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Re: Thinking Black
I think of black objects that appeal to me(black paint, black shoe, black rabbit, etc.) while palming?  Is that the right thing to do?  I read the bates book and it said to have perfect memory of black, but im not so sure..
Thinking perfect black is a very desirable thing if it happens. But don't force it or you could be straining. Perfect black comes from relaxation, not the other way round. If the black objects come easily to you and are pleasant to think of then that's great, keep going with it. If not, you can think of any objects or colours that are pleasant to you with the same benefit.

k thx I like black shoes so yeah I should be doing ok.
While palming, I've been imagining that my eyes are floating, unattached to any of those tight muscles, in a warm pool of the blackest of black India ink. It feels so good.

I've been enjoying reading everyone's posts. It really keeps me motivated. Thanks.

does it work?  u seen improvement?
if it provides relaxation, it works.
If you are curious about what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.  Just ask yourself whether what you're doing relaxes your eyes or not.
Listen to Paul, Otter, he seems to be a wise man. Like he says, listen to your body for what you find relaxing.

I tried thinking of black shoes while palming just for the heck of it.  I felt my eyes tense up as I started thinking of shoes needing cleaning and polishing. You might find India ink stressful!

Otter Wrote:does it work?  u seen improvement?

Yes, I have seen improvement. I started doing natural vision improvement a year ago. When I started, I had worn glasses/contacts for 50 years (Yes, five decades; there is a reason I'm the silver lady. My vision a year ago was around 20/400. It is now around 20/200.

I hope that inspires those of you who are a lot younger and have a lot better vision to keep plugging away. I know with the help of this forum I'm finding it much easier to focus on the things I need to do to continue my vision improvement.

Dr. Bates describes successful improvement vision by persons who are able to remember black with eyes open after palming. I am finding this to be true. Remembering, i.e., imagining black with eyes open helps the mind to see. Dr. Bates has convinced me that it is the mind and not the eyes that see.

Everyone has a different experience of black. Some people consider black to be the absence of color, but I think the opposite. For me, black is the totality of all color. White for me is the absence of color. Black absorbs light, whereas white reflects light. In other words, white is nothing but black is everything. Black is; white is not.

I see colors as subtractions from black. For me, white is not a color. After all, there is no such think as white ink. White is absence of color. Black is the most perfect of all colors because all colors are subsumed within black. Black is the alpha and the omega. When I am able to imagine black with eyes open, my mind is able to see black print type as black and not blurry gray. Black just works for me.

My context for imaginging black is 25-years in print publishing, years spent working in black and white. Black represents the quality of type that a printing press can reproduce. During 20+ years working as a typographer on dedicated typesetter-computers that required me to imagine the results before they were processed for camera and press, my near-vision was fine. After the Postscript revolution, when I began working on Apple Macs on software such as Quark Xpress, Photoshop and Illustrator -- that's when I began experiencing near-vision problems. Well, there were other things going on with me also, but ... when I did code-based typography, I had to imagine black but when I became a Mac pre-press operator, I could see what the product I was working on would look like even before it was printed. In other words, my imagination was no longer required, and subsequently or consequently, I lost my imagination and my near-vision.

Now, when I try to imagine black and to see print under indoor lighting (in sunlight now I can read fine), I remember process cameras and black film. I remember galleys of beautiful crystal-sharp type being processed through developer and fixer. When I ran film through the processor, and it came out gray, I knew that I or someone had to change the chemicals in the processor. Now, when my mind sees black letters as gray, I know the problem is my mind.

Imagining black this way ihelps my mind to see. When I imagine black, it frees my mind for seeing. Now I am beginning to see black, progressively better, and perception of depth and all other colors is also improving.

Surprisingly rapidly, my near-vision is recovering -- thanks to Dr. Bates instructions on how to remember black. When I can always experience directly my mind seeing black perfectly, my vision will be perfect again. When I can imagine black perfectly, my mind will see perfectly in all lighting conditions.

If it improves your vision to think of black as all colors, great, but I want to explain something about it. When we look at black, we actually take in no light rays from it. It's an absence of visual information, the same as if we were to close and cover our eyes. So it's like looking at nothing at all, which can translate into straining to see less. A very bright white light might be uncomfortable to look at, but there's no such thing as bright black. Similarly, black is the only thing that is always the same if it's pure; lighting levels won't change it.

