The following comment was attempted on Introibo’s blog about visualization which you can read here: http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2023/07/contending-for-faith-part-17.html?m=1
The article was fairly good as far as it goes, but as I think I show, it lacked clear and definite language to get at the heart of occultist visualization.
I wrote this comment only to find out that it was too long for Introibo’s blog. I hope you find it interesting enough to comment below.
No doubt what you have presented is startling and cautionary, and everyone should be on guard against visualization as it is expressed in occult method literature and the like.
But the formulation of its components quoted below is a little loose for my taste and does not smack of nefarious demonic principles but poorly articulated orthodox dogmas.
“Pantheism : Everything is interconnected by divine energy, the One power, or ultimate cosmic reality”
Pantheism is not the interconnected unity of divine energy or power but the equation of all things with God. It is a point of Thomistic metaphysics that everything is a unity and imbued with Divine power: the act of existence or esse, and all things participate in this power and are united by it through the genus of being—of which, it must be stated, God is not, since God cannot occupy any genus. This saves the Thomistic metaphysical analysis from reducing all creation to God, but also rightly places the power of God at the heart of all things.
“Humans are divine in their true nature and each person controls his personal destiny; he is an integral part of this divine energy and can realize this experientially through proper technique and instruction”
I think it was Saint Gregory Nanzianzus who theorized that prelapsarian Adam and Eve would not have died had they never fallen into sin and subsequent death. Immortality was a birthright from the beginning. It is only because of sin that man decays. Humans, then, in their true or original nature were in a manner of speaking divine. But so too are humans, faithful, that is, to Christ, who are destined to be divine: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”
It is orthodox Catholic teaching to say each man controls his destiny: to posit the contrary of which is to deny free will. It is true that no man is sufficient unto himself to guide and control his destiny, since grace affords him the means by which he is to be saved, nevertheless, he chooses or controls those means in the sense of using the grace given him or not.
The experience of the unity of creation in God has been often written on by the saints. There is a point at which all things pass away and only God remains. This is a common mystical theme and does not necessarily involve occult belief.
“The mind of each human has “infinite” potential; the “higher self” or unconscious mind provides the connecting link to the infinite and is believed to be the repository of vast wisdom and ability”
It was Aristotle and not some 20th century occultist who said the intellect in a certain way is all things. The intellect and will are powers of the soul the likeness of which is known only in God and the Angels. These powers are indeed beyond compare in the natural, material world, because, though they are natural in the sense of being created, they are nevertheless immaterial and unlike anything in all creation. They are indeed of infinite potential because they cannot be limited by matter. The intellect and will are true repositories of vast wisdom and ability. That is evident by what man has done by means of them—think of aeronautical engineering or the Sistine Chapel, for instance. Of course these achievements are wrought in the intellect and will alone, not through a downloading of the divine; yet there is something to be said for divine inspiration, which all great men of genius have alluded to in one way or another.
“Visualization is an important technique that initiates contact with the ultimate cosmic reality.”
When understood in the sense of contemplation, the visualizing act of the intellect does place the individual intellect in contact with the ultimate cosmic reality which is known also as mysticism or the experience of God.
These are some of my thoughts on how you formulated the problem. I think you make a good point that visualization as practiced by the occultist is spiritually dangerous indeed, as the conjuring Philip piece at the end shows so well. Definitions and distinctions must be made, however, to avoid falling into the delusion that one is God or controls his world through his mind. That is absurd. But man does control himself through his mind, and he becomes what he thinks and does.