From the light within

From the light within

Take a moment to enter into more awareness of your self. In this way you are in the presence of fresh perceptions. Align with more of your inner truth.

With this higher frequency of integrity you enter the world with more alignment. Your inner light is luminously bright. Inner matches the frequency of the outer. The shadows of perception fade.

Stay in the awareness, and look into the very existence and remember your source. Stay longer. Awareness is in steps of depth.

This seeing exposes everything. Nothing is left to chance. See into the unknown, the invisible.

This deeper level of awareness and seeing, brings your alignment beyond the former limitations.

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Pizza Consciousness

Pizza Consciousness

A small family pizzeria stands opposite a tall church in Waldkirch, Germany. The town nestles between two mountain slopes of the Black Forest. Max is standing in front of the window of the establishment, drooling over the large picture of a pizza. A short man of medium build in his early seventies is enjoying the new experience of being semi-retired. His life has been full of deep experiences. Sliding his right hand through his greying hair Max studies the photograph of the pizza. His nostrils welcome the array of smells from inside. He slips into a memory of other experiences from his life so far.

A pizza is made up of four basic sections, which can be further sliced into 12 chunky, tasty pieces. Each segment of the pizza can be custom designed from a variety of toppings. Some people like more cheese and tomato paste. Others add items like anchovies, mushrooms, rocket salad, onions, meat, fish, chicken, sausage and more. Some prefer vegetarian and non wheat- based crust. In designing a pizza, everything is possible to suit the individual person’s needs.

Like a pizza, Max considers that humans are made up of carefully crafted elements that are coded with different aspects of consciousness. When you bite into a pizza you may be on the slice that has the perfect ingredients for your individual coded needs and awareness. When this happens you are in contact with your authentic self. Only then can you look through eyes of clear, unpolluted perception. He remembers the Sawubona state; which implies the viewer sees him or herself at a deeper level, through the eyes of the observed. “The God in me sees the God in you.”

Screenshot 2018-12-11 at 19.06.10Then, Max’s eyes move to the three o’clock position of the pizza picture he is looking at and examines the items in that wedge. He sees bacon, pineapple, sticky cheese and blobs of tomato sauce. His stomach immediately sends him a message of feeling sick. Max’s immediate reaction is, “I don’t want to eat Pizza.” His thinking mind, accompanied by ego, continues in judgment. Looking at the Pizzeria, he forms the opinion that this really is a cheap foreign run joint.

In the next moment, Max breathes, shifts his attention to another part of the pizza and regains the Sawubona experience. He hears a voice inside: “Look through eyes of awareness. Be touched by what you are seeing and drop your critical perceiving.” His ego is reduced to the size of a pinprick. Max returns to his openhearted ‘being’ state while observing the whole pizza. “Where you place your attention is what you perceive,” he reminds himself.

Max slips off into a space of exploration. Perhaps, he senses, that every human being is coded like a pizza. People are constructed in perfection, like a well-designed pizza that sustains a blissful life on Earth. However, at conception, the unfinished business of the family tree like fear, unhappiness, unfulfillment and more, is passed down into the pizza of perfection.

The genetic code energises the pizza with influences that become our task on Earth to complete. In doing so we re-integrate our individual coded perfection that already exists. We discover that everything outside of us can be viewed via two forms of projection. Either we see though eyes of little or no influences from our childhood conditioning, or we reach the outside with perceptions of our
own known perfection.

Oh, that is why the Sawubona doesn’t always work, realises Max. When we bring perceptions loaded with conditioned thoughts, influenced beliefs and judgements to our eyes that is what we end up interpreting as reality in our outside view of the world. He remembers the saying, “One only sees what the mind projects.” This makes so much more sense now in his waking up to deeper levels of understanding.

Max is ready to turn away and continue his walk around the picturesque town with its old buildings, little town houses, cobblestone streets and shops that looked more like the time of the 50’s. The church bell rings out in agreement of Max’s new awareness reminding him that he is hungry! Pizza? He becomes aware of the pizzeria owner opening the door and walking right up to him. His olive complexion, dark hair and moustache suggest an Italian heritage. This is apparently true, since his occupation is to make pizzas. The man rubs his dough-coated hands on his apron from where another pizza logo stares at Max.

“What kind of pizza would you like?” Asks the pizza maker. At first Max is unsure why the man had come outside. Perhaps business was slow and he wants Max to help bring in more income for the day. “Thinking again from my conditioning,” thinks Max. “Okay stop,” he says to this inner voice. “Remember!” echoed wise Nana’s voice in his head; the South African black cleaning woman from his younger days. “Look at everything with your full Sawubona experience. Stop these thoughts, wipe the influence and conditioned part of your hard drive clean of conditioned perceptions.”


In doing so, Max’s eyes falls upon the pizza man’s gaze. He opens his heart to the hunger he feels and the pizza man’s offering. Instead of seeing a foreigner, a threat because of his own limiting perceptions, Max accepts the invitation. He orders exactly what he wants and engages in a salivating feast of his own unique pizza self.

The pizza consciousness kicks in. He enters deeper into his own awareness. In looking outwards, he is touch with a warm feeling of gratitude. Thanking the man with a pat on his shoulder, Max steps onto the cobbled street to enjoy his walk bathed in warm sunlight.
______________________________________________________
The pizza effect is a term used especially in which a community’s self-understanding is influenced by (or imposed by, or imported from) foreign sources. It is named after the idea that modern pizza toppings were developed among Italian immigrants in the United States (rather than in native Italy, where in its simpler form it was originally looked down upon), and was later exported back to Italy to be interpreted as a delicacy in Italian cuisine.
– Source Wikipedia

Light, Lenses and The Mind, The Potent Medicine of Optometry

Light, Lenses and The Mind,  The Potent Medicine of Optometry

“The eye can only see what the mind projects”  The Talmud.

