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The path of abusing your eyes
#1
The path of abusing your eyes
http//blog.iblindness.org/2011-11/the-path-of-abusing-your-eyes/

It's fascinating how the seeing process gets disrupted enough to come crashing down piece by piece, a whole series of mistakes. Here's one way I think it happens.

One of the most basic ideas of blurry vision is the idea that we have to freeze our eyes and try to keep the image still so that we can see everything as well as possible and see everything at once. The freezing stops your eyes from moving, and the movement is necessary for a normal seeing process, so effectively you adopt a diffused stare where your attention isn't on anything small. This isn't how vision is meant to work, so the eye muscles stay tense from the abuse.

When it comes time you have to look specifically at smaller details, the freezing of the eyes is intensified. This is because you're looking directly at something and can notice its apparent movement more readily, and you make an effort to keep it still in the center of your vision. So you avoid looking at details all the time, because it's so uncomfortable.

Vision is a significant part of your attention and consciousness, and abuse to your vision has dramatic effects. You experience a chain reaction in the form of worse vision, headaches, dizziness, mental fatigue, chronic tension in surrounding areas such as your face, neck and shoulders, etc. Seeing has become uncomfortable no matter if you're really looking at anything or not.  You cope with these symptoms by moving your attention to your mind and away from your physical body so that you do not have to be conscious of the uncomfortable sensations. Even if you're into physical sports or fitness, you remain more so in your mind and only minimally aware of your physical body as demanded by the activity.

Physically relaxing your mind and body can help somewhat. You may find that massaging your neck, palming, or doing any other number of things improves your vision for a moment, due to the chain of programming within you being disrupted. But merely temporarily disrupting the programming you have created isn't sufficient. You have to remove the programming's point of origin by identifying the nature of the point, releasing it, and replacing it with the right way to see. So it's important that you pay close attention and consider many aspects to what you're doing as you try to see anything. Consider possibilities of different ways to look at things, and which is correct, and see how well you can justify it. Take some time to write out all your thoughts and questions if you can, and consider them. You don't learn much if you only try to follow instructions by me or anyone else. You have to consider why you weren't doing things that way before, because there are reasons you're doing things the way you are, and those reasons don't go away until you've clearly determined for yourself that they are always wrong and you can completely drop them.
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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 David

Great post. Reading it I felt my heart sink. It seemed like such a big challenge. But then I thought of my golden rule in these matters (so-named as of half an hour ago) that when you feel a big reluctance towards something then that's a great opportunity as it's telling you something.

So I adopted a new motto: I mean business, and have set about things in proper fashion again. What happens is that your programming (to use your term) sneaks up from behind when you're not watching and gets you in a headlock - shake off and repeat. I think this is what you mean by standing up for your vision whenever you can think of it. Essentially it is telling your mind to do what it's told and to stop wandering and interrupting. It might not always last for long, but it always works and the resulting improved vision from adopting that attitude is immediate.

Doing the chart since, I have watched carefully to see how I am approaching the matteer. It's awkward as you feel you are watching yourself while at the same time keepoing your interest in what you are looking at.

It's not easy to put this stuff into words (not that I have that much worth saying that needs to be put into words) but I get the impression that the actual looking at the chart with the strong wish to see it is even more important than looking at detail.

What I mean is that you have outlined, or so it seems to me, a few different ways of searching for detail, from the initial idea based on Bates' own account of looking at a picture on the wall and imagining tiny people in a cave (I think - Nancy mentioned this again recently), to pixels, to working through immediately adjacent points.

Another great idea of yours is using what you can see, as in your recent post with the picture of the house with the rock in front.

These are all, I'm sure, just different 'takes', or angles, on the same process.

What I find when consciously doing these with the chart is that the desire to follow the correct procedure, to follow instructions, might (I'm not at all sure about this) be interrupting or disrupting the process of seeing what you are looking at. But if I simplify by just looking at a small, or very small, area and forget about whether I'm doing it right but concentrate on keeping my mind on the job (ie seeing what I am looking at) and keeping the mind in order, by concentrating on breathing or hands or just by force of intent, then it works much better.

If this is plain wrong feel free to administer a online slap on the wrist. Smile
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#3
sean,

I'm moving away from the adjacent details suggestion. It's too difficult for people to do that when their vision is blurry enough, and even if the image is clear enough, looking at things in that way isn't stimulating. It sacrifices your natural movement of attention. I think it's better for people to start with points farther apart. Bates's suggestion about looking back and forth at different sides of a letter is flawed, because it's hard to stay completely interested in something you just looked at, and after a few times you end up just kind of placing the point and not really looking. So I have an idea of a better overall procedure that I haven't written really about.

So like you suggest, these are all just different ways of approaching it that I'm kicking around.

I wouldn't try to think about it analyze it all the time while you're actually practicing it. It should be a deliberate process, something along these lines:

1. Action plan - determining how you use your vision, including how quickly you move between points, how far apart they are, what parts of the image you pay attention to and when, your breathing, etc. Basically everything you think you understand, and the more specifically you can describe it to yourself, the more useful it will be.
2. Implementation - practicing your action plan
3. Results - noting mainly your vision quality but also how your perception changed and how it felt to look at things like that
4. Catalog - cataloging your actual actions, including your action plan and anything else, that may or may not have led to the results. This is because you don't just do your action plan, so it's important to identify additional actions or factors that you didn't consider in step 1.
5. Analysis - considering whether a person with good vision would have to do each action and why, and considering other possibilities for your action plan that might make more sense, or why a certain action is already good the way it is
6. back to step 1

You can do this in your head, but it helps to write it out. It's just about establishing a way to be honest with yourself and bring any conflicting beliefs about vision to light, and not forgetting little things that you learned. That way you're not going off what anyone said, or what is supposed to be true, but being brutally honest about each action. You won't always be right, but at least you can come back to a particular action later and reconsider it, instead of just avoiding it due to inner conflicts about it.
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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#4
Dave

Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. I have got the idea even if the boundaries between points 3 to 5 (results, catalogue and analysis) are a bit uncertain to me. but maybe that doesn't matter that much.

