THE BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF THE THIRD EYE by Richard Alan Miller, c1975. From the time of D
THE BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF THE THIRD EYE
by Richard Alan Miller, c1975.
From the time of Dionysius to the time of Plato, the
cultures of the Mediterranean consented to the doctrine that
claimed the existence of an order of ultimate reality which
lies beyond apparent reality. This "paranormal" reality was
accessible to the consciousness only when the "normal"
routines of mental data processing were dislocated. It was
Plato's pupil Aristotle who changed his teacher's game,
separating physics from metaphysics. The philosophical
temper of our present civilization, being scientifically and
technically oriented, is basically Aristotelian.
No such rational figure as Aristotle arose in the Orient to
a position of equal eminence. Because of this and other
reasons, Indian anatomists and zoologists, who where no
doubt just as curious as the Greeks about the origins of
life, and as skilled in dissection, did not feel compelled
to set their disciplines up in opposition to metaphysics.
Physical and metaphysical philosophy remained joined like
Siamese twins. As a result, the discipline which became
medicine in the West evolved into a system known as
Kundalini Yoga in the Hindu culture.
In Western terms, Kundalini Yoga can be best understood as a
biological statement contained within the language of the
poetic metaphor. The system makes the attempt of joining
the seeming disparate entities of body and mind. It is a
very complicated doctrine; in oversimplified terms, the
system encourages the practitioner to progress through the
control of a number of stages, called Chakras or mind-body
coordination. A sixth, associated with clairvoyance and
telepathy, is called the Ajna.
The physiological site of this sixth Chakra, the Ajna, is
located in the center of the forehead. It is symbolized by
an eye - the so-called third eye, the inner eye, or the eye
of the mind. When this eye is opened, a new and completely
different dimension of reality is revealed to the
practitioner of yoga. Western scholars when they first
encountered this literature, took the third eye to be an
appropriately poetic metaphor and nothing else.
It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century, as
the subcontinent of Australia and its surrounding territory
came to be explored, that a flurry of interest centered upon
a lizard native to the are, the tuatara (Sphenodon
punctatum). This animal possessed, in addition to two
perfectly ordinary eyes located on either side of its head,
a third eye buried in the skull which was revealed through
an aperture in the bone, covered by a transparent membrane,
and surrounded by a rosette of scales. It was unmistakably
a third eye but upon dissection it proved to be
Though this eye still possessed the structure of a lens and
a retina, these were found to be no longer in good working
order: also lacking were the appropriate neural connections
to the brain. The presence of this eye in the tuaqtara
still posses a puzzle to present-day evolutionists, for
almost all vertebrates possess a homologous structure in the
center of their skull. It is present in many fish, all
reptiles, birds, and mammals (including man). This
structure is known in literature today as the pineal gland.
The gland is shaped like a tine pine cone situated deep in
the middle of the brain between the two hemispheres.
Studies then began to determine whether this organ was a
true functioning gland or merely a vestigial sight organ, a
relic from our reptilian past. In 1959 Dr. Aaron Lerner and
his associates at Yale University found that meletonin (1),
a hormone manufactured by the pineal gland, was created
through the action of certain enzymes on a precursor
chemical which must pre-exist in the pineal in order for it
to be transformed into melatonin. This precursor chemical
turned out to be serotonin (2).
It was E.J. Gaddum, a professor of pharmacology at the
University of Edinburgh, who was the first to note a
connection between serotonin and mental states of being. In
a paper published in 1953, he pointed out the fact that
LSD-25 was a potent antagonist to serotonin. Serotonin is
not an unusual chemical in nature; it is found in many
places - some of them odd, like the salivary glands of
octopuses, others ordinary; it abounds in plants such as
bananas, figs, and plums. What then is its function in the
The task of exploring the role played by melatonin, and its
precursor serotonin, was undertaken by a biochemist, Julius
Axelrod. He found that melatonin suppressed physiological
sexuality in mammals. If test animals were stimulated to
manufacture excessive amounts of melatonin, their gonads and
ovaries tended to become reduced in size, to shrink, to
atrophy. The estrous or fertility cycle in females could
likewise be altered experimentally by doses of melatonin.
Now two most curious functions had been attributed to the
pineal gland, the third eye of the mind:
(1) It has now been established that this organ
produced a chemical which had, indirectly at least, been
associated with psychedelic states, and
(2) It also produced a chemical which suppressed
The literature of religious mysticism in all ages and all
societies has viewed the mystical passion of ecstasy as
being somehow antagonistic to, or in competition with,
Axelrod and his co-workers also discovered another
incredible fact: the pineal gland produces its chemical
according to a regular oscillating beat, the basis of this
beat being the so-called circadian rhythm. They found that
the pineal responded somehow to light conditions, that by
altering light conditions they could extend, contract, or
even stabilize the chemical production rhythms of the
The fact that the pineal responds to light, even if this
response is indirect via the central nervous system, has
some fascinating and far-reaching conceptual applications.
There are many behavioral changes which overtake animals as
the seasons change, and which can be produced out of season
in the laboratory by simulating the appropriate span of
artificial daylight. Do such seasonal changes in mood and
behavior persist in humans?
The great religious holy days of all faiths tend to cluster
around the times of the solstices and equinoxes. Is it
possible that the human pineal gland responds to these
alterations in length of daylight? Changing the balance of
neurohumors in the brain may perhaps effect a greater
incidence of psychedelic states in certain susceptible
individuals just at these crucial times. This possibility
provides an entirely new potential dimension to our secular
understanding of the religious experience.