Introduction:

Vision therapy has matured into a viable conduit for helping  vision disorders and also for enhancing human potential.  Unfortunately, vision therapy has tended to be compartmentalized as something extra, over and above, the normal optometric prescribing of lenses. Primary care practitioners limit their perception believing that vision therapy requires elaborate training equipment and space in an optometric office.  Quite often vision therapy is viewed as being primarily for children requiring frequent office visits.   

In spite the power of vision therapy to be an ardent healing science, a limited percentage of optometrists provide this worthy service. As a result, vision therapy lacks the acceptance as a viable part of the armamentarium of mainstream health and vision care.

Over a 45 year period of practising light and lens oriented vision therapy on myself and patients of all ages an integrated model of vision has emerged.  This means that altering how people see through their eyes affects more than their eyes and eyesight.

Current trends in brain/mind research points the way how an integrated model of vision care can affect the patient in a dynamic way. Integrated vision therapy recognizes the interconnection of the eye structures with the brain and mind of the human being.  Lenses alter how light enters the eye and is used by practitioners for  sharpening the visual acuity of their patients.  In addition, at the level of the brain and mind, lens altered light can be structured as a vision therapy which deeply alters how the patient relates to themselves and their world through their eyes. 

It is the aim of this article is to demonstrate that vision therapy  also has a home within conventional optometric practise of vision examinations. What is needed is a shift in perceptual attitude in how light, colour and lenses affects the human brain and mind.  Patients encouraged to use patching techniques, combined with looking through different colour gelatin filters before the eyes, can create more balance in vision as well as deeper levels of integration within the brain and mind.

Defocusing light entering one or both eyes can have a therapeutic advantage. This is accomplished by usually weakening the normal compensating lens prescription. When the value of this practise is recognised by more practitioners vision therapy will have its rightful place in the growing field of complementary medicine and primary and managed vision care.

Results of Vision Therapy:

Visual measurements of the eye and brain change as a result of vision therapy.   Questionnaire analysis of patient’s responses to vision therapy reveal more changes than just the visual findings alone.   Incorporating interdisciplinary approaches impact the patient’s life in measurable ways. Survival personality traits are altered by such an integrated form of vision therapy.  Children who struggle to read and agonize over their low self-esteem change this behaviour. The patient discovers a more accurate perception of themselves that reflects a more conscious and present human being. Vision therapy appears to impact the brain and the mind in a way that permits more skilful perceiving by the patient.

This article addresses three questions that can contribute to vision therapy becoming the major therapeutic discipline it deserves to be:

i)      Can  brain and mind research more thoroughly explain and predict the behavioural and performance changes we obtain in vision therapy?

ii)   Can we impact the visual system by modifying lens prescriptions in such a way that the patient enhances their potential for life?

iii)  Is it possible to integrate the use of light and colour into primary vision care?

Evolvement of Vision Therapy:

As we know it today, vision therapy  was founded upon a  sequence of developmental steps.  Skeffington provided the functional analysis of vision findings. Vision was able to be examined in terms of syndromes. From the analysis of visual findings  we could read into how the human being adapts to their external environment.

The writings and teachings of many admirable clinicians formed the basis for the developmental process we use in vision therapy. The depth and understanding of vision included more than a static process of light entering the eye to generate eyesight.  The developing visual system could be impacted as early as a few months after conception.  Light activates processes of vision development in utero. The developmental unfolding of vision continues at a rapid rate from birth through the first seven years of life and thereafter. External and internal interferences in this process leads to delays in vision potential. A lack of vision development impacts the evolving behaviour of the person.

The late Optometrist Forrest summarized how the visual system succumbs to the stressors of modern day living.  Measurements of the visual system are like a print-out of the adaptation of the person’s inner seeing.  The visual findings reveal how the mind directs the brain to adjust its survival state in order to control how the eyes are to function.

Is The Brain and the Mind The Same Thing?

Traditionally, in vision therapy we talk about the eye as being controlled by the brain. In recent years, scientists have begun referring to the mind in addition to the brain. There is a growing distinction being made between the brain and the mind. Understanding these differences  can help explain how light and lens oriented vision therapy affects the human being.

Schiffer refers to the brain as a “hunk of neurone chemicals and electromagnetic  fields essential to the support and production of a person’s mind.”Damasio describes the brain as possessing “devices within its structure that are designed to manage the life of the organism in such a way that the internal chemical balances indispensable for survival are maintained at all times.”  

Brain-imaging techniques such as PET (positive emission tomography) and FMR (functional magnetic resonance) scans clearly show “how different brain regions in a normal, living person are in use by  certain mental effort, such as relating a word to an object or learning a particular face”, reports Damasio.

The mind on the other hand can be considered that part of a person who experiences,  thinks and decides. The conscious mind has been described as the ‘movie-in-the-brain’. Damasio says the ‘movie’ is a “metaphor for the integrated and unified composite of diverse sensory images-visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and others-that constitutes the multimedia show we call the mind.”  Still deeper in the mind is a sense of self where “we automatically generate a sense of ownership for the movie-in-the-brain.”

The function of the brain is to carry out the actual physical and motor operations. The role of the mind is to elaborate and manage the content of our experiences.  It is the brain that first acquires sensory-motor information from the environment.  The motor aspects of our brain are associated with our thoughts when we desire to understand. The mind then forms the content of this understanding. The sensory aspects of our brain have their natural extensions in feelings.

The Brain, Mind and Vision Therapy:

Vision therapy has built a model of visual processing making use of the eye and brain structure. Foveally focused light generates a central way of perceiving. This is a way of ‘looking’ that is digital, linear and precise.  This kind of ‘looking’ vision  clearly promotes an understanding of what is perceived. On the other hand, light stimulating the retina encourages  a peripheral form of perception. This ‘seeing’ is more diffused, general and encourages feeling. This kind of vision demands a form of intuitive knowing.  

