God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

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God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:04 pm


I'm sure some of this is old hat for riggies. Some of it is old hat for me but I found some new information in the studies I will post. I found it interesting and hope you will find some new information, and find it interesting and enjoyable.

This documentary explores the effects of electromagnetic fields on the human religous and mystical experience. It features a study done by a doctor. The links between temporal lobe epilepsy and religous experience are also explored. Some of the things he has done seem similar to Monroe Institute type stuff.

I have also started researching how the mystical pineal gland may act as a transducer, the possibility that it could create physical vibrations and frequencies in the brain. If the pineal gland can act as a transducer, I am wondering if a vibrating field caused by the pineal gland could induce mystical and religous experiences.

Does this have anything to do with "sliders", people that report being able to put out street lights by their proximity to the sodium vapor lights?

I will also post some of the articles and studies I have found on the pineal gland and how it may act as a vibrating transducer.

I wonder if staring at certain patterns, and visualizing certain objects during meditation, such as the lotus flower, if done regularly for months or years, could slowly arrange a neurological circuit in the brain. I wonder if visualizing sacred geometrical shapes could arrange a neurological circuit that could cause the pineal to act as transducer?

Could using certain drugs cause the pineal to act as a transducer?

Some people that have had mystical and religous experiences report that their skull feels as if it is vibrating. Could this be the pineal gland acting as a transducer?

Barracuda produced an article in which a 19 mhz standing wave produced the sensation that people were not alone, or being watched, or seeing things in the corner of their eyes.

I have always been interested in this sort of stuff. Any research or information that anyone would like to contribute is welcome. Anyone that wants to contribute and help me flesh out this thread, well just jump on in.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:07 pm

This study on the pineal gland is at the link in PDF format. This is only part of the study. There are also many pictures at the link. I wanted to post it all but I was having trouble with the pictures. Following the link is a better quality read. This is only part of the study.

http://ortho.sh.lsuhsc.edu/Faculty/Mari ... ricity.pdf

The SHG results show that the pineal gland definitely
contains noncentrosymmetric material which, according to
crystallographic symmetry considerations [7], is piezoelectric.

Piezoelectricity in the human pineal gland
Sidney B. Lang a,*, Andrew A. Marino b, Garry Berkovic C, Marjorie Fowler d,
Kenneth D. Abreo e
a Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 84105 Beer Sheva, Israel
b Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, LSU Medical Center, Shreveport, L4 71103, USA
c Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel
d Department of Pathology, LSU Medical Center, Shreveport, IA 71103, USA
e Department of Medicine, Nephrology Section, LSU Medical Center, Shreveport, LA 71103, USA
Received 7 July 1996; accepted 16 August 1996
Melatonin secretion by the pineal gland has been reported to be affected by exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). In an initial investigation to
determine if calcifications commonly found in the pineal gland could respond to EMFs by a transducer mechanism, studies were conducted to ascertain if
pineal tissues were piezoelectric. Second harmonic generation (SHG) measurements showed that pineal tissues contained noncentrosymmetric crystals, thus
proving the presence of piezoelectricity. Both mulberry-like and faceted crystalline calcifications were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Some of the calcifications had compositions similar to that of hydroxyapatite; others contained a high concentration of aluminum.
Keywords: Aluminum; Calcification; Crystals; Electromagnetic fields; Scanning electron microscopy (SEM); Second harmonic generation (SHG)
1. Introduction
There is evidence that melatonin secretion by the pineal
gland is affected by exposure to electromagnetic fields
(EMFs) [1], but the mechanism by which the EMF is
converted into intracellular second messengers that regulate
melatonin gene expression is unknown. The pineal
contains unusual calcified deposits that are chemically
similar to bone mineral [2], and it occurred to us that the
presence of calcifications and the sensitivity of the pineal
to EMFs might be related.

Pineal calcifications occur in subjects of any age [3],
but apparently in amounts that are relatively independent
of age [4]. Neither the mechanism of formation nor the
physiological significance of pineal calcifications are
known [5]. There is microscopic evidence of an intimate
association between the calcifications and cellular membranes
[6]. Pineal calcifications have been given numerous
names in the literature, including corpora arenacea, acervuli,
psammoma bodies and brain sand [6].

* Corresponding author.
Piezoelectricity is a third-rank tensorial property exhibited
by members of the 20 noncentrosymmetric crystal
point groups [7]. (In addition, a 21st point group 432 is
also noncentrosymmetric but its members are not piezoelectric
because of the presence of other elements of
crystallographic symmetry.) In the direct piezoelectric effect,
an elastic stress gives rise to a voltage; in the converse
effect, an applied voltage results in elastic strain. If the
pineal calcifications were piezoelectric, they could produce
a surface charge distribution and a strain by virtue of the
interaction of the direct and the converse piezoelectric
effects whenever a subject was exposed to an appropriate
EMF. In principle, either the electrical or mechanical
changes could trigger intracellular second messengers that
regulate the metabolism of pinealocytes.

The principal objective of this research was to determine
whether the calcifications present in the human pineal
gland were piezoelectric. The classical methods for measuring
piezoelectricity [8,9] are not suitable for examination
of specimens containing small piezoelectric crystals
dispersed in a nonpiezoelectric material. Consequently, an
alternative technique that would detect noncentrosymmetry
was selected: second harmonic generation (SHG) [10,11].
192 S.B. Lang et al./Bioclectrochemistry and Bioenergetics 41(1996)191—195
A positive SHG response is proof of the presence of
piezoelectric crystals.

2. Experimental methods
In the technique of SHG, a sufficiently intense light
wave of frequency ω is focused on a crystal. If the crystal is
noncentrosymmetric, the electric field of the light wave
induces a polarization at twice the incident frequency
causing the crystal to emit light at double the frequency or
half the wavelength. Kurtz and Dougherty [11] have presented
a statistical analysis for the sensitivity of SHG in
determination of noncentrosymmetry in powders.
The SHG detection technique used in our studies was as
follows. The beam from a pulsed neodymium YAG laser
emitting 15 ns pulses of approximately 4 mJ energy at a
wavelength of 1064 nm was focused to a diameter of about
500 μm on the sample. An absorption filter was used to
remove the 1064 nm component from the radiation reflected
from the sample.

The remaining radiation passed
through a monochromator and then was analyzed by a high
gain photomultiplier with photon counting sensitivity. Incident
photons were counted for 200 pulses of the laser.
When the monochromator was set with a 532-nm window,
both SHG and any spurious background signal (which may
originate from instrument noise, luminescence, or thermally
excited processes) would be measured. The background
contribution was determined by measurement with
the monochromator set at a wavelength either 15—20 nm
above or below the SHG wavelength. Thus the ratio of the
photon counts at 532 nm to that at nearby wavelengths
formed a signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, signals proportional
to the intensity of both the incident 1064-nm radiation
and the detected radiation were displayed on a dualbeam
oscilloscope. If the detected radiation was not coincident
in time with the incident radiation (with resolution of
approximately 10 ns), it was assumed that thermal processes,
which were significantly slower than those due to
SHG, were being observed. The functioning of the SHG
system was checked prior to each set of experiments using
a sample of powdered urea which gives a very large SHG
signal (measured at about 3 x l05 photon counts per 200
laser pulses).

All SHG measurements were made on pineal glands
from six human cadavers of both sexes, 45—78 years of
age. In most instances, regions of the pituitary gland, the
cortex and the cerebellum were also measured as controls.
The tissues were fixed in absolute alcohol (except in
buffered formalin, in one case), sliced using a scalpel,
placed on glass slides with a cover slip, and air-dried under
slight pressure. The resulting preparations were 100—300
μm thick. For atomic absorption determinations of aluminum,
the tissues from four cadavers were frozen at
—700C until analyzed.

To determine the thermal stability
of pineal crystals, the entire pineal glands from five addi
tional cadavers were fixed in buffered formalin and then
ashed at 2000C for 2 h. The resulting material (about 50
mg) was analyzed by SHG, X-ray diffraction, and SEM.
Because the samples were opaque or only slightly
translucent, SHG measurements were made in a reflection
mode (at approximately 45° incidence). No detectable SHG
was observed from the glass cover slides, as evidenced by
blank measurements without a sample. In an experiment,
the laser was focused at an arbitrary point on the surface of
a sample with the monochromator window at one of the
settings, 532 nm, above 532 nm (540—550) or below 532
nm (510—520). Sets of 200 laser pulses were produced
several times for each window setting. Then the laser beam
impingement point was moved to another arbitrary

After the SHG measurements, a conductive gold coating
was evaporated on some of the samples and they were
examined by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) using
a 25 kV beam voltage. Crystals and crystal-like regions
were studied. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS)
was used for a quantitative analysis of chemical elements
with an atomic number of 11 or greater.
X-ray diffraction and atomic absorption studies were
carried out using conventional techniques.

3. Results
The results of the SHG measurements on the tissues
from Subject 1 are illustrated in Fig. 1, and the results on
tissues from all of the subjects are shown in Fig. 2. The
following criteria were used to determine if SHG was
observed at a specific location in a sample: (1) the number
of photon counts for 200 laser pulses was greater than 10
and, (2) the number of photon counts with the monochromator
set at 532 nm was statistically significant compared
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:23 pm

This is an interesting article about the pineal gland. It contains some interesting information about the Spring and Fall Equinox and how it may affect a persons state of mind. It discusses the pineal gland and astrological influences. Not sure where I stand on all of it, but found it interesting.

http://www.astrology-research.net/resea ... pineal.htm

The Pineal Gland And The Ancient Art Of Iatromathematica
by Frank McGillion

The medical astrologers of Ancient Greece: the iatromathematici, and the later European physician-astrologers, assumed a correlation between events in the heavens and those on earth that was relevant to both health and disease. Some of the early practitioners of modern scientific medicine did the same under the aegis of what we might term, proto-cosmobiology, though none of them could provide an adequate mechanism to explain the nature of the link they believed existed between the skies and ourselves. With the discovery and elucidation of the pineal gland’s functions in the mid twentieth century, which are discussed in detail, we were in a position to provide such a link and we can now, to a great extent, explain in conventional scientific terms, how those influences of the sun, moon, planets and other celestial phenomena studied by the early iatromathematici and early cosmobiologists could, can, and do, affect us.

Key Words Pineal gland – melatonin – astrology – geomagnetism – planetary influences

In Ancient Greece there was a distinction made between those who studied the stars in fairly general terms – the mathematici or magi, and those who did so for medical purposes – the iatromathematici. However the two areas of study overlapped considerably with little distinction being made between physical and metaphysical speculations. Accordingly, what we now know of as astronomy and astrology remained virtually indistinguishable for centuries (Tester, 1987a, b).

In addition to cosmological influences, Greek physicians stressed the importance of environmental factors in the welfare of their patients, and considerations of local geography and climate were deemed important in the diagnosis and prognosis of disease (Luce, 1977).
In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, while sympathetic to astrology, stressed the importance of “the oblique path” of the sun, i.e., what we know as the earth’s eccentric orbit, with respect to the links that existed between the earth and ourselves, and the fourteenth century Bishop of Liseux, Nicolas Orseme, stressed the importance of the sun and the moon in contemporary medicine, again making no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology (Tester, 1987c).
In the sixteenth century, Sir Francis Bacon, suggested that, while it was unlikely that the stars influenced us individually, collectively, populations might be affected by them (Tester, 1987d).

So it’s clear that the early mixture of astronomy and astrology, known as astrologia, gave rise to the due consideration of physical forces and their effects by informed physician-astrologers, in addition to those “forces” or “influences” we would now think on as purely “astrological.”

Traditional astrology had long been a part of medical curricula in Western Europe and, as far back as the eleventh century, it was taught at Bologna University where under the aegis of medical astrologers such as the eminent Professor Giovani Garonzi, physicians sought answers to clinical questions in horoscopes including specialist problems such as those presented by kidney disease (Bonomini et al, 1994; Kibre, 1967).
It seems that an interest in an association between astrology and urology persists, and a contemporary clinical study has repeated this search for such a correlation, concluding that: “… no significant link was found…disproving the traditional astrologer’s claims.” (Hughes, 1990).

With the onset of the Enlightenment, a combination of factors led to astrology being removed from formal medical curricula in the West and the subject itself becoming identified with superstition. However, the belief that celestial factors were significant in both medical conditions and physiological processes, continued to be held within the scientific and medical communities in modified form.

Thus, in 1898, the Nobel Laureate, Svante Arrhenius, published Cosmic Influences on Physiological Phenomena, while simultaneously, Sigmund Freud and his physician colleague, Wilhelm Fliess, were developing their own ideas on the nature of the extraterrestrial forces they believed influenced everything on earth, including health, and Freud was assuming he’d become what he termed: “an honorary astrologer.” (Fliess, 1906; McGillion, 1998; 2001).
In the mid twentieth century, Carl Jung was studying astrology and relating it from a variety of perspectives to his psychiatric practice (McGillion, 1997). However more practical researchers, such as Dr Franz Halberg, were studying putative interactions between living organisms and the skies and developing the sorts of concepts that helped define modern cosmobiology (Halberg, 1967; 1969).

What was lacking in all of these investigations, however, and what, in part, tarnished them with the by now unpopular taint of astrology, was the lack of a credible mechanism to explain how celestial events could interact with us biologically.
From Fliess’ work in particular which, like Aquinas’, stressed the importance of the eccentricity of the orbit of the earth, it was evident that, in order to substantiate his ideas in this respect, any “celestial” or “planetary” force would – like the horoscope used by the iatromathematicus – have to be capable of description in terms of the position of the sun, the moon and the planets at the time and place of birth. Further, such a force would also have to be evident at frequent intervals throughout life through ongoing celestial influences of a sort the iatromathematici believed influenced us on a day-to-day basis.
In the mid twentieth century, after centuries of searching by greater and lesser lights of science, such a mechanism duly arrived when the true physiological role of an anatomical structure, itself long associated with arcane matters, became known.

The Pineal Gland
At various times in the history of medicine the precise function of the small discrete pea-like structure we have in the centre of our brains, called the pineal gland, was considered to be: a memory valve, a valve controlling circulating vital fluids, the seat of the soul, and the site of a presumed pathology causing certain types of mental illness – “a stony hardness of the pineal gland” (McGillion, 1980).
In the mid nineteen fifties this confusion began to clear when the pineal gland’s true function was discovered and the nature of the link between ourselves and certain events in the skies above us was finally revealed.

The modern systematic study of the pineal gland began in 1954 when, after a review of the existing literature, Mark Altschule and Julian Kitay suggested it could be a productive area for research (Kitay & Altschule, 1954). Their comprehensive review suggested that the gland – until then generally held to be unimportant by modern scientific medicine – appeared to have a number of possible, if minor, physiological roles, many of which had been reported in the literature on the light sensitivity of certain mammals (Fiske, 1941).

It was soon established that the pineal gland produced a number of neuropeptides including one: 5-methoxy, N-acetyltryptamine, considered to be the most important of the pineal hormones and commonly called melatonin, (Figure 1).


The biosynthesis of melatonin was discovered to be dependent on a number of substrates and co-factors, and on the activity of a number of enzymes including the light-sensitive: hydroxy-indole-O-methyl transferase (HIOMT). (Lerner et al, 1958; 1959).
As Brownstein and Heller (1968) demonstrated, this enzyme – which catalyses the conversion of serotonin to melatonin – is modulated by nerves that impinge directly onto the pineal gland, the activity of which, in turn, depend upon input from the optic nerves. Thus a small proportion of the impulses set up in the optic nerves bypasses the main visual pathway and, instead, takes a circuitous route to the pineal. Stimulation of these nerves increases the activity of HIOMT and, hence, stimulates the synthesis of melatonin.
Bright light inhibits melatonin production by inhibiting nerve tone to the pineal, whereas darkness has the opposite effect and, by increasing neural activity to the gland, stimulates the production of melatonin. This effect of light is dependent both upon its wavelength and its intensity.

In 1973, Cardinali et al showed that red light produced minimal inhibition of melatonin synthesis, whereas green light caused maximal stimulation. In addition, illumination with a light intensity of 0.5 microwatt/cm2 for forty-eight hours produced a fifty per cent decrease in melatonin synthesis in the rat pineal gland.
By way of comparison, sunlight, which strongly inhibits melatonin production, has an intensity of around 50,000 microwatt/cm2, whereas full moonlight has an intensity of around 0.3 microwatt/cm2. (Altschule, 1975).

Because of its low light intensity, the moon was originally thought to have no effect on the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. However, as we discuss below, more recent studies have produced results that suggest there may be some link between lunar phase and the secretion of melatonin (Law, 1986).

In addition to light, other electromagnetic (EM) radiations influence melatonin production, and EM fields of varying strengths and types – including earth strength magnetic fields – have been shown to influence melatonin production to the same degree as the exposure to light does: both in vivo, and in vitro and in a number of species including humans (Reiter & Richardson, 1992; Reiter, 1993a,b; Schneider et al, 1994; Yaga et al, 1993). Further, magnetic fields of this general type have been found to be effective in directly stimulating pineal tissue (Richardson et al, 1992).

Human Studies
The change of the intensity of ambient lighting with season has long been considered to be a possible source of antigonadal activity in humans as well as animals and, in the late nineteenth century, a description was given in the medical literature of how Eskimo women ceased menstruation in the long winter nights of the Arctic (Cook, 1884).
Additional evidence was produced for a seasonal factor linked to reproduction and photoperiod when a positive bias towards summer conceptions in Finland was demonstrated, which showed an increase at more northerly latitudes. The fact that the incidence of multiple pregnancies was also increased at these latitudes strongly suggested that this was not an effect due to seasonal social influences, but that it was a true physiological effect due to an increased fertility associated with the longer periods of daylight that occur in the summer (Timonen & Carpen, 1968).

Other studies in humans suggested a possibly related phenomenon at work that also linked light to human reproductive processes. Thus Dewan (1967), and Dewan et al (1978), normalised irregular menstrual flow by using light midway through the menstrual cycle. Similarly, Elden (1971) demonstrated that, of one hundred and twenty predicted births in a sample of congenitally blind women, there was only one actual birth and, in an even larger sample, only six births occurred out of a predicted one thousand.
More recent studies have also shown that certain phenomena associated with hyperovulation – such as the incidence of twin births – are linked to both season and photoperiod. (Dionne et al, 1993; Fellman & Eriksson, 1999).

Thus with the discovery of the antigonadal activity of melatonin, and with the emergence of the fact that it was inhibited by light, we were starting to elucidate a more sophisticated mechanism to explain the effects of light-radiation on reproductive phenomena, one, moreover, that seemed to be closely related to the actual and putative effect(s) of melatonin on sexual development and hence to the effect of external EM radiation on the pineal gland.

However, one action of extraneously administered melatonin on sexual development that was identified early on by researchers in this area, appeared not only to be related to its antigonadal action, but to be dependent upon the age of the recipient when it was administered, also.

