Elmer Green is telling us it takes a mind in an altered state of consciousness to effectively respond to visualization. Stilling the mind is done by meditation. And then, by using visualization, healing that is said to come from within is “tapped” into.
Visualization has gained great popularity and is presently used as a way to bring about success in many endeavors and enterprises, business, sports, education, psychology, religion, military, and even health and healing. This world-wide popularity can to a great extent be cred-ited to the efforts and writings of Shakti Gawain. In 1978 she wrote Creative Visualization and by 2002 six million copies had been sold, and the book translated into thirty-five languages. It truly has had a world- wide impact. Other authors had written on visualization prior, but without the popularity and extensive circulation that Shakti ‘s writings have gained.
In the following paragraphs a short summary of the information contained in Shakti’s Creative Visualization will be presented. The principles she presents as to the source of power of visualization, methods of utilizing such, and application to life experiences are shared by other authors. Ophiel wrote the text The Art and Practice of Getting Material Things through Creative Visualization in 1967; Ronald Shone wrote the book Creative Visualization in 1988, and there have been many others with the same basic concepts. The purpose and goal of visualization is to create what one desires or feels need of. To make use of visualization in our own life, Shakti tells us, it is not necessary to “have Faith” in any power outside of our own selves, we need only utilize the principles that govern the working of the universe.
Creative visualization is Magic in the truest and highest meaning of the word. It involves understanding and aligning yourself with the natural principles that govern the workings of our universe, and learning to use these principles in the most conscious and creative way.
Let us review the principles that writers, who give support to creative visualization, tell us are the forces that govern the universe. The concept of universal energy, life force, chi, etc., is foundational. Every material thing is energy turned into solid matter. Energy is said to vibrate at various frequencies having different qualities, from lighter to denser. Thought is considered a light form of energy and is easily changed and transformed into something else. Creative visualization is the act of thought being transformed into what we have imagined or image in our minds; it is proclaimed to be a simple act of rearranging the form of energy by the power believed to be within our mind, that is Self. In reality it is the attempt to mimic the creative power of God.
To effectively perform visualization one has to experience a mind altering status, by bringing the brain wave pattern from beta to alpha rhythm. This is done using the same procedures and acts as is done in meditation. Actually it is a form meditation. The mind comes to the attitude of “letting go of attachment” which is really passivity of the mind allowing the opening of channels to the soul and causing creative energy to flow. Shakti tells us that only good can be produced from creative visualization; how is it that if there is power to transform en-ergy by the power within man’s mind it can only form that which is good? Behind this concept is the belief that man is inherently good, that there is no sin, and that man will judge himself.
Another point presented in how to be successful in visualization is to have a feeling of being connected to “your inner spiritual source.” What is this inner spiritual source? We are told it comes from the infinite supply of love, wisdom, and energy that roams the universe. In her book, Gawain gives several names by which she feels one may identify his or her source, such as, “God, Goddess, universal intelligence, the Great Spirit, the higher power, or your true essence, the higher self, the wisdom that dwells within, etc. This power is identified by those writing on this subject as coming innately from within SELF. Simply stated, it is the pagan’s god. Shakti expresses it in the following comment.
Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of your spiritual source, or your higher self. If you are not sure of what this experience feels like, don’t worry about it. Just continue to practice your relaxation, visualization, and affirmations. Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm, radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of your higher self.
We can agree with comments made in Gawain’s book concerning the positive effect of our thoughts relevant to our health, that of entertaining thoughts that are positive, happy, of gratitude, appreciative, etc., instead of negative, constrictive, accusative, and other similar moods. Our expressions of appreciation and gratitude are to be directed to the Creator God, Jesus Christ the Son of God as the source of our strength and wellbeing, not some power that is lying latent within one’s self which is said to be a part of the universal mind and just waiting to be found and put into service. We also are aware that as we express thoughts of praise and gratitude to others it can in turn be positive in their lives. This truth is counterfeited by the adversary of God in the following way.
The teaching in the Eastern and pagan dogma is that the universal energy throughout the cosmos of which our mind is a part, is interconnected to everything in the universe and also to other people’s minds. By creative visualization one is able not only to influence one’s self to-ward healing, but by visualization one is able to affect someone else’s health, even if at a far distance by the visualization act. This is said to bring “instant cure” many times even without the other person being aware of your act on their part. This healing by visualization and at a distance, unknown to another, is believed to occur by having universal energy flow through that person doing the visualization and on to the person chosen to receive this energy. Ones higher energy is connected to another’s higher energy.
Remember in the chapter on Ayurveda we learned that the goal of the Hindu is to move the flow of universal energy through the chakra system so efficiently that the connection with the energy of the universe is so strongly connected as to cause one to be “one with all,” “as above so below,” “one is all and all is one,” and that this status brings a person into “nirvana,” connected with the “spirit world” of bliss. Visualization combined with meditation is taught to be a necessary and an integral part of this ascension to godhood by opening the energy centers, the chakras.
