Live your visualisation
With this exercise, we take a step forward in practising creative visualisation. The substantial difference concerning the previous exercise lies in need to “immerse ourselves” in the scene we are going to shape, experiencing it with such intensity as to make us believe that the imagined objects have a real consistency.
Generally, those who have difficulty in visualisation exercises lack control of the Fire Element, or rather, the Fire is unbalanced to the other Elements; let us remember that the Fire Element rules the vision. The solution lies in taking the Soul’s Mirror back in hand, in this case, the balancing practices of the soul, intensifying the exercises of self-suggestion and meditation on the aspects of our nature governed by the fiery principle. At the same time, one can work with the Element in the astral body, as described in the chapter on mastering the Fire Element of Step III.
Another reason to get stuck in the viewing experience is to force ourselves to see something. Creative imagination, a fundamental tool of hermetic practices, is not conquered by trying to impose the vision of an object or a scene as if we were trying to sculpt a block of granite, straining the muscles and the mind to shape the air that surrounds us. The practice is like what happens when reading a novel: the mind’s eye freely elaborates a visual reproduction of the plot and scenarios; only, in this case, the visual aspect is greatly amplified as a result of the practice, as well as enriched by the other sensory experiences. A further example comes from certain moments that arise upon awakening or before falling asleep once we have acquired specific stability in the exercises. When the physical body begins to loosen its grip on the subtle bodies before sleep, or when the waking state has not yet established itself, the creative imagination, free from the constrictions of the dense body, manifests itself in all its clarity with vivid visions. Ideally, we should also achieve this in full waking consciousness. Let’s now move on to the practice:
- Take a relaxed posture or your favourite āsana and close your eyes. Depending on your abilities, take a few moments or minutes to put yourself in an empty state of mind.
- Start by imagining a scene you know, such as the house you live in, the landscape of your vacation, the places you have visited, etc. The visualisation must be realistic and precise in shapes and colours, with all the details in mind. Up to this point, the exercise is not very different from the previous one; the only dissimilarity is in the familiarity of the scene displayed. Here we can use the mnemonic support to reconstruct the scenery.
- After holding the view for five minutes, add the sound (wind noise, traffic noise, birds chirping, everything you need to increase realism) and surround yourself with the scene, imagining you see everything around you. If you want, you can add the other senses, especially touch. The exercise ends when you maintain this type of involvement for five minutes.
- In subsequent sessions, repeat the first three steps using other scenarios.
- Once practised, follow the same approach but with your eyes open. Some find it challenging to work with their eyes open; if this is the case, start working in a dimly lit room, gradually increasing your exposure to light. You can move on to the next exercise when you have reached the same degree of mastery with your eyes open and closed.