The way light enters the eye is part of a developmental sequence that is arranging the conditions for sensory and motor activation of the brain tissue. Later, through the evolution of the mind, integration of this sensory and motor information leads to a deeper kind of vision.

From this model we can examine fusion and binocular stereoscopic vision in a penetrating way.  In the absence of foveal or retinal suppressions and binocular vision we can assume that the patient’s brain is functioning at high potential. This includes quick processing of visual information through the  mind with an ability for the person to fully participate in their life.

On the other hand, the loss of binocular vision, as is evident with suppressions and monocular patterns of looking, can point the way to understand the survival structuring of the brain under the directive of the patient’s mind.

Binocular Vision and the Mind:

Vision therapy strongly advocates the importance of binocular vision. But why?  For greater potential of depth perception? Does binocular vision at the level of the mind mean that one can see more deeply into oneself? I have observed the varying degrees of breakdowns of binocular vision in patients using binocular methods of examination. I would predict that as many as 65 percent of entry point patients are not at their full potential for binocular vision.

Monitoring the behaviour of patients as they develop greater degrees of binocular vision gives insights into the changes in behavior that follows higher levels of integration in the mind. Greater binocular vision is more than what we measure as stereopsis at the level of the brain. Seeing more depth at the level of the mind implies being able to look more deeply into oneself.

The activation of binocular vision is a form of reintegration. This influences more than the visual system as we know it in the eye and the brain. The behavioural changes in patients reflect that vision therapy impacts the mind of the person as well. The improvements of fusion visual findings is an external manifestation of an integrated state within the human organism. This integration is dependent upon the unification of the central and peripheral visual processing mechanisms.

Schiffer’s methodology shows what happens when the patient is able to look more deeply into themselves. They find the suppressed wounded states and a way to successfully navigate into new perceptions and vision of themselves. Likewise, with therapeutic lens prescriptions, patching and light and color changing methods we can provide the patient with ways to become more balanced. This is the true medicine of integrated vision therapy where the person evolves into a new way of seeing themselves. This is the real power of light and lens oriented vision therapy.  

Distress and Binocular Vision:

Under varying degrees of stress, the binocular processing capability of patients break down. Different survival states of mind lead to information being processed more through one eye than both. This is a monocular adaptation to distress. This means that distress either from an external source or self-imposed leads to subtle breakdowns in binocular vision processing. This may take the form of central foveal or parafoveal suppressions or more peripheral retinal suppressions.

Wearing polaroid analysers patients were exposed to tachistoscopic flashes of 4 numbers. Unbeknown to the patient the images were randomly flashed to either the left, right or both eyes. As the speed of the tachistoscopic flash was increased the greater was the tendency to respond in a more monocular manner. The faster the speed of processing caused a higher demand that led to more distress for the subjects.  

Myopic lens prescriptions which fully compensate for the measured subjective refraction for 20/20 visual acuity also induce a breakdown of binocular vision a significant amount of time. Associated phoria measurements at 20 feet using the American Optical Vectograh projected slide was used to examine myopic patients with their full lens prescriptions in place. In 75 percent of cases an uncompensated associated phoria was recorded. The ‘fixation disparity’ measurement is assessing the inter-relationship or disintegration tendencies between the macular/fovea of the right and left eyes.

 The disparity findings suggests that a full minus lens prescription lessens the possibility of being in a comfortable state of fusion. This state of disintegration further reduces the likelihood of a state of full fusion happening at the level of the brain.  This means a very commonly prescribed myopic lens prescription for improving visual acuity at far can induce a brain state of less integration. The foveally driven focused light rays will more than likely lead to an over focused behaviour. This can be observed as a ‘thought’ based visual personality.  This adaptation is the brain’s way of seeking the one part of the mind to dominate that is  ‘looking’ or thinking form of behaviour.

Once the associated phoria findings were measured in the myopic patients, plus lens spheres were added equally before both eyes.  In over 80 percent of the cases the visual distress as implicated by the associated phoria findings were eliminated when the spherical minus lens prescription was reduced by between +0.50 and +1.50. By lowering the spherical minus lens prescription the intensity of foveally focused light was reduced. In addition to the visual findings changing a significant number of the patients reported that even in spite of the loss of between 2 to 3 lines of visual acuity they loved the ‘feeling’ and ‘comfort’ they felt with these lenses.

Functional Visual Fields and Distress:

This visual distress concept has been further examined by measuring functional visual fields as recommended by the College of Syntonic Optometry.  In a study with children with reading delays, a significant reduction in visual field size was reported. Under the stress of trying to read the reaction of the autonomic nervous system is to become sympathetic dominant which results in a smaller visual field measured with not only white, but also coloured targets of varying sizes.  It should be pointed out that these visual field measurements were done using a stereo campimeter rather than a conventional visual field instrument. This ‘tunnel like’ vision was remedied by the child looking through specific coloured filters that restored balance within the autonomic nervous system. With larger visual fields the children were more able to benefit from reading instruction.

‘Dual-Brain’ Psychology and Vision:

Research on epileptic patients, where the corpus callosum was surgically cut as a way to control seizures, produced a plethora of theories about how the two halves of the brain work.  The hypothesis that each half of the brain controlled different functions was proposed.

Harvard University Psychiatrist, Frederick Schiffer, says: “Each side of our brain possesses an autonomous distinct personality with its own set of memories motivations and behaviours.”  He shows “how using the technique of visual stimulation can activate the specific regions of the brain that harbour both traumatic and joyful memories.”

In visual science it is clear that foveally generated impressions travel to both hemispheres of the brain. In addition, retinally stimulated fibres of each eye more specifically transport light impressions to either the right or left hemispheres of the brain depending on which visual field is activated.

