Understanding The Third Eye

Himalayas Amarnath Hindus Lord Shiva Parvati

Here on a snow covered mountain in the heart of the Himalayas, lies the Amarnath Cave. Every summer, thousands of Hindus make treacherous journey through the steep terrain to witness the formation of a massive vertical ice stalagmite thought to represent Lord Shiva, one of the most powerful gods of Hinduism. According to mythology, it was in this cave that Shiva revealed the secrets of creation to his goddess wife Parvati.
Brahma Vishnu Shiva

Jonathan Young, PH.D said, "There are three great divine energies in the Hindu imagination involved in the creation story.
  1. Brahma actually creates things. This is the great god Brahma, brings things into being.
  2. Vishnu maintains reality 
  3. And Shiva destroys, now shiva is just as important as the other two divine energies. In fact, the trinity would not exist without the destruction.
You cannot have renewal, you cannot have continued growth without the destructive energy."

Lord Shiva

In Hinduism, Shiva is often pictured with a trident. The prongs representing his 3 fundamental powers: will, action and knowledge. he is also often illustrated as having a third eye in the middle of his forehead. But why? 

vertical third eye

Deepak Shimkhada, Ph.D said, "In the iconography, he is clearly depicted with a vertical third eye right in the middle of his forehead. With that eye, he can see things. He has a clairvoyance. When his eye opens it also radiates a lot of energy through that eye."

Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D said, "In the spiritual beliefs of many cultures including ancient India, including many parts of Asia. There is a third eye that is located in the middle of the forehead generally right between the two eyes. And that is a center of spiritual power and in some cases, it is thought to have supernatural powers."

third eye

In the principles of Freemasonry there is a consistent and recurring notion that two sides or pillars can only find balance by the addition of a third, center structure. This center structure is often represented as a mystical or third eye. But why? Is it meant to represent that of an all seeing God? or does it suggest something quite different? Something, perhaps, that can even be found within the human brain? 

Tok Thompson, Ph.D said, "You see this represented in many mystical traditions that this is somehow the mystical eye. There have been many different theories about this, but one of the more interesting ones is that some people said it refers to the pineal gland which is a light sensitive organ that is actually somewhere in the middle of the brain."

pineal gland

Part of the endocrine system, the pineal gland is no larger than a grain of rice, and is shaped like a pinecone. Though it is located deep in the center of the brain between the two hemispheres, it appears to share some characteristics with the human eye.

Heather Berlin, Ph.D said, "The function of the pineal gland is mainly to release a hormone called melatonin, which controls the sleep wake cycles. So, because it's light sensitive, it's sometimes called the third eye. And it's had some mystical implications as well, because it's this asymmetrical structure that's right in the center of the brain."

Is it possible that ancient man was aware of the existence of the pineal gland? And if so, were they also aware of its special function within the brain? 

Kathleen McGowan (Author, The Source of Miracles) said, "From the earliest stages in human history, across a broad spectrum of cultures, this idea of the pineal gland being a mystery gland that is somehow related to enlightenment or a mystical experience is something that we see widely.


Our two eyes, our bodily eyes, allow us to see around us. The third eye allows us to see beyond that. It allows us to see things that we would not normally see.

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