A few years back I wrote a post about Jacob meeting God at Peniel. Jacob called the place of meeting Peniel because the Hebrew term means “face of God.” In that post we also discussed that Peniel, although a different spelling, can be associated with the pineal gland in the center of the brain. Jacob met God face to face at Peniel because the text is alluding to the mystical experience of activating the pineal gland through kundalini. The pineal gland is sensitive to this subtle yet powerful energy that science cannot yet measure.
Over three hundred years ago Rene Descartes stated that the pineal gland was the seat of the soul. In other words, it’s the seat of our consciousness. Many esoteric teachers tell us that when the physical body dies, the soul and our consciousness leaves through the pineal gland as it is the doorway to higher dimensions. As we’ll see later in this post, Descartes and others weren’t entirely accurate, although they were on to something very special.
Rabbi Joel David Bakst, an expert in the study of Kabbalah, the Torah, and the Talmud, is known as the psychedelic Rabbi. He has a meditation center which helps people access higher dimensional consciousness through focusing on the pineal gland. We’ll discuss some of his research at the end of this post, but first I want to discuss some tremendous insight he provides in helping to explain why the study of the Old Testament lends us to the understanding of the soul. This will become relevant later in the post. He states:
“Written Torah is like the left brain: linear, direct, mathematical, binary. Your right brain, in this case the oral Torah, it’s circular, holistic, rhythmic, unifying. They are different modes, as analog is to digital. When you decode the Torah, you become the corpus callosum (neural fibers connecting the right and left brain hemispheres)—the very mechanism that is responsible for decoding the messages.”
Bakst is indirectly telling us that if you really want to get to the bottom of the Old Testament, it cannot be studied in isolation. It should be accompanied by mystical texts so that the right brain can be utilized. Keeping in line with Bakst’s reasoning, we’ll use a tiny portion of the Midrash in a moment.
With that being said, I want to further explore Jacob’s Peniel experience and transformation. In my first article a few years back, I focused on this Peniel, or Pineal gland experience. Today we’ll view this experience from a wider angle and bring in some other characters and plot to decode as well.
Jacob had two wives: Leah and Rachel. With the understanding that each character is a facet of the soul, let’s delve into what Leah represents. Keep in mind that she is a wife of Jacob, and we cannot understand her part in isolation. Jacob and Leah are one flesh, and each are facets of one soul. The Genesis author has Jacob marry her because she serves as an impetus for Jacob’s prevailing with God. Without Leah, not only would the Israelite nation be incomplete, but so would Jacob’s transformation from the natural man to the spiritual man. The journey of the natural man and the spiritual man, in an even greater context, is us, and this is Leah’s true purpose in the story.
In a broader sense, the esoteric meanings of wife or women is the emotional nature aligned with mind (man). But Leah, whom the Bible takes special mention with her characteristics, deserve more exegesis.
Genesis states that Leah was tender-eyed. As Rochel Holzkenner points out in an article Why Jacob Loved Rachel…but why he had to also marry Leah, when the Torah mentions such a specific characteristic, we need to pay attention. She then gives us the answer from Rashi, who states that Leah was tender-eyed from her constant weeping in prayer and meditation before God. In Holzkenner’s words, “Leah was introspective, a master of meditation and internal communication, plumbing the depths of her soul and always emerging with a newfound appreciation of God. She was a paradigm of humility and innocence, her eyes tender from an outpouring of fresh emotion.”
There is good reason why Holzkenner can make these statements, even though Genesis simply states, she was “tender-eyed.”
According to the Midrash, as the eldest daughter of Laban, she was originally promised to marry Esau. The Rabbi’s tell us that she incessantly wept before God in order to change her destiny because she understood the kind of man Esau was, but the deeper significance is that Leah, the introspective meditator, could not be married to the man who would remain natural, but rather she was destined to be joined with a spiritual man. Her nature was to go within. Leah, as a symbolic representative of the emotional nature aligned with the mind, adds another dimension to Jacob. He required this drive of the introspective nature to meet God face to face at Peniel and become the father of spiritual progeny. All of us need to develop, as Leah, this introspective nature if we are ever to meet God as well.
If you remember the story in Genesis, Jacob married Leah against his will. He was tricked by his father-in-law, Laban. This is important. We often resist developing the introspective nature, but we must learn to do so if we are to get serious about treading the spiritual path. It is my belief that Jacob had to work seven years after marrying Leah before Rachel, because seven is the number of consummation, and this completed Jacob’s willingness of incorporating the introspective nature of Leah within himself.
