In ophthalmology, “vitreous floaters” or “eye floaters” is a collective term for vitreous opacities which are traced back to different causes. Sometimes floaters are thought to be a result of grave complications in the eye. Mostly, however, they are regarded as a normal opacity of the vitreous due to progressing age. In the followings, we shall consider only those harmless floaters which are perceptible in the field of vision as mobile transparent scattered points and threads visible at daylight. Eye floaters are classified as so-called “entoptic phenomena”, subjective visual appearances not arising from exterior sense stimuli but produced by our own visual system. Other entoptic appearances are afterimages, phosphenes, flying corpuscles (blue field entoptic phenomenon), form constants, and others. In this project, the main focus lies on eye floaters; other entoptic appearances are mentioned occasionally as well.
Medicine endeavors to determine the optic and neurophysiological causes of these entoptic phenomena. This is legitimate, but it must not be forgotten that such explanations represent an elitist viewpoint having arisen in the Western societies within the last centuries. Most of the people living or having lived on this planet do not think in the categories of Western materialistic medicine. That’s why the ideas of these people about entoptic appearances are often in sharp contrast to medical interpretations. “Holistic Vision” is about introducing expressions of different cultures and belief systems which are, or could be, inspired by the perception of entoptic phenomena. We will see that eye floaters & Co. are meaningful to many individuals, inspiring their daily and spiritual life. That way, we will gain an open-mindedness in dealing with entoptic phenomena. And that makes it easier to watch, examine, interpret, and fit them into our lives in a way corresponding to us.
Our own subjective observation in particular plays an important role if we want to understand what eye floaters are. Subjective perceptions of floaters are of little significance in today’s ophthalmology. In practice, the patients’ statements should, in the ideal case, support the doctor’s results. In most cases, however, floaters are not detected – or only in insignificant numbers and strength – by doctors while patients examined speak of clear, impairing appearances, and many surgical operations addressing these floaters are carried out purely at the request of the patient.
However, the eye floaters dealt with here are an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Thus, if we talk about floaters, we exchange perceptions and interpretations, not facts. If we are conscious of this, we experience our own subjective perception of floaters as something unique and special – it’s a phenomenon that stands in direct relationship to us as individuals. At the same time, this opens our minds for the way in which floaters are experienced and interpreted by other individuals and cultures.
Thus, let’s consciously take what we can see as starting point – knowing that our perception is shaped not only by outer sense stimuli but also by our consciousness, dispositions, motivations, as well as our cultural and social environment. As for eye floaters, we should also expect that the way we perceive them is determined at least partly by certain states of our consciousness. For example, it is my experience that eye floaters vary in movement, size, and intensity according to different states of consciousness. The examination of the relation between floaters and individual states of consciousness is, therefore, the central aspect of this project. The question will be whether something can be said about our consciousness or state of consciousness by the observation of floaters: do we find sensible structures here or pure chaos? Can anything be learned about the intensity (expansion/contraction) of consciousness? And if so, what would be the meaning of floaters? Do they indicate “awareness”? Can we even use floaters to develop our consciousness?
Questions like these were answered by my teacher Nestor in my book. To us, however, these answers have but the value of hypotheses which must be proven in our own experience – provided that we want to embark on that path. It is the purpose of this letter and the Holistic Vision Project to provide suggestions to examine floaters and other entoptic phenomena and to even integrate them into our spiritual life.
Source and Literature:
Tausin, Floco: Mouches Volantes. Eye Floaters as Shining Structure of Consciousness. Bern: Leuchtstruktur Verlag 2009 (ISBN: 9783033003378)