If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then why do so many people need to wear glasses and contacts?
More share this site than half the people in the U.S. need glasses or contacts to see clearly. And the other half thinks it’s perfectly normal. Poor vision is the largest epidemic affecting Americans today: The problem that nobody sees.
Yet, even though poor vision is so prevalent – and even though younger and younger children are needing glasses – doctors and researchers are at a loss to explain its exact cause. (1)
Many still cling to the out-dated belief that vision problems are inherited. Yet, In fact, according to Dr. Richard Kavner, author of Total Vision, only 3 people out of every 100 are born with vision problems. (2)
And. it’s not just that computers, or too much reading or TV watching are ruining our eyesight.
The eyes are more than a camera. And not seeing clearly means more – much more – than only that the camera is out of focus.
From a holistic point of view, not seeing clearly means more than not being able to see across the desk, across the room or across the street.
A REVEALING CONNECTION
We understand this subconsciously, if not directly. Take the movies, for example. When a screenwriter wants to portray a character that is timid, shy, or unsure of him or herself, invariably that character wears glasses. And we this website in the audience get the message that wearing glasses conveys.
Behavior and personality studies on nearsighted people have been done since the early 1900s. Richard Lanyon. Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School, co-wrote a journal article in which he reviewed numerous studies that clearly document the relationship between personality and vision. (3) Nearsighted people consistently test as being more introverted, shy and lacking in confidence than their clear-seeing counterparts.
Spiritual teachers also recognize this relationship. Louise Hay, author of the groundbreaking You Can Heal Your Life, suggests that nearsighted people have a fear of seeing their future and of not trusting what is ahead in their lives.
Jane Roberts, author of Seth Speaks, noted that for many, nearsightedness was a physical manifestation of something that they did not want to see – on an emotional, psychological and/or spiritual level.
My experience confirms this relationship between the inner and outer aspects of seeing. My experience also shows me that it is not only nearsightedness that has a mind/body connection. So do farsightedness, astigmatism, eye imbalances – even medical eye problems.
Let me explain:
Our eyes are sensitive emotional receptors through which we relate to others. We express our feelings through our eyes. We can often tell what someone else is thinking by the “look” in his/her eyes. And, in many ways, how we feel tempers how and what we see.
All of us have been in situations where we see things we don’t like or that have hurt us in some way.
There’s a part of ourselves that imagines, “If I pretend not to see it, it will disappear.” or “I don’t want to see this part of myself or this part of what’s going on around me.” Pretending not to see or not to know is one coping strategy that may be a useful protection at certain times.
The difference is that those who do not see clearly have ingrained this response into their consciousness, most often in response to particularly stressful situations that occurred prior to needing glasses for the first time.
THE VISION TRANSITION PERIOD
I surveyed 583 people before they began using The Program for Better Vision. (4) 63% of them were able to remember at least one significant change that occurred in their life during the 12-18 month period prior to first noticing a limitation with their vision. I call this period the Vision Transition Period.
The changes they noticed fall into one or more of these categories.
1. Personal: Changes in self image usually (but not always) accompanied by physical changes during adolescence (reaching puberty) or with middle age (aging). Or changes in the fundamental ways in which other people or life are perceived.
2. Emotional: Changes in significant relationships. (Parents divorce, another child is born or a loved one dies.)
3. Situational: Changes in the environment. (Moving to another town and having to make new friends or staying in the same town but switching careers, homes or schools.)
Whatever the specific external changes may have been, they are merely a catalyst. The key is that the emotional response of not wanting to see or be seen, of pulling away or hiding from the world, develops first on the inner levels before it manifests physically.
RELEASING INNER BARRIERS TO SEEING
For the inner healing of vision to occur, it’s necessary to release the inner decisions made during the Vision Transition Period. (That’s why I’ve found that people who just try eye exercises are often frustrated by their lack of improvement.)
Powerful healing experiences are possible once a person examines their Vision Transition Period.
