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article rewrite - Applying the Bates Method
#16
Dave, excellent article: clear, detailed and logical. Taken as a whole it makes perfect sense. I liked the bit about the different categories of strain. My only complaint is: you didn't do this before! Smile

Bates's 'seeing worse' concept is slow and seems artificial. I have incorporated it into the looking for detail exercise, generally starting with it and reverting to it now and again over the half-hour, just to maintain discipline of intent and approach. I have done it a few times in the past, but only for very short periods and sporadically, and it always improved my vision. I didn't think it was that important and thought that you could attain clear vision by other methods, such as relaxation or imagination, alone. But the way you explain it I am now convinced that it (looking at a small area at a time) is indispensable.

I don't think the fact that it feels 'artificial' is necessarily a bad thing of course - could be quite the opposite in fact - but maybe it distracts from actually looking at the point of interest, leading you to be doing the two things at once if you were to incorporate it into your day as a continuous method. (I can't imagine how anyone can go through their day seeing worse.) I understand the argument that it avoids you falling into staring, but in my case I know when my eyes are relaxed (tingling, improved visual acuity etc).

Perhaps Bates' 'seeing worse' approach might actually work if done consistently. As people here tend to avoid going into the specifics of what they are doing (perhaps out of fear that they could be doing things wrong) it is quite possible that nobody here has actually attempted this (me included). Perhaps someone with more 'purist' Bates convicitions would like to try this out and let us know how well it works? (My own guess is that it was Bates's intention to use this just as a way of getting people started on the idea of looking at one small thing at a time (aka 'details'). But that's just a guess.

I am making slow but steady progress with this (looking for detail/ central fixation) approach. I certainly find a very short relaxation immediately beforehand is a big help and keeping in mind the fact that the visual field is made up of a large no. of tiny points or pixels. I am confindent that I can get this to work consistently and with greater ease over time. Already I am finding relief in in looking at a tiny area (from a strain I was probably unaware of beforehand) and while it can be difficult to maintain the focus on a small area it can sometimes be very relaxing too.
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#17
Dave wrote:
Quote:So once you narrow your attention to a small area, look to the side just for an instant, only long enough to notice that you can't see it as well, and then let your attention snap back to it, as it naturally will as you think of how well you see it. That way you don't have to pay attention to two objects and end up mixing yourself up. Then shorten the distance when you can.
OK, thanks -- that makes sense, and will also help me remember to notice the periphery (by giving me an additional reason to do so). I can tend to forget about the periphery and go into tunnel vision if I'm not careful.
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#18
sean Wrote:Perhaps Bates' 'seeing worse' approach might actually work if done consistently. As people here tend to avoid going into the specifics of what they are doing (perhaps out of fear that they could be doing things wrong) it is quite possible that nobody here has actually attempted this (me included). Perhaps someone with more 'purist' Bates convicitions would like to try this out and let us know how well it works? (My own guess is that it was Bates's intention to use this just as a way of getting people started on the idea of looking at one small thing at a time (aka 'details'). But that's just a guess.

Indeed, that's what I thought until recently. It's really easy to get the idea from Bates's explanation that it's just something you should intellectually realize once, and once you understand what he's talking about it isn't a demonstration worth messing around with. But I've changed my view on that lately - I now think it's actually a very useful procedure to spend a lot of time at in retraining the visual system. And the hang ups here I think are going to be in the details of applying it, which we're working through now.

Another point of clarification - With what I described in my previous post today, when you look away from the small area to to see it worse, you don't actually try to see the first area again when you're looking away. It's a matter of mentally noticing, when you move your gaze AND attention to the side of the area of interest for a very brief moment, again keeping the attention to a small enough area, that the first area isn't as apparent. It pounds into your brain that you can't see something as well as possible until you look directly at a small piece of it, so throughout the day you are forced to apply it because it just doesn't make sense to see in your old way anymore.