“Pre-Programming” from Birth
In a number of sophisticated studies of melatonin in animals, it appeared that, as with certain other hormones, the response of a neonatal animal to melatonin administration depended on precisely when the melatonin was administered in terms of chronological age. Thus it seemed that when melatonin was administered around the time of birth, it somehow produced changes in development that were delayed in onset until later in life and were therefore, in a biological sense, “pre-programmed” (Figure 2).


Figure 2: the “pre-programming” action of melatonin. Administration of melatonin to a neonate around the time of birth can cause developmental changes such as an inhibition or delay in the onset of secondary sexual characteristics. After a certain critical period post partum, however, - in rats six days – melatonin administraton has no such effect.

Further, these effects, which have been replicated in contemporary studies, appeared to influence both normal and pathological development (Arai, 1968; Esquifino, 1987; Vaughan & Vaughan, 1974).

It was also discovered that such changes in development did not take place if melatonin administration was delayed until a certain time after birth. Thus these delayed developmental effects of the hormone only occurred when it was administered at a set, critical time during the perinatal period.

As one researcher unambiguously stated in this context: “…alterations of the hormonal status of a neonate during a defined critical period [after birth] lead to profound sequelae in…subsequent biological function,” (Reiter et al, 1975a).

From consideration of this phenomenon it was clear that there were mechanisms involved that could potentially be of major significance to our long-term development. Thus: “neonatal administration of melatonin may cause…an abnormal secretion of biogenic amines in adulthood…” (Reiter et al, 1975b).

Such delayed-onset, or “pre-programming” effects of perinatally administered melatonin, while short lasting without reinforcement, were evident in a number of behavioural and physiological indices studied in animals, and they included, not only those associated with sexual development, but other developmental features also, including exploratory and maternal behaviour. Further, they could be produced either by the direct administration of melatonin, or by pinealectomy at birth, strongly suggesting a primary causal role for melatonin in these processes (Sampson, 1954; Sampson & Bigelow, 1971).

In addition, observations in humans where congenital blindness, or exposure to extremes of light-dark periods had been evident at the time of, and immediately after, birth, paralleled these findings; and studies in both congenitally blind women and in other groups continue to provide pertinent observations and findings in this respect (Boldsen, 1992; Commentz et al, 1997; Jaldo Alba et al, 1993a,b; Kennaway et al, 1992; Sans, 1977; Schmidt F, 1995).

Effects of Ambient Electromagnetic Radiation
Given that the production of melatonin is, amongst other things, controlled by the intensity and nature of ambient electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of geo-magnetic strength, then the intensity and orientation of the EM fields a neonate is exposed to perinatally could obviously alter the level of pineal melatonin in that neonate and, hence, influence its later development.

We know the exposure of neonatal animals to light significantly changes later melatonin secretion patterns, and we know that similar effects occur in human newborns (Fielke et al, 1994; Pelisek et al, 1994). We also know that, again, as in animals, EM radiations significantly alter circulation melatonin in humans (Graham et al, 1997; Juutilainen et al, 2000; Reiter, 1995).

There also appears to be a link between the geomagnetic field and developmental factors in humans. For example, the only significant factor that correlates with the development of epilepsy in young adults is the level of geomagnetic activity for two days after birth, and geomagnetic variables have also been considered to be a trigger for birth. There is also a significant correlation between the level of geomagnetism on, and for up to three days before, the birth of male children (Persinger & Hodge, 1999).

Hence an association between the precise time of birth and later general developmental traits might be expected and, in one of the most recent social studies of this general type, Wallace and Fisher (2001) have reported that our preference for day or night activity – i.e. whether we are a “day person” or a “night person” – appears to be determined quite simply by whether we were born during the day or born at night.
The mechanism they suggest for this predisposition is one relating to a setting of our body clock and, if true, the neonatal effects of melatonin and the light-dark sensitivity of the pineal gland discussed above could be important in this respect. Such an effect may also be related to season of birth, something we discuss in more detail below.

So, despite the many potential variables inherent in all these studies, what clearly emerges is the fact that the precise time of exposure to altered levels of melatonin, relative to the time of birth – is probably a critical factor in determining whether or not some change in development or behaviour is observed in adulthood.

In other words, exposure of a neonate to melatonin, or to factors that significantly alter circulating melatonin levels at the time of birth – such as local geomagnetic and other EM fields – can potentially lead to highly significant changes in later development.
Put simply: the place, time, and date of a child’s birth can – at least in part –determine its future development: an observation that would have been assumed by the iatromathematicus.

Despite our increased understanding of the functions and mechanisms of action of the pineal gland in the past few decades, the precise mechanism at a cellular level whereby electromagnetic radiation can produce biological effects was, until recently, unknown. However in the past decade or so, studies of the ferrous mineral known as magnetite, have shown that it can act as a transducer linking ambient electromagnetic activity to cellular function. In addition – in both animals and humans – magnetite has been identified in most tissues examined, including the pineal gland (Lohmann & Johnsen, 2000; Schultheiss-Grassi & Dobson, 1999).

In part as a consequence of the potential development-modifying actions of pineal activity and melatonin on neonates, Reiter (1995) has indicated that any perturbations in electric and magnetic fields that cause a reduction in normal melatonin levels in humans could have significant physiological and pathophysiological consequences.
Such considerations have led some health professionals to re-assess the practice of exposing neonates in intensive care units and neonatal nurseries, to strong light and other EM fields, given the known, or postulated association of such exposure with breast cancer, reproductive irregularities, and depression (Glottzbach et al, 1993).

Given all of this, we should expect something else that our iatromathematicus would presumably have assumed: the existence of a quantifiable link between certain, long term developmental factor(s) in humans, and the purely physical factors that dictate the degree and type of radiation a neonate is exposed to post partum. Such physical factors include: photoperiod, local geomagnetic and other ambient EMFs, and what in great part determines these and what we shall consider here in some detail for the purposes of illustration: seasonality and the season of birth.

The second century Greek physician, Aretaeus of Cappadocia, in his On Airs, Waters and Places stated quite clearly that “…human diseases change along with the seasons.” This was a view shared by later scientists and physicians such as the eighteenth century English physician, Richard Meade, who stressed the importance of such seasonal factors in his seminal work, The Action of Sun and Moon In Animal Bodies. (Roos, 2000).
A number of our forebears believed that the season of conception was of some importance to our later lives and also, in contemporary epidemiological studies, there are some.htmects of development that have been looked at in this respect (Liederman & Flannery, 1994).
However, most studies of the relationship of seasonality to the subsequent development of normal or pathological traits refer to the season of birth.

Season-Of-Birth Effects
There are a great many month-of-birth and season-of-birth studies in the medical literature and they include attempts to associate this with conditions such as: diabetes (Laron et al, 1999); morning-evening preference (Natale & Adan, 1999); left or right handedness (Martin & Jones, 1999); cleft lip (Fraser & Gwyn, 1998); panic attack (Castrogiovanni et al, 1999); bulimia (Morgan & Lacey, 1999); alcoholism (Levine &Wojcik, 1999); ectopic pregnancy (Cagnacci, 1999); weight and length at birth (Wohlfahrt et al, 1998); psychiatric problems (Torrey et al, 1975) and many others.

Such studies are not always easy to analyse or interpret and they often show a diversity of results within the conditions or parameters being studied.
However, one parameter that has been both strongly and consistently associated with the season of birth for many years now – and the one we shall look at in detail to examine more fully the various seasonal factors that influence the pineal gland – is the population incidence of schizophrenia.

The Seasonality of Schizophrenia
Although the disorder termed, deficit schizophrenia, appears to shows an excess in summer births at northern latitudes (Kirkpatrick et al, 2000), there's little doubt that there's a tendency for people who go on to develop the psychotic disorder we generally call, schizophrenia, to be born at an increased incidence around the time of the spring (vernal) equinox in both the northern and southern hemispheres (Torrey, 1975; McGrath & Welham, 1999).

It is perhaps significant to note that this pattern of birth demonstrates a parallel with the idealised annual pattern of mammalian pineal gland activity, which, given its sensitivity to light and other EM radiations, is associated with photoperiod in a similar, seasonally related, manner (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Idealised correlation between seasonal pineal activity and schizophrenic births in the northern hemisphere.

To our physician-astrologer predecessors, this sort of pattern – on a month-to-month basis – would have borne a direct relationship to the Signs of the Zodiac (of the western, or tropical, zodiac as opposed to the sidereal zodiac that’s based on the background of fixed stars), which are effectively monthly divisions of the solar orbit. Further, the Sign of the Zodiac that astrological tradition associates with psychotic illness is the Sign of Pisces, which the sun “occupies” until precisely the day of the vernal equinox.

Both length of day and geomagnetic field fluctuate by season and both are associated with varying melatonin excretion, which peaks in June and November when low values of the geomagnetic field are recorded (Bergiannaki Joff et al, 1996).
In addition, naturally occurring EMFs that vary seasonally have also been associated with affective disorder (Sandyk et al, 1991), and at the equator, where there is no seasonal photoperiod change, the seasonal effect on schizophrenic births reportedly disappears (Parker et al, 2000).

All of this appears to be compelling evidence for a possible role of the pineal gland and melatonin in the apparent seasonal related aetiology of this disorder: a disorder, moreover, in which pineal extracts and melatonin had previously been thought to be beneficial (Altschule, 1957; Eldred et al, 1961). Obviously however, the possibility also exists that some rogue factor unconnected to pineal function but, nonetheless, related to season in some way, is associated with this effect.

It is interesting to observe that the presence of this particular seasonal pattern has led to the resurrection of iatromathematical thinking, and prompted contemporary psychiatrists to look for a correlation between schizophrenia and astrology. Indeed, a positive correlation between .htmects of schizoaffective disorder and astrological factors has recently been reported in the medical literature (Ohaeri et al, 1997).

However, a number of culprits other than astrological influences can be, and have been, suggested that could account for this putative relationship between season-of-birth and schizophrenia. They include: infectious diseases – including poliomyelitis and influenza (Battle, 1999; Suzisarari, 1999), various prenatal and perinatal factors (Geddes, 1999; Hultman et al, 1999); extremes in temperature (Mednick, 1984); exposure to EMFs, and light, (Sandyk et al, 1991); and other factors, including possible novel biochemical abnormalities (McGillion et al, 1974).

Seasonal Disorders
In other areas of psychopathology, however, there is little doubt that, at least in some cases, an overt pathological mood state is directly associated with a specific season of the year and with pineal gland function, though not specifically with the season of birth. In such cases, season and mood or other disorders are linked in a way that strongly suggests at least one prime cause could well be an influence – direct or indirect – of ambient EM radiation, including solar radiation, on the pineal gland and melatonin production (Summers & Shur, 1992; Clarke at al, 1999).

Thus, although changes in artificial lighting can have acute beneficial effects on such conditions (Hawkins, 1992), the occurrence of the depressive condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and of certain eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, appears to bear a direct relation to the seasonally induced change in daily, ambient, lighting (Rezaul, 1996).

Illumination of a type and magnitude that improves such disorders clinically is capable of changing the rhythm of melatonin excretion, and symptomatic improvement of affective disorder can be produced by light of the wavelength(s) the pineal gland is particularly sensitive to (Laakso et al, 1993; Oren et al, 1991).
Further, a reversal of seasonally induced changes in light intensity and duration, through, for example, the use of a light-box or simulation of dawn, can alter melatonin metabolism and reverse both the progression and outcome of the seasonal condition in question (Danilenko et al, 2000; Terman et al, 1998a,b).

Once again, there is probably no simple causal connection between melatonin secretion and clinical effect, as cognitive studies involving the use of what research workers have termed, “symbolic” light, can also improve these disorders, suggesting that both cognitive and physical factors are at work (Bouhuys et al, 1994).

However, the evidence for some sort of involvement of melatonin in seasonal mood and other disorders is compelling, and – given the role of ambient radiation in pineal melatonin metabolism – it seems reasonable to suggest the existence of a psycho-physical link between pineal activity and mood state; one that could, just conceivably, bear some connection to the seasonal birth effect in schizophrenia and other conditions.

Seasonal changes in melatonin levels that are directly associated with EMF intensity have been reported in the literature as indicated (Bergiannaki Joff et al, 1996), and this is suggestive of a possible linkage between: season, geomagnetic field fluctuation, melatonin production and immediate, or delayed, acute, or chronic, normal and pathophysiological states.

It is likely therefore, that, to a greater or lesser degree, the effect of such EM radiations on the human pineal gland during the perinatal period may, in some way, predispose certain children, born in a specific month and/or season, to developmental changes that, later in life, could lead to the development of physical, and/or psychological, traits related to specific pathologies, including schizophrenia.

There is also evidence to support the possibility of a, greater or lesser, biological basis of certain personality traits (Balada et al, 1993; Uvnas-Moberg et al, 1993) including those partly determined by season and by pre-natal hormonal effects (Frogon & Prokop, 1992).
If such reports are demonstrative of a causal link between early biological development and personality of the sort we referred to above in the studies on neonates, we could reasonably suggest that the season of birth, and/or the prevailing EM conditions at the time of birth, might equate with subsequent personality type through some such mechanism. Another relationship that would have been assumed by our iatromathematicus.

The Moon
The iatromathematici gave due consideration to the moon as well as the sun in terms of human physiology: the former often being associated with physical characteristics and the latter, psychical ones – a reversal of roles in terms of what later astrologers were to attribute to these “planets” (Tester,1987e). Similarly, many astrologer-physicians thought chronic diseases were associated with the sun, and acute ones with the moon (Cambden, 1930).

In more contemporary literature, there is evidence that suggests the existence of some sort of lunar effect on animals (Brown, 1968), and claims of a putative lunar effect on humans, though still controversial, continue to be reported (Cutler, 1980; Drysdale, 1999; Law, 1990; Mikulecky, 1996; Parry, 1999; Raison et al, 1999; Rotton & Kelly, 1985).
Despite this ongoing controversy, it would appear that some sort of biological effect of the moon, whether direct or indirect and of a greater or lesser significance to us, could possibly occur in humans in a number of conceivable ways of which some at least would appear to be credible scientifically.

Thus a putative effect of the moon on pineal activity such as that indicated above (Law, 1986) seems credible, as does another – that could be related – suggested through the theoretical mechanism of magnetospheric resonance, which is described below.

Other Astronomical Phenomena
In the medical and scientific literature, in addition to those reports concerning photoperiod, season, the sun and the moon, there are others of a number of more general astronomical phenomena that appear to be able to influence biological systems. Thus, sunspots (Takata, 1950), the solar wind (Randal, 1990), the regular movement of the earth through space (Piccardi, 1962), and even supernovae (Terry, 1966), have been implicated in this respect.
Perhaps importantly, a possible causal relationship between the solar wind, human birth rates, magnetism, and melatonin has also been proposed, which demonstrates troughs at the solstices and peaks at the equinoxes: the latter times being those when schizophrenic births have a greater incidence (Randal, 1990).

Additionally, one of the more general astronomical phenomena that reportedly influence biological systems has a peak in March and a lesser peak in September: again, a parallel with the findings on the incidence of schizophrenic births (Piccardi, 1962).

The Planets
For many years there have also been a variety of suggestions as to how the planets might influence us here on earth, though some of these findings and their suggested mechanisms of action have now been disputed and others put in a more appropriate context than they were perhaps assigned to formerly (Dean, 1976).

However, some astronomers have suggested that certain planets may influence the solar wind and solar and geophysical EM fields – collectively termed the magnetosphere – in a predictable manner through a resonance type effect (Seymour, 1988).

Such an effect is observed with the moon and the tides, an example of this being the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy, which varies between a few feet and sixty feet as a consequence of resonance phenomena that are linked to lunar movements at that location (Seymour 2000, personal communication). So, if there is a significant effect of certain planets on EM fields, of a type known to influence the pineal gland, it’s just possible the positions of certain planets at the time of our birth could also, to a greater or lesser degree through the perinatal actions of melatonin, influence our development and behaviour from the time of our birth as physician-astrologers have claimed for centuries

Size of Effects
Any influence of the planets on the magnetosphere that was based in a simple manner on the laws of gravitation would be infinitesimally small. However, the possibility of resonance effects suggests that through “tidal effects” of the gravitational forces of the planets interacting with the sun, moon and the solar wind affecting the magnetosphere; changes in local geomagnetism could cause changes in biological systems, including those in the newborn. Indeed there are reported correlations between the sun and moon, other celestial bodies, and geomagnetism (Mikulecky et al, 1996).

In this general context it is relevant to mention that in addition to purely solar or lunar phenomena, certain types of extraterrestrial influence involving both sun and moon appear to affect us to a degree where some people appear to be more susceptible to death due to heart attack (Sitar, 1989).

Despite these more specific considerations concerning the origins of the various astronomical influences on us, one researcher suggests that it isn’t necessarily productive to isolate and separate those that originate from the various terrestrial and extraterrestrial sources. Instead, it’s suggested we should attempt to integrate these through a series of experimental models; though caution in so doing is urged because: ”this may lead to popularisation of astrology which has nothing in common with serious research.” (Sitar, 1994).

Day-to-Day Effects of EMFs
There is now also a large body of work that suggests that changes in geomagnetic, and other, radiations in an individual’s immediate environment could – mainly it seems through actions on the temporal lobe of the brain – produce subjective experiences in humans that, certainly in some cases, could approach hallucinatory status (Persinger, 1995).
It has even been credibly suggested that there could be an association between wars, increased solar-geomagnetic activity and aggression (Persinger, 1999): in general terms, the sort of qualitative relationship between celestial force and political or military action, that the mathematici or magi, were traditionally consulted about.

Research in this general area of applied EMFs to human volunteers has also suggested the possible involvement of melatonin in both the objective and subjective phenomena produced by such fields (O’Connor & Persinger, 1996; 1999; Persinger, 1993), an association that is consistent with melatonin’s known sensitivity to these.

Hence, if astronomical factors do regularly alter such fields in a physiologically significant manner, we might well expect them, not only to be capable of influencing development in the long-term in neonates in a manner determined by the date, time and place of birth, but also to be capable of producing day-to-day changes in objective and subjective parameters in people of any age: precisely the sorts of conditions for “celestial” or “planetary” influences required by such as Fliess and the iatromathematici.

The existence of such acute changes is reminiscent of the possible role of sunlight and other EM radiations in SAD and other seasonal disorders. However, in the case of those that influence the temporal lobe and melatonin, their effect on us could well be a great deal more subtle in terms of effect than the gross mood changes seen, for example, in SAD.
Accordingly, when it comes to considering the possible effect on us of “celestial” and “planetary” influences other than the sun, to quote Sir Francis Bacon: the stars may “…rather incline than compel.” (Tester, 1987f).

It is evident that the consideration of the diverse factors that influence the activity of the pineal gland, including those that occur in the skies above us at and around the time of birth, might help us discover hitherto unknown relationships between these and our later development.

