8. See Yourself As You Want to Be
The Technique of Visualization
There is, in the universe, a Spirit that is self-knowing, and a law that is not self-knowing, but self-propelling, which obeys Spirit. We are self-knowing centers in a law that has no volition other than to obey our impulses. We are ignorant of this and consequently bring upon ourselves, through a direct act of law, all the experiences that we suffer. Should we completely change our mode of thinking, we would completely change our environment. We are, today, the sum total of all our thoughts and acts, the objectification of our subjective states of consciousness; our subjective state of thought decides what is to happen to us objectively.
Our subjective state of thought is constantly radiating into universal mental law the images of our entire belief in life, and from these images of unconscious thought spring all our outward conditions. The key, then, to success and happiness, is the conscious control of thought and a continuous radiation of constructive thinking and acting. This key will unlock the treasure house of the Infinite and reveal to us undreamed-of opportunities and experiences.
We have brought upon ourselves all our troubles through ignorance of the law, which of itself is always a law of liberty, but which we have misused through misunderstanding the true meaning of life. We must reverse the entire process of our thinking and learn to think of ourselves only in terms of spiritual valuation, which alone is enduring and real.
Visualization means to create a mental picture of ourselves as we would like to be, to hand this picture over to the Universal Law of execution and to believe implicitly that it will act. But our present ability to visualize depends upon our present state of thought; it is limited to previous experiences and impressions. By the act of visualization, we can bring into our experience only that which we can mentally image — and we can image only that which we know. Perhaps this is why Solomon said, “With all thy getting, get understanding.”
Plotinus said something to the effect that our work is always done better when we face Spirit, even though our back is turned to our work; Emerson tells us that a betterment in conditions always follows the Divine Influx; Jesus tells us to seek the upper kingdom first and that all things will be added. All the great spiritual teachers have mentioned that we need to look for higher forms of thought if we wish to experience better things. By visualization, we can only bring into our experience something we presently know about; we cannot reach beyond our mental grasp nor can we jump away from our own shadow.
It is necessary, then, to find higher visions and broader vistas of thought if we are to transcend our previous experiences. This can be done only by letting the higher mind rule, by conscious contact with greater reality. Visualization is always incomplete unless the thought is first impressed with the greater possibility and made receptive to the Divine Influx. Spirit is always ready to flow through our mentality, but we are individuals and must let it flow by the act of our self-choice.
Deep within our subjective mentality are imprinted the memories of previous experiences. Hidden away in the inner recesses of thought, generally unknown to us, are the silent causes of our outward conditions. But the law is always acting, and we are ever perpetuating experiences that we no longer want to have. What we need is a new outlook upon life, a broader vision, a deeper realization. This can come only from the Spirit that knows all things.
The conscious use of law is for the purpose of neutralizing false images of thought and, in their stead, creating true ones. We must exchange the human for the more nearly divine; we must learn to think as we feel God must think about us.
Now we know that God is perfect and a complete unit; consequently, if we would think as God thinks, we must do so from the basis of unity; the unity of Good and the perfection of being. But we cannot think from the unity of Good while we still believe in evil in any of its apparent forms, for clear thinking disavows evil and believes only in the Good.
It is useless to visualize unless we bear this in mind. God is One, not two. Unity, then, must be the basis of all our thinking. Goodness must be paramount if we are to visualize correctly and effectively.
We are to believe, then, that our thought operates through a field that is unconditioned and absolute, and if our thought is in alignment with reality, it will become powerful. This is more than holding thoughts and has nothing whatsoever to do with suggestion in any of its forms. God does not suggest, It knows; and Its knowledge is law and this law is perfect.
There is no power in holding thoughts, but there is power in knowing the Truth, and that Truth acts through the law. The will is not used in visualization, but the imagination is used. The will enables us to imagine, or image, along the lines of our self-choice. Will holds out the mold; imagination fills the concept with spiritual realization, and the law executes the deed.
Right thinking straightens out our thought for the purpose of right perception; right perception is God and God is All. God operates by self-knowing; the law acts by the impulse and outpush of Spirit.
That vision which is based upon harmony and unity is complete and unconditioned. Spirit knows all things, and the law can do anything. By the conscious intelligence of the inner Spirit we set the law in motion for definite purposes. Any purpose that is constructive is legitimate and right. Spirit intends us to have and enjoy all things.
We must feel and know that back of our word there is a power that is greater than the apparent consciousness that sets it in motion. When we visualize we must think in the Absolute, perceive in the Absolute, see in the Absolute, and then let the law alone to execute itself.
Visualization from this standpoint is a creative act that is never bothered by any existing condition or conditions. It is absolute, because it is backed by an immutable law and power.
Once we are certain that our whole thought is harmonious and unified with good, we may ask for what we want, and it shall be done unto us by the law. But it is dangerous to use this law unless we are absolutely certain of right visualization, for thoughts are things and thoughts move in circles and will ultimately bring back to us exactly what we send out. We must each answer to ourselves, for ourselves, and all according to a perfect law.
In visualizing, put the past entirely behind; do not think of the future, but make your thought perceive the ever-present reality. Spirit knows no past and no future, and the law knows only to do. See yourself as you would like to be, but think of no person or persons in connection with your mental picture.
Think of yourself as you would like to be and calmly state that you are now in the position that you care to be in; that you are now doing the things you would like to be doing; that you now possess the things you want to possess. Look at your picture as you would view a landscape, mentally dwelling on this picture, trying to feel the reality of it, until you can sense that it is a reality; then leave the entire picture for the law to work out for you, returning to your everyday affairs with perfect confidence that something is really taking place on the invisible side of your life, and that you will experience in outward form all your inner aspirations.