Autotrofi: Novi ljudi su se pojavili koji niti piju
tečnost niti jedu hranu
Jeste li jedna od onih osoba koje već godinama svečano najavljuju da kreću na dijetu, ali rezultata ni od kuda? U tom slučaju ovaj tekst nije za vas. Jer, ako niste karakter da izdržite nekoliko tjedana bez čokolade ili čipsa, onda će vas posve dotući činjenica da postoje ljudi koji su svojevoljno prolazili kroz pakao grčeva i halucinacija da bi danas živjeli savršeno zdravi samo od zraka koji udišu.
Još u davna vremena, ljudi su bili razdijeljeni u nekoliko skupina – zemljoradnike, stočare i lovce koji su jedni drugima priskrbljivali hranu, i vještice ili šamane koji su živjeli i bez njihove pomoći duboko u šumi ili na kraju sela. Osim skupljanja travki, nisu imali nekih izvora hrane. Predaja kaže da je to stoga što im ona nije ni trebala.
I dan danas mnogi duhovni vođe, a napose indijski jogiji, slove kao ljudi koji ne jedu i ne piju. Sve što im treba dolazi iz zraka ili sunca, čije molekule tijelo koristi kako bi proizvelo energiju. Takvo funkcioniranje organizma tipično je za biljke, ali ne i za ljude koji su uglavnom heterotrofi, što znači da im je potrebna opipljiva hrana. No, govori se i o novoj vrsti ljudi – autotrofnim organizmima koji sami proizvode molekule energije. Neki idu toliko daleko, da autotrofe nazivaju novim stupnjem u evoluciji ljudske vrste.
Znanstvenici su najpoznatijeg svjetskog autotrofa, 70-godišnjeg jogija Pralad Djanija stavili pod strogi nadzor. Ustvrdili su da on doista nema potrebu unositi ni gutljaje ni zalogaje u organizam, a da stvar bude nevjerojatnija, njegov probavni sustav ne izbacuje nečistoće.
I dok neka istraživanja potvrđuju da autotrofi postoje, koliko god to nevjerojatno zvučalo, druga pak pobijaju hvalisavce izlaganjem sličnom promatranju, pred kojim oni katkad pokleknu i za manje od 24 sata. Najmaštovitija isprika bijaše da je njihova sposobnost gladovanja uništena negativnom energijom nepovjerljive javnosti. Hm..
Kod onih rijetkih pojedinaca kojima je dokazana sposobnost samoodržavanja organizma, zdravstveno stanje je odlično. Ovo, naravno, ne treba shvatiti kao poziv da prestanete jesti jer takav bi postupak doveo do mučne smrti. Čak i kad biste to pokušali u skladu s preporukama živućih autotrofa, slijedili bi tjedni patnje i mahnitosti prije negoli dostignete blagostanje. Naime, govoreći o privikavanju njihova organizma na samoodržavanje, autotrofi otkrivaju da su postupno prelazili prvo na vegan prehranu, da bi tek onda polako odbacivali i povrće. Pritome im je bila potrebna izrazita duhovna potpora, a prolazili su i kroz period stravičnih muka koje uspoređuju s odvikavanjem od heroina. (Napomena: ove teškoće u navikavanju se uklanjaju solarnom jogom, ona potpuno navikava organizam na autotrofni način života tako da je prelazak mnogo ugodniji nego što ga ovde opisuju.)
Pa opet, oni postoje, na nevjericu svih nas svejeda, i žive u tijelima koja su mlađa od njihove stvarne dobi.
U svojim učenjima, takvi ljudi naglašavaju da je najlakše postati autotrof već kao dijete. Navodno postoje osobe koje nikada nisu okusile hranu, osim majčina mlijeka. To je vrlo teško dokazati jer se niti jedan znanstvenik, a pogotovo roditelj, neće upustiti u takvo eksperimentiranje. Stoga sve ostaje na usmenoj predaji, pa tako i informacija da naš Pralad Djani nije jeo niti pio od svoje šeste godine života.
Ovaj se fenomen objašnjava takozvanom praničkom energijom koju svi mi unosimo disanjem, a važnija je i od jela i pića. Autotrofi uspješno koriste tu energiju za stvaranje svake supstance potrebne za zdrav život. Ovu je teoriju donekle opravdala i znanost, otkrivši da su vegani kvalitetnog zdravlja iako ne unose vitamin B12. Oni ipak imaju dovoljno tog vitamina u organizmu zahvaljujući sintezi koja se odvija u probavnom traktu. Tim otkrićem je čak i znanost dala na težini teoriji da se ljudski organizam može održavati samo od zraka.
Profesor tvrdi da živi samo od sunčeve svetlosti i voćnog soka
Malkl Verner izgleda sasvim normalno. Visok je oko metar i osamdeset, nosi naočare, težak je sedamdesetak kilograma i voli da igra tenis, da se druži i trči - tri milje pre doručka sa svojom ženom Anđelikom, cesto su servirane girice za nju i kafa za njega.
Sve sasvim obično. Jedino što Majkl ne jede. Uopšte.
U stvari poslednja hrana koja je ušla u njegova usta je bila obilna porcija krompir salate i parče keksa za doček Nove 2001. godine. Majkl Verner tvrdi da sve što mu je potrebno za održavanje dobija od Sunca
Neobično, 58-godišnji doktor hemije i otac troje dece iz Brunsvika u severnoj Nemačkoj tvrdi da sve što mu je potrebno dobija od Sunca. Oh, da, i povremene kafe, voćnog soka ili čaše vina ako on i Anđelika izađu u grad.
"Zovem to lakom ishranom," objašnjava. "Ali čovek može da govori i o etru, Prani, Či ili Kosmičkoj energiji … to je ista stvar."
To je poznato i kao Bretarijanizam, ili verovanje da činioci sadržani u vazduhu – azot, ugljen dioksid, kiseonik i vodonik – mogu da održavaju telo.
Za sad zvuči ludo. Ali Dr Verner nije neka budala. On je bistar, dobro potkovan naučnik koji je bio toliko iznenađen posledicama svoje neobične ishrane - samo četiri kafe i dva voćna soka dnevno tokom šest i po godina, plus povremeno čaša vina – da je napisao knjigu o tome i nazvao je “Život od Svetlosti”.
"Ja sam u stvari sasvim normalna osoba," insistira on. "Nisam nikakav čudak niti neko sa zapanjujućim pojavama – običan čovek."
Sve je počelo 2000. godine kad je kod Vernerovih došla prijateljica na večeru. "To je bio potez proviđenja," Kaže Majkl.
"Jedne večeri, stara poznanica moje žene je navratila na večeru. Primetili smo da je postala veoma mršava, čak malo i ispijena, i nije jela ništa.
"Ali kada smo je upitali o čemu se radi – da li ima problem – rekla nam je da više ne jede. Tvrdila je da nema potrebu jer je prošla kroz poseban program preobražavanja i sada živi hraneći se samo svetlošću."
Mada bi joj neki ljudi verovatno predložili da što pre poseti psihijatra, Majkla – koji je bio gojazan (90-tak kg), nezadovoljan i nezdrav sa strašću prema picama i duhovnim stvarima – je to zaintrigiralo.
I konačno, posle devet meseci istraživanja i Novogodišnjeg prejedanja krompir salatom, krenuo je sa strogim programom privikavanja da pomogne telu da se prilagodi.
"To traje tri nedelje," kaže Majkl. "Prva nedelja je stvarno stroga – ništa se ne jede, ništa se ne pije.
"Svaki doctor će vam reći da to nije moguće, ali jeste. Zvuči teško, ali veoma je moguće živeti 7 dana bez vode – sve je samo stvar odgovarajućeg stanja uma.
"Suštinski činilac u ovom 21-dnevnom procesu je verovanje u sebe. Ako verujete da možete to, onda nećete upasti u glad.
"Osmog dana možete uzeti malo razblaženog voćnog soka – da pročistite telo antioksidantima.
"Treće nedelje možete preći na jače, manje razblažene sokove. A u poslednjih sedam dana, telo se stabilizuje i postaje naviknuto na novi režim."
Ali, šta sa strašnim osećajem gladi?
"Nećete osećati strašnu glad ako vam je mentalni stav ispravan," živahno kaže Majkl. "To nema veze sa ishranom već sa poštovanjem tela."
Ali priznaje da je izgubio više od 15 kilograma i izgledao "kao isušena kornjača" na kraju tronedeljnog perioda.
Naravno, post nije nova stvar. Potiče iz Biblijskih vremena, strogo su ga se pridržavali u Judaizmu, Isus ga je preporučivao i primerom i učenjem – da se pojača duhovni život slabljenjem privlačnosti čulnih užitaka. Ali to je za nekoliko dana ili nedelja – ne godina. Da budemo iskreni, čudo je da Dr Verner nije umro.
Stručnjaci se razlikuju u tome šta smatraju najdužim vremenom koje ljudsko telo može da preživi bez vode, ali većina se slaže da je to negde između 7 i 10 dana, mada će ozbiljna dehidracija i konfuzija (zbog ugrađene sode i potasijuma u mozgu) da se pojave ranije. U pustinji, naravno, nedostatak vode može da ubije za nekoliko časova.
Tako, ako nam Dr Verner govori istinu, onda je njegovo telo zaista retko neobično. Sa visinom od oko metar i osamdeset i težinom od sedamdeset i nešto kilograma, čak nije ni posebno mršav. I tvrdi da se oseća odlično.
"Osećam se zdravije i živahnije nego ikada. Moja moć odbrane i regeneracije su jače. Teško da sam ikada više bolestan. Psihološki, osećam se stabilno i mentalno obogaćen, imam mnogo bolje pamćenje i koncentraciju nego ranije, i sada mi treba samo 5 sati sna za razliku od ranije kada mi je trebalo 9 sati."
A šta je sa njegovim libidom – da li se smanjio zbog ishrane koja se sastoji od kafe, soka i vazduha?
"Naprotiv!" tvrdi on. "Svako opažanje – bilo da je u pitanju vid, koža ili neki drugi čulni organ – je jače. I moja potencija je postala jača."
Ali, nije li to što on radi oblik anoreksije?
"O ne! Ja ne jedem zbog ljubavi prema svom telu – ne zato što ga mrzim. Anorektičari uopšteno imaju negativno odbacivanje svog tela i hrane. Ja se osećam veoma dobro u svom telu, čak osećam veću povezanost sa telom nego ranije.
"Uvek sam imao veoma pozitivan odnos sa hranom. Uživam da budem prisutan pri obrocima i često mislim da uživam u njima više nego kad bih ih jeo!'
Šta on radi pri obrocima?
