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1.Everything comes to you through the higher self.
a.The power of the higher self is channeled through the conscious and unconscious levels of your own psyche.
b.Action takes place on corresponding levels of the external universe.
2.Do not specify a source of supply in the material world for what you want:
a.Because the real source is at the spiritual level.
b.Because what appears to be the most obvious material source may not, in fact, be the right one.
3.Avoid cluttering your emotional nature with false wishes.
a.False wishes rob you of time, energy, attention, and concentration.
b.False wishes rob you of some part of your power of decision resolution.
c.False wishes rob you of patience.
4.Never offer a price in your creative visualization work.
a.Expect what you need from the plenty of the universe.
b.Any concept of "bargaining" for what you want limits your creative visualization work to a level below the higher self.
c.Be confident in knowing you will attain your wishes. Any self-limitation (fear, anxiety, denial of self-worth) shuts the door upon the higher self.
Where does everything come from that you obtain by means of creative visualization?So far as the material world is concerned, one thing comes from one source and another from another; but, for the purposes of your creative visualization activity, you need not be, and should not be, concerned with anything but the spiritual source of supply. And it will make your practice simpler, and therefore more effective, if you think of the source of supply as being that one which does indeed bring these various benefits into your life. There are, as we have indicated, various ways in which you can conceive of, and name, this source. It has to designate the high being with whom you personally have a direct and profound relationship.
Throughout the rest of this book, we shall, for brevity's sake, refer to this simply as the higher self.
Whatever you decide is the immediate thing to visualize for, whether a material or a nonmaterial objective, it is in full confidence to be visualized as coming to you from that spiritual source.
Truly, by the power of this source channeled through the conscious and unconscious levels of your own psyche, the action takes place on the corresponding levels of the external universe, to bring about the presentation to you on the earthly level of what you have imaged. That is why you can truly affirm that what you visualize is yours now.
Astrally it is yours, because you have implanted it in astral reality; mentally and spiritually it is yours, because you are activating those levels by means of your own mental and spiritual forces so that what you create astrally shall be realized materially.
If you have read any other works on creative visualization, whether old books or more recent, you will have noticed that there is almost always a warning against specifying or visualizing a source of supply in the material world for what you want; but scarcely ever are you given a reason for this warning. There are two reasons for it, both very important.
The first reason why you should not specify or visualize a material source of supply for what you are seeking is that by so doing you could easily obscure your perception of, or even your faith in, the spiritual source of supply. The second reason is that what seems to you the most obvious material source of supply may not, in fact, be the right one, and so you might be causing delay and wasting effort by "barking up the wrong tree."
Some years back, in London, England, a self-taught scholar was delving into his own line of research in traditional alchemy, a difficult subject in any circumstances. He had found a vital clue that pointed to the writings of one of the less-understood medieval philosophers, but, though he searched carefully through his own collection of books and through the catalogs of many public libraries, he could find no means to pursue this line of inquiry any further. In fact, every librarian he spoke to on the subject stared at him as at someone who had just stepped from Noah's ark. He resolved to try creative visualization.
What he really needed was information on the medieval philosopher (whom we can call "Doctor Susconditus"). What the scholar asked for, by sheer habit of mind, was a book on the teachings of Doctor Susconditus. Now, books are often excellent things, but there are books and books; and sometimes a subject is better approached in other ways.
A few weeks after he had begun his practice of creative visualization, one of the librarians he had contacted sent him a circular from a European publisher, announcing an offset edition from an early folio of one of the doctor's major works. Our friend took this leaflet to a bookstore, where a clerk worked out how much a copy would cost him. It would be very expensive, and he would have to pay in advance; nevertheless, he decided to place an order.
When the book arrived some months later, to his dismay he found it was so much reduced in size from the original as to be practically illegible anyway, aside from the fact that Doctor Susconditus' Latin, notorious even among medievalists, was very different from the classical Latin of our friend's school days. In fact, he had wasted both time and money to no purpose.
One thing seemed clear, however; his creative visualization had certainly worked. He began again, with a different pronouncement: "I want to learn of the teachings of Doctor Susconditus."
