Thursday, July 28, 2005



Spirituality can exist with or without visualization. And visualization might or might not be "spiritual."

What is visualization? It is the creation of imaginary pictures in the mind. It is similar to, but not as deep, or as clear, as dreaming. But, unlike dreaming, visualization occurs while you are fully awake, although it is sometimes used in deeper states of meditation.

Many believe that visualization changes the "outer" world, but this is the product of desperation, fear, and wishful thinking. In psychology, this is called "magical thinking," and most normal adults outgrow it by about age six or seven. It is the illogical belief that your thoughts are extremely powerful-- strong enough to manifest in the consensual world.

But imagine what our world would be like if this were true. Every nightmare of every person would be crawling on the streets, and our planet would soon become one great living nightmare. Happily, even very powerful thoughts (such as those of nightmares) have little or no effect on the world, and remain safely within the mind that created them.

Does visualization affect, control, change, or regulate the outer world of matter? No, there are no good metaphysical or spiritual reasons to believe so, or any scientific evidence at all. Take a common and very simple example: You could visualize a change in the color of your hair. You could visualize this for years, and the mere act of visualization would not change the color of a single hair on your own head.

This is proved by hypochondriacs. These are people who visualize diseases and disorders within themselves due to mental illness. With all their might and power, they might be utterly and firmly convinced that they have cancer. Yet, despite many contiguous and consistent years of nonstop practices of negative visualization, they are often found to be cancer-free.

This does not deny the fact that the mind can have enormous effects on the body. But it does deny that the conscious mind is in control of all somatic (bodily) processes.

But despite its real limitations, visualization can be useful. Visualization is useful in the same way that fantasy-therapy can be helpful: It can aid the mind in crystallizing, or getting clear, a dream or idea. Because it can be a lot of fun, it can also serve to ease the tensions and anxieties of the mind. So, although visualization has its rightful and appropriate place, to consider it powerful enough to change the world is regressive, primitive, and unadvanced "magical thinking."

A specific use of visualization is in chromatology, or color-healing. If you want to ease tension or stress in your body or mind, you can visualize a blue light in the area being treated, in yourself or another. On the other hand, if an area of body or mind needs energy, you can best send it psychic force by strongly visualizing a bright orange or red light.

Using visualization in this way is to serve others. Using it for personal gain often arises from, or leads to, increased greed-- also a form of fear, and based in fear.

No comments: