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Re-creating Your Programming
Re-creating Your Programming

When you read Bates's book, don't put too much importance, for your own purposes, to his absolute statements about "perfect" vision and how such-and-such is true all the time.

When you think about perfect vision and compare it to what's real for you right now, that mess of blur that you seem to have no control over, it's daunting. But all you have to do right now is do something a little bit better in the way you use your eyes. And by doing it a little better, you're making it easier - and possible - for yourself to take another step of the same size to do something a little better still. Don't try to tackle it all at once, because there are too many pieces for you to focus on all at once.

When you tell yourself that you won't accept anything less than perfect vision, you're refusing any kind of distortion or confusion with your vision that may be necessary as intermediate steps. It takes some time to improve vision permanently. You can have flashes and moments of clear vision, but it takes time for you to recreate your programming. In every moment you're creating or reinforcing your own existing programming.

And by programming, I mean specific things that you do, allow and ignore. For example, just examine one thing, like what you do after a blink. When you blink and you open your eyes, what happens? Do you stare and tense up and hope that what you're looking at will appear a little clearer? Do you try to "squash" the double image into one? And then do you allow yourself to do it, without stopping yourself and questioning what you're doing? And then do you ignore and forget that you even did it, so that later (now) when you discover it, it's as if you've never even noticed it before, despite probably having done it a million times? That is how asleep you have become, subjugating yourself to the patterns you have created to live your life for you. You put yourself on auto-pilot and allow the faulty programming to continue. So take a moment and notice it and stand against it, refuse to ignore it, and replace it with what serves you. Or just replace it with something. Try something. In this example, after a blink, try immediately thinking of the smallest point you can imagine, as I've described in previous posts. And when you keep practicing it, you're recreating programming for what you will begin to do after every blink.

This is why improving vision is not simply about "relaxation" as many people working with the Bates method like to see it. The concept of relaxation is important, with the way tension permeates the struggle with blurry vision, but the concept is too simplistic when you try to apply it to a situation like this. You have created something that you need to fix. You can't just "relax" out of it and hope the problem goes away.

I feel like I should expand on what I said above about what to do after a blink. Or just my thoughts on seeing in general, I guess. I'm always struggling to find a way to explain this. Several people have shared that they have found what I've said helpful and they're improving their vision with it, so I guess I'll keep trying to find a way to explain it better. It's like trying to explain how to do something by describing the endless things not to do. I don't know if that's possible. There's not just one way of going about learning this, because it's just a matter of unlearning what you're doing wrong somehow.

Anyway, when you blink and open your eyes, the first thing you do is think of the smallest point, whether you see anything or not. Your temptation is going to be to "look" at something, or in other words, to do something with your eyes that you think is necessary to make them point at something. That's what you think is necessary to do. You don't think it's possible to look at something, and have your eyes point at it perfectly, together, and focus correctly, without you doing that thing you do to try to force it to happen by tensing up your eyes and trying to take control of the situation. I think what you don't do anything, you find that you're kind of blind for a moment, and you don't realize that it is only a moment, and your visual system needs to have that freedom for a moment to reorient itself. It takes time.

When you only assume responsibility for seeing only one point at a time, of an infinitely small size, you basically are shedding the responsibility of "seeing" anything. You don't have to "look at" anything in the way that you think "looking at" something is done. If you want to look at the brand name on the TV, you keep the size of the infinitely small point in your mind and glance at a point on about where the brand name is - you don't have to see anything! - and then immediately another point on it, and to another, repeating for as long as you want, and then to another object. You don't have to do anything fancy with your eyes to try to "fix" the image. You do nothing at all. Your eyes are slowly taking it all in and given a moment will begin to adjust. Your control of your eyes is as passive as if you were pointing a pencil at an imaginary and infinitely small point. The pencil doesn't do anything. It doesn't try to create the point by staring at it. All it can do is point at an infinitely small point, and that's it. But it has to keep moving, from point to point.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith

First just to say that I have been reading your blog posts since they first appeared, and reflecting on them, and they are really good. Perfectly pitched.

On this latest post I think you've covered some new ground, at least as far as I'm aware, and at the right time, too, for me. I mean, I don't think you have gone into this progamming thing in any detail before although you have someitmes referred to programming in general. It really does make sense and it's so obvious when you think about it.

I tried out your example with the blinking and then thinking of a point immediately afterwards and it worked well. The way it is explained reminds me of how (as I said here before) you put on the car's steering lock without being aware you are doing it, it's become such an automatic habit. Yet for some reason I was reluctant beforehand to try this particular exercise out, I couldn't see how it would work somehow. I am tying to make a habit of doing this, or of searching for detail in general, every time I remember to do it. That pencil analogy is very good.

This whole thing about not opearting on autopilot, I am beginning to see its importance. My experience has been that I'd find an exercise which worked well but then you'd settle into a routine and then the results would get worse. I think it is that you are giving something your full attention at the start but then, as you say, you then face the problem of where to take it from there. With the detail thing it should be easier to maintain the interest than when doing exercises for obvious reasons.

With all this in mind the chart work is getting significantly better. It still takes a while to get into it, but (I think) it's getting quicker to clear the vision. You can sit there for half an hour and 95% and more of your time is taken up with thought, working through the internal chatterbox, but it still leaves engough to score a few bullsyes on the way. Your mind puts up a fight!

Sometimes I think about the mountain that there's to climb with this reprogamming thing and it feels very daunting. There might be a reluctance to carry on. I think this is actually a good thing because it means you're shanking things up, which is what you want, but part of you doesn't like the idea. It seems to be a process of shaking things up continually as you go along.

Just one particular question arising indirectly from all this. I read with the book up close to my face, where I see it clearly. In situations like that, when you can see things easily and claerly, should you also be practising searching for detail? Looking at parts of letters etc. That would slow up the process. I mean, presumably your eyes are already doing this in these situations, otherwise you wouldn't see the letters clearly, right?
I forgot to add that Sorrisi's way to maintain interest (and attention), in is to make the exercises (and their implementation) fun. That makes more sense to me now.
I forgot to reply to this a couple weeks back.

Bates suggested that people with myopia use their eyes right at the near point where they can see clearly. But that's only true to some extent. Your eyes' focus is more or less stuck at a certain distance, and when you look at something that distance away, it doesn't necessarily mean that your way of seeing at that point is really very good. But your way of seeing is probably best at that distance due to at least the factor of having so many details that capture your attention. So it could be helpful to practice at that distance too.
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
I just wanted to say, David, that this blog entry is really a favorite of mine. It covers so many important ideas. It has been really helpful to me. Especially when I refer back to your writing on looking for details. Together the two memes are very powerful in changing the way I think about seeing. Thanks!
In another four years, when I am seeing mostly clearly it will be because I continued to work with these concepts. Big Grin
When I first read this post, my approach to vision improvement changed in 380º. Why? becouse it explain very good, in a nutshell of what it is all about, thanks and keep up the good work!

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