When I close my eyes to visualize, I see blackness. When I try to visualize something, I don't see a picture, I sense it. I read this question and some answers and wonder now if some people see clear pictures with colors.
Sometimes I get frustrated in dreams because I cannot manifest or make visible what I want to appear in my dream. I wonder if this is related? I don't really see peoples' faces, I just 'know' who they are, usually. The scenery, I see in my dreams though with realistic clarity and color.
I can doodle and draw abstract art, but I cannot draw at all otherwise.
I am good at math and when I do it in my head, I don't see the numbers, but I draw them in their places where they would go, then I have to remember what number was there, because I don't see the number, just an air of representation. I move my attention to the numbers as I calculate them, as if I were pointing to them on paper, but it is a blank spot in my mind.
I remember what people look like, but don't see their faces in my mind. I can sense or remember their face but I don't see it with any clarity.
I process by talking and think in words and sounds.
So, when you visualize, do you see clear pictures and colors, like in a photograph? Or do you just feel a sense of what it looks like? Thanks
When I close my eyes and concentrate hard, I can just about see...the inside of my eyelids :)
That's about as good as it gets for me for visualizing in pictures - pretty much everything else is feeling.
I know I could practice and vastly improve my abilities. I tried practicing deliberately for a few days once, many years ago, and it seemed to make a difference to my visual ability - but I didn't keep it up.
Ultimately, the inability to visualize doesn't seem to have made the slightest difference to how my life manifests for me so I don't have any particular incentive to try.
answered 07 Apr '12, 17:00
Robert Bruce explains visualisation brilliantly here in this article I pasted from here Astraldynamics
Whats new about Visualisation
The above stated problem comes about simply because visualization is generally so poorly explained and taught these days. Visualization is considered by many to be an ability that takes years to master. But visualization is extremely easy and it does not take any time at all to master. It is a natural ability that everyone has and uses all the time. It is an ability that anyone can do with virtually no training or practice.
There are profound in-built problems with the majority of today's popular New Age visualization-based techniques. This is especially apparent with popular energy body and Chakra development techniques, if you seriously examine them. I have come across countless developmental problems relating to this single issue. This problem is so serious it greatly increases the difficulty levels encountered with any kind of serious development work. Development time is thereby seriously lengthened. As a consequence the majority of people give up well before they get any noticeable or worthwhile results.
To illustrate a part of this problem: if you belong to a meditation or development group, go and ask everyone, one at a time and in private, how they really get on with visualization. Note the slightly worried looks you'll get with this question if you push it, especially from those teaching it. If they are completely honest most people will admit to having a few basic problems with visualization, or that they just can't do it at all. But you will also find a few who will claim to have no problems whatsoever. These lucky few can easily see in their mind's eye whatever they visualize - just as if they are watching a little TV behind their closed eyelids, in their mind's eye. The lucky few with this type of visual ability are unintentionally a part of this widespread self-propagating problem.
Mind's Eye Visual Ability - Or Visualization?
The commonly used term [visual-ization] is at the root of this whole problem, plus the inadequate explanations people are usually given when learning or being taught this essential skill. A lot of teachers in this field intimate to their students that, with a little practice, they will one day be able to see what they are visualizing, just like watching a little TV inside their heads. Unfortunately, while this is partly true, it takes more than just a little practice and ability to do this. It is not something learned quickly; barring natural ability of course.
To put it in a nutshell: Visualization is NOT a visual skill. You are not supposed to actually see what you visualize. If you do see something it is then no longer classed as visualization. It then becomes a Mind's Eye vision type of ability.
During any type of meditation or training exercise requiring deep physical and mental relaxation, when combined with a visualization exercise, some people will always be found who develop partial clairvoyance, or an awake semi-lucid dream type of creative visual ability, or a combination of these. These are very visual abilities, enabling people with them to actually see what they are visualizing in their mind's eyes.
The normal lucid dream state occurs when the dreamer's mind becomes aware it is dreaming while its physical body is asleep. The conscious mind then takes control over the dreamscape, gaining some measure of creative power and influence over it.
The visual aspect of clairvoyance is where mind's eye visions are seen, just like the clairvoyant is watching a little TV inside his/her head.
