Learning to See

By Greg Baer M.D.

February 3, 2017

When we are born and open our eyes, electrical impulses are generated within the retina, travel down the optic nerves, and wind their way through various neuronal synapses until they reach the occipital cortex in the rear of the brain.

From birth until about age nine, the brain “learns” to integrate those impulses into sharp images that we consciously perceive as objects, people, letters, landscapes, and so on. Normally both eyes contribute similar or equal images to the brain as it learns to “see,” but sometimes one eye is deviated in position from the other, or is more near- or far-sighted than the other, so it doesn’t send a clear signal to the brain.

This lack of focus eliminates the ability of the brain to learn to see clear images from that eye, and eventually—without corrective lenses, surgery, or other treatment—the brain loses its plasticity, its ability to learn to assimilate images from that eye. The eye becomes effectively blind, even though there is nothing physically wrong with it. In short, the brain REQUIRES clear and early input from the eye before it can learn to see.

Children receive their image or perception of the world at a very early age, and they receive it from their parents and other influential adults around them. If the perception they receive is that the world is harsh, unpredictable, critical, angry, and painful, then that perception becomes reality to them. After a certain age—very young, perhaps age four or earlier—that perception is very difficult to change, sometimes impossible.

If we want children to grow up to be happy and loving, they MUST receive a clear, consistent, and abundant supply of unconditional love early in life—much as the brain must receive clear images from the eye. Without that love, the soul eventually becomes incapable of feeling genuine happiness.

Children learn the nature of the world early, by interacting with their parents. If their parents are wrong—much like an eye transmitting a poorly focused image to the brain in infancy—the damage can be catastrophic and permanent. As parents we have an unspeakable responsibility to love and teach our children in a way that their image of the world is true, so they can learn to be happy and fulfilled.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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