Black also reflects how the path to restoring vision is letting go of the effort to see things. With black there is nothing to see, and it might be easier for someone to stop trying to see when faced with something where there is clearly nothing to see, and the same approach can be carried over to seeing while taking in light rays, with the surprising result that the approach in seeing black is the same approach that is appropriate for seeing anything else.

Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
Thanks for writing, Dave. I am trying to wrap my mind around “with black there is nothing to see.� Yes, black absorbs but does not reflect light, but in what sense is it nothing?

Deep space is black because it absorbs all illumination. Space by definition is empty of objects. We do not see space, but space defines the limitations (shapes and qualities) of objects that reflect light. Yet all things exist within the context of space because space exists only when something else does not occupy it.

Objects are visible because they reflect light. A letterform is defined by its surrounding reflective surface, which is why people with imperfect sight can see small print better when imagining the halos or enhanced surrounding whitness/brightness. Imagining brighter white helps us to see black more clearly, even though a whiter white is as imaginary as a blacker black.

Can black be nothing and also an object of the imagination? Is“black�only a word (a mental label) that enables us to imagine the existence of nothing? Like space, black is capable of both surrounding and being surrounded And like space, it cannot illuminate.

We imagine something, even when that something is imagined as nothing. We have to mentally label anything in order to imagine it. Imagining black as nothing is helpful because the mental label “nothing� does not define anything that might facilitate effort/strain.

On the other hand, is it possible to imagine that I am “nothing�, i.e., that I do not exist? To imagine that I do not exist only confirms that I do exist. Nothingness is not the opposite of existence because nothing cannot exist. I only imagine “nothing� because I already have labeled it mentally.

Now it seems to me your point is that imagining black as nothing is a more perfect imagination than imagining black as something from recalled memory. Dr. Bates says perfect memory requires perfect imagination. Whether remembering black as something or imagining it as nothing, my imagination, even such as it is, already is relieving my eyes from the false imposition of stressful responsibility for seeing.

Many thanks for your very helpful response to my previous posting.
I think you're making it unnecessarily complicated. It's true that black objects absorb all wavelengths of light, but the thing is there are no light rays that translate to "black". Every other color gives you wavelengths of information that you interpet as colors. So when you see black, there are no light rays coming from it, the same as if you were to close and cover your eyes.

People find that as they relax more, the dark field they "see" (but really don't see, they imagine) with their eyes closed becomes more black. Under strain, people imagine they see all sorts of things with their eyes closed - random static like on a TV station getting no reception (on an older TV), or moving blobs of color. So the whole thing about "imagining black" has to do with quieting the mind so that you don't generate interference (static) over what you don't even see (black). So the deeper black you can imagine or see, the more it's an indication that you're doing the right thing. And it's more along the theme of undoing the strain that is already being generated, by attempting to imagine nothing (black) and noticing that you are generating something other than that, meaning you are over-doing it when all you have to do is nothing. It's comparable to how you might find that some facial muscles are tensed up when there's no reason to do so, and it's a lot easier on you when you stop it.

White isn't as much on the same theme, but it's still great to visualize if you can, and the halos around letters give contrast.

Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
Yes, Dave! That’s exactly my problem – I am prone to over-complicate.

Ten days ago, I discovered Dr. Bates, his book, his method and With glasses, Day 1, I began reading Dr. Bakes’ book. It made so much sense to me that I immediately tried  palming as Dr. Bates instructed and experienced very short clear flashing. I took off my glasses and decided I would never put them on again unless absolutely necessary. Dr. Bates completely convinced me that my near-vision could be restored. On Day 2, I continued to read Dr. Bates book and also began to practice Bates Method and convergence using Dr. Gottlieb’s Presbyopia Reduction Chart. On Day 3, when outside in the sunshire and without glasses, I was astounded to find myself reading and seeing clearly with near-vision. However, when I went indoors, my near-vision blurred again.

On Day 4, I decided to dedicate all my free time to Bates Method and improve my vision as rapidy as possible. At this point, I began sunning and continued combining Bates Method with convergence practice. When working with eye charts indoors, blurring diminished, but on Day 5, I started experiencing  refraction errors. I began imagining letters with perfect white halos and by Day 7 all the astigmatic-type refraction errors ceased.  I was spending 6-9 hours a day practicing Bates Method both indoors and outdoors.

Fortunately, I work at home, so my schedule is very flexible. I dropped everything except absolutely necessary work on the computer and set my monitors to lowest resolution so as to be able to work without glasses. Even so the screen was blurry, so I  increased browser text size to enormous. This is enormously inconvenient and my work takes twice as long to accomplish, but I only resort to glasses for when absolutely necessary, and less and less frequently. When working on computer, I practice palming, shifting and flashing to clear vision.

