Negative Afterimage
and Other Visual Experiments

Parallel Focus
Instructions, Experiments and Process

It is the commonest of mistakes to consider
that the limit of our power of perception
is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

--C. W. Leadbeater


Opposite normal vision's converging the eye's focus point together on an object, a parallel focus allows the left eye to drift to the left, and the right eye drifts to the right. Each eye's focus point will be straight ahead never converging together at one point. Place your thumb or object one to two feet in front of you. Do not focus your eyes on the object but straight ahead. Using only your awareness on the object, a parallel focus produces double images.

Will power, time, and nightly practice is needed to retrain and condition the eye muscles to maintain a parallel focus. When the eye muscles are conditioned to parallel focus then a thought or a blink of the eyes will signal the muscles into a parallel focus with ease.


  • Place the external object different distances from the eyes with only your awareness on the object. Observe the closer the object the further apart the double images. The further the object, the double images are observed closer together until they become one image.

  • Close one eye then the other to know that a closed left eye makes the right image disappear and a closed right eye makes the left image disappear.

  • Place awareness on the double images and notice the image transparency as though the consistency of a light mist.

  • Experiment with different objects and distances to understand exactly what each eye sees from its own angle. If using a candle, place a sticker behind the candle on the inner bowl edge holding the candle. Notice how the candle is viewed from the different eye's angles. Observe the object's transparency.

  • Or, place a paper with words 18" in front of the eyes. Line up your thumb 10" in front of the eyes then close one eye then the other. Observe that the angle of each eye appears to cause the thumb to jump from one position to another.

  • Parallel focus on your hand. Notice the portion of visual signals that do overlap in the double image appears solid and the portions that do not overlap appear transparent.

  • Look closely at the double transparent hand/finger images. If you can't detect the image transparency, move your hand so there is an object of color for the background versus a solid color. Close one eye then the other. Is the single image viewed transparently?

  • Place an object three feet in front of the eyes so the double images become a single image using a parallel focus. Maintain a parallel focus and place only your awareness on the single image which is the left and right angle views overlapping as one. Is the single image solid or transparent?

  • Using a parallel focus creating double vision, place your awareness on one double image then the other observing the images size and distance. Then concentrate awareness on one image then the other and notice that the image of awareness will appear dominant, closer, and solid while the second image appears further back and transparent.

  • Parallel focus on two identical candles (or objects) held eight inches apart, 8 inches in front of the nose. Four candle images are observed. Consciously begin to diverge the left eye to the left and the right eye to the right. A point will be reached when the two innermost candle signals overlap each other at corresponding points becoming one SOLID candle image inbetween the remaining two transparent candle images (triple vision).

  • Parallel focus on two identical candles creating triple vision not by eye divergence but by slowly moving the object further from the eye.

  • Experiment using a parallel focus on two different colored candles or 2 thumbs with one finger nail polished to observe four objects. Close one eye then the other to observe which images disappear.


A parallel focus on an object directly in front of you puts the object signals in the left eye right visual field (red) and the right eye left visual field (green). The LE-RVF and RE-LVF signals are at NONcorresponding points along the visual pathway because the parallel visual axis changes the signal locations along the visual tract.

The LE-RVF signals refract at the cornea and lens to the left retina side, follow the left optic track to the left hemisphere, cross the corpus callosum into the right hemisphere, follow the right optic track to the right eye right retina side, and then reverse refract into the RE-LVF. The sensation of the larger, closer and transparent image is observed on the left side.

The RE-LVF signals refract at the cornea and lens to the right retina side, follow the right optic track to the right hemisphere, cross the corpus callosum into the left hemisphere, follow the left optic track to the left eye left retina side, and then reverse refract into the LE-RVF. The sensation of a smaller, further back, transparent image is observed on the right side.


  • Separation of right and left visual fields.

  • Size difference of right and left visual field images.

  • Solidity versus transparency.

  • Visual field layered effects

Converged Focus Resultant

Parallel Focus Resultant


Is it difficult to train the eyes to parallel focus?
Difficulty in training the eyes to parallel focus depends, I believe, on past experience to parallel focus or using a cross-eyed focus. Whichever focus your prone to use in the past will be the easiest to do and more difficult to do the opposite focus other than normal converged focus. If group experiments are done, I would suggest to chose prior to experimenting whether to do a parallel or cross-eyed focus.

What occurs if you look at the object with your eyes instead of your awareness?
Looking at the object of focus/attention with your eyes will cause you to use a converged focu instead of a parallel focus.

How does one know the smaller, further right side image originated in the left eye's right visual field signals since it is the visual signals exiting the right eye left visual field?
Understanding the visual field where each image originated came with practice and experimentation with all types of focuses (converged, parallel, cross-eyed, stereogram focuses). The missing link of how the visual signals are layered in a flow-through energy system will become apparent as the different focuses are explored.

Why is transparency observed in the parallel focus double images?
Transparent double images are observed because the noncorresponding object signals fall only into the left eye right visual field and right eye left visual field. The lack of corresponding signals from the RE-RVF, LE-Fovea, RE-Fovea, and LE-LVF gives each image only 1/6 of the necessary energy signals needed for an image to appear solid. The illusion of solidity increases as more electrical impulses overlap each other at corresponding points.

Why may parallel focus double images appear solid?
The double images will appear as solid if the background is a solid color. Change the background behind the object or finger. An object with color or shape will then be observed through an object or fingers as long as the double images are not overlapping. Objects will appear partially solid where signals overlap at corresponding points along the visual field pathways.

Are parallel focus double images a positive or a negative afterimage?
Parallel focus double images are positive afterimages because they are derived from the interference pattern using the original object as the backdrop; therefore, the images are observed in the objects primary colors and not the complementary colors.

But, using the original object as the backdrop seems unlikely since the double images are observed in different sizes and distances, yet the two eyes are the same distance from the object. Why? are the images different sizes and distances?
Don't forget, a parallel focus creates the double images, one from each eye at different angles at noncorresponding points along the visual field pathways. Also remember negative afterimage experiments showed that vision is a multi-layered sequence. The visual field the image signals falls in determines the size and distance.

If vision is a flow-through system, how can the visual neurons accommodate both the incoming visual impulses simultaneously with the outgoing signals?
Frithof Capra's conclusion is that ...forces inherent in every living organism can work in two different direction...The organism may also undergo a process of self-transformation and self-transcendence, involving states of crises and transition resulting in an entire new state of balance (Capra, Uncommon Wisdom, P 203-4). Normal and microscopic vision clearly proves that organisms can work in two different directions. Karl Pribram states that 8% of the visual signals travel the optic nerve BACK to the retina.

How the visual neurons acquire a new state of balance in order for the incoming and outgoing impulses to travel within the same medium will have to be studied by the experts. Whether the incoming energy waves change to its particle-like characteristics and whether the major energy transformations occur at the corpus callosum will have to be studied, analyzed, and determined by the experts. Light energy with properties of electromagnetic forces that can work in mysterious ways with organisms have yet to be unraveled.

Next: Cross-Eyed Focus

© Copyright Mary Coffin Johnston

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Mary Coffin Johnston