"Učestvujem u njima, naravno. Uvek pijem nešto –nekad vodu, nekad čaj, ponekad kafu, zavisi od situacije i mog raspoloženja."
Procenjuje se da ima oko 5 000 Bretarijanaca/ljudi koji se hrane svetlošću širom sveta. Verner kaže da ih poznaje oko 30. Pokret ima šarenu prošlost.
Preuzeto i prevedeno iz The New York Times-a
Zainterersovani Za Duzi Zivot:
> My dear, Master HRM
> Tell me please how long must doing
> sungazing to live min. 150- 200 years? I need that
> information for my site.
man can live easily 150 to 200 years and much more. if you surf the papers on pineal gland on internet you can find such informations. also in people lived much longer previously if they doing safe sungazing and i will give you the name of person to contact. i will just find out and e mail you soon.
Smanjeni unos kalorija usporava starenje
Ograničavanje unosa kalorija za 30% može usporiti proces starenja te smanjiti rizik za bolesti, sugerira dugotrajna studija provedena na majmunima.
U razdoblju od 20 godina se pokazalo kako životinje kojima nije bio ograničen unos kalorija imaju 3 puta veći rizik za smrt, objavio je časopis Science.
Životinje koje su konzumirale smanjeni broj kalorija su imale prosječno 50% manje izglede za obolijevanje od raka, dijabetesa i kardiovaskularnih bolesti, a imale su i manji rizik za atrofiju mozga.
Precizan biološki mehanizam odgovoran za ovakve rezultate nije identificiran, no istraživači vjeruju kako promjene u metabolizmu smanjuju proizvodnju tzv. slobodnih radikala, molekula koje nanose oštećenja stanicama, kažu američki znanstvenici s University of Wisconsin.
Osvrt na MELATONIN i PINEALNU ŽLEZDU
TEKST PREUZET SA SAJTA http://www.cybermikan-sungazing.org/pinealnazlezdaepifiza.htm
je dupoko u nasem mozgu i naziva se pinealna zlezda ili pineal glend.
Ova malena zlezda je snabdevac endokrinog sistema, i upravlja najvecim
delom funkacija u nasem telu. Ona kontrolise i upravlja nasim "
telesnim satom" proizvodeci melatonin; hormon koji bi mogao biti
najvece otkrice od pronalaska penicilina, i prekidac za
zlezda kontrolise takodje nas ciklus spavanja, promene telesne
temperature posebno pri promeni godisnjih doba. Ona govori zivotinjama
kada treba da se sele u tople krajeve, upravlja njihovim odrastanjem.
Usporava i ubrzava metabolizam, govori im kada da se najedu radi ulaska
u hibernaciju, i kada da se bude iz nje na prolece.
Melatonin je hormon koji ne kontrolise samo kada smo pospani, nego nam pokazuje koliko smo stari, kada ulazimo u pubertet, i kako se nas imunoloski sistem bori protiv bolesti. Obzirom da je smestena u sredini naseg mozga, pinealna zlezda nema direktan pristup suncevom svetlu. Nase oci joj salju direktnu informaciju o dnevnoj (suncevoj) svetlosti ili kada je ugaseno svetlo i kada je mrak. Sunceva svetlost stimulise pinealnu zlezdu da proizvodi melatonin, po noci kada nema sunca melatonin se oslobadja u nasem telu kada spavamo. Zaslugom pinealne zlezde i melatonina, ljudi su mogli da spavaju po noci i da se bude danju mnogo ranije pre nego sto je bio izmisljen sat ili casovnik.
Ljudski embrioni ne proizvode melatonin pre rodjenja, nego ga dobijaju preko placente. Prvim danima zivota male babe ga dobijaju preko majcinog mleka. Nivo naseg melatonina raste tokom naseg detinjstva, onda slabi kada ulazimo u pubertet (secate se kada vam se cinilo da vam vreme brze prolazi i leti pre ulaska u pubertet), tako da i ostali hormoni mogu preuzeti kontrolu nad nasim telom. Sto smo stariji nas melatonin pocinje da opada i da se smanjuje drasticno sve do 60- tih godine, tada ga proizvodimo mnogo manje nego u ranim 20-tim godinama. Sa drasticnim padom proizvodnje melatonina oko 50 godina, nase telo izgleda starije i sve se vise vidi kako fizicki propada. Naucnici su nedavno otkrili, da oni koji mogu dodatno proizvoditi melatonin, (MI RADECI SUNGAZING ili SOLARNU JOGU UPRAVO TO RADIMO)!!! ce usporiti starenje, odbiti bolesti od sebe, i cuvati osecaj celokupnog zdravog i energetskog tela, da ne spominjem ostale pozitivne stvari koje sve melatonin moze uciniti za nas sada, kao sto je lecenje nesanice i regulisanje spavanja, eliminacija efekata bezvoljnosti „ sve mi je mrsko“ , i svakodanevno olaksavanja stresa.
Evo slike koja pokazuje kako nivo melatonina u krvi opada sa godinama ali to nije zbog godina vec zbog zakrzljavanja treceg oka. ( U prevodu mozete imati 130 godina a da imate trece oko poput 10-to godisnjeg deteta )
Melatonin je poznat i kao „ regulator, regulatora“ zato sto salje poruke i impulse vrseci kontrolu nad razlicitim delovima naseg tela. To je ravnoteza izmedju nasih razlicitih hormona koji nam cuvaju zdravlje, kontrolisu starost. Kada nase razlicite razine hormona postanu neuravnotezene, to rezultira starenjam.
Sve sto nase telo treba je energija, da bismo mogli trcati, hodati, sedeti, ili cak disati... Svaka celija u nasem telu zahteva energiju da bi mogla pravilno funkcionisati. Unutar svih nasih celijskih stanica su mikroskopske strukture koje se zovu Mitohondrije. Mitohondrija se smatra naponom u celijama, (ono sto im daje energiju i napon za rad) jer pretvaraju energiju u ATP; stvar koja je najvise potrebna za davanje zivota celijama u nasem telu. U procesu stvaranja ATPa, trebamo uzeti u obzir i „sagorevanje“ kiseonika. Kako starimo i nase Mitohondrije stare, i opada im produkcija ATPa usled cega dolazi do nedostatka kiseonika, sto dalje rezultuje totalnim propadanjem celije u svim njenim delovima. Radi ovoga kada smo stariji poznato je da nemamo toliko energije kao kad smo bili mladi. I sada stupa na snagu melatonin. On metabolizuje tiroidnu zlezdu i hormone (komponenta koja obezbedjuje mitohondriji energiju izmedju ostalih celijskih organela) doturajuci joj vise energije. Kada mitohondrija primi vise goriva od tiroidne zlezde, ona moze proizvesti vise ATPa dajuci vise energije svakoj pojedinoj celiji u nasem telu, one onda bez problema koriste kiseonik koji uzimamo u sebe, tako da naše stanice ne pocnu oksidirati.
Postoje mitohondrije i u celijama u pinealnoj zlezdi, koje im daju moc da proizvode i luce melatonin. Kada pinealna zlezda dobija manje suncevog svetla ona pocinje funkcionisati manje ucinkovito i tada opada proizvodnja energije u celom telu. Stoga, sa starijom dobi dolazi manjak energije, sto dovodi do manje melatonina, a opet to dovodi do manje energije i nedostatka kiseonika, sto uzrokuje starenje. Za zaustavljanje ovog zacaranog kruga, treba samo uzimati dovoljno veliku dozu svetlosti a melatonin ce dalje zadrzati razinu hormona koji su ukljuceni u sve ostale funkcije gde su i bili, kada su mladi.
Ovim smo samo zagrebali po povrsini ono sto melatonin u vecoj kolicini moze uraditi. Kalcifikacija koji negativno utice na pinealnu zlezdu kada se pojavi negde u organizmu kao za posledicu ima usporavanje i ometanje normalanog rada celija. Na primer, naslage kalcijuma u krvnim zilama dovode do zacepljenja arterije, sto vrlo cesto moze dovesti do mozdanog udara ili infarkta. Te iste vrste kalcijum depozita se takodje najcesce mogu naci u organima kao sto su srce i mozak, te to dovodi do drugih dodatnih komplikacija. Razlog zasto mala deca (sad citajte i SUNGAZERI) nisu zahvacena ovim uslovima je taj da je razina melatonina u njihovom (ljudskom) telu u najvecim kolicinama tokom detinjstva (ili citajte povecanim primanja suncevih zraka preko ociju).
TRKA za ZIVOT: PRIKAZ PINEALNE ZLEZDE
ZAHVACENE KALCIFIKACIJOM- SVEOBUHVATNI ARANZMAN
Da sumiramo, kada pinealna zlezda vise ne moze da obavlja svoj posao (jel je kalcifikovana ili potrosena), to rezultira potpunom krahu mitohondrija u celom telu, a poznato nam je da su one gorivo i napon za zivot nasih celija koje proizvode energiju nasem telu. Kada se mitohondrije slome (padne im ucinak), to prouzrokuje negativnu lancanu reakciju u celom telu i potpunom kolapsu drugih organa. Ovo je kolaps koji izaziva starenje, (u nasem narodu poznitiji pojam „potrosio se“ ili "istrosio se") a, melatonin je mocan alat koji se koristiti kako bi to sprecio, ili odlozio na duze vreme.
Takodje smo dokazali da je melatonin veoma efektivno oruzije protiv bolest, kao i to da je on zasluzan za jacanje naseg imunoloskog sistema. To je deo logicnog rasudjivanja kada uzmemo u obzir efekte koje nedostatak melatonina pokazuje u procesu starenja. Pad funkcija mnogih nasih vitalnih organa vodi u razne bolesti veoma dobro poznate savremenom coveku. Stoga, kako se starenja nasih pojedinacnih organa usporava kao sto je opisano u prvom delu ovog teksta, bolesti koje cesto prate starenje nece vise biti u mogucnosti da se prosire i naude nasem telu. Melatonin ce takodje imati pozitavane razlicite ucinke kod ateroskleroze (kaljenje arterije) kako sa povecava nivo melatonina u telu, a rezulatat toga je da visak kalcijumske soli koja moze prouzrokovati veliki spektar problema vise nije prisutana u njima.
