March 28, 2009

Visualization - Personal Observations

The best way I could sum up the previous article is this: visualization is the art of creating in the outer world by creating it in the inner world first.

Once you get the basic technique down, you can move on to more involved and complex techniques. You can influence your world through the creation of works of art (paintings, poems, crafts), through simple rituals, and through other means. But the basic technique remains the same. You use all of these tools to create something in the outer world by first creating it in the inner world.

In this posting, I'd like to talk a bit about some of my own experiences with applying the technique; my frustrations, and my successes.

I'll start with the things I haven't had much success with: money issues. I must have had some moderate success, because I know my finances are much better than they used to be. But this has always been the hardest for me. I suspect... well... no, I don't suspect, I'm fairly sure this is a karmic thing. I grew up in Appalachia, and some of the poverty consciousness stuck to me. That, and the attitude got built into my subconscious-- partially fostered by 60s hippy philosophy, partially by Christian indoctrination -- that poverty is virtuous. I'm chipping away at this, because I realize it's a long-term handicap. But, it can take time to transform the things we've been building up in the subconscious for decades.

What I have had incredible success with is using visualization to influence people's attitudes toward- and receptiveness to my plans. If it is vital that I get someone (usually someone in authority, or with particular powers) to approve of something I want to do, or to give me assistance, I visualize the conversation with them several times before I go to them, and I imagine them listening attentively, nodding in agreement. And I also visualize them actually saying that they will give the permission, or will give me the help I need. The results are astounding sometimes; reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi's interaction with the Imperial Stormtrooper at the roadblock (Obi-Wan:"These aren't the droids you're looking for." Stormtrooper: "These aren't the droids we're looking for"). People I thought would be serious hard sells have fallen all over themselves to tell me how much they agree with me, or have whipped out a pen to sign a document before I was even finished telling them what I'd come to talk to them about.

Now, you might be thinking, "If this works so well, is it ethical?" To which I have two answers. The first is that there are some things in life you definitely want to have the power to push through. Let's say you're an artist and you want to talk to a gallery owner about having a show of your paintings. That's something important. That's your life's work. You've sweat blood for the last two years creating this series. You want to have all the influence possible on making your show happen. The other answer is this: nobody is ever going to be influenced into doing something against their own morals or critical judgement. You can tip the scales if the balance is close, but you can't fight against a two-kilo weight on one side.

The other thing I've had amazing success with is small crowds. My job requires that I occasionally give in-house presentations. Days ahead of time, I visualize the audience being attentive and enthusiastically receiving the message of my presentation (not to mention, that I use visualization to create the best presentation I can!). I see no harm in this, since my presentations are for training purposes, and it's for the attendees' own good that they pay attention and find it interesting. But on more than one occasion, I have unexpectedly received enthusiastic applause, and been told afterward that I "owned the room" while I was presenting. I attribute a great deal of this phenomenon to the visualizations I do beforehand.

This observation has led me to wonder how many other people have discovered that they can mold the behavior of crowds with this technique. (My conclusion: more than most people suspect.) I also wonder how many people do it without realizing they're doing it. Just imagine: the enthusiastic politician is lying in bed after writing what she considers to be a brilliant speech. She pictures herself before an awestruck crowd as she delivers her carefully crafted lines. She feels the joy, the ecstasy of having hundreds of people under her sway. She can hear their cheers. She can feel the energy of their voices vibrate the podium under her hands.

All the ingredients of a successful visualization are there. Thought-provoking, isn't it?

If you consider the last example, you might realize that we influence the world with our visualizations all the time. Whether they manifest or not depends on how vividly we visualize them, and on how consistently we visualize what we want rather than visulizing what might go wrong, or what we fear.

One last observation. I've noticed that it's much easier to get results from a situation that's in flux than from a situation that's well-established or inert. Let's say that you really don't like your office, for whatever reasons. It's too noisy. It's too dark. It's next door to someone who shouts on the phone all day. Whatever. If you visulize getting a new office in that situation, getting that new office might take some time, and you might have to help it along with some manipulating and politics on the material plane. But if the boss has already decided to move some of the personnel around to make the seating arrangements more logical, it is my experience that you only have to visualize the exact characteristics of the office you want, and that is the office you will be given, without even having to say anything to anyone. Once things are in motion, it's much easier to make them go where you want them to.


anthromama said...

Oh, I don't think poverty is virtuous. Rather, not hoarding money and giving generously is virtuous! But I won't be glib about a lifelong struggle for you :-)

Regarding influencing groups: do you think that your visualizations before running training classes affected how you were received, or how you performed, or both?

And, you may have touched on this already and I'm forgetting, but how does this relate to any divinity one believes in? For example, there is a strong thread in Christianity of "Not my will, but Thine," submitting to God's will, etc. So how would you integrate visualizing your own will with that?

Frater Resurgere said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this blog. After sinking my teeth into lots of Ceremonial Magick, it was nice to be reminded of the effectiveness of basic things I can do whenever and wherever.

Von said...

Yep it works, sometimes it takes time and maybe your money issue will take time.
Poverty as a virtue doesn't work for me, simplicity works for me, random acts of kindness and learning to accept what the Universe offers graciously work for me, practising not being selfish, self-centred or involved with the ego work for me.
Great blog!

The Scribbler said...

Wow! Always a surprise to get a comment on a posting you wrote a long time ago.

Indeed, it works. Takes practice, though. Deceptively simple, like all bottomless skills are. Take golf: you could tell somebody it involves hitting balls into holes with sticks and it sounds simple, but there's a reason why the people who've mastered the game can win millions of dollars a year.

Or cooking. Or singing. Or raising children. They all sound simple, but what a difference between the people who do and don't put effort into it.

Glad you like my blog. I've sort of abandoned this one. It might not be your cup of tea, but my other blog (which I keep current) is about magic. You can find the link in my profile.