Visualization Beyond the Body
In traditional cultures the shaman functions as healer and seer. His role is to mediate between the material world and the spiritual world. When someone requests a healing, the shaman visualizes his soul traveling through other realms of existence seeking the patient’s soul. When found he returns it to the sufferer and a healing is accomplished.
Visualization has long been seen as a key to the out-of-body experience (OBE), also known as "astral projection." Occultists teach ways to induce the sensation of separation of consciousness from the body, and many involve intense visualization exercises. For example, before a student is given instructions in the specific techniques of astral projection, the student may be directed to visualize a room or a picture repeatedly, until every single de-tail of it stands clearly and vividly in the mind. Once the student has brought his or her visualization skills to a peak through this sort of exercise, the student proceeds to OBE visualization.
A common OBE technique has a student sit in a half-darkened room, close his or her eyes and imagine himself or herself sitting in a distant corner. Or the student may imagine a duplicate self standing nearby. Another method teaches a student to lie down and "see" himself or herself rise into the air until all awareness of the bed passes; then the student visualizes himself or herself standing at the foot of the bed gazing down on his or her physical body. The object is for the student to eventually really leave his or her body, not just imagine doing so. The goal is for imagination to become reality through constant practice??"which, incidentally, is the principle underlying ALL visualization techniques.
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