Visualization and imagination are two of the most important skills that you can develop when practicing magic. These are the language of the subconscious mind and are essential in working with the higher spiritual realms. Visualization is the act of creating a realistic hologram of an object in the mind. This hologram must be created as realistic as possible and can include not only the image but the texture, smell, sounds and possibly even taste as well. Imagination is less focused and more receptive. The important factor in working with imagination is that the student must learn discrimination. This should be one of the first skills developed. Just because an image or thought forms in your head does not mean it is divinely inspired. The ability to separate the random currents of the mind from the true spiritual inspirations. This skill will be discussed at another point. Our purpose tonight shall be to discuss visualization.
When dealing with visualization a distinction must be made between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Their method of operation is greatly different. The conscious mind, which most people are familiar with, is the mind of thoughts. Ideas, words, and numbers are all products of the conscious mind. When we use it we think words or letters or numbers. The subconscious mind does not use words, but symbols and images. This is an important point. Since it does not deal with words it is not possible to talk directly to the subconscious. Any words directed at it will not be processed by it but will be changed into images and symbols. This can be demonstrated by saying a word in your mind: apple. When you repeated it in your mind you subconscious retrieved how it perceives an apple. Maybe the image of an apple appeared in your mind, or the texture of the skin, or perhaps the taste. But it was not the word. This is the language of the subconscious.
The problem is that the subconscious mind is after all only human and can be programmed to have an effect that is not correct. An example of that would be someone who smokes. It can be generally agreed upon that inhaling smoke is not healthy. None of us would walk up to a bonfire and stand there, inhaling smoke. Yet, in the mind of a smoker, the thought of smoking brings up some positive image that has become associated with the action of inhaling smoke. This may be a sense of calmness, or acceptance, possibly productivity or even reward for correct behavior and therefore to the subconscious mind smoking is an acceptable action. The smoker may even know that smoking is unhealthy, and think of it often, but the subconscious mind, only understanding symbols and images, just doesn't get the message, and so the behavior continues. This is why in all reputable occult training time and care are taken to imprint and empower the correct symbolism into the subconscious mind. This is typically done through teaching and initiation.
Having the correct symbolism programmed in is important because the subconscious mind is the connection to the higher spiritual levels. If you wish to communicate a desire to the higher self or spirit, it must be conveyed correctly to the subconscious mind, and then it goes to the higher levels. There is no direct link to the Higher Conscious Mind except through the subconscious (labeled Unconscious Mind in the image). So, if you want to send that request to the Higher Self you must transfer it to an image or symbol and relay it to the subconscious so that it can be processed to the higher levels. This act of creating an image and sending it to the subconscious is visualization.
Fortunately, visualization is a skill that can be developed through practice. There are some simple exercises that, if repeated over a period of time, will result in the ability to visualize. These exercises are given below. No time recommendations are given with these exercises. It will take as long as it takes. It is recommended not to move to the next exercise until you have had success with the current one.
To begin with, it is best to work with simple geometric shapes. Start with just a point. Just create it in your mind. Like a period at the end of a sentence. Make it and hold that image in your mind. Don't worry about other thoughts coming in. Just direct your mind back to the image of the point. You may not be able to see it at first, and that is ok. Know that it is there in your mind. With continued practice, you will be able to see it.
Once you can see the point clearly in your mind, give it length and make it a line. It can be any length that is convenient for your mind. Create it and hold it there. Once it is clear in your mind's eye then start to move it around. Rotate it so that you can see it from all sides. Continue to practice until you can move it around with no problem. Then proceed to the next step.
Continuing with this exercise, expand the line to give it depth, making a square. Remember to make it real. Now, begin to add texture to it so that as you move it you can feel it. One time make it rough, another make it smooth. Make your square more and more real. Continue this until you can hold the visualization, move it around and feel the texture. Then proceed to the next exercise.
The last exercise in this set is to take the square that you formed above and give it height, forming a cube. Move it around, feel the texture, and give it weight. Feel the mass of the cube. Feel free to add any other experiences you like such as temperature, smell and sounds coming from the cube. Your goal is to make this a real object in your mind. When you can do this on a regular basis, you are ready to move to the next stage of training.
In this training, you will mentally be recreating an actual object. Start off with something easy and simple like a pencil, a ball or something like that. Don't start off with complex things like cars, televisions or machinery. You will get there. Use something that you physically have. Take the object in your hand and study it. Feel it, note how it looks, how it smells and how it sounds. Now set the object aside and close your eyes.
Mentally recreate the object in your mind. Make it as real as possible, recalling every detail that you can remember. Hold the image in your mind and feel it there. Mentally move it around and examine it. If it is not correct, make any necessary changes. Remember to make it just like the original. Now, open your eyes and reexamine the original. Notice any small details that you did not notice before. Then set it aside, close your eyes and repeat the process. Continue this until you have exhausted the object, and then choose another and begin again. Try to gradually increase the complexity of the object. When you have achieved some success in this you can continue to the third and final stage of training.
At this point, you may begin visualizing symbols. These should be symbols that you are familiar with from your training in your chosen path. Mentally create the symbol in your mind. Create it in all dimensions and give it texture, color solidness, and any other senses you can incorporate with it. Also, feel the energy coming from the symbol. Feel the correct energy and intention flowing from it. This will have an additional effect of strengthening the symbol in your subconscious mind.
It is important to remember that visualization is a skill. You must practice at it, and anyone can develop it. Keep working at it and you will be successful.