Stereograms Reveal Other
Dimensions of Reality

Exercises in "Seeing"

     Stereograms are multi-dimensional, computer-generated, graphic images that contain hidden content (images and text). The hidden content can only be seen when viewed from the proper visual and mental perspective. Stereograms contain multiple levels of reality. The surface level usually contains a variety of colors and patterns that make stereograms appear chaotic and disorganized. Once we penetrate into the deeper dimensions of the hidden content, we discover the real meaning of each stereogram.

     The dimensional content within a stereogram is its essence. Because stereograms exist on multiple levels, we can use them to learn to discern the hidden dimensions of the ordinary world, moving into a Higher Reality in which we have our true being.

The Historical Background of Stereograms

     In 1838, Charles Wheatstone, a British inventor, discovered stereo vision (binocular vision) which led him to construct a stereoscope based on a combination of prisms and mirrors to allow a person to see 3D images from two 2D pictures (stereograms).
      A stereoscope required a special kind of dual photograph or stereo-pair painting. A number of artists, including Salvador Dali, created exceptional stereo-pair paintings for the stereoscope.

     Around 1849-1850, David Brewster, a Scottish scientist, improved the Wheatstone stereoscope by using lenses instead of mirrors, thus reducing the size of the contraption. Brewster also noticed that staring at repeated patterns in wallpapers could trick the brain into matching pairs of them and thus causing the brain to perceive a virtual plane behind the walls. This is the basis of single-image wallpaper stereograms.

     In 1959, Dr. Bela Julesz, a vision scientist, psychologist, and MacArthur Fellow, discovered the random-dot stereogram while working at Bell Laboratories on recognizing camouflaged objects from aerial pictures taken by spy planes. Dr. Julesz also invented the autostereogram as a definitive test of Binocular Depth perception. At the time, many vision scientists still thought that depth perception occurred in the eye itself, whereas now it is known that is a complex neurological process. Julesz used a computer to create a stereo pair of random-dot images which when viewed under a stereoscope caused the brain to see 3D shapes.

     In 1979, Dr. Christopher Tyler, a student of Julesz and a visual psychophysicist, combined the theories behind single-image wallpaper stereograms and random-dot stereograms to create the first random-dot autostereogram (also known as single-image random-dot stereogram) which allowed the brain to see 3D shapes from a single 2D image without the aid of optical equipment.

Practicing to Gain the Skill of "Seeing"

      If you are dominant in either your left (logical) or right (visual) brain hemisphere, you will need to practice to see the dimensional content in a stereogram. By learning to synchronize your two brain hemispheres, you can develop the skill to see the multidimensional content. To find the hidden content in a stereogram, you must focus you eyes through the monitor to the distant background. This causes you to switch from "near point" to "far point" vision and will allow the hidden content to come into view.

  • Place your head at a distance a bit closer to the monitor than you ordinarily do and look through the screen.
  • Do not scan the image for details as you usually do when looking at objects. Continue to look through the image, not at any particular detail.

  • Let your eyes go slightly out of focus.

  • Now, very slowly move back from the screen and as you do so, the dimensional content will come into view. The object will snap into dimensionality.

  • This may take several attempts, so be patient as you practice to master this skill. Anyone can learn this skill, so don't give up. The ability to see dimensional objects is sufficient reward in itself to spend whatever amount of time it takes to master this skill.

      There are several ways to practice viewing stereograms:

  • Relax your eyes and blur the screen - the way you gaze into emptiness when daydreaming.

  • Look at your own reflection in the screen, and then slowly shift your attention to the image on the screen, but without changing the position of your eyes. Try not to focus on the details of the image, but look for an overall impression.

  • Put your face close to the screen (if you find that uncomfortable, try it with a printout on paper) and stare right through the monitor. Then slowly move away from the screen (or paper), still staring ahead. Don't focus on the picture until the 3D structure has popped out.

     Sterograms possess several extraordinary features:

  • They can be printed on paper and the multidimensional content can be seen within the flat surface.

  • Stereograms can be expanded vertically and horizontally and still retain their dimensional content.

The Benefits of Viewing Stereograms

     If you frequently use a computer, then you are forced into "near point" vision as you look at the monitor screen . When looking at something that is close to you, your eyes must converge on the object and be held in this position. This often requires the eye muscles to keep the same degree of contraction for long periods of time. The result is eye strain or muscle fatigue which is often accompanied by headaches.

     In order to see the hidden content in a stereogram, you have to use "far point" vision. To do this you must relax the muscles around the eyes as if looking at something in the distance. This relaxation of the muscles can give relief from eye strain. Looking at a stereogram for a few moments several times a day can keep you fresh for work on your computer.

Seeing Other Dimensions in Reality

     Trying to assist a person to "see" the dimensional elements in a stereogram is similar to helping a person learn to see the spiritual dimension within ordinary reality. One suggests that the person "expect dimensionality," "look through the surface," and "allow one's mind (and eyes) to go out of ordinary focus" -- all of which may or may not be of any assistance to the person trying to "see" the extra dimension. The fact that there is dimensionality in a flat image helps us to keep in mind that a "flat-seeming" reality also contains Higher Dimensions.

     In viewing the stereograms below, place each image in the center of the screen with no other image showing.

      This image acts as an animated stereogram and an amimated background image at the same time. Try to follow one of the moving figures while "seeing" the image as an animated background stereogram.

      In this document, the animated image is used as a background gif.

      The video below may help you to see the 3-D effect of the stereogram as it provides an image with two dots which by refocusing your eyes you can bring together and produce a third dot.

      The video below simulates an ordinary stereogram, so that by viewing the changing image you may be able to learn to see into the 3-D effects of stereograms.

      The video below changes an ordinary stereogram (which you must be able to see into its dimensions) into an animated stereogram.


Wikipedia Article on Autostereograms