Leydig/Lyden Excerpts and Comments
(Posted on June 18, 2013 by David McMillin)
This page contains numerous Cayce excerpts that discuss the Leydig/lyden gland in various contexts including physical and mental illness, psychic phenomena, deep meditation, embryology, etc. The goal is to try to understand exactly what Cayce meant when he spoke of the Leydig/lyden gland and how that understanding can be put into practical application to improve the lives of individuals engaged in the various situations and conditions where this gland is relevant.
Since the readings linked the Leydig/lyden gland to an historical personage (generally assumed to be the famed researcher Franz Leydig), the question naturally arrises as to which of Leydig’s discoveries are relevant to our quest. The two leading candidates are the cells of Leydig discovered in 1850 and the Leydig Gland, apparently discovered in 1892.
Please note that these two options are not mutually exclusive. The Leydig/lyden as described by Cayce may be more of a process or activity than a discrete glandular entity. Perhaps it more of "system" (much like the pineal gland which the reading describe as an extensive system that even includes the lyden/Leydig). Furthermore, since Franz Leydig made over 200 discoveries, there may be other possibilities as to what Cayce was referring to when he made the connection to the individual named Leydig.
With all of this in mind, here are some important excerpts from the Cayce readings that discuss the lyden/Leydig gland. I have added some observations, comments, and questions about each to help focus the inquiry:
281-53 (lyden/Leydig is in and above gonads; the activity passes through the gonads)
(Q) The leydig gland is the same as that we have called the lyden, and is located in the gonads.
(A) It is in and above, or the activity passes through the gonads. Lyden is the meaning – or the seal, see? while Leydig is the name of the individual who indicated this was the activity. You can call it either of these that you want to. (281-53)
- The Leydig gland is both in and above the gonads. At first glance, this is a very strange statement, indeed.
- In animals, gonads are organs that create reproductive cells (gametes). The ovary (in female) and testis (in male) are gonads.
- One way of understanding how the Leydig gland could be both in and above the gonads is that anatomically the Leydig is above the gonads, but its physiological “activity passes through the gonads.”
- When considering this excerpt from the readings it is important to keep in mind the bias of the question that was asked. In other words, the way the question was asked could have influenced the reply. In this particular case, the question assumes that the Leydig is in the gonads. It is as if Cayce had to correct the question before he could give a reasonable answer. One can almost read the reply like this: “or, rather the Leydig gland is located above, but the activity passes through the gonads.” In this entire reading (281-53), the questions that were asked were confusing, as noted by Cayce in some of his replies that followed the above excerpt in paragraph 7: “When we are considering these various phases, the questions should be prepared so that they would not crisscross, or so that there would not be a confusion or a misinterpretation as to what is meant.” (281-53) “These questions or statements are such that they will be confusing to some; but if they are asked properly there will not be confusion.” (281-53” "Don't say you see if you don't see! You only had a portion of it!” (281-53) “That's the first question you've asked correctly.” (281-53)
- Lyden means “seal.” Several readings refer to the lyden/Leydig gland as a “sealed” gland or closed door. The seal or door can be opened which allows the lifefore energy in its raised vibration (i.e., kundalini) to move through the system, through the other centers of the body during various states (such as deep meditation, embryonic/fetal development, coition, etc).
- The reference to Leydig almost certainly refers to Franz Leydig. Amongst his hundreds of discoveries, he apparently indicated this “activity” of the gland (lyden/Leydig) that "passes through the gonads." In order to identify which of Leydig’s discoveries Cayce is referencing here, it seems reasonable to begin by looking at the two anatomical entities that bear his name: “cells of Leydig” (discovered in 1850) and the “Leydig gland” (discovered in 1892). But this is an assumption. Cayce did not say that the gland bears his name, only that he indicated the “activity” of the gland which “passes through the gonads.” To be sure, there are several other possibilities, so this search could be a spiritual as well as an intellectual quest.
3997-1 (Lyden is in and above genitals and is opened during coition; it is normally about the size of a small pea)
Lyden [Leydig] meaning sealed; that gland from which gestation takes place when a body is created through coition, or inception, through conception of two bodies meeting in creating a body. Located in and above the gland called the genital. In the male, above the glands corresponding to testes. In the female, that above gland responding to testes in the male. Here in THIS particular case, near the size of a wren's egg. Nominally should be about the size of a small pea. (3997-1, Male 19, dementia praecox – schizophrenia)
- Note that the term “sealed” is again associated with the lyden/Leydig gland. This really is a crucial feature of this gland that must be understood and explained in terms of anatomy and physiology. Why is it sealed? How is it sealed? When it is opened, exactly what happens? Does it secrete a chemical when it is opened? Is it an endocrince gland or exocrine gland?
