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The human antenna by Lynne McTaggart

No one quite knows what to make of the pineal gland. 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 secretes 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.

Master clock
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’.

Psychedelic gland
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
Prozac.

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. Yage, or ayahausca, 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 humans.

Tuning 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, in psychosis.

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 hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT). 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 activity.

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 receptive.

Psychic activity
A number of fascinating studies shows some sort of correlation between geomagnetic activity and an
increase in dreams or psychic activity. 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.

Global 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 from.