by William H. Bates, M. D. The Bates Method is a method to restore eyesight naturally-without the use of glasses, contact lenses, surgery or drugs.
It is a truth that one can only imagine what one remembers. It is also a truth that one can remember only what one has seen and again we say that it is a truth that what we see is only what we imagine. Some people have started a debate on these statements and they theorize in various ways. One said that although he had never seen a devilfish he could imagine a fish with a very big mouth and with blue eyes or red eyes in spite of the fact that he had never seen any kind of a fish which had either blue or red eyes. He might just as well have said that he could imagine a written language composed of a series of straight, curved or crooked black lines, a combination of which might represent a word, a letter or a sentence. It is difficult for me to realize how one can imagine a fish with red eyes or blue eyes without having seen such eyes in something else than a fish, or how a man born blind can imagine a fish with red eyes.
We know that in the case of persons born with a ripe cataract and unable to see different colors that when, in isolated cases, these patients have been operated upon and obtained good vision, they are able to see blue eyes and brown eyes and can tell that there is a difference but of course require a period of education before they can use the words which describe the color. Such a person could not give you a description of a devilfish which had none of the characteristics of other animals because a blind man who has recovered his sight has never seen these things that he tries to describe. His sense of touch may enable him to compare the feeling of an elephant's trunk and the feeling of a large rope. I am sure that the men who are blind who describe an elephant that they have not seen support my contention that you cannot imagine anything correctly unless you remember a mental picture of it which you have seen. The old story, as most of us may remember, was that one blind man, who leaned up against the side of the elephant, said that it was very much like a house; another blind man who grasped the elephant's tail was very strong in his belief than an elephant was very much like a snake; another blind man who felt one of the legs of the elephants was very indignant with the other blind men, being equally strong in his belief that an elephant was very much like a column. Many new inventions are imagined but when we come to analyze the facts I cannot recollect a single instance where the inventor did not put into his discovery always something that he had remembered or seen before. There are many things which we may not have seen and which we of course cannot remember and which it is impossible for us to imagine. This is self-evident.
The imagination is capable of accomplishing results in curing imperfect sight which no drug and no operation has ever been able to accomplish. It is a truth that when the myopic eye regards a blank surface where there is not much to see and makes no effort to see, the imagination is as good as it is when the eyes are closed and, while the imagination is good, perfect, the myopia disappears immediately. When the imagination is imperfect, the normal eye when it regards the distance is always nearsighted. When a person with increased tension can imagine a letter "o" with its white center whiter than the card on which it is printed, the eyeball becomes as soft as the normal eye immediately. There are no exceptions. There are patients who have absolute glaucoma, no perception of light, terrible pain, with the eyeball as hard as a stone in which the symptoms, pain or loss or vision immediately benefited when the patients became able to imagine a letter or some object perfectly. It is well known that absolute glaucoma is incurable and the only thing that can be recommended is enucleation when the pain is sufficiently severe.
Conical cornea is a condition which has baffled the skill of the medical profession. It is usually progressive and goes on to total loss of sight. There is no operation, there is no treatment, which is of any material benefit. Those cases have all been relieved and cured when the patients become able to imagine things perfectly. It seems incredible but please be fair—no more incredible than the discovery of wireless telegraphy. Before condemning this statement, give it a trial. It is worth trying and certainly it is difficult to realize or believe how a perfect imagination could, in any way, make things worse. Cataract has been produced in human beings with the aid of an imperfect imagination. It has been relieved and cured, permanently cured, when the patient became able to imagine things perfectly. Now cataract is more or less frequent. Many people hesitate to go through an operation. It causes them considerable worry and anxiety so that the non-operative cure of cataract should receive attention because of its great importance or value. Here again it seems to me a very wrong things for ophthalmologists to ignore the facts. If it is a good thing it should be of universal use; if it is not what it claims to be, the facts should be known and the public protected.
