Romains, Jules - eyeless sight
Type of Spiritual Experience
We have a tendency to think that animals without eyes cannot ‘see’, but the out of body experience rather indicates that they can see – they just don’t use eyes. A simple organism like a jellyfish may well be perfectly well aware of what is going on around it but does so via the composer facility.
A description of the experience
Jules Romains – Eyeless sight
The subject has the impression, not that the objects themselves are vague or rough in outline, as in a very bad photograph, but that a sort of false and confused light prevents him from seeing them well. It seems to him that with an additional effort, or a better light, he would grasp details which escape him...........
It is not absurd to assume that in animal evolution the paropti function preceded the retinal function. Vision would have been a general function……. Before that concrete and localised organ which is the eye was developed. By its very dimensions and complexity, the eye comes to have an optical superiority….. this superiority though slight at first, has become constantly more pronounced and has enabled it progressively to monopolise the visual function…..
Opacity, transparence, translucence of objects, reflections of images in mirrors and so forth, are perceived and interpreted by paroptic vision in the same way as by ocular vision.
Variations in intensity of light have practically the same effect on paroptic vision as on ocular vision
Paroptic vision shows, however, a certain degree of nyctopia which is more marked for the vision of colours than that for forms.
Paroptic vision gives a perception of the colours of the spectrum qualitatively identical with the ordinary perception through the eyes. It seems, however, to recognise spectral limits which are wider on the ultraviolet side.
Paroptic vision is certainly extra retinal; that is, it takes place without an image being formed on the retina and without the retina receiving any excitation.
The general characters of paroptic space are the same as those of visual space.
The scale of magnitude is the same for paroptic vision as for ordinary vision.
The range of paroptic vision increases little by little with use.
The extra retinal field is circular