The sun, and possibly the moon – considered to be earth’s planets by our forebears – influence the pineal gland and its major hormone, melatonin which can in turn influence development. It is possible that some of the planets could do the same by way of a planetary resonance effect on the magnetosphere.

Further, the place, time and date of our birth – the essential foundations of the horoscope – determine our environment in terms of the intensity and type of light and other electromagnetic radiations we’re exposed to: thus also partly determining neonatal melatonin levels at birth.

Many of the above factors are also potentially related to certain types of subjective experience we may have due to ambient electromagnetic effects on our temporal lobes – again perhaps facilitated by alterations in melatonin metabolism. These could also predispose to, and/or cause influences on our mood, and other, states on a day-to-day basis.

Such considerations may provide a rational basis for many, though possibly not all, of the traditional belief system of the practitioners of medical astrology, the iatromathematici. They probably also give us a firm biophysical basis for the proto-cosmobiological theories of scientists and physicians like Svante Arrhenius and Wilhelm Fliess, as they undoubtedly do for many of the findings of the more modern, established science of cosmobiology.

In other words, many of the medical and physiological associations that have, for millennia, been thought to exist between celestial phenomena and ourselves, are probably not those of arcane astrological influence, or of some other esoteric quality of celestial phenomena. They are almost certainly the result of the effect of known physical forces on the pineal gland and melatonin, both at, and around, the time of our birth and, quite possibly, throughout the course of our life.

Thus, although the rationale may be different, and the context in cosmological terms considerably altered, it’s all very much like the practitioners of the ancient art of iatromathematica said it was.

I’d like to thank Eve McGillion B.A. for her assistance in the preparation of the manuscript and for translating original material; Dr Geoffrey Dean, for critical comment, and Professor Chris Bagley, for initially suggesting I prepare this paper.

The author is a member of the Research Colloquium on Astrology based at the University of Southampton, U.K. Enquiries on this paper should be emailed to: frank.mcgillion@btinternet.com

"This article was first published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (2002), Vol. 16, No. 1 pp 19-38 and then, with the kind permission of the author and JSE editor-in-chief, Henry Bauer, reproduced in Correlation (2002/2003), Vol. 21 No. 1 pp 45-61."

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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:33 pm

This is a little bit older. From 1976. I thought it might be an interesting compare and contrast.

The Pineal Gland,
LSD and Serotonin
Russ McClay
March 19, 1976


From a pharmacology paper prepared at
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Overview: To present correlations between the Pineal Gland, the psychopharmacological molecule LSD and, its antagonistic neurotransmitter Serotonin.

Outline of the Paper

1. Brief Description of the Discovery - Historical Findings
1. Descartes
2. Ancient anatomy - to 14th Century
3. Initial misinterpretations of evidence

2. Description of the General Location of the Pineal Gland
1. Brain sections surrounding the pineal
2. Where the Serotonin is manufactured
3. The location of the pineal in various animals
1. Pacific Treefrog - Hyla regilla
2. Sea Lamprey - Petromyzon marinus
3. Western Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis
4. South American mammal-like reptile - Lystrosaurus murrayi

3. The Optic "Third Eye" Compared to the Endocrinal Pineal Gland
1. The various animals with protruding pineal receptors
2. Other evidence of the optical quality of the Pineal Gland
3. Speculation of the connectional relation of the semi-mythical 'Third Eye' and the factual pineal gland

4. Recent Findings of Pineal Function and Its Physiology
1. Biorhythmic cycles
2. Sex hormones and their relation to light
3. Day/night cycles (circadian - light/dark phases)
4. Serotonin and melatonin - their role in the Pineal

5. Serotonin, LSD and the Pineal Gland
1. The antagonistic aspect of LSD on Serotonin
2. Personal speculation on meditation's effect on the Pineal Gland and Serotonin production
3. Personal speculation of how Light (love-light) effects the Epiphysis

6. Research Needed for Further Understanding - How This All Relates
1. Further experimentation with light on the pineal of various animals and humans
2. Further experimentation on LSD-Serotonin Antagonism
3. Further research on meditation's effect (that is, certain frequency brain waves) on Serotonin/Melatonin production

7. Concluding remarks on how this information is useful to one's life now - how to further alter the delicate chemistry of the body without ingestion of substance

1. Footnotes and Reference
2. Bibliography and Literature Cited

Om Hail! the Light of the Ages
Coming in From above like the
Righteous Thunderbolt!!!

The Pineal Gland, LSD and Serotonin
The following is an attempt to correlate seeming unrelated material into a meaningful whole. The goal is to synthesize information gathered about the pineal gland, the psychopharmacological molecule LSD, and the neurotransmitter serotonin. There have been detailed studies done on each one of these subjects. For instance, there are volumes of work and research done on the molecule LSD; the pineal gland has been studied extensively; and even the hormone serotonin has had its day in the lab. But there are few studies which have brought together this three-fold relationship.

This paper involved a great amount of research. It is the result of manipulating many manuals, texts, and magazines published by the lay and the respectable. Almost all the literature available on LSD, serotonin and the pineal gland is written in their native scientific nomenclatures. In spite of the amount of study, very little is really known about these three subjects which is what makes this report valuable as an initial exploration. The informational pool this paper provides will be valuable to those true seekers of inner transactions, that is, subtle metabolic processes which are influenced consciously.

Brief History of the Discovery of the Pineal Gland (Epiphysis)
The pineal gland is about the size of a grain of rice. Therefore its initial discovery was difficult and late in coming. Galen (2nd century) was probably the first to describe it in the West. He thought it might be a valve to regulate the flow of thought from the lateral ventricles--cavities on each side--of the brain. [1] Rene Descartes, the French philosopher, who made a number of rather remarkable scientific discoveries wrote about the gland 1500 years after Galen. In Descartes opinion the pineal was the "seat of the soul". He also postulated a direct connection between the eyes and the pineal by means of "strings" in the brain. Also that the gland acted as an interpreter, indeed the chief interpreter of vision. Not only did the gland operate as an interpreter but it also directed the muscles to respond to objects in the visual field. This was done, Descartes believed, through the flow of humours passing through hollow tubes between the gland and the muscles. [2]

The first person to give the pineal gland an endocrine status was Otto Heubner, a famous German pediatrician. In 1898 he described precocious puberty in a boy who had a pineal tumor. To confuse the situation, there were reports of patients with delayed sexual maturity who also had pineal tumors. As the result of these reports, conflicting though they were, it was believed for the next fifty years that the pineal had something to do with the control of puberty.

A slight diversion from the puberty theory came in 1918 when Nils Holmgren, a Swedish anatomist, made detailed microscopic examinations of the pineal glands from frogs and dogfish sharks. In these glands he found cells that looked very much like cone cells (color sensitive photoreceptor cells) of a retinal nature in the tip of the pineal. Because of the resemblance Holmgren suggested that the pineal was not a gland at all, but that it functioned as a 'third eye' in frogs and dogfish sharks. Holmgren made no study of mammalian pineal glands. [3]

A new round of investigation began in 1958 when Lerner and his team at the Yale University of Medicine extracted a substance they called melatonin from the pineals of cattle. Giving more evidential information towards the validation of the hypothesis that the pineal gland is an endocrine gland.

Further microscopic probing, this time with mammalian pineals, indicated an intimate association between the epiphysis (the pineal) and the sympathetic nervous system. It also revealed no cone cells of the type found in the retina, so the mammalian pineal did not seem to have the resembling third eye structure that had been reported for frogs and dogfish sharks. [4]

Obviously the discovery of the pineal is a recent one. Research is fragmented because of the variety of professionals interested (e.g. theologians, biologists, endocrinologists, and zoologists). At this point it can be conjectured there is still much history to be written about this curious pineal gland. Hopefully the next entry in the historical text will be the discovery of the "spiritual" connections of the pineal gland to the brain.

The star of this essay is the pineal gland. LSD and serotonin are taken in consideration because of their mysterious relationship to the pineal. Most of the findings regarding LSD and serotonin will be better understood after being first familiar with the epiphysis (the pineal gland).

General Location of the Pineal Organ in Various Animals
Indian yogis who use third eye meditations and exercises refer their students to the center of the forehead between the lateral eyes. This is the aft/stern relation of the pineal gland. If anything could be called the "center" of the physical brain it would be the epiphysis. In higher vertebrates it rests between the two large cerebrums at the anterior end of the cerebellum. It appears to be a vestige of some one-time larger feature. Strangely enough it persists in most animals. If you were to draw an imaginary line from the center of your forehead crossed by a line through your head at the ears you would have the general location of the pineal body. It is definitely buried deep in the great mass of neurons known as the brain. One fact immediately raises interest: the pineal, in higher animals, is connected to the cerebellum.

The cerebellum is one of the oldest features of the brain. It consists of two deeply convoluted hemispheres. Its most important function seems to be coordinating muscular activity in the body. [5] Such activity is initiated by impulses arising in the motor area of the forebrain. These impulses not only travel down the spinal cord to the motor neurons but also pass into the cerebellum. As the body action is carried out, sensory impulses from the proprioceptors, the eyes, the semi-circular canals, etc., are also sent to the cerebellum. The cerebellum then compares the information on what the body is actually doing to what the forebrain had instructed it to do. [6] If a discrepancy exists, the cerebellum sends modifying signals to the forebrain so that appropriate corrective signals can be sent out to the muscles. It is not surprising that birds have relatively large cerebella when we consider that they must be capable of moving swiftly and accurately in three dimensions of space, while we and other earth-bound animals spend most of our lives moving about on fairly flat surfaces. [7] When thinking of the location of the pineal gland think of it as being near the upper end of the spinal cord. It ends or terminates in the oldest anatomical region in the brain.

It might be useful here to note the various locations of other animal's pineal glands. The most popular creature in third eye studies is the Western Fence Lizard-Sceloporus occidentalis. This little gentleman not only has a fine and functional pineal gland but also a photoreceptive element plainly called a 'third eye'. The pineal of the Western Fence Lizard is located directly on top of the head. A small opening (foramen) can be seen in the skull where the 'third eye' actually protrudes.

Similar to this tiny reptile is a very distant relative, the Pacific Tree Frog-Hyla regilla, which also has the pineal topside. H. regilla does not share the Fence lizard's foramen or optic lens. The pineal of the Treefrog is barely visible because of the many similar "bumps" on the skin. Nonetheless it is functional.

Another classic example is the Pacific Sea Lamprey-Petromyzon marinus. This lamprey represents the lowest forms of living vertebrates, the cyclostomes, where are jawless, limbless creatures of great evolutionary significance. [8] The lamprey, too, has a conspicuous pineal gland. In fact it has two, both located together. The pineal gland of the lamprey is usually studied when the lamprey is in the larval stage. It is then when the gland is most visible.

And like the Treefrog and Fence Lizard, the Lamprey has its pineal organ located above the brain. We will look closer at these three dealing with the optic quality of their receptors.

It should become apparent after looking at the embryological evidence that the epiphysis and its possible pathways have semi-receded in the higher vertebrates. It has migrated from the position of above to the position of below and center.

The Optic Third Eye Compared to the Endocrinal Pineal Gland
The three animals previously mentioned (Western Fence Lizard, Pacific Tree Frog, and Sea Lamprey) are to be considered now for their contribution to the research being done on the optic importance of the pineal body.

Since the first discovery, right on down to present findings, there has been the question of the pineal's relation to light. How romantic to think of a functional third eye pointed skyward for the ultimate in ground protection! Other obvious benefits are associated with the having of such a receptor.

In the Western Fence Lizard (S. occidentalis) the pineal and the parietal third eye are connected by means of the parietal nerve. The epiphysis is located above the cortex and under the bone of the skull. Under high magnification one sees the ultrastructures of the cornea, lens, and retina. The cornea is composed of an inner, highly fibrous layer and an epidermal layer. The cornea is fused with the lens, a palisade of elongate, cylindrical cells whose nuclei lie at their basal ends. A fibrous capsule encloses the eye and attaches it to the skin. The parietal nerve leaves the retina, passes through the capsule, and courses posteriorly under the roof of the cranium and then ventrally to the epiphysis and brain. [9]

We know that the parietal eye is functional because there are changes in electrical activity, which can be recorded from the retina (ERG) or parietal eye nerve when light to the eye is turned off or on. It is also interesting that a deficiency of vitamin A causes a breakdown in the outer segments of third eye receptors in S. occidentalis. Let it be said now that the third eye contains a light sensitive substance (or perhaps two substances) since it reacts differently to short and long wave lengths of light. [10]

The Pacific Treefrog has a similar structure for the third eye and epiphysis. Even though close observation does not reveal this. Detailed examination illustrates that it too has a pineal third eye which protrudes above the surface of the cranial wall. It is responsive to light stimulation. [11] The Pacific Treefrog is the amphibian example of animals with third eye function.

The Sea Lamprey-P. marinus is the aquatic example of third eye animals. It has, in the larval form, two parietal eyes and nerve which runs through the epiphysis. And as mentioned, the Sea Lamprey is a representative of an ancient group of animals. The fact that it has a third eye is relevant to this story. To know that nature has been working with the third eye through many cycles of evolution gives just more inspiration for further studies concerning our pineal organ.

While looking over the many diagrams and sketches of the brain region of various creatures, one can not help noticing the proximity of the third eye to the pineal. In fact in some animals there is no dividing line distinguishing the two. Furthermore there is a relatively major nerve which comes from the parietal eye to the epiphysis. Certainly this anatomical connection suggests that light received by the third eye is sent to the epiphysis for translation and storage. The literature in the spiritual community may not be so far off when they postulate that the pineal is the 'Oracle of Light'.

The light of the body is the eye:
therefore when thine eye is single,
thy whole body also is filled with light;
but when thine eye is 'evil',
thy body also is full of darkness.[12]

But we know from anatomy that Homo sapiens and all higher vertebrates have no protruding third eye. They do have a pineal which is sensitive to light. [13] But it is buried quite deep in the bed of cortical tissue.

The Recent Findings of Pineal Function and Physiology
Since light on this planet is regulated alternatively day and night (circadian), it would be easy to discern the relation of such cycles to the pineal and other glands. Indeed, this has been proven. [14] There are 24 hour cycles in the concentrations of serotonin (N-acetylserotonin - NAS) and melatonin in the pineal of the rat. There is also a 24 hour cycle in the conversion of the norepinephrine (one of the neurotransmitters needed for the functioning of the synaptic sites in he nervous system's soma) in the sympathetic nerves innervating in the pineal gland. "This rhythm persists in blinded rats and animals but is suppressed in normal rats by light. The same rhythm in norepinephrine turnover generates the rhythms in pineal indole-amines and N-acetyltranferase." [15]

There is a relationship between sex hormones and the light receptive quality of the epiphysis. It has been proposed that one function of the pineal in the rat is to serve as a neuroendocrine transducer, mediating the effects of environmental lighting on the gonads. [16] Accordingly information about lighting is perceived by the retina and nervous impulses are conveyed to the pineal gland by way of the sympathetic nerve. The pineal responds by altering its production of methoxyindoles, these enter the bloodstream and influence endocrine economy of the body. The methoxyindoles are synthesized by the pineal in the absence of light and presumably exert inhibitory effects on the gonads. [17]

Another curious feature of the pineal organ is the production of melatonin and serotonin. Serotonin is produced in the gut of the intestinal tract as well as the Pineal organ. Serotonin is another transmitter. It is one of the major four, this is, one of the commonest neurohumors.

The interesting thing about serotonin is its change over to melatonin which occurs chemically in the pineal gland. The pineal gland is the only area where this is done. This has direct significance to what happens to the larval stages of most amphibians. It is known as blanching. Larval forms of amphibians undergo a marked blanching when maintained for a time in darkness. A similar response is displayed by many fishes. [18] It is likely that blanching is due, in some measure, to a degree of decrease in MHS (a hormone) release in darkness, but for the most part it is believed that the principle effect results from the release of melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) from the pineal. [19]

This hypothetic scheme, advanced by Bagnara and supported by others [20] suggests that under conditions of darkness, the pineal is stimulated to release melatonin, presumably a pineal hormone, in the general circulation. [21] Melatonin exerts a profound contracting effect on dermal melanophores (pigment pores) leading to rapid blanching. [21] The involvement of the pineal in this response relates to two aspects of its physiology, light reception and endocrine function. [22] Morphologic and electrophysiologic studies have clearly established that the pineal can function as a photoreceptor, but its role as an endocrine organ is more obscure, despite the fact that circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that this is the case. [23]

The first evidence indicating that the pineal organ contains humoral agents comes from the experiments of McCord and Allen, who made the important discovery that tadpoles underwent profound blanching when they were fed mammalian pineals. [24] But they discarded this as an unusual pharmacological phenomena. Later Lerner and his colleagues isolated a potent "melaosome-aggregating agent" (hormone) from beef pineal glands, which they identified as melatonin. Since then this indole has been found in the pineal of other animals (e.g. monkeys, cows, rats, birds, and amphibians). Of great interest is the remarkable fact that relatively large amounts are found in the lateral eyes. [25] The lateral eyes as well as the pineals contain all the substrates and enzymes essential for the synthesis of melatonin. [26]

Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) in the following manner: (1) An N-acetylating enzyme converts serotonin to N-acetylserotonin; (2) the latter compound is O-methylated through the action of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT). Serotonin is metabolized to 5-hydroxyindole acetaldehyde by the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). The activity of this enzyme in the destruction of serotonin and that of HIOMT in the O-methylation of N-acetylserotonin provide convenient vehicles for controlling the amount of melatonin present in an organism at any one time. [27]

In view of all available data, the hypothesis that the body-blanching reaction of amphibian larvae is mediated by the pineal seems rather convincing. However, it must be mentioned that this mechanism is restricted to the larval form. The adults do not have such a function. The melanophores of adult fishes and amphibians are generally unresponsive to melatonin. The body-blanching aspect of the pineal is the most convincing and clear cut evidence for endocrinal activity. So far this can not be said of any of the other implication, aroused in this exploration, or pineal function. [28]

Serotonin, LSD, and the Epiphysis (Third Eye)
In the last section we described some of the physiology of serotonin, the pineal gland and its synthesis of the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a normal, necessary chemical transmitter of electrical impulses across the synapses (the gaps between nerve cell bodies). It is intriguing to find that certain hallucinogens have the same chemical skeletons as serotonin. [29] This really doesn't surprise neurologicians, for the fact of psychedelically induced psychosis has been known.

