Third eye
Overview
 
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna
Ajna
Ajna is the sixth primary chakra according to Hindu tradition.-Location:The Ajna chakra is positioned in the brain, directly behind the eyebrow centre, while its ksehtram or superficial activation site is at the eyebrow region, in the position of the 'third eye'.-Appearance:Ajna is white in...

 (brow) chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

 in certain spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness
Higher consciousness
Higher consciousness, also called super consciousness , objective consciousness , Buddhic consciousness , cosmic consciousness, God-consciousness and Christ consciousness , are expressions used in various spiritual traditions to denote the consciousness of a human being who has reached a...

. In New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

ize a state of enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 or the evocation of mental image
Mental image
A mental image is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present to the senses...

s having deeply personal spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with visions
Vision (religion)
In spirituality, a vision is something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation.Visions generally have more clarity than dreams, but traditionally fewer psychological connotations...

, clairvoyance
Clairvoyance
The term clairvoyance is used to refer to the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses, a form of extra-sensory perception...

 (which includes the ability to observe chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

s and auras
Aura (paranormal)
In parapsychology and many forms of spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object . The depiction of such an aura often connotes a person of particular power or holiness. Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things and all objects...

), precognition
Precognition
In parapsychology, precognition , also called future sight, and second sight, is a type of extrasensory perception that would involve the acquisition or effect of future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information or laws of physics...

, and out-of-body experience
Out-of-body experience
An out-of-body experience is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body ....

s.
Encyclopedia
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna
Ajna
Ajna is the sixth primary chakra according to Hindu tradition.-Location:The Ajna chakra is positioned in the brain, directly behind the eyebrow centre, while its ksehtram or superficial activation site is at the eyebrow region, in the position of the 'third eye'.-Appearance:Ajna is white in...

 (brow) chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

 in certain spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness
Higher consciousness
Higher consciousness, also called super consciousness , objective consciousness , Buddhic consciousness , cosmic consciousness, God-consciousness and Christ consciousness , are expressions used in various spiritual traditions to denote the consciousness of a human being who has reached a...

. In New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

ize a state of enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 or the evocation of mental image
Mental image
A mental image is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present to the senses...

s having deeply personal spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with visions
Vision (religion)
In spirituality, a vision is something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation.Visions generally have more clarity than dreams, but traditionally fewer psychological connotations...

, clairvoyance
Clairvoyance
The term clairvoyance is used to refer to the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses, a form of extra-sensory perception...

 (which includes the ability to observe chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

s and auras
Aura (paranormal)
In parapsychology and many forms of spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object . The depiction of such an aura often connotes a person of particular power or holiness. Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things and all objects...

), precognition
Precognition
In parapsychology, precognition , also called future sight, and second sight, is a type of extrasensory perception that would involve the acquisition or effect of future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information or laws of physics...

, and out-of-body experience
Out-of-body experience
An out-of-body experience is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body ....

s. People who have allegedly developed the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.

In Hinduism and Buddhism

In Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, the third eye is a symbol of enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 (see moksha
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 and nirvana
Nirvana
Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

). In the Indian tradition, it is referred to as the gyananakashu, "the eye of knowledge", which is the seat of the "teacher inside" or antar-guru. The third eye is the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) also known as brow chakra or brow center. This is commonly denoted in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n and East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

n iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 with a dot, eye or mark on the forehead of deities or enlightened beings, such as Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

, the Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

, or any number of yogis
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, sages and bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

s. This symbol is called the "Third Eye" or "Eye of Wisdom", or, in Buddhism, the urna
Urna
For the Mongolian singer see Urna The Urna, more correctly ūrṇā or ūrṇākośa is a spiral or circular dot placed on the forehead of Buddhist images as an auspicious mark...

. In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva's third eye causes the eventual destruction of the physical universe.

Many Hindus wear a tilaka
Tilaka
200px|thumb|right|Indian woman with tilaka and [[Bindi |bindi]]In Hinduism, the tilaka or tika or tilak is a mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body...

 between the eyebrows to represent the third eye.

In the Upanishads, a human being is likened to a city with ten gates. Nine gates (eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, urethra, anus) lead outside to the sensory world. The third eye is the tenth gate and leads to inner realms housing myriad spaces of consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

.
Chakra Color Primary Functions Associated Element
Classical element
Many philosophies and worldviews have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements refer to ancient beliefs...

Location Open or Balance Foods Symbol
Third eye
ājñā, आज्ञा
indigo
Indigo
Indigo is a color named after the purple dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. The color is placed on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet...

Direct perception, intuition, imagination, visualization, concentration, Self-mastery, Extra Sensory Perception time / light Between the eyebrows. (Pineal gland) Meditation, guided visualization. Dark bluish colored fruits, Liquids, Spices

In the Western Wisdom Teachings

According to Max Heindel
Max Heindel
Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

's Rosicrucian
Rosicrucian
Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe...

 writings, called Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings may refer to:*The Western mystery tradition*The Esoteric Christian philosophy of the Rosicrucians as expounded by Max Heindel in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception and subsequent books, lectures and lessons....

