There is a very large park in the heart of the city where I live. This park is a refuge from the hectic pace of day-to-day life in a major metropolis, and the grass in the park is often the only green lawn many of us city dwellers ever see. I try to find time to come here every time we are blessed with a nice warm sunny day. I find a bench, and just sit for a while, reflecting on the wonder of nature, and I enjoy watching the squirrels, and the chipmunks racing about, trying to store their winter food supply.
One sunny spring afternoon, I played hooky from my office, and went to the park. A lot of other people must have had the same idea as I had, as the park was full of people. So, I wandered about looking for a bench to sit on. An elderly gentleman, reading a book, was the lone occupant of one bench, and I approached the bench and sat down at the other end. I glanced over at my companion, and noticed that he was holding the book quite close to his glasses. And, as I took a closer look at him, I could see a lot of lens edge thickness that protruded significantly behind the frame. To me, a confirmed optical obsessive, this indicated that the elderly gentleman had more than a reasonable amount of myopia. But I didn’t want to appear to be staring, so I sat back and relaxed in the sun.
“It was right over there, under that tree, that I first hypnotized Mary Jo Findlay.” The old gentleman had lowered his book and had, I presume, spoken to me.
“Why did you do that?” I asked.
“She had been teasing me because I had to wear glasses,” was his reply.
“So what purpose did it serve for you to hypnotize her? Did you suggest to her under hypnosis that she shouldn’t laugh at you or did you suggest that you didn’t wear glasses?” I queried of him.
“No, I hypnotized her, and made her think that her eyesight was getting bad, and that she would have to wear glasses too,” he told me.
“Yeah, right. How do you expect me to believe that? Either your eyes are bad, and you have to wear glasses, or they are good, and you don’t. No way can anyone be hypnotized into wearing glasses,” I answered.
“You don’t know everything Sonny Boy!” he exclaimed.
With that he took out his wallet, and showed me a picture. The lady in the picture was an attractive looking older lady, wearing very strong glasses that had myodisc lenses.
“She wouldn’t have had to wear glasses, if I hadn’t hypnotized her in the first place. It wasn’t like my family, where we all had bad eyesight. Mary Jo didn’t have anyone in her family that had to wear glasses. Then after she got her first glasses, I would bring her back under hypnosis every year and suggest to her that her eyes had gotten worse, and she needed new glasses,” he told me.
“All right, you have gotten my interest. How do you know that you were able to cause her high myopia with your hypnotic suggestion?” came my question.
“Because I also hypnotized everyone else in our grade 2 class that teased me about my glasses, and they all had to get glasses,” was his answer.
“How many kids are we talking about here?” I asked.
“All of them – the whole class of 24.”
Well, now he really had captured my attention. So, I spent the next couple of hours asking this old man about all the details of his hypnotic myopic suggestion.
The elderly gentleman told me that he was 72 years old. He had been born in 1930, and had gotten his first pair of glasses for his high myopia when he was five – a year before he had started first grade. When he went to school, he was the only person in his class who had to wear glasses, and the other children had been pretty cruel with their teasing. Even at 6 years of age, he was quite blind without his glasses. One time one of the boys quickly pulled his glasses from his face and he was helpless without them. When they were all in the second grade, a hypnotist had come to their school, and had put on a show. The hypnotist had impressed my newfound friend so much that he had gone up to the hypnotist after the show, and had pestered the hypnotist into showing him how to put someone into a hypnotic state. He had then gone to the local library, and had gotten a couple of books on hypnosis to read. Mary Jo, who had later become his wife, had been his first subject, and he had proven to be a very good hypnotist. Once Mary Jo had gotten her first pair of glasses, he began to work on everyone else in the school that had ever made fun of him wearing his thick glasses. It ended up that there were far more than just his classmates who ended up wearing glasses.
My friend went on to tell me that he had been able to cause the myopia to increase every time he brought a person back under hypnosis and some of the increases were substantial. And, with some of the other students, he had given them an auto hypnotic suggestion, which caused them to think, on a yearly basis, that their eyesight was getting worse. And, sure enough, when they went for their eye exam, their eyesight had gotten worse, and they needed stronger glasses. The number of high myopes that graduated from his grade school had been so high that the school board had brought in specialists to see if something in the classroom, possibly the lighting, had been part of the cause. Of course, the experts exonerated the school, but they couldn’t explain the extraordinary number of highly myopic graduates.
As I talked to my new friend, I was able to get a good look at his glasses. They were the usual old man’s thick black-framed glasses that have been around since the 60’s. I could tell that his lenses quite were strong, partially from the plano front base, as well as the edge thickness that I had previously noticed. I assumed that they were a high index plastic, so I asked him if he knew his prescription. He informed me that he was a little bit over –20D. I asked him if he happened to know his wife’s prescription, and he advised me that she was at least –8 to –10D higher than his. This would have put her in the neighborhood of a –28 to –30D.
I looked up, and saw an elderly lady walking in our direction. It was obvious that she was having trouble seeing who she was looking for, and as she drew closer, I recognized her from the picture that he had shown me. No, actually it wasn’t as much the picture as it was the extremely thick myodiscs that she wore. Once I spotted the glasses, I then recognized her from the picture.
“I think this must be your wife coming now,” I mentioned.
“Not a word of what I have just told you young man.”
“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”
He called out to the lady, and she made her way over to our bench and sat down between us. He introduced me, and we all chatted for a few minutes. I looked at her glasses and saw that the myodiscs had small bowls, and her eyes behind the bowls looked extremely tiny and she was constantly squinting them, trying to see better. He asked her how her eye exam had gone, and she told him that she again needed stronger lenses. With that they stood up, and said goodbye. They started to walk away, but he turned back, and came over to me.
“I never could figure out how to stop the post hypnotic suggestion, but I really haven’t cared to,” were his parting words.
I thought to my self that I wished I had found out about this when I much younger. I could have used it many times.
Specs4ever, with editing by Aliena May 2002