The source of psychical phenomena - what part does the pineal gland play?
If you haven't yet read Ashley Knibb's article, I suggest you do: The Source of Psychical Phenomena
One could write a book when it comes to discussing the source of psychical phenomena and it is not something that I can sum up in just one post. So when Ashley mentioned the Pineal Gland being a possible physical link to the phenomena, I knew there was a reason why we had decided to team up as again in some kind of 'synchronicity', this is something I have been researching personally for months. So my focus for this article is toward the pineal gland itself and it's possible connection to psychical phenomena.
The 4 main intuitive senses are thought to be:
Clairvoyance (clear seeing) A person may physically see things manifest. They often have precognitive dreams and images with information are presented in their minds.
Clairaudience (clear hearing) A person may audibly hear a message physically or mentally within their mind. Messages are sent telepathically and they communicate via thoughts.
Clairsentience (clear feeling) A person can physically feel and sense the emotions of an energy including pain.
Claircognizance (clear knowing) A person just knows information almost like a gut feeling that they can feel 100% deep within their soul is correct.
Some people have all of these abilities, while some only have one, and some of us don't think we any at all. Some of you reading this may potentially resonate with some of these at varying levels or had an experience with similauralities. The common ground however is that most people that I talk to about having these abilities will tell me that they all were born with it.. They have had the ability since they can remember. Some can even remember experiences from when they were a child. Many will agree in saying that they believe everyone is capable to some degree of accessing these abilities and that it it something within all of us. Something again which Ashley suggests in his article.
So, my understanding of the source of psychical phenomena is that it could be an internal construct. That is to say, we are the key common denominator to such phenomena. - Ashley Knibb
I would have to agree with him in this case as it is something I have personally long believed. He then goes on to suggest that it is the pineal gland in particular that could be the 'Physical Seat' which is also something Descartes wrote extensively about.
My view is that this gland is the principal seat of the soul, and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. The reason I believe this is that I cannot find any part of the brain, except this, which is not double. Since we see only one thing with two eyes, and hear only one voice with two ears, and in short have never more than one thought at a time, it must necessarily be the case that the impressions which enter by the two eyes or by the two ears, and so on, unite with each other in some part of the body before being considered by the soul. Now it is impossible to find any such place in the whole head except this gland; moreover it is situated in the most suitable possible place for this purpose, in the middle of all the concavities; and it is supported and surrounded by the little branches of the carotid arteries which bring the spirits into the brain” 29 January 1640, AT III:19–20, CSMK 143
What is the pineal gland?
The pineal gland is a pea shaped mass of tissue which sits behind the third ventricle of the brain. It is also considered in spiritual circles to be ‘the third eye’. It’s primary function is to produce Melatonin which signals the body when it is time to sleep. This also has an effect on female reproductive hormones – as does the adjacent pituitary gland. I have written about the pineal gland in the past and it's relationship with the close by pituitary gland pondering if this relationship could have some kind of correlation to females and psychic abilities. It is long debated that it seems women are more inclined to have psychic abilities, and perhaps this plays some part in that.
How do different cultures view the penal gland?
For Buddhists, the pineal is a symbol of spiritual awakening.
In Hinduism, the pineal is the seat of intuition and clairvoyance.
For Taoists, the pineal is the mind’s eye or heavenly eye.
Ancient Greeks believed the pineal was our connection to thought itself.
In ancient Egypt, we find numerous references to the third eye and the pineal region, in particular the Eye of Ra.
“Seat of the rational soul.” A sketch by Descartes.
The pineal gland is thought by many different cultures over the last few centuries to be the doorway as such between our physical 3D world, and the psychic dimension which sits beyond it. One speculation I am hearing more and more of today from the spiritual community, is a possible connection between the pineal gland and DMT and that DMT in some way is the 'key' that helps to unlock that door.
Does the pineal gland secrete DMT?