Nacin na koji nas melatonin utice na imunoloski sistem je malo slozeniji. Jedna od glavnih celija imunoloskog sistema su bele krvne celije. Jedan tip su limfociti, a podtip limfocita je poznatiji kao T celija. One su odgovorne za zastitu naseg tela od virusa i bakterija, ali i za sprecavanje raznih problema koji prouzrokuju agensi u nasem krvotoku. Te stanice su vrlo fino podesene tako da ne napadaju bilo koju od celija ili korisne materijale u nasim telima. Bilo bi katastrofalno ako bi nas imunoloski sistem poceo da ubija celije koje cine tkivo nasih raznih organa, ili ako bi napale hranjive nutrijante koje proizlaze iz hrane koju jedemo. To se ponekad i dogadja; poremecaji kao sto je ovaj poznati su kao autoimune bolesti ili bolesti imunoloskog sistema.
Razlog za autoimune bolesti, a za vecu ucestalost i ozbiljnost bolesti kod starijih osoba je starenje imunoloskog sistema ivakcinacija. Obzirom da T limfociti imaju secanja, a znamo da kada neka osoba ima vise puta odredjenu zarazu, da je cesto imuna kada je izlozena bakterijama koja je uzrocnik originalne zaraze. Glavni ucinak starenja na imuni sistem ima to sto se nasi T limfociti vise ne mogu setiti koje celije su stetne za nas, i posto ih ne mogu vise razlikovati one napadaju nase telesne celije.
Kao sto je pokazano, da je sama starost ta koja vodi do najveceg dela procesa propadanja o kojoj je pisano gore, isto je i dokazano kako melatonin moze usporiti proces starenja i njegovih efekata. A, to nas dovodi do toga da ga nase T celije rasporedjuju u druge razlicite delove naseg imunoloskog sistema jacajuci ga i snazeci kao sto je bio u mladosti. Uz njih nas imunoloski sistem radi isto tako efikasno u dobi od 50 godina kao i kada smo bili 10 godina stari, tako da nas nece zahvatati bolesti povezane sa staroscu zahvaljujuci melatoninu.
Osim sto nam pomaze da zivimo duze i odbija bolesti od nas melatonin nam pomaze i da smanjimo stres, poremecaj spavanja, zamor svakodnevnice i umor. Stres nije samo apstraktna ideja, nervoze i napetosti uzrokovane losim osecajima, on je direktno prouzrokovana hemijska reakcija unutar naseg tela. Ljudi od pocetka covecanstva imaju osnovni instinkt prezivljavanja. Kada se suoce sa nekom pretecom situacijom, imaju dva izbora „Boriti se ili Podleci“ taj nagon nas tera da reagujemo ofanzivno ili defanzivno na pretnju. Ono sto se dalje dogadja je to da nas zivcani sistem stimulise nase nadbubrezne zlezde, koje proizvode adrenalin, sto uzrokuje da nas metabolizam ubrzava, misici su nam tada napeti, srce kuca brze, cesto uzrokujuci da nas obliva znoj i da nam se povecava telesna temperatura i visak kiseline u zelucu. To je da naglasimo kako se problem javlja, na obe razine hemijskoj i emocionalnoj, nasi impulsi nisu u mogućnosti da rade kako treba tad i onda nam naprave vise stete nego koristi. Melatonin neutralise adrenalin i druga hormonska uzbudjenja, a time nam daje samo smirivanje i opustanje. To znaci da nema cvorova i grcenje misica, a ni visak kiseline u zelucu koja stvara ulkus u njemu..
S obzirom na problem jet-lag (poremecaj spavanja pri putovanju u druge vremenske zone) i gubitak energije, odgovor je suvise lak sta treba uraditi u tim situacijama, a to je imati sto vise i sto boljeg sna. Jet-lag dolazi kada se nas telesni sat tesko privikava na novu vremensku zonu, i sat na zidu nam govori da je to drugacije vreme od onog u kojem nase telo misli da se nalazi. Jos jednom, napominjem da kada po danu nemate dovoljno energije to je zato sto se niste dobro naspavali noc pre. Melatonin nam pomaze pri regulisanju spavanja i uklanja taj problem, tako kada boravimo duze u nekoj drugoj vremenskoj zoni nam treba vise spavanja.
Melatonin je hormon stacioniran u maloj sicusnoj zlezdi (pinealna ili sisarkasta zlezda) duboko u sredini nase glave, i ako imate dopunske (velike kolicine) doze, posticicete velike stvari za vas. Mozemo se radovati gledajuci unazad istorijske beleske gde je pronadjeno da su neki ljudi ziveli i mnogo vise od svog zivotnog veka, i po nekoliko stotina godina cak. Mocicemo ziveti tih nekoliko stotina godina imajuci dodatni osecaj kako smo zdravi i mladi, (eliksir vecne mladosti i dugog zivljenja) sa mnogo manje pretnji raznih bolesti.
Bibliography 1. Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug: Melatonin, by Russel J. Reiter,Ph.D. and Jo Robinson
Copywrite 1995 Bantam Books, Ny, NY
2. The Melatonin Miracle,
3. Melatonin, by Geoffrey Cowley; Newsweek, Aug. 7, 1995
4. The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book, Inc., 1981, Chicago, Il
Pinealna žlezda, Poremecaji Spavanja,
Autizam i Epilepsija
Dokazano je da Melatonin moze biti koristan u kontroli epileptickih napada.
Postoje dokazi iz medicinske literature koja je utvrdila da melatoninske dopune u vecim kolicinama mogu imati koristi kod autisticnih pacijenata. Medju prvim istrazivacima koji su ustanovili da melatonin moze pomoci u lecenju poremecaja spavanja kod dece sa invaliditetom, autizmom i drugim bolestima su J. E. Jen i M. E. O'Donnell, sa Univerziteta British Columbia u Vankuveru, Kanada. Oralnim unosenjem dodatnog melatonina u odredjeno vreme pre spavanja uocena su poboljsanja spavanja na oko 80 posto njihovih pacijenata, bez ikakvih nuspojava. Casopis Pineal Research, poglavlje 21, strane 193-199, 1996). Naknadnim pokusajima Japanski strucnjaci su dostigli slicne rezultate (oko 70 posto pacijenata je poboljsalo svoje stanje). Nedavno su naucnici sa Sveucilista u Rimu, kontrolisano oslobadjali odredjeni oblik melatonina kod autisticne dece s kronicnim problemima spavanja. Melatonin se pokazao kao najdelotvorniji za resavanje ovih problema (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 36:741-752, 2006). Ovi rezultati idu u ruku pod ruku s istrazivanjima koja su ustvrdila da autisticana deca i tinejdzeri imaju smanjene razine melatonina koji se oslobadjaju u vecernjim satima u vreme spavanja. (najverovatnije zbog disfunkcije pinealne zlezde), i da to smanjenje razine melatonina moze uticati na patofiziologiju i razvoj autizama u pogodjenim pojedincima (Neuro Endocrinology Letters 21:31-34, 2000; Biological Psychiatry 57:134-138, 2005).
Nadalje, naucna literatura ukazuje na vezu izmedju problema sa spavanjem u autizamu i epilepsijom. B. A. Malow sa Univerziteta u Vanderbiltu je primetio da "epilepsija i spavanje imaju medjusoban povezan odnos, sa losim spavanjem pospesuju se napadi i da napadi takodje negativno uticu na proces spavanja ... Lecenje poremecaja spavanja, koji su potencijalno uzrokovani ili doprineli autizmu, moglo bi takodje povoljno uticati na kontrolu i ponasanje po danu" (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Review 10:122-125, 2004). Znacaj ovih istrazivanja postaje jasniji kada se uzme u obzir da u realizaciji oslobadjanja melatonina u vecim kolicinama moze da se postigne veoma mnogo koristi u kontroli epileptickih napada.
TRKA za ZIVOT: PRIKAZ PINEALNE ZLEZDE
ZAHVACENE KALCIFIKACIJOM- SVEOBUHVATNI ARANZMAN
NAPOMENA: KALCIFIKACIJA PINEALNE ŽLEZDE NASTAJE PRE SVEGA ZBOG UNOŠENJA FLUORA U ORGANIZAM PREKO FLUORISANE VODE I PASTE ZA ZUBE.
Pineal Gland – Vladar Holistickog Zdravlja
sisarkasta zlezda, (pineal gland) dugo ignorisana od strane nauke,
odjednom dobija na vaznosti po pitanju naseg opsteg zdravlja, narocito
u pogledu imunoloskih funkcija i njene moci da usporava starenje i propadanje organizma.
Stacionirana je tacno u sredini glave, velicine je jednog graska i tezi
oko 50 to150mg. Njen oblik i struktura nalikuju jednoj malenoj
sisarki, pa su je zato naucnici prozvali sisarkasta zlezda. Ona
obezbedjuje snabdevanje melatoninom do oko 25- te god. nadalje, se
polako gubi njena ucinkovitosti i opada obezbedjivanje hormona u telu,
ali uprkos tome ona ima potencijala za obnavljanje imunoloskog sistema,
ako se zadrzi njeno zdravo i ne ometano funkcionisanje.
Istrazivanje Pinealne Zlezde
Bioloski, kao i duhovno, poseban znacaj zlezde je zbog njene funkcije kako
neurohormonalni sekretor tako i njene sposobnost za primanje i slanje suptilne energije elektromagnetskih talasa.
Efekti naseg savremenog drustva i stila zivota na ovu zlezdu su sada jasno vidljivi u sve vecem stepenu. Nase okruzenje je preoptereceno sa raznim tehnologijama kako na nasim radnim mestima tako i u nasem domacinstvu te je gotovo sigurno da to ima negativan uticaj na rad pinealne zlezde, stvarajuci tako vece mogucnosti za razne bolesti.
Medju ostalim hemikalijama proizvedenih od zlezda, Melatonin regulise ostale neurohormone u telu, poznato je da ako se on ne proizvodi u dovoljno velikoj kolicini, njegov nedostatak moze nejcesce biti izvor otkazivanja celokupnog imunoloskog sistema.
Ekspertski odbor americkog Nacionalnog veca za zastitu od zracenja i
Merenja (NCRP) ispitivao je bioloske ucinke ELF - emf (ekstremno niska
frekvencija elektro - magnetskog polja u rasponu od 50 - 60 Hz) na ljudsko telo. Njihova studija je bila snazno usmerena na ELF polje akcije u pinealnoj zlezdi, vezano za ucinke na sintezu i izlucivanje hormona melatonina, kao i na siroki pojas serija regulatorne funkcije posredovan ovim hormonom. Emf ogled je pokazao da se smanjuje pinealna zlezda usled izlozenosti i da se drasticno smanjuje produktivnost melatonina, ovaj slucaj je poznat kao "Melatonin hipoteza".
