I am posting information related to the mystical ‘3rd Eye’, and how it relates to paganism, mythology, and scientific facts of its purpose within the brain. Enjoy, it is a dense but interesting read, and inspired the creation of many dance/yogic forms of exercise or spiritual advancement. Much more to the inner workings of the brain than realized, and science is starting to notice!
3rd Eye Hypothesis
“the pineal gland is cone-shaped like a ‘pinecone’ as its name implies and is located behind and above the pituitary gland. The pineal is symbolized by the pinecone at the top of the Thrysus staff of the pagan-shamanic god, Dionysus/Bacchus – the staff again, representing the spine.
Amongst other things, the pineal regulates our circadian rhythms associated with the day/night, waking/sleeping cycle. Its part of our internal clock, set to the day and night cycles produced by the rotation of the earth on its axis in the light of the sun .
Amongst other things, the pineal is known for its production of melatonin and seratonin – the production of these chemicals relying on the day/night, light/dark cycle. The chemical melatonin is a derivative of seratonin; the neurotransmitter that also controls our mood swings. During the day, and in response to light, a signal is fired from the retina in the eye via the suprachiasmatic nucleus to the pineal gland, which then secretes and stores a large quantity of seratonin.
“In response to darkness, and via the same signal route, the pineal gland then begins to convert the stored seratonin into melatonin, which is then released into the brain and blood, inducing sleepiness throughout the night.
Here we have the same cyclical swing between opposites, positive and negative – as light during the day increases the production of seratonin (associated with daylight seen as “positive”) and decreases the production of melatonin (associated with the dark – i.e., ‘night-time’ and so seen as “negative.”)
“Lower amounts of light hitting the eyes means lower levels of seratonin and therefore higher levels of melatonin.
“Lower seratonin levels can also result in depression (negative,) whereas higher levels of melatonin result in fatigue and a desire to sleep. So, seratonin is associated with the positive ‘waking state’ triggered by light or daylight, and melatonin – triggered by darkness – is associated with the negative ‘sleeping state’.
Now, the fusion point between these opposites – being also the transluminal phase or neutral, zero-point node, which happens twice in every cycle – corresponds with the ‘hypnagogic state’ – being the point in the waking-sleeping cycle where we are usually unconscious. So then, one’s control over these glands, and the opening of the ‘third eye’ is due to holding one’s total conscious attention at this point. We can now see why the ‘hypnagogic state’ is important and was utilized by the ancients and known as the shamanic ‘trance state.’
The pituitary gland
“The Pituitary has been called the ‘Master Gland,’ this is because it coordinates all the other glands, controls growth and is essential to the life and ‘well-being’ of the individual. It is said that removal of the pituitary from the brain will cause death in three days. Like the pineal gland associated with the day/night cycles, the pituitary gland is also dual in nature and this duality is also expressed in its physical composition.
It has two lobes, each of which performs a different function. These are known as the anterior and posterior lobes.
“According to ancient esoteric tradition, the pituitary gland represents the feminine principle and the pineal the masculine. However, like the brain of both male and female individuals, the two hemispheres express the opposite traits associated with the ‘logical-reasoning’ male principle (left-brain) and ‘emotional-intuitive female principle (right-brain.) Various esoteric traditions maintain that the predominantly, feminine-related pituitary gland, reflects this same duality.
“The frontal or ‘anterior lobe’ is associated with the reasoning and intellectual mind of the male and the ‘posterior lobe’ is associated with the emotional, imaginative female nature.
“this comes from the ancient belief that there is a connection between emotional and mental deficiency and a lack of development in the pituitary gland – and surprisingly, many endocrinologists and psychologists have expressed the same view.
The Carotid gland
“Control over one’s breathing is necessary for yoga and meditation and the carotid gland is associated with the respiratory system – i.e., breathing, and maintains homeostatic control over the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. The duality inherent in the cycles of opposites is again evident here in the inhalation of oxygen and the exhalation of carbon dioxide – which this gland controls.
“The three glands just described are associated with homeostatic control over the cycles of opposites associated with one’s immersion in the material world and one’s ‘material existence’ – just like a ‘diving suit’
“Pineal: The day/night cycles also related to the waking/sleeping cycle.
Pituitary and Hypothalamus: Regulates body temperature – keeping a homeostatic balance between the extremes of hot and cold.
These also regulate the growth of the individual – i.e., keeping a relative balance between large and small and short and tall.
Carotid: The inhalation/exhalation, breathing cycles and levels of oxygen (in-breath) and carbon dioxide (out-breath) in the blood.
Although not proven, apart from one’s own experience of it, it is said that when all three are in balance – and especially the pineal and pituitary glands – a synchronized or quantum state is created within the brain, and this synchronization takes place within the thalamus and is again experienced as the ‘hypnagogic state.’
“The walnut-sized thalamus is at the center of the brain, located on top of the brain stem or the limbic system known as the Reptilian Brain.
Now we know what the ‘serpent’s head’ is in regard to the brain – it being most likely a reference to the Reptilian Brain – the part of the brain which is said to be stimulated during psychic activity.
“The thalamus has two lobes known as the ‘thalamic bodies,’ which look like a smaller version of the two hemispheres of the brain known as the cerebrum. Interestingly, the name ‘cerebrum’ is a composite of Ceres, meaning ‘cross’ and RU – CerebRUm – again associated with the ancient Egyptian life symbol – the Ankh . The two lobes of the thalamus are connected together by a tubular bundle of nerve fibers at their center, called the massa intermedia or the interthalamic adhesion.