Lucid dreams and clairvoyance are both very visual mind's eye experiences. Now don't get me wrong here, as there is nothing wrong with this type of lucid dream-cum-clairvoyant ability enhancing visualization. It is a very interesting and useful ability. But it is just not an ability the majority of people have. It is also not easily or quickly learned; barring accident or natural ability. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that it is misleading to expect everyone to have or to be able to quickly and easily learn this type of visual mind's eye visualization ability.
The problem progresses from here when the above type of visual mind's eye ability becomes the accepted norm that everyone is told to aspire to. When this happens people start to believe they must develop this level of visual mind's eye ability in order to visualize properly. All it takes in any group is for a single person, especially a group leader, to tell to the rest of the group he/she can actually see what is being visualized. Once this happens the rest of the group immediately think they are doing something wrong. They begin to think they lack basic ability and therefore cannot keep up with their group. In time, if they continue believing this, they fall into the age-old trap of believing they can never learn to visualize properly, and therefore never develop themselves significantly. And belief is a powerful thing indeed.
A similar problem arises when neophytes are exposed to more advanced students, or to those who have realized visualization is actually the constructive use of imagination. These people, even though they do not truly see anything when they visualize, always use visual terms when describing their visualizations or extrasensory perceptions. For example, the terms: "I can see", "I saw", "I see", "I am seeing", are all visual terms commonly used in development groups today. These visual terms are also habitually used throughout the New Age movement, even though in the vast majority of cases nothing is actually seen in any kind of visual way.
For visualization, more accurate terms like: "I sense", "I feel", "I perceive", or "I am imaging", should be used instead, but are usually not. Be this as it may, these visual terms are now common usage and will continue to be used. But keep in mind just what visualization really is and what it is not; and please spread the word to all who will listen.
Because of the above problems and misconceptions there are a great many people today who have become developmentally withdrawn. They think themselves incapable of serious progress simply because they believe they lack real 'visual' visualization ability. Most people faced with this dilemma continue to go along to their development groups anyway. They pretend and intimate they can see what they visualize and never mention their embarrassing problem. They do this so no one will think they have abnormally low natural ability, lacking what they have been led to 'believe' is basic visualization ability.
Now, here's the other big part of this problem: All energetic stimulation, manipulation and development techniques taught today are 'totally' reliant upon visualization. If anyone has any problems with visualization they cannot use any visualization based techniques properly. And given no viable alternatives they cannot develop themselves properly.
The solution to all these problems is to understand just what visualization is and how it really works. Once this is done everyone becomes equal in visualization-based development exercises. This allows everyone to develop themselves to whatever level they aspire to. I believe and fully intend to show here that everyone, without exception, can visualize easily and perfectly if taught correctly.
The development exercises and techniques given in this book are NOT based on visualization. Instead, a concise non-visual imaging system called 'Tactile Imaging' is used. This is based on the active use of body awareness, using the sense of touch and feel. These techniques are very easy to learn and use. They are also far more effective than visualization-based techniques could ever be.
A person who actually sees what they visualize may be at a slight disadvantage when they first start using the non-visual tactile imaging techniques and procedures given here. That is, if they do not change their way of doing things. They will have to stop trying to visually see what they are doing and start feeling what they are doing with their body awareness for these techniques to work effectively. This means that if you cannot visualize very well and cannot actually see what you visualize, you are going to do very well indeed with these new techniques.
Concise Use Of Imagination
Without exception, every person is capable of easily creating the most complex scenarios in their mind's eye. I have asked many people who have claimed they cannot visualize, if they ever fantasize or daydream or imagine things. The answer is always a resounding YES! Everyone is perfectly capable of using their imagination to build 'detailed' fantasies in their mind's eye, even though they claim not to be able to visualize effectively; as discussed above. So let's get something straight here once and for all: Imagination is visualization and visualization is imagination. These are one and the same ability.
Memory plays an important part with imagination. Have you ever lost anything: your keys, a pen, your Koala, money, etc? If you have, after searching vainly for the item, you probably tried to recreate recent actions in your mind's eye to help remember where you lost the item. You would have replayed these actions in your mind's eye, going over your every step. Recreating actions and events like this is pure mind's eye imaging, the constructive use of imagination, based entirely upon memory. This is perfect visualization! And everyone has the natural ability to do this whenever they want, perfectly and with no training at all.
Get up and go to the kitchen, get a drink of water and then return to where you are now. As you do this, take note of everything you do and see and feel along the way. After you have done this, sit down and close your eyes and relax for a moment. Remember what you just did from the very beginning and recreate this entire sequence of actions with your imagination; in your mind's eye.
It is important to feel everything as if you were actually doing it. This is exactly like creating a fantasy based upon real life events. Remember yourself getting out of the chair and standing, and how the room looked as it moved around you as you turned. Remember your steps as you walked towards the kitchen, what you saw and felt when you arrived. Remember how your hand looked and felt as it reached out for a glass, filling and drinking it, and how the water tasted, smelled and felt. Remember returning the glass and walking back to your original position and then sitting down again.
Do this in real time, taking roughly the same length of time recreating this in your mind's eye as it took you to actually do it.
With the above exercise, you are recreating and replaying remembered actions in your mind's eye. You will not actually see these actions, but you will be able to 'perceive' them clearly in your mind's eye. This is exactly like any fantasy created in your mind's eye, and you can almost see a good fantasy; they can be that realistic. Fantasy is the constructive use of imagination; something more commonly called 'Visualization'.
Once again, relax and close your eyes before starting the next exercise. I want you to construct a completely fictional scenario in your mind's eye with all the necessary parts taken solely from your memories. I want you to remember, to fantasize, brushing your hair. Rehearse this in your mind, in your mind's eye, without actually doing it:
Imagine there is a table in front of you with a hairbrush lying atop it. Carefully feel yourself reaching out (without actually doing it) and taking the imaginary brush and lifting it slowly to your head. Start brushing your hair. Feel your arm and hand moving as you do this in your mind's eye. Feel your hand dragging the brush repeatedly through your hair. Imagine what the brush feels like as it moves through your hair and tingles your scalp. Finally, return the imaginary hairbrush to the imaginary table and relax.
You must feel all these movements as you construct them in your mind's eye. Do not physically move or try and actually see anything happening in your mind's eye. Imagine and fantasize and feel and perceive them as happening in a real-time frame. You successfully created a concise construction of pure imagination (a complex fantasy) in your mind's eye, in the above exercise. From now on, when doing any visualization or constructive imagination exercise, no matter how lengthy or complex it might be, it is simply an extension of what you are doing in these exercises. This is also how you follow a led meditation: where a voice leads you through a fantasy like the ones above and below, while music and special effects stimulate your imagination and transport your mind there. You don't actually see what you visualize or imagine, but you have an incredibly detailed awareness and perception of it all the same.
Note: Some of these early exercises may cause slight feelings of vertigo or a localized dizziness in the stomach and lower chest areas, and even bone deep tickling sensations in the arms and legs. These exercises tend to move body awareness outside the bounds of the physical body. This affects the etheric body and will often cause energy movement sensations like these to be felt. If done in the trance state, they can also cause an out of body experience, or OBE, to occur. For more information on this aspect see The Treatise on OBE, available on the author's website. Or better yet, get hold of a copy of the author's book, Astral Dynamics. Astral Dynamics contains an illustrated version of the NEW Energy Ways system. But this is written specifically for OBE training and does not cover the other aspects of the NEW system, i.e., self healing.
THE LAST CONSTRUCTIVE IMAGINATION EXERCISE
With your eyes closed, remember what it feels like to walk barefoot across a beautiful lush lawn on a lovely sunny day, with trees and shrubs and flowers all around you. Construct this from your memories, in your mind's eye, and feel yourself as being there inside your fantasy creation. Remember a time when you actually did something very like this, or remember a scene from a movie or TV that you can use for this purpose.
Feel yourself walking across the lawn towards a massive ancient tree with heavy, leafy branches hanging down all around. Some of these branches are touching the ground. Sense the tree getting bigger and bigger as you approach it. Walking through a small break in the branches, you now move into the restful shade within its stately boughs. You find yourself standing in a secret clearing. You can smell the living wood and leaves of the tree, intermingled with soft, earthy smells like moss, bark, rotting leaves and damp earth.
Walking closer to the great bole of the ancient trunk you see the shape of a comfortable looking chair molded in the living wood of the massive root structure. Soft green moss is everywhere and you can feel its friendly touch underfoot.