“Melatonin igra glavnu ulogu kontrolisuci 24 – satni dnevni bio-ritam. Poremecaj u normalnom ritmu, diurnalni melatonin ritam povezan je sa izmenjenim estrogen receptorom oko formacije grudi, i vrlo je moguca veza izmedju izlozenosti ELF polja i ljudskog raka dojke. Dalje, melatonin ima opsta svojstva kao slobodni radikali cistaci ulice (skupljaci otpada), sa mogucnoscu preventive stresa, poznatom kao osnovni faktor u sirokom spektru ljudskih degenerativnih bolesti, ukljucujuci i koronarnu arterijsku bolest, poznatijom pod Parkinsonova i Alzhajmerova bolesti i starenje. "
Americki odbor nalazima predlaze da se vise ne bi trebali izlagati takvoj vrsti polja kojom smo izlozeni svakodnevnim zivotom u blizini nasih kucnih uredjaja kao sto su elektricni brijaci ili vizuelni uredjaju poput televizora, monitora od kompjutera, mobilnih telefona itd.
se navesti da je epidemiolosko sirenje vestackih emf-a poceo tek
nakon drugog svetskog rata. Do tada smo živeli u prilicno
elektromagnetskom nezaprljanom okruzenju hiljadama godina. Bavljenje
emf poljima je tek u povoju, istrazivanja koja se nastavljaju nadalje
pokazuju da sigurno imaju nepozeljan uticaj na nas, i mi moramo
temeljno razmotriti nas odnos prema struji i savremenim uredjajima iz
Druga istrazivanja, koja su se obavljala na misevima od strane Dr. Walter Pierpaoli, MD, Bianca Lana - Masera Fondacije za proucavanje Starenja u Italiji, snazno sugerisu da je moguce obnavljanje imunoloskih svojstva usled pravilnog funkcioniranja pinealne zlezde. Pinealne zlezde mladjih miseva su ugradjivane u starije miseve, usled cega je doslo do prosirenja njihovog zivotnog veka, a Thymus zlezda je pocela opet da raste. tada su stariji misevi poceli da se ucinkovitije borbe protiv infekcija i zapravo su izgledali kao kad su bili mladi i ponasali su se "mlađe".
Pinealna žlezda - duhovno 'Treće oko'
For its normal functioning the pineal gland requires a balance of light/ dark supply,
transferred to the gland via the retina of the eyes, as well as freedom from interference of
low–frequency, man–made EMF as explained by the Melatonin Hypothesis.
As we are at the edge of taking our next evolutionary step in consciousness, many people
feel themselves undergoing profound changes at the cellular and subatomic level, causing
all kinds of weird symptoms, sometimes termed our “Lightbody Awakening”.
Information on this process is hard to find and to a large extend requires researching
unconventional sources like channelled material and independent web sites.
Our pineal gland is our bodily transformative device for recognizing subtle energies and
making them accessible for/to our conscious mind. Its state of health/wellbeing is a basic
condition for our ability to adapt to increasingly higher frequencies of cosmic radiation.
Without our pineal gland’s activity we are alone in the communicative universe and cut
off from higher dimensional information. The pineal gland feeds the heart with
information/ electromagnetic waves we can’t perceive with the visual eye and allows the
sacred to manifest into our lives. Essentially our peaceful relating to all other life forms
and the planet earth requires the in depth acknowledgment and re- activation of the pineal
gland. The Sioux medicine man Lame Deer beautifully states the deficiency in our
relationship to the spiritual world and captures the potential within the pineal gland to
give us back the spiritual meaning of life.
“We Sioux spend a lot of time thinking about everyday things, which in our mind are
mixed up with the spiritual. We see in the world around us many symbols that teach us
the meaning of life. We have a saying that the white man sees so little, he must see with
only one eye. We see a lot that you no longer notice. You could notice if you wanted to,
but usually you are too busy. We Indians live in a world of symbols and images where the
spiritual and the commonplace are one. … We try to understand them not with the head
but with the heart, and we need no more than a hint to give us the meaning.” (John (Fire)
Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes, Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions, 1972, p.108f)
Health and pineal gland functioning
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) gives us an example for pineal gland malfunction.
According to several authors “Evidence indicates that CFS is associated with, if not
directly caused by, a persistent, low – level impairment of the immune system.” (D.
Maisch, B. Rapley, R.E. Rowland, J.Podd, EMFacts consultancy web page)
Proper melatonin production by the pineal gland depends on its regular exposure to total
darkness as light inhibits melatonin secretion. Life in the modern urban environment is
therefore a big contributor in stressing the pineal gland, as light pollution causes the
melatonin production to decrease, which contributes to causing CFS.
Many people with CFS also seem to have lost the connection to their higher self, their
spiritual essence. That often correlates with one of the most disturbing symptoms in
people suffering from CFS - depression and anxiety. According to Dr. Steven Hall’s talk
at the News Night Report from the 22.01.2006, 50% of mentally ill people are not treated
sufficiently in the UK. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) resembles a variety of
symptoms, including depression and insomnia, and can be described as ‘vibratory flu’
since no virus has yet been detected causing CFS. Conventional medicine is helplessly
confronted with more and more patients seeking relief from this debilitating suffering but
cannot offer an allopathic solution.
Apart from CFS, pineal gland malfunction relates to a variety of several other serious
health problems like postmenopausal osteoporosis, immune related syndromes and
cancerous proliferation in women and men. All of them related either to the antioxidant
function of melatonin or the surge of hormones caused by the missing regulator
melatonin. Many of them can only be treated rudimentarily and not be cured by modern
Supporting the pineal glands’ function
The public will have to be thoroughly educated regarding the use of devices producing
electromagnetic fields and how to adopt their life style accordingly. The necessity for
establishing energy hygiene can’t be taken too serious. It is of utmost importance for the
pineal glands healthy functioning to protect humans from EMF interference by
eliminating excess conducting material from the working and living environments (eg
metal bed frame, radio alarm clock a.o.). Mobile phones should be avoided
Apart from just protecting ourselves from avoidable EMF exposure we need to adopt
ways to support the pineal gland in its functioning. Sleeping in total darkness enables the
pineal gland to produce the appropriate amount of melatonin each night. Therefore
windows and bedrooms will need to be darkened as much as possible to avoid being
affected by light pollution..
We also need to look for methods to re-activate the gland by enhancing the flow of Chi
within our subtle energy system, as this will benefit its effectiveness. Alternative healing
methods should to be taken in consideration more carefully for the sake of rebalancing
Breathwork enhances the flow of Chi
More and more sensitive people are looking for alternatives in healing and find meditation as
well as breathing practices generally known as ‘Breathwork’ to be helpful and healing,
especially in the case of CFS.
The conscious connected breath is an ancient tool of shamanism as well as meditation
practices of Eastern traditions and has been rediscovered for the western society in the
early 70’s by the efforts of people like Dr. Stanislav Grof and Leonnard Orr – the
founders of Holotropic Breathwork and Rebirthing.
Integrative Breath Therapy and other methods using the conscious connected breath for
unblocking the biological - and energy body “are very effective in opening our glandular
‘consciousness system” (David McMillin, 1991, The Treatment of Schizophrenia).
Breathwork is still only known to a very limited part of the population and should be
considered more often for general prevention of disease and the treatment of affective
disorders as well as a method to re-energise CFS sufferers. This breathing practice can be
learned easily with the initial support of a Breathwork practitioner and adopted quickly to
a habit that enhances general wellbeing and health as well as boosting an individuals
Contact details regarding Breathwork can be found at the end of this article and a list of
Breathwork practitioners can be obtained from the British Rebirth Society (BRS) and
If this article awoke your interest and you would like to know more on pineal gland biology
and how to make use from its receiver function in the spiritual realm, you are very welcome to
attend our workshop on these themes presented by Saskia Bosman, international pineal gland
researcher. The workshop introduces her research as well as techniques to activate the
potential of the pineal gland. More info below
About the author:
Aimee Lange is trained in Holotropic Breathwork as well as in Integrative Breath Therpay. She is currently a cotrainer
for the Institute for Integrative Breath Therapy and Transformational Healing (InBreath ) which
trains future Breathwork practitioners. Aimee’s intention is to raise public awareness for holistic health at the
subtle energy level and to teach love for Spirit and all living through recognising Oneness. She supports and
empowers people in detecting and healing negative believes about themselves and in finding their individual life
purpose. She organises and leads workshops in transformational healing using Breathwork and Sacred
Geometry and is available for individual sessions in Breathwork
phone: 01424 717 006
THE PINEAL GLAND, YOUR COSMIC ANTENNA
Two-day workshop on pineal gland activation and regulation.
13th and 14th of May 2006
Both days from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM.
In a distant past our pineal gland used to be our third eye and even more than an eye: a
cosmic receiver and sender of multi-dimensional information. The pineal gland is now a
tiny gland in the centre of our brain, connected with all our senses and the rest of our
body. Through the other senses it communicates with the outer world in electrical
impulses. With its spectrum of hormones it regulates our state of consciousness, e.g.
waking, sleeping, dreaming, various meditative states including those states in which we
may have mystical experiences. Now is the time to reawaken our pineal gland as a cosmic
antenna, which you will do in this workshop within the safe energy field of love, oneness
and grounding. Science and spirituality are coming together in this workshop through the
combination of research and exercises/ techniques to activate the pineal gland.
Saskia Bosman, Ph.D. is a biomedical scientist and trainer in the field of inner growth,
healing, sustainability and sustainable development. She works internationally both in
science and in the training profession. She does research on the pineal gland in a purely
scientific sense and also explores all the spiritual aspects of it which forms the basis of
this amazing workshop.
http://www.angelfire.com/ak5/research_1/ and http://www.angelfire.com/psy/sothis/
Registration and information:
Phone: 01424 717 006 or 07854 165 781
Related articles and web sites on:
www.meridianinstitute.co/mh/pineal.html Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Case Studies
‘The Pineal gland, LSD and Serotonin’ by Russ McCLay
www.findarticles.com ‘Dream – weaver melatonin’ by James F. Scheer
CFS / EMF / Radiation
The Association of Earth Radiation & other Fields with specific diseases (Alfred Riggs,
Descartes and the Pineal Gland
First published Mon Apr 25, 2005; substantive revision Wed Nov 5, 2008
The pineal gland is a tiny organ in the center of the brain that played an important role in Descartes' philosophy. He regarded it as the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. In this entry, we discuss Descartes' views concerning the pineal gland. We also put them into a historical context by describing the main theories about the functions of the pineal gland that were proposed before and after his time.
The pineal gland or pineal body is a small gland in the middle of the head. It often contains calcifications (“brain sand”) which make it an easily identifiable point of reference in X-ray images of the brain. The pineal gland is attached to the outside of the substance of the brain near the entrance of the canal (“aqueduct of Sylvius”) from the third to the fourth ventricle of the brain (Figure 1). It is nowadays known that the pineal gland is an endocrine organ, which produces the hormone melatonin in amounts which vary with the time of day. But this is a relatively recent discovery. Long before it was made, physicians and philosophers were already busily speculating about its functions.
