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The EYES Have It
A Self-help Manual for Better Vision
By Earlyne Chaney
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 1987 Earlyne Chaney
All rights reserved.
The Windows of the Whole Person
Note that the title of this book is The Eyes Have It. It is meant as an aid to sharpen your awareness as well as your eyes. So before we tackle techniques, I must ask you a question. "See" if you can answer it.
Do you realize you "see" with your consciousness and not your eyes?
A cow staked out to graze does not see the beauty of a landscape. Her awareness is only on the grass to eat. You, viewing the same landscape, see with your consciousness. Both the cow and you have eyes—but the conscious awareness in you sees with much more.
Another question: Could it be that by living to the highest potential of our awareness, the highest thought-voltage of our love force, we could "see" without glasses? That we could "see" with our fingertips? That we could "see" the unseen all about us?
It's just a thought. A thought-provoking thought. We'll consider it later. We'll consider first the physiology of the eye and exercises and methods to help you have healthy eyes. Then well consider consciousness again—consciousness in a world without glasses.
Stand at a large picture window and view the landscape in daylight. Notice how well you can see without your glasses. See the outline of hills, or any skyline. Don't worry about whether the scene is clear or blurred. Don't worry! Now cease to concentrate on seeing the scene. Think instead of a happy day in the past, or of a very funny story or joke. Suddenly any blur in the outside scene becomes sharp. Your entire vision temporarily becomes sharp and clear. As soon as you direct energy away from the eyes and cease to worry about them, the eyes immediately function properly, especially when thoughts are happy.
The expression of the eyes changes according to the emotions felt in the innermost part of your being. Sympathy, love, compassion, anger, hate, fear—all of these emotions are reflected in the eyes as the state of inner consciousness looks through. This is true of the relaxed normal eye. A more modern aphorism might warn us that, although the eyes are windows reflecting the awareness of the soul, there are many types of windows. Because they also reflect the status of human health, eyes are often poor revealers of the soul.
One can never teach health for the eyes only; it must constantly be remembered that the eyes are part of, and involved in, the enitre physical being, the whole person. When health problems manifest anywhere in the body, the eyes are always affected, and usually first. The eyes, then, can be called the windows of the human trinity—the soul, the personality, and the physical body. Pain or discomfort can quickly cause the eye to become a distorted mirror of the soul.
Seeing and Perception
"She made me so mad I couldn't see straight!" Don't let anyone continually make you angry, or soon the eyes won't "see straight." Stress! For good vision there must be integration of vision with the evolution of your level of consciousness and awareness. Seeing straight might mean better understanding, cooler coping.
Seeing and perception could be partners; perception is the way we see the world; the way we see our husband or wife; the way we see a dominating parent; the way we see our future; the way we see God. Expanded consciousness—a greater awareness of life's mysteries—could mean better eyesight. A deliverance from the fear of death could "open one's eyes" to both physical and soul vision.
When you understand a certain teaching, you say, "I see" or "I see what you mean." You are actually saying, "I perceive your thought. I understand what you are saying." There are myriad ways of seeing.
And then there are those who can "see" with their fingertips, such as Rosa Kuleshova of Russia. She not only "sees" colors and chooses them correctly in blind tests, but she can also read blindfolded. Another, Lena Bleznova, can distinguish colors with her feet. A third, Nadia Lobanova, who is blind, can tell colors at a distance without touching them. With her hands eight inches from the text, she reads large letters, in both the light and the dark.
Others, in America and elsewhere, can select the correct colors in similar circumstances. Such an ability is called extraocular vision. Perhaps we have a crystalline lens and retina in our sensitive fingertips but don't know it. Perhaps as we unfold our other higher perceptions, we'll find we can see perfectly well with our fingertips even when our eyes can't.
But how does this "second sight" work? Sight has two organs: the eyes and the skin. The skin consists of visual microscopic ocelli distributed over the whole epidermis but especially in the fingertips. The ocelli possess a refracting body, an ocillary retina, an optical fiber.
This second-sight organ must have been originally designed for use in darkness (given that the eyes see only in light). The phenomenon of seeing in darkness is called nictopia. The problem is that of focusing peripheral or field vision into homocentric visibility—in other words, closing out all excessive areas to beam in on one small area. The difficulty, then, is not that of extending but of reducing the field of vision. "Paroptic" vision gains in integrity what it must lose of its integrality.
The paroptic vision—that of seeing with the fingertips—could be a bridge between physical and psychic vision. The diffused peripheral skin vision could be extended as a sky vision, like a telescope focusing on one small space. It could finally project itself beyond space and become psychic clairvoyance.
