Bates method 'clear flashes' and neuroplasticity

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    For these of you who discredit many if not all of Bates' own ideas,
    you have to keep in mind that he may have made a few contributions not
    yet founded by our neuroscientists.

    First, look at what MRI scans have confirmed about brain wavelengths
    in Tibetan Buddhist monks when they meditate:
    http://wanderingvisitor.blogspot.com/2006/02/meditation-and-neuroplasticity.html

    It says there, "It demonstrates, he said, that the brain is capable of
    being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine."

    How did I run across this discovery? It was in Discover magazine: p.
    65, Feb. 2007 issue. Article name: "REWIRING THE BRAIN-A change of
    mind is now everyone's prerogative
    By Matthew Blakeslee"

    In that article, it states, "Brain scans reveal that the neural
    activity of highly trained monks is off the charts, relative to
    meditation novices, in circuits that involve maternal love (caudate),
    empathy (right insula), and feelings of joy and happiness (left
    prefrontal cortex). Even when these monks are not meditating, their
    brains bear the imprints of their psychic workouts....Science, like
    any other human endeavor, is susceptible to trends and pendulous
    swings of groupthink. The current vogue is for "neurogenetic
    determinism," the view that your genes and subconscious are the true,
    essential shapers of who you are and how you think and behave; the
    conscious mind is little more than a self-important figurehead along
    for the ride."

    Would this be how you perceive the conscious mind: "little more than a
    self-important figurehead along for the ride"? Especially when
    addressing vision?

    Do you think you cannot produce 'clear flashes' yourself? Before you
    dismiss an idea entirely, you need to try it first... and not be
    spoonfed by the researchers. Great scientists have tesified about how
    our researchers are being "unscientific". Richard Feynman, who
    assisted in the development of the atomic bomb, expanded the
    understanding of quantum electrodynamics, translated Mayan
    hieroglyphics, and cut to the heart of the Challenger disaster once
    said, "The experts who are leading you may be wrong....I think we live
    in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of
    communications and television-words, books, and so on-are
    unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of
    intellectual tyranny in the name of science."

    I would say Richard Feynman saying "intellectual tyranny in the name
    of science" was being polite. I think of science as a religion
    complete with priesthood, true believers, heretics, etc. Every so
    often the priesthood in power is over thrown by people with so much
    proof in their favor they have to be recognized. This is also known as
    swings of groupthink which Blakeslee mentioned in his article. Also,
    you have to think about how the "telephone game" can be true when
    information is passed from researcher to researcher. And how "pressure
    to produce new information rather than reproduce others' work
    dramatically increases the chance that errors will go unnoticed."
    http://amasci.com/miscon/myths10.html

    Experience IS the best teacher, not what others tell you. Most people
    think 'clear flashes' are impossible. To do so is to fully
    underestimate the mind's capabilities. I've personally had 'clear
    flashes' without eye tricks like watery eyes, etc, that take my
    binocular eyesight from 20/40 to 20/13 (confirmed on Snellen eye chart
    at same time on a clock, standing distance, and lighting condition for
    both measurements). How can the naked eye physically create such a
    change in vision without the mind being an active participant? If you
    see that much more clearly, then you just do... period! Can't really
    be faked, especially not if you're able to see something like strands
    of people's hair from 1/5 to 1/4 mile away.

    The mind plays an undeniable role in vision, as illustrated through
    vison orientation (retinal image flipped upside down shortly after
    birth) and optical illusions. Is it not possible, then, to believe
    that the brain can be programmed to see things more perfectly, similar
    to how a tennis player creates what's known as "muscle memory"? But
    remember... a tennis player will not develop "very good muscle memory"
    the first day, until the day after that, and then the day after.