As mentioned, serotonin is one of the four main neurohumors or neurotransmitters in higher vertebrate nervous systems. I have mentioned the location of serotonin production and note here that the serotonin is transported via the bloodstream to the nerve cells throughout the body, but most especially in the neurons of the brain. Here they accumulate in the their minutest molecular form. The molecule serotonin is utilized by the nerve cells for the complete execution of electrical impulses across the synaptic gap (which is the micro-gap between every connection of every nerve cell in the entire nervous system). The impulses comes along the nerve cell going through the electro-chemical processes with the ionic forms of calcium and potassium (the two vitals of the nervous system) until they reach the terminal end of the cell's dendrites. Upon reaching the end of the electrical impulse is translated into the neurochemical serotonin. This is then "squeezed" out into intercellular space only to connect and meet the other side which is the beginning of the next nerve soma (lining of the nerve cell). [30]

Few molecules can penetrate what is known in biology as the "blood brain barrier". Those that do go directly to the neuron. After that it becomes a matter of their ability to imitate one of the neurotransmitters. Our neurons have a safety device for this type of situation. The neurotransmitters have a unique molecular shape and can only fit in a specific slot on the synaptic surface. Mind-altering drugs all operate on mimicking one of the neurotransmitters. (Most all drugs work internally, one exception is alcohol. Alcohol's effect is caused by altering the sensitivity of the some or cell wall.)

LSD happens to be one of the more famous antagonists. It not only penetrates the blood brain barrier but slips slyly into the transmission site inside the nerve cells themselves. It can mimic serotonin to the point where the body thinks its serotonin and consequently shoots it across the synaptic gap. When LSD reaches the other side it is accepted but the LSD doesn't carry the message any further. The impulse of electricity is redirected down less familiar pathways, pathways which have not been highly conditioned. Specifically LSD affects the oldest parts of the brain first (e.g. upper end of the spinal cord, medulla oblongata, cerebrum, pineal gland and hypothalamus region) then the bloodstream takes it forward into the immediate back brain (location of sight interpretation) up through the area of hearing, the cerebellum, other sense interpretive centers, and the motor areas.

Using radioactive molecules traced with LSD, science has been able to follow the course of LSD through the various channels and avenues of the body. It has been found found that after selecting certain areas of the various parts of the brain it then migrates to sections with fewer imprints, for instance the right of the hemisphere, the so-called creative center. By redirecting consciousness, as it were, into the unimprinted areas of the cortex, one hypothetically experiences the world anew, hence the variety of interpretations which arise upon questioning psychedelic voyagers about their "trip". Because of LSD's antagonistic effect on serotonin and the pineal gland itself, it would seem quite likely there is a chemical relationship between mental illness and deficiencies of serotonin. [31] But intravenous doses have been administered to humans with no psychedelic effects noted. [32] Melatonin itself has the same indole structure as LSD. Interesting indeed!

I have a few speculative concepts on meditation's effectiveness on the practitioner. I hypothesize that performing various breathing techniques, while concentrating on the third eye (pineal pseudo-location), will inevitably and imperceptibly stimulate the pineal to produce less melatonin and serotonin which in turn brings about a change in consciousness, creating naturally the dynamic somatics of a truly religio-spiritual experience. Indeed we know now how light plays an important role in the pineal's production of various hormones and neurotransmitter-related molecules and we can rather loosely associate this with the "Light" that often accompanies one during solitudinous "third eye meditations". Many have witnesses the light in the past and many more will witness. [33]

The following is a question and answer dialogue between Lu K'uan Yu (student) and Liao Jan (teacher) concerning taoist meditation techniques:

Question: I have read Taoist books which all urge the development of the light in the original cavity or center of spirit (tsu ch'iao, in the center of the brain between the eyes) at the start of practice but I do not see why. All Taoist schools regard this as the aim of the cultivation of (essential) nature without giving details. Will you please tell me where true nature actually manifests?

Answer: (The tsu ch'iao cavity in) the center of the brain branches out into two minor channels on its left and right; the left one stands for t'ai chi (supreme ultimate) and the right one for ch'ung ling (immaterial spirit); they are linked with the t'ien (heavenly valley) center above them and yung chuan (bubbling spring) centers in the soles of the feet after running through the heart in the chest.

The Tao Ching says: "Nature is (in) the heart and manifests through the eyes; life is (in) the lower abdomen and manifests through the genital organ."

(Essential) nature is spiritual vitality in the heart that manifests through two channels from the center of the brain. So when seeing is concentrated on the spot between the eyes, the light of (essential) nature manifests and will, after long training, unite with (eternal) life to become one whole. This union is called seeing the void that is not empty and he who is not awakened to this union will achieve nothing in practice.

Question: When I was taught meditation I was urged to empty my heart (house of fire) of all thoughts, set my mind on cultivating (essential) nature and open my eyes to contemplate the void to accord with the correct Way; will you please explain all this to me?

Answer: Seeing the void as not empty is right and seeing the void as empty is wrong, for failure to return to the (tsu ch'iao) center (which is not empty) prevents the light of vitality from manifesting. Under the heart and above the genital organ is an empty space where spiritual vitality manifests to form a cavity. When spirit and vitality return to this cavity, spiritual vitality will soar up to form a circle (of light) which is not void. Voidness which does not radiate is relative but voidness which radiates is absolute. Absolute voidness is not empty like relative voidness. Voidness that is not empty is spiritual light which is spirit-vitality that springs from the yellow hall center (huang ting or middle tan t'ien, in the solar plexus).

My master Liao K'ung said: "When the golden mechanism (of alchemy) begins to move and gives out flashes of light, that hall of voidness (hsu shih, i.e. the heart devoid of feelings and passions) will be illuminated by a white light which reveals the mysterious gate (hsuan kuan), the presence of which does not mean emptiness."

Man lives and dies because of this immaterial spirit-vitality; he lives when it is present and dies when it scatters. Hence it is said: 'Spirit without vitality; does not make a man live; and vitality without spirit does not cause him to die.' Prenatal spirit in the heart is nature and prenatal vitality in the lower abdomen is life; only when spirit and vitality unite can real achievement be made.

Question: Will you please explain the saying: 'If one reaches the original cavity of spirit (tsu ch'iao, in the center of the brain between the eyes) one will find the source of immortal breath.'?

Answer: Worldly men who discover the original cavity of spirit are very rare indeed. It is under heaven (the top of the head), above the earth (the lower abdomen), west of the sun (the left eye) and east of the moon (the right eye). Behind the mysterious gate (hsuan kuan) and before the spirit of the valley (ku shen) is true nature (chen hsin) which is the source of true breath (chen hsi). Although this true breath is linked with postnatal (ordinary) breathing--the latter coming in-an-out through the mouth and nostrils, cannot reach the original cavity of spirit to return to the source. The immortal breath that comes from inner (vital) fourfold breathing (a four-fold breath consists of in-and-out breaths with corresponding ascent and descent of vitality in the microcosmic orbit) and not through the nose and mouth, can then return to the source.

In your quest for immortal breath, you should regulate post-natal (ordinary) breathing in order to find its source. This immortal breath is hidden in the original cavity of spirit and is genial and will not scatter away when post-natal (ordinary) breathing is well regulated. Hence my master Liao Jen said: "When vitality returns to the original ocean (its source) life becomes boundless."

(Note: the part that follows is very important.)

Question: Will you please give me the exact position of the original cavity of the spirit?

Answer: It is (in the center of the brain behind) the spot between the eyes. Lao Tzu called it 'the gateway to heaven and earth'; hence he urged people to concentrate on the center in order to realize the oneness (of all things). In this center is a pearl of the size of a grain of rice, which is the center between heaven and earth in the human body (i.e., the microcosm); it is the cavity of prenatal vitality. To know where it lies is not enough, for it does not include the wondrous light of (essential) nature which is symbolized by a circle which fatherly Confucius called virtuous perfection (jen); the Book of Change (I Ching) calls it the ultimateless (wu chi), the Buddha perfect knowledge (yuan ming) and the Taoists, the elixir of immortality or spiritual light; which all point to the prenatal One True Vitality. He who knows this cavity can prepare the elixir of immortality. Hence it is said: 'When the One is attained, all problems are solved.'

Therefore, during the training both eyes should turn inward to the center (between and behind them) in order to hold on to this One which be held in the original cavity of spirit (tsu ch'iao) with neither strain nor relaxation; this is called fixing spirit in the original cavity which should be where (essential) nature is cultivated and the root from which (eternal) life emerges. [34]

The above is a translation from a very ancient Chinese dialog between master and student, a conversation which illustrates there were and are some who have put the knowledge of the pineal gland to beneficial use by concentrating upon its general location which we have described in quite some detail. Those who also use this information will be directly altering their biochemical balance for the better.

I will go one further step in speculative ideology. It is my assumption there is a LIGHT which penetrates even the deepest of neural tissue. I believe this has a direct effect on the physiology of the pineal gland which in turn affects the organism as a whole.

Research Presently Needed For Further Understanding
At present we need further research in specific fields. First there should be extensive research done on the effects of light on the ultrastructure of the epiphysis. These experiments should not be limited to selected species but carried out in relation to all species which have a pineal organ. Along with this should be the research on the whys and wherefores of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Serotonin/LSD antagonism and neurological disease and health should be openly researched. Evidence found along the way should be related to the findings of pineal studies. There should be further endeavors regarding melatonin and its relationship to neurological functioning; further exploration on meditation's effect on the chemical balance of the body and effect of meditation the production and synthesis of serotonin and melatonin.

All in All there is Much to be Done!

This information can be useful to your life now. To know that there are physical effects of "mind-drugs" that mimic natural body effects and that physical phenomena is altered through external methods (drugless), is to bring more light to all these new and dynamic ways to truly "change" one's "consciousness".

Small Descartes

Om Hail! the Light of the Ages!
Shining within your own mind!
Coming in from above
like the Righteous Thunderbolt of the Source!!!
O Holy, yet Mysterious Pineal!

Your secrets are Unfolding
like the Thousand Petaled Lotus
that you are!!!
Top of Page
Footnotes - Reference

1. Ruthann LeBaron, Hormones, a Delicate Balance (New York 1972)
p. 140. Regasus.
2. Ibid., p. 141.
3. Ibid., p. 141.
4. Earl Frieden, Biochemical Endocrinology of the Vertebrates,
(Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) p. 258. Princeton.
5. John W. Kimball, Biology (Palo Alto, California 1965) p. 354.
6. Ibid., p. 350.
7. Ibid., p. 351.
8. Richard M. Eakin, The Third Eye (California 1973) p. 5. University
of California Press.
9. Ibid., p. 27.
10. Ibid., p. 124.
11. Ibid., p. 130.
12. Luke 11:34 The Holy Bible (King James Version)
13. Loc. cit., p. 25. Earl Frieden.
14. Brownstein and J. Axelrod, "Pineal Gland and the 24 Hour Rhythm in
Norepinephrine Turnover" Science (April 12, 1974) pp. 163-5.
15. Ibid., loc. cit., Brownstein.
16. Julius Lee, Animal Hormones (London 1975) pp. 588-593.
17. Loc. cit., Julius Lee.
18. Op. cit., p. 603. Julius Lee.
19. Loc. cit., p. 604.
20. Ibid., p. 588.
21. Ibid., p. 589.
22. Ibid., p. 590.
23. Clarence Donnell Turner, General Endocrinology (Philadelphia 1971)
p. 463. Saunders.
24. Ibid., pp. 476-480.
25. Ibid., p. 481.
26. Op. cit., Animal Hormones, p. 151.
27. Ibid., p. 153.
28. Bernard Aronson and Humphrey Osmond, Psychedelics (New York 1970)
29. Ibid., p. 198.
30. Ibid., pp. 198-201.
31. Urantia Foundation, The Urantia Book (Chicago 1955), pp. 1007-1098.
32. Lu K'uan Yu, Taoist Yoga New York 1973) p. 3-6.
33. Ibid., p. 7.
34. Op. cit., The Urantia Book p. 485.

Bibliography of Literature Cited

Turner, Clarence Donnel, General Endocrinology. Philadelphia: Saunders

Brainard, Bud, "The Eye of the Soul", New Age. (April 1976)

Lee, Julius, Animal Hormones. London: Hutchinson University Library,

Hall, Peter F., The Function of the Endocrine Glands. Philadelphia:
Saunders, 1959.

Stevens, Charles E., Neurophysiology: A Primer. New York: John Wiley &
Sons, 1964.

Eakin, Ralph Emerson, The Third Eye. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1973.

Frieden, Earl, Biochemical Endocrinology of the Vertebrates. New
Jersey, 1973.

Axelrod, J., "Pineal Gland: A Neurochemical Transducer", Science (June
28, 1974) p. 1321-8.

Aubrey, Gorbman, "Columbia University Symposium on Comparative
Endocrinology", Cold Springs Harbor, New York, 1958.

Elden, C.A., "Pineal: Still Too Much To Learn", Chemistry. (May 1973)
p. 22.

Brownstein, M. and Axelrod, J., "Pineal Gland: 24 Hour Rhythm in
Norepinephrine Turnover", Science (April 12, 1974) pp. 163-5.

Axelrod, J. and Romero, J.A., "Pineal B-Adrenergic Receptor, Diurnal
Variation in Sensitivity", Science (June 28, 1974) pp. 1169-74.

Reiter, R.J. et al, "Melatonin: Its Inhibition of Pineal
Antigonadotropic Activity in Male Hamsters", Science (June 28, 1974)
pp. 1169-74.

Yu, Lu K'uan, Taoist Yoga. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1973.

Kimball, John W., Biology. Palo Alto, California: Addison-Wesley,

Urantia Foundation, The Urantia Book. Chicago: Urantia Foundation,

LeBaron, Ruthann, Hormones, A Delicate Balance. New York: Regasus,

Holy Bible. Authorized King James Version.

Last Updated October 15, 1996 Artwork/Design Copyright © 1994-1996 Russ McClay

This web page is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.

The most recent version of this paper is available on
the author's website at http://taolodge.com/pineal.html
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:39 pm

http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... pineal.htm

An endocrine gland that accumulates high levels of fluoride

According to the US EPA ,

The endocrine system consists of a set of glands and the hormones they produce that help guide the development, growth, reproduction, and behavior of animals including human beings. Some of the endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, the female ovaries and male testes. Hormones are chemicals, produced by endocrine glands, that travel through the bloodstream and cause responses in other parts of the body. Examples of hormones include adrenaline, which helps stimulate physical activity, and estrogen, which is essential for female reproductive function. Hormones can produce both positive and negative effects. For example, some types of breast cancer are exacerbated by estrogen, but studies also indicate that estrogen has a protective effect in combating heart disease and osteoporosis-related fractures.

Chemicals that interfere with the normal functioning of this complex system are known as "endocrine disruptors." Disruption of the endocrine system can occur in various ways.

For example, some chemicals may mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the hormone. Other chemicals may block the effects of a hormone in parts of the body normally sensitive to it. Still others may directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system, leading, to overproduction or underproduction of hormones. Certain drugs are used to intentionally cause some of these effects, such as birth control pills. (For more information: see EPA's: Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.)

In July 1991 a multi-disciplinary group of experts researching endocrine disruption reached consensus and published the "The Wingspread Conference Statement." This statement sent shockwaves through the international scientific and regulatory communities. The scientists stated that the "cancer paradigm is insufficient" when assessing chemicals. That certain "chemicals can cause severe health effects other than cancer" that are of "a profound and insidious nature." The scientists stated:

We are certain of the following:

• A large number of man-made chemicals that have been released into the environment, as well as a few natural ones, have the potential to disrupt the endocrine system of animals, including humans. Among these are the perisisten, bioaccumulative, organohalogen compounds that include some pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides) and industrial chemicals, other synthetic producs, and some metals.

• Many wildlife populations are already affected by these compounds. The impacts include thyroid dysfunction in birds and fish; decreased fertility in birds, fish, shellfish, and mammals; decreased hatching success in birds, fish, and turtles; gross birth deformities in birds, fish and turtles; metabolic abnormalities in birds, fish, and mammals; behavioral abnormalities in birds; demasculinization and feminization of male fish, birds and mammals; defeminization and masculinization of female fish and birds; and compromised immune systems in birds and mammals.

• The patterns of effects vary among species and among compounds. Four general points can nonetheless be made:
(1) the chemicals of concern may have entirely different effects on the embryo, fetus, or perinatal organism than on the adult;
(2) the effects are most often manifested in offspring, not in the exposed parent;
(3) the timing of exposure in the developing organism is crucial in determining its character and future potential; and
(4) although critical exposure occurs during embryonic development, obvious manifestations may not occur until maturity.

• Laboratory studies corroborate the abnormal sexual development observed in the field and provide biological mechanisms to explain the observation in wildlife.

• Humans have been affected by compounds of this nature too. The effects of DES (diethylstilbestrol), a synthetic therapeutic agent, like many of the compounds mentioned above, are estrogenic. Daughters born to mothers who took DES now suffer increased rates of vaginal clear cell adenocarcinoma, various genital tract abnormalities, abnormal pregnancies, and some changes in immune responses. Both sons and daughters exposed in utero experience conge4nital anomalies of their reproductive system and reduced fertility. The effects seen in utero DES-exposed humans parallel those found in contaminated wildlife and laboratory animals, suggesting that humans may be at risk to the same environmental hazards as wildlife.

The profound concern generated from this 1991 statement led to an international effort to identify chemicals that disrupt hormonal systems (see OECD, Europa). What the public learned in 1991 was that no chemical had been tested for its hormonal disrupting potential. The regulatory communities committed to test every chemical in use (more than 65,000). In order to achieve this goal, several years were spent on developing the protocols for testing and prioritizing chemicals for these tests.

Since 1996, endocrine disruptors have been consigned the highest priority for research, testing, and regulation at the US EPA. Unfortunately, the major focus is mainly limited to effects associated with estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormones. Theoretically, all endocrine glands are considered exquisitely important. However, the pineal gland is not on the radar screen due to the lack of understanding of the role of the human pineal. Because of this, there is an enormous effort underway, by the international scientific community, to obtain this knowledge. The FAN Pesticide Project has been collecting abstracts on this research - see

Abstracts on the Pineal Gland by Year. Each one of the following year numbers are links to different abstracts.

2005 http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticide ... tracts.htm

2004 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

2003 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

2002 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

2001 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm
2000 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1999 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1998 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1997 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1996 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1995 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm
1994 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1993 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1992 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1991 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

1990 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

Up to 1989 http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... tracts.htm

EPA developed the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)

in response to a Congressional mandate in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) "to determine whether certain substances may have an effect in humans that is similar to an effect produced by a naturally occurring estrogen, or such other effects as [EPA] may designate" (21 U.S.C. 346a(p)). When carrying out the program, the statute requires EPA to "provide for the testing of all pesticide chemicals." The statute also provides EPA with discretionary authority to "provide for the testing of any other substance that may have an effect that is cumulative to an effect of a pesticide chemical if the Administrator determines that a substantial population may be exposed to such a substance." In addition, section 1457 of the Safe Drinking Water Act provides EPA with discretionary authority to provide for testing, under the FFDCA 408(p) screening program, "of any other substances that may be found in sources of drinking water if the Administrator determines that a substantial population may be exposed to such substance." (Ref: EPA's EDSP site)

See ERICE consensus statement on endocrine disrupting chemicals and their effect on the brain and behaviour:

We are certain of the following:
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can undermine neurological and behavioral development and subsequent potential of individuals exposed in the womb or, in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, the egg. This loss of potential in humans and wildlife is expressed as behavioral and physical abnormalities. It may be expressed as reduced intellectual capacity and social adaptability, as impaired responsiveness to environmental demands, or in a variety of other functional guises. Widespread loss of this nature can change the character of human societies or destabilize wildlife populations...

The following presents information on the pineal gland. The information is compelling and relevant to the concern of the bioaccumulation of fluoride in the human body.


In mammals, the pineal gland is located above the thalamus of the brain between the cerebral cortices. In the 1990s, Jennifer Luke of the UK discovered that the pineal gland is a major site of fluoride accumulation within the body - with higher concentrations of fluoride than either teeth or bone.

Luke's studies indicate that the accumulation of fluoride in the pineal gland can reduce the gland's synthesis of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the onset of puberty. Fluoride-treated animals were found to have reduced levels of circulating melatonin and an earlier onset puberty than untreated animals. Luke concluded:

"The safety of the use of fluorides ultimately rests on the assumption that the developing enamel organ is most sensitive to the toxic effects of fluoride. The results from this study suggest that the pinealocytes may be as susceptible to fluoride as the developing enamel organ"

Ref: The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland. Jennifer Anne Luke, 1997. A dissertation submitted to the School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

See excerpts

The fact that fluoride's impact on the pineal gland was never studied, or even considered, before the 1990s, highlights a major gap in knowledge underpinning current policies on fluoride and health.

The Endocrine System:


Illustration by K. Born in Our Stolen Future (1996)
by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and JP Myers

The Pineal Gland: A Photoperiodic Transducer

Through its nocturnal secretion of the biogenic amine melatonin, the pineal has effects on the regulation of many internal physiological rhythms and may provide an important clue for translating photoperiodic stimuli into action. Furthermore, melatonin can alter coat pigmentation and hair growth; can inhibit hypothalamic regulation of the HPA [Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal], HPT [Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid], and HPG [Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal] axes; and has been shown to enhance the immune response system (Norris, 1999). Photic input in birds and mammals is accomplished primarily via the optic visual system. However, the pineal of most fishes, amphibians, and reptiles also plays an important role as a direct photoreceptor, and through secretion of melatonin, it may be an important modulator of the HPA, HPT, and HPG axes as well. Any environmental factor that alters pineal function may have profound effects on the well-being of vertebrates.

Chapter 3: Endocrinology and Endocrine Toxicology
From the report: 2002. Safety Global Assessment of the State-of-the Science of Endocrine Disruptors. International Programme on Chemical Safety. WHO/PCS/EDC/02.2 - An assessment prepared by an expert group on behalf of the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organisation, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Edited by: Terri Damstra, Sue Barlow, Aake Bergman, Robert Kavlock, Glen Van Der Kraak.

Until Jennifer Luke's work (1,2) many people were unaware that the pineal gland produced the same crystals of calcium hydroxyapatite as the bones and teeth. [Having looked through numerous text books I found that these crystals are called "brain sand" -- a term used by scientists, not Hollywood producers! The terminology may have been factor.] According to Luke's 1997 thesis (1):

"It is remarkable that the pineal gland has never been analysed separately for F because it has several features which suggest that it could accumuate F. It has the highest calcium concentration of any normal soft tissue in the body because it calcifies physiologically in the from of hydroxyapatite (HA). It has a high metabolic activitity coupled with a very profuse blood supply: two factors favouring the deposition of F in mineralizing tissues. The fact that the pineal is outside the blood-brain barrier suggests that pineal HA could sequester F from the bloodstreatm if it has the same strong affinity for F as HA in the other mineralizing tissues (page 1).

"After a half a century of the prophylactic use of fluorides in dentistry, we now know that fluoride readily accumulates in the human pineal gland. In fact, the aged pineal contains more fluoride than any other normal soft tissue... However, the pineal gland is unique in that it can be classified as a soft or as a mineralizing tissue. In terms of mineralized tissue, the mean fluoride concentration in the pineal calcification was equivalent to that in severely fluorosed bone and more than four times higher than in corresponding bone ash, i.e., 8,900 ± 7,700 vs. 2,040 ± 1,100 mg/kg, respectively. The calcification in two of the 11 pineals analysed in this study contained extremely high levels of fluoride: 21,800 and 20,500 mg/kg (page 167)."

Luke's work is particularly illuminating because she showed that fluoride accumulated in the human pineal gland. She also found that fluoride lowered the production of melatonin in animal studies - the hormone produced by the pineal gland.

Luke analyzed the pineal glands of 11 elderly corpses in the UK and found that the levels of fluoride were extremely high (a mean of about 9,000 ppm).

Luke also noted a finding from the first 10-year follow-up health study of the Newburgh-Kingston fluoridation trial (which was not thought significant at the time) that on average the girls in Newburgh started menstruation 5 months earlier than the girls in the control, non-fluoridated, city of Kingston (3). -- see excerpts below.

One of the risks we may be taking by exposing our whole population to fluoride is interfering with delicate regulatory timing processes, from the onset of puberty to the aging process. - EC.

1. Luke J (1997). The effect of fluoride on the physiology of the pineal gland. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Surrey, Guildord, UK --see 1997 abstract below.

2. Luke J (2001). Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland. Caries Res. 35:125-128.

3. Schlesinger ER, Overton DE, Chase HC, Cantwell KT (1956). Newburgh-Kingston caries-fluorine study X111. Pediatric findings after ten years. J Amer Dent Assoc 52: 296-306.

Adverse Effects - Sodium fluoride - CAS No. 7681-49-4

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/q ... t=Abstract
Caries Res 2001 Mar-Apr;35(2):125-8

Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland.

Luke J.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. jenniluke@compuserve.com

The purpose was to discover whether fluoride (F) accumulates in the aged human pineal gland. The aims were to determine (a) F-concentrations of the pineal gland (wet), corresponding muscle (wet) and bone (ash); (b) calcium-concentration of the pineal. Pineal, muscle and bone were dissected from 11 aged cadavers and assayed for F using the HMDS-facilitated diffusion, F-ion-specific electrode method. Pineal calcium was determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Pineal and muscle contained 297+/-257 and 0.5+/-0.4 mg F/kg wet weight, respectively; bone contained 2,037+/-1,095 mg F/kg ash weight. The pineal contained 16,000+/-11,070 mg Ca/kg wet weight. There was a positive correlation between pineal F and pineal Ca (r = 0.73, p<0.02) but no correlation between pineal F and bone F. By old age, the pineal gland has readily accumulated F and its F/Ca ratio is higher than bone.

PMID: 11275672 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1997. A dissertation submitted to the School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Guildford 1997.

The effect of fluoride on the physiology of the pinal gland
Jennifer Anne Luke

Abstract: The purpose was to discover whether fluoride (F) accumulates in the pineal gland and thereby affects pineal physiology during early development. The [F] of 11 aged human pineals and corresponding muscle were determined using the F-electrode following HMDS/acid diffusion. The mean [F] of pineal was significantly higher (p<0.001) than muscle: 296 ± 257 vs. 0.5 ± 0.4 mg/kg respectively. Secondly, a controlled longitudinal experimental study was carried out to discover whether F affects the biosynthesis of melatonin, (MT), during pubertal development using the excretion rate of urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin, (aMT6s), as the index of pineal MT synthesis. Urine was collected at 3-hourly intervals over 48 hours from two groups of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), low-F (LF) and high-F (HF) (12 f, 12 m/group): under LD: 12 12, from prepubescence to reproductive maturity (at 9-12 weeks) to adulthood, i.e., at 7, 9, 11 1/2 and 16 weeks. The HF pups received 2.3 ug F/g BW/day from birth until 24 days whereafter HF and LF groups received food containing 37 and 7 mg F/kg respectively and distilled water. Urinary aMT6s levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. The HF group excreted significantly less aMT6s than the F group until the age of sexual maturation. At 11 1/2 weeks, the circadian profile of aMT6s by the HF males was significantly dimished but, by 16 weeks, was equivalent to the LF males. In conclusion, F inhibits pineal MT synthesis in gerbils up until the time of sexual maturation. Finally, F was associated with a significant acceleration of pubertal development in female gerbils using body weights, age of vaginal opening and accelerated development of the ventral gland. At 16 weeks, the mean testes weight of HF males was significantly less (p<0.002) than that of the LF males. The results suggest that F is associated with low circulating levels of MT and this leads to an accelerated sexual maturation in female gerbils. The results strengthen the hypothesis that the pineal has a role in pubertal development.

Excerpt on the Newburgh-Kingston NY study:

To the best of my knowledge, the Newburgh-Kingston study is the only reference on the efffect of F on the timing of puberty in humans. It is the largest, most ambitious paediatric survey carried out to demonstrate the safety of water fluoridation. The New York State Department of Health initiated the study in 1944 because they realized that there would ultimately be a need for a long-term evaluation of any possible systemic effects as well as the dental changes from drinking fluoridated water over a long period of time.

Similar groups of chidren were selected for long-term observation from Newburgh (fluoridated to 1.0 to 1.2 mg/L in 1945) and Kingston (essentially F-free for the duration of the study). Newburgh and Kingston were chosen because they were well-matched: both situated on the Hudson River about 35 miles apart with similar upland reservoir water supplies; both had populations of about 30,000 with similar demographic characteristics, social and economic conditions, levels of dental care, etc. In Newburgh, out of 817 children (aged from birth to nine years) who were selected in 1945, 500 were examined in 1954-1955; in Kingston, out of 711 children who were selected in 945, 405 were examined in 1954-55.

The medical and dental examinations began in 1944, and were repeated periodically until 1955. An assessment of any possible systemic effects arising from the consumption of fluoridated water was made by comparing the growth, development and the prevalence of specific conditions in the two groups of children as disclosed by their medical histories, physical examinations, and laboratory and radiological evidence. The age of onset of menstruation in girls was used as an index of the rate of sexual maturation.

At the end of ten years, the investigators repored no adverse systemic effects from drinking fluoridated water because no significant differences were found between the results from the two groups. The average age of first menarche was earlier among girls in Newburgh than those in Kingston: 12 years vs. 12 years and 5 months respectively (Schlesinger et al, 1956). Although this difference was not considered important, it does suggest an association between the use of fluoridated drinking water and an ealier onset of sexual maturation in girls. The Newburgh girls had not had a lifelong use of fluoridated water. For the first two years or so, they received unfluoridated water. Furthermore, their only source of F was from the drinking water. (pages 6-7)."

• Note from EC: Excerpts are from the hard copy of Luke's thesis. Any spelling errors are mine.

Fluoride Action Network | Pesticide Project | 315-379-9200 | pesticides@fluoridealert.org
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:47 pm


[NOTE: The following selection comes from "The Treatment of Schizophrenia" by David McMillin. Copyright © 1991 by David McMillin. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The Treatment of Schizophrenia is currently available from A.R.E. Press in Virginia Beach, Virginia.]

The Treatment of Schizophrenia
Appendix B

The Pineal

This and subsequent appendices will address various topics relevant to the treatment of schizophrenia by providing a general discussion of each subject which is followed by a selection of excerpts from the readings. In this initial appendix addressing the pineal, the discussion section will be approached from three perspectives: a brief literature review, Edgar Cayce's view of the pineal, and a look at some contemporary perspectives on the clinical significance of a form of pineal dysfunction designated as "kundalini crisis."

Literature Review

For centuries the pineal gland has been associated with paranormal phenomena and insanity. Eastern philosophies have tended to view the pineal as an important "chakra" or energy vortex, which if activated, opened the individual to psychic experiences and cosmic vision (Judith, 1987). Contemporaneous western philosophies also attached mystical significance to the pineal:

The ancient Greeks considered the pineal as the seat of the soul, a concept extended by Descartes, who philosophically suggested that this unpaired cerebral structure would serve as an ideal point from which the soul could exercise its somatic functions. Descartes thus attributed to the pineal a prominent function in uniting the immortal soul with the body. Being influenced by this thesis, many 17th and 18th century physicians associated the pineal causally with "madness," a link that has been uncannily prophetic for the present day. (Miles & Philbrick, 1988, p. 409-410)

The reference to "unpaired cerebral structure" is an example of one of the many anatomical peculiarities of the pineal gland. The brain exhibits a high degree of bilateral symmetry, a characteristic not shared by the pineal because it is not generally regarded as having left and right divisions. The pineal is a small, cone shaped gland attached to the posterior ceiling of the third ventricle of the brain, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid. Its location in the center of the brain, combined with its unique proclivity to calcify, make it a valuable landmark for neuroradiologists.

Recognition of the pineal as an active endocrine gland is a recent advancement because the highly sensitive bioassays required to detect pineal secretions are relatively new. Melatonin is the most easily detected of the pineal productions and has therefore received the most attention in current research. Thus, the frequent references to melatonin throughout this review is a reflection not only of its primary biochemical status among pineal secretions but also of its accessibility.

There are numerous anatomical and physiological idiosyncrasies associated with the pineal. "Relative to total body weight the pineal is small (50-150 mg in man; 1 mg in the rat), but its blood flow is second only to the kidney" (Arendt, 1988, p. 205-206). Morphologically, the pineal has been considered as a homologue of the "third eye" in certain lizards (Gray's Anatomy, 1977). The photosensitivity of pineal in humans derives from nerve impulses from the retina and may have a basis in the structure of the gland.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that some of the pigmented cells were arranged in a rosette-like structure reminiscent of developing retinal structures. When one considers these findings along with the electron microscopic observation ... it is reasonable to conclude that human pineal glands exhibit transient cellular features reminiscent of developing photoreceptor cells as shown in other mammals. (Min, 1987, p. 728)

The pineal has been labelled a "photoneuroendocrine transducer" due to its photoperiodic influences on reproductive cycles, coat color, coat growth and seasonal variations in behaviors of many mammals (Arendt, 1988). "Many other seasonal variations both physiological and pathological exist in humans and it will be of interest to consider their possible relationship to daylength and other seasonal synchronizers" (Arendt, 1988, p. 210). Ralph (1984) has reviewed the role of the pineal in thermoregulation and emphasized the "adaptive" nature of the gland.

The key word to understanding the pineal organ probably is "adaptation." That is, one can argue, with substantial justification, that the pineal organ participates in preparation for future conditions .... While the literature relating pineal organs to thermoregulation is not nearly as large as that dealing with reproduction, or rhythmycity, it is substantial and compelling. (Ralph, 1984, p. 193)

Pineal involvement in cycles of growth and development during the life span has long been recognized. Pineal tumors have been associated with both precocious and delayed puberty in humans (Kitay & Altschule, 1954; Turner & Bagnara, 1971). Blindness has been linked to earlier menarche in girls and blind adults also appear to exhibit disynchroncities related to photosensitivity (Parkes, 1976; Lewy & Newsome, 1983). Melatonin secretions is known to decrease in amplitude from infancy to adulthood (Young et al, 1986) and during old age (Iguchi et al, 1982)

Pineal involvement in circadian rhythms, particularly the sleep cycle within these rhythms, has received considerable attention in recent years.

Melatonin secretion increases during sleep and decreases during waking hours (Axelrod, 1974; Arato, et al, 1985). Since light both entrains and suppresses melatonin secretion, melatonin has been called a "darkness hormone" (Arendt, 1988). Arginine vasotocin (AVT), another pineal secretion linked to sleep cycles, has been found to induce slow-wave sleep in cats (Pavel, Psatta & Goldstein, 1977) and a specific AVT antiserum markedly increases the number of REM (rapid eye movement or dream sleep) periods while decreasing REM latency (Pavel & Goldstein, 1981). However, the role of the pineal in the modulation of circadian rhythms such as sleep cycles cannot be considered as primary. Rather, it works in conjunction with other systems and has its basis in evolutionary processes.

Among the vertebrates, two areas seem to have assumed major importance in the organization of circadian systems - the pineal organ and the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus). The pineal organ of lower vertebrates is photosensory in nature and it may have been this, presumably ancient, function that caused the pineal organ to assume such a predominant role with circadian systems. Clearly, light is the preeminent entraining or synchronizing stimulus for circadian systems, and the pineal organ may have been involved in the perception of LD (light-dark) cycles. (Underwood, 1984, pp. 245-246)

In addition to being sensitive to variations in environmental light, the pineal appears to possess sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field and various electromagnetic influences.

There is ever increasing evidence that the magnetic irradiation of a strength equal or approximate to that of the geomagnetic field exerts a variety of behavioral and physiological effects on the organism. Some studies focused on the pineal gland as the most feasible candidate for a mediator of magnetic irradiation on the organism. Such an approach is quite in keeping with the generally accepted concept that the pineal gland plays its physiological role through the modulation of the homeostatic and behavioral responses upon the changes in the living microambient. (Milin, Bajic & Brakus, 1988, p. 1083).

The pineal may also serve as a somatic interface with other sources of environmental energy designated as extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic-field exposure. Wilson, Stevens and Anderson (1989) reviewed studies of ELF electromagnetic-field exposure in relation to health risks such as cancer, depression, and birth outcome (e.g. miscarriage, stillbirth). Citing work from their laboratory and elsewhere which shows that ELF field exposure alters the normal circadian rhythm of melatonin synthesis and release in the pineal gland, the authors present evidence which suggest pineal susceptibility to such sources:

Whether directly affected or not, the pineal is a convenient locus for monitoring dyschronogenic effects of these fields. It appears ever more plausible, however, that the pineal may also play a central role in the biological response to this environmental factor. (Wilson, Stevens and Anderson, 1989 p. 1328)

The link between pineal dysfunction and suppressed immune response highlights another active area of pineal research. In particular, research has focused on melatonin and its relation to cancer. Depletion of melatonin by pinealectomy has been associated with proliferation of cancer cells (Rodin, 1963).

Loss or reduction of oncostatic melatonin in the circulation is only one of the several possible mechanisms for increased cancer risk resulting from pineal gland dysfunction. Melatonin appears to have a stimulatory effect on immune function in the whole animal. (Wilson, et al, 1989, p. 1323)

The minireview of this topic provided by Wilson et al. is a concise discussion of pineal research and is highly recommended to readers interested in the pineal/immune interface. In recognition of the role of the pineal in current cancer research, Blask (1984) has referred to the pineal as an "oncostatic gland" and an entire conference was recently devoted to this subject (Gupta et al., 1988)

Pinealectomy has been implicated in the production of convulsive states (Philo & Reiter, 1978). Furthermore, melatonin has been shown to suppress seizure activity in humans and other mammals (Fariello, et al., 1977).

Surgical removal of the pineal gland apparently produces rather uniform alterations in EEG activity and, under special circumstances (e.g., when rats are previously parathyroidectomized), severe seizures occur when the pineal gland is surgically extripated. Several other rodent species ... and certain strains of mice convulse after simple pinealectomy, i.e., loss of the parathyroid gland is not a prerequisite ... The appearance of the convulsions suggests basic alterations in the biochemical and electrical activity of the CNS which are presumably due to the loss of some pineal constituent. (Reiter, 1977, p. 257)

The role of melatonin in brain excitability is an interesting example of the widespread explorations of pineal functioning and Albertson et al. (1981) have provided an excellent review, including results of their own research. Their paper is an excellent resource for those readers interested in the relationship between the pineal and epilepsy.

