Introduction: Dr. Liberman has a doctorate in optometry and a PhD in vision science. He also has an honorary doctorate of science for his pioneering work with light and color. His search for a new model of wellness has led him to the use of vision exercises and color to assist his patients. He has helped thousands of people worldwide to see in a whole new way.
Lotus Guide: When you say that there’s more to vision than meets the eye, what are you saying?
Jacob Liberman: First of all, we don’t see with the eye and ultimately we don’t even see with the mind. There is something that observes the activity of the body and simultaneously observes what we call the activity going on in the mind. Ultimately it depends upon what the observer is seeing with—is he seeing with his mind or is he seeing with his eyes?
Or is he seeing from this other point of reference? Now when I say “point” I don’t really mean a specific place because we’re talking about something that is beyond time and space. If the person is seeing with her mind they’re limited to what their mind perceives as reality, what they believe to be real.
Now before I get too esoteric let’s go back 35 years. I was doing vision exercises and basically reducing my eyeglass prescription gradually. One day I went into meditation and had a very profound experience. When I came out of the meditation my eyesight was clear. I ended up seeing about 300 percent better, but being an optometrist I wanted to check and see exactly how much my vision had improved. When I came out from behind my device to check my vision I was surprised to see that my prescription was basically the same although I could see perfectly. Now this doesn’t fit any known science model that we know of. In other words, something happened that increased my vision without having any change on the optics of my eye. So my question was what had just happened, and the deeper question is who or what was actually seeing independent of my eyes. What I’m sharing with you is that this epiphany changed everything. I realized this, that the brain has something called neural plasticity; 35 years ago we didn’t know about this. So what I realized as a direct experience was that what we’re seeing is only what we think we are seeing. Then I started to realize that I was able to see things that the average person was not able to see. I came to realize that what I was seeing was outside the normal realm for most people.
What this led me to realize was that vision may be characterized by the interaction of light reaching the eyes but it’s not actually occurring in the eye; as a matter of fact my sense was telling me that it’s not even occurring in the brain. Now here it is 35 years later and I’ve never had another pair of glasses on since that day.
LG: What’s interesting is that I run into this kind of information frequently but it seldom comes from someone like yourself who has an academic background.
JL: Actually, a lot of what I’m talking about is common sense even though when you use the scientific language it may not be comprehensible to the layperson, in which case the information loses its effectiveness. However, if science can validate our personal experiences, this takes those experiences to a whole new level. So for me it’s always been about translating science in a way where it can be understood by everyone.
LG: What do you have to say to the person who says, “Seeing clearly is a physical function” determined by the shape of our eyes only, and vision improvement is impossible? Which is the first thing my optometrist told me.
JL: Well, the first thing I would ask them is, “Have you ever tried to gradually reduce the prescription of your eyeglasses?” If they, or anyone else, has not done this as well as vision exercises they will never have the experience. If you don’t have the experience, all you have is an idea, a theory, or a belief that something may or may not work. A belief does not even come close to having a direct experience. I’m not telling you what I think or believe, I’m telling you about a direct experience. But everybody needs to have their own experience. What I’m saying is that there is something going on here that is much more complex than the simple shape of your eye causing bad eyesight. So what I’m saying is that we need to start taking a fresh look at this.
Our eyes are not designed to look, they are designed to see. They are not designed to initiate vision, they’re designed to respond to stimulation by light. Now keep in mind that light is a very mysterious phenomenon. No one has ever seen light, only the reflections of it. There’s still an open debate about how much information is transferred by light.
LG: When you talk about “open focus” and you say, “Open focus is the way to look at nothing and see everything,” are we touching on this point?
JL: We’re touching on that and something much deeper. We are continually being guided by an intelligence that is interfaced with everything there is. The orbits of the planet, nature, everything that we know of is being guided by this intelligence and light seems to be the interface. What I’m saying is that there’s something with it and our being that sees, in a special way, light.
LG: This reminds me of the story of the native people on islands that were isolated from the West that could not see ships when they first arrived on their horizon. It seems that, neurologically, they weren’t wired to see something that they had never imagined seeing before. Oftentimes, it took the local shaman to see it first and pass that information on to the local tribe. Maybe in a sense, this is what you are doing today.
Since we’re talking about experience, my experience while writing my book has been to take a deep look at my own beliefs, specifically about my beliefs of God. When I first started dismantling those beliefs I have to say that it was scary at first. But transforming that fear was instrumental in seeing that those very same beliefs in God kept me from visualizing and experiencing what might be called God but in reality is so far beyond the traditional understanding that most people would have a difficult time calling it God. When this type of understanding is brought into balance with meditation, you truly can have what you are calling an epiphany. When those traditional beliefs were dismantled my vision of life and God in reality were set free and expanded well beyond the boundaries of tradition.
Even though religion is having a difficult time with the new world vision that quantum physics has ushered in, most of the sciences have made great strides through great effort to understand the quantum world we live in. Do you think ophthalmology is in alignment with quantum physics?
JL: Probably not [chuckle]. The reality of the situation is that science by definition is supposed to be looking at the outermost edge of what we know. What’s interesting is that real scientific spirit, looking at the unknown, and pushing the boundaries of what we know doesn’t always happen. Unfortunately, a lot of science has fallen into something that could be called a dogma, which is difficult to let go of. Real science seems to have forgotten that their roots are in the mystical realms.
LG: What’s interesting is what you really are saying is that at the root of a lot of our conflict on this planet is not what we’re looking at but it’s our perceptions of what we’re looking at. So if we could all start seeing with this deeper visionary process we might start seeing the same thing. Of course the deeper aspect of this in religion is that it would have profound implications. I’ve often thought that most of what we call our beliefs and our reality are nothing more than perceptions based upon social and geographical data.
JL: A good thought experiment is to imagine that a snake, a bee, and a shark are all looking at a flower. A snake sees in the infrared spectrum, a bee sees in the ultraviolet spectrum, and a shark sees only shades of gray. Of course if you and I are looking at the flower we see something totally different. And all of us think we are seeing the same thing. We do the same thing when we are looking at the idea of God, not realizing that we’re looking at God through the different perceptual lenses of our society. And we all believe that we are seeing things more accurately than anyone else when in reality it’s only our angle of perception, or to be precise, the frequency of our perception.
LG: Since this entire interview will be on our YouTube channel, what would you say to the younger generation that wears glasses that seems to be caught in the grips of small sound bites.
JL: I would say find a safe comfortable environment and take off your glasses and see what kind of feelings arise. Because the feelings that arise when you remove your glasses are often very similar to the feelings you had before you started wearing glasses. They are in fact the very emotions that were part of the situation that may have caused you to wear glasses in the first place.
LG: As a final thought, Jacob, do you think there is a relationship between the light that we let into our vision and the light of consciousness?
JL: Absolutely, because they are the exact same light. David Bohm once said that all matter is frozen light. This simply means that everything in our reality, from matter to consciousness, is light. We also need to keep in mind that light is a nonmaterial reality, and since light makes up our reality this truly gives us something to consider when we start expanding the way we see our world.
You can watch this interview on www.youtube.com/lotusguide
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