Moving closer you sit in this great chair and relax. Leaning back with hands clasped behind your head, you close your eyes and listen and feel and smell the secret world all around you. You hear the wind gently whispering and murmuring through branches. You hear small birds fluting and insects humming and fluttering all around, calling and chirping sweetly to each other. Smell and feel the wind, the flowers, the tree, the leaves, the moss and the grass all around you.
Sit here awhile, feeling totally relaxed and at peace with the world, letting all your cares and problems drift away into nothingness. After a timeless moment you take a deep breath and return to your other reality, gently stirring your physical body back into wakefulness.
You have just successfully constructed a very complex and detailed fantasy scene in your mind's eye. This was full of actions, sights, sounds, smells and tactile perceptions, based entirely upon your memory and constructed with imagination. This is exactly what you need to do when you follow a led meditation, where a voice leads you through a fantasy scenario like the one above, while music and special effects stimulate your imagination and transport your mind there. You don't actually see what you are visualizing or imagining, but you can create an incredibly detailed awareness and perception of it all the same.
If you are blind and cannot imagine in a sighted way, please adapt and convert all the exercises within this tutorial to exercises using whatever perceptions you have available, i.e., tactile, sound, smell, etc. This can easily be done with any constructive imagination or visualization exercise, as given above. This can be done with any led meditation containing sighted details and instructions. Replace colours, scenes and sighted descriptions with something from your own non-sighted perception memory. Use your own remembered perceptions of a lovely walk you have taken in a park or in the countryside, and simply adapt the exercise to suit. Take advantage of your enhanced perceptions of sound, smell, texture, taste, and of spatial awareness.
This answer is marked "community wiki".
the more relaxed I am the clearer I see. When I first started learning meditation I sensed rather than saw. Now I see visions and have feelings at same time. I can't actually remember if ever in colour....only colours I can remember are blues besides black, white and grey.I do remember though the visions being quite bright like sparkly.
I think it is great having the sense 'knowing' that you have.
answered 09 Apr '12, 06:13
I see colors and people in my visualizations. I don't think it matters about your representational system. You can work with numbers in your mind, that is a rare and wonderful talent.
The only thing that matters is that you are getting what makes you happy. You have talents and you can shine a spotlight on them and magnify them in ways that please you.
It is entirely irrelevant whether you see mental images. I am personally working with feeling in my meditations and my life. This seems a higher calling to me.
When I took Silva Mind Control (1972) there were a lot of people wondering if they were reaching an Alpha level. To me, it did not matter as long as I am getting positive results. I am NOT looking for process I want a result and go backwards from that wanted joyful result to where I am and then the joyful path is clear, sounds right, feels right, smells right and tastes right.
The answer is in the question. Always. Period.
answered 07 Apr '12, 09:37
Yes, I do, and I am sorry about my other answer. I just assumed that everyone sees things in their heads the way I do. If I read a book, and lose my page, I can visualize where the page is by the print that was on the page. I thought everyone did this. I also dream in color, and can visualize monsters just as well as people...I do not like the monsters, but they pop into my head quite readily. Anyway, I can close my eyes and see what I want to see really easily...and I assumed that everyone could do this. Boy, was I wrong! Mea culpa!
You are lucky you can draw a little. I cannot. Also, even though I hear music in my head, I cannot write it down...Arghhhh! So I am missing a few genes somewhere! But I know that I have a few genes that are okay, because my son draws like a whiz, and my three daughters all are musical.
I would not worry a lot about this thing, because what is important is whether you can recognize objects! I took this psychological test once, and I was supposed to arrange these shapes into squares, and I couldn't do it. I guess I am no engineer.
The only thing my "photographic" memory has been good for is spelling (usually). Once I see a word, that's all it takes. But I am getting older now, and things aren't as fast as they used to be (LOL!). I goofed up "connoisseur" yesterday, and had to look back to remember it.
Please don't take this like I am bragging. I am just trying to add to your "data" base. BTW, I cannot touch-type to save my soul. I am too bodily challenged! My typing really stinks. I am constantly having to correct my spelling and also I make a lot of reversed letter errors (I think I have a touch of dyslexia of the body- I think that is called dyspraxia- I think.).
Anyway, embrace what you do have and forget about the rest. You are a wonderful person, and that is all that matters to me!
