Before the regression of the pineal gland and the subsequent onset of puberty, children have ready access to a far more diverse range of conscious experience than adult human beings. In fact, many children quite effortlessly possess many of the ‘siddhis’ or psychic powers associated with the awakening of ajna chakra. Children are often highly intuitive, can see into the future or know what their parents are thinking. They are uncanny in their ability to see the reality behind appearances- so much so that it is very difficult to deceive or lie to a child. When the Israeli psychic Uri Geller became famous throughout the world by demonstrating his psychokinetic abilities such as bending forks by ‘thought power’ and stopping the watches and clocks of his television audiences, a number of parents became alarmed because their children began to perform the same feats at home. Children play in a multidimensional world of imaginary friends and places which is largely inaccessible to their parents. They do so because their large functional pineal glands are converting serotonin to melatonin. The effect of this is twofold. Firstly, the lowered serotonin levels give them access to the other states of awareness. Secondly, the high concentration of melatonin holds the powerful influences of the pituitary gland at bay, delaying the onset of puberty. Then at about the age of seven or eight years, the pineal’s function begins to diminish and the pituitary hormones are progressively released, bringing the reproductive system to maturity. Simultaneously with this awakening of the reproductive system, the child is subject to great emotional and mental turmoil as his psyche adjusts to the new sexual role. With the diminished production of melatonin, there is a progressive build up of brain serotonin concentrations and a closing off of the doors into the child’s expanded world of intuitive perception, imagination and play. Tragically, these doors often remain closed for the rest of his life, and the child within him is rarely, if ever, glimpsed again.
However, we need not be prisoners of our own brain biochemistry at all. We can expand our state of consciousness by reactivating the pineal gland, awakening the ajna chakra, opening the third eye -they are all the same process. In this way we regain contact with the child within while simultaneously fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of adult life. Then work becomes play and life a game, rather than the serious and depressing business it has become for many people today.
The science of kundalini yoga progressively re-channels the energy back upwards to its source. When the consciousness is in mooladhara, the possibility of higher awareness is forgotten and we become locked within the mundane state of awareness characteristic of the adult world. In this state, the highest bliss attainable is the momentary and fleeting loss of identity experienced in the climax of the orgasm in sexual union. This is a most powerful experience for a person locked within mundane consciousness, and that is why it is so highly valued and sought after. In fact, this experience gives man and woman the most transitory glimpse of the never ending cosmic bliss which is attained when the same kundalini shakti pierces the sahasrara at the culmination of yoga sadhana. This experience is even described in the tantras in very sexual terms, so that we will have some idea of its nature and intensity. It is described there as the eternal union of Shiva and Shakti, consciousness and energy. This is sahasrara, and this is the goal which yogis seek. It involves a progressive loss of the masculine or feminine sexual role, with the total reorganisation of the endocrine and nervous systems, and the realisation of both elements within the yogi’s body and psyche. This is the symbolic meaning behind the tantric art of India in which Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna are depicted in a very beautiful childlike way, with half masculine and half feminine characteristics. It is a symbolical means of presenting this truth and symbolises that they are ever in cosmic union.
These are the implications of the current pineal gland research. It seems that the scientists and the yogis will at last meet and understand one another face to face on either side of the window of the ajna chakra/pineal gland complex. It is only fitting that this gland, which Rene Descartes, the 16th century French philosopher, termed ‘the seat of the rational soul’ should be the meeting place in which rational and mystical thought once more coalesce and merge. It was Descartes who created the body-mind dichotomy in western thought under which science and philosophy have laboured for the past 400 years. The ajna chakra is the doorway to higher consciousness, and the scientists are now prying open this door.
*1. J. Bleibtreu, ‘The Parable of the Beast‘, Paladin, 1976.
*2. R.J. Wartman & J. Axelrod, “The Pineal Gland” ‘Scientific American’.
*3. B.L. Jacobs, “Seratonin: The Crucial Substance that Turns Dreams On and Off”, ‘Psychology Today’, March 1976.