Training in creative visualisation
The first mental training exercise for the third Step does not present substantial differences from the concentration practices in the previous Step; the only change is in using multiple senses simultaneously. If the Step II sensory exercises have been carried out with a profit, it is sufficient to apply a minimum of creative imagination to face the proposed work successfully.
At this point of the hermetic practice, there is a transition phase between the preparatory mental exercises of the first two Steps and the much more difficult ones of Step IV, which involve the transfer of consciousness into objects. Therefore, it is essential to refine and master the Step III visualisation techniques, which must lead to a realistic result. Bardon continually warns the student against superficially approaching practices; progress is impossible if the required results have not been acquired with commitment and will. If so, it is better to examine one’s weaknesses and start over from an earlier stage.
The first steps of the practice are the usual ones.
- Choose a comfortable, relaxed position or your favourite āsana.
- Close your eyes and imagine a realistic scene. Bardon describes a wall clock with the pendulum swinging back and forth, producing a ticking sound. There is no need to stick to this image, which still offers an example of something simple with which you can initially train your ear and sight. Try to keep the scene for five minutes.
- In subsequent sessions, you can experience different visualisations: a stream and the pealing of water, the crashing of waves on a beach, the sound of the wind in the trees, and so on, at your leisure.
- Following, add tactile sensations to the scenes: the warmth of a place, the feeling of the wind on your skin, etc. Bardon emphasises visual, acoustic and tactile sensations, but nothing prevents us from experiencing taste and smell; however, the latter are less critical for hermetic development.
- The exercise is over if you maintain concentration with two or three senses simultaneously for five minutes. If fatigue begins, avoid moving forward and choose a time when you feel more comfortable. The morning hours are the most suitable.