“In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the thalamus is described as being “egg-shaped” – and if we look up ‘Thalamus’ on the Internet, we will find many references to it resembling an egg.
Around the massa intermedia, the two thalamic bodies are separated by the ‘third ventricle;’ one of the few spaces in the brain which is filled with cerebral spinal fluid. The thalamic cells demonstrate high proliferative activity, frequently fusing via the massa intermedia, which is a non-neuronal structure. In other words, and in esoteric thought based on correspondences with the sexual, procreative process, the egg (thalamus) is continually being “seeded” or “fertilized” – suggesting re-creation. The term ‘re-creation’ here means ‘repeating patterns’ – i.e., re-patterning.
“The thalamus is the major sensory and motor relay nucleus in the brain; it is our “central control box” and is our interface with the reality around us. In other words, it acts like the hub of the whole wheel.
“When one part of the neocortex – one “spoke” of the “wheel” – communicates with another; it does so via the thalamus – being the center of the whole sphere.
If there were anything in the physical body that would represent the center of consciousness itself, it would be the thalamus at the center of the brain.
“On the surface of the thalamus is a thin layer of cells called the nucleus reticularis which regulates the transmission of this information by its inhibitory influence upon all thalamic nuclei. It is said that the nucleus reticularis plays an important role in the focusing of attention and has the task of filtering out the numberless sum of impulses that come flooding into our brain at any given moment. It assures that all messages are prioritized and regulated, as if acting like a valve or control device. For example, while at a party and while listening attentively to someone talking, all other incoming information around us will be automatically suppressed and censored. This says something about our perception of the world around us – in that we tend to ignore a lot of the information around us and this is due to the default laws of the reality we are focused in and partly due to our personal beliefs, our mindset and what we prefer to give our attention to – one of the reasons why it is said that we tend to perceive and experience only 10% of the universe or ‘multiverse’ around us, and why some 10% of our DNA remains inactive
“It is said that the destruction of the thalamus causes inability to dream, which reveals that along with the hypothalamus it is indeed a kind of midpoint “gateway” or “gatekeeper” between the conscious-self and the subconscious realms – i.e., those realms of information that the conscious-self usually cuts itself off from during the waking hours or waking half of the cycle.
- A mass of nervous matter on either side of the third ventricle of the brain; called also optic thalamus.
2. Same as Thallus. The receptacle of a flower; a torus.
“If we look up the Greek word ‘Thallus’ – which is obviously linguistically linked to the word ‘phallus’ – being the male penis, and perhaps we should note that pen in ‘Penis’ means, ‘head’ – we find that it means, a “young shoot or branch” as we find sprouting from a seed. The spinal column is linked to the thalamus via the brain stem – the Reptilian Brain, which again, we will come to later. According to esoteric traditions, the spinal cord and brain is the ‘tree of life’ and the image of a flower also applies.
The etymology of the word ‘thalamus’ and its derivatives are interesting, in that it seems as if at a deeper level we are being told that:
- The ‘seed’ of one’s existence is the thalamus.
- That it is both the flower and the seed, and that one’s body (the spine) grows from it – just like the universe which has grown from the seed – being the proto-atom of the “big bang.”
- That in turn, and when activated, it “blooms” or “flowers” into being from this same root which was created from it.
“The above is why the ‘altars’ of ancient stone circles, as well as temples, cathedrals and churches, really represented the center of the creation, the center of the earth, but also the thalamus at the center of the brain, or possibly the seventh crown chakra (the bindu or void) with which the thalamus is intimately connected.
“I would recommend that the reader look up a paper on the Internet entitled Inner Self Located.
“The information given in this paper is indeed reliable, being based on the most ancient of Indian scriptures, the Upanishads of the Vedas, of which there are 108 verses. This paper contains the following quotes in regard to the thalamic center of the brain:
“‘The embryo brain consists of the thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain and brain-stem. These are the specific areas of the brain that are discernible about five weeks after conception. As the brain grows and expands these areas remain the central core and guiding influence.’
“‘That the embryo brain region is the location of the Self is consistent with the many references in the Upanishads to the Self being the ‘seed’, ‘the source’, ‘the creator.
“The word ‘Thalamus’ is Greek. We are told that the thalamus received its name in the first century from Claudius Galen (131– 201 AD), an Ionian Greek anatomist and Christian who had studied at the Great School in Alexandria, Egypt and was a doctor at the gymnasium attached to the local sanctuary at Asklepios .
“Galen named this central part of the brain the Thamalos – “meaning, an inner room or storeroom of a Greek or Roman house to refer to a reservoir in the brain of vital spirit that could be transferred to the optic nerve and thence down the nerve to the eye. This gave the thalamus a relationship to the optic nerve that survived for centuries.”
The Massa Intermedia
“The massa intermedia is a bundle of nerve fibers that connect the left and right lobes of the thalamus. Apparently, the massa intermedia doesn’t seem to have a function – or its function is unknown
“This “junction” point – which marks the nucleus of the head and the nucleus of the “thalamic egg” – is only present in the brains of about 70% of the human population. Most males don’t possess it – or if they do, it is only half the size of that of the female.
The massa intermedia does look remarkably like the nucleus of a cell or egg – the “egg” being the thalamus, as shown below.
“The Djed and the Crown of Osiris
“The ancient Egyptian god Osiris was not only associated with the eye (inner eye) as his name Aus-ir implies, but in his depictions as the Djed Column, he was also associated with the human spinal column associated with the internal processes of the enlightenment experience (Kundalini) which center on the spine and the seven chakras relating to the seven endocrine glands. He was also known as the ‘God of the Staircase’ – a staircase having seven steps.