If light diverges, how can there be a virtual image?

I have seen this question: Why can you see virtual images? but answers evade the question. Light needs to hit the retina in order, what is the meaning of "dashed" lines in most visualizations that track the light back near the original object? Can someone clarify? Is it reflected?

-
My answer on the duplicate evades nothing. Your eye focuses the diverging rays so that they are converging again. The meaning of the dashed lines is explain in my answer to physics.stackexchange.com/questions/2658/virtual-vs-real-image . – dmckee Aug 2 '12 at 3:37
@dmckee If they're diverging, how can an eye capture outward rays of light which are moving in the opposite direction? How can the eye focus the diverging rays when they're gone? – Optician Aug 2 '12 at 3:39
Light diverges from every object you look at all the time. You eye can only refocus rays that are close enough to one another to both pass through the pupil (a millimeter or two up to a roughly a centimeter depending on dilation). That's true for all images that your eye forms. The usual diagram have the angles grossly exaggerated to make drawing and reading them easy. – dmckee Aug 2 '12 at 3:45