The next weekend, taking a walk by the river in the early morning as he enjoyed doing, he got into a conversation with a young man who seemed to be casually admiring the rather chilly view. To the surprise of both, they soon became engrossed in discussing the arcane interests they evidently shared. Soon, over breakfast at an early opening cafe, it transpired that the stranger's home was far from London and, having accidentally gotten himself stranded, he hadn't a clue what to do about it. He had, in fact, panicked. Our friend, however, pointed out that a collect call to the young man's father, and his own hospitality until the father's arrival or monetary response, would easily solve the whole problem. Gratefully the young stranger replied, "If ever there is anything I can do for you . . ."
Whereupon our friend heard his own voice saying spontaneously, "What I want is to learn of the teachings of Doctor Susconditus."
Now he was not looked at as if he had just stepped from Noah's ark. "Why, yes," replied the other, "I know the very man to help you: probably the greatest living authority on Doctor Susconditus in the English-speaking world. He's an old schoolmaster of mine. He's very shy of being interviewed, hates publicity, but if I write to him he probably will see you."
So it was arranged; and our friend not only gained the immediate knowledge he needed. He gained the benefit of a university man's trained understanding of how to organize knowledge and, too, (because the old schoolmaster was delighted to encounter another mind's fresh approach to his own favorite subject) an insight into the great enmeshing of alchemical thought with other fields of study. (Oh, and he donated the offset volume to the old master's college. They were very happy to have it in their library catalog, even if nobody could read it.)
So, (1) specify exactly what you want, but, also, (2) don't specify a material source of supply. There is more than that, however, to be learned from this story. As with so many of these real-life stories about successful creative visualization (and a tremendous number could be told) you can notice an almost "legendary" quality about the narrative. It makes no difference whether we are dealing with characters from centuries back or present-day people, it makes no difference what may be their age, or sex, or walk in life, they all seem to have been caught up for the time being into a world of golden light and of rightness of speech and action. Yet they are true stories. You may, yourself, have experienced moments in life when you have consciously known you "couldn't put a foot wrong."
This is characteristic of a linkup between your rational mind and the archetypal level of existence, which means that you are indeed "acting with power," the power channeled down from the higher self. Sometimes, of course, this can happen when you are not at all aware of it, at least not until you look back afterward upon the episode. But when you are aware of it, it is very enlightening.
When once you know, and are sure of, the feeling of this direct link with the higher self in archetypal action (as if you were living through the working-out in reality of some ancient myth) you are not likely to fall into the other errors that are to be described here.
Furthermore, even without your having gained this awareness when you are visualizing for something, you will be much helped and strengthened by resolution, concentration, and patience aided by rhythmic breathing and Creative Relaxation.
One of the faults to avoid we have mentioned before: the confusion of nervous tension with emotional intensity. Not only is nervous tension destructive to the qualities mentioned above, it is an implicit denial (if you consider it) of that belief in success that is a part of effective creative visualization. You know you are building up, astrally, and are infusing with spiritual reality, that which is to come to you in the material world. Tension is the natural prelude to action, but you are already taking the action that is to be effective in this case, so what need for tension? Desire strongly, but not with your nerves.
Built-up, prolonged tension is a sign of fear, of frustration, and of anxiety. Breathe rhythmically, relax, smile, and banish tension.
Another fault against which you should be very much on guard is that of allowing your emotional nature to become cluttered with false wishes. It can easily happen, in these days when not only continual advertising, but also "public opinion" (usually an equally artificial product) tries to decree what you like, what you want.
This does not mean that you should ignore advertisements altogether. A sensible study of them will teach us what is to be had in the world, what we can seek in the world and what the world (including our fellow humans) may expect of us. They are educationally useful, not only for young people but also for older people who are sometimes inclined to forget or deliberately ignore the fact that standards and availabilities of all kinds change continually. Advertisements are an important part of the world's news.
Good advice, too, is not to be ignored. You may have settled in your mind that you want (say) a house and a car; but which first? And of what kind, and where, and when? These are questions on which other people's opinions besides your own wishes may be well worth knowing.
What you have to avoid is being like the woman who goes to a sale for a coat, and comes back with ten dresses instead, all "bargains," but five of which don't fit her and the rest she doesn't like. We are here referring, of course, not only to buying things, but much more to "buying" desires, letting suggestions and wishes be foisted on you when they are not yours and you don't want them.
These false wishes and daydreams do cost you something, and it is something valuable to you. They cost you time, energy, attention, concentration, and some part of your power of decision resolution-qualities you need for your creative visualization.