People with normal vision don't do this exercise of seeing a point worse when they look away, because they already know that they see something better when they look directly at it and at a small enough area of it. They don't necessarily know this intellectually, but it's what they do in their process of seeing because it works. So technically it's correct to practice seeing better what you're looking at, rather than seeing it worse when you look away, but if you have a habit of strain, "trying" to see something better is likely going to make your vision worse (though not necessarily - it will temporarily or more permanently fall into place at some point, and you won't have to practice the seeing worse thing). When people with normal vision can't see something, they look a very short distance to the side of that area to another one and continue doing that until they can see it. Their eyes move more than people with blurry vision - not necessarily more of the larger movements, but more of the smallest movements.
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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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#19
What David said above make perfect sense of what a person with normal vision do.
is easy in that way, you haven't to wait seconds to realize the previous point is worse, great!

It's not weird to have clear-flashes often and often how I spent more time practicing with this process, to be honest I haven't sit down in front of the chart for some days but I have been practicing here and there through the day. I've got some 20/20 or better clear flashes today, everything looks perfect but after a blink it goes away and then I can have another after sometime without being conscious of it Big Grin. After some months of having clear-flashes and moments of improving vision, now I'm in a phase where I can measure my progress, I'm amazed how much I've progressed. Im more relaxed and my average of quality of vision have improved.
In that clear flashes I've noticed that the world looks much better even when I was wearing glasses for the past two years, colors are brighter-vivid and I've got in some moments I can 'feel' full 3D perception. Beautiful!

While walking on the street and having moment of clearer vision I feel a kind of disoriented, a weird feeling like I'm not here-like I'm seeing from the top of my head. And also a reaction to that perfect vision of terror to see perfect.
I have a long way still to go but Im very happy to know that I'm in the right track. Smile
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#20
Exellent description. Smile
I am at step 1 now, gone back from half succeeded with step 2. Now I wear lenses though, hope it will work anyway.

But, there is a fork in the road (I think you say so in English), because people tend to open their mind more and more to a higher level of consciousness (I guess this corresponds to your step 1), no doubt that this is the road people want to take (the meaning), and at the same time the mind is entrapped in the very five senses at a lower awareness (your step 2). The more you are actually "entrapped" in the five senses the more higher level of consciousness suffers. So improving step2 will make step 1 worse, because you were entrapped. But improving step 1 will improve step 2, so you got the order right there, good ! Big Grin This is why it is important to do step 2 in a most effortless way, because then your mind is less entrapped in the five senses and thus you are more likely to succeed with step1.

Also breaking up the wholeness in fragmentations (dots) might be a false way of looking at it, because you cannot deal with it that way, because imagine that you stare at a dot, then the fragmentation strengthens and the blur comes due to that the viewpoint was false, even disappears as you mentioned too. Instead the fragmentations (dots) mutually depend on each other and thus you need the centerpoint (foveas) to shift all the time, and also you wrote that you got a huge amount of peripheral vision for the purpose, so you got it right there, good ! Big Grin

So the road is there. I have the goal to be able to see the moons of Jupiter and to get the amount right also Big Grin
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#21
David Wrote:... So technically it's correct to practice seeing better what you're looking at, rather than seeing it worse when you look away, but if you have a habit of strain, "trying" to see something better is likely going to make your vision worse (though not necessarily - it will temporarily or more permanently fall into place at some point, and you won't have to practice the seeing worse thing). When people with normal vision can't see something, they look a very short distance to the side of that area to another one and continue doing that until they can see it. Their eyes move more than people with blurry vision - not necessarily more of the larger movements, but more of the smallest movements.


Yes, I absolutely agree with you here, because seeing the "point" (or small area) clearest where you look decreases the "fragmentation" needed and thus it gets more effortless to actually connect the "point" into a wider peripheral context (and I think to connect that "point" into a wider context creates a lot of strain in myopic eyes because of the bad myopic visual habits, but if done correctly there should be no effort).
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#22
I have a suggestion I'd like you guys to try out. I believe it will give you a more hands-on experience of what David's article is talking about. I want to show you 3 things:
1. Detail – what to look for
2. Shifting – what exactly are small movements
3. Attention – what it is (not) about