The first description of the pineal gland and the first speculations about its functions are to be found in the voluminous writings of Galen (ca. 130-ca. 210 AD), the Greek medical doctor and philosopher who spent the greatest part of his life in Rome and whose system dominated medical thinking until the seventeenth century.
Galen discussed the pineal gland in the eighth book of his anatomical work On the usefulness of the parts of the body. He explained that it owes its name (Greek:kônarion, Latin: glandula pinealis) to its resemblance in shape and size to the nuts found in the cones of the stone pine (Greek: kônos, Latin: pinus pinea). He called it a gland because of its appearance and said that it has the same function as all other glands of the body, namely to serve as a support for blood vessels.
In order to understand the rest of Galen's exposition, the following two points should be kept in mind. First, his terminology was different from ours. He regarded the lateral ventricles of the brain as one paired ventricle and called it the anterior ventricle. He accordingly called the third ventricle the middle ventricle, and the fourth the posterior one. Second, he thought that these ventricles were filled with “psychic pneuma,” a fine, volatile, airy or vaporous substance which he described as “the first instrument of the soul.” (See Rocca 2003 for a detailed description of Galen's views about the anatomy and physiology of the brain.)
Galen went to great lengths to refute a view that was apparently circulating in his time (but whose originators or protagonists he did not mention) according to which the pineal gland regulates the flow of psychic pneuma in the canal between the middle and posterior ventricles of the brain, just as the pylorus regulates the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach. Galen rejected this view because, first, the pineal gland is attached to the outside of the brain and, second, it cannot move on its own. He argued that the “worm-like appendage” [epiphysis or apophysis] of the cerebellum (nowadays known as the vermis superior cerebelli) is much better qualified to play this role (Kühn 1822, pp. 674-683; May 1968, vol. 1, pp. 418-423).
Although Galen was the supreme medical authority until the seventeenth century, his views were often extended or modified. An early example of this phenomenon is the addition of a ventricular localization theory of psychological faculties to Galen's account of the brain. The first theory of this type that we know of was presented by Posidonius of Byzantium (end of the fourth century AD), who said that imagination is due to the forepart of the brain, reason to the middle ventricle, and memory to the hind part of the brain (Aetius 1534, 1549, book 6, ch. 2). A few decades later, Nemesius of Emesa (ca. 400 AD) was more specific and maintained that the anterior ventricle is the organ of imagination, the middle ventricle the organ of reason, and the posterior ventricle the organ of memory (Nemesius 1802, chs. 6-13). The latter theory was almost universally adopted until the middle of the sixteenth century, although there were numerous variants. The most important variant was due to Avicenna (980-1037 AD), who devised it by projecting the psychological distinctions found in Aristotle's On the soul onto the ventricular system of the brain (Rahman 1952).
In a treatise called On the difference between spirit and soul, Qusta ibn Luqa (864-923) combined Nemesius' ventricular localization doctrine with Galen's account of a worm-like part of the brain that controls the flow of animal spirit between the middle and posterior ventricles. He wrote that people who want to remember look upwards because this raises the worm-like particle, opens the passage, and enables the retrieval of memories from the posterior ventricle. People who want to think, on the other hand, look down because this lowers the particle, closes the passage, and protects the spirit in the middle ventricle from being disturbed by memories stored in the posterior ventricle (Constantinus Africanus 1536, p. 310) (Figure 2, Figure 3). Qusta's treatise was very influential in thirteenth-century scholastic Europe (Wilcox 1985).
In several later medieval texts, the term pinea was applied to the worm-like obstacle, so that the view that the pineal gland regulates the flow of spirits (the theory that Galen had rejected) made a come-back (Vincent de Beauvais 1494, fol. 342v; Vincent de Beauvais 1624, col. 1925; Israeli 1515, part 2, fol. 172v and fol. 210r; Publicius 1482, ch. Ingenio conferentia). The authors in question seemed ignorant of the distinction that Galen had made between the pineal gland and the worm-like appendage. To add to the confusion, Mondino dei Luzzi (1306) described the choroid plexus in the lateral ventricles as a worm which can open and close the passage between the anterior and middle ventricles, with the result that, in the late Middle Ages, the term ‘worm’ could refer to no less than three different parts of the brain: thevermis of the cerebellum, the pineal body and the choroid plexus (Figure 4, Figure 5).
In the beginning of the sixteenth century, anatomy made great progress and at least two developments took place that are important from our point of view. First, Niccolò Massa (1536, ch. 38) discovered that the ventricles are not filled with some airy or vaporous spirit but with fluid (the liquor cerebro-spinalis). Second, Andreas Vesalius (1543, book 7) rejected all ventricular localization theories and all theories according to which the choroid plexus, pineal gland or vermis of the cerebellum can regulate the flow of spirits in the ventricles of the brain.
Today, René Descartes (1596-1650) is mainly known because of his contributions to mathematics and philosophy. But he was highly interested in anatomy and physiology as well. He paid so much attention to these subjects that it has been suggested that “if Descartes were alive today, he would be in charge of the CAT and PET scan machines in a major research hospital” (Watson 2002, p. 15). Descartes discussed the pineal gland both in his first book, the Treatise of man (written before 1637, but only published posthumously, first in an imperfect Latin translation in 1662, and then in the original French in 1664), in a number of letters written in 1640-41, and in his last book, The passions of the soul (1649).
In the Treatise of man, Descartes did not describe man, but a kind of conceptual models of man, namely creatures, created by God, which consist of two ingredients, a body and a soul. “These men will be composed, as we are, of a soul and a body. First I must describe the body on its own; then the soul, again on its own; and finally I must show how these two natures would have to be joined and united in order to constitute men who resemble us” (AT XI:119, CSM I:99). Unfortunately, Descartes did not fulfill all of these promises: he discussed only the body and said almost nothing about the soul and its interaction with the body.
The bodies of Descartes' hypothetical men are nothing but machines: “I suppose the body to be nothing but a statue or machine made of earth, which God forms with the explicit intention of making it as much as possible like us” (AT XI:120, CSM I:99). The working of these bodies can be explained in purely mechanical terms. Descartes tried to show that such a mechanical account can include much more than one might expect because it can provide an explanation of “the digestion of food, the beating of the heart and arteries, the nourishment and growth of the limbs, respiration, waking and sleeping, the reception by the external sense organs of light, sounds, smells, tastes, heat and other such qualities, the imprinting of the ideas of these qualities in the organ of the ‘common’ sense and the imagination, the retention or stamping of these ideas in the memory, the internal movements of the appetites and passions, and finally the external movements of all the limbs” (AT XI:201, CSM I:108). In scholastic philosophy, these activities were explained by referring to the soul, but Descartes proudly pointed out that he did not have to invoke this notion: “it is not necessary to conceive of this machine as having any vegetative or sensitive soul or other principle of movement and life, apart from its blood and its spirits, which are agitated by the heat of the fire burning continuously in its heart—a fire which has the same nature as all the fires that occur in inanimate bodies” (AT XI:201, CSM I:108).
The pineal gland played an important role in Descartes' account because it was involved in sensation, imagination, memory and the causation of bodily movements. Unfortunately, however, some of Descartes' basic anatomical and physiological assumptions were totally mistaken, not only by our standards, but also in light of what was already known in his time. It is important to keep this in mind, for otherwise his account cannot be understood. First, Descartes thought that the pineal gland is suspended in the middle of the ventricles (Figure 6). But it is not, as Galen had already pointed out (see above). Secondly, Descartes thought that the pineal gland is full of animal spirits, brought to it by many small arteries which surround it. But as Galen had already pointed out, the gland is surrounded by veins rather than arteries. Third, Descartes described these animal spirits as “a very fine wind, or rather a very lively and pure flame” (AT XI:129, CSM I:100) and as “a certain very fine air or wind” (AT XI:331, CSM I:330). He thought that they inflate the ventricles just like the sails of a ship are inflated by the wind. But as we have mentioned, a century earlier Massa had already discovered that the ventricles are filled with liquid rather than an air-like substance.
In Descartes' description of the role of the pineal gland, the pattern in which the animal spirits flow from the pineal gland was the crucial notion. He explained perception as follows. The nerves are hollow tubes filled with animal spirits. They also contain certain small fibers or threads which stretch from one end to the other. These fibers connect the sense organs with certain small valves in the walls of the ventricles of the brain. When the sensory organs are stimulated, parts of them are set in motion. These parts then begin to pull on the small fibers in the nerves, with the result that the valves with which these fibers are connected are pulled open, some of the animal spirits in the pressurized ventricles of the brain escape, and (because nature abhors a vacuum) a low-pressure image of the sensory stimulus appears on the surface of the pineal gland. It is this image which then “causes sensory perception” of whiteness, tickling, pain, and so on. “It is not [the figures] imprinted on the external sense organs, or on the internal surface of the brain, which should be taken to be ideas—but only those which are traced in the spirits on the surface of the gland H (where the seat of the imagination and the ‘common’ sense is located). That is to say, it is only the latter figures which should be taken to be the forms or images which the rational soul united to this machine will consider directly when it imagines some object or perceives it by the senses” (AT XI:176, CSM I:106). It is to be noted that the reference to the rational soul is a bit premature at this stage of Descartes' story because he had announced that he would, to begin with, discuss only the functions of bodies without a soul.
Imagination arises in the same way as perception, except that it is not caused by external objects. Continuing the just-quoted passage, Descartes wrote: “And note that I say ‘imagines or perceives by the senses’. For I wish to apply the term ‘idea’ generally to all the impressions which the spirits can receive as they leave gland H. These are to be attributed to the ‘common’ sense when they depend on the presence of objects; but they may also proceed from many other causes (as I shall explain later), and they should then be attributed to the imagination” (AT XI:177, CSM I:106). Descartes' materialistic interpretation of the term ‘idea’ in this context is striking. But this is not the only sense in which he used this term: when he was talking about real men instead of mechanical models of their bodies, he also referred to ‘ideas of the pure mind’ which do not involve the ‘corporeal imagination’.
Descartes' mechanical explanation of memory was as follows. The pores or gaps lying between the tiny fibers of the substance of the brain may become wider as a result of the flow of animal spirits through them. This changes the pattern in which the spirits will later flow through the brain and in this way figures may be “preserved in such a way that the ideas which were previously on the gland can be formed again long afterwards without requiring the presence of the objects to which they correspond. And this is what memory consists in” (AT XI:177, CSM I:107).