Sympathetic ophthalmia is serious. Years ago when I knew less about eye diseases than I do now, the very thought of sympathetic ophthalmia gave me a cold chill. I had seen so many cases in the clinic lost over night in spite of the most skillful treatment. My sympathy went out to the physicians who sweated blood trying to save an eye afflicted with sympathetic ophthalmia. Occasionally these patients have come to me and now I welcome them with a smile. I just love a case of sympathetic ophthalmia because all my fear of the consequences has disappeared. Let it be published far and wide that the cure of sympathetic ophthalmia has been discovered! And what is the cure of sympathetic ophthalmia? The ability to imagine things perfectly. "This sounds very absurd," you say—but I did not feel absurd when my patients recover.
Besides these very serious inflammations and diseases of the eyes that are curable by a perfect imagination, there is a long list of milder cases. Squint, for example, whether convergent, divergent or vertical, is cured by a perfect imagination. Cases in which an operation was done for convergent squint followed by divergent squint have also been relieved by a perfect imagination. Acute conjunctivitis has also been relieved in the same way. Pterygium is also curable in the same way. Opacities of the cornea which have been present since birth have disappeared when the patient practiced a perfect imagination. Inflammations of the cornea, of the iris, of the sclera, of the retina, of the optic nerve, of the choroids, have responded more quickly and to a greater extent through the effect of a perfect imagination than to any other treatment. It is remarkable that detachment of the retina can be cured and has been cured by the use of a perfect imagination. Again I fear a remonstrance; someone says it is impossible. What good is it to say it is impossible? What good is it to say it is possible? Disprove the impossibility. Test the perfect imagination in these cases. I am sure that others will become able to derive as much benefit from the use of a perfect imagination as the physicians who are already using it.
When we come to inquire how many people have a perfect imagination we find a very large proportion have an imperfect imagination or none at all. It is very rare to find any one who is able to imagine as well with their eyes open as they can with their eyes closed. As a general rule we may expect many patients with normal vision to have a good imagination but I believe that even with them there are at least 50% who have a very poor imagination.
Persons with imperfect sight may have a wonderful, a very unusual imagination. It is such a comfort to meet them in my practice because it is so easy to cure their nearsightedness, their farsightedness, their astigmatism, their sympathetic ophthalmia, their glaucoma, or any disease which they may have. One may ask at this point—if a person with imperfect sight has a good imagination, why is his sight imperfect? This may be answered by calling attention to the fact that one needs a perfect imagination at all times and in all places to have perfect sight. Persons with imperfect sight who have a good imagination fail to use it; they suppress it and imagine things imperfectly by an effort which of course lowers their vision. Some persons have a perfect imagination with their eyes open and no imagination at all with their eyes closed. Then we have the reverse—patients with a perfect imagination with their eyes closed and no imagination at all with their eyes open. I remember a girl, twenty years old, who had no perception of light in the right eye and normal vision in the left eye. When the good eye was covered, the patient was unable to imagine that she saw light. By treatment she was cured and obtained normal vision in her blind eye. Now, please do not stop reading this important paper at this point. I know as well as others know that the ancient ophthalmologists or the ophthalmologists of fifty or a hundred years ago thought that an eye totally blind with no perception of light was absolutely incurable and that anybody who claims to cure such eyes is a quack. I used to believe it until I learned better. In my vanity, when I could not cure these cases I did not think anybody else could; what I didn't know, nobody else knew. These cases of blindness were all cured by a perfect imagination.
The variableness of the human mind is wonderful. The extremes to which the imagination may go is equally wonderful. One could write a book on the uncertainties of the imagination. What is more important, however, is to describe some of the methods which have been successful in improving the imagination, especially to obtain benefit in diseases of the eyes. One patient had normal sight and his imagination was good with his eyes open but he did not always use his normal sight and his normal imagination. Without any special reason he would strain, lose his imagination and his sight would become imperfect. He suffered for many years with terrific pain in his eyes and head. Glasses had not helped him; general and local treatment had been unsuccessful. The man was almost crazy with the continuous pain. He was directed to regard the large letter "C" on the Snellen test card at fifteen feet. He was asked if he could see the white center of the big "C" as white as the rest of the card. With some difficulty I convinced hi that the white center of the big "C" was of the same whiteness as the rest of the card. It was a help for him to see the truth and he was very much surprised to find that when the black part of the big "C" was covered by a screen with an opening which permitted him to see the white center it became darker and of the same whiteness as the rest of the card. He looked to me for the answer.
"The white center of that big 'C'," I told him, is no whiter than the rest of the card but if you think you see it whiter, you really do not see it, you only imagine it. The halo that you see around the outer edge of the big 'C' is also a creature of your imagination."
"Close your eyes," I said. "Can you imagine that big 'C'?"
"No," he answered.
"Well, try," I said.
"I already have the pain," he replied, "and please do not ask me to increase the pain by trying to improve my imagination with my eyes closed."
"Open your eyes now," said I, "Can you see the white center of the 'C' whiter than the margin of the card?"
"It is coming," he said. A moment later, "I have it now."
"How is your pain?" I asked.
"It is gone," he replied with a smile.
I was very glad to see that smile because he did not often smile.
Then I said to him, "Have you ever seen anything as white as the center of that big 'C'?"
"Yes," he answered, "the snow-capped mountains near my house. When the sun is shining the tops of those mountains are whiter than that big 'C'."
At this point I was very jubilant because I knew now how I could cure him so that he could have mental pictures or an imagination of mental pictures with his eyes closed as well as with his eyes open.
Then I said to him, "Can you see one mountain at a time whiter than the white center of the big 'C'?"
"Yes," he said.
"Can you look from one mountain to another and see one at a time best?"
"Yes," he answered, "I can do that."
Then I asked him this very important question, "Can you see two at once?"
The smile left his lips; a look of pain came into his eyes.
"I have the most terrific pain when I do that," he cried out with agony, "I cannot stand it! I have lost the big 'C' and everything is blurred!"
"Don't think of the mountains," I said to him. "Forget them if you can and look at the big 'C'. If you look to the right of it, the 'C' is to your left; if you look to the left, the 'C' is to your right. Every time your eyes move to the right, the 'C' moves to the left; every time your eyes move to the left, the 'C' moves to the right. Do you see it move?"
"Yes," he answered, "and my pain is gone and my sight is now all right."
Several things were accomplished:
1. The imagination of halos and the white center of the "C".
2. The perfect imagination of the white center of the "C" enabled him to imagine perfectly the snow-capped mountains.
3. He could remember or imagine the mountain tops one at a time. That was easy; but to imagine two at the same time was impossible and trying to do the impossible was a strain which made his imagination imperfect.
4. With imperfect imagination he demonstrated that his sight was imperfect.
5. The imagination of the swing helped his sight, helped his imagination and relieved his pain.
6. With some encouragement he became able to imagine his body swinging about one-quarter of an inch from side to side. With the body swing he imagined the red floor was swinging. When looking straight at the card he saw the red floor indistinctly below his line of vision swinging with his body swing. The body swing helped him to hold the imagination of the red floor much redder than it really was. He could shift from a small area of the red floor that he could see best, to the imagination of a small area of the floor that he could imagine he saw best. Before long the patient became able to carry an imagination or memory of the red floor with him day and night. All the while that he was awake he had that red floor in his consciousness. With the red floor as a starter he became able to imagine other objects, one part best and always swinging. If he did not see one part best of the red floor he could not imagine the swing. One day after carrying the imagination of the red floor in his consciousness for part of a week, he said to me, "Doctor, I am getting tired of that red floor. At first I could not imagine it at all but now it is like the old man of the sea. I can't get rid of it."
I asked him the question:
"Can you remember one corner of the red floor best?"
"Can you remember two corners at the same time?"
"No, and I have lost my red floor."
