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Blur doesn't matter (3-12-2013)
#1
Blur doesn't matter (3-12-2013)
http//blog.iblindness.org/2013-03/blur-doesnt-matter/

In previous posts I've written about looking at pieces of the blur, in order to identify where you're looking at and to keep stimulating your central vision to get it to wake up. But is that really what's going on? Is it appropriate to direct so much of your energy on the pieces of blur that you see, when the blur is scattered light rays and is a distortion or misrepresentation of what's actually there? By looking at a piece of the blur, what you're really looking at is a detail that is actually from another spot and mixed with other details. It's no wonder it's so hard for you to process it and even figure out where you're looking. How would you direct your attention, when the crossed light rays make it so what you think is in your central vision is really in your peripheral vision, and some of what you think are details in various spots in your peripheral vision are really what you're looking at with your central vision?

The point is you can't trust where you're looking when you see so much blur. What, then, are you supposed to do? What do you have left to work with, if what you're seeing in your central vision is causing further confusion and discomfort, and you're seeing no improvement in your vision? To answer these questions, let's segway to Benjamin Franklin.

<a href="http//blog.iblindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/franklin.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-359" title="Ben Franklin" src="http//blog.iblindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/franklin.jpg" alt="" width="132" height="161" /></a>
<blockquote><strong>"I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things." - Benjamin Franklin</strong></blockquote>
That's one of my favorite quotes. To me it means we largely create our own problems by putting too much stock in things that don't matter or are just plain wrong.

If that's true, then consider what it means for blurry vision. It would mean the blur that's causing you so much grief for you is not as important as you think it is.

"But," you say, "I want to see clearly, and I have to work with what I have, and in the blur is everything, and I can't improve my vision by ignoring what I see."

Chronic blur from chronically unfocused eyes is an indication that things have gone horribly wrong. It's an indicator the same way that pain is an indicator. And if you let pain occupy your attention and continue unabated, it will wear you down. One solution is to take pain medication, which is analogous to wearing glasses. It may be an okay temporary solution if your problem is only temporary, but a better solution, if you can do it, is to sidestep it by occupying your mind intensely with something else.

So when you do anything to try to fix a blurry image and make it clear, you're overestimating the value of the image that your eyes are taking in. What's more important is the image formed in your mind. What can you imagine to be there? Take note of what you're looking at, but then focus on visualizing what could be there, belied by the blur. Even vague bits and pieces in your mind is fine. You're working on not only activating your atrophied visualization ability, but also synching it with what you're looking at. That way your mind is intensely enough involved in the right way with what you're seeing. Your eyes should start to focus better too, but remember the info from your eyes only makes up a part of what you see. Instead of noticing how blurry something appears, take it as an indication that you aren't forming an image well enough in your mind to assist focusing. That way you're not so concerned about what's only coming in through your eyes and you're instead focusing on your overall perception of what's out there.
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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
I enjoy and appreciate your blog a lot, but imho this post lacks some, well, focus Smile I seem to understand and agree with your point, but I would put it another way.

There is a very important yet subtle line between paying attention to detail, which is good, and staring, trying to make out a smaller detail, which is bad, but which happens too soon all by itself and without notice. You don't seem to put enough emphasis on this, getting along with the plain advise to keep your eyes "loose" or alike. Perhaps you don't experience this problem that badly, or perhaps you have already forgot this problem in the past, but I am struggling with it all the time, and I think other people may be too.

It is true that when you are able to notice the smallest detail in your central field of vision, your vision is improved, but what I think is confusing in your advise to look at detail is the implicit assumption that you can forcedly narrow your attention (fixation area) to a smaller detail. But trying to do so means staring and tensing the eyes.

The reality I found is that the area of fixation cannot be narrowed by any effort. Sometimes I look at something and cannot even tell where exactly my point of fixation is - so big is the area. While I still can see some smaller pieces of blur inside of that area, looking at them doesn't help in any way, but increases tension.

You are perfectly right that inspecting the blur in this situation is like paying attention to pain - counterproductive. The best thing to do is to let go of trying to see any detail, but to rather identify the central spot of vision and demonstrate to yourself that the fixation point (area) is currently not aligned with it. Fortunately, it's always possible to identify your center of retina, because it just feels different, there are more cells, it's physically more sensible. Then just look again and notice that you're not looking with your center of retina. Your attention (your area of fixation) is much larger. And... it immediately feels wrong, kind of tiresome and even painful.

Now I want to close my eyes and rest them, in hope that somehow the fixation area will stop stretching so excruciatingly far and wide. Next time I open my eyes I begin with checking my center of retina, and once I find it, there is usually some smaller and clearer detail to notice. The area of fixation wonderfully seems to become narrower all by itself. Before I have time to resume staring, I look away or close my eyes again. Somehow by repeating this exercise I find that the area of fixation becomes smaller and smaller each time, the eyes feel lighter and more and more detail come out which you can now really pay attention to.

(Congratulations, I seem to have just re-invented the flashing technique, described on the very first page of PSWG Smile )

Imagination of detail, which is of great help to central fixation and vision in general, also "turns on" only when the fixation area in your mind becomes small enough, iteratively by rest. Imagination is much like vision, and when the fixation area is too large, you cannot really imagine anything, not any small detail.

To recap, my point is that there is a big difference between trying to look at detail in the blur, when your fixation area is huge, as opposed to gradually narrowing your fixation area using rest and imagination, and then enjoying the small detail that comes out as a side effect. The latter feels like small detail "snaps" into the very center of your eyes, all by itself, without effort.