The pineal gland has thus been referred to as a kind of
biological clock, one which acts as a kind of coupling
system; perhaps maintaining phase relations within a
multi-oscillator system; a phase coordinator for multiple
bio-rhythms. The pineal is a "cosmic eye;" it is aware of
celestial rhythm. It "tunes" our biochemistry to those
subtle rhythms not observed by the normal eye, like seasonal
and lunar changes rather than daily ones. Serotonin can be
seen as the "intensity knob" of the brain. As the level of
serotonin increases, so does the level of activation of the
Strong suspicion has fallen now on serotonin as being one of
the principle agents of the psychedelic experience. Studies
now reveal that LSD-25 strikes like a chemical guerrilla,
entering into receptor granules in the brain cells swiftly,
and then leaving after a very short time, perhaps ten to
twenty minutes (in animals). When the bulk of LSD-25 has
left the receptor granules, it is replaced by what seems to
be excessive, or super-normal amounts of serotonin. The
LSD-25 creates what is called a "bouncing effect," like a
spring pushed too tight. When the LSD-25 leaves the system,
the serotonin springs back and overcompensates.
For most of us, most of the time, our world is a Darwinian
environment. We must manipulate ourselves within it, or
attempt to manipulate it in order to survive. These
survival needs tend to color our appreciation of this world,
and we are continually making judgments about it. Some of
these judgements are based on prior personal experience,
others are provide by the culture. This "recognition
system" is one of the elements disrupted by the psychedelic
The principle question concerning psychedelic states
remains: How much disruption can the system tolerate? The
problem of how to maintain a certain madness while at the
same time functioning at peak efficiency has now captured
the attention of many psychiatrists. There seems to be a
point at which Edgar Allen Poe's "creative madness" becomes
degenerative, impeding function rather than stimulating it.
In light of this analysis, a shaman can be seen to be
uncoupling his internal bio-sensor from the universal
inputs. He gets "drift" where he is rushed toward new
signal-to-noise ratios. The particular rituals are set up
to disconnect the shaman from his social and cosmic
environment. this is done through the ritual use of
hallucinogens; they de-synchronize his internal rhythms.
This de-synchronization produces more noise in his
awareness. It also expands that awareness. The rituals are
so designed as to contain elements which focus or tune that
"noise" and direct the expanded awareness.
Man is unique by virtue of being possessed by intuitions
concerning the scope of the mysterious universe he inhabits.
He has devised for himself all manner of instruments to
prove the nature of this universe. The beginnings of
scientific understanding of shamanistic ritual and the
function of the third eye provide man with powerful new
techniques for exploration. This will allow him to
penetrate the vast interior spaces where the history of
millions of years of memories lies entangled among the roots
of the primordial self.
(1) The chemical substance melanin is the pigment which
darkens skin color. It is located in specialized cells
scattered through the topmost layer of skin. Melatonin was
found to be the substance responsible for causing the
contraction of melanin-producing cells.
(2) Serotonin is of the same chemical series of indole
alkaloids which include psychedelic drugs such as LSD-25,
psilocybin, D.M.T. and bufotenine. The hormone serotonin is
also known as 5-hydroxtryptamine.
06-01-92 This paper was originally written in 1975 for
several scientific publications, and was reprinted IN THE
CONTINUUM (Vol.II, No.3) in 1978. At that time, I made a
very important discovery which was added to THE HOLISTIC
QABALAH series. I thought to share that discovery at this
time, to complete my thoughts on this subject:
In 1979 I was in a very serious accident, where I was
crushed between a brick wall and an out-of-control
automobile. My left knee was crushed, the parenteal nerve
was severed at the knee. I was going to loose my leg! I
postponed surgery, did some specific rituals with Kundalini
and my "third eye," and now have complete regeneration of
nerve tissue - something now believed by mainstream medicine
as physically impossible. Here is how I did it:
There is a "chill" which runs up (Gopi Krishna) or down (Sri
Aurobino) the spine at certain times of the week. You can,
in some situations, actually induce this event. Sometimes,
you can make our whole body shake. This is the physical
aspects of Kundalini. On a physical plane, there are a
series of small nerve fillia that stick out from the spine -
almost like a "ladder."
The "chill" is an EM-wave that is traveling up (or down) the
spine, as each nerve fillia begins to oscillate. The most
interesting fact about this is that the EM-field frequency
in the visible light region! This is what most religions
refer to as "The Light." And what is a the very top end of
this wave-train of light? The pineal gland!
Now, if you stimulate the pineal gland on a regular basis -
lets do it 3 times each day, what happens next is wonderful.
The pineal gland is "light sensitive," its primary function
now understood to regulate the body for seasonal changes
(health). This so stimulates the pineal gland that it sends
out a signal down the neural cavity. The neural cavity, of
course, connects the pineal gland at one end with the
thalamus at the other....
What happens is that a resonant cavity oscillator is set up
in the neural cavity, causing it to modify the gleal cell it
normally manufactures. If there are enough trace minerals
in your diet, this stimulated neural cavity with actually
create true nerve cells, rather than those associate with
sheath (gleal). If you take a trace mineral supplement and
do this exercise, you can regenerate nerve tissue!
The actual process took some 5 months of daily meditation,
as the actual consistency of nerve tissue is somewhat like
that of Vitamin E - very viscus and slow to travel down my
central nervous system to my knee. I no longer have nerve
loss of any kind. This was documented by Clinic 7 (Pain
Clinic) at the University of Washington in 1980. I now walk
normally, although I still have some structural problems.
This is but one application of the principles outlined in
this paper. Serotonin can also be considered a "Gate" for
accessing other dimensions not accessible to "normal"
consciousness. If you enjoy this style of writing and these
subjects, I recommend you review the DrRam Bibliography
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank