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The eureka effect
#1
The eureka effect
http//blog.iblindness.org/2012-10/the-eureka-effect/

Here are a couple things that happened years ago.
<ul>
<li>When lying down and resting my eyes, I opened them to find that they were straight. I had exotropia at times, where my eyes wouldn't point the same direction, and it resulted in a lot of confusion until I forced my eyes straight. In this moment I realized that there was another way.</li>
<li>I was looking close up at a bright light bulb, and I could feel the discomfort of continuing to look at it. I stopped looking at it, but my eyes were still pointed at it. I realized I was still looking at the bulb, but I was doing it in a way that didn't result in the feeling of tension. I was looking at it in a softer, more mentally directed way instead of trying to force my eyes to look at it. I found that as soon as I stopped forcing my eyes to look at it, it was instantly easier to look at.</li>
</ul>
There were innumerable others, but those were two of the most extreme moments.

What are some of your "eureka" or "aha!" moments?

A moment of insight is far more significant than trusting what someone else has said and telling yourself that it's true because it makes sense. There's no substitute for experiencing the truth for yourself. There's no arguing with it.

When you have a moment of clearer vision it's difficult to understand or analyze what just happened. You were using your brain in a different way, and you can't totally understand that other way of using your brain from the perspective of the way you're using your brain currently. You have to understand how you got there mentally and return there to find out what it's all about. If you find that during a moment of clearer vision (a "clear flash"), your muscles relax and you feel a sense of calm before you return to your blurry vision, you will probably try to reproduce that feeling of relaxation and calmness and whatever else you feel like you were doing differently. But in doing so you're most likely trying to reproduce the effects you briefly experienced without regard for what really led to them, and that's why it tends to fail. So sudden temporarily clearer vision isn't necessarily a eureka moment.
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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
So fascinating, I love it when people cure strabismus naturally. It's can be a scary thing for parents, not knowing how to help their children overcome this condition. This is a helpful blog post. I was thinking 2 days ago about how David, Bates emphasizes the mind, relaxation; at the end of the day, hours on the computer lately, being 55 yrs. old, when I look at real paper, up close to the eyes fine print, sometimes I must practice the fine print reading as Bates teaches it to keep that clear vision. Forcing my eyes to read closer even though already tense from the computer results in vision returning to clear but sometimes not until the 1- 2 days. I really should practice only when relaxed and not burnt out from the days work.

The other day after work I remembered what you teach and as I was looking down at the print; instead of trying, thinking of it as practice, I just 'let go of all effort', let myself go drowsy like, loose neck and head, floated down easy into the print and 'hey, it cleared!' I noticed the eyes moved easy, so smooth. My mind did feel like it was home, in that right happy, contented place.

I have to learn to relax more. Want to keep the way it felt. Will think on this; does it come back when not trying to return the good feeling; just 'let go'.
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#3
Quote:But in doing so you're most likely trying to reproduce the effects you briefly experienced without regard for what really led to them, and that's why it tends to fail.

So, could you say that a lot of how we practice vision improvement is about creating a fertilized atmosphere where clearer sight can come about of its own accord? Like.....we can consciously set the stage for better vision to happen and then we should then just allow?

Recently I've been practicing reading from the furthest distance I can. And what I realize is that I can actually read from quite a bit further than I thought.
Now, when my vision clears just slightly while I'm reading, I'm not sure how it happens. All I do is place the text beyond clear vision and try to read.

I'm sorry if this is getting off topic. Let me know if it is.
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#4
Quote: at the end of the day, hours on the computer lately, being 55 yrs. old, when I look at real paper, up close to the eyes fine print, sometimes I must practice the fine print reading as Bates teaches it to keep that clear vision. Forcing my eyes to read closer even though already tense from the computer results in vision returning to clear but sometimes not until the 1- 2 days. I really should practice only when relaxed and not burnt out from the days work.

It sounds like the beginning of adult onset myopia.
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#5
ted Wrote:
Quote:But in doing so you're most likely trying to reproduce the effects you briefly experienced without regard for what really led to them, and that's why it tends to fail.

So, could you say that a lot of how we practice vision improvement is about creating a fertilized atmosphere where clearer sight can come about of its own accord? Like.....we can consciously set the stage for better vision to happen and then we should then just allow?

Recently I've been practicing reading from the furthest distance I can. And what I realize is that I can actually read from quite a bit further than I thought.
Now, when my vision clears just slightly while I'm reading, I'm not sure how it happens. All I do is place the text beyond clear vision and try to read.

I'm sorry if this is getting off topic. Let me know if it is.

Everything is on topic when it comes to my ramblings... and the replies to them.

Good vision is pretty easy if you do the right things and avoid the wrong things, and the right things are pretty easy once they're habitual, so it's kind of like just "allowing" it in the sense that it feels like comparatively little effort. It's important to understand what's right and wrong so that you can recognize both, but put your emphasis towards the right things, because the mind tends to set in motion what you think about, no matter how you're thinking about it.

