Some teachers of vision improvement have suggested widening your attention as part of a method to improve your vision. At first it might seem like that idea is in direct contradiction with what Bates wrote or what I’ve been writing about. After all, I’ve said plainly that you have to work on paying attention to the smallest details you can see and imagining other details that you can’t see, because your central vision has gone relatively dormant in its function and needs to be stimulated and activated. I’ve even written about “narrowing” your attention. The thing is, different things work for people temporarily at different times, so it’s hard to tell what’s really going on to cause instructions like that to be carried out in a way that improves vision, whether temporarily or leading to a lasting long term improvement. And we try to describe something that we don’t understand very well.
If you were to instead widen your attention, what happens? Would you lose awareness of any details? Maybe, maybe not. It’s up to you. It depends on what you think widening your attention means, or what you do to accomplish it. If it gets you to stop tensing your eyes somewhat and gets you to think more about what you’re looking at, then that’s great.
So it could very well be in line with what I try to get you to do. And I’m trying to get you to stop trying to use your eyes to see. I’m trying to get you to see by using your memory and think about what you’re interested in seeing better. Your eyes are still there, and your central vision is still there, whether you try to take control of your eyes or not. Your central vision is activated by your mental attention to seeing details. Your eyes drift towards what you’re thinking about. Without your mind intently focused on acquiring information, your eyes are giving dead information that will be treated as such. The details you see have to satisfy your curiosity. Your mind directs what’s going to happen.