|Holistic Health Practices/Part 40|
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2010|
|New Age visualization is the use of mental concentration and directed imagery in the attempt to secure particular physical, mental, or spiritual (occult) goals.|
What is Visualization?
New Age visualization is the use of mental concentration and directed imagery in the attempt to secure particular physical, mental, or spiritual (occult) goals. The practice of visualization is ancient and claims to work in a variety of ways. For example, by using the mind to contact an alleged inner divinity or “higher self,” practitioners claim they can manipulate their personal reality to secure desired goals such as optimum health and the acquisition of wealth.
Scientific research on forms of imagery (not necessarily visualization) has provided useful insights into brain/mind interaction and the ability of mental processes to sometimes affect mind-body function. Unfortunately, modern science does not always employ proper guidelines to separate legitimate and questionable research. Such research is easily misused when tied to parapsychological/New Age premises or goals.
Visualization is often used as a means to or in conjunction with altered states of consciousness and it is often accompanied by occultic meditation. It has long been associated with pagan religion and practice such as shamanism and shamanistic medicine. It is frequently used to develop psychic abilities and in channeling to contact “inner advisers” or spirit guides. Many occultic New Age seminars such as Silva Mind Control (with seven million graduates) and est/The Forum (with one million graduates) employ it in their programs.
Problem of Visualization
The basic problem is that New Age visualization assigns the human mind a divine or nearly divine status. This not only represents a major distortion of human nature, it may also mask spiritistic manipulation of the mind, defining the process as a natural or divine endeavor.
The use of visualization in health practice can lead to occultic influences and problems arising from the denial of reality by over-reliance upon one’s “divine” mind and its alleged healing power or health “wisdom.” In the field of medicine (physical self-diagnosis) and religion (psychic revelation), the process can produce a trust in false data that could result in physical damage or spiritual deception.