April 30, 2010
No one quite knows what to make of the
This cone-shaped pea of a gland sits on
the roof of the third ventricle of the brain, directly behind the
root of the nose, floating in a small lake of cerebrospinal fluid.
Because it lies in the center of the brain, neurosurgeons and
radiologists have found it a useful landmark for brain surgery.
But until relatively recently, it was
the subject of much lore as the gateway into the soul or the higher
realm, the memory valve, an energy vortex, the main tap for vital
fluids and even the source of mental illness.
It was philosopher René Descartes, who first laid claim to
the idea that the
pineal gland is the seat of the
soul, a unique meeting point between body and soul.
In modern times,
the gland has been consigned to the neurological dustbin, regarded
by the scientific community as an evolutionary leftover, the
appendix of the brain.
In all higher vertebrates, including humans, the pineal gland
melatonin. Production of this
hormone is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light.
The pineal has been called a photo-neuroendocrine transducer,
through which a neural signal with environmental information is
converted into a chemical message - in this case, to switch on or
off the production of melatonin.
Melatonin acts as a
kind of master clock, regulating
our sleep/wake cycle and retarding the ageing process, regulating
growth and even maintaining mental stability.
Although scientists realize that the pineal is light-sensitive, it
has always been assumed that the light or darkness enters as usual
from the rod and cone receptors in the eye retina and makes its way
to the gland via the sympathetic nerves.
The conventional wisdom is
that a small percentage of the impulses from the optic nerve are
detoured to the pineal from the visual pathway, and it is this input
which controls the production of melatonin.
Researcher Serena Roney-Dougal has gathered together some of
the most compelling research into the biological means by which the
geomagnetic flux of the earth might cause the pineal gland to allow
us to psychically ‘tune in’.
Besides melatonine, the pineal gland also produces the
‘neuromodulator’ chemicals - called
beta-carbolines - which affect the
brain. Beta-carbolines are both monoamine-oxidase (MAO)
inhibitors and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which means
that they prevent the breakdown of serotonin by inhibiting its
uptake into the brain’s synapses.
This is akin to what doctors claim is the action of selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like
Some evidence also suggests that the pineal can also manufacture an
hallucinogenic substance called 5-methoxydimethyltryptamine (5-methoxy-DMT)
from melatonin. What might be the result is a pooling of these
amines into the synapses of the brain, causing reactions that are
similar to drug-induced hallucinations.
The current view is that neuromodulators need 5-methoxy-DMT and DMT
in order to work and that, by blocking MAO, the pineal gland
regulates and increases the concentration of serotonin. This
regulatory function of blocking one chemical and promoting another
is thought to be the catalyst for dreaming.
Several facts suggest that the production of serotonin and melatonin
may be in some way involved in
psychic phenomena. First, many hallucinogenic substances
are chemical sisters to those made by the pineal gland.
ayahuasca, a ceremonial drink
made by some Amazon tribes to produce psychic effects for healing,
clairvoyance and precognition, is produced from native vines (Banisteriopsis
caapi) that are chemically nearly equivalent to the 5-methoxy-DMT in
in and turning on
When the pineal gland is stimulated geomagnetically, it produces
chemicals that are similar to these plant hallucinogens, which help
to alter consciousness. Other studies show that psychedelic drugs
alter levels of melatonin and serotonin, resulting, in some cases,
So, how could the earth’s geomagnetic fluctuations affect
these brain chemicals?
Researchers have found that
electromagnetic and geomagnetic fields strongly affect the
production and activity of the enzyme
It is this enzyme that is centrally involved in the production of
melatonin and possibly 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT). Any changes in
the the magnetic field can produce changes in this enzyme’s
Studies in animals have also shown that any strong change in the
ambient magnetic field - whether increased or decreased - will
inhibit production of HIOMT. Other research shows that serotonin N-acetyltransferase,
the enzyme involved in the production of melatonin, is strongly
affected by electromagnetic fields.
If this is the case, says Roney-Dougal, any strong change in the
earth’s ambient magnetic field would produce a rush of natural
hallucinogens in our bodies, enabling us to be more psychically
A number of fascinating studies shows some sort of correlation
between geomagnetic activity and an increase in dreams or psychic
In one such study, the famous
parapsychologist Stanley Krippner set up a dream laboratory
where some participants slept in a room while other participants
attempted to ‘send’ them certain images in hopes that these images
would become incorporated into the sleeping participants’ dreams.
Upon waking, the sleepers had to describe their dreams in great
detail to determine if there were any correlations with the target
pictures they’d been ‘sent’ during their slumbers.
geomagnetic activity was tracked
for 20 of the nights that one study participant was the dreaming
recipient. In this case, it was found that, on nights of less
geomagnetic activity, the dreamer had significantly greater accuracy
in picking up the target pictures.
It may well be that our human potential is at its greatest when we
are in harmony with the earth and the sun.
Traditional cultures had some greater
understanding of this energetic harmony that we do well to learn