7. This patient had a great deal of difficulty in remembering a mental picture of the American flag. He finally accomplished it by subdividing the flag, the moving flag, into parts and remembering each part best and in this way he improved. If he could remember the upper right hand corner best swinging he had a mental picture of it which was swinging. A slow, short swing when the mental picture was good, but when the mental picture was lost the swing was stopped or it might be lengthened. The imagination of the flag being placed on a pole and being raised from the ground one part at a time was a great help in obtaining a mental picture of the flag. The great difficulty this patient had was that he desired to remember too much at once or he desired to imagine more than two things at once. It always spoils the mental pictures when one tries to remember too much at once. This patient became completely cured of a functional discomfort when he became able to use his imagination perfectly. His mental pictures became as vivid as though he saw them with his actual eyes. In fact he devoted most of his waking hours to thinking of mental pictures with his eyes open alternating with his eyes closed. He was so happy because the terrible headaches had disappeared and he felt that he had some control over his eyes and could now manage them better. His sight was always 20-10 even when the light was not very good. I received encouraging letters from time to time in which he stated that the imagination of perfect sight had given him complete relief.
Mrs. M., aged 50, had very bad eyes. With the strongest glasses her vision was very poor. She could only see the large letter "C" at one foot with each eye. She was asked to remember the big "C" or imagine it better than she saw it, the best she was able to do, and then by looking at the big "C" alternately she became able to imagine it very much better than she saw it. The card was placed further away and she became able after a considerable time to imagine the big "C" at ten feet as well as she could at one foot, by alternately resting her eyes and flashing. This patient obtained the best results by closing her eyes and imagining the big "C" perfectly black with the white center perfectly white. Then she would flash the letter with improved vision. When we got her coaxed, however, to remember the big "C" perfectly at ten feet she refused to improve any further by this method. It is a truth, which I have discussed in many articles, that when one imagines one thing perfectly one cannot imagine something else imperfectly. She was asked to imagine the left hand side of the big "C" to be a curved line at fifteen feet. This she could do at twelve feet or nearer but she could also imagine the left hand side to be a straight line. However, she could not do this as well as she could imagine it curved. She could imagine the top and bottom better curved than she could straight or open, but the right hand side she could imagine better open than she could imagine it straight or curved. She could imagine it was the big "C". She could also imagine it a "G", a "Q" or an "O" but she could imagine it more perfectly to be a "C" than any other letter. The patient was not familiar with the card at her first visit and did not know whether the first spot on the line below the big "C" was a letter or a figure. It was the letter "R". I asked the patient if she could imagine the left-hand side to be straight.
"Yes," she answered.
"Can you imagine the left-hand side to be curved?"
"Can you imagine the left-hand side to be open?"
"Yes," said she.
My next question was,
"Which is best? Which is the easiest to imagine; straight, curved or open?"
"Straight," she answered.
"Straight is correct," I said. "Now, can you imagine the top straight, curved or open?"
"Yes," she answered.
"Which can you imagine is the blackest or the easiest?"
"Straight," she cried.
"Now, try the bottom. Can you imagine it straight? Can you imagine it curved? Can you imagine it open? Which is it?"
"Open," she replied.
"How is the right side? Can you imagine it straight?"
"Yes," she answered, "but I do not like it straight. I prefer it curved. It feels better."
"Now go over it again until you have the same imagination," I answered. "Is the top straight? left-hand straight? bottom open? right side curved?"
"Yes," she said.
"What letter is it? It might be the letter "R". Could it be anything else?"
She answered, "No."
"That is quite correct," I replied.
This patient got down as far as the figure "4" on the forty line by this method of improving the imagination. But here she rested and it became a problem of how to improve her imagination so that she could imagine more perfectly. She was directed to look at the figure "3" which she was unable to imagine that she saw. I said to her,
"Can you imagine the figure is moving about its own width from side to side?"
She answered, "Yes."
"Now if you look at the left-hand side of the figure and imagine it straight, what happens to your swing?"
"The swing is too wide."
"If you imagine the left-hand side is open, how is the swing?"
"It is all right."
"Just as well as you can imagine with your eyes closed?"
"Just as well," she answered.
The progress of the patient was somewhat slow at times. One method which seemed to help her a great deal was to remember the first letter of the ten line, the letter "F" at about six inches where she was able to see it best.
"Now close your eyes. Can you remember it as well as you saw it?"
"No, I cannot," she answered.
"Now look at it. Can you imagine it is moving?"
"Yes," she replied, "about one quarter of an inch from side to side."
"With your eyes closed, can you imagine it moving about one quarter of an inch from side to side?"
She answered that she could.
"Now open your eyes and look at the "F" on the bottom line of the Snellen test card and imagine you see it."
At first her results were quite imperfect but after awhile her ability to imagine improved until she became able to imagine the "F" at fifteen feet as well as she could imagine it at six inches. Through her ability to imagine the letter "F" of the ten line at fifteen feet, she became able to see other letters on the bottom line of which she was ignorant. In other words, the perfect imagination of the letter "F" improved her vision of the other letters until she obtained normal sight.
These cases of imperfect sight could be multiplied, but the main thing to do in all of them is to improve the imagination. I have written a book on the subject "The Cure of Imperfect Sight without Glasses" and there are quite a number of pages devoted to the imagination. Since the book was printed many articles have appeared in the magazine "Better Eyesight." Any improvements in treatment have been published from time to time.
A very interesting case was a woman aged 60 whom I treated several years ago. She came to my office and had great difficulty in finding her way. She ran into the furniture and had to feel her way like a blind man, with her arms outstretched. Her glasses gave her only 10-200 vision. Off to one side it amounted to very little. She could see but a small area of the objects which she looked at and what she did see was usually seen best when she did look at it. She was very blind at night. Her ability to read and white, even with glasses, was very imperfect. She had atrophy of the optic nerve, chorioretinitis pigmentosa, cataract. It was very interesting to observe the benefit this patient obtained by the use of her imagination. She took as the foundation of her imagination the memory of the letter "o" of diamond type with a white center as white as snow and the letter moving from side to side a short distance, not more than its own width.
I said to her,
"How far apart can you see two of the Snellen test cards at once."
She said that they would have to be two feet apart when placed on a wall at fifteen feet.
"When I look at one Snellen test card I can see over to one side the other at two feet but everything else is a blank, a dark or light gray or a black."
"When you look straight ahead of you, can you see the light from the window shining in your eyes?"
"No," she said.
"Can you see the floor?"
"Can you see the rug?"
"Can you see the door over to the right of you?"
"No. I can see none of those things."
"If you imagine that you see the light of the window to your left, can you at the same time imagine your small letter 'o' with its slow, short easy swing?"
"Yes," she answered.
"Now, just imagine there is no window to your left, how is your imagination of the letter 'o' with its short swing?"
"Gone," she replied. "When I imagine the truth I am able to imagine the diamond type letter "o" quite perfectly. If I imagine an error, that the window is not there when it is, that is an imperfect imagination, which is registered by the imagination of the 'o' with its white center, its slow, short easy swing, becoming imperfect."
In the same way she could tell that when she imagined the floor was red, the reaction was normal, but when she imagined the floor was not red, green or some other color, the patient could not maintain the normal reaction with the letter "o". The next step was to ask her the question,
"Can you see the red floor that you imagine you see?"
"Yes," she answered, "and I want to tell you that I have to imagine the truth because of I fail to imagine the truth the reaction of that letter "o" becomes imperfect, a strain and I suffer more pain and discomfort and nervousness which makes me very unhappy. I don't like to be unhappy so I imagine the truth as well as I am able to and then every thing seems to be all right and I can find my way about in the dark without even holding my hands out like a blind man."
Memory, the imagination of perfect sight, cured this woman's night blindness, her contracted field, and improved her vision materially. For many years she had not been able to use her eyes at the near point with any success. She could not sew or knit or do fancy work or read the newspaper. With the practice of the imagination of perfect sight, her symptoms of imperfect sight disappeared. I know this case was a very bad one and I realize it does not sound very clear but one can demonstrate or prove the facts claimed.
