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The Fourth Dimension and the Third Eye

Manuscript Lecture #18 by Manly Palmer Hall

Theories concerning the fourth dimension and the so-called third eye or organ of perception are of very stirring interest in scientific circles of the world today. Man is beginning to realize that there is a next step above his present limitation and as he is able to base all hypotheses upon a foundation of the seen and tangible, he is slowly learning that his organism is not merely twofold in its expression of life and form but that it contains various systems and divisions of consciousness. He has therefore divided it into three dimensions of cognition: length, breadth, and thickness, forming the three-dimensional cube of material consciousness. These three dimensions are traced through the kingdom of nature in mineral, plant, animal and human. First, the mineral has no dimensional consciousness; the plant has a one-dimensional consciousness, a certain phase of reproduction which gives it expression through growth and vitality, that is length; and the animal is an expression of two dimensions, for to the vitality of the plant is added motion or emotion, thus giving him not only length but width. Then when we come to man we find a three-dimensional consciousness which is capable of expressing thickness, a conception belonging purely to the evolution of the human mind. A proof of this can be found in the evolution of art, traced upward from the drawings of primitive peoples. The dimension of thickness is the thing which gives the artist his basis for shading and perspective. Practically all the primitive Egyptian drawings are perfectly flat and without shading or curves which denotes a deficiency of the cognition of thickness, showing the beginnings of the three-dimensional sight which has in this age been brought into a high state of development.

The three dimensions, length, breadth and thickness, form a cube which is symbolized by the Masons as the ashlar. Taking the various surfaces of this cube, they each become a pyramid, thereby showing that there are other dimensions in the center. This center consciousness dimension, for which there is no definite name, is the in-ness of the block, so that which goes to the center itself is called the fourth dimension by the modern scientists. As it slowly dawns upon human understanding that there are other dimensions of space that are as yet unexplored, they have formed many speculations and given them many names which are not in accordance with their attributes at all but are the best that can be devised.

The only adequate expression we have of the three-dimensional consciousness is in the human being. It is the belief generally that the mind is something intangible and spiritual but this is necessarily erroneous when it is taken into consideration that this grey matter of which the brain is formed is made up of a number of fine granules called mentoids, therefore is of a material substance which is subject to measurement. While it is of a finer quality and grain than any matter known to us in nature and attuned to a higher rate of vibration, still it is possible to ascertain its length, breadth and thickness, therefore is three-dimensional. Hence, man may be said to be analyzing all created things at the present time on the three-dimensional plane of bodies.

The real nature and truth of substance can never be arrived at until the source or a first motive is found. The ancients said that phenomena manifest in a world of dimensions, while causations are undimensional, and this is exactly the case. Take for example the tree. The motive for that tree is unknown and yet the motive is the only reason there is for the existence of that tree. This internal motive is uncognizable in every living thing, and the reason it is not cognizable is because it is undimensional. The manifestations or effects of this unseen life are alone accountable for, and these manifestations themselves become so subtle and subtile, that scientific researchers, with all their powerful and delicate instruments, are unable to work with them or find a place where they cease to exist. Therefore they are forced to give up seeking the motive behind phenomena for this source ever defies them in this direction.

But man is ever seeking in all manner of ways to find sources, to get at truth, the real hidden reason for material phenomena. He is fast coming to the conclusion that to check each and every phenomenon against every other one is an endless task that arrives at nothing, so he faces the fact that the only way he will ever be able to probe into causes is to cease looking into effects, that he will have to lift himself out of dimensions and center himself somewhere outside of them that he may take a separate look, unbiased by the limitations of his three-dimensional cognition. He finds that every analysis he tries to make, every material judgment he arrives at, is based upon the three dimensions of thought, action and desire, and he judges all life in this way, seeking to know his God, the hidden Cause of all, through His infinite manifestations.

There is a quicker way than this delving into the depthless well of infinite and infinitesimal material forms. The world needs that "separate look". Each individual, in order to know himself, needs to get away from himself and take a good long look. As long as he remains within the area of his own limitation he will only see what he is looking for, never see anything higher than he looks, and can never look for anything higher than he is, thus going around in single circle limited by himself. He must learn to get that "separate look" unswayed by emotion, unaffected by mental comparison, which is only possible for those who have taken the higher dimensional center out of the cube block of matter, thus arriving at the in-ness. The motive of religion is to get this "separate look", free from the clinging and enveloping folds of dimensional matter.

But what method is there by which man can become capable of liberating himself in this, what other sense perceptions are there in him that are capable of raising his consciousness above the dimensions of matter? Nature gives us the answer, for in every plane and stage of life she always supplies the necessary thing at the necessary time. In looking about him in the realms of the plant and animal kingdoms, the scientist takes his lessons from nature, and it is true that everything discovered, every invention ferreted out by science at the present time is based upon a study of nature and its laws, and in this particular case of the fourth dimension, many things have been learned from the study of insect life.

The horned toad has on the top of his head a peculiar little protuberance which is its third organ of vision, and in many plants and insects we find those with a sensitized spot which is a system of sense orientation through a single organ. Following these hints, some startling steps have been taken in developing sensitized objects of which the radio is an example. And it has long been noted that insects are living radiophones and receive vibratory currents through their wings. The firefly is the answer to the problem of illumination of physical matter.

