The Theosophical Forum – February 1941

FUNCTIONS OF THE PINEAL AND PITUITARY GLANDS — G. de Purucker

The pineal gland was in earliest mankind an exterior organ of physical vision, and of spiritual and psychic sight. But due to the evolutionary course that the human frame followed, as time passed on and our present two optics began to show themselves, the pineal gland or the third eye, the "Eye of Siva," the "Eye of Dangma," the spiritual eye — call it what you like — began to recede within the skull, which latter finally covered it with bone and hair. It then lost its function as an organ of physical vision, but has never ceased to continue its functions even now as an organ of spiritual sight and insight. When a man has a "hunch," the pineal gland is commencing to vibrate gently. When a man or a woman has an intuition, or an inspiration, or a sudden flash of understanding, the pineal gland begins to vibrate still more strongly, albeit softly, gently. It functions still, and can be cultivated to function more, if we believe in ourselves, and if we believe in the things we have and demonstrate in our daily lives.

Whence comes our ethical sense, whence comes our spiritual insight, whence comes our sense of justice, whence comes the power that makes us men and not mere beasts? Why, these are energies that have to be accounted for. Merely to say they are, is no explanation. These various energies function through the different organs of the brain, some of them arising in the heart and reaching the brain, each such energy through its own appropriate organ or gland, or what not.

The spiritual being works on, plays on, the physical body, as the master musician plays on a wondrous lute or harp. The strings of this instrument, some of them, are coarse catgut and can produce coarse, heavy, sensual sounds. But the strings of this wondrously constructed physical human frame, the body, run from the coarsest catgut to the silver, the gold, and finally to the intangible strings of the spirit; and the master plays on these strings with masterly sweep of will, the master-hand, when we allow it. Mostly we human beings refrain from playing on the nobler and higher strings, and play on the coarse catgut only. Think!

Why, as a matter of fact, this body of ours is one of the marvels of the universe. It is marvelously constructed. We human beings at present have no realization of what it contains, of its powers to be developed in the future as evolving time will bring them forth, but which we can hasten in their growth now. For instance: What did the ancient Hindus mean when they spoke of the different chakras of the human body, speaking in language which was hid, as all ancient occult teaching was hid? I will enumerate a few of the human chakras as they rightly are, and I am now going behind the veil of the exoteric teachings of the T. S., a bit. I will speak of seven organs or glands in the human frame, beginning with the lowest (which can be the highest). I will recite them first: the genital, the liver, the spleen, the cardiac, the brain as a whole, and the pineal and pituitary glands; and there are other subordinate centers or ganglia in the body. Every one of these organs or glands has its own appropriate function, activity, purpose, and work in the human frame. By our will, by proper study, by living the life, we can make the higher, the incomparably more powerful ones within us, active far more than they now are active, and thus become gods among men. Most of us do not do that. We live in the world below the human diaphragm as it were. And yet, despite our worst efforts to kill the god within us, I mean to destroy its holy work, the pineal gland and the pituitary gland, and the heart, continue functioning just the same. We are protected as it were against our own foolishness.

The lowest of these chakras then can be made one of the noblest by changing its functional direction for creative spirituality. I am now talking of the body. Waste brings loss; that particular organ in the human frame can be made the organ for the production of the mightiest and noblest works of genius. It has a spiritual as well as a physical side, as all these organs and glands have — every one of them. How many men remember the holiness of spiritual creation, so to say?

The liver is the seat of the personal man, the kama-manasic individual; and the spleen, the "lieutenant" of the former, is the seat of the astral body, the linga-sarira; and even at seances today — which I would not advise anyone to frequent unless he goes there knowing more than the average man does — even they have shown how the astral body of the medium oozes out, first as a slender thread, and then becomes, when the manifestation is genuine, what is now called "ectoplasm," really thickened astral stuff. It comes through the spleen, it comes forth from the spleen. The liver, as stated, is the seat of the personal man, and the spleen is its lieutenant or adjutant.

Then the heart, the organ of the god within us, of the divine-spiritual: here in the physical heart considered now as a spiritual organ, and not merely as a vital pump which it is also: here in the heart, is the god within; not in person so to speak, but its ray, touches the heart and fills it as it were with its auric presence — a holy of holies. Out of the heart come all the great issues of life. Here is where conscience abides, and love and peace and perfect self-confidence, and hope, and divine wisdom. Their seat is in the mystic heart of which the physical organ is the physical vital instrument.