The neuroendocrine functions of the pineal affect a wide variety of glandular and nervous system processes.

Although experimental results suggested many years ago that the pineal may inhibit growth of the gonads, substantial progress in this field has occurred only in the last ten years, since the pineal began to be considered as one of the central regulating mechanisms in charge of pituitary control rather than as an endocrine gland only. (Moszkowska, Kordon & Ebels, 1971, p. 241) Evidence that the pineal gland exerts a regulatory influence on several endocrine functions is rapidly growing. (Motta, Schiaffini, Piva & Martini, 1971, p. 279)

The prevalence of sigma receptors in the pineal has been noted by Jansen, Dragunow & Faull (1990) and may be an important interface with several systems and pathologies:

The highest concentration of sigma receptors was seen in the pineal gland, an area which has not been previously studied. This is of interest as both sigma receptors and the pineal gland have recently been shown to play a role not only in the nervous system but also in the immune and endocrine systems ... Haloperidol and some other antipsychotic drugs bind sigma receptors, as do psychotomimetic benzomorphan opiates, suggesting that the receptor may be involved in psychosis. (Jansen, Dragunow & Faull, 1990, P. 158)

Research indicates that pineal involvement in mental health may go beyond psychosis. It is very likely that the pineal plays a significant role in the manifestation of several mental illnesses.

Currently, much interest is focused on the role that melatonin may play in various psychiatric disorders, and pineal research now represents one of the active areas of current psychiatry research.... Present ideas suggest a positive involvement of melatonin in affective disorders, possible involvement in the schizophrenic psychosis, and potential involvement of this hormone in other psychiatric categories. (Miles & Philbrick, 1988, p. 405)

Reduced nocturnal melatonin secretion has been noted in depression (Wetterberg et al., 1979, 1981 & 1984) and schizophrenia (Ferrier et al., 1982). Brown et al. (1985) found that lowered nocturnal melatonin concentrations differentiated between melancholic patients and patients suffering from major depression without melancholia. The role of the pineal in depression may be related to neurotransmitters associated with depression.

In that various theories of depression have suggested reduced serotonergic and noradrenergic function, and both of these products are involved in the synthesis of melatonin as a precursor and neurotransmitter, it would not in fact be at all surprising to find low melatonin in depression.... It is tempting to speculate that all anti-depressants increase melatonin production. (Arendt, 1988, p. 218-219)

Recognition that the pineal is photosensitive and plays a major role in the regulation of seasonal physiological adaptations has led to speculation that pineal dysfunction may be related to SAD (seasonal affective disorder). SAD is a recurring winter depression presenting with weight gain, hypersomnia and carbohydrate craving (Rosenthal et al., 1984). Phototherapy has been utilized in this and other forms of depression to ameliorate depressive symptoms (Kripke & Risch, 1986).

Persons suffering from bipolar have been shown to be supersensitive to the inhibiting effect of bright light on nocturnal melatonin secretion (Lewy et al., 1981). Research by Lewy et al. (1979) suggests that during mania (particularly during the early phase of mania) bipolar patients exhibit consistently elevated levels of melatonin throughout the day and night. Because lithium has been shown to affect pineal functioning and may be linked to decreased photosensitivity, some researchers have speculated that some individuals diagnosed as bipolar may be suffering from circadian disorganization (see review by Miles & Philbrick, 1988).

Structural similarities between melatonin and agents of known hallucinogenic potency (i.e., harmine, bufotenine, and psilocybin) has led to speculation about a possible connection between this pineal hormone and schizophrenia (Arendt, 1988). Psychotomimetic agents (lysergide, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, and harmaline) induce HIOMT, a methylating enzyme, which increases melatonin production in the pineal (Klein & Rowe, 1970; Hartley & Smith, 1973). Furthermore, agents which produce symptoms closely resembling schizophrenic psychosis (i.e., cocaine, L-dopa, and amphetamine) also increase melatonin production. Research into the assimilation of LSD in monkey brains reveal a propensity for LSD concentrations in the pineal and pituitary glands, these accumulations being 7-8 times those found in the cerebral cortex (Snyder & Reivich, 1966). Winter et al., (1973) report that the pineal must be capable of functioning for hallucinogens to have behavioral effects. Although melatonin has direct biochemical effects on dopaminergic function (Wendel et al., 1974; Zisapel & Laudon, 1983; Bradbury et al., 1985) and haloperidol is highly concentrated by pineal tissue (Naylor & Olley, 1959), direct evidence of melatonin involvement in schizophrenia has not be forthcoming (see excellent review by Miles & Philbrick, 1988).

There exists a vast pineal literature which is undergoing phenomenal expansion. As the present discussion is intended to serve as an introduction to the subject, interested readers are directed to these useful reviews for further elaboration: Wilson et al., 1989; Arendt, 1988; Ebels & Balemans, 1986; Miles & Philbrick, 1988; Mullen & Silman, 1977; and Reiter, 1984.

In summary, whereas only a few decades ago the pineal was widely viewed as a vestigial entity, current research has revealed it to be an important neuroendocrine gland involved in thermoregulation, immune response, and the mediation of various cycles (i.e., circadian rhythms involving the regulation of sleep, seasonal rhythms affecting patterns of reproduction and physiological adaptations to the environment, and cycles of growth and development during the lifespan such as sexual maturation). In consideration of the pineal's influence on the other endocrine glands, it can be viewed as a "regulator of regulators" (Reiter, 1984, p. v). Further, pineal functioning may play an important role in mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and affective disorders. Perhaps the most controversial area of pineal research may involve the gland's functioning as a transducer of environmental energies such as electromagnetic fields. "After years of disregard the pineal has taken its place in mainstream biology and medicine. It is an organ of particular fascination in that it serves as an interface between the environment and the body" (Arendt, 1988, p. 205)

The pineal gland, viewed historically as a "sphincter to control the flow of thought," as the "seat of the soul," as a "third eye," and depicted more recently as a "neuroendocrine transducer organ," now promises to portray more complex physiological functions than originally believed and forecasts to reveal more extensive implications in pathological processes than once deemed possible ... Future investigations should be directed toward comprehension of the functions of numerous neglected neurotransmitters and biological substances found in the pineal gland. The results of these investigations may bring forth multifunctional significance for [the] pineal gland not only in "temporal arrangement of various reproductive events" in mammals, in "rhythmical thermoregulatory process" in some ectotherms, and in "nightly pallor response" in amphibians, but also in major arenas of human suffering such as seizure disorders, sleep disorders, and behavioral abnormalities. (Ebadi, 1984, pp. 1 & 27)

Cayce's Perspective of the Pineal

The relatively frequent references to the pineal in the Cayce readings reflect the importance which the readings attached to this gland. As previously mentioned, during the early decades of this century, the pineal was widely regarded as a vestigial organ of little physiological significance. The readings acknowledged the prevailing view of medical science by describing the pineal as a "mass without apparent functioning" (294-141). However, the readings continued to insist upon the preeminent role of the pineal as a major mediator of physiospiritual processes. The research literature just cited in this appendix suggests that contemporary views regarding the pineal are rather expansive and tend to support the readings' insistence that the pineal is much more than a dormant, vestigial organ.

To fully appreciate Cayce's perspective of the pineal, it is necessary to discuss the various ways in which the term pineal was used in the readings. Although pineal was often used to designate a discreet, glandular entity in the center of the brain (a notion consonant with contemporary views of the pineal), the readings also occasionally spoke of the pineal as if it were a system. This is more than just a problem of semantics, for in the readings the "pineal system" represents the interface of mental and spiritual dimensions within the body - it was described as the body/mind/spirit connection.

When viewed as a system, other terms were often associated with the pineal such as the "cord of life," the "silver cord," the "Appian Way," and the "imaginative system." In this context, the pineal seemed to be regarded as a life energy system as well as a glandular entity. This perspective is congruent with certain eastern religions and occult traditions which emphasize the paranormal aspects of pineal activity by labeling it a major "chakra," or energy center in the body (e.g., Bailey, 1932; Besant, 1959). In the Cayce readings, the energies associated with the pineal system carry several designations including: "kundalini," "kundaline," "life force," "psychic force," "aerial activity," and "creative energy."

The status of the pineal as a system is established in the readings by noting the diversity and essentiality of its functioning. The pineal system was said to function through nerve impulse (e.g., 2197-1, 4800-1), glandular secretion (e.g., 567-1, 2200-1), and vibratory energies such as the life force or kundalini energy (e.g., 281-53) while mediating numerous processes including fetal growth, sexual development and functioning, and alterations in consciousness. Two brief excerpts from the readings will be provided to portray the physiological and psychospiritual parameters of the system:

... for the PINEAL center is engorged, especially at the 3rd and 4th LUMBAR and the 1st
and 2nd cervical.... the mental capacities as related to the imaginative system refuse to coordinate with the rest of the activity of the body ... as we have indicated, a constitutional condition, you see, which affects the glands of the body, as related to the pineal - which runs all the way through the system and is the GOVERNING body to the coordinating of the mental and physical. (567-1)

In this particular body [Edgar Cayce] through which this, then, at present is emanating, the gland with its thread known as the pineal gland is the channel along which same then operates, and with the subjugation of the consciousness - physical consciousness - there arises, as it were, a cell from the creative forces within the body to the entrance of the conscious mind, or brain, operating along, or traveling along, that of the thread or cord as when severed separates the physical, the soul, or the spiritual body. (288-29)

These excerpts contain some important examples of the diverse influences attributed to the pineal system. The references to "the gland with its thread known as the pineal" and "the pineal - which runs all the way through the system and is the governing body to the coordinating of the mental and physical" indicate the anatomical expansiveness of this system. The "thread" or "cord" which emanates from the pineal gland may be physical (e.g., nerve tissue), nonphysical (e.g., "vibratorial" or subtle energy), or both. The readings are particularly vague on the subject. The readings compared the activity of the pineal to an aerial:

In your radio you have what you call an aerial for communications that are without any visible connection. This is not a part of that making up the framework, yet it is necessary for certain characters of reception or for the better distribution of that which takes place in the instrument as related to communication itself.

So in the physical body the aerial activity is the flow through the pineal, to and through all the centers. It aids the individual, or is an effective activity for the individual who may consciously attempt to attune, coordinate, or to bring about perfect accord, or to keep a balance in that attempting to be reached or attained through the process.... Understand the processes of activity through which there are the needs of the aerial in reception. For, of course, it is a matter of vibration in the body, as well as that illustrated in the physical condition. (281-53)

This evocative description of pineal activity brings to mind contemporary research into the pineal's ability to detect variations in geomagnetic and electromagnetic fields. Reading 2501-6 suggests a similar phenomenon relating the phase of the moon to behavioral changes - an association apparently mediated by the pineal through the sympathetic nervous system.

Regardless of whatever the pineal and its "cord" may represent, the readings stated that it extended throughout the body and governed the coordination of mental, spiritual and physical energies (311-4). Note also that the pineal provides the connections of body, mind and spirit which was regarded as a prerequisite for the functioning of consciousness (1001-9).

The "pineal system" may be conceptualized as including the endocrine glands (262-20, 281-49, 1001-9, 1593-1). The holistic perspective of the readings was frequently reflected in a systems approach to anatomy and physiology: "... there is to be considered ever the whole activity; not as separating them one from another but the whole anatomical structure must be considered EVER as a whole ... Then we find the endocrine system - not glands but system ..." (281-38)

Certain glands within this system were noted as having an especially close affinity - the pineal/pituitary interaction was frequently cited in the readings. The interface between pineal and leydig gland was also particularly important and deserving of close study (e.g., 263-13, 294-141, 294-142).

The pineal system's close association with the nervous systems is exemplified by its role as mediator between the "mental body" and the central nervous system (1523-17). There are frequent references to both the pineal and the sympathetic systems as the "imaginative system" and the "impulse system" - expressions intimating the role of mind, in particular the unconscious mind, in the phenomenon of imagination. The readings referred to the sympathetic nervous system as the nervous system of the unconscious mind while the CNS was identified with the conscious mind. Thus, the readings frequent association of pineal dysfunction with incoordination between the sympathetic and central nervous systems may be related to its role as mediator of states of consciousness. In this capacity, the pineal was said to be involved in such common phenomena as imagination and sleep, paranormal experiences such as kundalini awakening and past life recall, and pathological conditions such as psychosis and epileptic seizures.

The "life force" energy discussed in the readings was said to function in two modes; 1) a growth and development mode (a health maintenance mode) and 2) a "supercharged" mode which the readings associated with "kundalini" experiences similar to those described in the meditative literature of the orient (281-53). In the growth and development mode, the pineal was said to begin activity within the third week after conception by organizing fetal development (294-141, 281- 141). In its activity, the pineal system could be conceptualized as a morphogenetic blueprint for embryonic elaboration, particularly the formation of the brain (294-141). Just as it would later serve as the interface of physical, mental and spiritual bodies in the newborn child, during gestation the pineal system was said to serve as a conduit for mental and spiritual impulses from the pregnant woman (281-53, 294-141).

Across the lifespan, the pineal system was viewed as a regulator of cycles of growth and development and was responsible for the maintenance of health. In this capacity, the life force was referred to as elan vitale (281-24) and was related to youth and vigor. "Keep the pineal gland operating and you won't grow old - you will always be young" (294-141). The life force was said to "strengthen and maintain equilibrium in the system" (1026-1) and "sustain coordination to the organs of the body" (5162-1).

The readings recommended various forms of energy healing to reestablish a healthy state in bodies with insufficient or unbalanced energy. Magnetic healing was one such modality and could be accomplished by raising the life force (i.e., "kundalini") and passing this energy into the body of the afflicted person by "laying on of hands" (281-14). The readings described a specific technique for this intervention and provided guidelines for persons interested in utilizing it (e.g., using the hands in polarity, resting between sessions to maintain vigor, etc. - see circulating file on Magnetic Healing for details; available from the A.R.E.).

This life force could be rebalanced by an apparatus called the radial appliance. The readings stated that magnetic healing and the radial appliance utilized the same energy, frequently referred to as "vibratory energy" or the "low form of electrical energy," which was said to be the basis of life. This energy flows through the body and is particularly accessible along the spine at seven "centers" (3428-1), apparently corresponding to the seven chakras of eastern meditative traditions. Three of these centers were preferentially noted as being key interfaces between the physical and soul forces:

... the 3rd cervical ... the 9th dorsal, and ... the 4th lumbar ... These are the centers through which there is the activity of the kundaline forces that act as suggestions to the spiritual forces for distribution through the seven centers of the body. (3676-1)

It is no coincidence that these three centers (and specifically the 9th dorsal) were frequently specified locations for attachment of the wet cell battery utilizing "vibratory metals" (i.e., gold and silver) to stimulate the regeneration of the nervous system in cases of dementia praecox. These key centers were also consistently pointed out to osteopaths and chiropractors making the spinal adjustments. Cayce even gave specific instructions for coordinating these centers using massage and manipulation.

In the "growth and development" mode, the life force was described as a subtle influence which was generally not physically perceptible in its action or effects. In the "supercharged" mode (such as kundalini), the life force was much more easily perceptible (occasionally painfully so) in its action and effects. In this mode, the life force was said to vary its circulation through the body (281-53) by arising along the spinal cord to the base of the brain. The "opening of the lyden [leydig] gland" was a prerequisite for this activity and could be accomplished by a variety of meditative and pathophysiological processes. The utilization of traditional yogic techniques such as altered breathing (2475-1) and incantations (275-43) were noted as effective means of "awakening the kundalini."

In several cases of psychopathology noted in the readings, the awakening of the kundalini was associated with somatic dysfunctions such as spinal injury and lesions in the reproductive system. Throughout this book, such cases have been designated as "kundalini crisis." A further consideration of this topic from the perspective of contemporary sources will be included in the final section of this discussion.

To fully appreciate the readings' perspective on "kundalini crisis," one must keep in mind that the pineal system includes a "thread" or "cord" which extends from the pineal gland proper, along the spinal cord to various centers in the body (281-46). Pressure upon this system can produce hallucinations and dementia (294-141, 4333-1). It is unclear whether this pathology resulted from the secretion of a glandular substance by the leydig gland or as a result of some change in the "subtle energy" balance within the pineal system. The readings are not explicit about this process and these two scenarios are not mutually exclusive, nor do they preclude other interpretations of this process. The important psychopathological implication here is that the pineal system is quite vulnerable to somatic insult, particularly along the spinal column.

The psychic readings of Edgar Cayce were said to have resulted from the activation of the kundalini within the pineal system (288-29, 2475-1) resulting in cosmic consciousness (2109-2). In other words, Cayce apparently had a kundalini experience during each reading. The possibility that he could be rendered insane by a misapplication of this process was noted in the readings and cautions were provided for the maintenance of a healthy physical vehicle for a safe and optimal psychic experience.

If one accepts the plausibility of psychic productions such as the Cayce readings or other such manifestations which are common within the tradition known as the perennial philosophy, one comes to view the pineal system as the "consciousness system" - i.e., altered states of consciousness such as kundalini experiences are produced by alterations within this system. Psychosis which is produced by pineal system dysfunction (i.e., kundalini crisis) may thus be viewed as one of the alterations in consciousness mediated by this system.

Epilepsy is another major pathology involving altered states of consciousness - a phenomenon which the readings frequently associated with pineal activity. The overlap between epilepsy and schizophrenia has been discussed in Chapter 7 and will not be recapitulated here. However, several excerpts from the readings on epilepsy have been included in this appendix to provide a context for comparing the role of the pineal in these two major pathologies.

The pineal system is involved in two other major alterations in consciousness - sleep and death. Sleep was said to be a "shadow of, that intermission in earth's experience of, that state called death" (5754-1). According to the readings, the soul temporarily disengages during sleep to "visit" other dimensions and have experiences which are remembered during the waking consciousness as dreams. "Each and every soul leaves the body as it rests in sleep." (853-8) The idea that some aspect of the self dissociates during sleep and transits between dimensions (e.g., astral travel) is not original to the Cayce readings. This is a common theme in the traditions of many cultures (Hanson, 1989). In the readings, sleep is viewed as an opportunity for the mental being to review previous experiences and plan future actions accordingly (hence the retrospective and precognitive function of dreams). During sleep, connection of the physical, mental and spiritual bodies is maintained by a "silver cord" which sounds strikingly similar to the "thread" or "cord" of the pineal system.

Death involves the severance of this cord (262-20) whereas sleep may be viewed as merely a temporary "stretching" of it. The "projection" of consciousness out of the body during sleep may be related to the projection which Edgar Cayce experienced during his psychic readings. In other words, perhaps everyone has a "kundalini" experience and psychic awakening each night while they sleep. The physiological alterations which occur during "dream sleep" (i.e., REM or paradoxical sleep) seem to parallel those described in the readings as occurring during kundalini arousal.