More precisely, an image perceived in the right visual field is primarily recorded in the left brain hemisphere and visa versa. Using this information Schiffer, conducted patching experiments with his patients. He designed patching goggles that would let light reach the eye in specific retinal locations. While his patients wore these goggles he had them talk about their experiences.

Schiffers’ ‘patching’ therapy resulted in patients discovering dormant memories in one or both hemispheres. In many cases they ‘woke up’ to their past painful or ‘wounded’ states. Using electroencephalograhy and brain scanning methodology  he measured the activity of the brain while patients wore his ‘lateralising’ goggles. His findings showed that information via light  travelling from one visual field results in brain activity associated with one hemisphere more than the other.

Schiffer’s findings implicate that the brain has the ability to bury, or in visual terms, suppress information that is too painful to see.  In vision therapy we routinely talk about a suppression of vision in one eye. In certain cases we are even more specific and make a distinction between a foveal versus a retinal suppression. We can even specify a right eye foveal or left eye retinal suppression.

The implication of Schiffer’s work is far reaching. The prescribing of normal compensating lens prescriptions can increase the likelihood of disintegrated states of patient’s minds. From Schiffer’s point of view perhaps the patients like such sharp visual acuity with their full strength lens prescriptions because the state of disintegration further embeds the ‘wounded states’ to one hemisphere of the brain. In this way the mind directs the brain to compensate for this lack of integration. It might do this by lateralising information to one brain hemisphere. What is uncomfortable to see is buried and tried to be forgotten.

The findings of Schiffer offer a glimpse into why vision therapy that promotes higher orders of binocular vision results in such definite behavioral changes in the patient.  Reducing suppression tendencies asks the patient to remember events and times related to their blocking their vision through the mind. As they achieve better binocular vision so the patients resolves issues from their past. A deeper integrated way of seeing is the inner clarity and depth to live a more undeniable way now.  Perhaps, the myriad of binocular disturbances will one day be used to diagnose and predict the precise states of mind of the patient.

Integrated Vision:

One way to experiment with this question is to examine how altering the way light enters the eye directs the patient to look and see in a more skilful way. Through questions one can examine the behavioral changes when the patient looks and sees in a more binocular manner.

The first step in the development of  integrated vision is for all the components of each monocular vision to be fused at the level of the brain.  This is binocular stereoscopic vision in the brain. Fusion can now also be described at the level of the mind. Integration in the mind is when understanding (thoughts) and knowing (feelings) are united. For this mind integration to happen requires the human being to more fully experience themselves. The patient discovers themselves as being in their world, being conscious of their presence. Orfield hints at this way of seeing in the  mind:  “Space world is a mental perception of “how far is far” and “how deep is deep” and “how wide is wide.”

Specific lens combinations, which are not necessarily the best visual acuity lens prescription, can encourage a better looking and seeing integration.  When wearing these spectacles the patient has the experience of being more integrated. This means they are less in survival. They discover more about their true nature. A lens prescription in this way becomes a form of vision therapy. The increased integration in the patient’s mind can explain why certain lens prescriptions seem to produce life changing effects.  

Practitioner Implemented Integrated Vision Therapy: 

How can you the practitioner make use of integrated vision therapy?

Vision Examinations:

After you have determined the most suitable lens prescription for the patient, let the patient look through these lenses while you do an associated phoria assessment at the far distance. This can be equally beneficial for hyperopic patients. If the patient reveals a ‘fixation disparity’ reduce the minus or plus equally before both eyes until there is binocular stability. Place this lens prescription in a trial frame and record the patient’s visual acuity under full room illumination.  Let the patient sit quietly for a minute or two while looking around the room. Encourage them to breath. Observe if the visual acuity changes over time . Also, ask the patient how this lens prescription feels once you have an idea of the visual acuity level.

If the resultant visual acuity is between 20/20 and 20/30 prescribe this ‘therapeutic’ lens as their primary lens prescription for everyday activities which may include day time driving.  If you feel that patient needs higher levels of visual acuity, say  for occupational reasons, then prescribe a second pair of compensating lenses which provide maximum visual acuity.

Altering Monocular Patterns of Visual Adaptation:

In cases where there is a strong dominance of vision through one eye consider reducing the visual acuity of the more dominant eye. This is best achieved by increasing the plus effect in myopic patients and reducing plus in hyperopes.  I carefully explain to the patient the distinction between a regular compensating lens prescription and these ‘therapeutic’ eyeglasses. In other words, the therapeutic lens prescription is not always a replacement for the normal compensating lens prescription. Instead, they are receiving a home-based integrated vision therapy program in the form of spectacle lenses. This can require a second pair of eyeglasses.

The purpose of this process is to increase the probability of binocular vision that promotes more balance and deeply impacts the patient’s mind and their life. Have the patient keep a visual diary of the experiences they have. They write down everything they experience, feel and observe. This written record illustrates the changes in behavior over time.

Another option is to alter the light gradient by using opaque sticky tape patching over the dominant eye. Patching is done in the safety of the patient’s home and in 20 minute  segments six days per week. The patching can increase by one minute per day and can be extended to a maximum of four hours. This form of patching increases the light intensity to one eye and restores balance between the central (fovea) and peripheral (retinal) relationship. This form of integrated vision therapy is a step toward integrating binocular fusion possibilities. In turn it is likely that thoughts, feelings and emotions are integrated in the mind.

Adding Coloured Gelatin Filters During Patching:

When the foveal suppression patterns are deeper coloured filter patching can be helpful. There are sympathetic stimulating colours of red, yellow and orange. Green, blues, violet and indigo are parasympathetic stimulating colours that

tend to bring about relaxation and a slowing down.

