Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

January/February 2017 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Seeing and Believing

This article was written by Keith Randolph on May 29, 2002
posted under Creative Visualization

As Claude M. Bristol puts it in his famous book The Magic of Believing, "The person with a clear goal, a clear picture of his desire, or an ideal always before him, causes it, through repetition, to be buried deeply in his subconscious mind and is thus enabled, thanks to its generative and sustaining power, to realize his goal in a minimum of time and with a minimum of physical effort."

Norman Vincent Peale, well known as a clergyman, writer and advocate of "positive thinking," has told of how he discovered the power of "positive imaging." Some years ago he and his wife Ruth started an inspirational magazine called Guideposts. They had started it on a financial shoestring but had some early success, attracting about 40,000 subscribers before money ran out. The magazine’s demise looked all but inevitable.

The Peales called a meeting of the board of directors. It was a gloomy gathering. Debts were high and spirits low—until a woman named Tessie Durlack spoke up.

"The situation," she said, "is that you lack everything—subscribers, equipment, capital. And why do you lack? Simply because you have been thinking in terms of lack. You have been imaging lack so, therefore, you have accordingly created a condition of lack. What you must do now, at once, is to firmly tell these lack thoughts or images to get out of your minds. You must start imaging prosperity instead."

The directors objected that this sounded like an invitation to lose themselves in unreality, but the woman, clearly impatient with their lack of faith, quoted Plato’s admonition to "take charge of your thoughts. You can do what you will with them." She ordered every one to "flush out these lack thoughts, and do it now."

So as the directors sat there, they imagined that they were flushing the thoughts out and "seeing" them march out the door.

Thinking Prosperity

Then Durlack, obviously a woman of firm and commanding presence, directed the group to start thinking of images of prosperity to replace the old ones of debt and failure. She stressed that if these positive images were let out of mind, they would quickly be replaced by the old negative images.

She asked how many subscribers Guideposts needed to have in order to continue publishing. The directors estimated that it would take 100,000.

"All right," she declared, "I want you to look out there mentally and see or visualize 100,000 persons as subscribers to Guideposts, people who have paid for their subscriptions."

So the group sat, concentrated and soon "saw" the subscribers. "Now that we see them," Durlack went on, "we have them." Then she had them pray to thank God for the 100,000 subscribers he gave them!

The Peales were so struck by the power of this introduction to visualization that they half-expected to look over at the table of unpaid bills and find that they had disappeared. Of course that didn’t happen. What did happen, though, is that the board of directors came to life, enthusiasm returned, and this brought renewed confidence and creativity. Soon they were batting new ideas back and forth.

In the months that followed, all those connected with the magazine kept the positive images uppermost in their minds and did not let themselves consider the possibility that their confidence in a happy future was misplaced. In a short time, the bills began to dwindle. The subscription rate rapidly rose. With amazing swiftness the goal of 100,000 subscribers was reached—and surpassed. Today Guideposts, with over 31¼2 million subscribers, is one of the largest magazines published in the United States.

There is nothing necessarily "supernatural" about this little incident. The visualization exercise helped free the creative potential needed to keep the magazine alive. It also unleashed basic emotional and physical energies that had been paralyzed by the sense of hopelessness associated with what looked like imminent failure. Yet the effect of this psychological liberation was so overwhelming that, in a way almost "magical," it affected the material world.

If one thing has been sacred to our species since time immemorial, it is our trees. Dwelling between the realms of earth and sky, we humans are beings of both worlds, and our very life is a balance and synthesis of form and spirit, below and above. What more appropriate symbol for this could there be than a tree, rooted in the earth, and... read this article
A Checklist to Discern Your Empathic Abilities
Being Physically Active: Plan for Success by Planning for Failure
The Witch's Crown: Sovereignty, Power, and the Faery Tradition
The 7 Habits You Must Adopt in 2017
Trance Dance Your Way to Happiness

Most recent posts:
Not just for tarot beginners
Tarot Fundamentals is the first in the three part series. This first volume provides over 600 pages of everything you need to develop a strong...

Into the Realm of Enchantment: Pop Culture and Magical Consciousness
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Storm Faerywolf, author of the new Betwixt & Between. Magic is the heart of witchcraft. The...

When Mindless is Better Than Mindful
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sharon Lipinski, author of the new 365 Ways to Live Generously. Some things you have to think about...




Impressionists Tarot Kit Impressionists Tarot Kit
By: Corrine Kenner, Arturo Picca
Price: $29.95 US,  $34.95 CAN
Everyday Witch Tarot Everyday Witch Tarot
By: Deborah Blake, Elisabeth Alba
Price: $29.99 US,  $34.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
The Elusive Elixir The Elusive Elixir
By: Gigi Pandian
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN