The pineal gland is the enigmatic and paradoxical pinnacle of yoga, a door or gateway to a place to which, as we practice yoga at the deepest biological level, clearing ourselves of emotional restrictions, we enable our spiritual essence to rise, expand and become one with the consciousness of the planet.
Enlightenment is no big deal to the enlightened because it can be demystified by working with your biochemistry and its interrelationship to quantum physics. Of course, knowledge of this unifying field is as old as yoga itself: it is just that the terminology has changed. For aura, for example, read morphogenic field, for kundalini, read growth hormone, for Spirit or shakti, organic alcohol. Science and yoga are talking about the same thing in a different language.
There is much new age confusion about such things as Kundalini, due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the science of yoga which is not mystical but biological and chemical—too much waffle and not enough science sums it up. Perhaps now is the time to mature the practise by deepening our understanding. This is not an intellectual exercise but one that engages all life forces of your living being in a gradual process of evolution; trying to understand may not help, experiencing these ideas through guidance and practise and the system of chakras is all inclusive.
Quantum physics should have changed our perceptions forever: when a particle turns into a wave via the observer, what is it that we are witnessing? Integral to the question is the bold suggestion that God is consciousness itself.
The two sides of fundamentalism, religion and atheism, demonstrate that is hard to let go of the world of intellectual speculation and enter into the internal biological experiential science—i.e. yoga, which evolved thousands of year ago in order to know, rather than speculate, by transporting our spirit through the quantum hypergate of the pineal gland and into the realm of the unified field, where all questions are resolved.
Evolution, therefore, is proactive as opposed to random or discursive. What it does require is the will to go beyond the intellectual trap that constitutes the egoic age of the warrior, where we have been stuck for the last few thousand years in speculation, debate, argument and war.
The question that dare not be asked, by some at least, is: do we create reality with our thoughts, and if so, to what degree? How does the interplay of atoms and consciousness find balance within the practice of self union—yoga?
John Burke, a tantric alchemist, based in the Australian bush, explains that in alchemical yoga, the practitioner works with asana and bandha to create, cleanse and then open their energy centres in order to have the biological capacity to move hormonal essence upwards from the gonads. The first stage of the Vajorilli practice is to lock the perineum at mulabandha, the base chakra, at the point of orgasm, thus initially transferring the spermatozoa into the seminal vessels. (This is actually central to the meaning of the word yoga, in the old Sanskrit.) This is the beginning of a quest to expand consciousness through internal mastery and biological consciousness. Sex shows us the potential of bliss—imagine extending it indefinitely. This is the tantric ideal, evolving us beyond the quick uncontrolled moment of pleasure, in which we lose our powerful hormones, and suffer the occasional ennui of instinctively sensing there must be more than this fleeting sensation, in our albeit unconscious attempts of unifying the male and female principle through intimacy.
The kidney heating practice of tu mo causes the hormones to rise, (eventually) ‘enlightening’ the master gland of the endocrine system. Here, then, is the meeting of the sun and the moon, ha-tha. The experience is intense but not beyond the capacity of a yoga student who has regained control of their pelvic floor, the inner sanctum. Rather than looking externally for answers, the focus is internal, where ‘knowing’, before cognition through the grey matter of the heart and autonomic nervous system at the solar plexus, relieves the ego of its heavy burden of continuous speculation and the need to know.
The alchemical tantric practice does not really distinguish between the physical and emotional, because at a biological level, they are united in our essence: ancestral tendencies and memories, for example, are stored within our kidney fat. Tantricas work hand in glove, as it were, with our physicality and biochemical essence which, in turn, reveals our emotional deficits and dissolves them in order to create a clean and clear pathway for the Shakti, or more prosaically, the organic alcohols, which clean the way for the kundalini, the hormones, to travel to their desired destination, once again this is the reason for asana—it never was an isolated exercise routine.
The only guru you need is the earth itself, you—in explicated form. It is simply a question of knowing yourself—literally and absolutely—from the micro to the macro. Your energetic centres all have the capability of biofeedback and scientists now know that we have three bodily centres of grey matter; once you locate and work with the chakras, you wonder at the tragedy of our neglect of our own internal universe which so yearns to be of service, and give the brain a rest releasing a lot of wasted energy in ‘knitted-brow-neediness’.
The pineal gland, the smallest one in the body, is located in the centre of the brain, between the two hemispheres. It is a rudimentary eye with retinal cells and globular lens like cones. Could this be how internal images are perceived in the imagination and dreamscapes, as a transformer to other realms operating at a different frequency than our own material realm? It is also the only gland in the endoctrine system that touches the nerves, the central broadcasting antenna of a regionalized system, the master gland.
The pineal gland produces two powerful hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin’s role, it is said, is that of stabilising consciousness. From the yogic perspective, the pineal gland is the ‘junction’ box of Kundalini : hormones in motion converting them into the electromagnetic matrix in turn forming the muladhara or base chakra of mother earth. Alterations in the level of serotonin are responsible for changes in the perception of reality. Melatonin relates to conductivity of light as well as to our emotional well being: adjusting to day and night. It also plays a role in releasing sexual hormones at its interlocutor, the hormone-producing pituitary gland, which, in turn, awakens the reproductive systems. Our teenage awakened sexuality causes the pineal gland to diminish, as we tend to lose our intuitive non intellectual side at puberty. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is said that a spirit enters the body forty nine days after conception, which is when the pineal gland first appears in the foetus.
The sexual practice, which transfers those powerful growth-regenerative hormones of the gonads that have the greatest potential to ‘expand consciousness,’ eventually illuminates our experience through the lens of lenses—Agneya chakra, giving us the clear sight of intuitive inspiration. Hormones evaporate here in the inverted field of the pituitary, where electrical impulses interact with grey matter creating consciousness—awareness itself. The growth hormones that are left over open up ‘dormant’ areas of the brain, flooding into the pineal gland, activating it as the trans-dimensional turnstile to super-consciousness. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that moves into the so called ‘God’s Spot’, first causing the pituitary gland to expand and revolve upwards enabling the basket or net shaped crown—Sahasrara, to open and unify with God, the earth or if you prefer the unified field of consciousness that connects everything.
The relationship to the actual eye and the pituitary and the pineal gland is an inverse one—perhaps we can put it this way: one looks out and converts life into the agreed paradigm of group consciousness, one looks in and beyond and between the every-day vibration, and one sees all—and is all.
It is here, within this non-linear experience, that we break free of the self-intellectualized image imposed by the dominant ego of the lower hemisphere of ourselves. The point is that evolution is not random but proactive—a systematic biological process of cleaning, transforming and resetting.
Our basic essences known to the tantricas as the alcohols, oils and salts, are germane to this process, as indeed are the adrenaline, organs and elements. It is always hard to separate these for the purpose of compressed view because language in our paradigm is linear: life and tantric biology are not.
Because of its striated conical appearance, the pineal gland has been coincidentally represented as a pine-cone in the major planetary belief systems from the Sumerians, to the Celts, the Hindus and the Catholics and Buddhists, and many others besides. The Vatican has a massive pine cone carving adjoining St. Mark’s square. The question is: do religious devotees know why this symbol is ubiquitous or has the scientific aspect of religion made us forget that this is the means of self-evolution and cosmic union—yoga—itself? As intuitive researcher David Wilcox points out, there are just too many pine-cones in religious art to be a mere coincidence.
And like the quantum particle turning into a wave, the pineal gland is regarded by an increasing number of researchers and scientists as a holographic hypergate, which has the capacity to take us—our ‘spirit’—out of time-space, the three-dimensional linear progression that we blithely assume is the one and only way. Dr. Rick Strassman, medical doctor and psychopharmacologic researcher, intriguingly refers to the spirit molecule, in his research into the electromagnetic field surrounding the pineal gland, as well as the powerful hallucinogenic dimethytryptamine produced within the gland.
