Our Mysterious Visual Ray

A collection of articles and book extracts on a mysterious ability of our eyes which may be the key to understanding the nature of sight and provide keys to our higher abilities.

Compiled and edited by Thomas Joseph Brown

The first comprehensive theory of vision was the “emission theory” which was propounded by the wealthy Sicilian-Greek scholar Empedocles, a philosopher, physician and poet born circa 494BC. Empedocles is also considered the originator of the Four Element theory, though one may suspect that this idea had its origins in far distant antiquity.

Empedocles believed he was divinely inspired to reveal the properties of light and nature. He thought that we see because light streams out of our eyes and touches that which we see, like a lighthouse where gaze brings things into view. Objects give off effluences and our eyes give off effluences, it is the interaction of these which causes vision.

Euclid, Ptolemy, and other ancient Greek scientists believed in this emission theory. In contrast Aristotle and Galen were both early propagators of the “intromission theory”, that vision is caused solely by an effluence leaving objects and entering the eyes. However, the emission theory was the fundamental basis for Greek philosophers & scientists such as Euclid who used Empedocles theory to reveal what is considered one of the most astounding breakthroughs in the understanding of light.

Euclid understood that the ray travelling from the eye to a distant object must follow a straight line. Therefore the properties of light and vision could be explained and predicted through the geometry of straight lines and triangles. This transformed navigation which could then be based on the position of the sun and stars, and was fundamental to the expansion of Greek culture.

Greek science was transmitted to the West through scholars of Islam such as Ibn al-Haitham Al Hazan, born (c. 965-1038), referred to as Alhazan. Alhazan was one of the great pioneers of optical science and made significant discoveries on light and vision. In an earlier phase of his life he made his living copying and selling Euclid’s works on geometry. He is credited with building the first camera obscura amongst his many advances.

Alhazan appeared to resolve the argument between the emission and intromission theories by claiming that vision was the result of illuminated rays reaching the eye. He reasoned that since the moon and stars are so far away, it is impossible for a ray from the eye to reach them to illuminate them. He further reasoned that due to the pain of intense sunlight striking an eye that has been adjusted to the dark the sunlight must be entering the eye, as the eye could not cause itself such pain. He postulated that light rays emanated in straight lines, in a spherical direction, from every point of a luminous object. And light reflecting off objects and entering the eye caused vision. His work made the modern science of optics possible, through his refining of the theories of reflection and refraction, based on definite mathematical laws.

And so the emission theory of vision caused by rays leaving the eyes left the general considerations of the developing science of the West, which in a large part was based on Islamic works. However, Empedocles theory is not lost, as one may experience this ray leaving the eye for themselves. There was real scientific research on this in the early 1900s.

My first introduction to the visual ray was through Trevor James Constable’s Cosmic Pulse of Life in the mid 1980’s. Trevor Constable, amongst his many accomplishments www.rainengineering.com was until retirement the Chief Radio Officer for Matson Lines plying his trade on their flagship the SS Maui. Not long after reading Cosmic Pulse I spoke with several people in the Merchant Marine who told me about Trevor’s legendary ability to see other ships over the horizon, before they came into radar range.

While my eyes have never been perfect, with experimentation I was able to familiarize myself with the visual ray. I would stand on a hill overlooking the ocean and run my eyes along the horizon back and forth. After a while I could start seeing ships way out to sea, definitely beyond my normal visual abilities, and as my ray ran over them my sinuses would tingle and cause me to sneeze, just as one sometimes does when sunlight strikes the eye.

But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself!

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English Scientist Demonstrates Invention Which Registers the Power in a Glance.


Dr. Charles Russ Tells Oxford Congress Optical Influence Is Akin to Heat and Light.

Copyright, 1921, by The New York Times Company. Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

LONDON. July 8.—A new physiological force has been discovered after three years of patient research by Dr. Charles Russ M.B., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., who has invented an instrument which shows that there lies in the human eye certain definite power which is quite distinct from the supposititious influences of will power or occultism. This was the announcement made today at a meeting of the Oxford, Ophthalmological Congress.