The beginning of this chapter presented the story of a young man asking the church congregation to join him in a visualization experience during his prayer. He had received guidance in this style of prayer from his religion teacher in a Seventh-day Adventist university; he had been guided to create a sanctuary in his imagination. The sanctuary was the meadow through which a small stream flowed and a bird singing its song of praise flew and lit on his shoulder. This sanctuary is promoted (falsely) to be a place of retreat, a place of rest and relaxation, of safety, that one can go to when weary and tired.
Shakti Gawain, as well as other teachers of visualization present the way to meet our “inner guide” after we have created the “sanctuary” in our imagination. The inner guide has many names, such as counselor, spirit guide, imaginary friend, master, etc. To meet this guide, place yourself in meditation and by visualization walk down the path to your personal sanctuary. As you come down the path into the sanctuary your guide will come from the opposite direction to meet you. This guide may be a bird, squirrel, rabbit or any type of animal as well as a human being. You then begin a conversation with this guide and show it around the sanctuary. You ask the guide what advice it has for you, express your appreciation for its presence and assistance. Invite this entity back; thereafter the guide is there for you to call on anytime you have need of counsel, wisdom, knowledge, support, love, or guidance of any type.
Ronald Shone is Senior Lecturer at Sterling University in the United Kingdom and author of Autohypnosis, Advanced Autohypnosis, First Steps to Freedom, and Creative Visualization, Using Imagery and Imagination for Self-Transformation. While Sakti Gawain has gained vast popularity with her book and lectures over many years, Shone presents a more intellectual expose′ of his understanding and belief in imagery and visualization. Although Shone is in agreement with Gawain on this subject of visualization he does add to her explanations in several areas. These additional points will be presented in the following paragraphs.
A most fundamental precept to visualization is to be in a relaxed state. This, he tells us, is best achieved by the use of autohypnosis; he actually refers to it as a hypnotic state. One needs to arrive at a condition wherein the eyes are closed, breathing is slow and regular, and muscles totally relaxed, words or phrases are verbally being repeated. This state can be accomplished either in a lying position or sitting. To arrive at this situation practice is necessary, and eventually it will happen almost suddenly as one chooses to place themselves in this deeply relaxation or hypnotic state. To illustrate to the reader the depth of “relaxation” of which Shone is writing. I will take a quote from page 139 of his book Creative Visualization, Using Imagery and Imagination for Self-Transformation.
One final observation: before you awaken, you should picture yourself totally free from pain and doing all the things you want to do. (Emphasis added)
Shone teaches that this act of visualization is carried out in the brain; it is a “right brain” function. What does he mean by the expression “right brain”? He teaches that the left side of the brain has to do with logic, reason, mathematics, reading, writing, language, and analysis while the other, right, side functions for such acts as recognition, rhythm, visual imagery, creativity, synthesis, dreams, symbols, and emotions. Why is it important to form an image in one’s mind? Shone tells it this way:
Why are visual images in the mind so important? The most important things about visual images are that they can influence the body….A strongly formed image will lead to an emotional response or some other bodily response. It does not matter whether the image is about reality or something totally imaginary. Both will create changes in the body that are consistent with the image….
But it is not only the body that is influenced by images. Behavior, too, is influenced by them. Again the result is similar. A strong image leads to behavior consistent with the image being formed in the mind’s eye. It does not matter whether the image is one of reality or unreality. What matters is whether the image is strong and whether you have belief in the image.
He makes reference to the power of the will. He refers to such as a force which belongs to the inner self, and which gives direction and purpose to our actions. There is no outward manifestation of this entity; it simply directs, or makes the choice of our actions. It is a force which in our use will command, stimulate, regulate, and direct all activities.
Elmer and Alyce Green in their book Beyond Biofeedback frequently refer to the use of visualization with biofeedback therapy. In the preface of their book they comment that the principles of psycho-physiologic self-regulation has been known for 2500 years but primarily used by shaman (witch doctors). They have attempted to translate the writings of a shaman into modern language as follows:
…(1) we can more easily understand how involuntary process of body and mind, the major part of the “internal cosmos,” are continuously influenced and controlled by VISUALIZATION, and (2) we begin to understand that the “external cosmos,” outside our skins, also responds to visualization—though only shamans and occultist seem to have known much about the latter…. From our view point, the development of full human potential starts most easily with mastery of body energies through internal control of images, emotions, and volition (the will), and the process can be extended to energies which influence the outside world. It is striking that in yogic theory ten pranas (ten kinds of energy), which can be self-regulated, control the World inside the skin — and the corresponding prana affect the outside world. “As below — so above!”…
I wish to add a comment made by E.G. White concerning the power of the will.
Through the right exercise of the will an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ, we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.