So always see yourself as happy, prosperous, tranquil, healthy, and socially successful, but only give detailed attention to those aspects of the picture that you feel ought to have it at this present time. And frequently call to mind the existence of your spiritual source of supply.
A crisis situation can be very effective in leading us to cut out "clutter" and to identify, and act for, the next requisite object to pull us out of the crisis; but, too, it is precisely in a crisis situation that anxiety, doubt, and tension have most to be guarded against. The story of Annie Z. may be a helpful example here. (Noticeably, most of our stories of creative visualization come from people in rather underprivileged walks of life. This is not by any means a sign that it can't be used by, or won't work for people who are already in a secure and prosperous position. Frequently, the things that people in secure and prosperous positions want are not readily purchasable-a man has a rare antique jar, lacking only the lid; a girl has a nervous condition that the most expensive specialists have failed to cure; the manufacturer of a chemical product seeks a good use for a waste substance. Such people can, and in many instances do use creative visualization successfully, the conditions for success being just the same for them as for other people. But their success does not stand out so strikingly; again, many successful people use creative visualization all the time, but keep their successes as their own personal "secret." (This they are entitled to do, and when we come to know of such facts we are not entitled to publish them.)
So we return to the "underprivileged," although nobody who met Annie Z. would have guessed it, and she personally never thought of herself in that way. For a number of years, she lived the life of a cultivated, well-leisured single woman, and the main difference between her and her friends was that they wouldn't have dared disturb their investments, and she didn't possess any to disturb. But this again had no place in her thoughts: "I have all the gold in the sun," she said, and visualized everything she needed coming to her from that radiant source. (Yes, of course it worked.)
If she had one fault in her visualization technique, it was diffuseness of purpose. The effects were continual, startling, but, of course, correspondingly small, though they all contributed to her lifestyle. Then, one day she learned that she was going to lose her apartment, because the old building in which it was situated was due for demolition.
She kept her head: "All the gold in the sun" was not going to fail her now. Temporarily she stopped her creative visualization "sidelines": the complimentary theater tickets, the stylish hairdos for which she sometimes modeled, the off-cuts of exclusive fabrics, and the rest. She visualized herself in an apartment rather like her existing one, save in one respect that she meant to change. The old building had no elevator; she did not mind its age, but she was heartily sick of the stairs. She was willing enough to live on the first floor, so she pictured a first-floor apartment, and sun rays with hands rather like those on the aten disk in Egyptian paintings giving it to her. She also pictured herself decorating the apartment as she would like it, because to do something which at once marks an article as one's own is a most powerful way of laying claim to it.
A couple of weeks after she embarked on this program, she was talking to a friend who mentioned that a nephew of her husband's was coming from overseas as a student, and the husband was keeping for him a first-floor apartment that had become vacant in some property they owned; the boy could have it in return for redecorating it and taking turns with tending the boiler. Annie knew instantly that this was the kind of break she was looking for, but, realizing there is plenty in the world for all, she made no attempt to take over the young student's good luck.
Another week, however, and the friend's husband contacted Annie to ask if she would be interested in the apartment on the same terms. The nephew had taken one look at the big, old-fashioned rooms with their chipped and faded paintwork, and had opted at once to go and live in a regular students' hostel and to have the company of other students his own age.
This brings us to the next subject on which a warning should be given.
It is quite all right if, when something for which you have been doing creative visualization comes your way, you find you have to pay for it some price you can well afford, whether in money or in work. If more is asked than you can conveniently give, just ignore the offer and go on with your visualization program: this first manifestation of a response is not the one for you. If you visualized for a piano, for instance, you may find that old pianos, new pianos, pianos that would cost you thousands of dollars and given-for-free pianos with no wires left in them, all may be brought to your notice both before and after the right one. That is the way it goes. You may be offered an acceptable gift, or you may decide to pay a reasonable price for a reasonable article. Both are okay, and the choice is your affair.
What you should never do is to offer a price, whether in money, goods, or work, in your creative visualization activities. Your rational mind must keep control while allowing the unconscious levels to act on your behalf; and to try to make pacts or bargains with the unconscious levels is to give up a part of that control. Expect what you need from the plenty of the universe.
What you want to give, give freely, and "cut the strings." Only that way you need have no regrets.
Above all, when you have entered upon any inner development program (and creative visualization is a form of inner development, the development and use of your hidden faculties) you should never, even in casual conversation, say the kind of foolish thing that we sometimes hear, "I'd give anything if only . . ."