All literature regarding eyes in a fine frenzy, rolling or darting glances of compelling love, or quelling by a look the blood-thirsty villain or the savage beast, will now have to undergo scientific revision.

Poetry and romance have been full of the power of the eye. That there is a scientific basis for belief in that power has now been proved indisputably, according to the report made to the Ophthalmological Congress and supported by an actual demonstration.

Dr. Russ, who is an electrician as well as medical man, has given all his spare time during the last three years to experimenting on the theory that the human eye gave forth some ray or radiation which was a distinct influence, something different from anything hitherto observed by physiologists, a force that might possibly have some analogy to light or heat.

Powerful Eyes in History

Dr. Russ often wondered, to quote his own words, “if it were not true that some force or ray or invisible searchlight were not pouring out from the eye some force which might account for those delightful sensations of the Romeo and Juliet type of vision or, on the other hand, for the sinister power that the glances of Nero or Napoleon must have conveyed.”

His various experiments culminated in the idea of a brass cylinder in which he hung a delicate spiral of fine copper wire. This solenoid was wound upon a cylinder of celluloid and was suspended by a fiber of unspun silk contained within a long glass tube. A small magnet held the solenoid in position, and the apparatus was electrically earthed by a connective wire.

Dr. Russ observed that if he gazed steadily through the window slot at one end of the suspended body it would start into motion away from his observing eye. When he looked at the true centre it stopped, and if he gazed at the opposite end. it moved in the reverse direction.

Denies Any Occultism

Dr. Russ deprecates any suggestion that these results are connected with any so-called function of telepathy. No scientific instrument exists which can record telepathic influence, or, in other words, the passage of a thought ray, and even in regard, to hypnotism, which is a recognized medical fact, there is no instrument capable of indicating the hypnotic state either in the operator or in the subject.

By the instrument which he had invented Dr. Russ claims that the influence exerted by the human eye can be and is actually registered. To put it in another way. Dr. Russ asserts that when one person looks at another there is an actual transmission of power. This power, or force, or influence, is susceptible of measurement by his apparatus.

Various methods have been employed by Dr. Russ and other scientists to test the apparatus and eliminate the possibility of the movements in the solenoid being due to heat or the vibration of air currents, or any other accidental condition.

Dr. Russ’s discovery is still in its embryonic stage. Its application has as yet hardly been considered, but just as the telephone and the gramophone developed out of the knowledge that sound caused the vibration of matter, so it is contended it is possible that science may find the means of putting to practical usage this hitherto unknown force that resides in the eye.

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Mysterious Rays from Human Eye Move Solenoid

Popular Science January, 1922

WILL science soon reveal the nature of a mysterious power of the human eye more amazing than sight itself?

Probably every one has experienced an almost intolerable sensation under the prolonged stare of another person’s eyes. If one person looks into another person’s eyes, one of them must at last avert his gaze.

Dr. Charles Russ, an eminent British bacteriologist, has constructed a device which he believes conclusively proves that the human eye possesses an invisible energy, powerful enough to move objects.

Mysterious Rays from Human Eyes

Dr. Russ’ apparatus consists of a double glass jar containing a solenoid that is free to turn when the vision is directed through the slit

A delicate solenoid of fine copper wire wound on a celluloid cylinder is sus­pended from an unspun silk fiber fourteen inches long. The upper end of the silk is attached to a cork placed in the end of a long glass tube and the lower end is fastened in a metal yoke near a small electromagnet. The object is to bring the solenoid to rest after it has been set in motion.

The entire system is enclosed in a double glass jar, covered with metal leaf. The space between the jars is filled with water or paraffin lest the bodily heat of the experimenter should influence the result.

On each side of the vessel the metal coating is scraped from one small spot. These openings are faced by insulated metal plates connected with a Leyden jar, which places an electrical potential across the air space inside the double vessel. Another opening is made for the eye. If the experimenter looks at one end of the solenoid as soon as the plates are charged, it will turn away from him, says Dr. Russ. If he looks at the other end, that end will move away. No motion results if the eyes rest on the center. To enable the observer to more easily watch the effect, a pointer hung from the solenoid moves over a dial graduated in degrees.