Finally, Descartes presented an account of the origin of bodily movements. He thought that there are two types of bodily movement. First, there are movements which are caused by movements of the pineal gland. The pineal gland may be moved in three ways: (1) by “the force of the soul,” provided that there is a soul in the machine; (2) by the spirits randomly swirling about in the ventricles; and (3) as a result of stimulation of the sense organs. The role of the pineal gland is similar in all three cases: as a result of its movement, it may come close to some of the valves in the walls of the ventricles. The spirits which continuously flow from it may then push these valves open, with the result that some of the animal spirits in the pressurized ventricles can escape through these valves, flow to the muscles by means of the hollow, spirit-filled nerves, open or close certain valves in the muscles which control the tension in those muscles, and thus bring about contraction or relaxation of the muscles. As in perception, Descartes applied the term ‘idea’ again to the flow of animal spirits from the pineal gland: “And note that if we have an idea about moving a member, that idea—consisting of nothing but the way in which spirits flow from the gland—is the cause of the movement itself” (AT XI:181; Hall 1972, p. 92). Apart from the just-mentioned type of bodily motions, caused by motions of the pineal gland, there is also a second kind, namely reflexes. The pineal gland plays no role with respect to them. Reflexes are caused by direct exchanges of animal spirits between channels within the hemispheres of the brain. (Descartes did not know that there are “spinal reflexes”.) They do not necessarily give rise to ideas (in the sense of currents in the ventricles) and are not brought about by motions of the pineal gland.
The first remarks about the pineal gland which Descartes published are to be found in his Dioptrics (1637). The fifth discourse of this book contains the thesis that “a certain small gland in the middle of the ventricles” is the seat of the sensus communis, the general faculty of sense (AT VI:129, not in CSM I). In the sixth discourse, we find the following interesting observation on visual perception: “Now, when this picture [originating in the eyes] thus passes to the inside of our head, it still bears some resemblance to the objects from which it proceeds. As I have amply shown already, however, we must not think that it is by means of this resemblance that the picture causes our sensory perception of these objects—as if there were yet other eyes within our brain with which we could perceive it. Instead we must hold that it is the movements composing this picture which, acting directly upon our soul in so far as it is united to our body, are ordained by nature to make it have such sensations” (AT VI:130, CSM I:167). This remark shows that Descartes tried to avoid the so-called “homuncular fallacy,” which explains perception by assuming that there is a little man in the head who perceives the output of the sense organs, and obviously leads to an infinite regress.
Descartes' short remarks about a small gland in the middle of the brain which is of paramount importance apparently generated a lot of interest. In 1640, Descartes wrote several letters to answer a number of questions that various persons had raised. In these letters, he not only identified the small gland as the conarion or pineal gland (29 January 1640, AT III:19, CSMK 143), but also added some interesting points to the Treatise of man. First, he explained why he regarded it as the principal seat of the rational soul (a point that he had not yet addressed in the Treatise of man): “My view is that this gland is the principal seat of the soul, and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. The reason I believe this is that I cannot find any part of the brain, except this, which is not double. Since we see only one thing with two eyes, and hear only one voice with two ears, and in short have never more than one thought at a time, it must necessarily be the case that the impressions which enter by the two eyes or by the two ears, and so on, unite with each other in some part of the body before being considered by the soul. Now it is impossible to find any such place in the whole head except this gland; moreover it is situated in the most suitable possible place for this purpose, in the middle of all the concavities; and it is supported and surrounded by the little branches of the carotid arteries which bring the spirits into the brain” (29 January 1640, AT III:19-20, CSMK 143). And as he wrote later that year: “Since it is the only solid part in the whole brain which is single, it must necessarily be the seat of the common sense, i.e., of thought, and consequently of the soul; for one cannot be separated from the other. The only alternative is to say that the soul is not joined immediately to any solid part of the body, but only to the animal spirits which are in its concavities, and which enter it and leave it continually like the water of river. That would certainly be thought too absurd” (24 December 1640, AT III:264, CSMK 162). Another important property of the pineal gland, in Descartes' eyes, is that it is small, light and easily movable (29 January 1640, AT III:20, CSMK 143). The pituitary gland is, though small, undivided and located in the midline, not the seat of the soul because it is outside the brain and entirely immobile (24 December 1640, AT III:263, CSMK 162). The processus vermiformis of the cerebellum (as Descartes called the appendage which Galen had discussed) is not a suitable candidate because it is divisible into two halves (30 July 1640, AT III:124, not in CSMK).
A second interesting addition to the Treatise of man that Descartes made in these letters concerns memory. Descartes now wrote that memories may not only be stored in the hemispheres, but also in the pineal gland and in the muscles (29 January 1640, AT III:20, CSMK 143; 1 April 1640, AT III:48, CSMK 146). Apart from this, there is also another kind of memory, “entirely intellectual, which depends on the soul alone” (1 April 1640, AT III:48, CSMK 146).
Descartes' thesis that “the pineal gland is the seat of the sensus communis” was soon defended by others. The medical student Jean Cousin defended it in Paris in January 1641 (Cousin 1641) and the professor of theoretical medicine Regius defended it in Utrecht in June 1641 (Regius 1641, third disputation). Mersenne described the reaction of Cousin's audience in a letter to Descartes, but this letter never reached its destination and is now lost (Lokhorst and Kaitaro 2001).
The most extensive account of Descartes' pineal neurophysiology and pineal neuropsychology is to be found in his The passions of the soul (1649), the last of his books published during his lifetime.
The Passions may be seen as a continuation of the Treatise of man, except that the direction of approach is different. The Treatise of man starts with the body and announces that the soul will be treated later. The conclusion would probably have been that we are indistinguishable from the hypothetical “men who resemble us” with which the Treatise of man is concerned and that we are just such machines equipped with a rational soul ourselves. In the Passions, Descartes starts from the other end, with man, and begins by splitting man up into a body and a soul.
Descartes' criterion for determining whether a function belongs to the body or soul was as follows: “anything we experience as being in us, and which we see can also exist in wholly inanimate bodies, must be attributed only to our body. On the other hand, anything in us which we cannot conceive in any way as capable of belonging to a body must be attributed to our soul. Thus, because we have no conception of the body as thinking in any way at all, we have reason to believe that every kind of thought present in us belongs to the soul. And since we do not doubt that there are inanimate bodies which can move in as many different ways as our bodies, if not more, and which have as much heat or more […], we must believe that all the heat and all the movements present in us, in so far as they do not depend on thought, belong solely to the body” (AT XI:329, CSM I:329).
Just before he mentioned the pineal gland for the first time, Descartes emphasized that the soul is joined to the whole body: “We need to recognize that the soul is really joined to the whole body, and that we cannot properly say that it exists in any one part of the body to the exclusion of the others. For the body is a unity which is in a sense indivisible because of the arrangement of its organs, these being so related to one another that the removal of any one of them renders the whole body defective. And the soul is of such a nature that it has no relation to extension, or to the dimensions or other properties of the matter of which the body is composed: it is related solely to the whole assemblage of the body's organs. This is obvious from our inability to conceive of a half or a third of a soul, or of the extension which a soul occupies. Nor does the soul become any smaller if we cut off some part of the body, but it becomes completely separate from the body when we break up the assemblage of the body's organs” (AT XI:351, CSM I:339). But even though the soul is joined to the whole body, “nevertheless there is a certain part of the body where it exercises its functions more particularly than in all the others. […] The part of the body in which the soul directly exercises its functions is not the heart at all, or the whole of the brain. It is rather the innermost part of the brain, which is a certain very small gland situated in the middle of the brain's substance and suspended above the passage through which the spirits in the brain's anterior cavities communicate with those in its posterior cavities. The slightest movements on the part of this gland may alter very greatly the course of these spirits, and conversely any change, however slight, taking place in the course of the spirits may do much to change the movements of the gland” (AT XI:351, CSM I:340).
The view that the soul is attached to the whole body is already found in St Augustine's works: “in each body the whole soul is in the whole body, and whole in each part of it” (On the Trinity, book 6, ch. 6). St Thomas Aquinas accepted this view and explained it by saying that the soul is completely present in each part of the body just as whiteness is, in a certain sense, completely present in each part of the surface of a blank sheet of paper. In deference to Aristotle, he added that this does not exclude that some organs (the heart, for example) are more important with respect to some of the faculties of the soul than others are (Summa theologica, part 1, question 76, art. 8;Quaestiones disputatae de anima, art. 10; Summa contra gentiles, book 2, ch. 72).
Augustine's and Aquinas' thesis sounds reasonable as long as the soul is regarded as the principle of life. The principle of life may well held to be completely present in each living part of the body (just as biologists nowadays say that the complete genome is present in each living cell). However, Descartes did not regard the soul as the principle of life. He regarded it as the principle of thought. This makes one wonder what he may have meant by his remark. What would a principle of thought be doing in the bones and toes? One might think that Descartes meant that, although the pineal gland is the only organ to which the soul is immediately joined, the soul is nevertheless indirectly joined to the rest of the body by means of the threads and spirits in the nerves. But Descartes did not view this as immediate attachment: “I do not think that the soul is so imprisoned in the gland that it cannot act elsewhere. But utilizing a thing is not the same as being immediately joined or united to it” (30 July 1640). Moreover, it is clear that not all parts of the body are innervated.
The solution of this puzzle is to be found in a passage which Descartes wrote a few years before the Passions, in which he compared the mind with the heaviness or gravity of a body: “I saw that the gravity, while remaining coextensive with the heavy body, could exercise all its force in any one part of the body; for if the body were hung from a rope attached to any part of it, it would still pull the rope down with all its force, just as if all the gravity existed in the part actually touching the rope instead of being scattered through the remaining parts. This is exactly the way in which I now understand the mind to be coextensive with the body—the whole mind in the whole body and the whole mind in any one of its parts” (Replies to the sixth set of objections to the Meditations, 1641, AT VII:441, CSM II:297). He added that he thought that our ideas about gravity are derived from our conception of the soul.
In the secondary literature one often meets the claim that Descartes maintained that the soul has no spatial extension, but this claim is obviously wrong in view of Descartes' own assertions. Those who make it may have been misled by Descartes' quite different claim that extension is not the principal attribute of the soul, where ‘principal’ has a conceptual or epistemic sense.