    Need clear-cut instructions on how to produce a 'clear flash' to
    verify this for yourself? I was messaging a certain individual
    regarding a description I had sent to a different individual and this
    is what I illustrated:

    Here's Part 1:

    Let me start by explaining that due to the mental component of our
    eyesight, it is important to address it accordingly in a way that
    causes the mind to believe it is seeing something differently. How do
    I consciously produce clear flashes? One way is I imagine anything as
    being perfect... for example, if you are a myope (nearsighted), look at
    something up close and remember it as perfect (without straining) as
    possible. Then look in the distance and close your eyes, and imagine
    what you just saw up close as being as perfect as possible. Sometimes,
    it takes timing to catch that "perfect" moment. Then when you open
    your eyes, while at the same time remembering it perfectly, the world
    becomes much more pristine all of a sudden. This is known as a 'clear
    flash'. It's very difficult at first for people to imagine something
    perfectly. Trying to imagine anything perfectly will most likely not
    be possible at first.

    (*****, it may take time before you get the hang of doing this and
    start to notice something, but don't be discouraged. It gets easier
    and easier after you experience even a single instance of such a
    flash, because you will understand how it is done)... now for Part
    2...

    *****************************************************************

    Part 2:

    Later on, in reply to what I said in Part 1, the person states he has
    a different understanding of clear flashes, so I say:

    Regarding the clear flashes, you're correct. I was simply giving a
    primer on how clear flashes could be produced. I wasn't sure if you
    knew. My clear flashes are usually produced with normal, reflexive
    blinks, and sometimes I trigger chain effects of clear flashes, such
    as five blinks in a row in which each clear flash gets better. The
    goal of clear flashes is to be able to produce them by remembering
    something perfectly with the eyes open as you've said, just by
    blinking normally, and the frequency and duration of clear flashes
    will increase over time until you eventually acquire what I'll call
    the ultimate clear flash, in which the clear flash becomes permanent.


    (*****, you need to start with what I said in Part 1 first.
    This is because Part 1 is important to be able to get a 'feel' for it
    first before moving on to Part 2. Good luck!)

    [END]

    Visualizing something as appearing perfect is simply a way to create
    mental imprints in the brain (neuroplasticity) to modify our visual
    acuity, depth perception, and so on. Before you dismiss this entirely,
    you need to give it a try several times spread over several days and
    see what happens.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. Was it when the lithium kicked in?
     
    Scott Seidman, Mar 7, 2007
    #2
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  3. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    Try it for yourself first before making a joke, peabrain.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #3
  4. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    If you do not try something before disregarding it entirely, you are
    the "one" being unscientific, Scott. It's as simple as that.

    Unscientific people jump to conclusions without trying things -- when
    you do not try something, how does that make you scientific?

    When you have found the answer, let me know.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #4
  5. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=seidman+sh

    Papers I've first-authored have been cited more than a hundred times,
    when the modal (i.e., the number that happens most often) number of
    citations for papers in indexed journals is zero. I've given invited
    talks in four countries, counting the US, and to NASA. I've refereed
    multiple times for at least a half dozen peer reviewed journals over the
    last two years, maybe a half dozen more over the last decade. I've served
    in an ad hoc fashion on a variety of grant review study sections for the
    NIH, and turned down similar invitations from the NSF. I've sat, and
    currently sit, on a number of Ph.D committees.

    The next time I'm asked to do something, though, I'll be sure to tell
    whoever is asking that swimchamp26 doesn't believe me to be qualified.
    It will save me a lot of my time, I'm sure.
     
    Scott Seidman, Mar 7, 2007
    #5
  6. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    Scott,

    Trying to promote an 'over-inflated' ego? You're missing the point.

    You may have specifically proven a number of other things, but nowhere
    do I see any studies you have done specifically on 'clear flashes'.
    Have you even tried producing one yourself, following my instructions?

    Simply using your other studies to negate out something else that you
    have not tried does not make you "scientific" in that sense. Do you
    even know what the word "scientific" means?

    Nor would it make others "scientific" to believe you if you haven't
    tried it yourself.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #6
  7. Not at all. I think in about a decade of participation in this group,
    I've posted my credentials about twice. I just don't like fanatics
    telling me I don't know what science is.
    I'm not using my own studies to prove anything. I have not done any
    studies on "clear flashes". I posted my background to make the point
    that I understand what science is at a level that you don't. "Try it for
    yourself" is the call of the charlatan. "Read the literature" is at the
    center of scientific review. Just because I haven't tried something
    doesn't mean that I don't know anything about it.