Retinitis Pigmentosa with its complications is very much benefited by the imagination treatment. The foundation test is usually very variable. One lady told me that the whitest thing that she could imagine was a white sand and that when she imagined the letter "o" with its white center as white as the sand the letter always moved from side to side a short distance, not greater than the width of the letter. Now when she regarded a letter with which she as unfamiliar but which she could not see because of the blurred outline, she was able to remember each of the four sides either straight, curved or open. When she imagined each side correctly the reaction of the o" as white as the white sand was normal. When her imagination, however, of one or more sides was wrong or imperfect, the memory or imagination of the letter "o" and the white sand was modified.
Some patients require a different foundation test from others. Rarely do I find many people who use the same foundation test. In some cases the imagination cure is more efficient when the patient regards the foundation of his imagination rather than when he remembers or imagines it.
Some people can see the letter "o" of diamond type with a white center and imagine the white center as white as snow while they imagine the letter as swinging from side to side, not any more than its own width. The patient looks at the card at twenty feet, imagines one side of the letter and while doing so regards the card with the foundation at a distance at which he sees it best. If the patient has imagined one side of the letter correctly he will see that the reaction of the foundation is normal; or, in other words, he has imagined one side of the unknown letter at twenty feet with his imagination of the foundation at a near point where he sees it best. When all four sides are imagined correctly it helps the patient to tell or imagine what the letter is, which is confirmed by the reaction of the foundation at a near point. In some cases, what a patient imagines of the four sides of the unknown letter at twenty feet, might be the same for two or more letters. The letter "B" has four sides which resemble the four sides of the letter "D". If he imagines it to be a letter "B" correctly the foundation reaction will be more perfect than if he imagines it to be a letter "D" which is incorrect. Some times all four sides are open as is the case with the letters A, I, V, W, X, Y. When the letter is imagined correctly the reaction of the foundation is always best.
By this and other methods, patients become able with the aid of a perfect imagination to accomplish unusual results. In one case a page of diamond type was held for forty seconds ten feet in front of a patient's eyes. At this distance the patient was not consciously able to read anything on the page. Simultaneously retinoscopy demonstrated that while the patient was regarding the fine print, that there were moments of longer or shorter duration when the eyes were focused properly or accurately on the fine print, indicating that that it was possible for the patient to see perfectly for short periods of time, and with perfect sight it was possible for the patient to remember all the letters on the card perfectly although the vision, the memory and imagination were unconsciously seeing, remembering and imagining by the subconscious mind. This patient was able, with the eyes closed and covered with the palms of the hands, to imagine correctly in the manner described above, the third letter on the sixteenth line, the fifth letter of the eighth word on the twelfth line, the last letter and the last word of the bottom line and many others. It was very remarkable that not only could the patient pick out any letter indicated but she was able to tell what the word was and a number of words, a sentence or more, for several lines coming after the letter indicated. With somewhat larger print this patient could read a larger amount of a paragraph by just imagining consciously the first letter of a sentence. She had been trained for six weeks; she was eight years old. Other patients, 20 years old, 30 years old, 60 years old, have done almost as well.
POLYOPIA. When a patient sees one or more letters of a line double or multiple or partially double, arranged horizontally or vertically or obliquely, he does not see the images multiple, he only imagines that he does and it can be demonstrated that this imagination is imperfect, for he sees under a strain and that it requires considerable effort and hard work to see two or more images. Some people have seen the head lines of a newspaper multiplied ten times or more. I have known quite a number of people who could see nine moons where there was only one, a very imperfect imagination. It is curious that some people will see every other line double, while the letters of the other lines are single. This is strong evidence that polyopia is nervousness due to an imperfect imagination. It is a very remarkable truth that cases of polyopia, which are supposed to be due to organic changes in the retina or to diseases of parts of the brain or to paralysis of some of the ocular muscles, are all due to an imperfect imagination and can be cured with a perfect imagination and without relieving necessarily a paralysis of the muscles or improving the changes in the retina or elsewhere. I believe that all cases of polyopia are caused by an imperfect imagination and that all cases can be cured by teaching the patient how to imagine things perfectly.