Most of the themes discussed in the Treatise of man and in the correspondence of 1640 (quoted above) reappear in the Passions of the soul, as this summary indicates: “the small gland which is the principal seat of the soul is suspended within the cavities containing these spirits, so that it can be moved by them in as many different ways as there are perceptible differences in the objects. But it can also be moved in various different ways by the soul, whose nature is such that it receives as many different impressions—that is, it has as many different perceptions as there occur different movements in this gland. And conversely, the mechanism of our body is so constructed that simply by this gland's being moved in any way by the soul or by any other cause, it drives the surrounding spirits towards the pores of the brain, which direct them through the nerves to the muscles; and in this way the gland makes the spirits move the limbs” (AT XI:354, CSM I:341).
The description of recollection is more vivid than in the Treatise of man: “Thus, when the soul wants to remember something, this volition makes the gland lean first to one side and then to another, thus driving the spirits towards different regions of the brain until they come upon the one containing traces left by the object we want to remember. These traces consist simply in the fact that the pores of the brain through which the spirits previously made their way owing to the presence of this object have thereby become more apt than the others to be opened in the same way when the spirits again flow towards them. And so the spirits enter into these pores more easily when they come upon them, thereby producing in the gland that special movement which represents the same object to the soul, and makes it recognize the object as the one it wanted to remember” (AT XI:360, CSM I:343).
The description of the effect of the soul on the body in the causation of bodily movement is also more detailed: “And the activity of the soul consists entirely in the fact that simply by willing something it brings it about that the little gland to which it is closely joined moves in the manner required to produce the effect corresponding to this volition” (AT XI:359, CSM I:343).
The pineal neurophysiology of the passions or emotions is similar to what is occuring in perception: “the ultimate and most proximate cause of the passions of the soul is simply the agitation by which the spirits move the little gland in the middle of the brain” (AT XI:371, CSM I:349). However, there are some new ingredients which have no parallel in the Treatise of man. For example, in a chapter on the “conflicts that are usually supposed to occur between the lower part and the higher part of the soul,” we read that “the little gland in the middle of the brain can be pushed to one side by the soul and to the other side by the animal spirits” and that conflicting volitions may result in a conflict between “the force with which the spirits push the gland so as to cause the soul to desire something, and the force with which the soul, by its volition to avoid this thing, pushes the gland in a contrary direction” (AT XI:364, CSM I:345).
In later times, it was often objected that incorporeal volitions cannot move the corporeal pineal gland because this would violate the law of the conservation of energy. Descartes did not have this problem because he did not know this law. He may nevertheless have foreseen difficulties because, when he stated his third law of motion, he left the possibility open that it does not apply in this case: “All the particular causes of the changes which bodies undergo are covered by this third law—or at least the law covers all changes which are themselves corporeal. I am not here inquiring into the existence or nature of any power to move bodies which may be possessed by human minds, or the minds of angels” (AT VIII:65, CSM I:242).
One would like to know a little more about the nature of the soul and its relationship with the body, but Descartes never proposed a final theory about these issues. From passages such as the ones we have just quoted one might infer that he was an interactionist who thought that there are causal interactions between events in the body and events in the soul, but this is by no means the only interpretation that has been put forward. In the secondary literature, one finds at least the following interpretations.
Descartes was a Scholastic-Aristotelian hylomorphist, who thought that the soul is not a substance but the first actuality or substantial form of the living body (Hoffman 1986, Skirry 2003).
He was a Platonist who became more and more extreme: “The first stage in Descartes' writing presents a moderate Platonism; the second, a scholastic Platonism; the third, an extreme Platonism, which, following Maritain, we may also call angelism: ‘Cartesian dualism breaks man up into two complete substances, joined to another no one knows how: one the one hand, the body which is only geometric extension; on the other, the soul which is only thought—an angel inhabiting a machine and directing it by means of the pineal gland’ (Maritain 1944, p. 179). Not that there is anything very ‘moderate’ about his original position—it is only the surprising final position that can justify assigning it that title” (Voss 1994, p. 274).
He articulated—or came close to articulating—a trialistic distinction between three primitive categories or notions: extension (body), thought (mind) and the union of body and mind (Cottingham 1985; Cottingham 1986, ch. 5).
He was a dualistic interactionist, who thought that the rational soul and the body have a causal influence on each other. This is the interpretation one finds in most undergraduate textbooks (e.g., Copleston 1963, ch. 4).
He was a dualist who denied that causal interactions between the body and the mind are possible and therefore defended “a parallelism in which changes of definite kinds occurrent in the nerves and brains synchronize with certain mental states correlated with them” (Keeling 1963, p. 285).
He was, at least to a certain extent, a non-parallelist because he believed that pure actions of the soul, such as doubting, understanding, affirming, denying and willing, can occur without any corresponding or correlated physiological events taking place (Wilson 1978, p. 80; Cottingham 1986, p. 124). “The brain cannot in any way be employed in pure understanding, but only in imagining or perceiving by the senses” (AT VII:358, CSM II:248).
He was a dualistic occasionalist, just like his early followers Cordemoy (1666) and La Forge (1666), and thought that mental and physical events are nothing but occasions for God to act and bring about an event in the other domain (Hamilton in Reid 1895, vol. 2, p. 961 n).
He was an epiphenomenalist as far as the passions are concerned: he viewed them as causally ineffectual by-products of brain activity (Lyons 1980, pp. 4-5).
He was a supervenientist in the sense that he thought that the will is supervenient to (determined by) the body (Clarke 2003, p. 157).
The neurophysiology of the Treatise of man “seems fully consistent […] with a materialistic dual-aspect identity theory of mind and body” (Smith 1998, p. 70).
He was a skeptical idealist (Kant 1787, p. 274).
He was a covert materialist who hid his true opinion out of fear of the theologians (La Mettrie 1748).
There seem to be only two well-known theories from the history of the philosophy of mind that have not been attributed to him, namely behaviorism and functionalism. But even here one could make a case. According to Hoffman (1986) and Skirry (2003), Descartes accepted Aristotle's theory that the soul is the form of the body. According to Kneale (1963, p. 839), the latter theory was “a sort of behaviourism”. According to Putnam (1975), Nussbaum (1978) and Wilkes (1978), it was similar to contemporary functionalism. By transitivity, one might conclude that Descartes was either a sort of behavorist or a functionalist.
Each of these interpretations agrees with at least some passages in Descartes' writings, but none agrees with all of them. Taken together, they suggest that Descartes' philosophy of mind contains echoes of all theories that had been proposed before him and anticipations of all theories that were developed afterwards: it is a multi-faceted diamond in which all mind-body theories that have ever been proposed are reflected.
In his later years, Descartes was well aware that he had not successfully finished the project that he had begun in the Treatise of man and had not been able to formulate one comprehensive mind-body theory. He sometimes expressed irritation when others reminded him of this. In reply to the questions “how can the soul move the body if it is in no way material, and how can it receive the forms of corporeal objects?” he said that “the most ignorant people could, in a quarter of an hour, raise more questions of this kind than the wisest men could deal with in a lifetime; and this is why I have not bothered to answer any of them. These questions presuppose amongst other things an explanation of the union between the soul and the body, which I have not yet dealt with at all” (12 January 1646, AT IX:213, CSM II:275). On other occasions, he came close to admitting defeat. “The soul is conceived only by the pure intellect; body (i.e. extension, shapes and motions) can likewise be known by the intellect alone, but much better by the intellect aided by the imagination; and finally what belongs to the union of the soul and the body is known only obscurely by the intellect alone or even by the intellect aided by the imagination, but it is known very clearly by the senses. […] It does not seem to me that the human mind is capable of forming a very distinct conception of both the distinction between the soul and the body and their union; for to do this it is necessary to conceive them as a single thing and at the same time to conceive them as two things; and this is absurd” (28 June 1643, AT III:693, CSMK 227). He admitted that the unsuccessfulness of his enterprise might have been his own fault because he had never spent “more than a few hours a day in the thoughts which occupy the imagination and a few hours a year on those which occupy the intellect alone” (AT III:692, CSMK 227). But he had done so for a good reason because he thought it “very harmful to occupy one's intellect frequently upon meditating upon [the principles of metaphysics which give us or knowledge of God and our soul], since this would impede it from devoting itself to the functions of the imagination and the senses” (AT III:695, CSMK 228). He advised others to do likewise: “one should not devote so much effort to the Meditations and to metaphysical questions, or give them elaborate treatment in commentaries and the like. […] They draw the mind too far away from physical and observable things, and make it unfit to study them. Yet it is just these physical studies that it is most desirable for people to pursue, since they would yield abundant benefits for life” (Conversation with Burman, 1648, AT V:165, CSMK 346-347). We will follow this wise advice.
Only a few people accepted Descartes' pineal neurophysiology when he was still alive, and it was almost universally rejected after his death. Willis wrote about the pineal gland that “we can scarce believe this to be the seat of the Soul, or its chief Faculties to arise from it; because Animals, which seem to be almost quite destitute of Imagination, Memory, and other superior Powers of the Soul, have this Glandula or Kernel large and fair enough” (Willis 1664, ch. 14, as translated in Willis 1681). Steensen (1669) pointed out that Descartes' basic anatomical assumptions were wrong because the pineal gland is not suspended in the middle of the ventricles and is not surrounded by arteries but veins. He argued that we know next to nothing about the brain. Camper (1784) seems to have been the very last one to uphold the Cartesian thesis that the pineal gland is the seat of the soul, although one may wonder whether he was completely serious. In philosophy, a position called “Cartesian interactionism” immediately provoked “either ridicule or disgust” (Spinoza 1677, part 2, scholium to proposition 35), usually because it was seen as raising more problems than it solved, and it continues to do so to this day, but as we have already indicated, it is doubtful whether Descartes was a Cartesian interactionist himself.
Some of the reasons that Descartes gave for his view that the pineal gland is the principal seat of the soul died out more slowly than this view itself. For example, his argument that “since our soul is not double, but one and indivisible, […] the part of the body to which it is most immediately joined should also be single and not divided into a pair of similar parts” (30 July 1640, AT III:124, CSMK 149), for instance, still played a role when Lancisi (1712) identified the unpaired corpus callosum in the midline of the brain as the seat of the soul. This view was, however, refuted by Zinn (1749) in a series of split-brain experiments on dogs. Lamettrie and many others explicitly rejected the thesis that the unity of experience requires a corresponding unity of the seat of the soul (Lamettrie 1745, ch. 10).