- Since this reading explicitly mentions the gonads (i.e., “testes”) and coition (sexual intercourse), one might assume that the “sealed” lyden is opened during sexual activity and embryonic/fetal development.
- What is the relationship of the lyden/Leydig to gestation. This reading seems to indicate that the Leydig gland allows (or makes possible) gestation. In humans, gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside the womb of the female.
- Note the reference to the location of the lyden/Leydig gland: “Located in and above” the genitals. Then the location is more specifically given as “above the glands corresponding to testes” in females and above the “gland responding to testes.” Very strange wording there! Why not just say “above testes” and “above ovaries” if that is what is meant? Why the use of the terms “corresponding” and “responding”? The general point seems to be (as was noted previously with 281-53) that the anatomical location of the gland seems to be above the gonads or genitals while physiological activity passes through the reproductive organs. If one keeps in mind that these glands (lyden/Leydig) and gonads) are regarded as spiritual centers, each with its own role to perform, this distinction (anatomy and physiology) makes sense.
- The SIZE and SHAPE of the Leydig gland described in this reading ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT match up with “cells of Leydig.” The cells of Leydig are interstitial cells scattered amongst the tissue in the gonads of both males and females (although to a much lesser extent in females). Leydig cells are not grouped together to form a gland as we normally think of it. In this reading, the nominal (or normal) size of the Leydig gland compares to a “small pea” – a small but distinct size and shape. In this particular case, due to the pathology, it had swollen up to the size of a wren’s egg. It is hard to imagine how this could in any way be referring to cells of Leydig.
- The association of Leydig gland pathology with a major mental illness involving psychosis (schizophrenia – hallucinations, etc) is noted in several readings for different individuals. This is another aspect of the functioning of the Leydig when it opens – altered states of consciousness, including what amounts to major mental illness when the process is out of control. As Joseph Campbell observed, the schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.
3816-1 (Lyden is the sealed gland that is opened during copulation)
L-y-d-e-n is the sealed gland that is opened when copulation takes place in the uterus, or the body becoming impregnated with the germ necessary to produce childbirth, or child bearing, and with the correction of these conditions this body will be able to bring forth that of children, see? (3816-1)
- Notice the hyphenation for L-y-d-e-n which typically indicates that Cayce spelled out the word. This is significant since there is apparently a proper spelling for the term, rather something that Cayce arbitrarily made up. It might be very helpful if we could determine the derivation of this word. Is it from a foreign language, historical period, or such? Or did Cayce fabricate the term as a name for the gland?
- Notice also that it is the “sealed gland” as has been stated in many readings. This is the meaning of lyden, which suggests that Cayce did not create the term, but just adopted it from somewhere.
- The seal is opened (gland is activated) during copulation (sexual intercourse, coition). Since impregnation (sperm entering an egg) typically does not occur during copulation (because the sperm has to navigate the female reproductive tract to locate and penetrate the egg), it is unclear from this excerpt whether the female lyden gland also opens during impregnation (as well as during copulation).
- This was a case of infertility and various therapies (i.e., gold take orally and corrections to put the womb into its proper position) were recommended to allow pregnancy and childbirth. Several readings state that gold can have a therapeutic effect on the lyden which is necessary for reproduction.
4138-1 (Lyden is in the false pelvis and its effect comes to the genitive system)
In the hepatic circulation then we have a condition at variance in the pelvic organs where we have had troubles and where we have had influences from the outside that have affected the conditions in the body, where there has been removal of strains in the system and where inflammation has been produced. These we find still show the effects, yet may be eliminated through the system instead of being operated upon, for we must remove that producing same in system if we would rid the body of the conditions or the return of these conditions in the system, for the effect comes to the genitive system [reproductive organs] through the functioning of the Lyden glands in the false pelvis. (4138-1)
- Note that the context of this discussion is the "hepatic circulation." The hepatic circulation consists of two aspects: Upper hepatic (heart and lungs) and lower hepatic (liver and kidneys). Presumbably the inflammation is in the lower hepatics, which is consistent with the anatomical location of the "Lyden glands within the false pelvis." See below on the "false pelvis."
