image credit:Luke Bryant
If someone is out at sea on a clear day and he can normally see two or three miles into the distance, if he is asked to see a ship that is 5 miles away, he will squink his eyes in order to see a further distance. Rebbe Nachman says that by narrowing the opening of the eyes the vision is less dispersed and one can see further. People also tend to tightly shut their eyes in order to escape from pain such as underdgoing a painful medical procedure. Its as though they are trying to shut out this world and put themselves in a better place.
Rebbe Nachman says that if you want to be able to see even further into the next world you need to do more than squink but tightly clench the eyelids closed . By doing that you are making a clear statement that you want to lock out the materialistic physical world. By doing this you can look past the physical world into the next world where there is no pain and suffering.
I heard from Rabbi Noson Maimon that hisbodidus (personal prayer) is a good time to clench you eyes tightly. This is a process of self-nullification that allows you to travel as if you were on a rocket ship to the next world where everything is totally good. Looking down from the next world, the good and "bad" look pretty much the same.
Dr. Zev Ballen