Healthy Emotions and Clearer Vision
For the past 45 years I have been intimately involved in a branch of wellness oriented Medicine and therapy that I named Integrated Vision Therapy when I wrote the book: ‘The Power Behind Your Eyes’ published in 1994 by Inner Traditions in the U.S.A.
Integrated Vision Therapy can be defined as the science of reprogramming vision perceptions that results in improved vision, through the eyes and generally in life as well! This form of vision improvement is a whole person approach.
The essence of this blog post is that: “Altering how people see through their eyes affects more than their eyes and eyesight.” They can change their fear and reactive emotional based perceptions into a way of seeing that is congruent with their true nature. That is to perceive in reality and not illusion.
Through the eyes, we can facilitate people entering more deeply into themselves.
My background in Optometry and Education, began as a clinical investigator of interdisciplinary approaches to vision enhancement. This American federally funded research in the 70’s was reported in the Journal of the American Association.
One of the missing pieces in conventional vision care is how the integration of the two eyes impact learning and living. My research shows that 65 percent of persons who have good eyesight do not use their two eyes together in an optimum way. For example, when a young person is asked to converge on a near object like a pencil the two eyes would not equally converge.
In a clinical investigation published in the papers of the Optometric Extension Program in 1977, I demonstrated how by increasing the speed of processing visual information through the eyes, a point is reached where the distress is too much, and the person reverts to looking through one eye only.
In addition to visual distress there is also emotional distress. This means that the person loses the capacity to remain calm through their eyes. There are two processes that are affected by the emotional upset. Firstly, they can lose visual acuity, the sharpness of their vision. Also, the use of the two eyes can become less efficient. Both of these visual functions can be measured using standard clinical methods.
In addition, the emotional status of the person can be examined by studying the face of the patient and the iris of the eye. This will be discussed in more detail later.
Clinical research has shown that through the use of special exercises, visual acuity can be retrained and improved. Also, integrated practices using slightly different images presented to each eye leads to a greater degree of stereo depth perception. A number of photographic images were created that can be used for this purpose and is published in the book Conscious Seeing., Beyond Words Publishing, 2001.
To more fully understand the role of healthy emotion in having clearer vision, it is useful to remember, that our eyes and the deepest self, develop from the genetic material of our parents and grandparents. The father and mother genetic material is stored in a genealogical map recorded in the patterns and markings of the iris.
Studies of consciousness can map the mind in a chronological time frame. Cycles of consciousness occur in 20-year cycles. For example, for cycle one, the emphasis may be on personal development. Cycle two is for professional development and personal experience. In cycle three, what is not completed in the first two cycles is replayed like a movie so that additional experience can be obtained. This assures that all humans, seeking a conscious and healthy way of seeing and living, can have the opportunity to do their work.
A basic question to ask is what does it mean to improve vision? Most of us have been exposed to the idea that improving vision means to see letters more clearly on an eye chart. It is important to remember that vision is comprised of two worlds, the inner and outer.
Here is a picture of blobs of light and dark you may not immediately identify. Could it be a picture of something? Some of you will see it right away. Don’t despair if it takes a while to appear. The picture is of a barnyard animal that gives us milk products like cheese and butter. Yes, it is a picture of a cow. Still don’t see it. Well this experiment is called the ‘Ah ha’ phenomenon. When you see the picture of the cow you say Ah ha! Notice that once you see the cow it is almost impossible to make the cow disappear.
Life is a bit like this as well. We all have our varying experiences in our first 20 years of life. These experiences mould our perceptions and perceptual consciousness. Some of these perceptions may promote emotional states that are destructive and ‘unhealthy’! Then we meet therapists and good minded people who tell us that we need to let go of all of these past memories. You have to change your inside to forget those ‘bad’ experiences.
Perhaps, there is nothing you have to change or let go of. What is needed to have healthy emotions and clearer vision is to reprogram the perceptions. Switch the context of the previous experience, and the job is done. For example, a patient has great fear in wearing a stronger glasses. I explain to her that physiologically there is no difference between fear and excitement. Consider the excitement of wearing a weaker lens prescription. From a therapeutic perspective, the weaker lens is placed before her eyes and she is asked to describe what she can see.
Without a moment of hesitation the patient describes everything in the room in great detail including colour recognition and reading the titles of the books. This positive experience is greater than the belief of her fear directed survival mind. From then on she accesses the excitement of the integrated vision therapy process with much success.
It is apparent that to see clearly requires a joyful and healthy emotional state. Studies show that when a patient can switch unhappy emotional states into a positive and beneficial experience, the eyesight becomes clearer.
To understand the role of the mind and brain and how the eyes are affected it is necessary to explain vision from a dualistic perspective. The inner world of vision is divided into two distinct components. Looking is the process of vision that is used for critical perceiving of details. Seeing on the other hand is used for spatial perceiving where context and feeling is more important than details. Does the loss of clarity of vision, recorded as lowered eyesight originate from upset emotional states?
