The Third Eye and the Pineal Gland
The “third eye” also known as the “mind’s eye” or the “eye of the mystic” is a concept found in almost every spiritual tradition. In some western traditions it is associated with the pineal gland which is located between the two hemispheres of the brain. This gland produces melatonin and regulates sleep. It has also been speculated that the the pineal gland produces the chemical known as DMT which produces mystical and spiritual experiences. It is interesting that this tiny rice sized pine cone shaped (hence the name) gland has been associated with spirituality since the time of the Pharaohs and now, modern medical science seems to be corroborating this finding.
The Eye of Horus and the pineal gland in cross section
There is considerable lore in the New Age community about this little hormone producer. What we know for certain is that it takes sensory impulses from the eyes and converts these into chemical secretions, primarily melatonin but also serotonin and some others. In this way it controls our sleep and waking cycles. Basically it tells us to sleep more when it is darker.
Neuroscience, in July of 2013, in this study confirmed what some had long suspected that the gland produced the molecule known as;dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in subject rats. This molecule is a hallucinogen when ingested by human beings producing intense experiences of a spiritual nature.