own. Perhaps the eyes of light were snapshots of a sort. Just as I was trying to capture the otherworldy within the church with my digital eye, perhaps the beings of the otherworld were capturing what was happening in our material realm with their supernatural eyes.

Until Next Time,
Pastor Swope


Jeff said...

I go through periods where I see numerous flashes of light, just as you describe.

I described them to my eye doctor. He said that as we age, the inner lining of the eye becomes brittle and pieces begin to flake off (for lack of a better word). Those are the floaters we see in our vision. But at the moment when one of those pieces flake off, it can sometimes be seen as a flash of light.

No doubt this accounts for some of what we see. But when they come in clusters, as you describe, and as I have experienced myself, I tend to doubt this physical explanation.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think of Genesis 16:13.

New American Standard Bible
Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "You are a God who sees"; for she said, "Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?"

Rip Parker said...

My experience with the occasional bright, pinpoint flash of light started for me in my twenties, 45 years ago. It seemed usually to be associated with the feeling of "being in the zone" in my work, or other non-personal, high energy moments, as well as at moments of meaningful experience.

Most recently, the flashes came in a surprising flurry as I began reading the Introduction to the recently released "Red Book" (Liber Novus), C. G. Jung's record of his sixteen year encounter with the Unconscious. Having studied his Collected Works on my shelf for thirty years, I never imagined I'd have this opportunity. These flashes have synchronistic meaning for me.

Keep up your courageous pursuits. You have earned credibility in a field of investigation wrought with less than admirable objectivity.

Rip Parker

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comments!

I have only seen these quickly blinking lights at the church after midnight. The two others who have seen them are slightly younger than I am, being their late 30s.

Asphalt Prophet said...

I spoke with a missionary who worked for years in many 3rd world counrties. He made the observation that no matter where he went that the difference between a statue and an idol was one thing idols were given eyes.

Jules said...

I have seen these small lights [I'd describe them more as twinking stars] ever since I was a little girl.

Most of the time they are white or blue, although I have seen red and green ones too. I do not have a clear idea of what they are, but I have also experienced them during moments of high energy or being 'in the zone', as Rip Parker mentioned. Some of the lights even produce a halo that illuminates stuff around them. Odd things, they are.

Would just like to add, I am a huge fan of your blog =)

cryptidsrus said...

Great post, Swope!!! Looking forward to seeing you in Ghost Lab!!!
Yep, that was an Eye-Orb you saw...

Howard said...

Angels are noncorporeal. The eyes are symbolic or iconographic and would not really show up in a photograph. I'm not sure what you have in the picture, but I don't think it's an eye.

On the other hand, if you sit around hoping something weird will contact you and trying to make that happen, Something might show up to meet you. This is not a good idea at all. If God wants you to see a ghost or an angel, you will, but it is dangerous to try to get one to materialize for you. Even if there is a difference between that and necromancy, it's not a sharp difference.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Cryptidsrus,

I will not be on Ghost Lab, but one of the church videos from my Youtube site are suppose to be aired soon. If I were to be on TV, it would have to be wide screen...:)

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Howard,

However, angels do become corporeal often in the Bible. From the three visitors to Abraham to the one standing beside the empty tomb, angels can manifest themselves physically.

I understand your precautionary warning, but I was sitting singing hymns and praying most of the night. These lights appeared first when I was ushering some of the group up to the balcony. I did not command them to appear, they just did and I tried to catch one. I did. I was merely a spectator. I think your definition of necromancy is flawed. Necromancy is commanding the dead to rise. I just sat and waited to see what transpired in the sanctuary. Much like a Sunday morning. If you invite someone to come and they show up, that is in direct response to your request. If you did not and they showed up, then you have nothing to do with it. I also do not think this phenomena to be the spirits of the dead. There really is no reason to think they are, just a strange experience caught on camera. I personally like to think it is an assurance by God of His presence in our Sanctuary.

That being said, I have seen many pastors attempt Necromancy. Very few ever successfully bring back a church from the dead. And when they do the congregation is different somehow....

Such is modern Protestantism in the Post-Christian Era...

Sotally Tober said...

I usually see those flashes of light after a bottle of Thunderbird 20/20. But maybe that's just me...

jennifer renee said...

this is the 3rd blog i have read that you have posted...
how do i put this? i try to be careful what i read... "wolf in sheep clothing"... not that you are a wolf... i'm just saying.. we are to "test the spirits"... so, i will keep reading your posts until you either freak me out, or offend me beyond belief. :)

you are the first, literally, pastor i have ever heard support the belief in ghosts. this is a strange experience for me...

i am trying to read scripture with a new "eye". we have been told so many times that "this means this"... i am starting to learn, that sometimes, "this means that".
i am off to the next blog.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Scheerer's Phenomenon

Anonymous said...

I used to see those lights all the time. Loved watching them and never felt they were a force of evil. On a separate note, I did often see an eye when I would try to meditate and it ALWAYS freaked me out. Never felt right.