This may related directly to schizophrenia research because for several decades clinicians and researchers have recognized the similarities between hallucinations and dreams. This apperception has led to the hypothesis that hallucinations represent dream intrusions into waking consciousness. "Schizophrenia may be characterized by a breakdown in the normal boundaries between the REM-sleep and waking states." (Wyatt, 1971, p. 46) This hypothesis was bolstered by research confirming that schizophrenics tend to exhibit distinctive sleep patterns (most significantly, decreased REM rebound after deprivation; e.g., Azumi et al., 1967). As with most areas of schizophrenia research, sleep and dream studies have suffered the effects of variability, thus the sleep anomalies in schizophrenia remain unexplained.

From a transpersonal perspective, many dreams represent a conscious experience of paranormal realities (i.e., not just epiphenomena resulting from brain activation during sleep). Dreams may reflect an altered state of consciousness where the conscious mind has access to other dimensions of reality normally unavailable during waking states (Roberts, 1974). The experience of precognition, direct communications with discarnate entities, past life recall, etc. during dreams is thus viewed as representing a valid perspective of "reality."

Hence some persons experiencing acute psychosis with paranormal features could be viewed as suffering from a form of "kundalini crisis," or a pathological activation of the pineal system resulting in psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. The Cayce readings indicated that such persons were close to the "borderland" and that pathological symptoms such as auditory hallucinations were "real" experiences to those individuals. This pathological aspect of pineal functioning is the focus of the final part of the discussion section and will consist of contemporary formulations of pineal activation which result in psychosis.

Current Perspectives on Kundalini

Numerous accounts of spontaneous "awakening" of the kundalini energy can be found in the modern clinical literature. Gopi Krishna believed that the awakening of the kundalini force could go awry and produce acute psychosis. His personal experience with kundalini provides valuable first-hand information about its effects:

The condition [kundalini awakening] denotes, from the evolutionary point of view, a physiologically mature system ripe for the experience, and a highly active Kundalini pressing both on the brain and the reproductive system. But the activity of Kundalini, when the system is not properly attuned, can be abortive and, in some cases, even morbid. In the former case [when the brain is not ready], the heightened consciousness is stained with complexes, anxiety, depression, fear, and other neurotic and paranoid conditions, which alternate with elevated blissful periods, visionary experiences, or creative moods. In the latter [when the reproductive system is dysfunctional], it manifests itself in the various hideous forms of psychosis, in the horrible depression, frenzied excitement, and wild delusions of the insane. (in Kieffer, 1988, pp. 138-139)

Thus, Krishna's emphasis on the enlightening properties of kundalini is balanced by his awareness of its destructive potential when awakened prematurely. As Krishna observes, in some cases the difference between the two outcomes is difficult to assess:

There is a close relationship between the psychotic and the mystic. In a mystic, there is a healthy flow of prana into the brain, and in the psychotic the flow is morbid. In fact, the mystic and the psychotic are two ends of the same process, and the ancient traditions class mad people as mad lovers of God, or something divine. (in Kieffer, 1988, p. 110)

Joseph Campbell expressed the same idea poetically by stating, "The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight" (in Mintz, 1983, p. 158). Sannella (1987), a psychiatrist, also notes the dual manifestations of the kundalini experience:

I have also witnessed this regrettable tendency among those who have stumbled onto the kundalini experience. But this says nothing about the experience itself, which is not inherently regressive. On the contrary, I view the kundalini awakening as an experience that fundamentally serves self-transcendence and mindtranscendence. (p. 20)

In 1974 Sannella co-founded the Kundalini Clinic in San Francisco, a facility dedicated to helping persons undergoing sudden kundalini arousal.

The transformative potential of spiritual awakening with psychotic features (which we have designated as kundalini crisis) has been noted by Christina and Stanislav Grof and labelled "spiritual emergency." Christina's description of her spiritual emergency and Stanislav's clinical insight into the transformative potential of these experiences provide a valuable resource in this area. Their criteria for distinguishing between spiritual emergency and psychosis provides a helpful "yardstick" for clinical assessment.

Among favorable signs [indicating spiritual emergency] are a history of reasonable psychological, sexual, and social adjustment preceding the episode, the ability to consider the possibility that the process might originate in one's own psyche, enough trust to cooperate, and a willingness to honor the basic rules of treatment. Conversely, a lifelong history of serious psychological difficulties and of marginal sexual and social adjustment can generally be seen as suggesting caution. Similarly, a confused and poorly organized content of the experiences, presence of Bleuler's primary symptoms of schizophrenia, strong participation of manic elements, the systematic use of projection, and the presence of persecutory voices and delusions indicate that traditional approaches might be preferable. Strong destructive and self-destructive tendencies and violations of basic rules of treatment are further negative indicators. (p. 256)

Christina Grof founded the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN) in 1980 to provide educational information and a referral service for people experiencing transformational crises. It is currently located at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (250 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025; 415/327-2776).

Mariel Strauss (1985) provides a practical source of information about kundalini awakening in all its aspects. Recovering from the New Age: Therapies for Kundalini Crisis documents the symptoms of kundalini arousal and suggests therapies to minimize its distress. Strauss describes "kundalini crisis" from her personal experience, while providing a scholarly review of the kundalini literature. Her familiarity with the Cayce philosophy and frequent citations from the readings serve as valuable stepping stones between the various sources and perspectives in this literature. Her recognition of the pervasiveness of kundalini manifestations, both clinically in psychosis and subclinically in "dis-ease," accurately portrays the readings' perspective of this phenomenon:

We must remember that Cayce found degrees of kundalini imbalance in many individuals, not just in those with the syndrome of extreme symptoms we have delineated [i.e., kundalini crisis]. His cases ranged from those who were simply nervous and fatigued, as the above mentioned woman, to those who had been confined to hospitals or their homes for many years, sometimes since early childhood. Therefore, his remedies dealt less with large alterations in diet and more with the other aids we will discuss, such as spinal adjustment and massage, mental regroupment, and treatments with the electrical appliances he designed. (p. 45)

Another excellent source of information regarding kundalini is John White's Kundalini: Evolution and Enlightenment. White's expertise as an editor is evident in this thorough discussion of the kundalini phenomenon.


In summary, the pineal is an important endocrine gland which is probably involved in a wide spectrum of developmental and health maintenance processes including major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Its association with paranormal processes is documented in traditional and current sources and is congruent with the Cayce readings on the subject. Cayce viewed the pineal as the focal point of a system utilizing subtle energies (e.g., kundalini) capable of pathological disruption. Because such disturbances may present with paranormal features, clinicians are advised to become more familiar with the operation of this system and all of its transpersonal manifestations. From the Cayce perspective, the most significant aspect of pineal functioning is its role as the interface of mental and spiritual facets of the self with the physical body. This role has been acknowledged historically, and restated succinctly by Mullen:

The human pineal is now under intensive investigation by various groups throughout the world. In the next few years we can confidently expect the physiological and pathological roles of this mysterious gland to be elucidated. The pineal which for Descartes was the seat of the mind and the immortal soul may yet turn out to be of interest for biological psychiatry. The pineal has been called a neuroendocrine transducer but it could one day be more accurately termed a psychosomatic transducer standing as a mediator on the boundary between soma and psyche. (Mullen et al, 1978 p. 370)

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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:48 pm

http://hubpages.com/hub/Human_Growth_Ho ... neal_Gland

Human Growth Hormone, Melatonin And The Pineal Gland.

By Larry R Miller

The Pineal Gland is the Least Known of All the Endocrine Glands

The pineal gland, no larger than a grain of wheat, is the most mysterious endocrine gland of all. In 1628 the famous French philosopher Descartes called the pineal gland, "The seat of the soul."

Because of its inaccessible location, deep within the center of the skull and attached by a stalk to the posterior wall of the third ventricle of the brain, the pineal gland hasn't been studied as exhaustively as the other glands.

The gland will sometimes shrink and then fill up with specific types of mineral salts that are referred to as "brain sand." The condition has been traced directly to poor nutrition. When this condition exists in the pineal gland, thinking and sexual processes are affected. The pineal gland will respond quickly to proper nutrition even after being "starved" and degeneration has begun. The pineal contains more lecithin than any other body part.

The pineal isn't an actual gland; it's a neuroendocrine transducer: meaning it converts incoming nerve impulses into outgoing hormones. Most glands are triggered by changes in the body or hormones secreted by other glands. The pineal gland releases hormones in response to bioelectrical messages from the outside environment received through the eyes. The optic nerve sends information to the visual portion of the brain through nerve fibers. The impulses from the brain are carried to the superior cervical ganglia (a cluster of nerve cells) in the upper part of the neck by smaller nerve fibers. From there the autonomic nervous system relays the information to the pineal.

In low light, or darkness, the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin. Melatonin has been connected to many body functions. If one references back to medical information written before the early 90's they may find no information on melatonin, even in medical dictionaries. Excesses of melatonin have been connected with alcoholism. Aging accelerates calcification of the pineal and calcification is connected with higher cancer rates. People who eat less sugar, less highly processed foods and spend more time outdoors, exhibit a lower incidence of calcification.

Melatonin production increases after dark. In the morning when sunlight hits the retina, production of the hormone slows. Light meals in the evening help improve sleep and maximize melatonin's anti-aging effects. Keeping a regular schedule and eating at set times increases hormone production. If we exercise or participate in any strenuous activity at night, we delay melatonin output. Stimulants and caffeine at any time of the day, but especially at night, slow or stop melatonin production.

Human growth hormone (HGH), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and melatonin are all free radical scavenging, antioxidant and anti-aging hormones. Melatonin may be the most efficient of the free radical scavengers, especially for anti-aging, since it has the ability to permeate any cell in any part of the body. Within the cells, melatonin provides protection for the nucleus, the central structure containing the DNA. Protection of the central structure allows a damaged cell to repair itself. If a cell can't repair itself, it can mutate and turn into a cancer cell. The enzyme glutathione is stimulated by melatonin.

Glutathione is a tripeptide containing the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. Glutothione functions in several oxidation-reducing capacities, meaning it's an antioxidant. Research during the 30's and 40's showed it to be necessary for delivery of calcium to the brain cells. Research studies on 44 mentally retarded children using supplemental glutamic acid, raised their test scores from an average of 69 to 87 (almost normal). One of the test subjects, a 17-year-old boy, scored 107 (average/normal) on his first test and after 6 months of treatment with glutamic acid scored 120 (superior intelligence, just below genius).

Organs and other body parts take their share of glutamic acid before the brain receives any. A nutritionally deficient diet has low or nonexistent amounts of this necessary amino acid. When added to the diets of hyperactive children, and others with behavior problems, glutamic acid was able to obtain the same calming effects as the chemicals so often prescribed and without side effects.

Glutothione has shown to be highly beneficial in removing lead from the body. Lack of glutothione contributes to chronic fatigue.

Glutamic acid can be found in almost all protein rich foods, natural cheddar cheese, (not cheese substitutes or highly refined and processed cheeses), eggs, lean meats, peanuts, whole grains, soybeans, legumes, peas and beans.

Balance out your mental powers, get some sleep and slow the aging processes by "naturally" caring for your pineal gland.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:05 pm


Int J Neurosci. 1992 Apr;63(3-4):197-204.
The pineal gland and the menstrual cycle.

Sandyk R.

Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10461.

The menstrual cycle reflects the expression of a cyclical process involving the interaction between the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and the ovaries. This complex process requires an integrated neural and humoral control mechanism. It is now well established that a hypothalamic "transducer" located in the medial basal hypothalamus integrates neural and humoral information and translates it into an oscillatory signal which eventually results in the release of the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), triggering the secretion of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland. Recent animal studies indicate that melatonin influences the functions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis by modifying the firing frequency of the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator. Consequently, the pineal gland, through the action of melatonin, may exert an important modulatory effect on the mechanisms controlling menstrual cyclicity. Furthermore, abnormal melatonin functions may be involved in the pathogenesis of several disorders of the menstrual cycle including some forms of hypothalamic amenorrhea such as exercise and malnutrition-induced amenorrhea. Consideration of pineal melatonin functions provides a new dimension into the understanding of the neuroendocrine mechanisms governing the cyclical phenomena of the female reproductive system.

PMID: 1304554 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:09 pm


Pineal Tumors

Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD, Edgar M Housepian Professor of Neurological Surgery Research, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Director of Brain Tumor Tissue Bank, Director of Bartoli Brain Tumor Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Coauthor(s): Benjamin Kennedy,, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Alfred T Ogden, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center; Richard C Anderson, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Updated: Dec 8, 2008


The pineal gland develops during the second month of gestation as a diverticulum in the diencephalic roof of the third ventricle. It is flanked by the posterior and habenular commissures in the rostral portion of the midbrain directly below the splenium of the corpus callosum. The velum interpositum is found rostral and dorsal to the pineal gland and contains the internal cerebral veins, which join to form the vein of Galen.

Pineal region tumors are derived from cells located in and around the pineal gland. The principle cell of the pineal gland is the pineal parenchymal cell or pinocyte. This cell is a specialized neuron related to retinal rods and cones. The pinocyte is surrounded by a stroma of fibrillary astrocytes, which interact with adjoining blood vessels to form part of the blood-pial barrier.

The pineal gland is richly innervated with sympathetic noradrenergic input from a pathway that originates in the retina and courses through the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus and the superior cervical ganglion. Upon stimulation, the pineal gland converts the sympathetic input into hormonal output by producing melatonin, which has regulatory effects upon hormones such as luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone.

The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine transducer that synchronizes hormonal release with phases of the light-dark cycle by means of its sympathetic input. However, the exact relationship between the pineal gland and human circadian rhythm remains unclear and is an active area of investigation.

Some images of pineal tumors are below.


Gadolinium-enhanced MRI of a 33-year-old woman who presented with visual loss, amenorrhea, and diabetes insipidus. MRI shows germinomatous invasion of the pineal gland (large arrowhead), optic chiasm (long arrow), pituitary stalk (small arrowhead), and floor of the third ventricle (short arrow).


Noncontrast MRI of a pineocytoma in a 40-year-old man presenting with acute hydrocephalus. At surgery, the high signal area (arrow) turned out to be acute hemorrhage.


MRI of a 21-year-old man with a germinoma in the pineal region. This T1-weighted noncontrast sagittal scan shows isointense tumor, which has obstructed the aqueduct of Sylvius (arrow) to cause hydrocephalus.

History of the Procedure

In the early part of the 20th century, pineal region surgery had poor outcomes, with operative mortality rates approaching 90%. From Horsley's initial attempt at removing a pineal mass in 1910 through the development of the lateral transventricular approach in 1931 by Van Wagenan, primitive anesthetic technique and the lack of an operating microscope hindered pineal region surgery.1

In 1948, Torkildsen argued for abandoning aggressive surgical resection in favor of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion followed by empiric radiotherapy.2 If the patient did not respond to radiation, a surgical procedure to remove radioresistant tumor was performed. The algorithm of CSF diversion, radiation, and observation sometimes was successful; however, patients with benign lesions were exposed to unnecessary and ineffective radiation.

Modification of this treatment strategy led to the radiation test heralded by Japanese clinicians whose patient population had an inordinately high percentage of radiosensitive germinomas. According to this protocol, patients were administered small doses of radiation, and their cases were followed radiologically. Pineal tumors that decreased in size were presumed to be radiosensitive, and a full course of radiation was instituted. Patients not responding to radiotherapy underwent surgical exploration. Despite the low dose of radiation initially used, significant long-term morbidity remained associated with this strategy, particularly in children.

The advent of microsurgical techniques and stereotactic procedures in the later part of the 20th century has obviated the need for empiric radiotherapy without tissue diagnosis. Therapeutic decision-making now is based on tumor histology rather than radiation responsiveness. Currently, initial surgical management for tissue diagnosis, and possible resection, is the standard of care for most children with pineal region tumors.


Initial management of patients with pineal region tumors should be directed at treating hydrocephalus and establishing a diagnosis. Preoperative evaluation should include (1) high-resolution MRI of the head with gadolinium; (2) measurement of serum and CSF markers, if available; (3) cytologic examination of CSF, if available; (4) evaluation of pituitary function if endocrine abnormalities are suspected; and (5) visual field examination if suprasellar extension of the tumor is noted on MRI. The ultimate management goal should be to refine adjuvant therapy based on tumor pathology.


Pineal region tumors make up 0.4-1.0% of intracranial tumors in adults and 3.0-8.0% of brain tumors in children. Most children are aged 10-20 years at presentation, with the average age at presentation being 13 years. Adults typically are older than 30 years at presentation. A complete differential diagnosis for masses in the pineal region also should include vascular anomalies, as well as metastatic tumor.


Tumors of the pineal region have a varied histology that generally can be divided into germ cell and non–germ cell derivatives. Most tumors are a result of displaced embryonic tissue, malignant transformation of pineal parenchymal cells, or transformation of surrounding astroglia. No specific genetic mutations have been associated with sporadic pineal region tumors.


The pathophysiology of pineal region tumors is mostly a result of anatomic compression of adjacent structures, although local infiltration of neural structures can lead to symptoms in cases of highly invasive tumors. In some cases, neuroendocrine dysfunction is precipitated by specific factors secreted by the tumor. The clinical correlates of this pathophysiology are described in the following section on clinical presentation.

The clinical syndromes associated with pineal region tumors relate directly to normal pineal anatomy, as well as tumor histology.

Mass lesions in the pineal region that compress adjacent structures result in typical clinical syndromes. One of the most common presentations is headache, nausea, and vomiting caused by aqueductal compression and resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. Untreated, hydrocephalus may lead progressively to lethargy, obtundation, and death.

Compromise of the superior colliculus, either through direct compression or through tumor invasion, results in a syndrome of vertical gaze palsy that can be associated with pupillary or oculomotor nerve paresis. This eponymic syndrome was first described by the French ophthalmologist Henri Parinaud in the late 1800s and has become virtually pathognomonic for lesions involving the quadrigeminal plate.

Further compression of the periaqueductal gray region may cause mydriasis, convergence spasm, pupillary inequality, and convergence or retractory nystagmus. Impairment of downgaze becomes more pronounced with tumors involving the ventral midbrain. Patients also can present with motor impairment, such as ataxia and dysmetria, resulting from compromise of cerebellar efferent fibers within the superior cerebellar peduncle.

Children with pineal region tumors can present with endocrine malfunction. Hydrocephalus or concurrent suprasellar tumors can cause diabetes insipidus. More specific endocrine syndromes can arise from secretion of hormones by germ cell tumors. Pseudoprecocious puberty caused by beta human chorionic gonadotropin (bhCG) can be observed with germ cell tumors in either the pineal or suprasellar region. In a large series of patients with germ cell tumors and suprasellar involvement, 93% of girls older than 12 years had secondary amenorrhea and 33% of patients younger than 15 years had growth arrest.

