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What's the difference between imagination and visualization?
01-06-2017, 12:04 AM
Post: #1
I have been meditating for about 6 months now. I'm mostly able to keep my head clear without much effort - not gonna say I can clear my mind because no-one really is capable of doing that, but I can easily let go of distracting thoughts - and I can maintain that for approximately half an hour.

I am also able to visualize with open eyes, things like breathing white light, pillars of light, energy around my body, etc.

But how is visualization any different from imagination? I don't really see the things I'm visualizing/imagining when I'm doing it. If I hold my hands together and visualizing a ball of energy, I can keep it there for a few minutes before I lose concentration but it's not like I'm really seeing it. It's kind of like... I know it's there, but it's invisible.

When reading about sigil magick, I saw some articles mention visualizing sigils seemingly popping off the paper, or lighting up, or their lines glowing. When I try it I can immediately imagine these things and I'm wondering if I'm capable of visualizing things easily, or if I'm (more likely hah) doing it wrong.

I guess I don't have a particularly concrete question. More akin to asking for your experience.
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01-06-2017, 01:24 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2017 01:26 AM by travsha.)
Post: #2
Visualization is imagination. It helps you focus on something. You are using your imagination to help you focus on something or even to direct something. Imagination can be a very useful tool.

That being said..... I personally dont like to use visualization and dont use it in my personal practice anymore. I used to years ago, but I eventually felt like I wanted to simplify things in my practice and not deal witt questions of whether something is real or imagined.... So I skip visualization now and prefer to not use it personally. Doesnt mean it is bad though - it is just my personal preference.

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01-06-2017, 02:08 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2017 02:13 AM by Shinichi.)
Post: #3
Visualization is Imagination, and so a better question is, "what is the difference between creative imagination and the plastic imagination of the magician?"

The creative imagination is what artists, daydreamers and children rely on to explore ideas and such. It is a gentle and light imagination that has very little baring on magical power, because it is unfocused. Indeed, focus is counterproductive to the creative imagination - you want to let the mind wander so that you can stumble upon new perspectives and find new versions of the art or the daydream you are exploring.

The plastic imagination is what metaphysical practitioners teach and use, if they are doing it right. Its basic training method is in Step 2 of Initiation Into Hermetics, and many other books besides. It is called plastic (by some of us Tounge ) because it is (mentally) "solid" and tangible, or focused in a way that the creative imagination is not. Someone who sufficiently develops the plastic imagination will find that energy and such responds to mental direction much more easily - indeed, so much so that mental discipline is vital, because it is all too easy to accidentally throw a heavy curse at someone just because you are mad at them when your mind and energies are so aligned through a focused imagination. The plastic imagination also gives other benefits, such as improved memory, since you are training the mind to receive, record, and reproduce information from all five senses (indeed, it's not just visual imagination you need to train) in a way that not only improves magical practice, but also memory, concentration and the other mental faculties that are all interconnected.

However, as travsha pointed out, one doesn't really need either in order to practice magick - even though both can be a great aid, when used properly. Indeed, without first establishing proper mental discipline and self-awareness, exploring the imagination can easily lead to delusion and other pitfalls. There are also several systems of metaphysical practice that actively reject the use of imagination, including several traditions of things like Qi Gong and Yoga, because one should strive to really feel the energies and such instead of just imagining their presence; even though with the plastic imagination, their presence can be induced by imagining them. You also don't need to develop the imagination to such a point that you produce hallucinations, because especially as a metaphysical practitioner, that can ultimately lead to more problems than benefits. Wink It is instead the energies, and even physical things eventually, that should be "real" as they respond to the mental influence of your focused imagination.



~:Shin:~

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01-06-2017, 07:44 AM
Post: #4
I think for most people, when they hear the word "imagination" that it instantly means that whatever is imagined is "not real", instead of viewing the faculty of imagination as the very real power to create images. Be what is imagined in the mind not tangible to another individual, does not mean that it is not real in the sense that it does not exist. For what can be cultivated via visualization and imagination are all too often overlooked in their values, instead of contemplating their importances.
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01-06-2017, 06:08 PM
Post: #5
Thank you everyone for taking time out of your day to leaving an answer Smiling I definitely have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between imagination and visualization.

As always I will have to dig deeper into the benefits and use of visualization but you've given me a lot to think about.
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01-08-2017, 12:45 PM
Post: #6
im bad at visualizing imagery in my head, but i have a great imagination. when i meditate I have to let the visual imagery come on its own, because when I try to visualize everything goes black.

555+111=666 Illuminati confirmed. Surprised
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01-08-2017, 01:45 PM
Post: #7
I like to look at it like this. Imagination is the steel; visualization is the tool. Same substance, but one is focused for a specific set of tasks.

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╔═╗╔╗║╔╗╔╗║╚╗╠╣╠╣║║║║║║║
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01-08-2017, 03:41 PM
Post: #8
(01-08-2017 01:45 PM)Shadow Wrote:  I like to look at it like this. Imagination is the steel; visualization is the tool. Same substance, but one is focused for a specific set of tasks.

Good way of putting it~
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01-09-2017, 09:13 PM
Post: #9
(01-08-2017 01:45 PM)Shadow Wrote:  I like to look at it like this. Imagination is the steel; visualization is the tool. Same substance, but one is focused for a specific set of tasks.

That makes a lot of sense. In my experience, imagination feels like it's always ready to run away from me. Visualization seems like the method by which you keep imagination in check.
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02-13-2017, 11:49 PM (This post was last modified: 02-14-2017 12:10 AM by isabelmarmion78.)
Post: #10
It is a really interesting topic.

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