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Research proposal by Saskia Bosman, Ph.D., biologist.

Our pineal gland, a tiny organ in the center of the brain, is known in neuroscience as an endocrine gland which produces a set of hormones which are regulated, among other things, by the light-dark (day-night) cycle. The hormones are serotonin, melatonin, DMT (dimethyltryptamin), 5meo-DMT (5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamin) and pinolin.1-5 Ancient spiritual traditions like yoga and tantra consider the pineal a “cosmic antenna” through which we can contact the deeper mystical reality.6 Science has indications that our pineal does play a role in mystical (or transcendental), psychic and hallucinatory experiences, as some of the hormones it produces are psychoactive.7-10 These hormones bind to serotonin receptors in many areas of the brain. This leads to complex patterns of electrical activity. Subjectively the person will have inner experiences ranging from hallucinations and dreams to mystical experiences.7-10 During hallucinations and mystical experiences it has been found that especially the temporal lobes show complex electrical activity patterns.11 The question this project will attempt to answer is: which brain structures become active before the pineal gland produces the hormones involved in mystical experience? What is the activity of the pineal gland itself? The mechanisms and neural pathways involved in the stimulation or inhibition of hormone production and electrical activity of the pineal gland by the circadian light-dark cycle are already known.1-5 The mechanisms inducing the production of certain pineal hormones involved in mystical experiences are unknown. Also the electrical activity of the pineal during mystical experiences has not been measured yet. In this project 3 groups of human subjects will be formed: 1. People who (also in the laboratory) can induce mystical experiences in themselves by silent prayer and/or meditation. 2. People who can silently pray and/or meditate in the laboratory but who have never been able to induce mystical experiences in themselves. 3. People who can silently pray and/or meditate in the laboratory, but who don’t believe mystical experiences are possible today (mystical experiences described in the Bible for them are something of the past, or metaphorical). Group No. 3 serves to find out if their specific belief system has a negative effect on the results. From an earlier pilot project on the relationships between states of consciousness reached by various meditation methods and EEG frequency distribution patterns, we know that all three groups exist.12

Measurements of the activity of the pineal gland and of the rest of the brain will be taken during rest and during silent prayer/meditation. After each session the participants will be interviewed about their subjective experiences and blood samples will be taken for measuring pineal hormone levels. The activity of the pineal gland and of the rest of the brain will be measured by: A. A multichannel SQUID neuromagnetometer13, 14, which measures the magnetic component of the neural electrical activity. (The first few measurements on the pineal have been done and are promising). In order to relate the measurements to the pineal gland and other brain structures, they will need to be localized one time in each subject by MRI scanning.15 B. A PET scanner, which is able to localize and measure blood flow and various kinds of metabolic activity in the brain.16-18 Both devices can measure the activity of deep brain structures. Measurement time with these devices will be booked in various hospitals and universities in and around The Netherlands. Subsequently, statistical analysis will take place of the differences in measurement results between the groups, between the rest and prayer/meditation situations and between the subjective reports of having and not having a mystical experience. This project will provide more insight in what happens in the brain topographically before, during and after a mystical experience. It is meant as a beginning of increasingly deeper research, involving various disciplines.19 New measuring methods for the activity of the pineal gland are in development as well: - Capacitive, using the Heart Tuner, which has been developed by Dan Winter, Jan Souren et al.20 - Measurement of the natural microwave-emission by the pineal, with Han Vriezen et al. and based on the work of the late German engineer Robert Endroes.21 Saskia Bosman, Ph.D., biologist M. Nijhoffpad 15 4103 WP Culemborg The Netherlands Tel. 0031-345-523953 e-mail: In this early stage it is still difficult to calculate a budget, but financial contributions to the project are always welcome, to the Sacred Earth Foundation, Culemborg, Postbank Giro 8454380, The Netherlands. mentioning “Pineal Project”. At this moment about 5000 Euro per month is used for the project. You will be kept posted about the progress of this project.