In the monocular phase, add a yellow and red filter before the open eye while sticky taping the dominant eye. The patient follows the same procedure of 20 minute increments as above. Encourage a diary record of their experiences and feelings. Looking through colour can activate buried emotional states.  Provide the patient with the reassurance that they can check in with you if they have questions.

Binocular Use of Coloured Gelatin Filters:

When the monocular skills are equal as determined by more equal visual acuities or less suppression tendencies, then the coloured filter patching can be done in a binocular manner. In the case of stimulating the retinal/foveal relationship a yellow green filter in combination can be placed directly on the spectacle lenses to be used in doors. If the patient tends to foveally suppress one eye then add an additional red in front of the dominant eye. This acts as a patching device by slowing done the transmission of the light. The brain has to learn to accept the faster travelling light through the usual suppressing eye.

At the level of the brain the above integrated vision therapies are disruptive and demand of the person to “change their mind”. Former patterns of dominant thinking style leads to more feeling. Excessive feeling transforms into precise thinking. Thoughts, feelings and emotions integrate into the patient more distinctly recognising their authentic self.

Summary:

Evidence exist that conventional vision therapy provides behavioural changes that affect the well being of the patient while addressing  a wide variety of vision conditions. Vision therapy can reach many worthwhile people. In this paper a review of a brain/mind theory, clinical experience and research in binocular vision reveals how an integrated model of vision therapy can be used by all optometrists, not only those who specialise in vision therapy.

Suggestions have been provided for modifying lens prescriptions, the use of patching and colored gelatin filters as a way to alter light gradient in one eye which affects the brain and mind. In this way, more citizens of the world can benefit from being increasingly integrated through their visual systems.

It is the responsibility of the profession of Optometry to set the stage for vision therapy to be recognized as the leading modality for high level vision.  This will permit more people to have a peaceful view of their life and of others. It is proposed that light, lenses and the mind are the potent medicine of Optometry.

http://www.eye-see-life.de

(A copy of this paper can be requested together with references)

Upgrade now Optometry to the latest version of the 10 Commandments.

Upgrade now Optometry to the latest version of the 10 Commandments.

Abstract

Optometry, as an evolving Profession, has two possible directions it can take. Firstly, Follow the way of conventional medicine, where the primary care model is to treat the symptom of the problem. This approach considers the absence of symptoms being good health. The second possibility, is to recognize the real origin of disease and eye problems. A human being that is out of balance. Not only in their physical life, but their emotional and spiritual one too.

This paper draws on 45 years of clinical experience of a vision therapy oriented practitioner, one who has embraced the grandfather principles of functional and behavioural vision concepts.  A modern approach that recognizes a new paradigm of vision care that has been born. Can this integrated model be embraced as a second ‘upgraded’ direction for Optometry?  Like in biblical times, there are commandments that show the way to enlightenment. These could be the steps to go beyond a symptom based medical model of treatment.  An approach that is Holistic in its foundation, and redirects the responsibility for healthy eyes back to the patient.

Introduction

Raised and educated in South Africa, forty-five years ago I began my career seeing patients as an Optometrist. This was my first and only career choice. To guide people towards healthy seeing. My teachers and colleagues emphasized looking at the whole person when designing a vision care program. There was little interest in being a ‘Junior Ophthalmologist’, only treating the eye problem! 

From the beginning, I thrived on the concepts of Functional and Behavioural Vision Care. In spite of my first practice experience being mostly prescribing glasses, each day, I explored the visual findings and considered home based vision training principles for the patient.  This was my way of exploring the relationship between the human being and what their deeper perceptual ‘seeing’ was communicating to me through my vision analysis findings.  At first, I had no real skill in communicating this Holistic way of dealing with eye problems.  Over the years I was able to simplify my communication, such that more patients involved themselves in the Integrated Vision Therapy. I conducted my own clinical trials. 

This paper is a result of this process and also includes my 16 year Professorship and clinical research at two Colleges of Optometry in the United States of America. During this time I have observed our profession being politically influenced and pressured to fit into an outdated health care model. One that is driven by the Pharmaceutical and eye, frame and contact lens  manufacturers.  That is, our vision care delivery is influenced by industry and politics, rather than conscious Holistic health care practice. Even today, there are Optometrists being sucked into being like their medical counterparts, where treating eye disease is the focus. What about good old functional and behavioural approaches, where the well-being of the patient comes first? An approach that has prevention and regeneration at its heart. 

The standard Optometric model is for the practitioner to treat disease and eye problems in a standard symptom based approach.  It’s an easy model to follow, when the patient is unwilling to take self responsibility for their visual well-being. 

However, the ever growing presence of the Internet in people’s lives is accelerating the interest in self-help approaches to health in the U.S. and other countries. Consumer desire for organic and healthy food and complementary healing methods is becoming standard practice. There is easy availability of information via the Internet for the public on alternative and complimentary ways to help their eyes. This opens up the possibility for us as Optometrists to provide a healthy truly therapeutic form of vision care. Our Optometric profession must take a stand for the future – Prevention. If we don’t, we will always be subservient to Medicine and Ophthalmology.

For an effective paradigm shift to occur there needs to be a vision, and a blueprint for steering the direction. The branch of Optometry that evolved on the functional and behavioural principles of Skeffington, and others, archived through the Optometric Extension Foundation, can serve as a beginning point. 

The 10 Commandments is a modern extension of these clinical methods, with an upgrade for the complex virtual world and technological time we live in. Primary Care Optometry, modelled after conventional medicine, is not effectively controlling the ever increasing rise of refractive and eye disease problems. 

Within these 10 Commandments is the solution. The growing numbers of people interested and committed to a preventive approach to vision care is our opportunity. The clinical know-how is available.  It is time for Optometrists to upgrade their model of vision care to bring this possibility into reality. These 10 commandments serve this purpose.

What are the 10 Commandments?