In scientific studies of the pineal gland, little progress was made until the second half of the nineteenth century. As late as 1828, Magendie could still advance the theory that Galen had dismissed and Qusta ibn Luca had embraced: he suggested that it is “a valve designed to open and close the cerebral aqueduct” (Magendie 1828). Towards the end of the nineteenth century, however, the situation started to change (Zrenner 1985). First, several scientists independently launched the hypothesis that the pineal gland is a phylogenic relic, a vestige of a dorsal third eye. A modified form of this theory is still accepted today. Second, scientists began to surmise that the pineal gland is an endocrine organ. This hypothesis was fully established in the twentieth century. The hormone secreted by the pineal gland, melatonin, was first isolated in 1958. Melatonin is secreted in a circadian rhythm, which is interesting in view of the hypothesis that the pineal gland is a vestigial third eye. Melatonin was hailed as a “wonder drug” in the 1990s and then became one of the best-sold health supplements. The history of pineal gland research in the twentieth century has received some attention from philosophers of science (Young 1973, McMullen 1979), but this was only a short-lived discussion.
As philosophy reduced the pineal gland to just another part of the brain and science studied it as one endocrine gland among many, the pineal gland continued to have an exalted status in the realm of pseudo-science. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Madame Blavatsky, the founder of theosophy, identified the “third eye” discovered by the comparative anatomists of her time with the “eye of Shiva” of “the Hindu mystics” and concluded that the pineal body of modern man is an atrophied vestige of this “organ of spiritual vision” (Blavatsky 1888, vol. 2, pp. 289-306). This theory is still immensely popular today.
Descartes was neither the first nor the last philosopher who wrote about the pineal gland, but he attached more importance to it than any other philosopher did. Descartes tried to explain most of our mental life in terms of processes involving the pineal gland, but the details remained unclear, even in his own eyes, and his enterprise was soon abandoned for both philosophical and scientific reasons. Even so, the pineal gland remains intriguing in its own right and is still intensely studied today, with even a whole journal dedicated to it, the Journal of Pineal Research.
[AT] Adam, C., Tannery, P., eds., 1964-1974, Oeuvres de Descartes, 13 vols., Paris. (In French.)
Aetius, 1534, Librorum medicinalium tomus primus, Venice. (In Greek.) Digitized photographic reproduction. Available online (JPEG).
Berengario da Carpi, J., 1530, Isagogae breues et exactissimae in anatomia humani corporis, Strasbourg. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproductionavailable online (JPEG).
Blavatsky, H.P., 1888, The Secret Doctrine, 2 vols., London. Electronic text available online.
Bos, J.J.F.M., 2002, The Correspondence between Descartes and Henricus Regius, Ph.D. Thesis, Utrecht University. Electronic text available online.
Camper, P., 1784, Kurze Nachricht von der Zergleiderung eines jungen Elephanten, in: Camper, P., Kleinere Schriften, vol. 1, Leipzig. (In German.)
Clarke, D.M., 2003, Descartes's Theory of Mind, Oxford.
Constantinus Africanus, 1536, De animae et spiritus discrimine liber, in: Constantini Africani Opera, pp. 308-317, Basel. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG).
Copleston, F., 1963, A History of Philosophy, vol. 4, New York.
Cordemoy, G. de, 1666, Le discernement du corps et de l’âme, Paris. (In French.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (PDF and TIFF).
Cottingham, J., 1985, Cartesian trialism, Mind 94, pp. 218-230.
Cottingham, J., 1986, Descartes, Oxford.
[CSM] Cottingham, J., Stoothoff, R., Murdoch, D., 1984, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, 2 vols., Cambridge.
[CSMK] Cottingham, J., Stoothoff, R., Murdoch, D., Kenny, A., 1991, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Vol. III: The Correspondence, Cambridge.
Cousin, J., 1641, An kônarion sensus communis sedes? Thesis, 24 January 1641, École de médecine, Paris. (In Latin.) Photographically reproduced and partially translated in Lokhorst and Kaitaro 2001.
Descartes, R., 1637, La dioptrique, in: Descartes, R., Discours de la méthode, Leyden. (In French.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG). Reprinted in AT, vol. VI. Partial English translation in CSM, vol. I.
Descartes, R., 1641, Meditationes de prima philosophia, Paris. (In French.) Reprinted in AT, vol. VII. English translation in CSM, vol. II. Digitized photographic reproduction of 1685 Amsterdam edition available online (PDF and TIFF).
Descartes, R., 1644, Principia philosophiae, Amsterdam. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproductions available online (JPEG, PDF and TIFF). Reprinted in AT, vol. VIII. Partial English translation in CSM, vol. I.
Descartes, R., 1649, Les passions de l’âme, Amsterdam. (In French.) Reprinted in AT, vol. XI. Electronic text available online. English translation in CSM, vol. I.
Descartes, R., 1662, De homine, Leyden. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (PDF and TIFF).
Descartes, R., 1664, L'Homme, Paris. (In French.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (PDF and TIFF). Reprinted in Adam and Tannery vol. XI. Partial English translation in CSM, vol. I. Complete English translation in Hall 1972.
Hall, T.S., 1972, Treatise of Man, Harvard, Mass.
Hoffman, P., 1986, The unity of Descartes's man, Philosophical Review 95, pp. 339-370.
Keeling, S.V., 1963, Descartes, René, Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 7, pp. 281-288, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Ltd., London, etc.
Kneale, M., 1963, Body and mind, Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 3, pp. 838-840, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Ltd., London, etc.
Kühn, C.G., 1822, Claudii Galeni opera omnia, vol. 3, Leipzig. (Greek text with Latin translation.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG).
La Forge, L. de, 1666, Traitté de l'esprit de l'homme, Amsterdam. (In French.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (PDF and TIFF).
La Mettrie, J.O. de, 1745, Histoire naturelle de l’âme, The Hague. (In French.) The "London 1751" edition is photographically reproduced in Verbeek 1988.
Lancisi, G.M., 1712, Dissertatio altera de sede cogitantis animae, Rome. (In Latin.)
Lokhorst, G.J.C., Kaitaro, T.T., 2001, The originality of Descartes' theory about the pineal gland, Journal for the History of the Neurosciences 10, pp. 6-18.
Lyons, W., 1980, Emotion, Cambridge.
McMullen, T., 1979, Philosophy of science and the pineal gland, Philosophy 54, pp. 380-384.
Magendie, F., 1828, Mémoire physiologique sur le cerveau, Journal de physiologie expérimentale et pathologique 8, pp. 211-229. (In French.)
Maritain, J., 1944, The Dream of Descartes, New York.
Massa, N., 1536, Liber introductorius anatomiae, Venice. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG).
May, M.T., 1968, Galen: On the usefulness of the parts of the body, 2 vols., Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N. Y.
Mondino dei Luzzi, 1306, Anothomia. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproductions of the 1482, 1484, 1494 and 1507 editions available online (PDF and TIFF). Digitized photographic reproductions of the 1513, 1521, 1531 and 1540 editions also available online (JPEG).
Nemesius, 1802, De natura hominis graece et latine, Halle. (Greek text with Latin translation.) Photographic reprint, Hildesheim, 1967.
Nussbaum, M., 1978, Aristotle's De Motu Animalium, Princeton.
Publicius, J., 1482, Artis oratoriae epitoma. Ars epistolandi. Ars memorativa, Venice. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG).
Putnam, H., Philosophy and our mental life, in: Putnam, H., Mind, Language, and Reality: Philosophical Papers, vol. 2, pp. 291-303, Cambridge.
Rahman, F., 1952, Avicenna's Psychology, London.
Regius, H., 1641, Physiologia, sive cognitio sanitatis, tribus disputationibus in Academia Ultrajectina publicè proposita, Utrecht. (In Latin.) Reprinted in Bos 2002.
Reid, T., 1895, Philosophical works, with notes and supplementary dissertations by W. Hamilton, 2 vols., Edinburgh.
Reisch, G., 1535, Margarita philosophica, Basel. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (Java)
Rocca, J., 2003, Galen on the Brain, Leyden.
Skirry, J.J., 2003, Descartes on the Metaphysics of Human Nature, PhD Thesis, Purdue University.
Smith, C.U.M., 1998, Descartes' pineal neuropsychology, Brain and Cognition 36, pp. 57-72.
Spinoza, B. de, 1677, Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata, in: Opera posthuma, Amsterdam. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online(JPEG). English translation also available online.
Steensen, N., 1669, Discours de Monsieur Stenon sur l'anatomie du cerveau, Paris. (In French.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (PDF and TIFF). Photographic reproduction and English translation in Scherz, G., 1965, Nicolaus Steno's Lecture on the Anatomy of the Brain, Copenhagen.
St Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones disputatae de anima. (In Latin.) Electronic text available online.
St Thomas Aquinas. Summa contra gentiles. (In Latin.) Electronic text available online.
Verbeek, T.H.M., 1988, Le Traité de l'Ame de La Mettrie, 2 vols., PhD Thesis, Utrecht University. (In French.)
Vesalius, A., 1543, De Humani corporis fabrica Libri septem, Basel. (In Latin).
Vincent de Beauvais, 1494, Speculum Naturale, Venice. (In Latin.) Digitized photographic reproduction available online (JPEG).
Vincent de Beauvais, 1624, Speculum Quadruplex sive Speculum Majus I: Speculum Naturale, Douai. (In Latin.) Photographic reprint, Graz, 1964.
Voss, S., 1994, Descartes: the end of anthropology, in: Cottingham, J., ed., Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes's Metaphysics, pp. 273-306, Oxford.
Watson, R., 2002, Cogito Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes, Boston.
Wilcox, J.-C., 1985, The Transmission and Influence of Qusta ibn Luqa's "On the Difference between Spirit and the Soul", PhD thesis, City University of New York.
Wilkes, K.V., 1978, Physicalism, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.
Willis, T., 1664, Cerebri anatome cui accessit nervorum descriptio et usus, London. (In Latin.) [Digitized reproduction of 1666 Amsterdam edition available online (Google Books)].
Willis, T., 1681, The anatomy of the brain and the description and use of the nerves, in: The Remaining Medical Works of That Famous and Renowned Physician Dr. Thomas Willis, translated by S. Pordage, London. Electronic text available online in the form of 2 JPEG files and 23 Microsoft Office Document files: index, frontpage, portrait, epistle, preface, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Wilson, M.D., 1978, Descartes, London and Boston.
Young, J.Z., 1973, The pineal gland, Philosophy 48, pp. 70-74.
Zinn, J.-G., 1749, Experimenta quaedam circa corpus callosum, cerebellum, duram meningem, in vivis animalibus instituta, Göttingen. (In Latin.)
Zrenner, C., 1985, Theories of pineal function from classical antiquity to 1900: a history, Pineal Research Reviews 3, pp. 1-40.
An analytic bibliography of on-line neo-latin texts, by Dana F. Sutton, The University of California, Irvine. This bibliography contains links to electronic versions of almost all Latin texts mentioned above.
Mind and body, Rene Descartes to William James By Robert H. Wozniak, Brynmawr