reply to post by Breifne
The biggest difference between "new age" and "traditional" stuff is that new age stuff is from relatively modern people, while traditional stuff
is generally from someone who lived farther back. I think the quality itself varies much more regardless of when the teaching originated, than by the
associations to new age/traditional.
Think of it like an immediate and local "law of attraction" thing when you are told to visualize anything. The general principle of, if you face
the world with a more positive attitude, things will tend to get better for you, is magnified and brought to a fine point when you visualize things
like pure radiant light around you. There are many subconscious associations with radiant light, where we have seen it in our lives, what we
therefore associate it with, etc. By bringing it into your mind, you are also bringing all those associations with it and introducing something vital
about it into your physical body. It "fights off" "demons" or what have you simply by aiming to put you in an elevated and serene state of
consciousness from which negative tendencies will dissipate of their own.
These kinds of exercises are ancient, though. I have a book based on medieval alchemy, that teaches a visualization meditation in which you keep
returning to this room in this castle, your personal throne room/chamber/whatever, and you travel from one room to another, in a very precise way, as
you meditate day by day, until you have built in your mind an entire castle that becomes increasingly "solid" as you go back to it so many times in
meditation. It becomes a giant metaphor for your body (your small point of consciousness in it becoming a metaphor for your consciousness exploring
your own physical body!), and each room representing something not unlike what a chakra would represent, or a sephiroth from the tree of life, just a
certain band of energies that relate to life in a certain way. It also includes visualizing various colors of light in various rooms, you
occasionally leave your castle for adventures in the surrounding environment (also symbolic), etc.
It's hard to explain what all of this "is for" or "means" to your mind, in the same way that it's hard to fully describe the implications of
simple duality in the world, or explain all the symbolism involved with the Star of David, or pentagram, etc. The best I can do is to say that
"eventually" your physical body and your "imagination" become one, and in a very real sense your imagination CREATES your physical body. It's
just a very, very slow process, compared to how fast your thoughts oscillate, and requires increasing amounts of energy as you make more dramatic
changes. It's like self-healing in a way, and it brings your subconscious into the equation with various images to integrate into your
Someone else may know what I'm getting at and be able to put it into more precise words. I personally came to a lot of this realization by trying to
get inside the mind of the author of this alchemy book, and try to tell what precise direction he was trying to ultimately go with the student with
these guided visualizations, as I was in the middle of an entheogenic experience. So the entheogen happened to help me a lot in this regard, though
for reasons I shouldn't need to go into, I can't advocate that particular method. So, like I said, I probably create more questions than answers,
maybe someone else can put it into better words.
[edit on 19-5-2009 by bsbray11]