For example, when you tell yourself, "I want to stop doing whatever I'm doing to make my eyes uncomfortable at the computer," what your mind hears is "I want my eyes uncomfortable at the computer."
When you tell yourself, "I want to get rid of this blurry vision," your mind hears, "I want blurry vision."

So you have to refocus your mind on what you want instead of what you want to get away from. That's why looking for details, or imagining what could be there, or remembering what something is supposed to look like, is so important. Bates found that you didn't even have to think of a clear image of the particular thing you're looking at; it apparently just has to be any object you can remember clearly. But I tend to think it's most useful and most natural to put your mind on the clear memory or idea of what you're looking at, if possible, instead of something else you remember clearly.
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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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#6
Quote:So you have to refocus your mind on what you want instead of what you want to get away from. That's why looking for details, or imagining what could be there, or remembering what something is supposed to look like, is so important.

That's really interesting. It makes total sense though, and reminds me of two things.
In Alice In Wonderland (Can't remember if it was in the book or the movie), when they are talking about schooling, they say something along the lines of the students were being told everything NOT to do, rather than being told everything TO do.

It also reminds of a golf psychology book I've read. In it, the author says that when your trying to hit the ball close to a target, it is detrimental to think like "Don't miss!" "Don't hit it in the water!" "Don't hit it in the bunker!"

Instead, the best results come from when the person's mind is solely focused on what they want, i.e. to hit the ball to the intended target. He also states that the smaller the target is, the more likely the mind and body will be focused on making that outcome a reality.

I find, when I am in class and I can't quite make out the letters on the board, I just give my self a few seconds to look at the details of what is there, and usually those few seconds give me time to focus in a little and then I can see what letter or number it is. This is how I remember improving my vision a couple years ago as well.
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#7
Of course, the difficult part is figuring out exactly what the "right things" are in the first place. It is so easy to make assumptions about what is right and wrong based on past experience or what feels comfortable, but usually those assumptions are based off of the habits that led to poor vision in the first place!
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#8
There's one more thing I was thinking of when initially writing the blog post but forgot about before I finished. Years ago I was looking at a page in a book and was messing around with visualizing a moment before. I looked at the letter 'i', and it became completely clear. I thought it was clear before, but this was even clearer and sharper. I realized that I was thinking of the 'i' at the same time I was looking at it, or I was seeing it in my mind's eye at the same time I was seeing it with my physical eyes. That should be the way it always works, but there was a connection there that made an impression on me.
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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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#9
David wrote:

Quote:Good vision is pretty easy if you do the right things and avoid the wrong things, and the right things are pretty easy once they're habitual, so it's kind of like just "allowing" it in the sense that it feels like comparatively little effort. It's important to understand what's right and wrong so that you can recognize both, but put your emphasis towards the right things, because the mind tends to set in motion what you think about, no matter how you're thinking about it.

And then Pikatchu:

Quote:Of course, the difficult part is figuring out exactly what the "right things" are in the first place. It is so easy to make assumptions about what is right and wrong based on past experience or what feels comfortable, but usually those assumptions are based off of the habits that led to poor vision in the first place!

You guys that have had at least some success in improving your vision, would you say that most of the "right" things you learned came from personal experience, came from those eureka moments when you realized that "this is right", "this just feels right", "this is the way to do it" etc.

I guess it it obvious that a personal experience of what is right is much more valuable than reading about another's experience of what they felt was right. But if there is, in general, a correct way to see, then the descriptions of feeling and sensation from these eureka moments can be very helpful to others.
I've been told I'm master of the obvious.....

I'm sitting outside on campus looking out at the grass and people and light in the distance, and feeling the breeze. I love being outside on a nice day, glasses free, feeling very calm and relaxed. This seems right.
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#10
I guess what I'm talking about is more of a moment when you suddenly see something relatively profound about what you're doing and how it should be done in another specific way, not just when something feels right. It's hard to repeat something that feels right if there's no understanding about what should be changed and why it has to be that way to make sense.
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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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#11
Well, I personally have not had too much success yet, but there are little patches here and there where it seems like I am making progress. I have had a number of eye-opening moments where I realize something I've done wrong for years. I guess it's easier to find out what's wrong than it is to figure out what the right thing is exactly. Usually, it will be something that I never imagined could be wrong.

For example, it's easy to read from many, many sources that trying to "grab" at an object with the eyes is a strain, and it's easier still to nod your head and say that you understand (this is what I did), but sometimes, even when you're looking at yourself in the mirror, it's difficult to point out the things you're doing wrong - because you don't truly understand what's right. This is where a Bates teacher/mentor is invaluable. It's hard to explain, but for me, the "eureka moment" came when I realized I was looking at something without grabbing at it. It just sort of happened, and I noticed. I'm not sure if that's common to a lot of people who have had success with the Bates method, but it does seem to make sense to me. I mean, you can't ever force your eyes to do anything without straining, but if you have the right thoughts and put them in the right setting, then you're more likely to do the "right thing" and from there, you can start to get an idea of what is right and wrong and stuff. Of course, if you don't have an eye out for improvement, then you could just as easily miss your eureka moment.

No puns were intended in the previous paragraphs -- I promise!
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