Receptive and reflective, the paroptic function could explain the so-called "aura" phenomenon. Its absorption of light may awaken in the brain some sensitive organ—a sixth sense organ—that could change the peripheral absorption of light into psychic clairvoyance. Psychic clairvoyance is only an occasional occurrence in the untrained human mind. It could become a permanent psychic faculty through fully developed and trained paroptic vision. Its development could thus follow naturally from that of peripheral illumination.
It is groups of ocelli that form in the primitive eyes of insects, enabling them to see in the dark. This is also true of the cat, which sees perfectly well in the dark.
The theory of research mystics—my theory, at least—is that the human eye has evolved from skin tissue, and therefore the skin cells still retain the latent ability to receive visual impressions. I believe there is a direct connection between the eyes and certain sensitive centers, especially the fingertips and palms. The microscopic nerve organs of the skin are potential eyes.
According to scientists, each cell in our body is a miniature battery with a potential charge of about 1.17 volts. The flow of current in all of the body cells amounts to about 76 amperes. One stroke of a comb through the hair will produce an electrical value of from 8,000 to 10,000 volts.
Feelings of pleasure on any skin area will create an increase in bioelectrical charge in the skin. Feelings of displeasure—negative feelings such as fear, anxiety, irritation—create a decrease in bioelectrical charge. So to establish a positive possibility of seeing, not only with the fingertips but even with better eyesight, one should live in an atmosphere of the highest possible spiritual voltage, an aura of total love and bliss. Much of attaining healthier eyes has to do with recognizing stress and tension in our lives and learning how to relax.
Worry and fear create inner tension. All negative emotions affect the eyes almost immediately. We are all familiar with such descriptive phrases as "blind with rage," "I saw red I was so mad," "I was so furious I couldn't see straight."
How literally true they are. Rage can tentatively blind one. Anger can redden the eyes, swelling minute minor blood vessels. Anger can cause the vision to blur and "warp," and you actually can't see straight.
Defective eyesight is common among people who are unhappy with their jobs—especially when they feel trapped and unable to change. Bad posture and poor lighting are among the more common physical causes.
Tension is the first enemy of both inner or outer beauty. Stress is always reflected first in the eyes. A soul can easily be misjudged. People can be accused of having "shifty eyes," meaning their dealings with others may be devious. It may be because their eyes hurt from inner tension. They shift their eyes as they would shift a hurting foot, not knowing where to put it. Others, supersensitive to light, may draw their brows down and together, appearing to scowl when they are only uncomfortable. Others may appear cold, unfeeling, even haughty, because their eyes are fixed and staring due to stiff muscles.
Eyes full of tension become a poor mirror for the inner feelings because, through tension, the great inner light is overcast and the eyes become simply physical organs filled with discomfort. We should never be quick to judge people via the eyes. Only when the eye and the overall health are normal can the old adage "as within so without" truly be proved. The soul truly can use the normal eye as a mirror.
Tension is always intensified in the eyes, manifesting as tight lids and tight muscles. Tense muscles often create a furrow between the eyebrows in an effort to relieve inner discomfort. Tensed eye muscles then create congestion, which means the circulation of blood and life force is being partially blocked. If the tension continues, the drawn eye muscles cause the eye to appear smaller in its setting. Over a period of time, the lack of life force will even fade the color. Nothing fades the color of the eye more rapidly.
Have you ever noticed how your eyes shine when you are happy? The eyes of a little child sparkle when an unexpected treat or a gift is given. This should be the natural state of your eyes, quick and ready to register your emotions.
Go for a walk or take a bus ride just to observe the eyes of those you meet. Some reflect the sure, unfaltering light of faith, love, hope, and confidence. Most reflect the message of quiet resignation, the sign that the quest has been abandoned, the dreams of earlier years have died. Others reflect hopeless despair. Lack of love will undernourish a soul just as lack of proper food undernourishes the eye. The pain and panic of daily living are reflected in far more eyes than is happiness. Some are fixed and staring as if their owner were far away in thought.
Occasionally one does see a vibrant being with sparkling eyes. If questioned, the person is invariably found to be "in love" or "in a state of love." Love is light, and the inner light of love force reflects in the eyes as a sparkle. We'll have more to say concerning light and the eyes in Part 4.
From day to day the degree of tension varies in the eyes, as in the rest of the body. No eye is normal all the time. The "normalcy" fluctuates with passing events, but it is most important not to allow stress and tension to attain a state of permanency.
