The glance is natural magic. The mysterious communication established across a house between two entire strangers, moves all the springs of wonder. The communication by the glance is in the greatest part not subject to the control of the will. It is the bodily symbol of identity with nature. We look into the eyes to know if this other form is another self, and the eyes will not lie, but make a faithful confession what inhabitant is there.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
The 20th-century existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre also ruminates on the implications for the self of the glance or the stare, but he presents darker aspects of this "communication," as Emerson calls it. For Sartre, another's glance robs the individual of his ability to define his own self. See Sartre's Being and Nothingness.