Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Third Eye

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A Cambodian Shiva head showing a third eye.
The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight.[1] In certain dharmic spiritual traditions such as Hinduism, the third eye refers to the ajna, or brow, chakra.[2] The third eye is referred to the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras,[3] precognition, and out-of-body experiences. People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.

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[edit] Characteristics

The third eye is supposedly located around the middle of the forehead, slightly above the junction of the eyebrows. In some traditions, it is believed to be connected with the pineal gland, or identical with it. Some theories posit that in far ancient times, humans had a third eye on their foreheads which provided them the ability to peer into spiritual realms. Over time, the third eye atrophied and sunk into the convolutions of the brain.[1]

[edit] In Hinduism

Hindu tradition associates the third eye with the sahasrara, or crown, chakra.[1] However, in the Tantra yoga system it is associated with the sound Om, and is known as the Ajna chakra. In Tantra, the crown is believed to be the Shivatic lotus of ten thousand petals.[citation needed]

[edit] In Taoism

In Taoism and many traditional Chinese religious sects such as Chan (a cousin to the Zen school), "third eye training" involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed, and while the body is in various qigong postures. The goal of this training is to allow students to tune in to the correct "vibration" of the universe and gain a solid foundation on which to reach more advanced meditation levels.
Taoism teaches that the third eye, also called the mind's eye, is situated between the two physical eyes, and expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened. Taoism claims that the third eye is one of the main energy centers of the body located at the sixth chakra, forming a part of the main meridian, the line separating left and right hemispheres of the body.[4]

[edit] In Christianity

According to the teaching of Father Richard Rohr, the concept of the third eye is a metaphor for non-dualistic thinking; the way the mystics see. In Rhohr's concept, mystics employ the first eye (sensory input such as sight) and the second eye (the eye of reason, meditation, and reflection), "but they know not to confuse knowledge with depth, or mere correct information with the transformation of consciousness itself. The mystical gaze builds upon the first two eyes—and yet goes further."
"It happens whenever, by some wondrous “coincidence,” our heart space, our mind space, and our body awareness are all simultaneously open and nonresistant. I like to call it presence. It is experienced as a moment of deep inner connection, and it always pulls you, intensely satisfied, into the naked and undefended now, which can involve both profound joy and profound sadness at the very same time." Rohr refers to this level of awareness as "having the mind of Christ".[5]

[edit] In Gnosticism

According to the gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, the third eye is referenced symbolically and functionally several times in the Book of Revelation 3:7-13, a work which, as a whole, he believes describes Kundalini 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.[6]

[edit] In Theosophy

Adherents of Theosophy H.P. Blavatsky[7] and Rick Strassman, have suggested that the third eye is in fact the partially dormant pineal gland, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain. Various types of lower vertebrates, such as reptiles and amphibians, can actually sense light via a third parietal eye—a structure associated with the pineal gland—which serves to regulate their circadian rhythms, and for navigation, as it can sense the polarization of light.
C.W. Leadbeater claimed that by extending an "etheric tube" from the third eye, it is possible to develop microscopic and telescopic vision.[3] It has been asserted by Stephen Phillips that the third eye's microscopic vision is capable of observing objects as small as quarks.[8]

[edit] In Rosicrucianism

According to Max Heindel's Rosicrucian writings, called Western Wisdom Teachings, the third eye is localized in the pituitary body and the pineal gland. 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.[citation needed]

[edit] Other interpretations

The third eye is used in many meditation schools and arts, such as in yoga, qigong, Aikido.
In the esoteric discipline of Kabbalah, the Ajna chakra is attributed to the sphere of Chokmah,[9] or Wisdom, although others regard the third eye as corresponding to the non-emanated sephirah of da'ath (knowledge).

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Citations

  1. ^ a b c Richard Cavendish, ed. (1994). Man, Myth and Magic - Volume 19. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. pp. 2606. ISBN 185435731.
  2. ^ Saraswati, Swami Satyananda Saraswati (2001). Kundalini Tantra. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust. ISBN 978-8185787152.
  3. ^ a b Leadbeater, C.W. The Chakras Wheaton, Illinois, USA:1927 Theosophical Publishing House Page 79.
  4. ^ The doctrine of the elixir by R.B. Jefferson Coombe Springs Press 1982 chapter 4. The Archaic Anatomy of Individual Organs.
  5. ^ Rohr, Richard "The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See", The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2009, ISBN 0-8245-2543-4, ISBN 978-0-8245-2543-9.
  6. ^ "Transcriptions of gnostic lectures on the Book of Revelation". Gnosticteachings.org. http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/book-of-revelation/428-church-of-philadelphia-transcription.html/. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  7. ^ H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, 1888, ISBN 1-55700-124-3, pp. 289-306.
  8. ^ Phillips, Stephen Extrasensory Perception of Quarks Wheaton, Illinois, USA 1980 Theosophical Publishing House ISBN 978-0-8356-0227-3.
  9. ^ Liber 777.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Hale, Teresa (1999). The Book of Chakra Healing. New York: Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8069-2097-1.
  • Radha, Siviananda (2004). Kundalini Yoga for the West. New York: Shambhala. ISBN 1-932018-04-2.
  • Sagan, Samuel, M.D. (2007). Awakening the Third Eye (3rd ed). Roseville, N.S.W., Australia: Clairvision. ISBN 0-9586700-5-6.
  • Sharp, Dr. Michael (2005). Dossier of the Ascension: A Practical Guide to Chakra Activation and Kundalini Awakening. St. Albert, Alberta: Avatar Publications. ISBN 0-9735379-3-0.

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