The following question was asked by reader David.
„What do you think of the bates book, ‘better eyesight without glasses’ opinion on floaters? It is a covert spiritual guide masked as an eyesight improvement book in my experience. A different view on floaters for sure.“
I appreciate the ophthalmologist William Horatio Bates’ alternative approach to good eyesight very much – and I indeed think the Bates Method has spiritual significance since it integrates psychological aspects. With regard to eye floaters however, Bates is ambivalent: on the one hand, he judges them as something „bad“, that is, an illusionary non-existent object, produced by mental and eye strain. If we leave it at that, I can’t agree. To me, something I can perceive is perfectly existent.
On the other hand, this opens up a possibility in line with my thinking: if floaters are caused by eye and mental strain – and if we think of the positive aspects of „strain“ –, then they also may be generated by concentration exercises like meditation or yoga. Doing such practices, we voluntarily and consciously develop strain of mind and body which, in my experience, will intensify eye floaters. In that case, floaters would become something „good“ or even spiritually valuable.
Better Eyesight – The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates. (source).
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Bates. And since Bates is the father of many of today’s alternative or holistic visual schools, this doesn’t seem to be the case with these schools either. Generally, they adopt the traditional notion of floaters as a visual dysfunction. But like Bates, they don’t explain them in naturalistic optical terms, but in psychological or even spiritual terms. As a consequence, alternative visual teachers try to cure floaters with gentle, non-invasive methods like relaxation strategies, a cleansing eating regimen, meditation (!!) etc. – but in their view, this phenomenon is still something to be cured.
So yes, there’s been some recent progress in the Western reception history of floaters, but, IMHO, no breakthrough yet. And I don’t dare say we’re halfway, because that would mean another 2.000 years of bobbing up and down
Thank You, David, for your report!
Written by Floco Tausin (Leuchtstruktur-Verlag)