Dr. Russ believes there is a ray of force propelled from the eye in the act of vision, which produces a tiny electric charge on the swinging solenoid. Of the nature of this energy he is not certain, although, since no effect is ob­tained in the dark, he thinks that the “emanation” is a refraction or a concen­tration of some unknown ray in light.

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Activating Your Visual Ray

Excerpts from Probing the New Reality,
Chapter 4 of The Cosmic Pulse of Life

by Trevor James Constable

In Rudolf Steiner’s writings, the role of the ether body in all the processes of perception is described. Departure of a ray of energy from the human eye is an integral part of the process of vision. In Man or Matter, Dr. Ernst Lehrs calls this eye beam the “visual ray”. This term is appropriate because the visual ray acts similarly to a radar beam, going out into space from the human being and extending consciousness out into space. Each eye emits energy, but one eye is the “master eye” and controls and dominates the whole process. Through the visual ray, the living energy in you makes contact with external objects, reaching out and grasping those objects, as if were.

The visual ray has a direct connection to consciousness. The visual ray is also under the direction, in a mechanical sense, of the exquisite human ocular apparatus. Brief reflection reveals why old conceptions of vision are no longer adequate.

Standard notions of human vision are mechanistic, and in their descriptions of the anatomy and physiology of the eye, perfectly valid as far as they go. Decades of dedicated investigation were necessary to assemble these mechanistic interpretations of vision, but in a fashion typical of such notions they fail at a crucial point. The unsolved enigma is: how do the pictures get into consciousness? A dead man may have had 20-20 vision on his deathbed, but sees nothing after the cessation of his heartbeat. His visual ray has withdrawn. His fingertips no longer emit rays. He no longer has an etheric double.

Seeing for the living human is a function of his etheric forces. The mechanical conception of sight is not sufficient, now that we know about this radiation. We are forced, by what we have observed and experienced of this energy surrounding and leaving the person, to entertain the conception of the visual ray. We do this now in highly practical fashion.

Lie quietly in a darkened room, and allow yourself to be come accustomed to the environment. Shut off all radio, TV and distracting sounds from any source. Remember that you are trying to bring into function and into your own awareness, faculties and endowments of your organism that have been beaten down by the daily assault of civilized living. You have also been brainwashed by mechanistic thought that such things do not exist. Give the grander realities a chance to live in you and to show you their wonders.

Hold your hands up in front of you in the dark, palms facing you. Remember that the visual ray is a subtle beam of energy that leaves your eyes like a radar beam. Attempt now to feel your own visual ray. Swing your eyes back and forth across the spot in the dark where your hands are. Do it slowly, carefully, persistently. Extend your touch out through the visual ray. Unless you are an especially insensitive individual, or one determined not to succeed, you will, after a time, feel the gentle passage of the visual ray across your hands. You will find its gossamer subtlety a new experience in feeling.

Persist and your sensitivity will improve. Focus all your faculties of touch into the visual ray and send it out into the darkened room to feel all kinds of protuberances. If there is a Venetian shade in the room, run the visual ray up and down over the slats. Once you have developed a little sensitivity, the effect is akin to running the teeth of a comb over your fingertips, but immeasurably more subtle.

Paper forms directly responsive to the visual ray, complete with cutouts for immediate assembly, are contained in John P. Boyle’s The Psionic Generator Pattern Book. Published by Prentice hall, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey U.S.A., this document will significantly assist private researchers in this field.

You may demonstrate the presence and the power of your visual ray to yourself in the meteorological realm. This direct proving is overwhelming. Once again, you do your proving by participating. You may dissipate clouds with your visual ray by following a simple procedure. Do not attempt short cuts, variants or modifications until you have performed exactly in accordance with these requirements:

  1. Choose a day when you have numbers of small, discrete clouds that are approximately the same size.
  2. Select one cloud to be dissipated. Have a friend take a Polaroid photograph of the scene, and mark your selected cloud before you begin dissipating it.
  3. Resolve inwardly that you are going to dissipate that cloud, drawing the energy down your visual ray into yourself.
  4. Concentrate on the cloud and slice your visual ray back and forth across it. Then bore into it. Then slic back and forth. Then bore some more.
  5. Within five minutes the cloud will have begun to disperse after clearly having lost cohesion Surrounding clouds of comparable size to the selected cloud remain essentially unchanged. A friend with a Polaroid will objectify it all for you.
  6. Concentration upon fragmenting portions of the cloud will secure their final dispersal.

