Improving Vision Naturally
Three, four, knock at the door
Five, six, pick up sticks …
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
The spiritual side of the computational equation starts at the same point – literally. The ancient Greek mathematical philosophers viewed the number one as unity, a wholeness that provides a divine order to the cosmos. The circle, which is constructed from a central point, is the sacred geometric representation of this wholeness, the One that forms the Many. There exists one unique pattern of the circle, of which all circles share the same principles. But no two circles that arise from the One are identical.
Circular shapes abound in nature. Of particular significance is the circular shape of the human eyeball, the organ of our most valuable sense of sight. Ralph Waldo Emmerson recognised the first sacred shape in the human form when he wrote, “The eye is the first circle, the horizon which it forms is the second.” Other circles immediately apparent in the eye are the iris, the coloured portion, and the pupil, the black area which dilates and contracts in response to changing light stimuli.
Deep within the eye, unbeknownst to an observer, the point and the circle play an important role in how we visually perceive the outside world. The inside back portion of the eye (the “retina”) contains numerous light receptors called “cones.” The cones are distributed in such a way that the highest concentration is packed in a very small centre area called the “fovea centralis.” The cones gradually diminish in density as the distance increases from the fovea centralis. The cones are virtually non-existent at the outer periphery, or circumference, of the retina.
Contrary to what some may believe, we do not see equally clearly within the entire circle of our visual field. The focus is different than that captured on photographic film by a camera. The distribution of cones in the eye means that we see the clearest in the central point of our sight. Objects in the periphery are less clear. Because the cone distribution in the retina follows a geometric pattern similar to the energy distribution in a concentric wave, I call it “concentric focus.”
Also within the retina are receptors called “rods.” It is believed that the rods sense movement in our peripheral field. The distribution of the rods is essentially the opposite of the cones. The rods are non-existent in the centre and gradually increase in density towards the periphery. That’s why something moving in your peripheral field of vision can abruptly grab your attention.
Another principle of the circle is the continuous rotary motion of cycles and rhythms. With eyesight, oscillating rhythms are manifest in several ways. One of the most obvious is the continuous blink reflex.
Dr. William Bates was a New York ophthalmologist who pioneered the concept of natural vision improvement almost a century ago. He discovered that the most common types of blurred eyesight, for which glasses are usually prescribed, are actually responses to stress in our environment. The habitual pattern of strained looking causes the eyeball’s natural circular shape to go out of round. By removing strained vision habits, a person can gradually improve one’s eyesight and return to the purity of the One.
The ancient philosophers considered a true mathematical point within the circle as symbolic. It emerges from the immaterial realm and has no dimensions. Dr. Bates related this concept when he said, “The part seen best when the sight is normal is extremely small... the nearer the point of maximum vision approaches a mathematical point, which has no area, the better the sight.” The idea of concentric focus is a fundamental fact that must be truly appreciated when improving eyesight naturally.
Tao gives birth to one,
One gives birth to two
– Lao Tzu
The sacred principle of number two is polarity, whereby the line forms a tensile link between opposite poles. Paradoxically, there is both a separation and an attraction that binds the two, yearning once again for wholeness.
The concept of “two” in eyesight has further spiritual significance beyond the apparent. In Plato’s Timaeus, eyesight is described as a two-way process; the eye mediates between the inner realm and the external world of objects. The fire of the soul was said to emit a gentle light from within, flow through the eye and meet the outer daylight. Like falls upon like, coalesces and forms the perception of sight. In this philosophical view, the eye acts as a portal, the proverbial “window of the soul.”
The portal is actually a symbol that arises geometrically from one circle beginning to replicate into two. The fish-shaped vesica piscis is the area of overlap between the linked circles. It has been venerated throughout history by various cultures and nations and dates back to pagan and mystical religions.
Applying the metaphor of a portal to the eyes, one is immediately drawn to the distinct vesica piscis shape which the upper and lower eyelids produce. Within the eye itself, the same pointed oval shape is found when studying the anatomy of the lens from a side view. The lens is the part of the eye where light rays emitted from an external object refract in such a way to form an image on the retina
Dr. Bates discovered that visual perception is more than simply a biomechanical process of camera-like parts in the body. The inner and outer aspects of eyesight are linked, as the mind and emotions have a great impact on how well we see external objects. During thirty years of clinical observation, he studied various ways in which people strained to see. He concluded that imagination, memory and sight coincide, and that when one is imperfect, all are imperfect.
The Western, scientific mindset artificially separates objective reality and subjective reality. This creates a tendency to overemphasise the external world of objects, freezing them into a supposed condition of permanence. Greek philosopher Heraclitus apparently equated such an unbalanced view as being stung by a scorpion. This “scorpion vision” paralyses us from seeing the eternal rhythm.
In a related vein, Dr. Bates cautioned against the forced concentration of staring, claiming it is an attempt to imagine things as stationary. The forced attention of staring immobilises the natural, healthy movements of the eye, and this straining actually has a boomerang effect. Instead of objects coming in more clearly, the objects become more blurred. An essential habit of healthy vision, therefore, is to maintain relaxed seeing by continuously shifting.
But every tension of opposites culminates in a release, out of which comes the “third,” In the third, the tension is resolved and lost unity is restored.
– Carl Jung
The sacred geometrical representation of number three is the triangle, which takes shape from the vesica piscis. An object in our sight is the third point midway between the eyes, the vertex that balances the opposing views of each eye’s unique perspective. The ancient philosophers valued the triad, assigning it qualities such as piety, friendship, harmony, peace, justice, temperance and virtue. It is the symbol of wisdom, for living prudently in the present requires learning from the past and planning for the future.
In addition to the physical concept of 3D vision, there is another principle of the triad in vision, but in a metaphysical sense.
Awakening the third eye may be highly elusive, but re-awakening a diminished sense of 3D vision is more easily attainable. Lenses prescribed to compensate for blurred vision are a compromise solution. Dr. Bates noted that glasses do provide immediate artificial clarity, but they don’t restore eyesight to a normal state.
Mathematics and geometry are applied with efficient precision in our technological era. A prime example is the science of optics, where good vision is reduced to purely a numerical term, 20/20. Ironically, as the vision industry has grown and prospered, we’re collectively seeing worse, not better.