An Interview with Jacob Liberman

by Veronica M. Hay

Take Off Your Glasses and See
How to Heal Your Eyesight and Expand Your Insight
by Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Jacob Liberman is considered a pioneer in the therapeutic use of light and color and their relationship to human consciousness and personal transformation. He attended the University of Georgia, earned a Doctorate in Optometry (O.D.) from Southern College of Optometry in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Vision Science in 1986 for his pioneering work in phototherapy.

Take off your glasses and see will transform our current understanding of the process of vision and its relationship to our life and evolution. Integrating his clinical expertise and personal discoveries in the areas of vision science, light and colour therapy, and mind/body medicine, Dr. Liberman has created a new wellness paradigm.


Veronica: How and why is the modern world experiencing an epidemic of vision problems?

Jacob: I think that we are having an epidemic of not only vision problems but also health problems for a few different reasons. One of them is that we all seem to be functioning under a state of societal hypnosis. In other words, we are functioning based on ideas and theories that actually do not define reality, but because these ideas have been passed on generationally, we are seeing the world through our ideas and so we don't experience it directly.

The other main reason is that most individuals are not present in their life. There was a piece written many thousands of years ago by a man named Hsin Hsin Ming who was the third Zen patriarch. And the piece goes like this: "The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences; when love and hate are both absent the world is clear and undisguised. (and clear is the key word) Make the smallest distinction however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth; then hold no opinions for or against anything. To hold what you like; against what you dislike; is the disease of the mind." Basically, the piece says: if you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything.

We have to take a look at the way our world is being run most of the time. We have become a very mental society. One thing we know about the mind is that the mind can never solve any problems. The mind cannot come up with the answer to anything because it is never present, so it never has a direct contact with what is happening in the moment. The mind only reviews the past and projects its feeble memory of the past into what we call the future.

When we are viewing the world through the mind, we are not experiencing life directly, we are seeing it through our ideas, our beliefs, our judgements and so on. And so those ideas and those concepts literally create an artificial boundary on a reality that is in fact infinite. The mind takes an infinite reality, creates finite borders and those finite borders could be defined as the restrictions that people see as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism; a warp in their view of reality. When you are experiencing life through the mind, most of what we call thinking is really worrying. The reason that we go into worrying is because the mind creates the illusion of problems and then gives itself a secondary job of creating solutions to these problems that it creates. However, if you have ever read or spoken to anyone who has achieved a state of presence, what they say to you is in that state there are no thoughts, there are no problems, there isn't anything. The greek philosopher Heracleides called that state the hidden harmony and Jesus described it as the peace that passeth all understanding. In other words, a level of awareness and peace that cannot be understood. So the part of us that sees things as a problem, doesn't know, doesn't have any way of knowing, what needs to be fixed and the part of us, when we are present, that doesn't experience any problems, doesn't understand. It's an interesting dilemma because from one view of reality there are problems and solutions and the requirement for understanding and from another view of reality there exists no problems, no solutions, but rather an awareness and a direct experiential feeling about life, yet not an understanding of it. So when you ask the question, "why are we having an epidemic of vision problems?" it gets to the core of the fact that very few people are viewing or experiencing life directly without looking through the filters of their mind. When you are looking through the filters of your mind, there is no way of seeing clearly, not only on an optical level, but on a deep level as well.

The other piece of it, that is very important, is this. The average person who goes to a vision specialist receives a prescription. The prescription that they receive is based on their response to the question, "which is better, number one or number two?" Now, what we don't realize is that while we are wearing those glasses, we are constantly viewing reality with the judgement in mind - which is better, number one or number two? Now, these lenses that we call corrective don't seem to correct anything and actually feed the problem. This is why most everyone who gets glasses ends up getting stronger and stronger glasses from year to year. Those lenses actually keep us stuck in a state of judgement, rather than a state of feeling.

Veronica: Are there any benefits to these lenses then?

Jacob: Yes, they seem to heighten an aspect of our vision that scrutinizes, discriminates and judges, but simultaneously they significantly diminish our ability to feel reality and our ability to precognitively sense what is the next step of our life. With glasses on, the visual field, our ability to see to our sides, our expansive vision, is diminished dramatically as a secondary result of the bodies energetic field being diminished as well.