If you're interested open the Paint (microsoft) program. Zoom in to the center of the screen by 8x (maks.) You'll have to create a net of sorts. It size should be around 5x5. It should looke something like:
. . .
. . .
. . . Make sure a black square is seperated only by One white square. When it's done Zoom out! The size of the net should be 5x5 pixels. That's our playing field.
First you have to relax, as with all things that is Bates, you shouldn't rush this. After you're relaxed, sit yourself close to the screen – you have to be able to see a single pixel. I think 10-20cm (4-8inch) away is about right.
There are 2 things that you can do:
1. Focus (it is important to maintain your focus throughout this time) on a single pixel. I mean really look at it, its colour(shade), its size. When you see the pixel for what it is, move on to the next, repeat and so on. Don't forget to blink, if you have to. Don't linger more than you have to. Let's say 1-2 seconds is enough. Do this 2, maybe 3 times around.
What is this for? A)To show you what to look for when practising Bates. I think a pixel is very close to what you should be looking for when looking for detail, especially for a begginer. B)Shifting from pixel to pixel gives you a feel for the small movements an eye with normal vision does.

2. In this second part of the exercise focus is even more important. It's to show you about attention and staring. What I want you to do, is look at the black pixel at the centre like you did in the first part (focus!). Look at it more, and more, and more... Stare at it, be especially mindfull so you don't move your eye not even for a fraction (pay attention still to the pixel).

How long can you last? What happens to the pixels around it? Can I go as far as saying it is impossible to stare at it for long without blinking or averting your eyes? No matter how good your vision is, if you stare at a point, you Will lose sight of it.

My thougths on this are when any(!) person is visualy attentive, conciously looking at and actually seeing something, it feels unnatural to stare. Bates says people with normal vision make small eye movements continuosly and unconsiously and people with myopia don't, which I agree with. However people with normal vision also tend to stare on occasion. When they are daydreaming. Everybody does it, normal vision or not.

What I'm trying to say, when you'll be having a clear flash, sooner or later, you will have to learn to make these small movements, if you want to progress. Have you ever had a clear flash and you didn't want to blink or move your eyes, because you knew if you do, it's going to fade, but then a second later it does anyway? I know I have. Well, staring isn't going to help. Hopefully, I was able to demontrate that here.

I'm not entirely sure I'm making sense here. I hope this helps someone, even a bit.
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#23
T, the dots are a good idea. There are a lot of variables at play like screen resolution, type of monitor (LCD or old style CRT), and the severity of someone's blur that will affect how far away or how small the dots are that they can work with. But I can see the usefulness of having dots a short distance apart like that.
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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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#24
I thought about the variables you mentioned. For the type of screen, I assumed nobody uses a crt these days, do they? You are right about resolution, I'm just not sure it makes a significant difference. I think if you take the average resolution on a given display size, the size of a pixel won't change enough to notice.

Has anybody tried this at all? Feel free to say what's on your mind. Better to say it doesn't work, than say nothing.
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#25
Hi David,

Sorry for the late reply regarding typos! They have all been cleared up except for one:
under Who This is For: second sentence should read: applies instead of applise.

Again, great work!!
I had alot of time to practice this method today while riding passenger seat in the car and it was really entertaining! I felt my eyes focusing (a little slowly but they were focusing nonetheless) and then - clear - clear clear!! The way I kept from staring or straining was to give a few back-and-forth small look-for-detail shifts on one object, feel the focusing, see the image come together and clarify and then I immediately moved on to another object and started looking for details again. That way I didn't give my mind enough time to doubt what I was seeing. After about half an hour of doing this as much as I could remember (sometimes my mind would wander and I'd catch myself staring) I had a good, solid clear flash which lasted for the next hour. It wasn't 20/20 but it was a great difference from how I usually see. From there I kept practicing looking for details and incrementally my clear flash became clearer and stronger. I'm really excited about this and have to say thanks again!! So far I'm still using it as an exericise rather than as the primary method for how to see, but that's only because I forget throughout the day and slip back into habits. I'm really looking forward to doing this all of the time. Smile
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