A year ago I certainly would not have tried to implement it, and I felt reluctance this time, but now I know it means it's probably a good idea. Here's my effort for the last couple of days. Don't worry, I won't make a habit of posting this kind of detail here! I wouldn't have posted this kind of thing before, but it's a good opportunity to learn from your own mistakes. Anyway, I'm past caring about that kind of thing by now. Smile

I have kept your wording in these 'reports' as I have to keep reminding myself why I am doing this. It's tempting to do this in my head as you suggest, but I know I'd just keep on forgetting what to do.

If anyone else wants to try this that's fine by me - not only would it be like having somebody else in the slimming club but they might be able to supply useful feedback.

29 Nov. 11
1 Action Plan - determining how you use your vision, including how quickly you move between points, how far apart they are, what parts of the image you pay attention to and when, your breathing, etc. Basically everything you think you understand, and the more specifically you can describe it to yourself, the more useful it will be.
look for detail in very small area for a couple of seconds or more, but not very much more
move area of looking to where the attention leads
think of a point after blinking, from time to time
breathe steadily
don’t stare
clear intrusive thought patterns
want to see what you are looking at
expect to see it


2 Impelementation – practising your action plan

3 Results – noting mainly your vision quality but also how your perception changed and how it felt to look at things like that

4 Catalogue – cataloguing your actual actions, including your action plan and anything else, that may or may not have led to the results. This is because you just don’t do your action pla, so it’s important to identify additional actions or factors that you didn’t consider in sep 1.

5 Analysis – considering whether a person with good vision would have to do each action and why, and considering other possibilities for your action plan that might make more sense, or why a certain action is already good the way it is.

6 Back to step 1

You can do this in your head but it helps to write it out. It’s just about establishing a way to be honest with yourself and bring any conficting beliefs about vision to light, and not forgetting little things that you learned. That way you’re not going off what anyone said, or what is supposed to be true, but being brutally honest about each action. You won’t always be right, but at least you can come back to a particular action later and reconsider it, instead of just avoiding it due to inner conflicts about it.
 
30 Nov. 11
1 Action Plan - determining how you use your vision, including how quickly you move between points, how far apart they are, what parts of the image you pay attention to and when, your breathing, etc. Basically everything you think you understand, and the more specifically you can describe it to yourself, the more useful it will be.
look for detail in very small area for at least a couple of seconds
don’t bounce around the chart
be willing to let the attention move my eyes, but only when paying attention, not as a result of allowing my thoughts to take your mind off things
breathe steadily
concentrate on breathing, hands and bodily sensations
want to see what I am looking at
expect to see it
I mean business
look for that certain relaxed feeling
normal blinking only, even if eyes tingle
when I get restless and tired of the exercise probe the feelings that are attached to that sensation
2 Implementation – practising your action plan

3 Results – noting mainly your vision quality but also how your perception changed and how it felt to look at things like that
vision cleared up more quickly than for some weeks
did not feel any change in perception or how I felt looking at things like that

4 Catalogue – cataloguing your actual actions, including your action plan and anything else, that may or may not have led to the results. This is because you just don’t do your action plan, so it’s important to identify additional actions or factors that you didn’t consider in step 1.

caught myself holding my breath during the practice and rectified it
consulted action plan a couple of times to remind myself what I was supposed to be doing when my attention was wandering
felt a familiar dull ache in heart/ solar plexus area which I’d forgotten about and had to breathe in suddenly and deeply, like a yawn, to relieve it – this feeling often arises when I resolve to do something part of me doesn’t want to do
adjusted action plan to remove reference to not staring (doesn’t arise), and thinking of a point from time to time after blinking (applies to the rest of the day, not practice)
a couple of times blinked heavily to relieve the strong tingling feeling when the vision starts to clear – consider trying to resist this and to do a normal blink to see it if helps
although the last few mins of the practice was when the best vision was I felt relieved to finish off as the whole thing is uncomfortable over a protracted period

5 Analysis – considering whether a person with good vision would have to do each action and why, and considering other possibilities for your action plan that might make more sense, or why a certain action is already good the way it is.

might need to try this out as above for a couple of more days before knowing
did not notice anything which would seem abnormal for someone with normal vision, except that I wanted to end the session before the half hour was up (as usual) and had to work at the last 5 mins

6 Back to step 1

You can do this in your head but it helps to write it out. It’s just about establishing a way to be honest with yourself and bring any conficting beliefs about vision to light, and not forgetting little things that you learned. That way you’re not going off what anyone said, or what is supposed to be true, but being brutally honest about each action. You won’t always be right, but at least you can come back to a particular action later and reconsider it, instead of just avoiding it due to inner conflicts about it.


Just as I wrote all this out I realize I haven't said much about how I actually see. Not sure I can but it gives me a germ of an idea and have added it to my action plan.
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