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declaring intention
#1
A couple things. I've been uncomfortable with how I'm presenting the Bates method and how people seem to be going about it, and I think this is a step towards what I would like the process to become to be more efficient and powerful.

When you're about to do something that you're uncertain about, it helps to fine-tune your intentions. Before you walk into a meeting, you can wait for a moment and note to yourself with clarity what you want to accomplish specifically. It's better to do that than walk into something with only a muddy idea about what's going to happen. Because being specific is as well as you can do, and if your understanding is muddy then it's good for that to become clear to you right now so that you can consider it more. Without doing this, you're stuck in running on habits and programming.

The way that affirmations work is not by repeating something over and over and building some mysterious subconscious ability to make things happen (so far as I know). They work simply as a matter of declaring intent and belief and clarifying it to yourself. Speaking it aloud is better, because I guess it takes a clearer form that you form, you feel and experience through the sound and feeling of your vocal chords, you hear, and you recognize the meaning of as you speak it, so it's like it makes things uniform and lines them up. Thoughts by themselves don't get that. Regardless, there's something about speaking and believing what you're saying that makes it more powerful.

You can apply the same procedure to vision. It will tend to remain blurry unless you believe you can see and declare something different from the way you're doing it now. Sit down in front of the eye chart, close your eyes, and speak. Here's an example.

"I can see. I do not tense my eyes to see. I look, and in the general area the details pop out at me. I expect them to...no, I know they will pop out, because that's what details do. They are already there, even if it's blurry. I let the details pop out at me and I notice each one as it does. I do not try to force them. I look and wait for them to appear and see each one as it does. That's the way I see, knowing the details are there and knowing the details will come to me."

Then open your eyes and you'll find yourself acting on what you just said. If you don't, close your eyes and say it again. Your own choice of words as you speak will be different as you clarify exactly what it is you believe to be true about correct use of the eyes. If you stumble and rethink how you're phrasing something and are uncertain about how true what you're saying is, that's good because you are actively participating in and directing your own change. Don't say anything you don't believe, just because you think you should believe it. This is about establishing congruency with your thoughts and actions and being clear about what those are. Don't phrase it as a command to yourself like "Relax your eyes!". Instead say "I do not tense my eyes to see" or "The more I relax my eyes, the more I see." When you phrase it as a command, it's like you're trying to force yourself to do something but you aren't establishing it as part of yourself.

This is very different from doing other exercises and hoping something will happen. In this example you don't do anything as far as directing the movement of your eyes. Those exercises like sketching or the swing are all just tricks. They can trick you into suddenly using your eyes the right way or relaxing your eyes for a moment at some point during them, but they don't really help you establish much and you probably still need to observe and clarify what's going on if you want a lasting change, so you might as well just do that directly anyway.

Dave
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#2
Hi Dave,

One of the things that stood out for me was this..

Quote:Don't phrase it as a command to yourself like "Relax your eyes!". Instead say "I do not tense my eyes to see" or "The more I relax my eyes, the more I see." When you phrase it as a command, it's like you're trying to force yourself to do something but you aren't establishing it as part of yourself.

When I read this, for the first time I realised that what I say and do is mainly running on programming and were I to be more mindful and conscious in the things I do, I might do things quite differently - but certainly with e much greater sense of freedom and independence of thought.
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#3
Really enlightening David!
So easy to get stuck in one way of thinking, doing.
One thing you said about how to talk to the mind: I notice its similiar to a old self-hypnosis course; Instructor says not to just say a phrase. The person must feel the meaning of the phrase, phrase it right, imagine doing it, how it feels. Imagine and actually do it.
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#4
Right on, David! I'm excited to see you take the leap to include this method. It gets to the core of the dilemma.
I just made my own self-hypnosis mp3 track earlier this week using my own voice and have been listening to it daily. I haven't got to the point of saying these messages out loud but what you wrote makes me think that might be the next step or another important tool. The good thing about the track I made is it includes ten to fifteen minutes of just focussing on breathing and relaxing the mind and bod. Without being able to reach a relaxed state, attempts to shift out of old patterns are likely futile. No need to limit the affirmations to just vision. Our eyes are part of a whole and it is not just our eyes that are out of focus.
What do you think/recommend?
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#5
That sounds okay, but it should be right before you practice with the chart to do exactly that.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#6
yes finding something that you can recite that you can first understand and feel that it is true. Personally when i tell myself phrases like "I do not tense my eyes to see", I pick up on the word tense and eyes and it almost seems a reverse effect on me. But phrases with visual-inspiring words like" I relax and allow my vision to clear" or "I feel the blood circulating through my eyes" those seem to help.

