Seeing the Flash

Tuesday afternoon: I practiced open focus and palmed for about 20 minutes.  My visual acuity changed from 10/100 to 10/40.

Thursday night: I practiced the “Seeing the Flash” activity from page 91 of Liberman’s book, Take Off Your Glasses and See, for about 35 minutes with  a few breaks throughout.  By the end I was able to see the flash (of perfectly clear vision) quite well.  My television was on (about 10 ft. away), and I was able to read writing on the screen that I normally couldn’t.  Also, I had my Snellen chart up, and I could see the letters on the 25 line (from 10 ft.) perfectly clear.  However, the flash was too brief for my mind to identify the letters.  These results may not make sense, but I am confident of what happened: I saw the letters on the 25 line long enough to recognize that they were perfectly clear, but not long enough to tell what letters they were.

I decided to use the Seeing the Flash activity because I wanted to practice seeing without trying to see.  This is the main factor of clear vision as conveyed by Bates and Liberman.  Both observed that the clearest vision for themselves or their patients occured when they did not make an effort to see.  Liberman stresses this point by saying that one needs to use “effortless seeing” in order to have clear vision.  I was able to see the “wobble” as I opened my eyes during this practice that is caused by the change from perfectly clear vision to one’s normal blurry vision (if one has a vision condition such as myopia).  In agreement with the ideas in Liberman’s book, I was able to see the clearest flashes when I opened my eyes without the intent of seeing.  These ideas may not make sense 😕 (especially if you haven’t read Liberman’s book), but my main point is that I’m working on seeing without effort as Liberman and Bates described.

The process of seeing is predominately mental, not physical. 8)


One thought on “Seeing the Flash

  1. Nancy says:

    Hi & congratulations; you are having great results. I agree with the idea that looking at the chart without trying to see/read will give the best results, as this has been true for me. I’ve been looking at the letters as if they’re in a language I don’t know, or shapes I don’t recognize, & just looking at the curves & corners & edges, etc. Often when I think I recognize some letter pretty far down on the chart I can’t usually see, if I switch into “trying to read/identify it” mode, I lose the clarity completely.

    Once I get really good at this, it will be interesting to return to reading mode & not lose the clarity.

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