This is a fascinating question. Thanks for asking it.
The “third eye” also known as the “mind’s eye” or the “eye of the mystic” is a concept found in almost every spiritual tradition. In some western traditions it is associated with the pineal gland which is located between the two hemispheres of the brain. This gland produces melatonin and regulates sleep. It has also been speculated that the the pineal gland produces the chemical known as DMT which produces mystical and spiritual experiences. It is interesting that this tiny rice sized pine cone shaped (hence the name) gland has been associated with spirituality since the time of the Pharaohs and now, modern medical science seems to be corroborating this finding.
The “third eye”, seen as located within the forehead between and slightly above of our regular eyes, deep within the skull, is generally associated with knowledge or wisdom. This is true of various traditions including Hinduism, Taoism, Kabbalah and even Christianity where it has been called “Christ Mind”. In Hinduism it is associated with the brow chakra (Ajna chakra) the seat of wisdom and is associated with the sacred syllable “Om”
In Taoism it is the seat of the power of the sun and a main source of spiritual energy. In Tantric tradition it is sacred to Shiva and “The Lotus of Ten Thousand Petals”. It is often used in martial arts as a means of channeling this energy and of predicting what your opponent may do. In Western philosophy Rene Descartes identified the third eye (and the pineal gland) as “the Seat of the Soul”. To the Egyptians it was the “Eye of Ra” or “the Eye of God”.
In Taoist and Tantric traditions the “eye” is opened through various focused meditation techniques combined with breathing. Most of these involve using Yogic concentration along with breathing and visualization.
☯ Samsaran ☯