Is the Pineal Gland a Third Eye?

In our last post we illustrated how the pine cone, its scales, and shape, are regarded as a symbol of enlightenment by many world cultures across millennia, despite these cultures being unable to communicate their beliefs cross-culturally through distance and time.

As humanity became first curious about our anatomy, and then having the tools to perform intricate dissection, it was found before 100 BC that the brain had dedicated regions that could be mapped, responsible for various physical actions and sensations. Through brain dissection around 200 years later a Roman researcher named Galen discovered a brain gland, shaped like the seed kernel of the Mediterranean stone pine tree cone, which he named the pine-eal gland.
Mediterranean stone pine tree

As legend and myth since before Galen’s time had accepted the pine cone as a symbol of enlightenment, Galen posed that the kernel shaped pineal gland, found deep in inside the other lobes of the brain, must be the kernel or seat of god-like vision and understanding. By extension Galen posed that the pineal must be the origin of a person’s soul; further that this area of the brain was a “third eye” or a somewhat sketchy or etheral connection to a Supreme Governor of Being.

This theory held until roughly the 1600’s when further brain research linked the early mapping of brain regions to exact bodily function, explaining how damage to specific area of a brain corresponded to specific physical impairment, like paralysis or numbness. But no one could prove (or disprove) that the pineal’s function was a gatekeeper of sorts to the cloud of human spirituality. Over time the idea grew stale but persisted.

From 1600 to 1900 a revival of the universal powers attributed to a Third Eye surfaced and submerged, with a modern modified theory still existing in a socially hidden realm involved in practices like tarot reading, crystal gazing and Ouija board seance, to name a few. Toward the end of the 19’th Century a Russian philosopher, one Madame Blavatsky, theorized that the pineal was a shriveled version of the third eye referred to in Hindu texts.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Dnipro, Ukraine, from 1831 to 1891, who claimed to be educated in spiritualism in Shigatse, Tibet. She was Founder of the Theosophical Society connected to Egyptian goddess Isis
Egyptian goddess Isis kneeling with traditional magic wand made with quartz, amethyst crystals, wood and feathers

I wasn’t until 1958 that the endocrine nature of the pineal was connected to the brain chemical melatonin (not to be confused with “melanin”, a skin darkening pigment) . Further research found melatonin responsible for governing our circadian rhythm of sleep/wake cycles. This connection has proven useful in our modern world to some seeking relief from jet-lag and occasional insomnia. The pineal’s output of melatonin decreases with age.

Personally I don’t find malatonin helpful for any sleep problems, but new research points to it being useful as a supplement for age related osteoporosis. McGill University paper here.

I hope these two posts departing from my usual themes offer inspiration for independent thinking. Any comments would be useful.

As always, peace and abundance to all. Rob