Apologetics Index
Guided Visualization

Guided Visualization

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This is also termed "guided imagery," and it employs a friend, counsellor, or family member in either a therapeutic or occult New Age context. The therapist suggests a scene, such as a meadow or a forest, and the patient imaginatively elaborates upon the scene as a key to his own "inner processes" and "unconscious conflicts." Guided imagery may also be done by a leader of a New Age seminar, or practitioner who helpd the audience construct a particular mental environment for contacting a spirit guide. Silva Mind COntrol is a case in point ...

One may find that these general varieties of visualization can be described loosely under a number of terms: guided fantasy, mental imaging, active imagination, directed daydreaming, and inner imagery. But is should be remembered that visualization is not the same thing as imagery. Visualization involves imagery, but imagery purposely directed toward a particular goal.

How does imagery differ from visualization? There are many different forms of imagery, many of which we all experience. For example, a "memory image" is a reconstruction of a genuine past even tied to a specific occasion; for example, most of us remember what our first date was like. Or an "imagination image" is the construction of an imaginary image that may or may not contain elements of past perceptions or events, but it is arranged in a novel way. For example, we might imagine how we would look alongside a new care parked in front of our beach house, or how the living room would look with the furniture rearranged. We might imagine how one of the biblical prophets dealt with a difficult situation, or what we would do in his place. This is similiar to "daydream fantasy," in which there is a combination of memory and imagination images.

In dreams we find sleep imagery. And there is also imagery that is experienced only rarely, such as in hallucinations, in which internal imagery is wrongly believed to be external. In visions we find induced, internal imagery as, for example, revelations (or even projections) that may be either true or false; that is, from God and angels or from the devil and demons (Matthew 4:8; Ezekiel 1:1).

There are many other varieties of imagery, such as recurrent images, eidetic images, hypnagogic, and hypnopompic images. Typically, however, these kinds of imagery are not visualization; they lack the accompaniments, commitment, and trust involved in the visualization process and its specific techniques. All of this is why it is important to distinguish imagination and imagery from visualization proper.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House Publishers, 1996. P. 580