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notes on looking at details and changing
#31
noneother, it's okay to alternate with palming. You don't want to be tensing your eyes while looking for smaller details, and palming specifically helps you stop that. It's just a matter of avoiding the eye and facial tension that you can feel and stop. Any other apparent tension that you can feel but can't seem to completely relieve is irrelevant, in my opinion, because it will pretty much only go away as you start looking for details correctly more.

andy, you just have to keep doing it and spend as much time as possible at it. Once you start to see some results while doing it, you can incorporate it throughout your day by reminding yourself and taking a moment and then seeing how long you can continue.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
#32
Hi David,

I've been MIA with thesis writing, had been meaning to give you some feedback on this as well. I think it's great, especially how you managed to emphasize in a few different ways how one shouldn't look for detail just for the sake of it, ie without interest. I've found the element of interest and atttention important to my own vision improvement, and I like how you've written about it here. My wheels were turning after reading the initial post on how to make this more accessible to beginners. Some of the later exampes you gave in replies on this thread fit the bill perfectly.

I think this has been so helpful to so many people because you've articulated this well, and you've hit on something that people can easily choose to apply to themselves. This thread is really unique - it seems to be helping newbies and more experienced Bates learners alike!

Thanks!
Sorrisi
#33
When looking at a very small detail there might be a risk that you only can see the detail clear with one eye as the eyesight of the other eye is worse, so then it means that you only train the best eye instead of training the eye that is worse and thus it should have been more important to actually train the eye that has worse sight instead of as you do always train the best eye, especially when you look at a 2D object, for instance a book or a detail on a wall. What I realised was that if you look at a detail that is part of a 3D object, for instance a detail of an apple, then if I see the apple in all 3 dimensions with my peripheral vision, thus if I really got intense 3D awareness, then I know that both my eyes are active and actually takes part in the seeing process of the detail. It is thus a test. So this means that you actually need the 3D peripheral vision to synchronize the eyes in order to be able to see the detail clearly with both eyes with your central vision, and not just see the detail with one eye in 2D. What you actually do when you look at a detail for so long time is maybe to synchronize the eyes together so you can get the 3D effect. Because I noticed that if you look at a detail for a long time then it becomes much easier to move the eyes by will afterwards. What do you think about this, do you insist ?
#34
When the vision out of one eye is worse, the problem is the eyes aren't working together. When the entire system is activated by doing what I described correctly, the eyes have no choice but to work together as part of the same system. You can't use your eyes independently of another at the same time effectively. They are designed to work together in order to work very well at all.

As far as attending too much to two-dimensional details instead of awareness of the 3d picture, this is why you need to actually have real interest in what you're looking at. It solves these kinds of issues, and you can get into all kinds of pitfalls without it. So when you look at a detail of an apple, it's not just a speck out there, it's part of an apple, a 3d object that is a certain distance from you. It's not just a matter of looking at one detail; it's a matter of making sense of it as the detail within the context. But still, I want to emphasize you look at it as the detail, because the problem is so far you're looking at the context without the details.

Also, in considering my earlier post here describing the quote from Bates about the rock of Gibraltar:
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I have to say, after considering it more, Bates's imagination part is pretty much necessary and not an optional part. That's the only way it can make sense. Consider what's more engaging and self-honest and genuine: Looking for details and waiting to find for sure what is there only when or if it appears in crystal clarity, or looking for details while thinking about what might be there and in the process making sense of what you see? I mean, if you don't imagine what could be there while you look at it, you're in conflict with yourself by not supporting your own perception. Once you see it clearly, you're imagining exactly what you see, or even imagining smaller details within that. If you wear glasses, you see clearly, but you don't imagine what you're seeing, so the process is incomplete.

Without more feedback I can only guess why more people aren't willing to give this a good try, but my guess is maybe some people think that this process of looking for details will only improve blur interpretation. Or maybe they feel bad about doing this because they're looking more closely at the blur that they have learned to hate. But you know, you aren't going to see details on any consistent basis unless you're consistent about looking for them. It starts with looking at details of the blur and imagining what might be there,

And ultimately this process makes complete sense and almost sounds too obvious, just because it's something that people with normal vision already do instinctively. There are a lot of stupid people out there who do these things right and retain good vision, so it isn't complicated or anything that requires much knowledge. You already do some of them too, but for whatever reason there's just a couple things you've stopped doing that throws it all out of whack. I feel like this whole thing with the Bates method has gotten to the level of information overload for something that doesn't really require much information

I feel like I should also clarify, in case I caused any confusion, that by "intensity" in earlier posts I meant a sense of a flood of energy or feeling different somehow in a focused way. But not tensing the face and areas around the eyes.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
#35
Hi David