I used to think it was something everyone knew how to do, now I realize some can't. I've always done it so easily.
I can see colors, shapes, people, objects, details. I can do the same with my eyes open. As in, I can look at the tree in front of me and I can visualize a flock of birds flying above it. I'm guessing this could be a reason I enjoy art as much as I do.
It's like going to a different place for me... if I do it for 10-15 min while in my bedroom, I literally feel like I wasn't in my bedroom at that time.
I always think in images and sounds... just like a clear movie runing in my mind. Very interesting thread!
answered 06 Jul '12, 12:12
I didn't know we don't all do this... I was sure this is part of Stingray's manifestation experiments here - we're encouraged to really see what we want, right? I must have this wrong.
I don't just see colors or snapshots like a photograph, I create it all, as if I were living it; sounds, textures, colors, smells, all of it, as if it were right in front of me... like what Stingray said here: http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/8782/how-can-i-become-an-exact-vibrational-match-to-a-particular-person. I also sense and just feel it all like how you know when someone's in a room with you, or when someone is looking at you in a crowd - if I didn't see it, I'd still feel it.
I was told many years ago to see what you want happening and it will, and I just took it literally. I see people I want to see taking up space on my furniture - sitting on my patio smiling at me, filling a doorway. I feel their presence, see the movement in their face and their hair, the fabric of their clothes. I can see and feel the brushed silvery finish of my new dvd player. It has a light texture to it, it's cool to the touch, and has a soft sheen... :)
I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing, what we were all doing. Am I taking it too far? That's an uncomfortable thought.
I found this thread researching mental blindness on google.
I have absolutely no mental senses in my head ever. I have no memory or imagination as most people would describe it. I'm strong in math, logic, and spatial reasoning. I'm also very creative at solving physical problems and making things. I only think in words, numbers, and facts. If I'm working on something visual, I always draw or build it. I can do both very well.
You don't need to be able to visualize to do well in your professional life, but honestly its a real drag in your personal life. You never get to enjoy a full consciousness, memory, or imagination. You read a book and its just a set of facts. You think about your closest relatives and all you have is info about them.
I've never been able to meditate b/c I always know I'm sitting cross-legged, staring at the inside of my eyelids. I also never really relax, I'm always mentally "on". Its a shame b/c this website looks really interesting...
answered 28 Jan '13, 00:07
In all honesty from my experience of a few friends of mine who had excellent "picture" visualisation ability faced a few problems
. They were easily distracted by some of the fantasies going on in their head . Sometimes they failed to study because a textbook filled with abstract concepts they couldn't really visualise bored the crap out of them. .
They also have advantages which are many though so their small number of disadvantages are not even note worthy in the grand scheme of things.
As a sensing visualiser just like you our advantages are: I will cover personal and academic and business here.
. During an exam we can kind of sense the answer to an exam question that wasn't exactly covered in the textbook or classroom. We sort of just know what to write from the "sense" we get from the question.
. We can get emotionally involved with even the most boring material if we chose too; thereby increasing retention rate.
.We have a sort of "innate" calender, planner that we feel inside of us. We pretty much "feel" what our top prioities in terms of school or job assignments are and for some reason we can just "feel" when we should do it and how long it will take. Of course sensing visualisers like me set schedules to be on the safe side, but I often find I never have to keep my schedule I can just sense when the right time to do something is.
. We can place ourselves in someones shoes and feel their viewpoint. This is one of our deeper advantages though (by that I mean it's something we need to really think about and not have distractions. This advantage alone means we can sense the things that would make a person happy , and we can even think outside of the box by taking the time to convert the physical sense we get standing around other people into words. It's simple just ask yourself this for example the "physical sense I felt on my boyfriends view on politics what sort of words and story can I create from that sense what sort of ideas?"
I was able to physically sense the stuff that was important to study for an exam (and be right about it) without really using a syllabus and all those other nitbits.
. Another advantage is we just "know" things "a sensing intuition" We have no data scientific or otherwise to backup the conclusions we have but we know just from the senses of the world around us that the information we sense is partly true or maybe all true. Me being able to write this even though I've done no research on this stems from this advantage. I write this because I know and sense.