Working from similar deductions, the sensitive spot in the human body is being sought, one that is fine enough to vibrate free from enveloping matter. In their experiments it was found that there are various centers of sense consciousness in the human body: one in the solar plexus which is the central point of our vital sense; one in the human heart registering emotion, and so on until every vibration in nature finds its correlate in the human mechanism. In searching for the correlate of super-sense activity, it is found that the brain has many areas of sense function within itself and that the intelligence of man is not just one little concentrated spot called brain but that it is spread over a circumscribed area of mental activities. The exact organ or its location that would seem capable of penetrating space is still a matter of pure speculation. Some say it is the pineal gland, others say it is the optic thalamus, and still others name it the pituitary body or the nerve nucleus of the solar plexus. But undoubtedly somewhere in the organism of man is to be found this organ of sense orientation capable of giving him this "separate look".

The seat of the fourth-dimensional sight is an organ called the Third Eye, named by Ouspensky the Tertium Organum. It is an organ capable of mastering the other two organs of vision, the eyes, which are the positive and negative poles of visual perception. Positive and negative are both results of matter, for those two organs of man are only capable of cognizing rates of vibration of a certain density, a gamut which passes from gas to stone, and only perceive all things within that gamut. The human mind cannot register anything the eyes do not bring to it and will never do so until an organ of sense has been developed that vibrates at a higher rate. The eyes are only capable of cognizing dimensions, and the development of this other organ will bring man to the fourth dimension of the inner, hidden side of nature.

In the Brahmanic theology, all the gods of India are pictured with a third eye which is placed in the center of the forehead. They are said to use two eyes for the worlds of form and the Third Eye for the "separate look". And the Orientals have been seeking for many thousands of years to open a third eye, and "an opened eye" is the literal translation of the word Buddhi.

In trying to discover this organ, science has ascertained that it has partly atrophied but that it is still in existence. In the brain there are three important bodies which are absolutely necessary to life. They are the pineal gland, the pituitary body and the optic thalamus. Their exact use is unknown but these little bodies are the basis of a peculiar sense activity. The ancient philosophers have told us that there is a chimney in the brain down which comes a ray of light, and it is well known that children are partly clairvoyant until this opening in the top of the head closes at about the seventh year. So some say it is in the region of this suture where the divisions of the cranium meet at the top of the head, and others say it is in pineal gland or pituitary body.

* * * *

Studying man from the occult or mystical standpoint, we find that there is passing through the spinal canal a vaporous substance which rises upward through the ventricles of the brain where it is absorbed into these two glands - the pineal gland and the pituitary body. When this substance enters the glands it dilates them until they become two or three times their normal size, making a slight dizziness and a reaction between the eyes. The so-called astral visions are seen with the physical eyes closed, and it is plausible to ascertain that this other organ in the forehead is the one used at these times.

So it is an ever growing conviction that man is to get above his three-dimensional sight by means of this organ, by revivifying this Third Eye. The occultist says that there is only one way possible to do this and that is by raising the gaseous substance of the spinal canal and bringing it upward into the brain. The fourth-dimensional sight is that which comes to man when he has raised this to the thirty-third vertebra of the spinal column and liberated it into this domed place in the temple of the head under which rest the pituitary body and pineal gland. This is only possible when he has freed his consciousness from his lower bodies, and the human consciousness is not a stationary thing but passes up and down through the body.

The problem of awakening this third organ of vision seems to be the ultimate desire of man and the correlation of this Third Eye with the conscious brain centers is necessary in order to do this. This pineal gland is a peculiar thing which looks like a small pea on the end of a tiny finger, which extends upward. It is this finger which dilates when this gland is filled with gas, causing a vibration and forming a tiny radio station which is just as sensitive to impacts as any physical sense of man, only of course it responds to a higher and finer rate of vibration. The rate of its vibration is such that material objects do not register, therefore it moves through solid stone; so when man is using this finer organ of sight the coarser objects do not exist to him. And it is the development of this system of sense perception that has enabled a few to get the "separate look" or in other words to function in the fourth dimension of consciousness.

This little organ is in no way dependent upon other organs for its use any more than the eye depends upon the nose. As these other organs are the basis of human consciousness (three-dimensional), that organ which is not dependent upon them is free from comparison and competition, the basis of limitation.

Many people have tried and experimented in many ways to develop such an organ. But it has been proven that spiritual thoughts raise the dome of the head, and that there is built around this organ a layer of brain convolutions of finer texture when the individual becomes a deep thinker. The lower the intelligence, the more atrophied is this gland, and the more spiritual and intellectual, the larger that body is.

In the study of ductless glands many discoveries have been brought out, one being that there is a secretion contained in them that is absolutely necessary and essential to life, and this ductless gland called the pineal gland is undoubtedly a positive organ, and to find a way to develop and awaken it is the quest.

The only way to do so is to turn upon it the gases of the spinal canal, and this can only be accomplished through clean living, purification and regeneration from the lower bodies which draw the life forces downward in the expenditure of passional energy.

The regeneration of these essences is the keynote of alchemy, studied so devoutly during the Middle Ages. It is the warmth of fire ascending through the spinal canal which will finally vivify this little body in the brain, and when that time occurs man will then have the use of the Third Eye, enabling him to view life through the study of the hidden life forces instead of the study of form and phenomena. It will give him a higher and more complete contact with the inner worlds of nature, and an unbiased separate look at sources, undivided by the pair of opposites, the physical eyes.

When man has accomplished this, his next step in evolution, he will then be able to lift his three-dimensional consciousness of material analysis into the fourth-dimensional plane of superhuman sources - dealing with the world of causes instead of the human world of effects.


Copyrighted 1924.

[signature] Manly P. Hall

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