The spiritual eye or third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept. It’s a speculative inner eye in the forehead that provides perception beyond ordinary sight. Hindus, Buddhists, and New Age spiritualists refer to the spiritual eye as a gateway to inner realms of higher consciousness. Associated with religious visions, ability to see chakras and auras, precognition, and astral or out-of-body experiences, the spiritual eye is also supposedly mentioned in the Bible: “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”1 In Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions, “third eye training” involves closing the eyes, focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows while the body is in various qigong postures.2
My Experiences of the Spiritual Eye
“What a bitch of a climb”, I moaned in cadence with every pedal stroke. My heart was pounding 170 beats per minute. Two miles up Holy Jim climb I needed rest, ceased pedaling, stopped my bike, and dropped my feet firmly on the ground to catch my breath. I closed my eyes while my heaving lungs quieted and rapid heartbeat slowed. To my surprise, in the darkness of closed eyes I saw a five-pointed white star inside my forehead. Surrounding the star was a nebulous halo. Smack center of the star was a spot–focusing inside that spot resulted in the sensation of racing forward through a 3D tunnel. As my breath and heartbeat slowed, within two minutes, the vision of the spiritual eye faded. I opened my eyes, lifted my feet to the pedals, and resumed my rolling ascent on Holy Jim trail.
Many times I’d seen the spiritual eye during silent meditation: while I practiced yogic breathing (pranayama). But, seeing the third eye during cycling, in the moment of rest immediately following strenuous physical exercise, was new to me. Yoga teachers and gurus teach that the third eye is a gateway to the astral or spiritual world. Seeing the spiritual eye when cycling or meditating may be engrossing or entertaining. Pleasant inner sensations and visions of flashy lights, in our mind’s eye, don’t seem to show us much–unless we interpret them with religious overtones and imaginations.
Here’s some possible natural causes for visions of the spiritual eye, third eye, or inner eye:
- Trauma or a “knock” to the head. Cartoons often depict as swirling stars;
- Spiked or elevated cardiovascular activity followed by sudden drop in activity;
- Sensory deprivation3 or oxygen deprivation to the brain;
- Unconsciousness or near death. Reports of experiencing lights and tunnels;
- Hallucinogens – LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca;
- Meditation and yogic pranayama breathing coupled with one or more of the causes above.
Question for readers: What are possible causes for visions of the spiritual eye?
1 Matthew 6:22-23 King James Version (KJV)