    To top it off, I haven't made any claims about the Bates Method (though I
    do firmly believe it is crap)-- I merely suggested that you might have
    benefitted from Lithium from time to time.
     
    Scott Seidman, Mar 7, 2007
    #7
  8. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    Scott,

    You're clearly missing the point.

    You may have specifically proven a number of other things, but
    nowhere
    do I see any studies you have done specifically on 'clear flashes'.
    Have you even tried producing one yourself, following my explicit
    instructions?

    Simply using your other studies to negate something else that you
    have not tried does not make you "scientific" in that sense. Do you
    even know what the word "scientific" means?

    Neither would it make others "scientific" to believe you if you
    haven't
    tried it yourself.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #8
  9. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest


    Scott,

    You're clearly missing the point.

    You may have specifically proven a number of other things, but nowhere
    do I see any studies you have done specifically on 'clear flashes'.
    Have you even tried producing one yourself, following the same
    instructions that I point out?

    Simply using your other studies to negate something else that you have
    not tried does not make you "scientific" in that sense. Do you even
    know what the word "scientific" means?

    Neither would it make others "scientific" to believe you if you
    haven't tried it yourself.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 7, 2007
    #9
  10. Mark Forum

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Kyle,

    Have you seen the history of what happens when people hawk unproven
    theories around here?

    Why not advocate that the major research institutes try it out. If it
    works, people will use it.

    Meanwhile ... have you met Otis Brown??
     
    Neil Brooks, Mar 8, 2007
    #10
  11. Mark Forum

    serebel Guest

    Does one have to wear a tin foil hat while doing the Bates thing?
     
    serebel, Mar 8, 2007
    #11
  12. Mark Forum

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Can I reflect on that for just a bit and get back to you?
     
    Neil Brooks, Mar 8, 2007
    #12
  13. Mark Forum

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    What is the point of these so-called clear flashes? Entertainment?
    Does this trigger some pleasure center? What do you charge patients
    for teaching them to produce "clear flashes"? Would I recognize a
    "clear flashing" person if I met one on the street?

    DrG
     
    Dr. Leukoma, Mar 8, 2007
    #13
  14. Mark Forum

    otisbrown Guest

    Dear Mark,

    I think you recognize that these majority-opinion ODs are
    hostile to any and all second-opinions.

    I believe that the study stated below should be repeated.

    http://central-fixation.com/batesmed/myopiaprevention.htm

    There you will read about a very simple program which was used
    to bring the eyesight of 1,000 pupils to normal in six public schools
    in NYC. This article was printed in the NY Medical Journal for
    August 30, 1913. It is full of the names of real people, the
    principals
    of the schools, the names of various teachers and of various
    public officials. This article was just recently uncovered by an
    Italian gentleman. Yes, there is growing interest in Dr. Bates in
    Italy, as there is in Germany.

    Please don't tell me this is a fictitious report. There were libel
    laws
    in those days, stronger than the ones we have today, and the idea
    that Dr. Bates made up the whole business and that the NY Medical
    Journal printed it without doing even a cursory check is absurd.

    I will give you some background. Before a meeting of some 300
    ophthalmologists was to be held in NYC, Dr. Bates wrote to each
    of the doctors who were going to attend and informed them that
    he was going to make a public challenge to them. The challenge
    he was going to issue was as follows,

    "Come with me any classroom in the City of New York and if there
    is one child in that classroom whose eyesight I cannot improve
    by rest, I will admit I am wrong about the whole business."

    Not one of those doctors accepted the challenge, but somehow
    an official of the Board of Education of NYC heard about it and
    invited Dr. Bates to a school to show what he could do.

    Dr. Bates showed up and, with a teacher observing, did his thing.
    The teacher was dazzled, but suspicious, feeling that some sort
    of trick was being played. She asked Dr. Bates to stay in the class-
    room while she attended to some business.