I hope it makes sense in context of your post!
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#3
Oleg K. Wrote:While I still can see some smaller pieces of blur inside of that area, looking at them doesn't help in any way, but increases tension.
I find it very helpful in such a situation to remind myself of what David wrote in his "method":
"And the smallest possible point can't really be blurry, because it's a spot of only one color or a single detail."
That means, as long as there is blur, it is not central vision, but peripheral vision. And
"As long as you hold onto your peripheral vision, your central vision and entire visual system will suffer."

So, what to do?
"The great majority of your directed attention should be on each point you look at."
That is, your attention should be focused on the smallest point possible, which can't be blurry and not on the 'smaller pieces of blur inside of that area', because as long as you hold the pieces of blur in the focus of your attention, you are 'holding onto your peripheral vision'.
"You have to, in a sense, completely let go of your peripheral vision...So really what you're doing is releasing your peripheral vision from the demand of being just like your central vision and allowing it to resume its correct functions."
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#4
David.
It could be very appreciated if you can include a couple of pictures to your Method showing the natural, correct way of seeing. Not only newcomers can get it more quickly, but other who are working on it (like me) can also benefit of it, as it seems sometimes we forgot what we're supposed to do, though I theoretically clearly can understand what you are talking about, and I'm so glad you are doing it!

For me it makes a lot of sense to ignore, or at least not give more importance to the blur, and just occupy the mind with paying attention to the smallest possible point I can see, even if it's blurry. I agree with Nini, that one is supposed to be paying attention in each moment to a extremelly small point, of course it's not possible when there is a blob of blur, so what I do I just look at what I can see, otherwise I can end up trying to grab too much at once (which is something I'm doing more than I realize). What I'm having a lot of trouble is exactly that, letting go of my periphery, when I direct my attention to a small detail, I'm catching myself trying to see everything at once from my periphery, and sometimes it results in a lot of confusion. One of the weird sensations I've had while working with it is a sort of dizziness-swaying, instability(?) as I pay close attention to details, what can be that? It's something that have to do with the un-grounding thing we as myopic have? I don't know. Is useless, to write about my mistakes, so I choose to persist in every instant to pay attention, with my central vision and allowing my peripheral vision do its work. David's posts are very encouraging, enriching, above all in a alone journey like vision improvement.
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#5
Diagrams would help, I'm sure. But I'm not sure what to diagram.

I guess what I was getting at is this. One way of avoiding straining your eyes while you look for detail is to glance at what you want to see but thereafter ignore the blur and visualize the object instead. It isn't critical whether you're visualizing a slightly different looking object, or if it's a different size, or pretty vague. It's even fine if you find yourself looking away from the object in front of you while doing so. Your eyes will be drawn back to it to compare what you visualized to what's in front of you. So I wouldn't be concerned about not paying enough attention to what you're seeing, or paying enough attention to where your central vision is, if you stopped looking at it in order to visualize it. The blur you see isn't important enough to strain your eyes over. Your eyes are just there to help give some info on what the image formed in your mind should look like. If your vision is clear enough, your visualization is in synch with with your eyes, and the more good info your eyes will give.

Sometimes the answer is more obvious if you consider the inverse, meaning consider whether it would be better NOT to visualize what you're seeing. I find it hard to justify that idea. And Bates did write quite a bit about the value of visualizing, although he always called it remembering. He described how the visual memory of people corresponded pretty well with their level of vision, those with the best visualization abilities having the best vision and vice versa. And I would suggest that it isn't something that you have to work on improving. As with anything, you just have to keep doing it as often as possible and you'll find yourself getting better at it.

If you aren't sure how to visualize, start by remembering something you like. You'll instantly have at least a vague image of it flash in your mind. That's where visualization happens. So if you visualize anything, don't try to overlay it on what you're seeing. It's done in the same place that you remember things you've already seen.

I got the flu a few weeks ago and it was uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep, so I visualized and remembered what it was like to not feel that way, back a few days prior when I was running around a track at night in the cool air and having clear sinuses, etc. And it actually worked. Almost immediately I felt better, but it only lasted as long as I could keep remembering feeling that way. So I got to thinking about how the mind shapes what happens and the power we have over it.
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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
Hmm. Interesting, so visualization could be of anything? I remember doing a palming session where I visualized my day and it had quite an effect throughout that day. I would remember those visuals at different points in the day and it would help me refocus on my goals.

If anyone has ever heard of the movie/book "The Secret," that's one of the main principals. It describes how you can get to where you want to be in life with the help of visualizing. When you see it happening, and you see inside your mind where you want to go, you will begin working in that direction. That goal could be anything from learning to play an instrument to getting back in shape to transforming your whole life.
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#7
I think, visualization is very helpful, because, when you are able to bring about a clear image of some object in your mind, your mind will be completely concentrated and relaxed. There is simply no 'space' left for the impression of blur or any uncertainty in the focus of your attention - and as imaginatios plays a major role in the seeing process, the eyes will just follow to where the mind leads them.

Bates wrote in chapter 14:
Quote:Imagination is closely allied to memory, although distinct from it. Imagination depends upon the memory, because a thing can be imagined only as well as it can be remembered. You cannot imagine a sunset unless you have seen one; and if you attempt to imagine a blue sun, which you have never seen, you will become myopic, as indicated by simultaneous retinoscopy. Neither imagination nor memory can be perfect unless the mind is perfectly relaxed.

Thay's why imagination cures are the quickest and can sometimes even happen in 10 minutes according to the examples given there.

And it is not even necessary to imagne exactly the object you want to see clearly, it can be something completely different - like for little girls their favorite doll or necklace - it will relax and focus the mind. The best thing might be to focus upon a period and keep the image of it all day long, that's what Bates suggested to his patients:
Quote: When he told me to remember a period all day long I did it.
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