Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our Native Gland

The following is obliquely related to yesterday's post:

If the heart is our human powering pump, the brain a computer, then the glands are keys on a keyboard required for our human machine to function efficiently, but in ways personal to each individual. (I made that up, it's simplistic and quite possibly erroneous academically, but it works for me!)

A book by Frank McGillion, Blinded by Starlight, provided me with cause to hope that some scientists might retain open minds on the subject of astrology. I bought this book in 2006, it was first published in 2002. I would recommend it to anyone who has given up on the idea of an astrological "mechanism", or a theory of cause and effect - something astrologers these days tend to deride.

The book's central thesis is as follows, from Garry Phillipson's review:
"The pineal gland is an important factor in the way we perceive the world and act in it; the pineal produces its effects by secreting melatonin; it has been demonstrated in laboratory conditions that magnetic fields and exposure to light affect the production of melatonin; therefore anything which affects light levels or changes magnetic fields on Earth (which of course includes some celestial phenomena) may be linked to human character and behaviour; if scientists were less blinkered they would pursue research into correlations between celestial and terrestrial influences; the pineal gland is a promising place to start such research, because by examining responses in the pineal to celestial phenomena we could, so to speak, cut out the middleman - avoiding the need to isolate significant behaviour patterns in large groups by going directly to (some of the) causes of that behaviour - light and magnetic fields, and their effects on the pineal...........................

More important than any reservations, the fact that I was left wanting more reflects the fact that this is a book of real intelligence and substance. McGillion claims to have "made an irrefutable link between the positions of at least the traditional planets at the time of our birth and our later development and behaviour." (p.201). Whilst some might want to contest the use of 'irrefutable', he certainly succeeds in suggesting that - within a scientific frame of reference - there is something going on in the relationship between celestial and human affairs. He also provides abundant evidence to sketch the means by which this something may be operating. I think he would acknowledge that it can't yet be clear where an investigation of this work might lead, but the case for pursuing it is clearly established here."

I'm convinced, always have been, that one day proof will be found that there is some kind of "cause and effect" mechanism behind the basic premise of astrology, i.e. that the Sun, Moon, planets and their relative positions in the sky at time of birth, have physical effect on humans (and other creatures). Most astrologers moved away from this type of theory in the face of attack from scientists intent on discrediting astrology. I am not an astrologer, and I am not interested in what skeptic scientists have to say on the matter. I know what I know.
What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.
~ Aldous Huxley


anyjazz said...

Go get 'em girl.

mike said...

I'm a touch confused by your statement about physical cause and effect and how astrologers have moved away from this. I've not found that to be the case, if I understand your statement correctly. Cause and effect IS the basis of astrological interpretation.

Did you know that the pineal gland has receptors for, and responses toward many psychotropic drugs? Do a search on "pineal gland psychotropic drugs" and you'll find an abundance of info. Appears that the pineal gland is the target of many drug types. The more modern fluoride-containing psychotropics may cause fluoride toxicity with the pineal, due to fluoride accumulation.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ :-D

Twilight said...

mike ~ By "cause and effect" I mean that astrologers these days generally do not wish to acknowledge any identifiable physical "cause" to account for astrology's alleged validity. For example, in the late 19th century, early 20th century astrologers (some) thought that the planets released "rays" which affect humans and life on Earth in general. The "rays" theory has been discredited and ridiculed.

Astrologers now try to account for the way astrology works along more abstract lines - some say "it's a language" some say "it's just a tool", some say "it's a reflection" etc etc etc.

In the book featured in this post the author attempts to link back, scientifically, to a possible causative physical reason why astrology might "work" (or why some of it works).

I'm not quite understanding your confusion, mike??

Maybe I didn't explain clearly.

No - didn't know about the drug connection to pineal gland. Hmmmm.

A blog-buddy has just sent me an e-mail which overshot the optimum comment length - it'll be of interest so will try to copy it.
Maybe as "admin" Blogger will give me a bigger comment box.

Twilight said...

From JD (via e-mail)

According to [Paramahansa] Yogananda, “the pituitary gland secretes a yellowish fluid, and the Pineal gland secretes a white fluid. When the two meet, there is a flash of light so bright this Chakra is opened. Here then, the two fluids, known in the Bible as 'the land of Milk and Honey,' begin to flow down the pancreatic nerve (The river Jordan) to the third center, which is known as the manger (where Christ consciousness is born within you).”
One could also describe this fluid as phosphorescence with a luminous appearance. Many people see this light when they are deep in meditation with the Third eye. It's a glorious vision to have.