I wish I could just find that "single thought" that Bates speaks of: "The cause of any error of refraction, of a squint, or of any other functional disturbance of the eye, is simply a thought - a wrong thought - and the cure is as quick as the thought that relaxes..."
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#7
Spydermann said:

I wish I could just find that "single thought" that Bates speaks of: "The cause of any error of refraction, of a squint, or of any other functional disturbance of the eye, is simply a thought - a wrong thought - and the cure is as quick as the thought that relaxes..."[/quote]

The "wrong thought" is that to do anything well requires an effort. What do you do if you want a big home? You work for it. What do you do if you want a great career? You work for it. What do you do if you want a nice car? You work for it. What do you do if you want perfect vision? Absolutely nothing.

I just wanted to take a minute and say how much I agree with you on this David. Our thoughts and thinking are very powerful tools in not only improving our vision, but in every aspect of our lives. I would like to recommend watching the movie "The Secret." It's a movie that gets into a lot of the same thoughts that have been posted on this thread and how we draw into our lives what we think about. Definitely a must see.
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#8
Note: When creating a script for declarations, avoid statements that are in the negative like, "I do not strain my eyes". They are much less powerful than positive statements like "My eyes are completely at ease and relaxed." As it is said in "the Secret" (Yes! A very helpful film. I agree) you attract into your life whatever you focus on. Even if it is "not" straining. You are still focusing in some part on straining and creating more of that.
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#9
I didn't mean this at all in terms of the "The Secret" or the Law of Attraction. Sorry for the confusion. I just mean "intention" in a generic sense.

I'm talking about clarifying and aligning your beliefs and actions. I think most people go into this, and continue in it, while being conflicted about it and not being honest with themselves. Specifically, having to do with how you use your eyes, a subject that is the most important thing in the Bates method but that people avoid in favor of the passive exercises that are more easily described and seem to have dozens of legitimate variations that you can hardly get totally wrong in describing, or similarly in favor of "relaxation", which is helpful but still doesn't directly address the problem in most cases. If you think you understand how to use your eyes correctly, and it doesn't work, then you're wrong. And in that case you need to be honest with yourself about your confusion, giving yourself an opportunity to change how you understand it and get it right.

I have my reservations about the Law of Attraction, in that it's true and does work partly as they say, but fueling it by emotion doesn't put you control, but rather ends up putting you in further control of your emotions and emotional roller coaster you inevitably subject yourself to, and you're really just abdicating yourself further and further. It isn't necessary to do that to get what you want.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#10
Alright, sorry to bend the meaning of your post.
I'm interested in the statement I quoted below. I can't quite grasp what you are getting at. What exactly is wrong with fueling something by emotion provided you remain unattached? I would love further elucidation here or in the Off Topic section.
David Wrote:I have my reservations about the Law of Attraction, in that it's true and does work partly as they say, but fueling it by emotion doesn't put you control, but rather ends up putting you in further control of your emotions and emotional roller coaster you inevitably subject yourself to, and you're really just abdicating yourself further and further. It isn't necessary to do that to get what you want.
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#11
otto Wrote:Alright, sorry to bend the meaning of your post.
I'm interested in the statement I quoted below. I can't quite grasp what you are getting at. What exactly is wrong with fueling something by emotion provided you remain unattached? I would love further elucidation here or in the Off Topic section.
David Wrote:I have my reservations about the Law of Attraction, in that it's true and does work partly as they say, but fueling it by emotion doesn't put you control, but rather ends up putting you in further control of your emotions and emotional roller coaster you inevitably subject yourself to, and you're really just abdicating yourself further and further. It isn't necessary to do that to get what you want.

If putting emotion into it helps put you in control, I guess that's good, but as far as I can tell it tends to make you subservient to your emotional whims, putting you less in control. That's the way I see it right now just from a practical standpoint, notwithstanding how well the Law of Attraction actually works. Or in other words, just because you can use something doesn't mean you should.

