More than half the people in the U.S. need glasses or contacts in order to see clearly. Poor vision is the largest epidemic affecting Americans today. Laser eye surgery seems like a quick fix, but it's not without serious risks. Most importantly, neither glasses, contacts or surgery address the important, underlying questions:

What are the origins of eye difficulties? And, what is our physical lack of clarity saying about our consciousness?

More than any other sense, our sight is affected by our emotions, our self-image and our outlook. Outer focus - or our lack of it - reflects a need for greater inner clarity.

What we see can frighten us, or make us cry, or even cause us to get sick. There’s a straight tie-in between the eyes and the heart. And in the openness of the heart — and the eyes are open from that place — there is a lot that can be seen that hurts, that cannot be integrated. For instance, how can an eight-year-old child be open and see when their grandmother dies, or when a younger baby is born and the attention is no longer on him or her? I ask people, “What are the emotionally-based decisions that you've made about seeing or not seeing as a way to protect yourself?”

A lot of the things are on a deep, unconscious level, especially for those who have been using glasses or contacts for a long time and have not been seeing clearly for many years.

The mental level also affects vision. We’ve all had the experience of driving down the road for a stretch, completely pre-occupied, and then all of a sudden waking up and saying, “Hey, how did I get here?” Somehow, there’s a way for our eyes to be open, but not really looking. For example, in school boredom sets in and you’re not allowed to close your eyes and go to sleep, but you are allowed to keep your eyes open and pretend that you’re paying attention, and then fantasize wherever your imagination wants to run. When your eyes are open there are two factors pressing on your vision. One is the desire to see what it is that you’re looking at. The other is trying to respond to the images in the mind. So the eyes are caught in the middle between those two pressures. When there is vision on the inside trying to come out, and vision on the outside trying to get in, there’s two forces going in opposite directions. What happens is that the physicality of the eyes gets stuck between the two. As a general habit, people who do not see clearly tend to be preoccupied, particularly people who are near-sighted. Their energy is very self-contained. So on a mental level, what often precedes the physical “problem” occurring is the imagination and the inner self pulling away from the outer world.

Then there's the spiritual aspects: perceptiveness or intuitiveness - which little children are very close to. Not only do they see what’s going on around them, but they see things that many of us don’t. A lot of what growing up and being socialized is about is learning what is OK to see and what is not OK to see. There are a lot of things in the process of growing up that we take in, that cloud our vision, cloud our sensitivities, cloud our sense of who we are. When children shut down on this other kind of sight, it can sometimes affect the physical. I believe it was Corinne Heline, one of the first mystics to address eyesight, who wrote in the 40s that one of the reasons that so many people are starting to need glasses is because of the coming of the New Age, with there being a huge influx of spiritual energy. And for individuals to be able to hold and contain that kind of energy and still live in the manifested physical/material world requires a capacity for spiritual development or maturity that many of us don’t yet have. Again, that’s why I hesitate to call vision problems “problems”. Instead, our vision problems may be messages to our higher selves of that which needs to become clearer.

Start bringing greater clarity into all aspects of your vision by asking - and answering - three questions:

"What is it that I do not want to see?"
"What is it that I am pretending not to see?'
"What else is there to see that I'm not seeing?"

Author's Bio: 

Martin Sussman, founder of the Cambridge Institute for Better Vision, is an internationally respect expert in natural vision care. He is the author of 5 books and audio courses, including The Program for Better Vision, which contains eye exercises and a total mind/body approach to reducing the need for glasses and contacts and to gaining clarity on all levels of vision. More can be found at