An eye evades a thing it does not see.

Note: There are a number of English versions of this proverb.

  • What the eye sees not, the heart craves not.
  • What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over.
  • Ignorance is bliss.
  • Out of sight, out of mind.

Many languages also have a version or two of this proverb.

  • Celtic Languages:
    • I bhfad as amharc, i gcian as intinn. Irish
      (Out of sight, out of mind.) Béarlachas?
    • An rud ná cloieseann an chluas ní chuireann sé buairt ar an gcroí. Irish
      (What the ear does not hear does not worry the heart.)
    • An té a bhíos amuigh fuaraíonn a chuid. Irish
      (Whoever is often out, his part grows cold.)
    • Fada bhon t-sùil, fada bhon chride. Scots Gaelic
      (Far from the eye, far from the heart.)
    • As an t-sealladh, às a chuimhne. Scots Gaelic
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
    • Ass shiley, ass smooinagtyn. Manx
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
    • Allan o olwg, allan o feddwl. Welch
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
  • Germanic Languages:
    • Was ich nicht weiss macht mich nicht heiss. German
      (What I don’t know does not make me hot.)
    • Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn. German
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
    • Langt fra Öine, snart af Sinde. Danish
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
    • Uit het oog, uit het hart. Dutch
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
  • Romance Languages:
    • Loin des yeux, loin de coeur. French
      (Out of sight, out of mind.)
    • Qui procul ab oculis, procul a limite cordis. Latin (Out of sight, out of mind.)

We may never know in which language this proverb originated, but we must admit that the Irish version above is original. Using the verb, seachain (meaning avoid, evade, or shun), suggests that the eye is pulled to things it can see and is pushed from things it can not see. It is a bit more mystical than the expression, “Out of sight, out of mind.”