In a typical yoga class, you will often hear the teacher proclaim, “We are all one,” or, “Everything is connected.” On the surface, this seems like a simple concept to grasp. We are all humans, sharing the same time together on Earth, each with the capacity to experience feelings of love or joy. But this concept of connectivity reaches well beyond the human to human bond. Our bodies are connected to the earth itself, in a web that reaches beyond humans, beyond species, even beyond the animal kingdom.
Take for example a simple pine tree. A plant that has been present on this planet long before humans. Much longer even than all the flowering plants, 300 million years ago, the scales on a pine cone spiraled together in a Fibonacci sequence of sacred geometry eons before there would be a human around to put a name to such a concept.
The cones of this ancient plant are a universal symbol of enlightenment, or higher consciousness. They can be seen depicted in ancient Sumerian and Egyptian hieroglyphs, in Masonic and Christian architecture, and in the writings and art of ancient Greeks and Romans.
Why is this? What about the pine cone was significant to our ancestors in their search for pineal glandspiritual awakening? It is perhaps not a coincidence that our pineal gland, named for its resemblance to the pine cone, is centrally located in our brain between the two hemispheres, removed from the blood brain barrier system, meaning that more blood flows through this gland than any other organ in the body, except for the kidneys. And we still aren’t exactly sure why.
The functionality of the pineal gland is still not fully understood. We know it produces DMT (the “spirit molecule”), which is released when we die and causes vivid hallucinations. And we know it produces melatonin, which is a hormone responsible for regulating our sleep/wake patterns and circadian rhythms. It is also responsive to light, and is wired into the visual cortex of the brain. When all of this information is compiled, it is easy to see why some refer to this gland as our literal third eye.
Plants too are responsive to light, experience circadian rhythms, rely on hormones, and produce psychoactive chemicals. If you thought yourself separate and distinct from that pine tree, think again. It is an ancestor born of the same stardust and primordial soup.
Descartes theorized that the pineal gland was the area of the body in which the soul resided. Whether or not you believe in souls or spirits or metaphysical energy, we can all appreciate the fact that human and plant health are inexorably linked. As the pine cone ripens, it opens and exposes its seeds for planting. This simple act, and the ancient lineage of the tree itself, symbolizes the evolution of humanity’s collective consciousness. Let us stand ready to fertilize those seeds with a healthy society and healthy environment so that we may open our third eye (our inherent knowledge of the true nature of the universe) for we are all one, and everything is connected.