Aspects of the Soul: Third Eye
Third eye - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The third eye is a metaphysical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna (brow) chakra in certain eastern and western spiritual traditions. In New Age spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbolize a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply-personal spiritual or psychological significance.
The third eye is often associated with visions, clairvoyance, precognition, and out-of-body experiences, and people who have allegedly developed the capacity to use their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.
* In Hinduism and Buddhism
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the third eye is a symbol of enlightenment (see moksha and nirvana). The third eye is the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) also known as brow chakra or brow centre This is commonly denoted in Indian and East Asian iconography with a dot, eye or mark on the forehead of deities or enlightened beings, such as Shiva (God of Destruction), the Buddha, or any number of yogis, sages and bodhisattvas. This symbol is called the "Third Eye" or "Eye of Wisdom", or, in Buddhism, the urna. In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva's third eye causes the eventual destruction of the universe. Many Hindus wear a tilak between the eyebrows to represent the third eye.
* In the Western Wisdom Teachings
According to Max Heindel's Rosicrucian writings, called Western Wisdom Teachings, there are in the brain two small organs called the pituitary body and the pineal gland. This last gland is also called by medical science as "the atrophied third eye"; however, these teachings describe that none of them are atrophying: the pituitary body and the pineal gland at the present time are neither evolving nor degenerating, but are dormant.
It is said that in the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. According to this view, they were connected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system and to regain contact with the inner worlds (to reawaken the pituitary body and the pineal gland) it is necessary to establish the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebrospinal nervous system. It is said that when that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds (i.e. clairvoyance), but on a grander scale than it was in the distant past, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his will.
The third eye is used in many meditation schools and arts, such as in yoga, qigong, many Chinese martial arts, Ch'an Buddhism, and in some Japanese martial arts like Karate and Aikido (both use Zen Buddhism as a philosophy).
+++ Physical basis: the pineal gland?
Some, including Rick Strassman, have suggested that the third eye is in fact the partially dormant pineal gland, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain. This concept is supported by the pinealocytes, one type of cells within the pineal gland, having a strong resemblance to the photoreceptors of the eye. Additionally, the pineal gland is said to excrete dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which some think induces dreams, near-death experiences, meditation, or hallucinations. Various types of lower vertebrates, such as reptiles and amphibians, can actually sense light via a third parietal eye—a structure associated with the pineal gland—which serves to regulate their circadian rhythms.
There is evidence that the pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin, which has a role in regulating the body's circadian rhythm to the daily light/dark cycle and also assists with the immune system. Because of all the above, the pineal gland has become for some the subject of speculation about its origin as a physical third eye.
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