The commandments speak to the wisdom of a functional holistic approach in dealing with patient’s vision problems. By my patients being helped to identify their personal needs, taught and directed me to the ‘know how’?  The commandments speak less to a technique or method of use, but more to the way of how to be with the patient.  To see their eye problems as part of a continuum of their life struggles and evolution. My eyes were opened to see the eye problem as an entry point to the human being’s way of perceiving themselves more deeply. In this way, they were more able to perceive their life problems from a holistic perspective. This article is a way to present these discoveries as an introduction to the future.  A way for Optometry to steer its direction to a truly preventive profession, much like Dentistry has accomplished. Obviously, to administer this approach in a clinical setting will take additional study and practice.

Here are the 10 Commandments:

Commandment 1 – Treat the human who sees not with the eye, but through the eye 

There is a scientific myth, that has been heavily conditioned into the thinking of both practitioners and the public alike.  We see with the eyes.  Light comes into the eye, it is refracted and an upside down image forms on the retina.

From a physical point of view this may be stated so. However, from a psychological perceptual and quantum physics point of view, a revised understanding is necessary.

Light does enter the eye. This light is transformed by refraction. The upgrade in thinking is that the light carries information.  It is not the light per say that we are interested in.  It is the invisible information with in the light that provides the impetus for perception. It is perception that ultimately determines how and what we see.  How skillful and safe is it to extract the information from the light. When the upside down information is correctly received and processed through the brain, an accurate perception is formed. Note, I stated through, not in the brain.

However, there are many variables that can interfere in this processing ability. The main one is the inner state of the person themselves. What exactly is meant by this statement. Recent breakthroughs in understanding the ‘Biology of Consciousness’ helps point the way.  How receptive the tissue and structures of the eye is to the incoming light is dependent on how present or aware the person is behind the eye. From brain research one could hypothesize that it is simply a matter of the person’s focus and attention that is needed for the retina and macular to receive the light. If this happens, then the assumption is that the light is transmitted.  New evidence suggests that it is not so simple. There are actually two primary variables that affect the functionality of the eyes.  One certainly is the brain. A very helpful part, since its primary role is to protect and help the human survive. Survival mechanisms can steer the energy to and through the eye, and we can react very quickly. 

New evidence from ‘Monk’s Brain’ studies reveal another phenomenon. Lamas who are trained in mind/spirit matters,  like meditation, are more able, and far quicker, able to activate larger surface areas of brain tissue. The resultant effect is that they can process light through the eye in a much more complex way, such as looking and identifying  hidden computer driven stereoscopic images. This quiet ‘brain state’ gives them the ability to see more deeply into themselves and life, with less effort and time. Their visual performance far exceeds that of Western intellectual counterparts.

Commandment 2 – How the patient sees, and what we measure in the eye, is a reflection of their perceptions

Seeing is promoted as being primarily an eye function is now a belief in normal eye medicine.  Few consider that in the total process of vision, the eye probably only contributes about 10 percent. The brain and the human spirit determines how and what is seen. So, when an abnormality is measured in the eye, such as Myopia, Astigmatism, suppressions, Glaucoma etc., the source of the problem is behind the eye. My clinical findings implicate that what we measure at the level of the eye are misperceptions, actually ‘survival perceptions’, that ultimately in an unaware person, gets programmed into the eye via the nerves and blood supply. We measure these as refractive or binocular anomalies. 

So, this means in normal lens prescribing and vision therapy we are providing experiences to reorganize a very deep inner process. It is not enough to just treat a measured refractive ‘error’ or a convergence insufficiency or strabismus. Vision therapy is more than what is accomplished in the training room. It can begin even with their new glasses. The procedures the patient is following must be practiced in their real life, at home. If glasses and vision therapy are modifying perception, then the resulting experiences must have a place to land in their personal life.

Usually, we think of vision therapy as training certain eye and vision skills that effect reading, working at a computer, learning and in sports. At the very core of not seeing is avoidance. The resistance to see issues or problems in patient’s lives can and does show up as measurements of refractive and eye conditions.

In the same way, if new healthy perceptions are encoded during the vision therapy process, then the Myopic and Astigmatic perceptions are modified. This can actually be monitored through changes in visual acuity, binocularity, and over time lowered and modified diopter measurements.

If these perceptions are more healthy, then this new way of seeing can also benefit how the patient sees their choice of career, relationships, family and lifestyle.  To take this one step further, clear perceptions directly impact personal problems in patient’s lives. Relationship problems and others addictions are positively affected by this integrated vision therapy.

Commandment 3 – Do not treat or try and fix the diopters, suppressions, lack of visual acuity, eye diseases, phorias, and other eye findings. Use them to define what the eye is communicating about deeper perceptions of the person’s whole existence.

It is a very big step for a practitioner schooled in Optometric and Medical Science to modify their own inner perceptions of the reality they have been conditioned to believe. We are trained to diagnose eye problems and provide treatments. This model is predicated upon the belief that if we measure something in the eye, that deviates from a norm, the eye condition is the problem that has to be fixed. The future of Optometry being a truly preventive discipline, needs a new perception of the eye measurements and what to do about this so called ‘problem’.

Consider that our usual eye measurements, and their relationships to the patient’s symptoms, are a print-out and communication from the brain and beyond. This communication is a ‘call out’ for help. It is not an eye problem.  The brain makes adjustments to its vascular and neural messaging to the eyes when it’s in a survival state. This messaging implicates the presence of a survival perceptions, like fear or anger. The most vivid demonstration of this process is the case of retinoscopy. A young patient sees perfect 20/20, and yet the retinoscopy finding already showing a minus projection. The eyeball is fine at this stage, however, this objective finding is showing a survival restrictive perception. Our usual treatment strategy is to tell the patient to come for a progress visit in the future. Then when the eye shows the Myopia, we can ‘correct’ it with minus lenses.

