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The ‘Third Eye’: The gateway to wisdom

Published:Sunday | March 1, 2015 | 12:00 AMDr Glenville Ashby
The pineal gland is the seat of the 'Third Eye'
Christianity has vilified opening the Third Eye as 'not of God, even though the Bible has hailed and has acknowledged the Third Eye as the bridge to enlightenment.

"I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves, and behold the reality beneath."

- Khalil Gibran


In the religions of antiquity, the Third Eye was the gateway to wisdom.

In ancient Egypt, the pharaoh wore the nemes headdress, a gold and blue striped head cloth with the crown decorated with the uraeus, a snake on the forehead of the crown that represented the Eye of Horus, the All-Seeing Eye of Consciousness, or the Third Eye.

In Hinduism, the snake also shows up on Lord Shiva's forehead. Yogis called it the Ajna Chakra. It is revered in New Age philosophy and occult lore. It has fascinated spiritual seekers and has become their object of wonderment.

To open the Third Eye promises manifold benefits. It heralds the awakening of the sixth sense, the sense of intuition, of knowing, of seeing, of feeling and of hearing so much more. And while modern day Christianity has vilified such practices as being 'not of God;' the Bible has hailed and has acknowledged the Third Eye as the bridge to enlightenment.

In Matthew 6:22 is written: "The light of the body is the eye: if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness."

And in Genesis 32:30 we find the intriguing: "And blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (Pineal): for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Peniel (Pineal) the sun rose upon him, and halted upon his thigh."

This is hardly surprising. You see, in anatomical terms, the Third Eye is found in the centre of the brain, the pineal gland to be exact. The term pineal is derived from the root word pinea, meaning 'pinecone' in Latin.

Interestingly, the pinecone symbol is found in ancient civilisations such as Sumeria, Mesopotamia, the Angkor Wat ruins in Cambodia, in Rome in one of the Vatican courtyards. The pineal gland can be nurtured, cultivated and activated by will or the mind.

This has always been the focus of yogis, mahantas, shamans and so-called godmen.

It requires discipline, dietary restrictions, and, sometimes, forms of asceticism that entail hours of meditation.

But the road to enlightenment can be thorny. Many have fallen victim to their newly found sixth sense. Messages are unclear, they are misinterpreted, leading to spiritual delusions, even psychosis. Maybe they were unprepared or sought guidance from charlatans. Maybe their quest was misdirected and they were void of humility, seeking the Hollywood version of the Third Eye - that of the fantastical, the sensational.

In our consumer-driven society, we pay handsomely for whatever is promised to us, for what we expect.

Intuitive thoughts, according to Casey Kochmer, are not easy to calibrate. He gave an example of a person having a morbid haunch that he shouldn't go into town. He said that such an intuition should elicit caution but should not paralyse a person.

Kochmer heads One River, LLC, a Tao learning centre in Hawaii geared to awakening his clients' spiritual potential. He is a teacher and guide who balks at using the term 'Third Eye', preferring to call it the 'Sense of Potential.'

Intuition, Kochmer advised, should be used with care and not become the driver in a person's life. Generally, he leaves angels and God out of his therapy and pays little significance to the source of inner messages.

"We are all connected," said Kochmer, likening the intuitive experience to being part of an electrical grid or a reservoir of thoughts and feelings. "It is more important how you use your sense of possibilities than its source.

"Regrettably," he said, "western culture does not allow us to develop our Third Eye". Kochmer attributes this to the stranglehold that organised religion has on its followers. It can be a threat to the religious structure, especially the importance given to ministers and priests. The sixth sense affords one spiritual independence.

According to Kochmer, Christians will negate the divine nature of the Third Eye, but unknowingly channel it in their terms. However, if it espoused by a different religious system, outside a biblical framework, it suddenly becomes evil and a handiwork of Satan.

But there is a safe, natural way to harness the way of possibilities. Kochmer taught me that simple but profound method of opening the Third Eye.

Kochmer's method is natural and organic. If only we stop, pause for a moment and listen, will we connect to our potential; begin to understand and see things differently. Only then can we enrich our lives and heal.

"We have over 20 senses. In the same way we blend our five senses, we must learn to add and blend in that sixth sense; that sense that you call the Third Eye."

He does not prescribe a single path for everyone. Each person has a different way of connecting, he said. While some may find comfort practicing meditation and breathing techniques, or prayer, others are more inclined to sit quietly amid nature. It is about using your imagination and relaxing your thoughts. "These are all acceptable."

He calls silence "a simple but profound way of accessing potential". This 51-year-old physicist-turned Taoist teacher called it "living and experiencing your essence".

He conceded that an awakened Third Eye allows one to see a person's aura, to see visions, and much more. "But we don't have to chase these so-called powers. Furthermore, our culture is sceptical of such claims."

It is this cultural baggage that the seeker must be prepared to face. Kochmer, though, cautioned against adventurism. "The Third Eye is too delicate to indulge in with a cavalier approach."

Modesty, humility and kindness are the keys to spiritual fulfilment and experiencing vast possibilities without unnecessary danger.

- Dr Glenville Ashby is the president of Global Interfaith Council. Feedback: or follow him on Twitter@glenvilleashby