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Thinking one thing best.
#16
I can definitely relate to this being the right direction. What you think about, how you pay attention to and interact with you thoughts, experiences and imagine seems to be the bulk of vision issues. Thinking about one thing best is quite different from the usual diffused, lazy and chaotic state my attention is in. I think of it this way, put your attention on the actual experience or thought itself, letting it move about thinking about small aspects about it and experiencing it with more intensity without trying to force tension or a particular outcome.
Perfect vision seems to be, in short, attention to various aspects of the experience itself one part best at a time. The attention only being interested with the experience of whatever you are doing,thinking or feeling at the time. I have been experimenting with this and taking notes about it, this is definitely close to what I have been looking for. It seems to be a much more manageable and efficient way of thinking then trying to force something or experiencing everything at once and definitely less overwhelming.
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#17
Thankyou, Tsukiomi. Your comment is encouraging. Hearing from other people with the same conclusions is good. I could have written your comment myself.

My latest thoughts are that it seems like, for me, there is often one dominant thought - I must see better. This is an example of replacing one kind is strain with another. I think a lot of Bates followers fall into the pit of turning vision improvement into a counter productive obsession. But I think in dealing with this we can still also deal with the original source of strain, but this is perhaps a more unconscious level of the strain.

So, I have done things slightly differently in that if my best attention is on wanting to see, I turn it off. I do this by reminding myself of what is really important in my life. Seeing clearly, though wonderful, is not that important. So I place certain things back into the centre of my attention such as family, aspirations, work, my own religious faith. These are the things my life is about. I find that with the obsession with seeing moved into the background by the act of placing other things at the centre point, my mind feels free to touch on the things one at a time thinking one thing best. The result is a loosening of tension and a clearing of the vision.

I sometimes treat my dominant thoughts on vision like I have had to treat obsessive fearful thoughts in the past, (like OCD). I choose to not dwell on them and replace them, with a strong enough level of intention, with the real/more important things in my life. When I notice my attention getting stuck and unmoving on the condition of my eyesight, I basically change the subject - the mental dialogue in my head. It is not easy and requires a level of resistance to stop the recurrence of the dominating eyesight thought, but I believe with practise it will get easier and more natural. This technique certainly worked for me in the past in getting my head out of a hell-hole of debilitating obsessive fearful thinking.
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#18
I also noticed this, when in this focused state, these are the times I least care about my eyesight, focusing more on feeling happy etc, and also when I was busy like doing shopping etc..
When sitting in a dark room for a few minutes the eyes improve a lot for myself and many others, I think at this stage the mind is ready to make the improvement, and just needs a little change in attention like you mentioned.
Sometimes by bringing this state of forgetting about the eyes, and not testing them on anything at all I have sometimes achieved this mentally focused state. But it currently takes me a while before I can focus on something properly while 'forgetting' about the eyes.
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#19
This reminds me of something I've read in Huxleys book:

Quote:Mal-functioning and strain tend to appear whenever the conscious 'I' interferes
with instinctively acquired habits of proper use, either by trying too hard to do well,
or by feeling unduly anxious about possible mistakes. In the building up of any
psycho-physical skill the conscious 'I' must give orders, but not too many
orders—must supervise the forming of habits of proper functioning, but without
fuss and in a modest, self-denying way. The great truth discovered on the spiritual
level by the masters of prayer, that' the more there is of the " I," the less there is of
God,' has been discovered again and again on the physiological level by the masters
of the various arts and skills. The more there is of the 'I,' the less there is of
Nature—of the right and normal functioning of the organism.
(THE ART OF SEEING By ALDOUS HUXLEY p. 9)

and here:

