The Pineal and Longevity
(Posted on August 1, 2013 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the Destiny of the Body lesson, a class member asked for more information about the meaning of “keeping the pineal operating” to stay young. Here is my reply. – David McMillin]
That's a great question about the meaning of keeping the pineal operating and staying young. And as you have so often done, I think you have answered your own question!
Here is the quote that you are referencing:
Keep the pineal gland operating and you won't grow old – you will always be young! (294-141)
This quote comes from a reading given for Edgar Cayce himself in which information was sought on Cayce's psychic process. Since many previous readings had mentioned the importance of the pineal gland in connection with psychic experiences, this was certainly a reasonable request: "Please discuss in detail the functions of the pineal gland."
A very long paragraph followed the question and the phrase about keeping the pineal gland operating is the last sentence of that paragraph. The first sentence in the explanation is this:
If this is discussed from the anatomical viewpoint, in the fetus as is begun in first of gestation, we find this may be termed as the Builder. (294-141)
This may seem like a strange way to answer the question, but keep in mind that the pineal (as described in the readings) is more than just a gland in the middle of the head. The pineal is a system consisting of that gland and a cord or thread that transverses the entire body and includes the mysterious lyden (Leydig) gland that resides above the reproductive system. The lyden and pineal are called the "seat of the soul." In some readings, the pineal cord is also referred to as the "silver cord."
The mental body flows through this cord along the pineal as I have described in a reply for the last lesson (see Heart and Mind). Hence the pineal can be called the "Builder." It builds the fetus in the mother's womb. There is an entire series of readings on this that was provided to the Glad Helpers healing group (281 series). So it may seem strange to begin the explanation with a comment about the pineal as the Builder of the fetus during gestation, however there is a context for this that Cayce and those requesting the reading would have understood very clearly.
At any rate, it is this activity of the "pineal system" that is also called the "imaginative system" or "impulse body." It is the way the soul provides input ("impulse") into the physical body. This is all described in that long paragraph (#6) of reading 294-141. There are even a few sentences that discuss "hallucinations" that are experienced by people with mental illness (such as schizophrenia). Remember the context of the reading is to explain Cayce's psychic process. As Joseph Campbell has observed, the schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.
Its [the pineal’s] functioning, then, is as that, of that, which makes for – or known as – the impulse or imaginative body. Hence one that may be called demented by others, who has hallucinations from a pressure in some portions, may be visioning that which to him is as real (though others may call him crazy) as to those who are supposed to have an even balance of their senses; which [such visioning] has been formed by the circulation, or the activity of the gland – as it is called – in its incipiency, until it becomes – or is – as a mass without apparent functioning. (292-141)
The remark about the pineal being a mass without apparent functioning is a commentary on the state of biological science at that time. Mainstream scientists regarded the pineal as a useless vestige left over from the evolutionary process. It was thought to have no purpose. Yet the readings called it the seat of the soul (along with the lyden gland). I get a little chuckle out of that one. The reading seems to be poking a bit of fun at the state of scientific understanding of the pineal at that time. Modern science has certainly changed its thinking about the pineal, but has still not caught up with the readings!
Also note that this reading used the term "demented" when discussing the pathological aspects of the functioning of the pineal system when there is "pressure in some portions." There are dozens of readings that describe people experiencing the hallucinations of dementia because of a spinal injury. The pineal cord as it extends along the spine coordinates with "pineal centers" associated with the nerve ganglia of cerebrospinal and sympathetic nerve systems. Thus pressure on these nerve ganglia can affect the flow of the mental body, causing the person to be "out of his mind" (again, see my reply to a message for the last lesson with reference to reading 281-24).
The use of the term "dementia" in this context is also significant. Schizophrenia was called "dementia praecox" during Cayce's era.But there are many forms of dementia including "senile dementia" that we now call Alzheimer's dementia. I wrote a book about this titled, "Alzheimer's Disease and the Dementias." This is relevant to the role of the pineal in keeping one young by avoiding dementia. So finally, we come to the end of this very long paragraph:
If the imaginative body, or the trained body (as is called in a material world) is, trained constantly away FROM the activities of same [the soul influence], it – in natural consequence of things in physical being – draws, as it were, within self. Hence senility sets in. Keep the pineal gland operating and you won't grow old – you will always be young! (294-141)
Thus if we keep the pineal system healthy (avoid "pressures") and keep the imaginative forces of the mental body actively flowing along the pineal, providing spiritual impulse to the system, we can avoid senility (dementia) and stay young. Or, if we limit our consciousness to the purely material side of life, ignoring the soul influence and our spiritual heritage, "senility sets in." Keep the pineal system operating and avoid senility – that seems to be the meaning of this curious advice that you have pondered.
In essence, this is what you have described in your message based on your own lifestyle: Meditating, living your ideal in service to others, and keeping the vital soul energy flowing through you into the world for a purpose. As you have testified in your own experience, you have maintained your youth (relative to those around you of the same physical age). This is what I meant when I commented that you have answered your own question. Sounds like your pineal is pretty active.
In a broader context, keeping the pineal system operating moves us in the direction of the celestial body that is our destiny as multidimensional souls. The "celestial body" – ah yes, now there's another fascinating concept. Blessings, Dave
P.S. There are several resources available on my website that describe the pineal gland as the "seat of the soul" and how it relates to the "pineal system." Here are some links if you wish to pursue this further: