Because wisdom, thought, and foresight cannot be directly measured, it’s difficult to quantify this sixth sense. And because it’s difficult to quantify, the third eye has, for a long time, taken on a more ‘mystical‘ meaning.
But just because it’s difficult to measure, that doesn’t mean the third-eye isn’t real. Love is also very difficult to measure, but it still exists just as much as any physical object exists.
In ancient cultures the third eye is always shown centered in the middle of the forehead, usually above and directly between our two eyes. It has been credited with great foresight and the ability to see sacred geometry.
Based on the latest science, this location makes sense, as the pineal and pituitary glands, which control the body’s information processing, are both centrally located in the brain.
In this article we’ll explore different perspectives, expert opinions, and the latest science on what the third eye is, and how to open it.
Let’s Dive In.
History, Origin, and Symbolism of the “”Third Eye””
The third eye is most commonly associated with Indian culture, Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoga, and the Chakra System. However, ancient Egyptian and Mayan cultures had discovered the third eye hundreds possibly thousands of years beforehand.
Ancient Egypt, the Third Eye, and The Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus (not to be confused with the Eye of Ra) is one of the most famous and well recognized symbols of ancient Egypt. It’s absolutely mind-blowing that this symbol has a well-documented history dating back over 5,000 years to the year 3,150 BC.
The eye of Horus has a unique shape which many experts agree resembles, and aligns with, the human brain stem, pineal gland, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus.
In a 2019 study published by the National Library of Medicine, neuroscientist Dr. Karim ReFaey concludes that, today’s researchers should “acknowledge and appreciate the genius and foresight” of the ancient Egyptian civilization for decoding the functions of the human brain and central nervous system.
Hinduism’s Third Eye
In the ancient Vedas texts (the founding texts of the Hindu religion) which date back to 1,500 BC, the ‘third eye chakra‘ signifies the subconscious mind and is said to connect people to their intuition.
According to the world’s most comprehensive yoga encyclopedia, in the original Sanskrit language of the Vedas texts, the third eye is called the “ajna chakra” which can be directly translated to mean “perceive” or “beyond wisdom”.
Renowned author, United Nations public speaker, and spiritual guru, Sadhguru, notes that the three main gods of Hinduism, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer are all depicted with third eye symbolism.
Ancient Hindu beliefs view the third eye as an “eye of wisdom” which provides us the ability to see beyond the physical world, and to tell the difference between whit is right, and what is wrong.
Buddhism and Third Eye
The Buddhist way of life broke off from the Hindu religion around the year 500 BC, so the two ideologies share many similar beliefs such as meditation, yoga, and the wheel of dharma.
Also known as the “Eye of Consciousness”, Buddhists see the third eye as the symbol of spiritual awakening, knowledge, and wisdom.
According to Lama Migmar Tseten, who has served as the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University since 1997 …,
Lama Tseten teaches others see more clearly and completely from perspectives never seen before. He uses the teachings of the wisdom eye to show others (regardless of religion) to see a more universal and ultimate truth.
The Third Eye in Ancient Americas: Maya, Aztec, Inca
the “3rd eye” is most widely associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and in ancient Egyptian cultures, and much less associated with cultures in the America’s.
But, according to professional journalist, published author, and ancient civilization expert Richard Cassarohe, the same symbolic Third Eye is also abundant in the archaeology of cultures such as the Maya, Inca, and Aztec.
Simply by looking at the remnants, statues, and artwork these ancient cultures left behind, it’s clear they had a deep understanding of the third eye and it’s dynamics. These cultures were also well known for using psychedelics in spiritual rituals.
Modern Day Science Behind The Third Eye
The Third Eye and The Human Body:
Bridging the Endocrine and Nervous Systems
The third eye is commonly associated with the centrally located pineal and pituitary glands, as well as the hypothalamus region of the brain.
According to expert Endocrinologist, Dr. Robert M. Sargis, the pineal and pituitary glands are the most important glands in the entire endocrine system, as between the two of them, they control everything we do.
The pineal gland controls our circadian rhythm (sleep / wake cycle). And the pituitary gland (which is located in the hypothalamus region of the brain) is known as the “control center of the brain” because it directly links the body’s endocrine system and nervous systems together.
Third Eye and The Endocrine System
As described by Johns Hopkins Medical, “The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs” spread through our upper body. The endocrine system controls and coordinates a wide variety of the body’s sub-conscious behaviors and bodily functions through the chemical release of hormones.
According to Healthline, “hormones tell the organs and tissues what to do and how to function.”
Through hormone release, our endocrine system controls the body’s metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth, development, response to injury, stress level, overall mood, and much more.
If your hormones are either over-reacting or under-reacting then there’s an imbalance in the body which can manifest itself in many ways.
Third Eye and The Nervous System
The nervous system consists of two main parts.
- The “central nervous system”, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord.
- The “peripheral nervous system” which branches outward from the central nervous system in a fractal pattern throughout the entire body.
As the ‘peripheral-nervous-system’ branches off from the ‘central-nervous-system’, it does so at specific nerve clusters called “nerve plexuses” which connect to the spinal cord.
Interestingly enough, both nerve plexuses and endocrine glands align, near identically, with the Ancient Chakra System.
The Third Eye and The Pineal Gland
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland found encased in bone near the center of the brain. It’s shaped like a small pine cone, which is the stem of the pineal gland’s name.
The main purpose of the pineal gland is to regulate melatonin production which controls our circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). The pineal gland also produces other chemical compounds such as GABA, peptides, and amines.
These light sensitive cells play an important role in regulating our circadian rhythms.
