The pineal gland (epiphysis) is found directly in the center of the brain, situated in the rear of this organ, at the height of the space between the eyebrows. It is barely 5 mm in diameter, and is surrounded by a thin grit and make of a small red-grey tissue. Its name is in some way associated to the word pine, as it is similar in likeness to this fruit. The center of the Pineal Gland contains water, and it is interesting to note how in this part of the body is where the greatest concentration of fluoride exists, than in any other area of the body (more than 300 ppm). The water contained in the pineal gland calcifies over time.
The pineal is a gland with very interesting biological functions, and is intimately related to the sexual organs. It secretes a certain hormone that regulate the progress, evolution, and development of these organs. Once it has reached complete development and maturation in these organs, the pineal gland turns into a fibrous tissue, incapable of secreting hormones. This gland is also in charge of secreting melatonin when there is no light. This hormone can influence when we become sleepy at night, or when we wake up in the morning (it is related to the waking and sleeping cycles). Melatonin is also an antioxidant hormone, although in excessive amounts in the body, it can become carcinogenic.
Also, the pineal is joined to a retina by a node; as soon as light penetrates the transparent eyelids, or when light reaches the retina, serotonin is produced. When there is none, as previously explained, it produces melatonin. That’s why this gland is considered to be part of the eyesight, converting light information into a hormonal secretion. On the other hand, it increases cerebral protein synthesis, as well as increasing the production and liberation of dopamine. As a consequence, you could expect an increase of a growth hormone, and the decrease of TSH and prolactin (PRL).
Biological functions of the pineal gland
- Controls the onset of puberty.
- It is an interrupter that serves to regulate the intensity of the functioning of all hypothalamic neuroendocrine centers.
- Harmonizes the vegetative state with the environment through sigh, and perhaps, through the other senses as well.
- Related to the wake and sleep rhythms. Induces sleep.
- It is probable that it regulates circadian rhythms.
- Prevents premature calcification in infancy, and prevents steroid synthesis, directly and indirectly promoting bone growth through the DA and GH.
Train of thought and the pineal gland
The existence of the epiphysis or the pineal gland has been known for more than 200 years. Galenus, in the second century, wrote about the Greek fascination with this gland, concluding that the pineal served the function of regulatory valve for our flow of thoughts. Descartes, 15 centuries later, expressed that the sensations perceived through the eyes are captured by the pineal, and from then, sent to the muscles to produce proper responses; this is an understanding that is accepted today.
Philosophic and esoteric perspectives of the pineal gland
The pineal is also known as the seat of the soul, thus called by Rene Descartes, who proposed that the pineal was a sort of door that connected the body to the soul. In the East, it is believed to be a third, atrophied eye. In India, the Yogis assure that the pineal gland is the Brahma window, the eye of the diamond, where the connection to the thousand petaled lotus is situated in the seventh chakra.
In the East, there exist special practices to activate, to make flourish or to open this important gland. Tibetan monks associate it with the center of clairvoyance and intuition, of intelligence and supreme creativity, extraordinary qualities with which the human being has broken their connection, causing it to atrophy over time.
The pineal is associated with the seventh chakra or seal (vision). This is the chakra of knowledge, where personal integration takes place. It is here that the sense of intuition is developed, and where one connects with Divine direction. It is called the third eye because this chakra sees more than the eyes. This seventh seal is protected by the thalamus, which means to say, a section of interrupters and switches. There are Oriental practices and exercises to activate the pineal gland, and to have access to the supreme power that this gland guards. When the pineal begins to open, or flower, the interrupters (or the thalamus) “turns on” and allows the subconscious mind to flow to the frontal lobe, or the conscious mind. When this happens, it can be said that the person is “enlightened”.
The pineal is considered by Oriental philosophers as a truly natural device within the body that is capable of connecting our mind and body with the Universe. It is associated with the seventh chakra (the crown chakra, or the thousand petaled lotus), and its opening allows access to infinite knowledge. It is the door that geniuses pass through, the portal of the mystics, and esoterics know it as access to total enlightenment. The pineal is the door that allows us to know the unknown, to access other lives, and to experience unimaginable realities.