On Day 7, while alternating convergence and palming, I imagined along these lines: here we are, the three of us, ego, mind and eyes. I told my mind, just see how dear eyes, through no fault of their own, but due to our own ignorance, have been locked in behind glasses for twelve years. Now we know that dear eyes are perfect and always were perfect. Mind and eyes, you are one but have both suffered from being separated. I (ego) now give up trying to force eyes to see. Mind, you are the seer! I am returning eyes  to your care, so please remember how you used to see and assist eyes by relearning how control the muscles and nerves that help eyes to do what always did so well. Now I am just going to imagine black, and you, mind, are now completely free to restore eyes to their naturally perfect shape and function. Mind was very responsive to this coaching. Intermittently during this session, I experienced almost-electrical impulses stimulating my eye muscles. These sensations arose at intervals with a regularity that reminded me of childbirth labor contractions. These sensations were accompanied by what felt like gritty particles being dislodged and released from around and behind my eyeballs. I made sure to breathe and relax through the process so as to not interpret any discomfort from these sensations as pain that might interfere with what my mind was accomplishing. I understood that my mind was reestablishing its connection with eyes. Although I remained emotionally calm and just observed what was happening, tears poured from my eyes and snot from my nose. Since this session, my vision clearing is considerably faster, and every clearing brings incremental lasting improvement.

Since Day 3, clearing of my vision in sunlight has never diminished but only improved. Any blurring on computer and under indoor lighting improves with frequent palming. I continue combining Bates Method with convergence practice. Last night, Day 9, I began to be able to read in bright indoor lighting.

When I started wearing glasses, my only problem was reading small print within arms-length distance, but during the twelve years my eyes were locked in their glasses prison, my near-vision gradually receded to the point where objects and print many feet or yards away were blurry. Since taking off my glasses and practicing Bates Method, every day the range of clarity approaches nearer, as if my near-vision is “coming at me�.

Thanks to Bates Method, I begun experiencing astounding depth perception, nuances of shadow, light and sunlight, colors and details that I had been deprived of by glasses. Now when I work with my eye charts and, as I begin to read indoors again, I know how to clear my vision and transform gray into black and white and how to bring into sharp focus any blur. And my recovery of perfect imagination has only just begun! I really did not expect such fast improvement from Bates Method, but here I am reading without glasses and relearning to see with my imagination.

Funny thing the other day, a glasses-wearing photographer told me it is not possible that my near-vision recovery could be really happening. I asked him if he meant that for twelve years, even when my glasses weren’t on my nose, I was only imagining I had lost my near-vision?  “Yes,� he said, “it’s all in your imagination.�  haha! “That’s exactly right,� I told him, “and that’s why the Bates Method  works!�  “This is all very interesting,� he replied, “but I’ve got to run.�
This is wonderful. Congratulations, your story will motivate a lot of people to improve their vision.
this story should be in "success stories" forum.

Many thanks for this and your other poetic entries. I find that the way you write about your experiences really helps me "get in the flow" of the various activities. And, your phenomenal success is very motivating.

Best wishes for your continued vision improvement. I hope you'll write more.

Now, I've got to go palm!

Hello, dear Anne,

Many thanks for writing and for all your postings on this forum. I have benefited much from your contributions to the many thoughtful and informative discussions that take place here. My beginner’s understanding of Bates Method would not have yielded such promising results were it not for this supportive community of Bates Method practitioners.

Being able to really see again is so blissful and the adventure of self-treatment without glasses so exciting, that I just want the whole world to become educated about Dr. Bates and his method.

When I explain to friends why I am no longer wearing glasses, those in my own age group who have been in glasses much longer than me, are very attached to their glasses. “That’s wonderful,� they smile in a bemused and disinterested way, as if I had just told them "I finally opened my third eye, and I can see again!� They cannot imagine being without their glasses and really don’t want to hear about Bates Method.

On the other hand, my younger friends who are in university, many of whom already have or are beginning to have vision problems, respond with great interest. They ask questions about Bates Method, describe their own vision issues and ask me where they can learn more.“I’m definitely going to check that out!� they say, as they note down the address of this website. It is these younger folks who ask me what’s up with my vision improvement on any day we meet.

Although Dr. Bates documents many cases of middle-aged and elderly patients who completely and even rapidly recovered their vision, I am beginning to understand why Dr. Bates’ research and practice with children was so fruitful.

Warm regards, Catherine


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