So whilst we may have our tiny disadvantages our advantages are endless. And both picture people and sensor people have way more advantages than they do disadvantages. And of course visualisers can have some of the same advantages as sensors and vice versa. E.G a visualiser may be able to put them selves in other shoes ... a sensor might be able to do art of graphic design. The only difference being that whatever category you fit the more of the advantages of that category are going to fit you.
If you think you don't have the advantages of what I've mentioned don't worry you do trust me. It's just I am more aware of it because I've been focusing on the advantages my sensing gives me, if you do that you will notice you have the advantages above and more! Trust me I am finding new advantages everyday.
answered 10 Nov '12, 09:39
I can see clear pictures, or actually put myself into the scene like a 3-D movie. I have no idea how I aquired these skills, but have had them for as long as I can remember. Strong imagination perhaps? So what is the trouble? The trouble is staying with it for more than a few moments. As Kat mentioned, it is easy to mix these scenes up with something else I am thinking about, outside stimuli and just a general drifting of the mind. It takes a lot of effort to hold the visualizations in place for a short while. The Silva Method has helped me with that a lot, but I still struggle with it after many many years.
answered 28 Jan '13, 09:38
I have been able to see flashes of images mostly in distorted color but it happens that i can see color visuals. I guess its not the type of image that i want to see but images that randomly appear. I can also see images of things that ive already seen but only if I try hard. Seems kind of odd that i fell upon this practice while i was trying to find a way to fall asleep faster! Emptying my mind was a great improvement to this process. I guess thats a form of meditation? And is this normal?
answered 07 Mar '13, 18:20
I came to your page because I was searching about not being able to visualise words when I try to spell. When I try to spell anything, I see nothing and it is really like trying to guess letter in the dark. I know some combinations but much is guesswork, especially ( I had to spell check this word) when it comes to vowels. I am just stabbing in the dark.
What is strange though is ever since I can remember (from 2yrs old or so) I see everything visually. So when I think back a story I was being told when I was 6 in a general school assembly; even now I see the image formed as crystal clear, fully formed, fully colored in my brain. When I think back to being in school at 18 and think of the photo systems in Chloroplast I see like a photograph the page with the diagram and the text on it. the actual understanding of the photo systems is non-visual (no pictures) and somewhere else in my brain but the detail of that diagram is always there.
Dreams and thoughts are always completely clear images, be it 2D or 3D etc.
However not everything is perfect with my brain. I think like everyone, ability in one area leads to problems in others.
As I said at the beginning, I cannot visualise any spelling at all, nothing, zilch. It just doesn't work at all and it is sooo frustrating. Also Painting and representing things doesn't happen at all. Any artistic thing I do is terrible and it simply has no feel about it. It almost like I cannot bet the connection from my brain through to my hand or voice. It is like a broken/severed link.
The thing is, I really like art and music and creative things but I just cannot produce them in anyway. And musically I am tone deaf. I cannot reproduce a sound I hear, no matter how hard I try. But yet I really like music.
So in summary... Ideas, dreams and remembering details all in crystal clear pictures. Spelling, creating things, copying things; I am completely useless.
answered 30 Oct '14, 22:02
Count me amongst the visualizers. My imagination is a little out of shape at the moment but I used to easily visualize clear scenarios. In fact, I've had a couple experiences that were eyes-open, nearly real, like hallucinations. I think I first noticed in high school because I could do the geometry questions just by closing my eyes and animating the shapes... ironically, I did poorly in math because it was so obvious to me that I never learned the official proofs.
I agree that seeing pictures doesn't matter so much. It's a fun tool but not a necessity by any means. Lately, I use visualization for developing my concentration. I'm on mass transit often so when I'm standing around on a bus or train, I close my eyes, think of a colour and a shape (red square, blue circle, etc.) then hold a mental image of that for as long as I can. I've been doing it for over a month and already noticing improvement. I used to use primary colours but now I have a broader mental spectrum though if I try dark colours, I lose saturation. I've also expanded into more complex shapes like pentagons and crescents. However, some people use mantras or other methods to develop concentration so visualizing isn't critical.
What else... hmm, I think in words but creative impulses are typically visual. I'll see a final product or for creative writing, a scene will pop into my mind, like a daydream but really short. It's there for a second then gone and I build from there.
answered 30 Oct '14, 23:48
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