Although many attempts have been made over the years, and particularly upon the reception of yoga by the West, to find physical organs corresponding to the spiritual organs of Asian psycho-spiritual systems, no such discoveries have been made with any degree of certitude. The third eye is sometimes associated with either the pineal gland or the hypothalamus, which themselves have been considered the seat of the soul by a number of Western traditions.
See also pineal gland; yoga.
The mystical center behind the forehead between the eyes, which is a focus for Oriental mystical meditation. It is known in yoga philosophy as the ajna chakra (center of command) and its activation or opening through meditation is often the preliminary to activation of other chakras. The initial experience of the third eye, the seeming presence of a screen inside the head at the front of the brain, can be had by anyone who simply shuts his eyes and attempts to reach a focus.
The idea of "opening" the third eye is a common one in psychic and metaphysical circles. An interesting variation of the idea is found in the popular book The Third Eye (1956) by T. Lopsang Rampa (pseudonym of Cyril Hoskins). It states that this chakra may be opened by a physical operation. Rampa's story was a hoax and the operation complete fiction. No such operation is featured in Hindu or Tibetan mysticism (or any other system of occult thought) and it must be regarded as an imaginative fantasy.