So I think it's better to become clearer about where you are, what you believe, what it is you're doing, what is supposed to be true, and what you have experienced that may require an adjustment of your understanding. For example, if you practice the swing in front of the eye chart for a while but with no results, then a moment later you get a clear flash, then something was very wrong about the way you were practicing, and the clear flash gives you an opportunity to examine what's really true and how you might be misunderstanding something. It's subtle, and you do have to think and work at it. Bates was pretty much right about at least most things. The problem is there is more than one way to interpret what he wrote. Your level of confidence in your ability to see in any moment heavily influences how well you do in a very real way, because these subtle mental changes have an effect on the way your eyes are handled by you. And the clearer you are about what helps and what doesn't, the more real confidence (not fabricated confidence) you can have.

Also, there's often confusion between working at this vs. trying to see. You do have to putting time and thought into this to notice what you're doing wrong, but the "effort" and "strain" we talk about avoiding is specifically referring to trying to force the eyes to create an image or go into focus or work as they are supposed to.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#12
Thanks for explaining all of this David. I was merely bringing up The Secret as a supplement to what you suggested. I have found The Secret to be a very powerful tool for me in improving my vision. I have used it to draw the resources and eye exercises into my life that I needed in order to make this goal a reality. Perhaps if someone isn't getting results with The Secret they don't know how to apply the principles correctly. Just my thoughts anyway.

David wrote:

Also, there's often confusion between working at this vs. trying to see. You do have to putting time and thought into this to notice what you're doing wrong, but the "effort" and "strain" we talk about avoiding is specifically referring to trying to force the eyes to create an image or go into focus or work as they are supposed to.

I'm not trying to throw semantics in here, but I believe that when someone makes a comment like, "I'm trying to improve my vision" or "I'm working at improving my vision" that it can be an indicator of what is going on on a subconscious level. The left side of the brain takes what we say symbolically. For example, when I say "I'm working at improving my vision" it means that I am practicing the vision exercises but I'm at the same time I am learning to relax. The word "work" is used symbolically, basically what you explained. On the other hand, the right side of the brain takes what we say literally. When I say "I'm working at improving my vision" that's exactly how the right side of the brain interprets it. You are literally working at improving your eyesight. I think we're both on the same page, the only difference I see is that you're looking at it from a left brain perspective and I'm looking at it from a right brain perspective. Just because someone is looking at a problem from a different angle than you doesn't necessarily mean that they are wrong or confused. They are just looking at the problem differently.

Thanks again David.
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#13
Learning2C, ah, I see you were actually more on topic than I was! I must have gotten sidetracked. Anyway, I agree with what you're saying. Such a subtle change is required to move from bad vision to good vision, subtly changing a few things in the way we see. The words we use show inconsistencies in our beliefs. At some level, anyone with (common) poor vision has a belief that, in some way or another, seeing requires effort and strain, or the easiest way to see is with strain, or however the point might be specifically formed such that it dictates our habits in every moment. Learning otherwise, that seeing is best done without any of that strain or effort, is just the first step. The knowledge has to penetrate into the specific elements of how we see - what we do when something appears blurry a certain way, how we look from one thing to another, what we do in bright light, and so on. It isn't complicated, really, but it does require some introspection and paying attention to what beliefs we are really applying in every moment.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#14
As far as focusing on reinforcing the negative, such as "I do not tense my eyes to see", I think it's actually useful in a way than a positive statement like "I relax my eyes to see." The thing is, anything you do to focus your eyes is wrong. The eyes work best in the absence of strain, in the absence of any pushing or pulling or forcing or doing anything else in that regard. Someone with long-standing vision problems isn't going to understand at first what it means to relax the eyes, so an action like "relax" does more harm than good, because inevitably they try to do something that's like they're trying to force relaxation upon their eyes. In reality it's a result of stopping what you've already been doing wrong for years, not doing anything extra to "fix" it. The only things we can do correctly as far as seeing have to be in terms of things like noticing details and blinking, but doing so while consciously inhibiting any hint of the habit of tensing the eyes in whatever way. The strain can't be replaced with some idea of "relaxation"; more accurately it has to be replaced with nothing at all.

As an analogy, let's pretend that the action of humming a tune is self-destructive. Changing the pitch or speed of the hum, or changing the tune, doesn't help. You have to stop it altogether.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#15
Thanks so much for this post.

I just tested it out.

I noticed improved vision right away, not amazing 20/15, but better then what is my current vision

I will keep doing this and add it in my Bates practices.

Good luck all,
blauw
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