Third Eye Pineal Gland Facts and Myths
- The pineal gland secrets a neuro-chemical called DMT (Dimethyl-tryptamine).
DMT has not yet been confirmed in a human pineal gland, but in 2013 clinical psychiatrist Dr. Rick Strassman helped publish a study which confirmed for the first time the presence of DMT in the brain of a lab-rat.
It is believed by many that the pineal gland usually releases DMT (known as the “spirit molecule) during birth and right before death. Upon release, DMT induces a profound ‘psychedelic‘, spiritual, or mystical experience.
In a 2018 study lead by LSU professor Dr. Steven A. Barker researchers found that “DMT appears to clearly be biosynthesized in the pineal gland”. But, according to the study more research is needed to broaden our understanding of the pineal gland.
- It’s Photosensitive
This is true. The pineal gland has photoreceptors that are sensitive to various forms and intensities of light. Researchers in 2019 found that sunlight was the most important factor when it comes to pineal gland activation and melatonin production.
- The Pineal gland has retinal tissues.
Amazingly, this is also true.The human’s third eye or pineal gland has retinal tissues, including cones and rods within its structure, just like the regular eye.
I’m blown away by this!!!
But doctors have confirmed this as true in a 2012 study by Pennsylvania University.These tissues help in absorbing light, which the optic nerves translates into vision.
- The pineal gland is sensitive to sound frequency
The jury is still out on this one.
The pineal gland has tiny calcium carbonate crystals floating inside it. These crystals are sensitive to both pressure and frequency variations caused by sound waves.
According to leading experts, binaural beats have been scientifically proven aid studying habits, while also improving mood, decreasing stress and naturally reducing anxiety.
The Third Eye and The Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland regulates homeostasis (our natural state of being) and coordinates between the endocrine glands and the nervous system. It’s often called the “master gland” because it controls the functions of the other glands.
The physical size of the pituitary gland is no larger than a pea and located at the base of the hypothalamus.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the hypothalamus is a small structure in the brain containing the pituitary gland, which handles information from the nervous system.
The hypothalamus plays a role in controlling automatic everyday functions like eating, sexual behavior, sleeping, regulating body temperature, emotions, secretion of hormones, and body movement.
The pituitary gland itself consists of 2 major structures:
- Anterior lobe
- Posterior lobe
Is It Possible to Consciously Activate Your Third Eye
Because scientists have not yet figured out a way to actively measure pineal and pituitary gland activation, hard evidence has not yet been produced.
According to NYU professor, psychologist, and neuroscientist Dr. Zoran Josipovic
Medical pioneer, Dr. Herbert Benson studied the effects of meditation by monks from India for over 20 years. His studies were groundbreaking in demonstrating that, through meditation, these monks could consciously access and control the body’s automatic functions.
How To Open Your Third Eye
From the perspective of world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual teacher, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, meditation leads to more focus and general awareness which, with practice, activates the third eye.
Meditation relaxes our mind and reduces stress. As the mind calms down, the brain state shifts into alpha waves and brain function improves.
According to Dr. Erica Matluck, who is also a certified in Reiki, if you’re looking to open your third eye, meditation can help quite a bit. Dr. Matlock recommends meditating by focusing your attention on the center point between your brow, and then simply observing what thoughts arise.
2. Bineural Beats
A binaural beat is a musical sound wave synchronized in close harmony with our brain waves.
In a 2015 study, Dr. Michael H. Thaut linked music to our brain waves which can affect our behavior.
You can find an example of a third-eye activation binaural beat on MindfulnessExercises.com
For thousands of years yoga has been passed down through generations as a way of connecting the mind with the physical body.
Yoga has many poses that can help open the third eye by targeting stretches that channel “”prana””(energy) flow toward the sixth chakra region.
A study published in 2011 concluded that yoga was designed to exercise each and every muscle, nerve and gland throughout the body.
5. Float Tank
Float tanks (also called sensory deprivation tanks) are similar in concept to both meditation and binaural beats. The idea is to induce a relaxed state-of-being known as the “theta state”. The theta state can also be reached in meditation and during sleep.
As one writer who experienced a float tank for the first time put it.
My last conscious thing I can recall focusing on was a spot on my forehead. After taking a deep, slow breath, I don’t recall much beyond that. It was very relaxing.
Here’s a detailed account of my experience with float tanks (5 stars)
World-renown breathwork pioneer Dan Brulé has taught breathing techniques to olympic athletes, martial artists, and leading medical experts. Dan’s website recommends three breathing exercises to awaken your pineal gland and open your third eye.
Dan reminds us to have patience with breath-work practice. Saying to “be patient” as it can take days, weeks, and months to awaken and develop this “”sixth sense””.
According to the Art of Living, a world class educational and humanitarian organization, those who regularly experience third eye activation feel a change in the way their breath flows.
Most of the largest ancient civilizations would routinely use psychedelics in ceremonies and rituals. Ingesting psychedelics substances gave the elders, kings, priests, and pharaohs, profound insights, visions, clarity, and a deeper understanding for the environment around them, and the universe as a whole.
Historical evidence has shown that psychedelic substances have been used for thousands of years to alter consciousness to gain deeper understandings and wisdom.
These experiences shaped their cultures at time, which have produced inventions, calculations, and deep understandings of the universe that we still use to this day.
Along with the first five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste, your third eye is a sixth sense comprised of wisdom, foresight, and intuition.
As described very well, by VeryWellFit.com, “opening the third eye allows you to see the bigger picture and find a deeper meaning in things”.
By tuning into our bodies we can utilize our third eye intuition to help identify a deeper meaning and understanding for ourselves, our environment, and our place with-in it.
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