Housed deep in the center of the thinking organ known as the brain, as a protruding component of the epithalamus (the topmost portion of the diencephalon), is the pine cone-shaped gland lovingly referred to colloquially and indirectly as “the third eye”, or the pineal gland. This gland has been revered for centuries by cultures all over the world, and is displayed in various places as a pine cone shaped symbolic form, though I’m sure that most people are unaware of it. A commonly known function of this gland/body is the regulation of the sleep wake cycle via commandment of the production of melatonin, and regulation of aspects of mood. But ancient knowledge, and now recent scientific studies, have pinned the pineal gland as a major psychological and spiritual center of the body, and it is now being discovered that it may be due to the release of a certain chemical that has been used by indigenous peoples for centuries.
Dimethyltryptamine (or DMT), a potent psychedelic compound that has been cited as causing the dreams that we have at night, has been found by science to be released by the pineal gland. DMT is not only found to be present in humans, but as has been discovered, seems to be a prominent molecule in all of nature, particularly in plants. It is referred to as “the spirit molecule”, quite literally because it seems to be linked with spirituality, and the experience of other forms of consciousness outside of average daily perception. (Watch the documentary below for more information on DMT)
In the average adult, the pineal gland is most active during sleep, and in children (below age seven), it is active during both wake and sleep, but as the child approaches seven years of age, the activity of the pineal gland starts to resemble the so called average adult operation level. This is because the pineal gland becomes calcified, and in some can then atrophy if left unabated. However, the calcification of the pineal gland is not an inevitable occurrence, as is implied by ambiguous speech in some text books and by most medical sources. As is the case with most of the systems of the body, there are certain lifestyle factors that cause the pineal gland to calcify, the major factor being the presence of fluoride (specifically sodium fluoride [think toothpaste]), in the body.
So why is it so important to be aware of your pineal gland? Well the answer is simple: it regulates the sleep/wake cycle by initiating the release of melatonin via processes that involve the synthesis of serotonin among other compounds (it is no wonder that a functionally inhibited pineal gland, among other factors, could likely cause disturbances in sleep cycles for some people). And, as stated above, it is the key to spirituality and spiritual awakening–It is the third eye.
What exactly is the third eye? Well, the internal anatomy and physiology of the pineal gland lends greatly to its descriptive name, because the inside has been found to be lined with rods and cones. Does this sound familiar? Well, it should, because the eyes that we use to see with, use this very same system to give us sight. The pineal gland is connected to the visual system, which allows it to discern when it is day and when it is night. So, the pineal gland quite literally is another eye, which makes it little wonder why the ancients dubbed it “the third eye”. With its command of the release of the compound DMT, it is not only an eye that knows when it is light and dark out, but is described as the gateway to the soul. It becomes active approximately 49 days after conception, in a fetus, which is argued to correlate with the activation of the soul of a human in some traditions.
When people speak of the third eye, they usually are referring to the space on the forehead between the eyes. This is because the effects of the pineal gland’s activities manifest in this region as a pressure-type sensation, almost as though the muscles between the eyes are receiving a constant electrical stimulation to force contraction, or that someone is lightly pressing a finger against it. One might also feel a gentle squeezing of the forehead accompanying the sensation. This is why above, I described the pineal gland as being indirectly described as the third eye, because in general speak, the region between the eyes is usually what is referred to.
I will give more information about activation of the third eye for those that are interested, in a subsequent article which will be entitled “Third Eye Breathing – A Method To Activate The Third Eye”, so be sure to look out for that one, because it will take the experience of the third eye activation in meditation to a whole new level.
Below is a nice, brief documentary on the Pineal Gland that I stumbled across; One informative enough to help give a scientific explanation into the importance of the pineal gland, beyond it merely being described as a “spiritual center” and just leaving that for people to grasp to.
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