- Note that the Lyden glands are plural. Although the reading typically refer to “gland,” there are several instances where the plural form is used. Does this suggest a bilateral manifestation (such as left and right gonads, adrenals, thyroids, etc)? Or could this suggest that the lyden/Leydig is a system (much like the pineal) in which there is a discreet glandular entity, but the term is also inclusive of other structures that function as an extention of that gland?
- The “false pelvis” is generally considered as part of the abdominal cavity (or at least the abdominopelvic cavity) which is above the reproductive tract of the "true pelvis." Note that the Lyden glands are located in the “false pelvis” but the “effect” or "functioning" (i.e., activity) of the Lyden “comes to” the genetive system. This is the same pattern of anatomical location above with the physiological effect/activity passing through the gonads that we have seen in other readings. The relevance is that cells of Leydig are located in the gonads (“genitive system”) whereas the Leydig gland (in other animals) is said to be above the gonads. Keep in mind that we don’t know if the Leydig gland (as discovered and described by Franz Leydig in various animals) exists in humans.
2197-1 (Lyden gland presses upon nerves producing psychosis)
The nerve systems in the physical we find that depression first caused in the Lyden [Leydig] gland that pressed, or indentations made on the perineurial and the pineal nerve center connected with the Lyden [Leydig] gland. This then gives the hallucinations in the vibration to the brain center or through the cerebellum oblongata, you see. In the impression as this receives, there comes those conditions of melancholia, of self-destructive forces, of aberrations, of depression as received and hallucinations to all the functioning of the sensory organism, through which these nerve connections find manifestations with the pineal nerve in its course through the system. The excess of these vibrations are producing the indentation or the lack of those in the sensory system. These finding manifestations abnormally. (2197-1, )
- This is another case of major mental illness involving pathology of the Lyden gland.
- Note that the pathological effect seems to be caused by “indentation” made by the Lyden gland that “pressed” upon the pineal nerve center in close proximity to the gland. This really does sound like the lyden is a discreet glandular entity rather than interstitial cells (i.e., cells of Leydig). It is hard to imagine that the scattered cells of Leydig could cause indentations to nerves within the gonads. The cells of Leydig are not directly innervated and the nearest nerves would probably be the sympathetic vasomotor innervations of blood vessels. We do not know what Cayce meant by “pineal nerve center” at this point in the investigation.
3428-1 (Lyden glands are in the gonads)
(Q) Does sexual expression or repression cause this condition, or have any effect on same?
(A) This was a part of the beginnings of it; for when the lyden (Leydig) glands are opened, which are in the gonads – or the centers through which the expression of generation begins, they act directly upon the centers through the body. Unless these find expression they disintegrate, or through thy association cause dis-association in impulse and the central or body-nerves. (3428-1)
- The lyden glands are plural.
- The lyden glands are in the gonads (testes). The question directly asks about sexual expression/repression, so the answer does address that aspect of lyden functioning.
- This man was having seizures.
440-11 (wearing stone over the lyden gland)
(Q) Should this [stone] touch the skin in wearing it?
(A) To be sure. Usually worn, of course, around the neck or over the body close to the vibrations from the heart or from the breast itself in its vibrations.
(Q) Would it not be best over the lyden gland?
(A) Not be best over the lyden gland, for too great emanations from its surroundings might influence the body itself. You are used to influence the stone to an effect, either upon those to whom it may be given or to bring for self the ability to aid in its abilities as raising the vibrations for self. Hence would come over this particular portion, or if desired – for the better in training of self – held over that portion of the hollow on the left side above what is commonly called the collar bone. (440-11)
- Numerous Cayce readings discuss the wearing of certain stones on the body for beneficial vibratory effects. In this reading the question concerns the optimal placement of the stone (azurite). This young man (an electrical engineer) has questioned the reading's recommendation that it be attached around the neck (like a necklace) and draped down so that the stone makes contact with the skin over the heart area. He thought it might be preferable to wear it over the lyden gland. The reading explains the reasons for wearing it over the heart. Obviously, this young man did not believe the lyden gland was located within the gonads, for the idea of wearing the stone in that location would have been impractical (and painful). Most likely, Edgar Cayce would have pointed that out as well. Keep in mind that this young man was a close personal friend of Edgar Cayce, received many readings, and was probably pretty knowledgable about the location of the glandular centers as described in the readings. Hence his idea of wearing the stone over the lyden gland was not a naive or ignorant concept (anatomically), if the gland was thought to be located in the lower abdomen where the stone could be attached and worn somewhat like a belt.