To look at something like near-sightedness. If you look at a child who gets frightened; one of the things they will do is possibly curl up in a fetal position. If a child is watching a movie and they are looking at something that is frightening, they will cover their eyes and frequently bend their knees up towards their chest. Those are the physical manifestations of the energetic field which not only envelopes the body, but we think actually creates the form that we call solid. That is a secondary effect of that energy field diminishing. When we make a meaning out of an experience or event in life that we consider frightening, our energetic field contracts, our whole being contracts holographically. When that happens, part of what actually contracts is our vision. Now, since most of us don't recognize that, when we go to the vision specialist because our vision has diminished, the vision specialist doesn't typically say, "have you had some kind of event that was frightening for you, something you didn't care to look at or see?" Most of the time, they put you in a long, dark, thin room, put an instrument in front of your eyes that basically covers the entire field of vision and only allows you to look at a very tiny hole in space. And then by asking you the questions, which are better, one or two, they seem to take your vision and focus it in with very sharp boundaries. When we are viewing the world through the sharp boundaries, what we are in fact doing is limiting our own body's energetic field to those sharp boundaries and as I said before, when a child gets frightened and they contract, they contract to create a safety buffer between themselves and the aspect of reality that they feel frightened by. If, however, you then give them a pair of glasses, what you do is take the reality that they are in some way trying to create a buffer from and once again put it right on top of them, you bring reality very clear again.

And the only way for them to deal with that is to create more near-sightedness. When you get glasses, the eye doctor says this will correct your vision and you assume if you haven't been able to see at distances that your vision has been brought from where you were able to see it out there further away in space. But in reality, that's not true. If you look at a pair of glasses, lets say for near-sightedness, they don't push the world out, they actually compress the world. They take the world and they bring it in to where you have restricted your visual space and your energetic field to. In other words, we aren't getting what we think we are getting. It's something very very different than that.

Veronica: Throughout your book the message I kept getting was that we get in our own way, we make it hard for ourselves, a struggle, and if we would just let go, we would not only heal our eyesight, we would probably heal our entire life. It sounds simple really.......yet?

Jacob: Well, as I say, it's very simple and almost impossible because of the conditioning we have had and yet it is something I am doing in my life right now. And so, I know, I absolutely know, that it is available to everyone. And it is something that requires awareness and requires presence. And you know the mind will lead you to believe there are problems that require solutions and so pretty much every technique, every approach that we come up with is a trick created by the mind that looks like it will solve this illusory problem when in fact it actually avoids change.

They say the only thing that's constant is change. The problem is that the only part of our being that doesn't feel comfortable with change is the mind. The mind goes totally in the opposite direction as existence wishes to flow.

So, lets look at it in another way. When I did my medical training, the very first thing that we learned was that the body is constantly putting itself into a state of balance. In medical terms, we call that homeostasis. In other words, the body is always making attempts to heal itself, to bring itself into balance. If you look at mother nature and you look at weather patterns, the rising of the sun in the morning and pretty much everything else that happens in nature from the way you plant a seed and get a tree to any number of different things, you'll have to notice that everything that we experience is a miracle and what we see regarding nature and the universe and the solar system is that it does the same thing that I was trained to do in my medical training. It is always bringing itself into balance. In every instance, in every moment of life's experience, existence is trying to bring us into balance. What that means is that life is self-healing. In other words, you always get exactly what you need. It is built into the plan. And so, if you did nothing at all to change the subject of your life, in every instance your body would miraculously begin to heal itself. Now a good example of that in relation to vision is this. You say that you are near-sighted. When you awaken in the morning before you put your glasses on and you are laying in bed and you first open your eyes, before your mind has started chattering, how does your vision look?

Veronica: Fine, I guess.

Jacob: Well, if you speak to almost anyone who wears glasses, regardless of the strength, they will tell you if they close their eyes and just breathe and then gently open their eyes, not trying to see, but allowing the world to see them, for a flash, their vision is clear. For many people, it's crystal clear. So, what I am saying is this; in that instance, the mind's filters have not yet moved into place. So, if you see that, if you have a direct experience of that, then your attention is to just be present for that experience, not doing anything, just being present.

Every technique we have, psycotheraputic and otherwise, has to do with doing something. If you have rage, then you need to beat on pillows. If you have depression, then you need to take medication. And I'm not suggesting that some of these techniques at times are not appropriate, however, for me it feels like the technique frequently is what gets in the way of experiencing what we are all looking to experience. Trying to make it faster or to change it is what we do to avoid being present. It is the major thing we do. The mind's clever way of constantly thinking, because we need it to do that, is the way that we in fact avoid being present in our lives. People talk about addictions like doing recreational drugs or smoking or any number of different things. I'm saying that addiction is anything we do to avoid feeling what we are feeling. In other words, anything we do to avoid being present with what in fact is happening is addiction. All of us are addicted to one degree or another and mostly to a major degree to going into the mind, to avoid life. And that is the bottom line reason that I feel that we're not seeing clearly. The secondary effect of that is when we're not present, we are out of touch with life and so we create educational systems that are very stressful on the eyes of a young child, so that strain itself creates vision problems. We are so out of touch, that we create technologies that are poisonous to our system. We are so out of touch, that we create food that is made with poisons, so that when we eat it we create diseases in our system. So, what I am sharing with you is what I feel is the primary core ingredient to why we are not seeing. Based on that core imbalance of not being present, we then create a multitude of techniques and experiences in life that continue to magnify the problem even more.

Veronica: You state in your book that clearing our vision allows us to literally see the parts of ourselves, of our lives, that were invisible to us before. Removing our lenses reveals the difficult feelings that we were trying to avoid seeing when we first got them and as long as we are wearing glasses or contacts, we are carrying around an invisible barrier to recognizing and resolving some of our deepest issues. Those lenses tend to hold our awareness in the shape of our unresolved fear or anxiety. The answer is just to take off your glasses and start seeing. Now, for a lot of people that would be kind of radical.

Jacob: I am not suggesting that the average person can just remove their glasses. What I am suggesting, is that you begin to experiment by taking your glasses off in a safe place like your home, and then work with someone who can support you in gradually reducing the strength of your glasses, so that you gradually develop an authentic security in your own ability, your own function to move through the process. Going cold turkey may not be the best approach for many people.

But I'm not suggesting that the average person does that. I am suggesting that they begin to remove their glasses to notice what is going on underneath and then work with someone who can guide them gradually and in a safe way assist them in clearing their process. All you have to do is be with the feelings that come up. You don't have to push it out on anyone or anything, you don't have to suppress it. If you are just with it, it will itself go through many levels and then it will dissipate.

Veronica: So, do you mean that if you are feeling anger for some reason, just feel your anger. Don't try to analyze it?

Jacob: Yes, just feel your anger, but don't do anything. Anything you do not only delays the process of healing but then re-invites the same process to occur over and over again. And that's why the average person goes through the same experiences repeatedly in their life. There is nothing to do. If we are just present with what the universe has given us as the most appropriate curriculum for us in that moment, we will get just what we need. The problem is the part of us that thinks we need to change doesn't know what needs to happen. The mind never knows what needs to happen. So, we know what we want, but we don't know what we need. And what we need is usually not what we want. And what we need is exactly what we get.

Veronica: Our eyesight is simply a reflection of our view of reality, so when the mind begins to see more clearly, the eyes also begin to see more clearly. In other words, we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. So then the way we think actually determines the way we see. This seems to be happening to me on more than one level. Actually seeing and actually creating what I see and I find that confusing.

Jacob: We were all led to believe that there was a world out there and that world was received in here in my system through my senses. Now, quantum physics tells us that there is no world out there, that everything is just made out of vibration, made out of different frequencies of light. Then, what we do, by the way that we view life, is that we take that vibration and we slow it down and create it to look solid. In reality, nothing in life is solid.


What scientists are telling us now, is that everything is in the eyes of the beholder. And you see that quite clearly in the field of quantum physics. In quantum physics, the experiments are not done with an observer and the reason is that the observer affects the results. And if you have two observers, you affect it differently again. Now, the next thing that science is going to determine is that the instruments that are measuring these things we call results, were created by the same mind of the scientist, that if it saw the experiment, it would modify it as well. So, I believe the instruments themselves are modifying what we are experiencing. So, what I am saying is; it is a physical fact, we do create our own reality, and we co-create that with probably everyone else on the planet.