There is a developmental process in the mind where thinking, feeling and emotional states have to integrate to obtain the deepest experience necessary to evolve into consciousness.
At first what one sees makes no logical sense. The blur is so great that one can only guess at what the truth is of what is being seen. With deeper experience clarity can emerge and the meaning of what is seen happens. What is behind closed doors is unknown compared to what is seen about the outside appearance of the door. The attention to detail of the door reflects the person’s inner attitude of seeing. Likewise, the inner state probably is equally revealing by the outer behaviour we see in people.
The outer world of vision is the process of looking and seeing. It is the integration of the eye, brain and mind that leads to a complete sense of vision.
Emotion comes from the Latin root ‘emovere’, to set in motion to move out! There are two kinds of emotions that affect clearness of vision.
Destructive emotions are those emotions that are harmful to oneself and others. Destructive emotion can be examined from genetic background, events, brain function and other factors.
Destructive states of mind include low self-esteem, over confidence, harboring negative emotions, jealousy and envy.
Constructive States of Mind or Healthy Emotions include self-respect, self- esteem, feelings of integrity, compassion, generosity seeing the TRUE, the GOOD, the RIGHT, love, friendship. Healthy emotions are grounded in looking and seeing accurately.
In Buddhist terms, destructive emotion is a conditioning of the mind where the person adapts a certain perspective or vision of things. The distortion of perception is associated with destructive emotion. This warped vision leads to a one mind perception of reality. Destructive emotion obscures the mind from knowing what is real and not real, the way things appear and the way they are!
Healthy emotion gives us a more correct appreciation of the nature we perceive. In integrated vision therapy the process and life cycle of these destructive emotions can be determined from an integrated iris interpretation.
The ever-increasing incidence of eye diseases implicates unresolved family issues. For example in the case of strabismus, an inward crossing of an eye, often the patient has to deal with an incompletion of a family member like a mother (Left inward turning eye) or father (Right inward turning eye.) It is not enough to just work with the physical eye. There can be deep wounded states of emotion related to the eye turning.
Integrated vision therapy recognizes that the mind and perceptions can be reprogrammed in the process of correctly living life in a conscious way. Then a new question arises. Does creating healthy emotion increase eye and vision function?
Research on brain function reveals that when an individual learns to concentrate correctly in the mind, there is an associated change in brain activity. Craving, agitation and hatred produces a concentration of brain wave activity in the right side of the frontal gyros of the brain. When the person actively engages mind states of contentment, calmness and compassion, both hemispheres in the region of the frontal gyros become activated.
Integrated vision therapy is a valuable way to activate brain function as well. Through the eyes the patient can be taught to enter a mind state where certain healthy mental states are stimulated.
These include, full attention and awareness, self-control, responsibility, empathy and compassion. Lamas have for years trained these functions by using forms of mantras and meditation states. Now, Integrated vision therapy guides the patient to the same mind states, however, the eyes are open. This means that the patient can master living in these calm states as well.
Clearer vision and healthy emotions are desperately needed on the Earth at this time. There are more eye problems in the world today than ever before. These eye problems are associated with distorted perceptions.
It is also very obvious in clinical practise that the typical finding is that nearsightedness increases with time. An example from clinicsl files is a patient who in 1971 was measured as –1.25 and in 2002 the refractive finding was –4.25 with astigmatism.
My colleague Dr. Steve Gallop agrees that compensating lenses are actually inducing a drugged mind state in non-clarity. In addition to a loss of clarity there is also the consideration of a reduced visual field in different eye conditions. Children who are stressed in not being able to read efficiently demonstrate marked reductions of visual field. Also nearsighted persons looking through their strong minus lenses are forced to look in a central way because of the distortion of their peripheral vision.
You may ask why is it necessary to be concerned with these points. Look at the facts more deeply. In Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, 90 percent of young persons are nearsightedness. (Lin and Chen Acta Ophthalmol. 1998 publication)
The first point is that we have clinical evidence that nearsightedness can be reversed. Here is an example: In 1988 the lens prescription of this patient was Right Eye –4.00 and Left Eye –3.25. By March, 1996, it has reduced to Right Eye –1.25 and Left Eye –1.00 with the astigmatism.
The second point is that the current world situation of fear and terrorism reflects a nearsightedness (EYE) /myopia (MIND) explosive and imbalanced way of seeing. What is being called for is a unified and balanced way of seeing.
The obvious way most people look at nearsightedness is that the eyeball is too long. The rays of light focus in front of the retina. Well this explanation did not satisfy intellectual curiosity. Clinical findings support the notion that the refractive condition of the eye could not be the etiological cause of nearsightedness. A more plausible explanation was that the condition of nearsightedness is printed out in the eye, but the causal factors have to be behind the eye.