Quote:This inhibition of the movement of the eyes—a movement of
which we are mainly unconscious—is brought about by a too greedy desire to see.
In our over-eagerness we unconsciously immobilize the eyes, in the same way as
we have immobilized the other parts of the body. The result is that we begin to stare
at that part of the sense-field which we are trying to perceive. But a stare always
defeats its own object; for, instead of seeing more, a person who has immobilized
his sensing-apparatus (an act which also immobilizes the closely correlated
attention) thereby automatically lowers his power of seeing, which depends, as we
have learnt, upon the uninterrupted mobility of the sensing eyes and of the
attending, selecting and perceiving mind associated with the eyes.
Moreover, the act of staring (since it represents an effort to repress movements
which are normal and habitual) is always accompanied by excessive and
continuous tension, and this, in its turn, produces a sense of psychological strain.
But where there is excessive and continuous tension, normal functioning becomes
impossible, circulation is reduced, the tissues lose their resistance and their powers
of recovery. To overcome the effects of impaired functioning, the victim of bad
seeing habits stares yet harder, and consequently sees less with greater strain. And
so on, in a descending spiral.
(p. 20/1)
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#20
Aldous Huxley's Art of Seeing was the first book I read on the Bates Method. I tried the exercises he recommended and found they worked and then I was hooked. But I was only interested in the mechanical aspects of seeing. A lot of what I read from his book didn't really assimilate into my mind. Now I think I can relate to it a lot better. I am embarrassed to say how many years ago this was.
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#21
My greatest problem is:
As long as I am relaxed and everything is ok, I can rather easily reach a very good vision.
As soon as I get stressed, I can feel the strain affecting my eyes, eye muscles becoming more and more tensed and vision getting worse. And the more I concentrate on these negative effects, the more they become dominant in my mind and it becomes more and more difficult to relax and keep calm. I think, the only possible solution is to accept the negative condition and - what is even more difficult - to accept oneself in this 'negative' state of stress and blurry vision as a first step. And then try to overcome it by concentrating on the solution and not by focusing the problem.

I read about a very interesting experiment:
In a school, there were always optimal light conditions in one class room and rather low light in another. After some time the vision of the pupils was tested.
In the first class, most of them had average sight, with very few exceptions, having very bad or very good vision.
In the class with difficult light conditions, there were many pupils with very good sight, but also many with rather poor vision.

My conclusion is, that those, who were able to accept the difficulties and were relaxed enough to give their visual system enough flexibility to adapt to the more difficult conditions, had an improved eyesight in normal light.
Those who could not accept it felt stressed by the confrontation with negative conditions and got "stuck with perpetually widened attention", as David describes it:


Quote:In that first instant, your attention is rather wide as you try to make some sense of the overall context before you look at the person in more detail. An instant later, you are able to go back to looking at a normal pace as you examine details on his clothes, his face ,etc. This process is repeated for each unfamiliar object you look at.

But that isn't the only option. You could also get stuck with perpetually widened attention. Occasionally you will look at small details, but you'll hang on to certain aspects of the widened attention state, so you'll look at details in a way that is incomplete and doesn't facilitate good vision. And much of the time you do narrow your attention to details, it isn't really narrowed as much as it needs to be. I will be describing all of this in more detail.
This state of widened attention apparently has to do with the fight-or-flight-or-freeze response of the sympathetic nervous system, as Ray Gottlieb described in his 1978 PhD dissertation, “The Psychophysiology of Nearsightedness.” He suggests that people with myopia are stuck in somewhat in that state, which serves an immediate purpose but has numerous physical consequences when it's perpetuated long-term.

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#22
Interesting comment. I used to be quite uncomfortable in low light conditions. I just decided one day to relax about the low light. Since then my eyesight in low light conditions permanently improved. Obviously it is still far superior in good light, but I have no discomfort in low light and my ability to facilitate clear vision in these conditions is no worse than in good lighting conditions.

Another conclusion I draw from this is when we are told that poor light is bad, and close up work is bad, we then get stressed about these conditions because somebody told us this. I know that these conditions are not ideal and they need to be exposed to moderately, but I find that if I don't stress myself about close up work, my eyesight is improved for distance.

Sometimes when I read, I imagine that my eyesight for distance is fine. When I actually look up, it is improved.

