Mar
16

Learning to See-Part Two

By

In “Learning to See-Part 1” I talked about physical seeing, and how we might be able to improve vision through the Bates Method by correcting the sources of poor vision: mental and physical strain (i.e. stress), poor vision habits, and wearing glasses.

Now I’d like to address another aspect of “seeing”–perhaps the most crucial.

Besides seeing with our eyes, we also “see” with the non-physical aspects of our being, whether you want to call it the mind, heart, or spirit. (Maybe it’s all three?)

This kind of seeing is all about perspective.

gray and brown stones on gray ground

Photo by Ana Municio

Often it starts with asking questions. Curiosity tends to open the mind to new perspectives.

Getting back to the Dr. Bates Method, as an ophthalmologist he noticed some of his patients improved, and he wanted to know why. He reasoned, “If a remedy (in this case, glasses) works, the dose should be weakened as the patient gets stronger.”

That’s not what happens with glasses, however. Usually the eyes weaken, and stronger and stronger lenses are prescribed. He concluded from his research that body and mind tension produces eyestrain and creates vision problems. Vision problems were a result of three things: mental strain; poor vision habits, and eyeglasses, which he saw as crutches that impede the eye from “working out,” as it were.

Bates started weaning his patients off of glasses, and their vision improved as they did his other practices. He taught other doctors to do the same, and their patients’ vision improved.

However, this was not what the mainstream believed at the time. Their perspective was pretty much what the current modern perspective is: we can’t know the root cause of poor vision, and we just need to treat the symptom (by prescribing glasses, of course). End of story.

Dr. Bates was expelled from his organization in 1891 for his unorthodox views.

He went on to open free vision clinics, and apparently cured a lot of people, including children, of their vision problems. I wonder if his methods would still be in use today, more than 100 years later, if they didn’t help at least somewhat.

Vision problems marked my life since I was born really (eye surgery to correct strabysmus, then lazy eye, poor vision overall, and now dry eye and cataracts). I’ve worn glasses since I had the eye surgery at age 4. Notably, my glasses prescription has not gotten much worse since I’ve been doing The Healing Codes, which would lend some strength to Dr. Bates’s theory, since The Healing Codes deal with stress.

I’ve written about the two ways of viewing the body before. It seems to me it’s hugely important how you see your body if you want to improve your health.

doctors doing surgery inside emergency room

Photo by Natanael Melchor

One view, the prevailing view, has you dependent on the medical industry. If there’s something wrong, you need something outside yourself to fix it (medication, surgery, eyeglasses, etc.).

If you get a diagnosis, for example that you have cancer, the doctors will bombard you with all sorts of options for treatments. Do they believe the body has an innate intelligence, that maybe the body is trying to communicate something, and that possibly you can use those resources to overcome the cancer?

Do they try to find the root cause and create change on that level, and support the body’s natural drive to survive?

Not usually.

I tell my clients, when they get a diagnosis, to remind themselves of the truth: that doctors have found a condition they label as X, but it is actually simply a description of what they think they know based on a lot of other people’s experience (which is what research essentially is).

I’m not knocking that. We need research. We need doctors and hospitals. Surgery, medication, or other treatments can be life-saving and the best options.

But if you want to get to the root cause, so that the condition actually heals and does not recur, remember that you are an individual, and the cause of your condition might be completely different from the root of someone else’s similar condition. Doesn’t it make sense to at least attempt to find the root cause, along with addressing the symptoms?

Which brings me to another way of “seeing” that’s all too common: black and white, either/or thinking.

What if vision problems are caused by stress, poor vision habits, and wearing glasses? What if you can improve, if not totally correct, the vision issues by addressing stress and poor vision habits, and at least stop the assumed “inevitable” eye deterioration by improving the functioning of the eye and the brain?

Wouldn’t that be worth considering?

man in white long sleeve shirt looking at Apple laptop computer

Photo by Varun Gaba

My optometrist told me that one reason I was having trouble seeing well was “dry eye.” “Are you on the computer a lot?” she inquired.

Yes, I admitted.

She explained that normally we blink our eyes 15-20 times per minute, but when at the computer, or reading, we blink far less often. Blinking lubricates the eyeball. When you blink less often, you don’t lubricate the eyeball.

What was the remedy? Warm compresses (and she recommended a microwavable eye mask, which of course she sells), eye drops (I got a sample and coupons for buying more). Though “blinking less often” was the cause of the dry eye, she only mentioned “blinking more” in passing.

“Blink more often” is part of the Bates Method. Palming is also recommended, which my vision teacher tells me is better than eye masks because you have the energy of your own hands going into the eyes. Also, breathing to relax yourself while palming helps a lot.

Since I believe in energy as a healing force, I am trying the palming and breathing and blinking, along with other practices. Already my eyesight is improving somewhat, and I have not even been super diligent about the Bates Method suggestions. It will be interesting when I see the ophthalmologist in April, to find out if there are any objective changes. I’m open, but not convinced—as I was when I started doing The Healing Codes, by the way. What convinced me was seeing remarkable results.

I’m also exploring any “heart issues” that might be connected to vision. I believe that “heart issues” are often mirrored metaphorically in the body. For instance: was there something in my family growing up that I didn’t want to “see” clearly? Hmmm, we might be onto something. . . .

Could the “dry eye” be connected to the memory from fifth grade, when I witnessed two teachers bullying a boy for crying, and I vowed nobody would ever do that to me again? I didn’t cry much after that; I consciously suppressed my sensitivity. Is the “dry eye” about tears unshed, that need to be shed?

These are possibilities seem worth considering.

What do you ever lose by being open to possibilities? More importantly, what might you gain?

If you got a cancer diagnosis, wouldn’t it make sense to explore conventional treatments and also look for and heal any root emotional causes?

More and more experts, such as M.D. Gabor Maté and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, as well as the famous ACEs study, attest how often emotional issues lead to physical manifestations of disease. Many of my clients who have taken this approach of healing the heart issues have enjoyed good, and sometimes remarkable, outcomes.

a man with a blindfold over his eyes

Photo by Manuel bonadeo

Whenever I hear that “no one knows what causes X,” I immediately get curious and wonder if the root cause could be something no one is “seeing,” largely because no one is looking for it. (This “blindfolding” can happen for a number of reasons, but often personal gain is the motivator. Eyeglasses were enjoying a big boom when Dr. Bates was testing his theories, and optometrists today probably make most of their money on the glasses they sell. An anthropologist admitted this to my friend.)

These days, I like to make it almost a game to discern where someone is coming from when I read news stories, or opinions of “experts,” or media people, or social media, or medical people. There are so many different “ways of seeing,” and usually there’s a kernel of truth in almost everything. You often have to dig to get at the deepest truth.

More on that next time, in Part Three, where I’ll suggest a fun game to expand your (spiritual) vision, which will improve your relationships big time, and sharpen your discernment.

If you would like more, ongoing help in healing and transforming your perspective (a.k.a. your whole life), check out my Align with Your Divine DesignTM program.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Privacy Policy

View Privacy Policy. Your use of this site implies you agree with this policy.