Before Jacob has his Peniel experience, Genesis states that Jacob sent Rachel and Leah and all that he had across the River of Jabbok. Further it states, “And there Jacob was left alone,” and there he wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Gen 32:24).
Jacob’s wrestling match was of an internal, introspective nature, not an external one. Having incorporated Leah’s introspective nature, Jacob is now ready to have a deeper communion with God. It is a deep meditative experience that last through the night. A few verses later we learn that Jacob is in fact wrestling not a mere man, but the angel of God himself, or the god-man within Jacob. He prevails, because Jacob sees God face to face, and lives. His name is changed to Israel because of this deeply enlightening spiritual transformative process. Jacob is no longer just the natural man. He is now the spiritual man, one that has gone deep within himself and discovered the god-nature that is there, unlocking the nature of God, the universe, and man.
“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved” (Gen. 32:30).
It is interesting to note that this experience takes place near the river of Jabbok. Rivers are symbols for the course of the soul’s evolution, from physical to spiritual existence, indicative of Jacob’s personal experience at Peniel. R.J. Campbell once stated: “The analogy between human life and a river is indeed very complete. Our course starts far from our divine goal, and sometime seems to be leading us right away from it; it is long before we can even catch a glimpse of what it is; but the current of our being gradually deepens and broadens as we near the full ocean of the life of God…”
Campbell’s words describe Jakob’s life. The River Jabbok in Hebrew means “pouring out.” Jacob has been through some hard experiences, and now he is about to meet his brother Esau, who he believes may kill him. Jacob stole the birthright from this brother (naturally so because he was destined to become the spiritual man as opposed to remain a natural man like Esau), and therefore he is now going to pour out his soul to God through meditation and introspection. This is what he wrestled with a man until daybreak signifies.
Gen. 32:31 further states, “And as he passed over Peneul [another variation of Peniel] the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.”
The sun is another symbol for the higher self, and that fact that it “rose upon” Jacob indicates that the higher self was beginning to manifest as higher consciousness within Jacob. Jacob passed over Peniel and the sun rose upon him because kundalini rose to the pineal gland and opened the gateway for a higher dimensional experience. He halted upon his thigh because the thigh is also a symbol for spiritual advancement. According to Gaskel, the position of thigh symbolizes the astral plane.
The awakening of the pineal gland, through the vibration of kundalini is also said to give clairvoyance to the individual on the astral plane. How does this work?
Consciousness, the mental plane, the astral plane, the physical plane
In order to truly understand what the writer was trying to portray with Jacob at Peniel, we have to discuss higher reality. Descartes wasn’t totally right when he said the pineal gland is the seat of the soul. He would have been more accurate to say that the pineal gland is the gateway to higher consciousness as perceived by the physical brain. Your consciousness, as it relates to thoughts, emotions, and will, resides in the mental sheath/body on the mental plane.
Below the mental plane is another level of reality called the astral plane. The frequency here is lower than the mental plane, but still much higher than science can detect. To interface with this plane, you have an astral sheath/body. Your astral sheath is necessary because it is the conduit for desire, the lower emotions, and sensory-motor functions to be relayed from the physical body to the mental body on the mental plane. Keep in mind that when I say it is below the mental plane, I only do so for the sake of explaining, because the planes are not really separate but interpenetrate one another. The mental body, astral sheath, and physical body are all necessary for the personality of a human to incarnate.
Below the astral plane is the physical plane of the four states (including plasma) of matter which can be perceived by the physical senses. The frequency is again much lower than either astral or mental matter. Before we can speak about the significance of the pineal gland, we need to understand that science believes consciousness and emotions originate only in a physical body through electrical and chemical responses. But they are only distributed here. They originate on the mental plane, and are perceived in the astral and physical planes because of those body interfaces that you have. When one’s awareness leaves the physical body, either through death or certain states of deep sleep, emotions and thoughts are still perceived in the astral sheath, albeit through a higher vibration/frequency than physical.
The pineal gland, Jacob’s experience, and the Christ
The pineal gland, resembling a pine cone, geometrically sits in the center of your physical brain, above the third ventricle. It is the only gland which does not have a blood-brain barrier, and therefore receives blood flow directly through two arteries. During breathing meditation, it receives a lot of oxygen, and can release certain biological chemicals contributing to altered states of consciousness.
Science is still behind on all the functions of the pineal gland, but we now know that it truly resembles an eye structurally (hence the third eye). It sits behind the retina and is sensitive to light. When the lights go out, it releases melatonin, which controls our sleep cycles. Esoteric study reveals that in certain stages of sleep, consciousness leaves the physical body, possibly because of certain chemicals being released.
