Pineal Gland Third Eye Science – How the pineal gland became an obsession for spiritualists and science fiction writers alike.
Descartes (1596-1650) The idea of vision, . The passage of nerve impulses from the eye to the pineal gland and so on to the muscles. From Rene Descartes’ Opera Philosophy (Tractatus de homine), 1692. (Oxford Science Archives/The Print Collector/Getty Images)
Pineal Gland Third Eye Science
The pineal gland, a reddish-gray, pine cone-shaped part of the brain, is inconspicuous at first glance: It’s about a third of an inch long and deep in the brain, near the middle and between the two hemispheres. However, it has attracted a surprising amount of cultural attention. Hunter S. In the 1998 film adaptation of Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” the removal of the pineal gland “runs you into some damn medical encyclopedia.” The 2019 sci-fi film Synchronized focused on a drug that used the pineal gland to alter the sense of time. H.P. Lovecraft’s horror story From Beyond featured a mad scientist who invented a pineal gland stimulation machine to allow people to see other planes of reality. There is a cottage industry of spiritualism books that focus on the pineal gland.
Pineal Gland Awakened, Third Eye Chakra,…
So if the pineal gland is neither a vessel for time travel nor for multiverse encounters, what explains the sci-fi and spiritual obsession with this part of our endocrine system? And how he gained a reputation as a neurologist
This requires a little knowledge of what the pineal gland actually does. In fact, the main function of the pineal gland involves the production of a hormone called melatonin, which helps you fall asleep and maintain healthy circadian rhythms. Most vertebrates have pineal glands, and they are widely regarded as an essential component of the biological mechanism that allows us to sleep. As Dr. Gianluca Tosini of the Morehouse School of Medicine said in an email, melatonin is also essential for other aspects of human health, as it regulates important physiological functions such as blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. He also noted that its structure is fairly consistent among most species.
“The most obvious difference between different species is that in non-mammalian vertebrates the pineal gland is directly photosensitive and has a circadian clock that directly regulates the synthesis of melatonin, the main product of this gland,” explained Tosini. “In mammals, the pineal gland is not directly photosensitized and melatonin production is under the control of the circadian clock in the brain.”
Of course, these are all interesting, but none of them explain why the pineal gland is associated with the metaphysical. To understand this, we have to go back in time to the 17th century. century, when the French-born philosopher René Descartes argued that it was the “prime seat of the soul.” He based this claim on the anatomical features of the gland (many of his assumptions were wrong, even based on the medical knowledge of the time) and on the fact that philosophically he was inclined to believe that mind and body. were fundamentally separate entities. Other philosophers believed that they are one and the same (and therefore the soul does not exist), so Descartes had to explain how the soul connects with the body. There was one feature of the pineal gland that stood out in particular in this regard—that it was unpaired.
Structure: The Anatomy Of Sleep
“I find no part of the brain, except this one, which is not double,” wrote Descartes. “Since we see only one thing with two eyes, and hear only one sound with two ears, and never have more than one thought at a time in a short time, it must necessarily be that the impressions which come in through the two eyes. or through the two ears, etc., united together in a part of the body, while they are considered by the soul.’ As he added in the same year, “Since it is the only solid part of the whole brain, the only one, it must necessarily be the seat of common sense, that is, thinking, and therefore the soul, because it cannot be separated. Become someone else’s.”
Scientists today, not surprisingly, reject Descartes’ belief that the mind somehow exists independently of the body and is connected through this gland. They also understood its different physiology much better than Descartes. Nevertheless, Descartes’ fascination with the pineal gland as the link between our bodies and souls fascinated philosophers. [Lovecraft, for what it’s worth, may have had ideas from Descartes in From Beyond]
Descartes was not the only great philosopher to find meaning in the pineal gland. Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the religion known as Theosophy, claimed that the pineal gland “is what Eastern occultists call the Devāka, the ‘Divine Eye’ or ‘Third Eye.’ Spirituality in the human brain. She specifically praised Descartes, asserting that ‘however Unscientific as it may seem in the days of exact learning, Descartes was still nearer to occult truth” than those who criticized his theories. human feelings.”
Ironically, there is some science behind the idea of the pineal gland as a “third eye,” though the truth is more anodyne than airy metaphysical hypotheses.
The Myths Of The Pineal Gland
“The pineal gland is present in most vertebrates, while the parietal eye [an associated structure] is only present in some lizards, tuatara, some frogs and salamanders,” Tosini explained. “The parietal eye is also found in some fish (lampreys and sharks). The parietal eye is a highly organized photoreceptive structure with a well-defined lens, cornea, and retina. The role of the parietal eye is not well defined, but may be involved in orientation and possibly light detection to synchronize daily rhythms.
There is also scientific basis for the hypothesis that people genuinely believe they have had spiritual experiences because of their pineal glands. Psychiatrist Rick Strassman, who teaches at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and wrote the 2001 book “DMT: Molecule of the Soul,” said he was drawn to the study of the pineal gland “because of its history in esoteric physiology, its anatomical location.” About the subjective experience of an elevated spiritual state”. He wondered if the pineal gland could produce a chemical called
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which has psychedelic effects on people similar to religious experiences – heightened awareness, heightened emotions, feelings of spiritual peace, visual and auditory hallucinations, etc. Strassman conducted extensive research on the subject and became the first scientist to legally administer psychedelics in the United States in 20 years. His ideas eventually led to Dr. Jimo Borjigin, a molecular and integrative physiologist at the University of Michigan Medical School.
“In 2013, he and his group published a paper showing DMT in the pineal gland of living rodents,” Strassman wrote. “However, their later 2019 paper did not replicate this finding; Instead, it appears that the DMT reported in the 2013 paper was included in the brain tissue that was also collected by the probe and the pine tree. Nevertheless, the enzymes required for DMT synthesis in pineal. , and I believe the jury is still out on DMT synthesis in the pineal.
Pineal Gland Third Eye Loop Animation Of…
If the pineal gland does in fact produce DMT, the next question is whether it plays any role in the “potential DMT neurotransmitter system” that may exist in the body. “The hallmark of the DMT effect is the feeling that what one sees is more real than reality,” Strassman noted, “so the function of the endogenous DMT neurotransmitter system is to regulate our sense of reality. According to Borjigin’s 2019 paper. That elevated DMT spikes found in the brains of dying rodents suggests that DMT may not only play such a role when we’re alive, but also explain the experience of death when we die. The real mystery, Strassmann noted, is why our bodies produce DMT. As we live, so we die.
If there is a DMT neurotransmitter system, and if it regulates our sense of reality, it opens up a lot of interesting avenues for questions about how biological function (the body) affects the mind (consciousness) from moment to moment. Strassmann explained. “That is, if greater activity of the DMT neurotransmitter system is associated with a greater sense of reality (truth, certainty, meaning, etc.) and lower activity is the opposite, then what regulates DMT activity?
If it turns out that DMT is relevant to our thought process and originates in the pineal gland, then perhaps one Enlightenment philosopher wasn’t completely off base, despite his anatomical errors.
Matthew Rosa is a staff writer.He earned a master’s degree in history from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022. Open the gateway to your higher self. Science meets the metaphysical. . . The amazing truth about your third eye. Amazon bestseller. You want direct experience of higher states of consciousness. Mystics, philosophers, religious teachers, and shamans have told us over time that the third eye is the gateway to our higher self and deeper life.
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