Let's consider some of the tensions that, over a period of time, build up in the eye. They are as varied as the individuals who bear them. First, as we've already stated, is mental strain. Usually, as you mature and assume the responsibilities of life, so your tensions grow. Fears of various levels and aspects become an innate part of the personality—the "normal" fears of life: the fear of failure, fear of what life and its experiences may bring. We face the uncertainty of the future and anxiety for the present. We flash ahead to potential challenges—childbirth, for instance—and wonder about our fortitude. This innate fear of failure is the first great builder of tension—first in the mind, then reflected in the eyes, until the whole face mirrors this inner state. No normal mortal truly ever escapes this inborn fear of personal responsibility, for even the soul itself often questions whether or not it will or can fulfill the mission for which it came.
Sudden shock may temporarily affect vision. The same type of shock that causes the face to blanch and the body to tremble could cause muscle spasm in the eye. Such a spasm may also occur in a highly nervous person after driving in extremely heavy traffic.
There are legions of lesser tensions, more or less temporary in their effect." Look at the clock! Hurry! Ill be late!" "Did I lock the door as I left?" "Have I missed my bus?" "Did I disconnect the iron?" "I'm almost out of gas!" And on and on and on. You may have acquired the faith and knowledge to handle the first group—the hidden inner tensions, the fears of personal responsibility—but we all have these lesser tensions descend upon us daily!
Whether caused by hidden inner tensions of life's fears or by daily stress, tension in the eyes dulls the vision and is often the beginning of organic as well as functional problems. Cataract, glaucoma, and other diseases of the eye are usually caused by tension. If tension can be eliminated, the disease can usually be avoided. We'll talk about several methods of prevention later. One major approach to tension prevention is relaxation.
Now that we have considered the negative-tension causes of the eye and whole-person problems, let's investigate a positive and happier view, the one you should emphasize. It is the hopeful thought, the bright outlook, the "light" out-look we are seeking.
No two pairs of eyes are identical; no two have the same degree of either faulty or good vision. Whatever your difficulty, relaxation cannot harm you.
The art and habit of relaxation are absolutely essential to natural vision. The reason so many people wear glasses is that they have forgotten how to relax. The world is too much with us. The tensions are so constant, our eyes react and suffer the effects of our "quiet panic" about existing in a world seemingly gone mad.
The easiest possible method of being sure tension doesn't build too high in the eye is to close your eyes for brief periods many times a day—short but frequent moments. Cultivate the habit of closing your eyes when reading, watching television, sewing, typing, or doing anything else that requires steady viewing. Take a few moments to practice some of the simple exercises in this book—such as "palming"—described in Part 2. Always think happy. Think love. Think tenderness.
Relaxation falls into two categories, passive and dynamic. Passive relaxation is the type you use when, tired, you sit in a chair and completely let go, when you fall across the bed and allow it to hold you instead of your holding it. You are using dynamic relaxation if the relaxed feeling of mind and body continues while you go about your active work or play. Active or dynamic relaxation is the type busy people use. After sitting for long hours at work, go for a walk or a swim. It's the kind of relaxation that keeps athletes loose during a game.
The Bates Method of eye correction uses both types of relaxation. First, we seek to put the body in a state of comfort and ease. The active working mind is quieted down by the palming drill—which blocks out light by using the palms. Often it is remarked after palming, "I almost went to sleep."
At times of extreme nervousness it is best to introduce active relaxing drills before palming. They bring into play some of the large body muscles, almost tiring them. The muscular activity tends to quiet the nerves, making it easier to sit quietly and palm the eyes for whatever length of time is necessary for best results. This method is also used successfully with active children. It is the ability to employ these two forms of relaxation interchangeably that enables the eye to be restored to its proper functioning: not with exercise but with the proper use of relaxation.
In summing up these remarks on tension and relaxation, we arrive at this conclusion: Relaxation and normalcy of eye, mind, and body are closely related. Not only do various functional disturbances of the eye spring from continued tensions, but tension has been most often at the root of organic trouble as well.
It is not only in the eye that tension does its deadly work but throughout the whole mind and body. Witness the rapid growth in popularity of tranquilizers. Psychiatrists and counselors are in demand because of nervous tensions in both young and old. Many have established a cycle: nerve tension, which brings frustration, which produces additional nerve tension. Many diseases of the body are not only caused by tension but are nurtured by it. Practice of these mechanical aids for relaxation, while applying some of the principles leading toward quietness of mind and soul, helps you sleep without tranquilizers and do your work without the so-called happiness pills. Nor will you need to take your problems—many, if not most, induced by tensions—to a counselor.
Excerpted from The EYES Have It by Earlyne Chaney. Copyright © 1987 Earlyne Chaney. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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