NYSTAGMUS. When the eyes move more or less rapidly from side to side or in other directions it is called nystagmus. Usually it is associated with a serious disease of the interior of the eye, chorioretinitis pigmentosa and has been considered to be incurable. I have seen it controlled almost immediately by the imagination of perfect sight or by a perfect imagination of any object. I shall always remember some cases in school children which were produced voluntarily because it caused a disturbance in the class room. These cases are so evident that all I had to do to cure them, was to tell them to stop doing it and it has always been a great surprise to me to see them do it at once. When I asked them to start it up again they had no trouble in doing it. When they had the nystagmus their sight was always imperfect and the patients demonstrated the fact. When the patient voluntarily stopped the nystagmus the vision was improved to the normal.
PHOTOPHOBIA. So many doctors consider photophobia a very serious symptom. On the contrary it is only the manifestation of an imperfect imagination. Persons who have a perfect imagination with its slow, short continuous, regular swing can look at the sun, imagine that it is moving a very short distance, slowly, and do it without any evidence of annoyance. They can at the same time read a Snellen test card while the light of the sun is shining directly into one or both eyes and they can look at the sun five minutes, ten minutes, or longer without being blinded. Young children, four years old or upward, can look straight at the sun when they have normal sight, or a perfect imagination. Persons with photophobia are benefited by the use of a burning glass, described in my book, which focuses a very strong light on the sclera while the patient is looking down and the operator lifts the upper lid and focuses the light on the eyeball. Patients who were blinded by strong light flashed into their eyes from the violet end of the spectrum obtained from a very strong arc light, have been cured quite promptly by focusing the strong light of the sun, which I believe is stronger than most arc lights, into their eyes.
SQUINT. When the eyes turn in, it is possible by an effort to increase the squint with the eyes by the use of prisms or in other ways. It is usually best to teach the patient how to see double when he has any kind of a squint and the greater the squint the more widely separated are the double images. These double images are imagined always, one more perfectly than the other. With the eyes open it is possible to imagine the images about three feet apart but with the eyes closed it is possible to imagine the images 40, 50, 1000 or more feet apart. There is no limit to the separation of the images by a strain of the imagination. This strain can be demonstrated, felt or realized by the patient to a greater extent with the eyes closed than open. In other words one can strain the eyes consciously a great deal more with them shut than with them open. When the eyes turn out the diplopia which is produced is crossed; that is, the image seen by the left eye is to the right while the image seen by the right eye is to the left. With the eyes closed the patient can separate the images a great deal more than with his eyes open. With the eyes open the patient may be able to imagine the crossed images five feet apart when the eyes are turned out. With the eyes closed one can imagine the crossed images forty, fifty or more feet apart and with the fingers lightly touching the eyeball one can feel them turn out. When the images are separated voluntarily by the imagination, a patient with convergent squint was able to imagine with his eyes open the two images three feet apart and on the same side as the eye which sees them. With the eyes closed one can imagine a greater separation of the images and feel the eyes turn in more than before. By imagining the images crossed with the eyes closed, one can feet the eyes which were originally turned in, turn out. When the patient imagines the crossed images widely separated with the eyes closed and then opens the eyes for a second or a flash, at the first moment when the eyes are opened, they are much less turned in or are straighter or they may be turned out to a greater or less degree. By practicing one becomes able to cure these cases of squint without glasses, without an operation, with nothing more than the use of the perfect imagination.
In this incomplete paper I have described the possibilities of what the imagination can do in the cure of imperfect sight by treatment without glasses. All persons who are ill have an imperfect imagination. All persons who are normal and well do not have an imperfect imagination. When this truth is universally known and accepted it suggests a line of treatment the possibilities of which are infinite.
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