1. W.B. Quay, “Pineal Chemistry (in cellular and physiological mechanisms)”, Charles Thomas Publishers, Springfield, IL, USA, 1974, ISBN 0-398-02802-8. 2. R.J. Wurtman, J. Axelrod, D.E. Kelly, “The Pineal”, Academic Press, New York, London, 1968, LCCCN 68-26632 3. Russel J. Reiter, “The Pineal - 1977”, Eden Press, 1977 (from series: “Annual Research Reviews, distr. Churchill Livingstone: The Pineal, Vol. 2, 1977), ISBN 0-443-01706-9 4. “Pineal Gland”, 1996.html 5. Lukas Buehler Ph.D.: “ Drugs and Their Receptors”, 6. Genevieve Lewis Paulson, “Kundalini and the Chakras”, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, 1996, ISBN 0-87542-592-5 7. J.C. Callaway, “A Proposed Mechanism for the Visions of Dream Sleep”, Medical Hypotheses Vol. 36 (1988) p. 119-124, 8. R. McClay, “The Pineal Gland, LSD and Serotonin”, 19 March 1976 (from a pharmacology paper), 9. R. Strassman, M.D., “Update on the University of New Mexico Studies: DMT and Psilocybin”, 10. T. McKenna, D. McKenna, “The Invisible Landscape”, Harper San Francisco, 1993, ISBN 0-06-250635-8 11. M.A. Persinger: “Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs”, Praeger, New York, 1987. 12. S. Bosman, T. Kuiper: “Innerlijke beelden en het brein”/”Inner Images and the Brain” (Dutch), Bres147, p. 94-102. 13. J. Karhu & C. Tesche, “Characterization of Hippocampal and Cerebellar Activity”,

14. 306-kanaals neuromagnetometer from Finland: and 15. T. M. Peters: “Image-Guided Surgery: From X-Rays to Virtual Reality”, 16. R. Stufflebeam and W. Bechtel: “PET: Exploring the Myth and the Method”, l 17. “Neuroanaesthesia”, ry.pdf 18. D. Balériaux: “Neuroradiology: Past, Present and Future”, 19. S. Bosman: “A Holistic Research Project on the Role of the Pineal Gland as an Intermediary Between the Physical and Metaphysical Worlds of Experience.” Foundation of Environmental Consciousness, The Netherlands, 2000. 20. 21. Robert Endroes: “Die Strahlung der Erde”, Paffrath Verlag, Remschied (D), 1988

Culemborg, April 2002 - Saskia Bosman, Ph.D. is a self-employed biologist in The Netherlands, cooperating with the Imaging Lab in Hilversum and with the Foundation of Environmental Consciousness in ‘s-Graveland. After doing a multidisciplinary literature study with the latter on the role of the human pineal gland, it became clear it plays an important role in mystical experiences because it produces several psychoactive hormones. However, the pineal is also known to receive (from the sensory systems) as well as produce electrical activity. Dr. Bosman is applying (and calls) for grants for an experimental study on the role of the electrical activity of the human pineal gland during mystical experiences. As far as she knows, up to now, no one in the world has measured the electrical activity non-invasively of such a small and deeply located source as the human pineal gland. In preparation of this study the possibility is tested for a multichannel SQUID neuromagnetometer at an institute in The Netherlands to measure

the magnetic component of the pineal’s electrical activity. The first test results are promising. If these appear to be reproducible, SQUID neuromagnetometry (besides PET scanning and others) will be among the measuring methods in the study on the role of the human pineal in mystical experiences. Because recently also other brain structures have been demonstrated to play an important role in mystical experiences and spiritual intelligence, they will be monitored in this study as well.

Callaway J.C., “A Proposed Mechanism for the Visions of Dream Sleep”, Medical Hypotheses Vol. 36 (1988) p. 119-124, Dafny N.: “Electrophysiological Evidence of Photic, Acoustic, and Central Input to the Pineal Body and Hypothalamus”, Experimental Neurology, Volume 55 (1977) p. 449-457. McClung R. and N. Dafny: “Neurophysiological Properties of the Pineal Body (II. Single Unit Recording)”, Life Sciences Volume 16 (1975) p. 621-628. Morse M.: “Where God Lives - The science of the paranormal and how our brains are linked to the universe”, Cliff Street Books, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2000. Newberg A., E. D’Aquili and V. Rause: “Why God Won’t Go Away (Brain Science and the Biology of Belief)”, Ballantine Books, New York, 2001, ISBN 0345-44033-1.a Persinger M.A.: “Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs”, Praeger, New York, 1987. Quay W.B., “Pineal Chemistry (in cellular and physiological mechanisms)”, Charles Thomas Publishers, Springfield, IL, USA, 1974, ISBN 0-398-02802-8. Schapiro S. and M. Salas: “Effects of Age, Light and Sympathetic Innervation on Electrical Activity of the Rat Pineal Gland”, Brain Research, Volume 28 (1971) p. 47-55. Semm P., “Electrophysiological aspects of the mammalian pineal gland”, p.81-96 in A. Oksche & P. Pévet (eds.), “The Pineal Organ (photobiology biochronometry - endocrinology)”, EPSG (European Pineal Study Group), 2nd Colloquiem, July 1-4, 1981, Elsevier/North Holland Biomedical Press, Amsterdam, New York, Oxford, 1981, ISBN 0-444-80387-4 Zohar D. and I. Marshall: “Spiritual Intelligence (The Ultimate Intelligence)”,

Bloomsbury Paperbacks, 2001, ISBN 0747553299.