Thanks for following this up. I read your post and I have also read the earlier ones a couple of times now so as to get it quite clear in my mind. It makes sense. As I said earlier, the 'intensity' experience describes what it feels when my vision clears fully. I intend to give some feedback, and I hope others do too, as soon as I can get something to report on. It's a simple idea but not so easy to follow up on as the mind, or habit, always seems to be trying to thwart it. I don't know if this makes sense but that's the only way I can describe it. I hope, I intend, to be back in a few days with something more concrete. Just one question for the moment: the way you describe it, spending a few minutes looking for detail - I originally took this to mean constantly reverting to this throughout the day, but do you mean it to be done in a more structured way, that is as a kind of exercise? The way I am interpreting it is to start off by the latter route and then, as I become more used to it, to try to extend it throughout the day. However, the big thing right now really is just to do it.
#36
sean, right, you need to sit down and spend time at it. While you're doing other things there are too many distractions for you to be able to practice this at first. You can't practice it throughout the day until you've started to get the hang of it while sitting quietly and doing it by itself.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
#37
Hi David

The idea of practising this continuously was daunting so I have tried it a few times, maybe 2 or 3 times a day. I thought I'd give a little feedback now rather than risk persevering over a longer period but doing it wrong. I have in the meantime continued my regular imagination practice - a longer session every morning with shorter ones thereafter.

The principles seem to be clear which is a major advantage. I prepared myself well for it by rereading this thread a few times over recent days to work out what I needed to do. At first it is a bit of a leap of faith, but that's no different from the other techniques I have tried with Bates. But it works. At this stage anyway the vision is clearing for longer periods than before and the positive 'after effects' are longer lasting. What I like about it, what I understand as being the whole point of it, is that when my vision clears I am not left wondering (like I would have been up to now) "Now what do I do to retain the clarity?" Even at this stage, when I haven't moved on to more regular practice, I have a definite feeling that my base vision is that little bit clearer.

I was watching the Slovakia vs Ireland game on the tv last night and while it wasn't the clearest I ever saw (remember tv football is an optimum for me) I saw much more of the match than any other previous one - when I caught myself looking at a player clearly I just said to myself: look for the detail, and this seemed to keep it moving along nicely for quite a while. Actually I think football on the tv lends itself to this approach as you have to look for the detail (tiny players) otherwise you see nothing at all, only the colour green of the grass. It petered out in the end a bit - I wonder if this is a feeling of it being too good to be true, or don't look down or whatever.

It's hard to say anything categoric, at least at this stage, but the imagination element is important, especially at the start when you are confronted with blur and using the imagination removes any chance of straining to see through it.
#38
That comment was getting a bit long, so I'll just finish off here.

Just to say again that I was struck by the surprising reluctance I felt initially once I'd made up my mind to try this out properly. AS you say, the mind really does try to trip you up. But then, a couple of days later this resistance just seemed to have vanished.

I'd be grateful for any further comments from yourself and from anyone else trying this out. I think it would be of great benefit to people if this could be explored in some depth and the pitfalls 'ironed out'.

This Bates thing reminds me of Irish dancing (set dancing) where you can watch a good dancer and try to learn his steps. (Usually they won't or just can't explain and show you what they do.) You can practise away over months and get nowhere near it. I usually get there in the end but it's amazing with something as basic as a pair of feet, using heels and toes and some simple shifting of the weight, how many variables there are, how many blind alleys you can go up. There are ways of using your heel, for example, which can make a lovely sound that you would never pick up just by looking at it. And yet it's no more than a simple trick that most people should be able to learn. I don't know if that's a good analogy here.
#39
sean Wrote:That comment was getting a bit long, so I'll just finish off here.

Just to say again that I was struck by the surprising reluctance I felt initially once I'd made up my mind to try this out properly. AS you say, the mind really does try to trip you up. But then, a couple of days later this resistance just seemed to have vanished.

I'd be grateful for any further comments from yourself and from anyone else trying this out. I think it would be of great benefit to people if this could be explored in some depth and the pitfalls 'ironed out'.

This Bates thing reminds me of Irish dancing (set dancing) where you can watch a good dancer and try to learn his steps. (Usually they won't or just can't explain and show you what they do.) You can practise away over months and get nowhere near it. I usually get there in the end but it's amazing with something as basic as a pair of feet, using heels and toes and some simple shifting of the weight, how many variables there are, how many blind alleys you can go up. There are ways of using your heel, for example, which can make a lovely sound that you would never pick up just by looking at it. And yet it's no more than a simple trick that most people should be able to learn. I don't know if that's a good analogy here.

Maybe the important thing is that the rythm contains pauses, because in those pauses the synchronisation of the both eyes onto distance can take place. Remark that without pauses there would be no rythm at all, no dance at all, no music at all, probably thus no good vision either.
#40
I'll definitely give this a try and post some feedback when I feel I have something meaningful to add to the conversation. I'm pretty sure that David's comments are correct now because I've fallen into some of those "pitfalls" that he says a lot of people fall in. Oops! ;D At least I know now. Smile

And Sean, I think that it's a pretty nice analogy. I also think that there are a few other similar phenomena that make good analogies (i.e. snapping your fingers, whistling, etc.).
#41
Pikachu Wrote:I'll definitely give this a try and post some feedback when I feel I have something meaningful to add to the conversation. I'm pretty sure that David's comments are correct now because I've fallen into some of those "pitfalls" that he says a lot of people fall in. Oops! ;D At least I know now. Smile

And Sean, I think that it's a pretty nice analogy. I also think that there are a few other similar phenomena that make good analogies (i.e. snapping your fingers, whistling, etc.).

