We now enter into the 6th chakra, the wisdom of the third eye. Here, we start to really connect with our highest self, our spiritual self, our deep knowing, and our intuition.
Its right is to see.
Its element is light.
Its color is Indigo/Purple.
Although we have two eyes to see the objects in front of us, it is the invisible third eye that is responsible for making sense of what we see. The eyes receive light through their retina which is transmitted to the brain via photoreceptors. These photoreceptors create electrical signals which are then turned into images. It is the third eye that gives us a sense of perception, insight, understanding, and interpretation.
Patterns are everywhere, all around us, all the time. We make sense and logic of the world through recognizing patterns. We know the sun rises, and the sun will set. We know we are hungry, then we eat. We know after the red light it will turn green, B will follow A, and 1+2 =3. It is one of the first things we learn as a child - how to see patterns, and it is for this, we are able to make split-second decisions, some call 'insight'. If you were to draw an image using a connect the dots pattern, there will come a point where you will recognize the image without having completed connecting all the dots. This is precisely why patterns are so valuable to our intelligence. It enables us to make decisions without having all the information. In fact, your brain is doing this all the time. We feel that we have a wide sense of vision that includes the space around us. However, we really only see accurately where our eyes are focused. The peripheral vision we have is our mind 'filling in' the space with what it believes should be there, depending on past experiences. You are even doing this right now as you read. You are so familiar with the language and reading written text your brain is constantly predicting what will come next. Hence, sometimes we have to re-read sentences as it doesn't match our expectation.
Our brains function by accumulating the information we gain through past experience to predict our future ones, and everything we experience is just an interpretation, our perception of reality. It is all coloured by the lens through which we are seeing the world. So, we are able to make decisions before we even realize we have made the decision. It is true that 'when we look at something, our brain is testing the evidence against a database of preferences long before we can say 'neuron' - Stephen Bayley. There is a very interesting book regarding this called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
by Malcolm Gladwell.
The quest now becomes learning to decipher which patterns are useful and accurate, and which patterns we have learned that perhaps are outdated, not useful, or true anymore. What is the difference between real insight and wisdom, or just our conditioning? Some patterns were developed even before we had a sense of reasoning, like an infant who cries and then gets love and attention - their needs tending to. They develop the pattern/ expectation that 'when I am uncomfortable, someone will be there to comfort me'. The world is good. People are good. People are helpful. For the child who cried without the love, attention, and their needs attended to - they had to find ways of self-soothing, hence their world view might be that people are unreliable and 'I have to do everything myself'. (Read more about this in - 'What happened to you? 'Book by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey). These little or big traumas will imprint on our nervous system and will activate when triggered in different ways. Recognizing these patterns can be tremendously healing and catapult us towards personal growth and realization. It is the foundation of the spiritual path, the seeking of truth.
Spiritual Connection/ Higher self
When our third eye is balanced and open, we are able to clearly see our patterns and the patterns of the world around us. We have the ability to see our lens - even if we can't change it. We are aware that what we see is coloured by our past, our experiences, our culture, our beliefs, and only our interpretation of reality. When we open the third eye, we are committing to get a little closer to the truth. We get a little more connected with the higher wisdom, our higher self. Some may say that this is what spirituality is really about. Seeing our human programming and getting to a place where we can eventually see above it. It may be just the occasional glimpse, but we know there is more. We know there is more than just this body, more than just this mind, more than just the push and pull of our emotions and reactions. We start to see the path toward awakening.
How do we do this? We must get still, we must get quiet - often. We must reduce the outer and inner noise to hold space for a deeper listening. We must become the observer, the witness to our thinking, our beliefs, and our convictions - and constantly seek to question and understand it all. This also requires bravery as opening the eyes sometimes requires us to shed what we once believed to be true and see a different perspective. We can attach to our beliefs as our identity, our identity as who we are - but that is all just the ego. We must allow ourselves to change, and evolve, and believe that we are so much more.
The pineal gland
One noteworthy piece to mention about the third eye is its relevance to the pineal gland. I never forget reading Dr. Joe Dispenza's book 'Becoming Supernatural' and the chapter on this very organ. Part of the endocrine system, primarily this organ is concerned with producing serotonin when we are awake, and melatonin to help put us to sleep. When in balance, we are in harmony with the circadian rhythm. But it is so much more! Dr. Joe Dispenza also claims that it also acts like an inner antenna attuning us to higher frequencies and electromagnetic fields. Sounds crazy? Well.. how does your laptop receive wifi? Wifi is the transmission of radio waves that are a part of the electromagnetic field. All animals have this built-in antenna, homing pigeons are one example, using their sensitivity to this field to guide them home no matter where they are left. Dr. Joe Dispenza says that we can work on awakening this dormant, untapped potential of the pineal gland to receive mystical inner visions and it is this gland that truly is the third eye. It also blew my mind when he demonstrated how if you were to cut a human brain in half, you would see the ancient Egyptian symbol of the Eye of Horus. I highly recommend you read or even watch more of Dr. Joe Dispenza's work here.
Everything starts in the mind, if we can believe it, we can see it. Hence, our imaginations play a vital role in the life we see unfolding day by day. This is also another important piece of the third eye, our inner vision.
"Imagination is how you learn. It’s a skill that is usually stamped out of kids as they age. But the most successful people in the world are the most imaginative. The only way to predict your future is by imagining what you want and then proactively committing to that future. — Ben Hardy
Those who believe and practice the law of attraction understand the value of being able to visualize what we desire, in order to manifest our desired reality. We must be able to visualize to materialize. Something professional athletes know very well. They are coached to visualize their moves or plays over and over again. Research backs this up even further to say that when we visualize, we actually stimulate the areas of the brain necessary to perform the action, like a rehearsal. The more we do this, the more we are practicing and the better we will become at this said thing.
So, we can visualize ourselves happy, executing our goals, being more patient, more loving, or anything we wish. One of my favorite practices right now is visualizing the day ahead, as I want it to go. ( practice here) I see myself happy, energized, inspired, patient and calmly handling any challenges in my way. I go all the way through the day until I see myself in bed, with a contented smile on my face and I actually feel gratitude in my heart. Being able to actually feel as well as your visualization is the key here. Don't worry - we do this naturally anyway as every time we have a thought or mental image, we will have a physical reaction in our bodies. We feel what we think. Try it right now. Think of a sour lemon. A very sour yellow lemon. Close your eyes and picture it. Is your mouth starting to salivate a bit more, in expectation of something bitter? mmhmm.
So if our positive imagination leads to positive feelings and positive manifestations, it's important to note the opposite is also true. If we dwell on all the bad stuff happening, we are more likely to see that unfold before us. Sure, we might try and think good thoughts, but if our dominant picture is the worst-case scenario, that is where our energy is going. So how do we get out of those thoughts so that we can create more space for good, more positive thoughts? It takes practice. We have to shift our mood, do a little shakey shakey to reset the nervous system. Connect with your heart, go outside to broaden your horizon and your perspective. There are many ways. The most important step is to notice where your imagination is taking you, and choose to dream another dream.
Interesting? I think so. Wondering if your third eye is open? Here is a little chart to see what it looks like when this chakra is deficient, balanced, or excessive. The next image is just a few examples of how we can bring it back to a more balanced state.
That's it for now! Stay tuned for the final chakra in this chakra series, the crown chakra.