The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment
Without Glasses - online book

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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108                             Strain
The eye possesses perfect vision only when it is abso lutely at rest. Any movement, either in the organ or the object of vision, produces an error of refraction. With the retinoscope it can be demonstrated that even the necessary movements of the eyeball produce a slight error of refraction, and the moving pictures have given us a practical demonstration of the fact that it is impos sible to see a moving object perfectly. When the move ment of the object of vision is sufficiently slow, the resulting impairment of vision is so slight as to be in appreciable, just as the errors of refraction produced by slight movements of the eyeball are inappreciable; but when objects move very rapidly they can be seen only as a blur. For this reason it has been found neces sary to arrange the machinery for exhibiting moving pictures in such a way that each picture is halted for a twenty-fourth of a second, and screened while it is moving into place. Moving pictures, accordingly, are never seen in motion.
The act of seeing is passive. Things are seen, just as they are felt, or heard, or tasted, without effort or voli tion on the part of the subject. When sight is perfect the letters on the test card are waiting, perfectly black and perfectly distinct, to be recognized. They do not have to be sought; they are there. In imperfect sight they are sought and chased. The eye goes after them. An effort is made to see them.
The muscles of the body are supposed never to be at rest. The blood-vessels, with their muscular coats, are never at rest. Even in sleep thought does not cease. But the normal condition of the nerves of sense-of hearing, sight, taste, smell and touch-is one of rest. They can be acted upon; they cannot act. The optic nerve, the