The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras, precognition, and out-of-body experiences. People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.
In some traditions as Hinduism the third eye is said to be located around the middle of the forehead, slightly above the junction of the eyebrows. In other traditions, as in Theosophy, it is believed to be connected with the pineal gland.
Over time, as humans evolved, this eye atrophied and sunk into what today is known as the pineal gland. Dr. Rick Strassman has controversially suggested that the pineal gland, which maintains light sensitivity, is responsible for the production and release of DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a psychedelic drug which he believes to be excreted in large quantities at the moments of birth and death.
In Taoism and many traditional Chinese religious sects such as Chan (a cousin to the Zen school), "third eye training" involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed, and while the body is in various qigong postures.
Taoism claims that the third eye is one of the main energy centers of the body located at the sixth chakra, forming a part of the main meridian, the line separating left and right hemispheres of the body.
In Rhohr's concept, mystics employ the first eye (sensory input such as sight) and the second eye (the eye of reason, meditation, and reflection), "but they know not to confuse knowledge with depth, or mere correct information with the transformation of consciousness itself.
The mystical gaze builds upon the first two eyes—and yet goes further."
According to the neo-gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, the third eye is referenced symbolically and functionally several times in the Book of Revelation 3:7-13, a work which, as a whole, he believes describes Kundalini and its progression upwards through three and a half turns and seven chakras.
Adherents of Theosophy H.P. Blavatsky have suggested that the third eye is in fact the partially dormant pineal gland, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain. Various types of lower vertebrates, such as reptiles and amphibians, can actually sense light via a third parietal eye—a structure associated with the pineal gland—which serves to regulate their circadian rhythms, and for navigation, as it can sense the polarization of light.
According to Max Heindel's Rosicrucian writings, called Western Wisdom Teachings, the third eye is localized in the pituitary body and the pineal gland. It was said that in the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto.
In the esoteric discipline of Kabbalah, the Ajna chakra is attributed to the sphere of Ḥokhmah, or Wisdom, although others regard the third eye as corresponding to the non-emanated sephirah of da'ath (knowledge).