Manifestation of intention through visualisation in theosophy

I’m very glad to note that Pablo Sender had an article published in The Theosophist about a topic that’s VERY relevant to today’s world. Since he always gives me permission to publish his articles on my site, I just did. I’ll leave it to you all whether he understood today’s spirituality well enough. Anyhow, he tackles the issues that I’ve tackled here a few times as well: when does visualisation become selfish? What responsibilities come with growing thought power? Etc.

Manifestation of intention through visualisation

The central quote from the article is this:

To this end, they work through “affirmations” that must be repeated together with a visualization of oneself enjoying the desired object. Some of these affirmations are: “I love and accept myself”, “I am unique and loving, loved, and free”, “I am safe and always feel protected.” These affirmations are obviously self-centred and seek to make stronger the psychological self, which cannot lead to real happiness. But also, there are affirmations for abundance: “I am a success in all that I do”, “Everything I touch returns riches to me”, “I am constantly adding to my income”. And all that is mixed with so-called “spiritual affirmations” of the kind: “I am always connected with the Divine Love in the Universe”, “My inner vision is always clear and focused”, or “I have given myself permission to be at one with the Universe.” 10

It is unnecessary to say that this cannot bring that happiness that comes through the forgetfulness of one’s own personality and its childish desires. But worst of all, this is just more or less unconscious black magic, although advertised as a form of spiritual life!

Of course he quotes extensively from Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Subba Row and other theosophical classics to make his point. Well worth reading.

9 thoughts on “Manifestation of intention through visualisation in theosophy”

  1. Since every human being is a spiritual being in evolution, when are we not positively connected with all of life? It would seem to be only when we choose to be selfish and indifferent to our affect/effect on life. Therefore it would seem our best affirmation would be ‘I accept what comes as mine – let me deal rightly with it’ while visualizing a better world for all. Because it is a universe of Law, nothing can stop us from receiving what is ours.

    We may fumble often but at least we will not have to worry if our effort to affirm and visualize is making us more selfish or may be preventing others from what should rightfully be theirs.

    1. Well, for me, I’ve tried this stuff – and ended up feeling that I was messing with stuff that wasn’t mine to mess with. Ultimately it’s up to the universe to decide how much I need to have.

  2. Intention manifestation, the law of attraction, positive thinking and their cousins seem to dominate the current spiritual landscape.

    Intuitively, these feel like the movements of the ego–very clever movements because it’s hard to argue against something like positive thinking, and people who are on these paths are very resistant and defensive. I see these ideas as highly egotistical and narcissistic. I realize that may be judgmental.

    I see it very simply. The law of attraction, even if true, can hardly work right when we are full of falseness and fears and desires. It makes much more sense to let go and awaken first.

    Positivity comes not from forced positive thinking, but from releasing what is negative and false in us.

  3. Maybe it depends what the effects of visualization are, though even if there are few, one could say it is selfish if it is a waste of time (sort of like dreams or daydreams that are just to psychologically feel better.) I do not think it would be selfish though, to enlighten the mind and its vision so its light can show the mental plane. That is much more difficult, and if that is done and kept up, maybe the effects of visualization change and there are other answers.

  4. I like the idea David Spangler has that if you manifest something and do so for a selfish reason – using it for only yourself, you keep on accumulating simply for yourself, simply because you want – then the overall manifestion process can become “stuck”, leading to people who have too much and people who do not have enough.

  5. Many of these affirmations are useful to people have been abused and believe that they deserve bad luck. I have used them myself to pull myself out of ritual abuse, sexual abuse, addiction to medical drugs and financial abuse. I believe these affirmations are spiritual when they serve a higher purpose (for yourself and others), allowing beautiful people to give themselves permission again to live from the spirit within again rather than subjugating themselves to the will of others. On the other hand, if the affirmations are grounded in greed, hoarding or other selfish notions that disregard the effect on others and the environment, then it is misguided and not in harmony with the universe. I see many affirmations being touted by multi-millions who are no longer grounded in reality and ignoring the karma of their actions. We are all in this together and true spiritual enlightenment expands its awareness beyond the self. But there must first be a self to expand beyond. Om Shanti and blessings. Beth Bhagavati Rosen.

    1. Hi Beth,

      Yes – that’s an important aspect of this phenomenon: that people who are insecure NEED to learn to accept that they deserve something good happening, because they’ve been conditioned to expect bad stuff.

      Thanks for putting that in – it shows that responding morally to phenomena often misses essential issues.

  6. All of these comments are interesting, I would love to get in a room with all of you to discuss more. I believe that it is not narcissistic to put ourselves first, but I have learned that giving to others needs to fit in the equation. I don’t think of it as “affirmations” rather than a “knowing” or faith that what you want will happen, especially when you live the life you are seeking. Be happiness, be the God within, be inspiration, be what you are seeking even if it starts on a smaller level. It is definately more than positive thinking. It is a life of being! You guys are great!

  7. An excerpt from Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light:

    “The intention behind each action determines its effect. Our intentions and our actions affect not only us but also others. If we believe that every intention and action evolves as we progress on our spiritual journey, then if we act consciously we evolve consciously, but if we act unconsciously we involve unconsciously”. –Alfred Huang, The Definitive Guide to the I Ching

    “One should ride the horse of awakening mind.” –The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Madison, Wisconsin, July 2008

    As we get on the horse and take the ride through the Wheel of Initiation, we choose to evolve consciously instead of “involve unconsciously.”

    The symbol of the South (in the Wheel of Initiation) is that of the spiritual pilgrim riding the horse of intention, of an awakened mind. This pilgrim is you. The Wheel doesn’t direct what flavor of spiritual pilgrim you are—Christian, Sufi, Buddhist, Pagan, Toltec, or secular, to name a few. Spiritual initiation relies on you choosing your own spiritual path and committing to an engaged, ethical, and inspired life. At this point in the Wheel, you set the intention of a spiritual pilgrim, and you choose to direct your experience of initiation. You tale a look around yourself and wonder, “What am I going to get from this journey? What calls for initiation in my life?”

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