My research began looking at the role of stress. An experiment was conducted. Subjects listening to an 8-minute relaxation voice dialogue. Prior to listening the subjects visual acuity was measured both with and without their strong glasses. This was repeated after they listened to the relaxation audiotape. On the average, there were statistical significant increases in unaided visual acuity for the group.
In a later study, it was confirmed that increases in visual acuity do not necessarily provide significant changes in dioptric measurements. The opposite was true. In most cases the refractive measurements of the eyes do not change when the visual acuity does. This perplexing finding caught my attention. How could people see better but the eye findings do not change?
With the help of a professorial colleague, who specialized in visual evoked potential measurements (brain wave patterns) of the visual cortex, we repeated the experiment with the relaxation. Before and after listening to the relaxation piece, subjects had their brain wave patterns measured in the area of the visual cortex, Area 17. There were no significant different findings in the visual cortex waveforms due to the relaxation. The implication of this finding was that increases in visual acuity occurred in deeper layers of visual integration. In addition, the improvements in sharpness of vision implicated the active involvement of the person in the process.
These findings were further investigated over a 14-year period and exemplified by one case study.
In a 1999 study, a German Ophthalmologist, Dr. Wolfgang Krell, administered conventional vision therapy on a young nearsighted boy for a period of six weeks. The changes in visual acuity were insignificant. Then he told the parents to have the boy listen to a specially prepared audio relaxation called nearsightedness in addition to continuing the program of vision exercises.
In the following 12 weeks the visual acuity of each eye significantly improved where the boy no longer needed to use glasses for sharpness of vision. The evidence suggested the role of the mind in vision. My investigations since then have followed this line of thinking.
Each eye can be considered to have its own personality. I called the right eye ‘Harry’ and the left eye ‘Sally.’ As I embraced this whole person approach to dealing with vision problems, the changes not only in people’s eyes but their whole life seemed most impressive. The deeper I probed into the visual system of the person, them more they revealed how their total being was involved in their seeing.
The physical eye is the way light enters into the deeper self. Like a scanner, the light coming into the eye is transported back in the form of electrical signals into the raw brain tissue. For this information to be correctly interpreted takes a present and conscious human being. If the person behind the eyes is in any way not present the image they create from the light can have the tendency to be distorted or warped. This means that the meaning given to what is seen can be misperceived. An illusionary state of awareness usually results.
These misperceptions can be measured in the eye as refractive conditions or eye diseases. Clinical investigations have focused on explaining how and why these distorted ways of seeing occur. In addition, different therapeutic mediums were used to guide the person to new ways of perceiving. The conditions of the eye also then changes.
The results of these clinical studies have been very promising. Besides the anecdotal evidence directly reported from patients, the clinical changes are impressive enough to warrant a more thorough investigation.
By shining special colour frequencies into the eyes visual acuity measurements can change very rapidly. In addition, the behavioural changes reported by subjects are significantly changed. Improvements in binocular vision also occur.
By addressing the deeper issues behind the visual conditions of the eye seem to give a therapeutic edge. The most promising tool for monitoring these inner changes is using a modified ‘Snellen’ visual acuity chart. I have designed what I call an Eye-C Chart that has the large letters on the bottom and the small letters on the top. The patient sits at 3 meters or less so without their glasses they can read at least half the letters on the chart.
While they look at the chart I begin to talk to them. They use their finger to indicate changes that occur in their seeing. For example, if the letters become clearer when they hear a word or phrase, they let their finger point upwards. If there is no change, they keep the finger pointing horizontal. If their eyesight becomes worse, they move the finger to point in the downward position.
From the case history, an investigation of the iris markings and patterns, words are selected, phrases, images, or situations and offer these to the patient using short sentences. The patient gives feedback using the finger pointing technique. A remarkable record of which situations lead to a decrease in visual acuity occurs. These are the emotional charged areas in the patient’s consciousness that they have to reach a resolve and complete. As they do this, there is a resultant improvement and stabilising of the improvements in visual acuity.
This visual biofeedback, or kinesiological therapeutic approach, is very practical and helpful in converting destructive emotional states into healthy ones. Also, the patient can easily implement this approach at home in between office sessions.
With time, the patient is able to reduce the diopters of their eyeglasses. In addition, use of dynamic processes using photography combined with music. In this way the patient is directly able to see their faces and eyes. Often the patient seeing the results of the photographs provides incentive for them to further modify their perceptions.
What has been described in this approach in dealing with destructive emotions and clearer vision is a dynamic way for people to take responsibility for their unconscious seeing. This is a way for the world to be a more peaceful place so we can enjoy our vision. This is the freedom to see!