Pikachu, Oh, you really mean whistling is an analogy, I'm really good at whistling (fingerless) actually, I use to whistle at home, for instance Shenandoah or "Country roads" or "Russian roulette", when you whistle you become aware of the rythm, it is no good to whiste a melody that has no rythm in it, are you serious, maybe I should try to shift focus according to the rythm of what I whistle. I can whistle (fingerless) what others thinks is totally impossible, my next goal is to master the vision in the same way as I have managed to master whistling (fingerless), it is a fun game to me, a challenge. Big Grin
#42
The dancing analogy comes from a time a few years ago when lots of people were learning the sets. You could see them trying to imitate (on their own) the nifty footwork of experienced dancers, over weeks, months, years, and sometimes they'd get a reasonable idea, something better than the simple steps they had before but still a long way short of what they'd set out to do. (I know becasue I was one of them! But I got there in the end - unfortunately very few others did.) You'd think your feet were pretty simple mechanisms, that there were only so many permutations of the things you could do with them on a dance floor, but still there was enough uncertainty to send nearly everyone astray. I was wondering if the Bates method is the same.

However, I am coming more to the conclusion that it's some kind of resistance within the person which inhibits progress more than any other factor. It just has to be dealt with, that's all. Maybe it's just me (although I doubt it) but when I practise imagination I usually feel like Moses looking at the burning bush. You know, by now I know exactly how to do it, what is involved but it can feel very intense, very uncomfortable, sometimes daunting - in the mind, in the pit of the stomach. You think: I can do this now, I've done it many times before, I know how to do it - but I'll leave it until later. Well, Moses looked at it all the same.

I'll be interested in hearing your own feedback, Pikachu!
#43
@hammer: ??? I'm sorry but I didn't completely understand your comment. Are you agreeing with me or disagreeing?

@sean: I have to totally agree with you there. It seems that most human beings are born with this dislike for great changes. In fact, this disinclination is usually a good thing, as it brings a sort of security and stability to what otherwise could be a very unpredictable (and possibly tragically short) life. In improving vision, it's necessary to leave all of this behind, but it takes lots of time and determination. I mean, even when I'm writing this post, I can say to myself that I really, really believe in this stuff and that I really want to have 20/20 vision, but I always wonder if perhaps there's something inside of me that won't let me go.
It reminds me of the time I was first told to dive into a swimming pool. Being afraid of the water, I couldn't do it. I would look into the water and tell myself that it wouldn't kill me, that I would reward myself later with something nice, all the while shaking from head to foot. And I would say to myself, "Okay, I'm going to jump now." I would get ready to jump, but when it got to that point, I just couldn't do it. It was like my mind said "do it" but my body said "don't". Vision might be like that too. You just have to keep chipping away at that natural resistance until it'll finally let you see properly. By the way, I did eventually jump into the water, but it wasn't easy. It gives me reason to believe that after a long drawn-out battle with myself, I can finally see clearly. Thanks for your comment; it was really thought-provoking. I wouldn't normally have thought of vision like that, but I can appreciate the fact that I now have a different perspective, which is always nice. Smile
#44
First of all I think my eyesight has cleared up a bit due to this thread, but it is not a stable improvement that lasts,
I have to continuosly exercise looking at details to get the improvement to last over time.

Pikachu:
I think looking at details has no real rythm in it, especially for a myopic person that is to cure myopia,
but for a non myopic person there might be a rythm.
So, whistling might be an analogy for a myopic person only if you whistle something with no rythm and no melody in it. Smile
Thus the goal is to get rythm, but the cure of myopia needs a non rythm.

Sean:
I have no chance to look at details in the predefined fast tempo that seems to be needed in such an Irish set dance for example.
For me it is more important to rest on the detail for an undefined time (a pause) until my imagination, memory and awareness of the detail has improved, unified, because I have to cure, I just have to accept that it takes a little longer time for me as a myopic to stabilise looking at the detail. Then I go on and shift focus to next point more effortless and so on.

So my rythm is thus not necessarilly predefined, always changing though to become more defined over time I guess. It seems like I am creating the rythm that I follow when I look at details, the mind is wild and free ! Smile
#45
Sean, don't misunderstand me, I still think that your analogy is quite good actually and might be true, but I cannot yet follow that analogy, that is the problem, because it seems hard to learn that dance, and also I don't think that you shall spend time to learn exactly how to move your eyes, because it will come automatically if you just watch details.
I think the number of variables you talk about can be drastically reduced if you just focus on round edges of round 3D objects, that is a trick, then the eyes will stay in finite boarders !
But, I was out walking in an old 150 year old wood today, and I discovered that I wasn't aware of my eyes at all, then my eyesight cleared up a bit, maybe my mind automatically follows some Irish set dance after all even if I am not aware of it.
I have an other analogy that I think could be of some use actually, this is the wildlife song of total freedom.
It is the song of the skylark that you can hear in the early spring in Sweden, maybe you also know what bird I talk about:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFdra5lfa44&feature=related">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFdra5lf ... re=related</a><!-- m -->

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