Then the question can be asked, “What exactly does our lens and vision therapies provide for the patient?” In conventional primary vision care our ‘correct the refractive error’ model locks the patients perceptions into the survival mode.  Lens compensation is just covering up the symptoms not correcting anything. Except, perhaps preventing the practitioner and patient from dealing with the fear of lowered visual acuity. What this means is that the healthy perceptions of thinking, feeling and emotions are not given the appropriate chance to gain the necessary developmental steps for integration. It could be stated that an eye suppression is a one sided suppression of thinking, feeling or emotional perceptions. Psychiatrist Frederick Schiffer, has identified localized areas of emotional activity related to light coming through one eye.  So in vision therapy we are guiding the patient into perceptual experiences of higher and higher levels of fusion or integration of the brain.

However, this is still only a stepping stone towards a human experience through the eye that is akin to a visionary meditative state, like the Lama Monks have demonstrated.

This still state of seeing gives the freedom to deal with life problems from a less reactive position. Less terror, wars, anger and a return to honouring the unity of the human family on this Earth.

Commandment 4 – Prescribe glasses that are preventive and therapeutic because the ‘correct the refractive error’ glasses do not correct anything.

 Normal lens prescribing follows the correct the refractive error model of vision care. The measurement in and of the eye is an eye problem, and that is the end of the story. Write the prescription for 20/20 and get the next patient in. We have a new commandment. There are patients who come in to our offices interested in taking  more responsibility for their visual well-being. This means that we are needing to upgrade our prescribing approaches to meet this level of consumer interest. 

The growing interest in corrective surgery, like Lasik, is raising the awareness of the possibility for improving vision. Not just functional vision skills, but also visual acuity. Growing numbers of patients are investigating natural approaches to lowering their dependency upon strong glasses. What is our position in Optometry on this obvious marketing opportunity? One that can serve the profession of Optometry, but more importantly, help vast number of patients lead a more conscious life through healthier functioning visual systems. 

At the core of a new form of lens prescribing is the premise that the visual system is a natural biofeedback system.  The interaction between the fovea/macula  and retinal input sets the stage for clearness and unclearness of sight.  A normal correct the error lens neutralizes the unclearness of perception into an over focused fovea focus. This introduces a perceptual experience for the patient to fear unclearness and label it wrong.

We, as Optometrists, even reinforce this way of thinking. Everybody has to have a sharp focus and be clear, otherwise it is dangerous for them.  On the other hand, an integrated vision therapy model of lens prescribing has been birthed and clinically tested for over 30 years. That is, for the self responsible patient (this is emphasized), especially the Myopic patient, provide a reduced lens prescription.  In this way, a clear and unclear fovea/retinal relationship is established.

What happens next is where the real patient compliance and self motivation comes into play.  The patient is coached to become aware of what circumstances in their life produces changes in visual acuity. That is, when does the visual acuity seem less clear and visa versa, when does it increase.  Variables like certain foods, fatigue, excessive computer use, and spending time outside produces changes in visual acuity.

The main advantage of this lens form of integrated vision therapy is that the patient begins monitoring their own vision. They learn very quickly that their eyesight and perception is under their control. Then the Optometrist becomes the teacher, the guide to true prevention. 

There is no need to fear that glasses will become obsolete in this model. The opposite is true. Patients will be prescribed more lenses for use in the different parts of their lives.

Commandment 5 – Prescribe minus lenses in the direction of a parasympathetic stimulant  (less minus and more plus),  since minus lenses that compensate for 20/20, or 100% eyesight, are a sympathetic stimulant, a drug

It is not very often that we are given a chance to reflect that a lens acts like its prescription drug, that is it has a direct pharmaceutical action on the autonomic nervous system. The fifth commandment is each time a new minus lens prescription is written, REMEMBER, you are ordering the patient to look through glasses that is a stimulant, like ‘speed’. 

Yes, you are sharpening visual acuity and giving them a chance to protect themselves from not seeing unclear on a physical level. At the same time you are locking them into survival perceptions of their inner unclearness. This is like supporting an addictive process of not becoming aware. They are in a constant state of Hyper alertness through a Sympathetic dominance nervous system. 

The emerging integrated model of vision care supports the patient in looking at their ‘drugged’ way of perceiving. To help them look through lenses that wake up their perceptual consciousness.  All inhabitants of our planet Earth need to correctly see themselves and outside in order to restore the survival way we are living. It begins with our perceptions.

As Optometrists, we have a big role to play in the future scenario of people seeing correctly through their eyes. For the Myopic population, lowered minus lens prescriptions introduces a relaxed parasympathetic way of looking. Through the retinal stimulation, having more feeling for what they are looking at is awakened.  This feeling over time is called compassion. The logical clear view is softened.  Slowly, as the patient lives this way of looking and seeing, so the brain and eye adjust. We measure this more balanced state in the refractive and binocular findings.  Prevention is started for the patient and their off spring. They open their ‘Monk like’ meditative way of perceiving.

Commandment 6 – Prescribe glasses, with an integrated vision therapy approach, thus giving the patient the self responsibility for their vision future

While considering this therapeutic way of prescribing, it will be necessary for most patients to be educated about returning for regular visits. In actual fact, the patient can be guided to realize that in-office supervision, say once per month, will be supportive for their new commitment to prevention and regeneration. This approach serves to maintain a high level of self responsibility.

Once the patient makes the decision for regular monthly visits, their integrated vision therapy involvement in their life is more likely to happen.  In office visits, can include introduction to conventional vision therapy techniques, however, these visits serve another very important process. It is a chance for the patient to experience the deeper connection between their life processes and change in perceptions.

