Be sure to queue the sound while you read…
I won’t go into the meaning of the all seeing eye for Odd Fellows, but I will say that this symbol is everywhere these days: on clothing, as graffiti tags, as art, etc. So how is this symbol perceived by modern culture?
Mostly, it seems to be seen as a representation of oppression. It represents from a pop culture view, “the man.” As something to rebel against. As a symbol of one group of people attempting to subvert another group. Of course in many instances it is only a symbol of something “tight,” “chill,” or “cool,” and that is all it means to those who embrace it from that perspective.
Originally, the symbol probably comes down from ancient Egypt. Eventually we see that it becomes surrounded by rays, which probably means that to early sun worshipers it represented the sun. They viewed the sun as an “eye in the sky”. Ford, in his work on Odd Fellowship says the rays from the eye “…illumine(s) our otherwise dark and dreary path through this world…” and warms our hearts toward humanity and universal human cooperation.
Your Conductor posits that it is possible to view the All Seeing Eye in both ways: in the way that Odd Fellowship traditionally teaches us, but also in the way it is currently being used by modern culture: as a symbol of being oppressed. As a symbol of people crying out for help and understanding. If someone assumes too much power, and uses it against the weak and vulnerable, or as we say: the sick, the orphan, the sister and brotherhood of humanity, the distressed– the all seeing eye can remind us to step up to aid the hopeless and downtrodden.
And yeah: it IS a cool symbol. And as an Odd Fellow, as the member of a fraternity that dates from the 1730’s, you get to wear it–and claim it.