Pineal apoplexy, bleeding into the tumor area, has been described as a rare presenting feature of pineal region tumors. Hemorrhage into a vascular-rich pineal tumor can occur preoperatively and is a well-described postoperative complication.


Indications for neurosurgical intervention relate to the severity and chronicity of clinical presentation. The symptoms of pineal region tumors can be as varied as their diverse histology. Prodromal periods can last from weeks to years. Therefore, a rigorous and uniform preoperative workup is a requisite for all patients thought to harbor a pineal region tumor.

Any endocrine abnormalities should be investigated prior to surgery. Patients presenting with signs and symptoms of raised intracranial pressure must receive a head CT scan or an MRI to assess the need for emergent management. Subsequent nonemergent workup of a patient with a pineal region tumor can be divided into radiologic and laboratory studies.

Relevant Anatomy

In their 1954 pineal tumor study, Ringertz and colleagues defined the pineal region as being bound by the splenium of the corpus callosum and tela choroidea dorsally, the quadrigeminal plate and midbrain tectum ventrally, the posterior aspect of the third ventricle rostrally, and the cerebellar vermis caudally.3 As discussed in the subsequent section on treatment of these lesions, important anatomic considerations include the presence of deep venous structures.


Relatively few contraindications specifically preclude the surgical treatment of pineal region tumors. Medical clearance for general anesthesia is a requisite, as well as preoperative evaluation of neck motion (ie, tolerance of flexion) prior to planning a supracerebellar/infratentorial approach.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Burnt Hill » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:50 pm

This is great stuff Howling Rainbows, thank you for posting it.
I have a strong interest in the pineal gland and melatonins role in cluster headaches.
I believe Krishnamurti was a cluster HA sufferer and came to much of his philosophies after clusters, for what its worth...
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:18 pm

You are very welcome. I hope you may find something useful in the information. Feel free to add what you like to the thread.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:43 am

I believe Krishnamurti was a cluster HA sufferer and came to much of his philosophies after clusters, for what its worth...

I did not know Krisnamurti was a cluster headache sufferer. I read his account though. One of the best I have ever read.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Burnt Hill » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:30 pm

Well the diagnosis is my own, taken from different accounts of his personal suffering at various times. So much is still unknown about this neurological condition,though thankfully relief is often provided with high-flow oxygen intake, along with the recent develpment of Triptan medications.
I am currently experimenting with a type of "Brain wave generator" and "binaural beats" with interesting results.
Some examples of the waves generated and their effects:
9 Peak Performance 15 Quick Break 8 - 28 Hz, BB 4 - 8 Hz, Average 15 Hz.
10 Peak Performance 17 Athletic Warm - up 8 - 24 Hz, BB 9, Theta undertone, 16 - 24 at beginning, mid focus 8
11 Peak Performance 15 Power Recharge 8 - 28 Hz, BB 8, Focus Beta (20 - 28)
12 Peak Performance 30 Peak Composure 2 - 16 Hz, BB 2 - 16 Hz, Focus on 2 - 5 Hz, Beta interjected at points
13 Peak Performance 18 Performance Intensive 16 - 30 Hz, BB 2, Focus 16 Hz.
14 Peak Performance 25 Mind Sauna 2 - 50 Hz, BB 4, Focus 2-4, 10, 10-18, 20-24
15 Tranquility 15 Quick Work Break 6 - 18 Hz, BB 1 -2 Hz, Focus 9,6,12,14
16 Tranquility 35 Regeneration 35 2 - 24 Hz, BB 2 - 5 Hz, Focus 2, 4, 8
17 Tranquility 45 Regeneration 45 2 - 24 Hz, BB 2 - 5 Hz, Focus 2, 4, towards end of session 8 - 24 Hz.
18 Tranquility 60 Quiet Hour 4 - 22 Hz, BB 1 - 4 Hz, Seg Ranges: 18-9, 9-6, 6-4, 4-11, 5-12, 12-8, 8-22
19 Tranquility 60 Deep Meditation 4 - 22 Hz, BB 1 - 3 Hz, Seg Ranges: 4-8, 4-13, 8-13
20 Tranquility 15 Meditiative Mind 15 9 - 12 Hz, BB 9 - 12Hz
22 Tranquility 60 Deep Tranquility 3 - 13 Hz, BB 1 - 3 Hz, Seg Ranges: 6-4, 4-3, 3-4, 3-13
thouh I've had most interesting meditations using Gamma waves.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby General Patton » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:06 pm

Very interesting, I've been using low range Epsilon and Schumann Resonance frequencies for better sleep and astral projection for several months now. It's been much more reliable than traditional methods so far.
What sort of effects are you getting with Gamma?

Burnt Hill wrote:Well the diagnosis is my own, taken from different accounts of his personal suffering at various times. So much is still unknown about this neurological condition,though thankfully relief is often provided with high-flow oxygen intake, along with the recent develpment of Triptan medications.
I am currently experimenting with a type of "Brain wave generator" and "binaural beats" with interesting results.
Some examples of the waves generated and their effects:
9 Peak Performance 15 Quick Break 8 - 28 Hz, BB 4 - 8 Hz, Average 15 Hz.
10 Peak Performance 17 Athletic Warm - up 8 - 24 Hz, BB 9, Theta undertone, 16 - 24 at beginning, mid focus 8
11 Peak Performance 15 Power Recharge 8 - 28 Hz, BB 8, Focus Beta (20 - 28)
12 Peak Performance 30 Peak Composure 2 - 16 Hz, BB 2 - 16 Hz, Focus on 2 - 5 Hz, Beta interjected at points
13 Peak Performance 18 Performance Intensive 16 - 30 Hz, BB 2, Focus 16 Hz.
14 Peak Performance 25 Mind Sauna 2 - 50 Hz, BB 4, Focus 2-4, 10, 10-18, 20-24
15 Tranquility 15 Quick Work Break 6 - 18 Hz, BB 1 -2 Hz, Focus 9,6,12,14
16 Tranquility 35 Regeneration 35 2 - 24 Hz, BB 2 - 5 Hz, Focus 2, 4, 8
17 Tranquility 45 Regeneration 45 2 - 24 Hz, BB 2 - 5 Hz, Focus 2, 4, towards end of session 8 - 24 Hz.
18 Tranquility 60 Quiet Hour 4 - 22 Hz, BB 1 - 4 Hz, Seg Ranges: 18-9, 9-6, 6-4, 4-11, 5-12, 12-8, 8-22
19 Tranquility 60 Deep Meditation 4 - 22 Hz, BB 1 - 3 Hz, Seg Ranges: 4-8, 4-13, 8-13
20 Tranquility 15 Meditiative Mind 15 9 - 12 Hz, BB 9 - 12Hz
22 Tranquility 60 Deep Tranquility 3 - 13 Hz, BB 1 - 3 Hz, Seg Ranges: 6-4, 4-3, 3-4, 3-13
thouh I've had most interesting meditations using Gamma waves.
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Re: God On The Brain and Pineal Gland as Transducer

Postby Howling Rainbows » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:54 pm

Someone on this forum brought this article to the forum at some point in the past. Not sure who, maybe barracuda?

Anyways, I found it very interesting.


The Ghost in the Machine

Vic Tandy
School of International Studies and Law
Coventry University
Priory Street
CV1 5FB.

Tony R. Lawrence
School of Health and Social Sciences
Coventry University
Priory Street
CV1 5FB.


In this paper we outline an as yet undocumented natural cause for some cases of ostensible haunting. Using the first author's own experience as an example, we show how a 19hz standing air wave may under certain conditions create sensory phenomena suggestive of a ghost. The mechanics and physiology of this 'ghost in the machine' effect is outlined. Spontaneous case researchers are encouraged to rule out this potential natural explanation for paranormal experience in future cases of the haunting or poltergeistic type.

When investigating a haunted building it is good practice to attempt to exclude as many possible normal causes for the 'haunting' as possible. The ways in which normal earthly events might conspire to convey an impression that a house is haunted (or even beset by poltergeist behaviour, see Eastham, 1988) are numerous. Thus, all of the following may well be the more mundane cause of an ostensbile haunt; water hammer in pipes and radiators (noises), electrical faults (fires, phone calls, video problems), structural faults (draughts, cold spots, damp spots, noises), seismic activity (object movement/destruction, noises), electromagnetic anomalies (hallucinations), and exotic organic phenomena (rats scratching, beetles ticking). The exclusion of these counter-explanations, when potentially relevant, must be the first priority of the spontaneous cases investigator. To this end, we feel the 'virtual paranormal experience ' reported and explained in this paper might be of interest to the spontaneous case research community.

Though many of the above counter-explanations for ghost-like phenomena may be quite easy to discount in any one case, at least some normal causes of seemingly paranormal phenomena may in fact be quite subtle, and not at all easy to discern for the untrained observer, as we hope to show in this paper.

The Case of the Ghost in the Machine

The first author's background is as an engineering designer and at the time of the incident he was working for a company that manufactured medical equipment. Three people worked in a laboratory made from two garages back to back and about 10ft wide by 30ft in length. One end was closed off by doors normally kept closed and the other end had a window, the other side of which was a cleaning bay. As an example of creativity with corrugated iron, this structure was home for anyone with a passion for playing with jets of water and foam.

The company's business was in the design of anaesthetic or intensive-care, life support equipment so there was always some piece of equipment wheezing away in a corner. When V.T. heard suggestions that the lab was haunted this was the first thing he thought could be behind it and paid little attention. One morning however none of the equipment was turned on and V.T. arrived just as the cleaner was leaving obviously distressed that she had seen something. As a hard nosed engineer V.T. put it down to the wild cats, wild other furry things, moving pressure hoses (as the pressure fluctuates, flexible hoses sometimes move) or some sort of lighting effect.

As time went on V.T. noticed one or two other odd events. There was a feeling of depression, occasionally a cold shiver, and on one occassion a colleague sitting at the desk turned to say something to V.T. thinking he was by his side. The colleague was surprised when V.T. was found to be at the other end of the room. There was a growing level of discomfort but the workers were all busy and paid it little attention. That is until V.T. was working on his own one night after everyone else had left. As he sat at the desk writing he began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. He was sweating but cold and the feeling of depression was noticeable. The cats were moving around and the groans and creaks from what was now a deserted factory were 'spooky', but there was also something else. It was as though something was in the room with V.T. There was no way into the lab without walking past the desk where V.T. was working.

He looked around and even checked the gas bottles to be sure there was not a leak into the room. There were oxygen and carbon dioxide bottles and occasionally the staff would work with anaesthetic agents, all of which could cause all sorts of problems if handled inappropriately. All of these checked out fine so V.T. went to get a cup of coffee and returned to the desk. As he was writing he became aware that he was being watched, and a figure slowly emerged to his left. It was indistinct and on the periphery of his vision but it moved as V.T. would expect a person to. The apparition was grey and made no sound. The hair was standing up on V.T.'s neck and there was a distinct chill in the room. As V.T. recalls, 'It would not be unreasonable to suggest I was terrified'. V.T. was unable to see any detail and finally built up the courage to turn and face the thing. As he turned the apparition faded and disappeared. There was absolutely no evidence to support what he had seen so he decided he must be me cracking up and went home.

The following day V.T.was entering a fencing competition and needed to cut a thread onto the tang of a spare foil blade so that he could attach the handle. He had all the tools necessary but it was so much easier to use the engineer's bench vice in the lab to hold the blade that he went in early to cut the thread. It was only a five minute job so he put the blade in the vice and went in search of a drop of oil to help things along. As he returned, the free end of the blade was frantically vibrating up and down. Combining this with his experience from the previous night he once again felt an immediate twinge of fright. However, vibrating pieces of metal were more familiar to him than apparitions so he decided to experiment. If the foil blade was being vibrated it was receiving energy which must have been varying in intensity at a rate equal to the resonant frequency of the blade. Energy of the type just described is usually referred to as sound. There was a lot of background noise but there could also be low frequency sound or infrasound which V.T. could not hear. As it happens sound behaves fairly predictably in long thin tubes such as organ pipes and ex-garages joined end to end so V.T. started his experiment. He placed the foil blade in a drill vice and slid it along the floor. Interestingly the vibration got bigger until the blade was level with the desk (half way down the room) after the desk it reduced in amplitude, stopping altogether at the far end of the lab.

V.T. and his colleagues were sharing their lab with a low frequency standing wave! The energy in the wave peaked in the centre of the room indicating that there was half a complete cycle. It is important to understand that what we call sound is caused by variation in the pressure of the air around us. It is represented graphically as a wave. If someone were to shout at you the sound wave will travel from them to you transmitted by the air between you both, i.e. it is a travelling wave. However the wave sharing our lab was of just the right frequency to be completely reflected back by the walls at each end, so it was not going anywhere, hence it was a standing wave. In effect the wave was folded back on itself reinforcing the peak energy in the centre of the room. Once V.T. knew this he calculated the frequency of the standing sound wave as follows;

We should not be impressed by the apparent accuracy of the frequency because V.T.'s measurements were 'quick and dirty'. For example, the speed of sound can also vary depending on temperature and pressure so, overall, plus or minus 10% on the above figure would be a reasonable estimate.

There are now two questions. The first is where is the energy coming from? The second is what does an 19 Hz standing wave do to people? The first was answered very quickly when V.T. discussed the problem with the works' foreman who told him that they had installed a new fan in the extraction system for the cleaning room at the end of the lab. We switched off the fan and the standing wave went away. The second question required a bit more research. A book by Tempest (1976) was consulted and a couple of interesting case studies were found.

'Noise consultants were asked to examine one of a group of bays in a factory where workers reported feeling uneasy. The bay had an oppressive feel not present in the adjacent areas although the noise level appeared the same. Management workers and consultants were all aware of the unusual atmosphere and on investigation it was found that low frequency sound was present at a slightly higher level than in other bays. However the actual frequency of the offending noise was not obvious. The cause of the noise was a fan in the air conditioning system.

Workers in a university radiochemistry building experienced the same oppressive feeling together with dizziness when the fan in a fume cupboard was switched on. Conventional sound proofing had reduced the audible sound to the point where there was hardly any difference in the noise with the fan on as off. The situation effected some people so much that they refused to work in the lab. It was concluded that the low frequency component of the sound was responsible.' (p81-82.)

On page 107 the book lists symptoms caused by frequencies in the range 15-20 Hz. V.T. had no idea of the amount of energy (spl) the infrasound had because we had nothing to measure it with. These effects are quoted by Tempest at a spl range of 125-137.5 dB which would be very damaging to hearing if the frequency were in the audible range. It is a considerable amount of power but is not thought of as unreasonable by those V.T. has talked to considering that the energy was originated by a one metre diameter extractor fan driven by something like a 1 kW electric motor. In any case, the symptoms listed by Temple (1976) for low frequency sound waves are; Severe middle ear pain (not experienced), persistent eye watering, and respiratory difficulties, sensations of fear including excessive perspiration and shivering.

Table IV on page 212 of this book shows frequencies causing disturbance to the eyes and vision to be within the band 12 to 27 Hz. A more recent book by Kroemer (1994) describes the effects of low frequency vibration as follows;

'Vibration of the body mostly affects the principal input ports, the eyes, and principal output means, hands and mouth.'(p. 287).

'Exposure to vibration often results in short-lived changes in various physiological parameters such as heart rate...At the onset of vibration exposure, increased muscle tension and initial hyperventilation have been observed.' (p. 280).Tables 5-12 of Kroemer (1994) on p. 288, indicate that the resonant frequencies of body parts are; Head (2-20 Hz causing general discomfort), Eyeballs (1-100Hz mostly above 8 Hz and strongly 20-70Hz effect difficulty in seeing). However, different sources give different resonant frequencies for the eye itself. The resonant frequency is the natural frequency of an object, the one at which it needs the minimum input of energy to vibrate. As you can see from above, any frequency above 8 Hz will have an effect and some sources quote 40Hz. Most interestingly, a NASA technical report mentions a resonant frequency for the eye as 18 Hz (NASA Technical Report 19770013810). If this were the case then the eyeball would be vibrating which would cause a serious 'smearing'of vision. It would not seem unreasonable to see dark shadowy forms caused by something as innocent as the corner of V.T.'s spectacles. V.T. would not normally be aware of this but its size would be much greater if the image was spread over a larger part of his retina.

Another NASA report (NASA Technical Report 19870046176) mentions hyperventilation as a symptom of whole body vibration. Hyperventilation is characterised by quick shallow breathing and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide retained in the lungs. Note that Tempest (1976) also mentions respiratory difficulties caused by frequencies in our range. Hyperventilation can have profound physiological effects. For example, Flenley (1990) describes the symptoms of hyperventilation as 'breathlessness usually at rest, often accompanied by light-headedness, muscle cramps, fear of sudden death and a feeling of difficulty in breathing in'. Fried (1987) describes a panic attack as 'a synergistic interaction between hyperventilation and anxiety.' and suggests that as the carbon dioxide is expired physiological changes cause the body to respond by feeling fear. This feeling of fear activates the sympathetic nervous system which increases the respiration rate making the hyperventilation worse. The panic attack will therefore feed itself and increase in intensity. This would seem consistent with V.T.'s experience of fear and panic when the 'ghost' appeared. V.T. knows from the experiment with the foil blade that the peak energy, known as an anti-node, was in line with the centre of the desk. As V.T. sat up and turned to look at the object he moved from this zone of peak energy to a zone of slightly lesser energy and the ghost disappeared!

Exorcising the standing wave ghost

Once the problem was recognised a modification was made to the mounting of the extractor fan and our ghost left with the standing wave. Low frequency sound is not easy to detect without the proper equipment. It was shear luck that the foil blade happened to be the right length and material to react and reveal the presence of the standing wave (although 19Hz might just be heard on its own, it is in fact unlikely to exist alone so other sounds would drown it out). V.T. has since heard of a similar experience to this which happened in a corridor in a building that had a wind tunnel in the basement. The wind tunnel was on at the time of the sighting but V.T. was unable to do any measurements. Long tubes such as corridors are ideal places for standing waves especially if they are closed at both ends. The resonant frequency of one person's body parts would also be different from another so standing wave resonances may affect one individual but not another. Our advice for researchers in the future is to be very wary of ghosts reported to haunt long, windy corridors!


Eastham, P. (1988). Ticking off a poltergeist. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 55, 80-83.
Everest, F.A. (1994). The Master Handbook of Acoustics, 3rd Ed. TAB Books: Blue Ridge Summit, PA.
Flenley, D. C. (1990). Respiratory Medicine (2nd Ed), Bailliere Tindal: London.
Fried, R. (1987). The Hyperventilation Syndrome, Research and Clinical Treatment. Johns Hopkins University Press: London.
Kroemer, K. H. E. (1994). Ergonomics: How to design for ease and efficiency. Prentice Hall: London.
NASA Technical Report 19770013810
NASA Technical Report 19870046176
Smith, A.P. & Jones, D.M. (Eds.) (1992). Handbook of Human Performance, Vol. 1. Academic Press: London.
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