The functional Optometric findings of refractive status, like astigmatism,  suppressions, and fusion will reflect what is happening to the patient’s inner world of perception. In my office sessions, I show the patient these connections and how by using their new perceptions in their life, the measurements in the eyes change. The main variable to monitor is visual acuity in the distance. The second is the level of binocular vision. These findings vary according to the perceptual level of presence and awareness of the patient. If they need to block a certain life experience, there will be lower visual acuity, or they will suppress the view through one eye.

Commandment 7 –  Observe and learn how every eye condition of refraction or disease is a view into how the patient is deviating from their fundamental perceptual EyeCode®. (That is their God given way of perceiving)

Every condition or variation that we measure at the level of the eye is a reflection of an avoidance of perception in the inside world of the patient. 

The patient is genetically coded with information like phorias, structures on the iris, and fusion abilities. Each person has unique astigmatic axes. One can consider that these findings serve as blueprint for an individual EyeCode®. Over the years, I have categorised these codes into what has become known as the EyeCode® Kaplan Method.  The Iris EyeCode® shows the fundamental core perceptual style of the patient, either a logical, feeler or emotional processor. In addition, there is precise information, called perceptual influences, that are passed down from the parents. This forms the basis for the patient to deviate from their core code. 

The Diopter and Disease EyeCode® reveal the deviations from the core perceptions that are related to life conditioning. These are the environmental conditions that begin after birth. For example, a child may have genetic influences to show Myopic measurements at the level of the eye, and the interaction with the Myopic parents and fitting into a Myopic conditioned society then exaggerates their moving into Myopia at a faster rate.

On the other hand, a patient with no genetic Myopic influences, has less impetus for Myopic perceptions and development for a Myopic eye. They may however, trigger a Myopic visual style by environmental abuse of their visual system, such as in excessive computer use. In the same way, certain perceptual states, like self imposed pressure, either inherited or learned, can be connected to elevated levels of intra ocular pressure. 

My findings suggest that when the patient finds out about this inner and outer connection, they are more motivated to take self responsibility for their eye problems. This is a big relief for us, the practitioner, to have a patient take charge. Our true role in vision care becomes evident. We are then the coach, mentor or guide to the patient opening up to their vision.

Commandment 8 – Consider all treatments for eyes to be connected to where the patient is in their life cycle, that is, the variables before their current chronological age, and the future.

Is it possible, that the within the biological workings of the eyes are changes that show up during different periods of our cycle of life?  Clinically, I have observed that as we go through life in 20 year cycles, there is a repeating of certain perceptual experiences. It seems that our perceptions of thinking, feeling and emotions are given repetitive chances to evolve themselves.

At the same time, the code of the eye, reveals changes, for example Presbyopia. Normally, we say the change of lens and ciliary muscle flexibility is just due to the ageing process. Consider that Presbyopia is part of a Biological imperative that is designed to modify thinking perceptions into more feeling and emotional forms.  This would make total sense when one’s considers the life cycle of when Presbyopia begins. The patient’s foundation of their life has been concretely built. Usually the career, home and family is established. Now it is time to feel and enjoy life more. Less need to focus and gain knowledge and more time to feel and be touched by life itself.

The implication of this is huge.  Preventive and life cycle lens prescribing will then take on a very different form than treating the patient as having something wrong with their eyes. 

The eye condition and the patients age guide us to prescribe lenses that will support the patient’s life process rather than just giving them false sense of sharpness of eyesight, such they can continue being unconscious of their fears or need to evolve.

Commandment 9 –  Examine the eye and visual findings to reveal how well the patient is integrating their perceptions of thinking, feeling and emotion.

The visual findings follow a coded perceptual developmental path in addition to the environmental conditioning.  Evolvement of inner vision is a life process of integrating perceptions of thinking, feeling and emotion.  The anatomy of the eye is the first place to observe this fact.  The macula is designed to gather focused light in the fastest way possible.  The precise information within this focused light is used to build an understanding known as the content of life. 

The retinal unfocused light, is slower in being processed by the brain. This information forms the context (Seeing and feeling) of what is looked at. This feeling state supports our perceptual processes of being touched, the beginning basis for healthy emotional states. 

During the life cycle these perceptual states integrated to deeper and deeper levels. Of course, the success of this integration is what we measure as the state of fusion between the two eyed inputs. Clinically, I have observed that many patients under life and visual stress lose the ability to keep this integrated Binocular status of multidimensional vision. 

If the perceptual state gets stuck in either thinking, feeling or even emotion, a survival state of vision is cemented.  This limits the capacity for the eye to receive light and sets up the patient for a lack of fulfilment in their life. Modification of the perceptual state through integrative vision therapy encoding, frees up the natural progression once more to evolve. The patient can be guided how to integrate these three levels of perception, preparing them for a future preventing further destruction of eye tissue.

 

Commandment 10 – The vision care program must address the reality that at the very core of measured vision problems is an inability for the patient to handle emotional incongruity.

One of the most difficult future steps for the profession of Optometry to take is to recognize and acknowledge that at the very core of measured vision problems is an inability for the patient to handle emotional incongruity.

The implication of the above statement is vast. The alterations of the eyeball length, power, and the tissue changes we see extend beyond just the physical.  Biological changes at the level of the eye are printouts of survival nature of the human beings brain state. 

The good news is that through re-traveling the journey of thinking, feeling and emotional perceptions, the survival perceptions can be encoded into a healthy pure view. This higher frequency state can be considered to be a kind of essential seeing, like a spiritual view, like the Monks.

Certainly, the brain and mind state investigations of the Monk’s brain testify to this possibility.  Is it possible that in primary care Optometry we are missing out on this vast potential we have in our profession? Is our physically oriented vision therapy only just scratching the surface of the potential we can offer patients?  My experience of the higher levels of integrated vision therapy has provided me with a deeply fulfilling career as an Optometrist. I offer these commandments to our profession. Upgrade now, it is time and there is a brilliant possibility. Soon, it may be too late. 

EYE SEE LIFE