It has also been speculated within the spiritual community that the pineal gland is responsible for producing DMT otherwise known as dimethyltryptamine. It is referred to in these circles as the 'spirit hormone'. This is a natural biochemical substance which invokes experiences that are similar to near death experiences. As plants contain DMT, some cultures use this as a part of spiritually awakening ceremonies and to aid in expanding a person’s consciousness. It is thought by some that the pineal gland secretes DMT during birth and near death which is offered as one of the explanations for an altered state of consciousness during a near death experience. It is also thought to secrete DMT during sleep. This in part again could offer some sort of correlation to pre cognitive dreams. While this is speculation, Psychedelic researcher David E. Nichols who is an adjunct professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry at the University of North Carolina has said it is impossible. In his paper for Psychopharmacology he states
The pineal gland has a romantic history, from pharaonic Egypt, where it was equated with the eye of Horus, through various religious traditions, where it was considered the seat of the soul, the third eye, etc. Recent incarnations of these notions have suggested that N,N-dimethyltryptamine is secreted by the pineal gland at birth, during dreaming, and at near death to produce out of body experiences. Scientific evidence, however, is not consistent with these ideas. The adult pineal gland weighs less than 0.2 g, and its principal function is to produce about 30 µg per day of melatonin, a hormone that regulates circadian rhythm through very high affinity interactions with melatonin receptors. It is clear that very minute concentrations of N,N-dimethyltryptamine have been detected in the brain, but they are not sufficient to produce psychoactive effects. Alternative explanations are presented to explain how stress and near death can produce altered states of consciousness without invoking the intermediacy of N,N-dimethyltryptamine.
Calcification of the pineal gland
As we age, the pineal gland begins to calcify. It is said by some that fluoride is the cause of this however there isn't necessarily enough solid research to back this up. The gland itself though does in fact calcify from the onset of puberty and as get we older. A lot of spiritual circles believe that it is this calcification that is blocking everyday folk from unlocking their full potential. Let's explore this theory a little deeper. When you speak to a lot of sensitive people, they comment that anyone is capable of psychic development. Often it is speculated that when you are a child, you are the most open to the spiritual world. As you grow and learn about the world, the invisible friends that you spoke to as a child disappear as you start to learn the 'truth' about the world. We often tell our kids 'there is no such thing as ghosts' so that they won't be scared. If they are perhaps talking to someone that isn't there we quickly put it to the side and tell them it is just their imagination. It is thought that this is one of the reasons that as a child gets older, they slowly start to lose this openness to the spiritual world. If the pineal gland is the physical key here, the fact that it calcifies as we get older could be a link.
Accessing psychical abilities
For some people with these abilities, things just happen. They feel they are open all the time and 'spirits' visit them and are always around them making themselves known. For others, they have had to work a bit harder to be able to focus in on their abilities - which is not uncommon as again people have different levels and sensitivities. A lot of people use meditation to not only focus on their abilities, but also to develop and become 'more in tune'. What is interesting about the word meditation is that it is one of the suggested activities in order to decalcify the pineal gland. If meditating helps you to develop your psychic abilities and in turn helps to decalcify the pineal gland, does this again show us that there is a link here between the pineal gland and psychic ability? I of course don't have any research here to back up if decalcification of the pineal gland actually occurs through meditation, but it is an interesting concept to ponder.
It would be interesting to see some actual studies to back up some of these claims. It would be particularly interesting to see a study of individuals who attempt to decalcify their pineal gland and not only see CT scans to see the progress of the physical development, but to also see if this in part has any effect of the potential psychical abilities. The pineal gland itself is something that has almost been worshipped for centuries and is seen not only just in one but several cultures as being the pivotal link to spiritual enlightenment . Perhaps it is the physical seat between the two realms. The question then becomes, what is on the other side of the door? While it allows us to see, feel and communicate with these energies or consciousness, what exactly are they? Ashley mentioned in his article Descartes's notion of dualism and that quite simply the body and the mind are two separate things which is quite an interesting thought and lends into the survival hypothesis in that our mind or consciousness can still exist without a physical body. The thing with consciousness is, it is not bound by time or space. How do we know that the consciousness or energy that we are supposedly communicating with is in fact a person who has passed? Consciousness is not necessary bound to the physical laws of nature like the brain is. Take a moment to really think about the different possibilities that potentially come with that. Something perhaps to be discussed next time.
So I would like to hear your thoughts? Do you think there is a link between the pineal gland and psychical activity? Where do you think these abilities come from? Are we born with it? Is it something internal inside of us or is it something else? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! In mean time, I am sure Ashley has some further thoughts to add!
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