The brain as a whole is the organ of the brain-mind, as a whole the field of activity of our ordinary reasoning, ratiocinative mentation by which we think ordinary and even higher thoughts, and by which also we go about our daily tasks. This is the function of the brain as a whole. But connected with the brain are two wonderful glands already spoken of, the pineal and the pituitary. The pineal gland is as it were a casement opening out into infinite seas and horizons of light, for it is the organ that in us men receives the direct mahatic ray, the ray direct from the cosmic intellect. It is the organ of inspiration, of intuition, of vision, a casement as it were opening unto infinite horizons. The heart is higher, because it is the organ of the individual's spiritual nature, including the higher manas or spiritual intellect. When the heart inflames the pineal gland and sets it vibrating rapidly, then so strong is the inflow of spiritual force that the man experiencing this has his very body clothed in an aureole of glory; a nimbus is behind his head, for the pineal gland is vibrating rapidly, the inner eye is opened and sees infinity; and the aureole or nimbus is the energic outflow from this activity of the pineal gland.

The pituitary gland is the lieutenant of the pineal. It is the organ of will and hence also of automatic growth. Even in another sense, I believe today medical research has discovered that gigantism is due to an unwonted activity and growth of the pituitary. This is just one aspect. It is the organ of will and urge and growth and impulse; but when the pineal sets the pituitary vibrating in synchrony with its own vibration, you have a god-man, for there is the intellect envisaging infinity, the divinity in the heart speaking and vibrating synchronously with the pineal gland, which sees infinity. And the pituitary thus inspired to action of will working through the other chakras or organs or glands, makes all the man a harmony of higher energies — relatively godlike. Strange paradox!

To enumerate, then, once more the seven main centers of energies in the body: the genital, one; the liver, two; the spleen, three; the heart, four; the brain as a whole, five; the pituitary, six; and the pineal, seven; and there are others subordinate to those. But I would call these seven organs or glands in this wonderful human frame of ours the chiefs, the most important. And strangely enough, they are as it were paired: the heart and the brain; the pineal and the pituitary; the liver and spleen again a pair; the pair of the lowest couple, as a matter of fact, is the solar plexus — but this is a story by itself.

The pineal gland functions but slightly in the average man simply because he does not believe there is anything in him of worth except the body as a unitary whole. Nearly all he lives for is to eat, to drink, to sleep and to breed — all proper things in their places, but not proper things for man to live for. There is an ethical sense which abides in us all, and is as it were the free whisperings of divinity in our hearts. It is worthwhile to cultivate this, to allow it to live and to flourish.

Now then, would you like to know how to increase the vibration of your pineal gland in your skull? It is in a sense the easiest thing in the world; you have been told ten billion times! All great spiritual leaders and teachers the world over, the great men-gods and god-men of the human race, have told you: First, live as a true man — it is as simple as that. That is the first rule. Do everything you have to do, and do it in accordance with your best. Your ideas of what is best will grow and improve, but begin. The next thing is to cultivate specifically as units the higher qualities in you which you know perfectly well make you superiorly human as contrasted with inferiorly human. For instance, be just, be gentle, be forgiving, be compassionate and pitiful. Learn the wondrous beauty of self-sacrifice for others; there is something grandly heroic about it. No wonder the world loves a hero. I sometimes think that there is a divine quality in a human soul which is called hero-worship — not worshiping a mere man, but that wonderful divine something that works through certain men so that when the test comes they rise up like gods. Why, every one of us loves it! Keep these things in your heart. Believe that you have intuition. Believe that you have a heart. Try to love others. Try to love all things, great and small.

Live in your higher being. What then happens? You will be living above the diaphragm, from the solar plexus upwards; and that wonderful pineal gland will begin to vibrate. You will get intuition, you will see, you will know; and when that can be kept up continuously so that it becomes your life, habitual to you, then the time will come for you to become a glorious Buddha, a man made perfect. You will manifest the Immanent Christ within you, you will imbody it. There is the physiology of it. It is the spiritual physiology of it that I have tried to explain to you.

These various organs with their respective functions in the human frame have been known and studied from time immemorial in the Orient, studied both casually as shown in exoteric literature, and definitely and specifically in certain occult schools. In India these organs and their functions are referred to as chakras. Strictly speaking, the chakras are the astral organs or functions which have never yet been properly placed, exoterically at least, or openly, as connected with specific physical organs in the human frame. Hence the chakras as regards specific allocations to organs, are surrounded in the exoteric literature with mystery and uncertainty. Yet, while the chakras as taught in Hindu literature are really invisible or astral organs or functions, their allocations to physical organs are as I have named them and outlined them above. The Sanskrit names for these can be found in our exoteric Theosophical literature dealing with the subject.


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