Jesus said, if your eye be single, then you whole body will be full of light. He is speaking of the third eye or pineal gland. The Bible also says that the people who sat in darkness (meditation), saw a great light. That light is Christ consciousness. This is the same experience that Jacob had at peniel. But How?
It is also now being scientifically established the pineal gland also releases DMT. Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, is sometimes called the “spirit molecule” because it has the ability to profoundly alter man’s state of consciousness. Let’s see the effects!
Note: I gathered this information about Strassman and his participant experiences on DMT HERE if you wish to learn more.
In the only government sponsored research experiment on the effects of DMT, a man named Dr. Strassman administered the chemical to sixty participants over five years. He then questioned what the experience was like. They all took journeys, but this is how they were described by some of the participants.
“…You leave your body, at warp speed, backward through your DNA, into the universe.
“Layers of your humanity melt away. [The trip] “…takes you to the edge of the universe…the core of meaning…a divine realm…to say the least, it was profound.”
These are just two witness examples, but all participants had similar experiences. But what’s really happening in these instances? Is this just some wild drug that sends people mentally insane for a while, or it there something very real to these altered states of consciousness?
I firmly believe that either one of two things is going on here.
- DMT, and maybe even melatonin, have the ability to temporarily raise our consciousness frequency enough to perceive in the astral and possibly mental planes, or,
- DMT and melatonin temporarily suppresses physical consciousness, automatically leaving higher conscious frequency as the only option, much like what happens at death.
In either of these two scenarios, the higher dimensions are opened up to be perceived by our thoughts, emotions, and will. It is not something magical, but simply a higher reality. The people in the study with Mr. Strassman, then, really did temporarily leave the physical world of consciousness even though their bodies remain behind.
More on Jacob’s Peniel experience and Christ consciousness
Is such a DMT experience like the same one portrayed in Genesis as Jacob wrestled God? I think it’s safe to say this is what the writer wishes to portray. If Jacob saw God face to face, and we understand that his wrestling match was an internal one, then we can assume an experience such as traveling to a divine realm where the core of meaning is realized would be synonymous with seeing God “face to face.” Seeing God face to face is another way of seeing a higher reality beyond the physical world. Of course Jacob didn’t take DMT, he naturally released it through deep meditation.
As evidenced through text like the Bible, even though the ancients couldn’t tell you what DMT was, they obviously knew that pineal gland was an important organ somehow responsible for experiencing higher worlds or dimensions through activities like astral projection. How they knew these particulars is something we may never discover, but the fact that they DID know is clearly demonstrated in mystical texts. My guess is that they experienced the higher dimensions directly through trial and error of deep meditation which has a profound effect on the pineal gland. Advanced knowledge of human physiology was lost through different Dark Ages to the general public, but certain mystics retained this knowledge and passed it on through occult sciences. And of course this knowledge has been retained in sculptures and artwork around the world across many different religions. Consider that even the Vatican has a giant statue of a pine cone, representing the pineal gland, as seen in the picture to the right. Upon further research, you’ll find the same symbolism on the pope’s staff, the staff of Osiris, the staff of Dionysus, and even the Gods of the Sumerians. Even Krishna’s and Buddha’s head and hair placement symbolize the pinecone in sculpture and art.
The fact that the Bible alludes to these mystical experiences, like Jesus’ mention of the single eye being full of light and Jacob naming the place he saw God Peniel, cannot be argued away. These are obviously real mystical experiences that the ancient writers of scripture were aware of. When we bring in other symbolic characters like Leah, we see a more complete picture being presented of what is portrayed to happen with Jacob. Mastering the introspective meditative nature, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel right after his face to face with God experience, signifying that the natural man had crossed over from being the physical or natural man to the spiritual man. In other words, Jacob has come to realize the reality of the higher worlds, and that direct experiential knowledge has given him the right to be the father of a spiritual progeny who would symbolize a higher consciousness to mankind. That legacy is still here with us today through the many ancient religious texts of the world which, when interpreted with a deeper esoteric understanding, are guide maps to the human soul and how to access its deeper mysteries.
Even today, mainstream science is trying to play catchup to the soul science of the ancient world. That is because mainstream science is still focused on external lower reality, and refuses to acknowledge the possibility that consciousness is a profound mystery not localized in the brain. It is my hope that that will someday change.
By the way, if you haven’t read my first post on Jacob and the pineal gland it can be found below:
Part 1 / Part 2
Additional Note: As I was about to publish this article, Robert sent me a web address, HERE, explaining Peniel meaning and etymology. The root contribution, Pana, can mean to “look within.” This lends further support that Peniel means discovering the face of God by looking within. Within what? The answer: ourselves.
Many blessings and happy New Year!