GLASSES FOR ENHANCED VISUAL ACUITY
Todd Murphy, 2001
The experience of enhanced visual acuity is one of those experiences people often choose not to talk about. It creates a feeling that doesn't go into words very well.
Like most altered-state experiences, it invites a spiritual or religious interpretation. One of the best known is "Seeing the divine in creation". During enhanced visual acuity, everything seems to glow, without having any lights around them. Things seem sharper. Colors are more engaging, and one notices the contours of faces much more. It's very pleasant. In fact, in studies of visual acuity, people with lower acuity tend to be depressed, and people with higher acuity tend to have positive emotional styles.
I first began experiencing enhanced visual acuity shortly after I began meditation practice. I always felt very good whenever I was a having it. my eyes took in more detail, my gaze tended to linger over interesting textures, and 3D effects of any kind really stood out.
I understood how a simple visual experience could be so compelling that mystics could describe it as "seeing the divine in creation."
I began to look into it, and soon learned been enhanced visual acuity had something to do with the ocular vestibular system. This is the system that keeps the the our visual world continuous even while our heads are moving up and down as we walk. Without it, we would see the world "jerk" with each step we took.
I wondered: "If enhanced visual acuity is really higher state of consciousness, then shouldn't at least some spiritual teachers experience it?"
I looked at a few photographs of noted spiritual teachers. I noticed that many of them showed a single trait, over and over again.
Da-Free John (Da Love-Ananda), Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), Suma Ching Hai, Ramana Maharishi, Gangaji, and a man named Paul Lowe, a noted human potential worker; all of them were visually atropic.
This only means that if you look at their pupils, you'll notice that their two eyes aren't pointing in the same direction.
And this suggested something to me. I did some simple experiments; crossing my eyes. I noticed that if I crossed my eyes while looking in a mirror, I could control which eye moved.
I also noticed that if I closed one eye and did this, the eye that moved was the closed one, and not the one that stayed open.
That seemed odd. Like just about everyone, I made funny faces as a child, and crossed my eyes, trying to make them more frightening. I had seen that things went blurry when I did this, but I had always assumed that the blurry vision was from the eye(s) that were seeing off-center.
Looking in the mirror, with my eyes 'lightly' crossed so that only one of them actually moved, I was seeing out of the one eye that hadn't.
And it was giving me blurry vision, even though it was oriented to see straight ahead.
So, I practiced crossing my eyes with one of them closed for a while, until I had some control over the process.
I soon reached the point where I could move one eye at a time. I noticed that when one eye moved, the other seemed to sharpen a bit, if I let the right side of that eyes visual field dominate my vision.
This calls for a little explanation.
The two sides of each eye seem to be specialized for different levels of visual acuity, but the quadrant with higher acuity may have it's sharpness 'cut' by input from the other eye or the other side of the same eye.
To follow up on this, I created an exercise. I would close one eye, let my gaze become a bit diffuse, and then (this is hard to describe properly) 'throw' all of my visual attention into one side.
Then, I would let that eye 'dominate' my vision after opening the other one. When I could get the right half of my right eye to dominate my vision over all, I was able to see with enhanced visual acuity, but at the same time, I saw with blurry vision.
It was blurry, but sharply so.
Eventually, I was able to create this experience with BOTH eyes at once, throwing my attention into the right quadrant of each eye.
But, I still had blurry double vision.
Nevertheless, there was a sharpness at the same time.
I was intrigued. The next step was to visit a cooperative optometrist, who did a special eye exam for me.
While I was being examined, I crossed my eyes and kept one of them closed.
The open eye, pointing straight ahead, was examined alone. We found that the optometrist was able to correct for the blurriness, bringing things clearly into view, and making that extra sharpness stay available without the effort of crossing my eyes.
We did this for each eye, so that I was able to have a pair of glasses made that gave me enhanced visual acuity, but only one eye at a time.
They gave me extreme double vision, too.
So I had two more sets of glasses made. One had the enhanced right lens, and my normal prescription on the left, and the other, vice-versa.
Each of these also induced enhanced visual acuity immediately when I put them on, but my eyes kept defaulting back to letting the non-enhanced eye dominate, so that it took an effort to remain in the state.
I left the problem for a while, and took it up again some time after I was provided with a hippocampal wave form by Dr. Persinger.
I noticed that I often experienced EVA after sessions using it, and I recalled that EVA relies in part on hippocampal activity.
I also recalled that each eye is wired into both side of the brain. The right quadrant of each eye is patched into the right hemisphere, and the left quadrant of each eye is patched into the left hemisphere.
I returned to my 'eye-crossing' exercises.
This time, I practiced crossing my eyes, one at a time, so that the right quadrant of each eye could dominate.
Then, I went back to the optometrist, and we found the 'prescription' to correct each eye while the other is crossed.
This time, he asked if I wanted to try a mock-up pair. I said yes, and looked into the glasses, seeing the most intense EVA I had ever experienced ! I think it is because both eyes were putting their non-ordinary input into the same hippocampus, and because it's the one on the right (specialized for positive and non-verbal cognition), it felt really, really good.
But I still had double vision.
I mentioned this to the optometrist, who substituted another lens on one side. Things improved. A couple of more trials, and we had them.
A pair of glasses that induced, for me, the experience of enhanced visual acuity. They also, by inference, task the right hippocampus.
The EVA is not quite constant, though.
It keeps refreshing itself, each time my eyes accommodate for distance. You see, each side of your eye's input to you brain is also specialized for seeing near or far.
I waited a few days to get the glasses themselves. They work perfectly. For the last five days, since I got them, I have been living in another, much more beautiful world.
I'm not the only one they work for, either.
Most people just see a blur, but one woman, who also wore glasses for nearsightedness, commented: "It's a whole new world." One subject, with better than 20/20 (20/15) vision, experienced macropsia.
I believe that these glasses may have to be custom made for each individual.
After I had the glasses for a few hours, I knew what the difference between normal visual acuity and enhanced visual acuity was.
I just took them off.
Suddenly, I could see something new. Or rather, old.
There was a thin, diffuse, milky-white layer covering my vision. I had been seeing through it my whole life, and I never noticed it until it was gone.
I knew that the amygdala, on stimulation, can sometimes produce "The Light" for a person, and that the amygdala is directly connected to the hippocampus. An amygdaloid contribution to vision might emerge as a layer of light, and in very extreme cases,might feel like the constant presence of a being of light.
Because the amygdala is implicated in the 'sensed presence' experience.
It's too soon to tell if the glasses I'm wearing now are disturbing my ocular vestibular system, or if they are activating it more than usual.
Either way, I live feeling a new clarity now, one that goes a bit past my vision.
And "Seeing the divine in creation never stops for me.
Just cross your eyes, one at a time, and look out into a blurry world.
Have an eye doctor correct that incorrect vision, and then make the double vision single, and there is should be for you.
I hope to have a person with 20 / 20 vision go through this process, and eventually find a prescription that will work for most people.
I attest that the above story is true, and that these glasses ( "hippocampal" glasses ) are designed according to fundamentally different principles, and for different application than corrective lenses.
It constitutes a patentable invention which I alone may legitimately claim.
Effective immediately, I place this invention in the public domain.
For the record, the prescription for the hippocampal glasses I'm wearing now is:
Sphere: (R) -4.50 (L) -5.50
Cylinder & Axis = N/A
I accept no liability for any damages caused by these glasses to anyone whatsoever.