In spiritual speak, when we are readied, on offer is surrender into space-time: the dissolution of location and time: a worm-hole out of the illusion of separation. In Jungian terms, the particle represents the material reality of consciousness, and the wave the subconscious underlying energy and psyche: the pathway between the in-breath and out-breath, between the big bang and the big crunch: in tantric yoga, the Sahaj is the perfected balancing act that some call spontaneity and synchronicity. Perhaps it is here within the realm of the pineal gland, between the linear physical and the non-local subconscious, where scientists and yogis can meet—in a happy union of opposites, paradoxes and humor. As John Burke says, “Tantricas yearn to know love and be God, and we only have infinity to do so!”
Karl H Pribram, renowned neurophysiologist at Stanford University, points out: “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond space time, the brain is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe.” This non-localized view came about with his research which revealed mind has no location and that reality is a kind of agreement of present consciousness in a shared frequency, which breaks down through the use of LSD and other hallucinogens used by Shamans, to sidestep the paradigm or agreed construct.
David Bohm, Einstein’s protégé and perhaps the world’s most respected quantum physicist, suggested that were we to view the cosmos without the lenses that are attached to our telescopes, the universe would appear to us as a hologram. Pribram extended this insight by noting that were we deprived of the lenses of our eyes and the lens-like processes of our other sensory receptors, we would be immersed in holographic experiences.
The schizophrenic, it is suggested in Michael Talbot’s book The Holographic Universe, has somehow switched on the pineal gland without having done the work to clear the body’s emotional baggage, and/or the ability of the will to control the experience, and therefore struggles between our reality and other multitudinous realities that interface and interfere with the material construct.
Enlightenment is a literal term, and suggests that it is necessary to become, as Christ said, ‘like a child,’ a reference perhaps to pre-pubescence, when the pineal gland was open enough for the child to glimpse the wider spectrum of creation, devoid of the baggage of encrustation, which paradoxically forms the manure from which we re-energize our kundalini. The overuse of fluoride and other extremely acidic chemicals may well have encrusted the pineal gland, making it harder to reopen in adulthood, although with a vegetarian diet and the purification processes, it is within the reach of all us. I guess governments must have known more than we suspected in regard to the means of closing down evolution for the sake of war and commerce, or is that too extreme for your tastes?
If we are able to come out of the addiction of ejaculation, and work to strengthen our internal connection and musculature, over time, with the interrelated yoga of biochemistry and the movement of regenerative hormones, we will trip into expanded consciousness. Trip may be an appropriate and yet inappropriate term. A trip is a journey, but like Alice, when we plunge into the rabbit hole, we are going perhaps nowhere in terms of place, and yet everywhere in terms of understanding before cognition. Alice in Wonderland was a visual journey for sure, a bad trip maybe, somewhere between a dream and a parallel universe: a clue at least into life through the looking glass of the pineal potential. By doing the biochemical work, of cleaning, transforming, resetting and knowing our house, we stabilize our experience. And rather than the random pre-described semi-schizophrenic half-light, we are able to move away from the age of the reactive warrior into the age of the illuminating artist, the creator of paradise, which paradoxically allows us true spontaneity.
As Thomas Merton pointed out: “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?”
- John Burke Alchemical Retreats near Kempsey, New South Wales (Alchemical Yoga)
- Michael Talbot – The Holographic Universe
- Dr. Rick Strassman – The Spirit Molecule
- Dr. Karl Pribram – Languages of the Brain
- Eric Bohm, neuroscientist – Wholesness and the Implicate Order
- David Wilcox, researcher and author – Towards 2012 Youtube
Simon Hollington is a long-term student of the tantric alchemical yogic tradition, as taught by John Burke, in the Australian bush. This year, 2012, following a powerful meditation experience, Simon felt prompted to write about this subject. “Yoga in the ‘west’ needs to take the next step in the evolution of the practice,” Simon, who for many years was a freelance journalist contributing to The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Sydney Morning Herald, comments, “What I have found is that most yoga magazines are in denial of the real aspects of yoga, and hide in the continuing highly detailed physical minutiae as opposed to broadening the experience of consciousness.”
Edited by Assistant Yoga Editor Soumyajeet Chattaraj.