, the third eye is localized in the pituitary body and the pineal gland
Pineal gland
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions...

. It was said that in the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. According to this view, they were connected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system
Sympathetic nervous system
The sympathetic nervous system is one of the three parts of the autonomic nervous system, along with the enteric and parasympathetic systems. Its general action is to mobilize the body's nervous system fight-or-flight response...

 and to regain contact with the inner worlds (to reawaken the pituitary body and the pineal gland) it is necessary to establish the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebrospinal nervous system
Central nervous system
The central nervous system is the part of the nervous system that integrates the information that it receives from, and coordinates the activity of, all parts of the bodies of bilaterian animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and radially symmetric animals such as jellyfish...

. It was said that when that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds (i.e. clairvoyance
Clairvoyance
The term clairvoyance is used to refer to the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses, a form of extra-sensory perception...

), but on a grander scale than it was in the distant past, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

.

Gnostic teachings

According to the gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor
Samael Aun Weor
Samael Aun Weor , born Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, Colombian citizen and later Mexican, was an author, lecturer and founder of the 'Universal Christian Gnostic Movement' with his teaching of 'The Doctrine of Synthesis' of all religions in both their esoteric and exoteric aspects...

, the third eye is referenced symbolically and functionally several times in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, which as a whole is seen as a work describing Kundalini
Kundalini
Kundalini literally means coiled. In yoga, a "corporeal energy" - an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine. It is envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent, hence a number of English renderings of the term such as 'serpent...

 and its progression upwards through three and a half turns and seven chakras. This interpretation equates the third eye with the sixth of the seven churches of Asia detailed therein, the Church of Philadelphia.

Elsewhere

The third eye is used in many meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

 schools and arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, such as in yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, qigong
Qigong
Qigong or chi kung is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation...

, many Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

, Zen
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

, and in Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts refers to the enormous variety of martial arts native to Japan. At least three Japanese terms are often used interchangeably with the English phrase "Japanese martial arts": , literally meaning "martial way", , which has no perfect translation but means something like science,...

 such as Karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

and Aikido
Aikido
is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to...

.

In terms of Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

, the Ajna chakra is attributed to the sphere of Chokmah, or Wisdom, although others regard the third eye as corresponding to the non-emanated sephirah of da'ath (knowledge).

Technique

In Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 and many traditional Chinese religious sects such as "chan", "third eye training" involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed in various qigong
Qigong
Qigong or chi kung is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation...

 postures. The goal of this training is to allow students to have the ability in tuning into right vibration of the universe and gain solid foundation into more advanced meditation levels.

In theory, the third eye, also called the mind's eye
Mind's eye
The phrase "mind's eye" refers to the human ability for visualization, i.e., for the experiencing of visual mental imagery; in other words, one's ability to "see" things with the mind.- Physical basis :...

, is situated right between the two eyes, and expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened. It is one of the main energy centers of the body located at the sixth chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

 (the third eye is in fact a part of the main meridian, the line separating left and right hemispheres of the body). In Taoist alchemy the third eye is correlated with the upper dantian
Dantian
Dantian, dan t'ian, dan tien or tan t'ien is loosely translated as "elixir field". It is described as an important focal point for internal meditative techniques.There are various points of dantian...

.

The pineal gland

Some writers and researchers, including H.P. Blavatsky and Rick Strassman
Rick Strassman
Dr. Rick Strassman is a medical doctor specialized in psychiatry with a fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology research. Strassman was the first person in the United States after twenty years of intermission to embark in human research with psychedelic, hallucinogenic, or entheogenic substances...

, have suggested that the third eye is in fact the partially dormant pineal gland
Pineal gland
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions...

, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain. Various types of lower vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s, such as reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s and amphibian
Amphibian
Amphibians , are a class of vertebrate animals including animals such as toads, frogs, caecilians, and salamanders. They are characterized as non-amniote ectothermic tetrapods...

s, can actually sense light via a third parietal eye
Parietal eye
A parietal eye, also known as a parietal organ or third-eye or pineal eye, is a part of the epithalamus present in some animal species...

—a structure associated with the pineal gland—which serves to regulate their circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm
A circadian rhythm, popularly referred to as body clock, is an endogenously driven , roughly 24-hour cycle in biochemical, physiological, or behavioural processes. Circadian rhythms have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria...

s, and for navigation, as it can sense the polarization of light.

Expanded clairvoyance

C.W. Leadbeater claimed that by extending an "etheric tube" from the third eye, it is possible for one to develop microscopic vision and telescopic vision. It has been asserted by Stephen Phillips that the third eye's microscopic vision is capable of observing objects as small as quark
Quark
A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly...

s.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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