The ‘Eye of Shiva’ in the human being has its position, as is already known, in the center of the forehead between the two physical eyes. It is not to be confounded with the pineal gland, which is distinctly a physical center or gland. The third eye exists in etheric matter, and is an etheric center of force, being made of the substance of the ethers, whereas the pineal gland is formed of matter of the three lower subplanes of the physical plane. The latter, nevertheless, has to be functioning more or less before the ‘Eye of Shiva’ becomes in any degree active, and it is this fact that has led writers of occult books in the past purposely to confound the two, in order to protect the knowledge.
The third eye is formed through the activity of three factors:
First, through the direct impulse of the Ego on its own plane. During the greater part of evolution the Ego makes its contact with its reflection, physical plane man, through the center at the top of the head. When man is more highly evolved, and is nearing or treading the Path, the indwelling Self takes a more complete grasp of its lower vehicle, and descends to a point in the head or brain which is found approximately in the center of the forehead. This is its lowest contact. It is interesting here to note the correspondence with the evolution of the senses. The three major senses and the three first to demonstrate in order are, hearing, touch, sight. For the greater part of evolution, hearing is the guiding impulse of human life through egoic contact with the top of the head. Later, when the Ego descends a little lower, the etheric center which is active in connection with the pituitary body, is added, and man becomes responsive to subtler and higher vibrations; the occult correspondence to the physical sense of touch awakens. Finally, the third eye opens and the pineal gland simultaneously begins to function. At first, the sight is dim, and the gland is only partially responsive to vibration, but gradually the eye opens fully, the gland is fully active, and we have the ‘fully awakened’ man. When this is the case, the alta major center vibrates and then the three physical head centers are functioning.
Second, through the coordinated activity of the major head center, the many petalled lotus above the top of the head. This center directly affects the pineal gland, and the interplay of force behind the two (the correspondence, on a tiny scale, of the pairs of opposites, spirit and matter), produces the great organ of consciousness, the ‘Eye of Shiva.’ It is the instrument of wisdom, and in these three centers of energy we have the correspondence of the three aspects within the head of man.
1.Major head center (Will Aspect – Spirit – Father in Heaven)
2.Pineal gland (Love-Wisdom aspect – Consciousness – Son)
3.Third eye (Activity aspect – Matter – Mother)
Third, the reflex action of the pineal gland itself. As these three types of energy, or the vibration of these three centers, begin to contact each other, a definite interplay is set up. This triple interplay forms in time a vortex or center of force, which finds its place in the center of the forehead, and takes eventually the semblance of an eye looking out between the other two. It is the eye of the inner vision, and he who has opened it can direct and control the energy of matter, see all things in the Eternal Now, and therefore be in touch with causes more than with effects, read the akashic records, and see clairvoyantly. Therefore, its possessor can control the builders of low degree.
from Alice A. Bailey