Arguments and intellectualizing about this procedure are no substitutes for participation. Go out and do it, and leave the mechanistic skeptics to verbalize themselves to death. The proof and the changed cognition that comes with it will belong to you thereafter, and no one can ever take these things from you.

The most important thing to bear in mind when attempting this for the first time is that there is always a delay between the application of the bioenergetic stimulus of the visual ray and the manifestation of gross physical efforts, i.e., the visible dissolution of the cloud. Allow for this inherent bioenergetic delay. You are no longer dealing with mechanical things in a mechanical fashion. You are entering the realm of the living.

You will find that your whole ocular apparatus becomes strongly stimulated by visual ray cloudbusting. This stimulation is due to the orgone energy that binds the moisture in the cloud being drawn down your visual ray into your organism in accordance with the Law of Orgonotic Potential. Suffice it to say for now that orgone energy is negatively entropic and sweeps away the Second Law of Thermodynamics as a universal law. All you need to know right now is that if you are aware of your visual ray and use it as described, you can produce tremendous physical effects at a distance.

With the unaided human organism, one may not bust clouds indefinitely. Once the organism is charged bioenergetically to capacity, it cannot absorb more orgone energy from the clouds without discharge of that energy, either into water or through the sex organs. Cloudbusting is repeatable within these limits, with the visual ray.

Construction of a multilayered orgone accumulator will enable you to further verify the presence of the orgone energy to yourself. When you stare at the outside of the accumulator from the other side of the room, you will find your eyes will start to sting gently as the energy travels back down your eye beam and fuses with the fluid on your eyeball. There is no commercial or battery power connected with such an accumulator. Here again, to participate is to know.

Another convincing proof of the visual ray, as a bioenergetic emanation from the human being, is to observe carefully your reactions and sensations when you see an image in a fun house distorting mirror, or look at the world through glass that has been physically bent at a sharp angle. Wrap around windshields on 1955-58 vintage cars provide such surfaces. A sharp sensation of strain communicates itself to the organism as a result of the bending of the visual ray.

This inner sensation of discomfort, and sometimes of pain, has nothing whatever to do with viewing a distorted image as such. Study a photograph of an image from a distorted mirror. This does not produce the sensation of inner discomfort that arises from being present physically, and therefore involved bioenergetically, in the actual distortion process. Careful self-observation is an important part of this new kind of work.

That reality lies in your own orgone energy field, and with new, basic understanding of human vision an active dynamic understanding that supplements and vitalizes the purely passive, mechanical concepts of human sight that are now current. The mechanist always likens the human eye to a fine camera, and he is right. To this we now add that from what we have experienced, we know that the eye with its visual ray also closely resembles a radar set. That is how we intend to use our eyes empirically.

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Seeing in the Dark!

While discussing these concepts with a friend as I was compiling this, he commented that when younger & into geology and caves, he once came upon the entrance to a new cavern chamber while exploring. He had to jump across a stream and didn’t see an overhand before jumping. He seriously banged himself right in the center of his forehead breaking the skin, in the so-called “third eye” area where he still has a small scar, and lost his light which went out in the water. Coming up out of the water and looking into the new area, for about 15-20 seconds before his friends caught up to him to get him out for first aid, he could see the entire cavern network in front of him in the dark. He went back in with a light at a later date after recovering and was amazed that it was all as he had seen it before in the dark.

This amazing experience indicates the very real possibility that we have inherent within us the presently undeveloped ability to see in the dark… I would like to think that there must be some easier way to activate it. Perhaps experimenting with the visual ray is a good place to start.

As this information is presented as the basis for further research in this area I look forward to comments, experiences and further information on this subject. Please email me at thomasjosephbrown@gmail.com

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April 8, 2010 Update:

New confirming research by Colin Andrew Ross M.D.



Copyright 2010 Thomas Joseph Brown