Creative Visualisation – Lessons from a Christian Mystic

Here are two methods creative visualisation which you can use to alter your life for the better. These are basic techniques which ideally should be carried out every day. You may notice a certain similarity to techniques recommended by certain occult or new-age / theosophical sources suggesting that they are far eastern in origin, but in fact they are nothing of the sort: they were actually first mentioned by the fifteenth century mystic Saint Thomas à Kempis. Not only is this Saint respected in exoteric Christian circles, he is also endorsed in Rosicrucian ones as well, e.g. Theophilus Schweighardt.

Thomas à Kempis wrote:

If you cannot recollect yourself continuously, do so once a day at least, in the morning or in the evening. In the morning make a resolution and in the evening examine yourself on what you have said this day, what you have done and thought, for in these things perhaps you have often offended God and those about you.

Imitation of Christ, book 1, chapter 19, “The Practices of a Good Religious.”

Kempis has an unfortunate pre-occupation with sin and offending God, and comes across as negative. He could of course have focussed on the positive instead – by recollecting oneself at the end of the day one might discern that you have pleased God and those about you – not for the sake of indulging in piety, but for that of rejoicing in the goodness of the Universe.

Yet in this short quote Kempis has hit upon the basis for a workable system of daily creative visualisation. I have therefore formulated the following practices of which anyone of any faith (or lack thereof) may make use.

Morning: “Prospective Visualisation”

First thing in the morning on waking up, visualise how your day is going to proceed whilst mentally repeating an appropriate affirmation or resolution. You should visualise yourself being successful at everything you know is going to happen, i.e. you see yourself being happy, being popular, achieving what you want to achieve, etc. You can even visualise things coming to you from sources outside your conscious control – i.e. because your mind is connected to the Universe in ways which you only unconsciously appreciate. Never assume that anything is completely impossible, even if it seems unreasonable, because you would then be creating limiting self-beliefs.

Evening: “Retrospective Visualisation”

This is almost identical to an exercise which I recommend in connection with Lucid Dreaming. In the evening, last thing before going to bed, meditate by visualising the events of the day, remembering them backwards. When you discern something going right for you, contemplate a feeling of gratitude to whoever caused it, and to the universe in general. If you realise something went wrong, you should also express gratitude for being able to discern your mistake, and resolve that you will learn from your experience and do better in the future.

Results

Getting into the habit of using creative visualisation regularly everyday increases the probability that one day you will be pleasantly surprised to find events happening as you had intended them that morning. This can include apparently remarkable occurrences like people getting in contact with you, offering you opportunities, which you did not cause to happen. In fact you did cause them, though not in a way that skeptics might appreciate.

Retrospective visualisation helps to improve the memory – some sources allege that it can ultimately help one recall ones past lives. I also find that by doing this immediately before going to sleep, ones dreams are less likely to be plagued by memories of the day just gone, and instead will be filled with images from the deeper levels of the unconscious.

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12 responses to “Creative Visualisation – Lessons from a Christian Mystic

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