Years ago, there were studies done on weather patterns and because we have very fine computers we kept looking at the variables even in their more discriminating way, so we could evaluate what are all the variables that affect weather. And when they cut the variables up so thinly, the scientists finally came up with the conclusion that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan, it will affect the wind currents in California. So, what I am saying is, we're all connected. It's just a fact, we're all connected and we're all created out of the same energy. So, we are creating and co-creating our reality continuously based on what is happening in the mind.

Veronica: You tell us in your book that one key to spontaneous healing can be found in whatever is happening in our life right now. So, do you mean that if we are experiencing relationship or financial problems, that this could be our path to healing our sight?

Jacob: It could be the path to healing whatever needs to be healed. And you need to understand that we don't know what existence has in mind for us. We have a definition of healing and real healing may have nothing to do with our definition. Existence knows what is necessary for life to constantly be in balance. The mind never knows. So, I am suggesting that whatever you get is exactly what you need. We look at what you call financial difficulties and we say it is a difficulty. I'm suggesting that it may not be a difficulty. As a matter of fact, it is probably exactly what we need to learn. We take facts and we make them into problems. When something is happening, it's a fact. It's not a problem, it's just a fact. If you're present with the fact, it will shift. If you make it into a problem, then you make a fact invisible to your mind.:

Veronica: It seems that the underlying cause of most vision problems is a chronically collapsed field or awareness, a fear of life. So then, it is not just about vision, it's about moving past fear?

Jacob: Well, it's about everything. You see the body works holographically which means that everything is happening everywhere at the same time. The idea that we see with our physical eyes, is like picking up a grain of sand on the beach and thinking you have experienced the beach. We see from our whole being. There are eyes all over our body and all over the energetic field that envelopes the body. So, the place from where we see is everywhere at the same time. When we experience some kind of emotional situation, let's say we are frightened or angry, what happens is, we are saying no to life at that moment. We contract our being, our entire being. Not only does our vision go, but our hearing goes, our feeling goes, out taste goes, our smell goes and everything else. There's a generalized contraction in our perceptive field which is all of our senses. So, everything is affecting everything. If we are merely present with our life, whatever needs to change will change. As long as we don't change the subject. And I know that that sounds very philosophical. The mind says give me the nuts and bolts. Give me the technique, the exercise that I can do. I'm suggesting that all of that is an illusion. There isn't any exercise that is going to strengthen your eye muscles.

The only kind of exercises are really awareness techniques and those are the only things that may make a shift, because you are shifting awareness, you're not exercising muscles. Exercising your eyes is like going on a diet. Most people who diet end up having to go on diets, over and over again, because they never quite get it. It isn't about dieting. It's about something on a deeper level. Seeing is the same thing.

Veronica: So, what you're saying is basically that we should feel our way through life, moment by moment.

Jacob: That's all there is. In reality, the only thing that is here, is the moment. Everything that we call the past or the future is only the illusion of the mind. Get out of the mind and you'll see that there is no past, there is no future, there's no sensations, there's no emotions, there's no problems, there's no solutions. People achieve that state through meditation and I'm suggesting that you can do that in your life all day long. And yes, it takes an awareness, but what I'm talking about is not healing your eye sight, that's a small piece of it. It is healing your vision, your view of life, so that everything starts to go into balance. It is a much deeper process. The typical way that we approach health is like putting a bandage on a cancerous tumor. You can cover it up, but it is still there. Most of us are saying, I don't want to change; I just want to put some new wrapping paper on the package. And I'm saying that is fine for the mind, but it doesn't work. And it's no fun. If it did work, we wouldn't be noticing that one out of every two or three people gets cancer. That one out of every two people gets heart disease. That we have more diseases of every type, than we ever had. That the educational, medical, religious and political systems aren't working. Relationships aren't working. Tell me something that is working. So, we are trying to take something that isn't fundamentally working and we keep trying to make it work. It doesn't work. That's a fact, we need to take a different path. We need to be in harmony with life, not in opposition to life.

Veronica: Thank you Jacob. It has indeed been insightful.



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