    What she did was go into another classroom and do what she
    had seen Dr. Bates do. She got the same results and came back
    convinced that no trick was being played. The rest you can read
    about.

    The next thing I suggest you do is buy a copy of "Better Eyesight"
    which is a compilation of the eleven years of the little magazine
    Dr. Bates published. It is about $18.00 on Amazon. It is a
    huge book.

    There you can read about a similar program which involved
    six schools and 9,000 pupils in North Bergen, New Jersey.
    This program was so successful in both preventing and correcting
    refractive errors in the pupils that the superintendent of schools
    compared it to the invention of radio!

    It was not merely the improvement of the eyesight of the pupils,
    it was the extraordinary improvement in their academic achieve-
    ment that sent him into orbit. If this is too much trouble, I wrote
    a posting about this program and its success which I will post
    if I can find it.

    While this report was published in Dr. Bates's magazine, again
    you will note that this magazine is replete with names of
    real people and the idea that Dr. Bates could publish a
    fictitious report on what was going on in North Bergen, New
    Jersey, confident that no one would ever know, does not
    present itself to be as being a compelling idea.

    If you buy a copy of a book called "Reprints," from
    "healthresearchbooks.com" you can read about another
    program successfully used in Grand Forks, North Dakota,
    for a number of years, also published in some medical
    journal. That article is not as detailed as the other two.

    What I am suggesting is that there is an alternative to just
    throwing up your hands in despair and saying what can we
    do? The children have to function. I really don't see why
    there is no interest in Dr. Bates's simple program. It would
    cost next to nothing and take little time.

    If you are going to suggest these reports have no value
    because there was no control group, permit me to ask
    was there a control group in the tests which led the
    FDA to approve the various systems of refractive
    surgery-Lasik and the others?

    Written by "Tom" on i-see.


    ***********************

     
    otisbrown, Mar 8, 2007
    #14
  15. Mark Forum

    Neil Brooks Guest

    [snip]

    Well ... Otis re-posted it ... in its entirety. I can't see where
    there's room for lingering doubt now ... :-\
     
    Neil Brooks, Mar 8, 2007
    #15
  16. Mark Forum

    Victek Guest

    I think the point is that if the phenomenon exists it would be good to
    investigate it. If it's possible to produce clear vision, however briefly,
    in a person who normally does not have clear vision then that's something
    worth trying to understand. Practical applications may or may not come
    later.
     
    Victek, Mar 8, 2007
    #16
  17. Mark Forum

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    No doubt it has been investigated and found to be fraudulent, or to
    have no practical application.

    DrG
     
    Dr. Leukoma, Mar 8, 2007
    #17
  18. Mark Forum

    Neil Brooks Guest

    I think your point is perfectly valid and well taken.

    In regards to the power of meditation, I've followed, with some
    interest, the studies of Herbert Benson, of Harvard's Mind Body
    Medicine Institute [1]. Benson was one of the researchers who
    documented amazing physical capacities in Tibetan monks practicing a
    particular sort of meditation known as "g Tum-mo" [2].

    I think we see a select few posters around here, though, who really
    ought to spend more time "writing their congressman," so to speak
    (lobbying researchers in the major institutions nationally AND
    internationally to look at their hypotheses) and less time telling us
    how wonderful they and their theory are.

    I've seen zero credible evidence that people can't get their theories
    looked at.

    Search PubMed for some things you'd have thought would get NO
    attention (antibiotic properties of garlic?). In sooo many cases,
    you'll find that the research IS done or HAS been done. It just takes
    knocking on the RIGHT doors, and usually without a Conspiracy Theory
    chip on one's shoulder.