Ruth G., who used The Program for Better Vision says, “I found that I was intentionally blurring people once they came into seeing range…This observation has carried the process to new areas and probed deeper the question of why I have hidden behind blurred vision.”
Or, as Abby C. experienced, “My relationships have gotten closer, more honest and more satisfying. And, I’ve only needed my glasses 15 minutes in the last two weeks.”
One middle-aged stockbroker, Ralph P., who had been unable to see anything without his reading glasses, looked back at his Vision Transition Period — a time when he was losing money in the stock market. He recalled that he had finally reached the point where he was afraid to look at the stock tables for “fear of seeing” how much he had lost that day. The tables had become the “proof” to him that he was a failure and this image of himself as being “a failure.” was what he didn’t want to see.
As he let go of that false image, he saw himself as more than his temporary successes or failures. His vision returned to normal and he began to read and work without glasses for the first time in five years.
Not seeing clearly is, at least to some degree, an expression of one or more check more of the following inner decisions:
1. An emotional decision that we do not want to see some aspect of our life, our self or our relationship to others.
2, A desire to pull away or hide from part of the world that we find either threatening, confusing, or overwhelming.
3. Negative messages and beliefs we may have absorbed about seeing. For example, the young child who is told, as she sees her mother upset, “Nothing’s the matter” might learn the message ” I can’t trust what I see” or “It’s not OK to see the truth of what’s going on.”
4. A shutting down of our intuition or perceptiveness, which is also our ability to sense what may be ahead in our lives.
THE TOTAL PICTURE
Glasses and contacts deal with the symptoms — but not the causes — of not seeing clearly. Using glasses does not address any of the initial reasons that led to needing them in the first place.
Over and over again, in my 30 years of teaching about vision, I’ve seen people improve their sight, reduce the strength of their prescriptions or discard their glasses and lenses altogether.
One important part of healing vision has been their decision to deepen the inner willingness to see and be seen and release the barriers to seeing – on all levels.
This inner healing, along with re-training the brain and eyes to work properly and also supplying the visual system with the proper nutrients and supplements provide the three essential elements necessary to regain better vision.
Martin Sussman, an internationally recognized expert in holistic vision care, is the author of 5 books, audio courses and DVDs, including the #1 best-selling Program for Better Vision and the Read Without Glasses Method (for middle age sight). Founder and president of the Cambridge Institute for Better Vision (established 1977) in Topsfield MA, he can be reached at .
2. Total Vision by Richard Kavner.
1. Jeffrey, J. Walline, O.D., Ph.D.,, 2006 The Myopia Debate. Review of Optometry, September 15, 2006
3. Richard L. Lanyon, et. al., Psychological Approaches to Myopia: A Review. American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics. Vol 51, No. 4.
4. The Program for Better Vision Audio Course by Martin Sussman. Available from .
Try this: Make a list of the top 30 things, people or situations in your life (including parts of yourself) that you do not want to see or that you are resisting, avoiding or denying. Choose instead to deal with them with your eyes, mind and heart open.
3. OPEN YOUR PERIPHERY. Most nearsighted people have tunnel vision – they are over-aware of what they are directly looking at, and not very aware of their periphery – their total field of vision.
Take a walk without your glasses or contacts and practice being aware of your total field of vision. Imagine as if you are taking everything in all at once, including what you are directly looking at.
Many spiritual thinkers say that we receive our intuition and inner wisdom through our peripheral awareness. The more you’re conscious of this, and the softer your focus becomes, the more you’ll start to open up your inner pathways to receive your intuition and inner wisdom. You’ll also gain a greater sense of space and depth perception in your visual field.
4. USE THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION. Most eye doctors prescribe glasses or contacts that are too strong, which often leads to the need for stronger and stronger prescriptions over time. Instead, I recommend a slightly weaker, under-corrected prescription – still strong enough to legally and safely drive – but it encourages your eyes and brain to engage in the process of seeing.
Over time, as you continue releasing inner barriers and also take other steps to improve your sight, your prescription could get weaker and weaker as your vision becomes clearer.
(Go to to find an eye doctor that understands this approach.)