I think it is more to do with what we expose ourselves to on our minds than what we actually expose our physical eyes to.
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#23
Quote:I think it is more to do with what we expose ourselves to on our minds than what we actually expose our physical eyes to.
Yes, you are right, that's what I wanted to say - it's all up to our 'mind's setting' whether we experience something as 'negative' and 'stressing' or 'positive', as a chance to get one step ahead.
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#24
Nini Wrote:My conclusion is, that those, who were able to accept the difficulties and were relaxed enough to give their visual system enough flexibility to adapt to the more difficult conditions, had an improved eyesight in normal light.
Sorry if my spellling is bad, I turned off all the lights nad can;t see the keyboard well.. Another conculsion is that the kids (we) have a bettr chance of improving their (our) vision if they (we) spend more time in low lightign.
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#25
Top marks for attitude, lou_deg. Only I think there are plenty of low light opportunities already without having to go quite that far. Don't bump into anything and hurt yourself! Big Grin
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#26
lou_deg Wrote:Another conculsion is that the kids (we) have a bettr chance of improving their (our) vision if they (we) spend more time in low lightign.
This conclusion leads you to a full agreement with Dr Bates:
"Chapter 17: Vision Under Adverse Conditions a Benefit to the Eye"
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#27
@Nini, (As long as I am relaxed and everything is ok, I can rather easily reach a very good vision.
As soon as I get stressed, I can feel the strain affecting my eyes, eye muscles becoming more and more tensed and vision getting worse.)
What do you find is the most effective way of getting the vision back at this stage. Also how long does it take for you to get it back?
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#28
eaglevision Wrote:What do you find is the most effective way of getting the vision back at this stage. Also how long does it take for you to get it back?

Nini Wrote:I think, the only possible solution is to accept the negative condition and - what is even more difficult - to accept oneself in this 'negative' state of stress and blurry vision as a first step. And then try to overcome it by concentrating on the solution and not by focusing the problem.

That's the only way that I have found working for me.
Accept the negative state, but not to focus the attention on it, but concentrate on positive thoughts and what I 'positively' see (the details I can make out and not the blur). Then go ahead and not look back to what I'm leaving behind.
Sometimes it is helpful to palm for a while and move the eyes in calm movements, which are working like a massage for the eye muscles.

Sometimes I can regain clear vision that way rather quickly, sometimes don't succeed at all and have to wait until the next day to find more relaxation.
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#29
Nini Wrote:This conclusion leads you to a full agreement with Dr Bates:
"Chapter 17: Vision Under Adverse Conditions a Benefit to the Eye"
Dr. Bates just turned common sense stuff upside down. Getting beaten up and punched in the nose is probably quite beneficial to vision as long as you don't strain. I like his attitude.
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#30
I have to agree with you that the process of vision improvement is more about working with your attention and not so much your eyes.

There's at least three ways of looking. One is based on the mind and its programming and emotions, which I think is what leads people into vision problems. Another is physically based, involving physical tension, relaxation, stretching the eyes, any physical sensations. Either of those ways can introduce problems or apparently solve problems, in an apparent game of gaining or losing ground. But it's all an illusion. Eventually you lose. You're playing in their stadium.

But there's another way. Maybe what I've been thinking of as this important thing I call "attention" in directing it to what we're looking at is actually consciousness, the "who we really are" stillness that is separate from the mind. Or maybe it's just a suppressed right brain hemisphere. Whatever it is I recognize the existence of, it's constantly suppressed but is identifiable and pokes through often enough.

So I would suggest that seeing from consciousness is a real way of seeing but one that I don't know how to describe, and I'm left just trying to describe everything else except it. Maybe there's even more than one way of kick-starting it each time if you feel it being suppressed or you need to wake it up from a longer sleep. What I do is concentrate on the smallest details of what is actually there, not what I see or what I can't see, and I feel myself wake up and feel forced to take a deep breath even if I've been breathing normally, sort of like stretching reflexively when waking up in the morning. See, it sounds silly when I describe it like that.

Anyway, seeing requires mind activity, and it requires the eyes to physically move, so it's also about working with these parts even if they seem to be illusory games. We especially need to involve the mind for complex tasks like understanding language.
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