    [1] http://oasis.harvard.edu:10080/oasis/deliver/~med00061
    [2] http://www.mbmi.org/about/articles/press/meditation_temperature.pdf
     
    Neil Brooks, Mar 8, 2007
    #18
  19. Mark Forum

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Here is a critique of the "flashing" phenomenon dating from 1952.
    http://brain.berkeley.edu/pub/1952 April Flashes of Clear Vision.pdf
     
    Dr. Leukoma, Mar 8, 2007
    #19
  20. Mark Forum

    Mark Forum Guest

    Some of it... not the whole history. You have to ask yourself this
    question: How good were they at communication? Most people are very
    weak communicators. They have very little clue regarding the ancient
    Greeks' communication techniques, how linguistic and semantic
    development plays a role in understanding context, how cultural
    influences change how one perceives the world by making that person a
    "prisoner of culture", and more. There's an interesting paradigm shift
    illusion of a duck and rabbit -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Duck-Rabbit_illusion.jpg
    -- in this illusion, you may only see the duck. You may only perceive
    it as being correct one way. But once you see the rabbit --
    metaphorically, you try something you dismissed before and find it's
    true -- you begin to understand how something can be perceived by
    people two different ways. This is a very important concept to
    understand, and to ignore such a concept would leave you wide open to
    assumptions. Why would someone like Richard Feynman bring up how
    unscientific the "experts" were? This is his lecture on "What is
    Science?" http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science.html ... In
    this surprising lecture, he describes exactly it means to be
    "scientific". He was one of the most respected scientists in all of
    history.

    Following Feynman's thinking, I am not even implying the others you
    mention are correct, but I will never, ever give them a "100%
    certainty of being wrong" unless I have tried their claims and seen
    with my own eyes why they are wrong. This is what it means to be
    "scientific": to not rely on any assumptions even through the filtered
    knowledge you learn in school textbooks, but making the final decision
    of "100% probability of being correct or wrong" after actually trying
    something.

    Feynman was correct in saying, " When someone says, "Science teaches
    such and such," he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn't
    teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, "Science
    has shown such and such," you might ask, "How does science show it?
    How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?" "
    It is not that simple. Groupthink bias can stampede any new research
    findings unless there is a lot of backup support. To say that
    scientists are particularly objective is a myth. Why else would
    several of you have such hostile feelings towards the Bates Method,
    despite your scientific background? If any new research paper came
    along, you'd probably just stampede it and dismiss it as nonsense. If
    not you, then others will. That is why groupthink swings exist. As
    stated earlier when I addressed science as a religion, "Every so often
    the priesthood in power is over thrown by people with so much proof in
    their favor they have to be recognized." Let's think of the major
    research institutes. You have a very limited number of people who have
    even heard of the Bates Method... how much of the U.S. population
    would you say is familiar with the method? Now, if you were to ask
    them to try out something they've never heard of, they will look it up
    and run across the Quackwatch.org website (which is controlled by the
    bias of individuals as to what is to be regarded as quackery), and
    probably think their time would be better spent researching other
    things. Research requires funds, and there are about a hundred
    thousand other things the researchers could test out that they are
    more interested in. Moreover, "pressure to produce new information
    rather than reproduce others' work dramatically increases the chance
    that errors will go unnoticed" in addition to greatly decreasing the
    chance of findings being confirmed. http://amasci.com/miscon/myths10.html
    Yes I know who he is, but he did not study how to communicate like I
    did.

    As for my clear flashes, if I go from 20/40 to 20/13 in a second and
    confirm it on a Snellen eye chart, then it's simply too drastic a
    change in "measurable" visual acuity to be denied on superstitious
    grounds. You either see that much better or you don't from the very
    same spot you are standing at the exact same time of day of year.
    Experience is the best teacher, there's no arguing this.

    However, if a person readily believes something is wrong without
    trying to experience it, then the person is being unscientific
    according to what Feynman said: "Science doesn't teach anything;
    experience teaches it." The clear flashes are so easy to demonstrate,
    doesn't require a lab to produce them, and could be of immense benefit
    to you... so why not even try? What's stopping you - is it a
    prejudice?

    It needs to be understood that using other studies to negate something
    else that you have not tried does not make you "scientific" in that
    sense. You aren't even experiencing anything. Only experience teaches
    you real science, and only an open mind will reward you.
     
    Mark Forum, Mar 8, 2007
    #20
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