Know Your Brain: The Pineal Gland — Perceiving Your “Mind’s Eye”


This could serve to explain why science has merely a partial understanding of its function and secretory activity. From a profound sense of clarity and presence to an increase in physical and mental health and balance, the effects of its proper functioning are wide ranging and can be difficult to communicate. Further study will provide the elusive link between science and spirituality.

Discoveries about the intricate link between the mind and body are accelerating as practices of East and West continue to meld. The Western scientific study of the endocrine system provides the details behind the nature of attaining health and well-being through the ancient Eastern practice of balancing the chakras, invisible energy centers along the spine. The glands of the endocrine system are each linked to a chakra.

Providing a physical correspondence to each, the glands of the endocrine system possess sets of scientifically provable functions which in turn correlate with spiritual teachings. Through endocrinology, Western medical science has only just begun to explore the mechanisms behind the balance between the glands of the endocrine system.

Scientific findings continue to reveal how these centers serve as a meeting ground between the immaterial world of emotions, thoughts, and spirituality, and how they affect our physical reality. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), an interdisciplinary study of the links between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems, lays the groundwork for what’s becoming a new understanding of our psychophysiological system.

The pineal gland is mainly made up of pinealocytes, which have a strong resemblance to the photoreceptor cells of the eye. As such, many link the pineal gland to the mystical third eye or Ajna chakra.

According to Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga (which focuses on self-realization), Ajna “is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion. Forgiveness is the power to let go of anger, hatred, and resentment and to discover, in humility, the nobility and generosity of the spirit. It is the one that dissolves all our ego, conditionings, habits, false ideas of racialism, and all our misidentifications. It is the narrow gate which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to its final destination, which is the seventh center.”

In other words, letting go of anger, hatred and resentment, which are all attachments to fear, leads to a peaceful state of contentment and well-being.

As Eastern teachings have held for centuries, the glands of the endocrine system are the key to the mysteries of both reproduction and creativity, as well as the potentiality and regenerative powers lying latent within each of us. The implications of the complexity of the psyche (the Greek word for “soul”) and how it relates to the proper functioning of the pineal gland are vast and provide an exciting scientific frontier for humanity.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2012 issue of Brain World Magazine.

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