In Hindu spiritual tradition, the third eye refers to the ajna, or brow, chakra and it is related to the pineal gland to which is attributed significance in mystical awakening or enlightenment , clairvoyant perception and higher states of consciousness. Awakening of pineal gland, is believed to enhance our learning and memory abilities.

And you can listen to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev talking about the Third Eye

Twilight said...

JD ~ I've taken the guts from your mail and posted here - Many thanks. Will have fun investigating the links. :-)

astraparadise said...

In the wonderful tradition of following the wise policy of trying to stay open minded, I follow two schools of thought on this matter. Either (1) the planets definitely DO cause events to happen to us, or (2) the positions of the planets just happen to reflect what is going on anyway..........

One might then say, "Well, what about future prediction using the planets then, and events predicted by the planets coming true - they must be causing it to happen". To this assertion I would point out that 21st century Quantum Physics research is now suggesting (re-suggesting?) that past, present and future are all happening simultaneously as one.

Either way, theory (1) and theory (2) are at this stage of our evolution are both very difficult to prove.

Just have to stay openminded I guess :-)

Twilight said...

We don't know - possibly never will know for sure, we can only weigh what we experience personally with the various theories available, and go with the one that seems to match best - still keeping at back of mind the thought "but there's always simple coincidence!"

The word "cause" is really a bit too strong, to apply to any possible theory, and maybe that's why most modern astrologers have tended to disclaim it.

My own theory is that there are waves of time, flowing through the universe, with different "qualities", and the planets mark these waves as they come around in cycles. So, if that's anywhere near the truth, the planets are markers, not causes - time and its varying qualities are causes.....and maybe the pineal gland is the part of humans that can best sense the wave changes.

(All a bit "skiffy", I guess!)

Twilight said...

That last comment was addressed to astroparadise - sorry forgot to head it. :-)

mike (again) said...

Thanks for clarifying, Twilight!

I don't think that one needs to scientifically understand cause-and-effect to validate a belief or principle. Heck, look at religion...fairyland as far as I'm concerned, but many believers out there. In fact, Christians have done much to discredit science (geology, human genetics, evolution) and astrology. I get a big kick out of people that state what gawd does and doesn't prefer...their direct communication with gawd bemuses me.

The UK group, The Beatles, fully embraced meditation back in the late 60s, which made it a "pop" sensation here in the USA. It was considered trendy and interesting, something that made one feel better, but had no science to support the observations and was scientifically discredited. Well, science has made it more credible with the advent of MRI imaging and advanced biochemical assays testing for biomarkers.

Devining for water (and other objects) is completely not understood scientifically, but the results make the science inconsequential. There are many such phenomena that defy science, as we know it at this time, but are awaiting validation by having the scientific method catch-up.

One can still manage to drive an automobile without knowing the intricacies of the science behind the gasoline combustion engine, friction coefficients of tire rubber and brakes, etc. Life has thrived for eons without an understanding of the science behind reproduction, breathing, digestion, thinking. I had a biochemistry teacher that took great pleasure in reminding us students that all of our thoughts were nothing more than biochemical processes.

So, I still say that astrology is observational cause-and-effect. The science behind it all is irrelevant to the practice. Validation can be had once science has the right tools or methodology.

“I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” Arthur C. Clarke

mike (again) said...

P.S. - It's interesting to note that astrology has gained its strongest foothold in the mundane world of finance, at least where prediction and correlation are considered. Financial astrology utilizes the historic records of the markets' indices to astrological correlations to provide prediction. Human psychology is part of this equation, as humans drive the indices, but the human factor is not directly observed, only the markets' correlation to astrological data. Financial astrology is a booming business! A degree in economics and-or finance is typically granted in a university's college of business, not the college of science.

Pisces Weekly Horoscope said...

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Twilight said...

mike ~~ Some excellent points, as usual - thank you!

We shall wait patiently for science to catch up then1 :-)

Re financial astrology - I know hardly anything about that branch of the doctrine - but I recall an old blog friend, Gian Paul who lives in Brazil (some of his guest posts are scattered around the archives) was into all of that kind of thing, and seemed to have a healthy respect for the way astrology could be of help.

Twilight said...

Pisces Weekly Horoscope ~ As mentioned under your previous comment - I will not delete your comment as spam - this time - but further blatant self-advertising without more inclusion of a true commenting comment, will ensure deletion!