Orice român a citit măcar o dată Amintirile lui Creangă și își aduce aminte de practicile superstițioase împotriva deochiului pe care le practica mama autorului:

Oleacă ce nu-i venea mamei la socoteală căutătura mea, îndată pregătea, cu degetul îmbălat, puțină tină din colbul adunat pe opsasul încălțării ori, mai în grabă, lua funingine de la gura sobei, zicând: „Cum nu se deoache călcâiul sau gura sobei, așa să nu mi se deoache copilașul” și-mi făcea apoi câte-un benchi boghet în frunte, ca să nu-și prăpădească odorul!… și altele multe încă făcea…

Nu cum mult timp în urmă parcurgeam Omiliile la 1 Corinteni ale lui Ioan Hrisostomul și descopeream, spre marea mea surprindere, că „benchiul boghet” e prezent și în Antiohia sec. al IV-lea, fiind ținta unei critici aprige din partea marelui predicator.

Să vedem pasajul în englezește și apoi în orighinal.

May I mention another thing yet more ridiculous than this? Only let no one tax us with speaking out of season, should our argument proceed with that instance also. For he that would cleanse an ulcer will not hesitate first to pollute his own hands. What then is this so very ridiculous custom? It is counted indeed as nothing; (and this is why I grieve;) but it is the beginning of folly and madness in the extreme. The women in the bath, nurses and waiting-maids, take up mud and smearing it with the finger make a mark on the child’s forehead; and if one ask, What means the mud, and the clay? the answer is, “It turneth away an evil eye, witchcraft and envy.” Astonishing! what power in the mud! what might in the clay! what mighty force is this which it has? It averts all the host of the devil. Tell me, can ye help hiding yourselves for shame? Will ye never come to understand the snares of the devil, how from earliest life he gradually brings in the several evils which he hath devised? For if the mud hath this effect, why dost thou not thyself also do the same to thine own forehead, when thou art a man and thy character is formed; and thou art likelier than the child to have such as envy thee? Why dost thou not as well bemire the whole body? I say, if on the forehead its virtue be so great, why not anoint thyself all over with mud? All this is mirth and stage-play to Satan, not mockery only but bell-fire being the consummation to which these deceived ones are tending.

πιστεύονται τὴν ἀσφάλειαν. Εἴπω τι τούτου καταγελαστότερον ἕτερον; ᾿Αλλὰ μηδεὶς ἀκαιρίαν ἡμῶν καταγινωσκέτω, εἰ καὶ μέχρι τούτων πρόεισιν ὁ λόγος. ῾Ο γὰρ τὴν σηπεδόνα καθᾶραι βουλόμενος, οὐ παραιτήσεται προτέρας τὰς ἑαυτοῦ μολῦναι χεῖρας.

Τί δήποτ’ οὖν τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ καταγέλαστον; ῝Ο μηδὲν μὲν εἶναι δοκεῖ (διὰ γὰρ τοῦτο στένω), ἀρχὴ δέ ἐστι παραφροσύνης καὶ παρανοίας ἐσχάτης. Βόρβορον αἱ γυναῖκες ἐν τῷ βαλανείῳ λαμβάνουσαι τροφοὶ καὶ θεραπαινίδες, καὶ τῷ δακτύλῳ χρίσασαι, κατὰ τοῦ μετώπου τυποῦσι τοῦ παιδίου· κἂν ἔρηταί τις, Τί βούλεται ὁ βόρβορος, τί δὲ ὁ πηλός; ᾿Οφθαλμὸν πονηρὸν ἀποστρέφει, φησὶ, καὶ βασκανίαν καὶ φθόνον. Βαβαὶ τῆς ἰσχύος τοῦ βορβόρου καὶ τῆς τοῦ πηλοῦ δυνάμεως, ἡλίκην ἔχει τὴν ἰσχύν! ῾Ολόκληρον τοῦ διαβόλου παράταξιν ἀποστρέφει. Οὐκ ἐγκαλύψεσθε, εἰπέ μοι;

οὐ συνήσετε ὀψέ ποτε τὰς παγίδας τὰς διαβολικὰς, πῶς ἐκ πρώτης ἡλικίας κατὰ μικρὸν ἐπεισάγει τὰς παρ’ ἑαυτοῦ μηχανὰς ὁ διάβολος; Εἰ γὰρ ὁ βόρβορος τοῦτο ποιεῖ, διὰ τί μὴ καὶ σὺ τοῦτο ποιεῖς ἐπὶ τοῦ σαυτοῦ μετώπου, ἀνὴρ ὢν καὶ ἐν ἕξει γεγονὼς, καὶ μᾶλλον τοῦ παιδίου τοὺς φθονοῦντας ἔχων; διὰ τί μὴ καὶ ὅλον βορβοροῖς τὸ σῶμα; εἰ γὰρ ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου τοσαύτην ἔχει τὴν ἰσχὺν, τίνος ἕνεκεν οὐχ ὅλον σεαυτὸν βορβόρῳ καταχρίεις; Γέλως ταῦτα καὶ κωμῳδία σατανικὴ, οὐκ εἰς χλευασίαν μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ εἰς γέενναν καταστρέφουσα τοὺς ἀπατωμένους.

La întrebarea retorică a Hrisostomului (εἰ γὰρ ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου τοσαύτην ἔχει τὴν ἰσχὺν, τίνος ἕνεκεν οὐχ ὅλον σεαυτὸν βορβόρῳ καταχρίεις „I say, if on the forehead its virtue be so great, why not anoint thyself all over with mud?”) superstițioșii pot răspunde (tongue-in-cheek): „Dar ne ungem și pe tot corpul. Se cheamă „împachetări cu nămol”).🙂