View synonyms for third eye

third eye

third eye


  1. the pineal gland, believed by some people to be the source of spiritual insight

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Word History and Origins

Origin of third eye1

First recorded in 1800–10


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More About Third Eye

What else does third eye mean?

The third eye is a representation of mystical intuition and insight—an inner vision and enlightenment beyond what the physical eyes can see. It is traditionally depicted as being located in the middle of the forehead.

How is third eye pronounced?

[ thurd ahy ]

What are some other words related to third eye?

pineal gland

Where does third eye come from?

The concept of the third eye is an ancient one. One of the most powerful and important gods in Hinduism, Shiva, is often depicted with a third eye, representing his wisdom and enlightenment—but also representing the power of destruction. In the Sanskrit epic poem the Mahabharata, Shiva reduces Kama, the god of desire, into ashes with his third eye. The term third eye is recorded in English in the early 1800s.

Later in the 1800s, Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky, who co-founded the Theosophical Society, claimed that the third eye was a non-physical capacity for “inner vision” possessed by humanity’s ancestors. Blavatsky associated the third eye with the pineal gland, an association still made by some in spiritualist communities today.  An article published by the Theosophical Society in the late 1800s connected (citing a source from Kolkata) the third eye with one of the chakras, spiritual energy centers in the body in Hindu tradition. Here, the third eye was specifically connected to the Ajna chakra, located in the forehead.

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a Japanese scholar of Zen Buddhism, described in the 1960s the overcoming of ignorance as opening the third eye. The Atlantic, meanwhile, explored the connections between the third eye, chakras, the pineal gland, and new states of consciousness in a 1966 article titled “LSD and the Third Eye.” Third eye has also permeated more recent popular culture (e.g., San Francisco rock band, Third Eye Blind, who formed in 1993).

How is third eye used in real life?

Third eye is used by yogis and yoga practitioners, the New Age movement, and other spiritual practitioners to refer to the chakra and the spiritual vision it is believed to confer.

The idea of opening your third eye is also used in the general population to refer to achieving a new and clearer perception of reality—just as using or seeing with one’s third eye is an allusive shorthand for “intuition” or “insight.” This new perception is sometimes associated with the use of psychedelic drugs.

Be aware that the third eye has been used as a vulgar slang term for the anus.

More examples of third eye:

“The third eye is our greatest gift to connect us to source and remind us of a universe much more mystical than that which we perceive with our physical senses. It’s through the awakening of the third eye and its corresponding pineal gland that we’re able to attain supernatural feats of telepathy, psychic vision and an intimate connection with God.”
—Gaia, February 2020

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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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