Such a desire to bargain can only arise from fear, the fear that what one dearly wants may not come to pass unless something is offered in exchange; but this impulse is deceptive.
By making an attempt of this kind, one is putting oneself in a weak position, not a strong one. The only strong position is that of total confidence, that without fee and without compromise, the thing one wants will come to pass because one has clearly imaged it, and because one infuses that image with the power of the higher self.
One of the barriers that a lot of people put up against themselves is the barrier of "conscience." They make an objection, either knowingly or unknowingly, that they shouldn't have this or that because they have done nothing to deserve it; or, worse still, they think they ought not to have it because of some past error or fault of theirs. They assume they ought to deprive themselves or punish themselves.
This idea of some duty of self-punishment is altogether contrary to the spiritual truth of the matter.
Your higher self does not inquire what you deserve.
The concepts of reward and punishment are very convenient and, usually, effective ways of regulating human conduct in the material world. Domestic animals can, to some extent, be conditioned to respond to them also. But they go no higher than that. You are quite right to have a "conscience"; but it is part of your lower self, not of your higher self. It is conditioned to a great extent by what you were taught in childhood, and also by your personal experiences and observations in the world.
That is the reason why so many people's consciences tell them so many different things. Your conscience is not "the voice of God," and you should certainly never think it has any right to punish you. The real "voice of God" in you- the divine flame that is your higher self-is that which will raise you up as far as you will let yourself be raised, and lavish love upon you as far as you are willing to receive it. Unconditionally.
If you have somehow wronged another person you should certainly make restitution to that person, whether by material or spiritual means according to the circumstances. But what you do should be done entirely for that person's benefit. Not to deprive yourself of something.
Two wrongs do not make a right.
Love yourself, forgive yourself, and let yourself go free.
In an outer order document (written to guide junior members of the order of the sacred word) published in volume 1 of The Magical Philosophy, is a general statement on self-criticism that may be helpful here: "We should never despond over ourselves; particularly with such words as I am proud, I am lazy, I am dishonest." The essence and life of the soul is in action and motion, not in any static condition. The same is true of the so-called virtues. If it has been judged of a man that he is just, that is of no avail if he acts unjustly today; but if he has acted unjustly today, let him redress it by acting justly tomorrow. And thought is action, upon its own more subtle level: it often is more powerful than outward action.
Self-limitation shuts the door upon the higher self. It is, besides, a shocking travesty of Christianity, a religion whose initial purpose was avowedly to release people from false restrictions. But we have said something of Christianity's true teachings in chapter 4.
None of us can claim to be entirely without fear all of the time, particularly when something that matters a great deal is still not manifest on the material level of existence. We are human, and it is not to be expected that we should live in that way. If a fear can, however, be suspended for the duration of our creative visualization, as it should be, we are likely to find our renewed confidence will last much longer. Here we have several great aids; there is not only rhythmic breathing and Creative Relaxation, but also the power of song.
Sing in your heart at least, sing the tune or even the words also aloud if that is possible; not for others to analyze, but to tell yourself what you know. Song is something that the unconscious levels understand, because its appeal is emotional; so in that way you can get through to them.
King Alfred (c.e. 848-900) was called "The Great" for more things than being a king and fighting the Danes. He had some correspondence with the patriarch of Jerusalem, he may have sent a mission to India, he translated various didactic works from Latin into the English of his day, and he compiled two books (one of which survives) of sayings and writings that particularly appealed to him. One of his secrets of courage has come down to us, and is thus put into the speech of our day:
If you have a fearful thought,
to a weakling tell it not:
To your saddle-pommel breathe it,
and ride forth singing.
Continue with your basic practices in visualization, relaxation, and rhythmic breathing.
Experience the all-pervading light of your higher self, and keep up the circulation.
Don't define a material source of supply for what you plan to gain by creative visualization: be intensely aware of the spiritual source.
Don't cultivate nervous tension (destructive) in place of emotional intensity (creative). Breathe rhythmically. Relax, and smile.
Don't cultivate false wishes: keep clearly in mind what your true goals are.
Don't bargain with the invisible world. Receive freely, and give freely.
Never think of any deprivation as a punishment. The higher self only loves and gives.
If any doubts or fears trouble you, do not allow them more reality than you must. Keep quiet about them: sing of your hopes and dreams.