Visual Imagery in Relationship – Part 11
Hal and Sidra Stone
gift that can be given in relationship is the experience of direct inner
exploration. This can be
accomplished by leading one’s
partner in active imagination or visual imagery.
The technique is a simple one. One partner is the subject and the other the guide. A quiet space is chosen and arrangements are made so that there will be no interruptions or distractions.
The subject assumes a comfortable position, usually lying down and, if necessary, covered with a blanket. The subject’s eyes are closed or covered with a mask so that there will be no visual distractions. The partner who is facilitating then begins to lead the visualization.
First, there is the suggestion to relax and breathe deeply. Then, the actual journey begins. The point of departure can be left open completely, and the subject can look for whatever image might emerge. A particularly haunting dream can be re-entered and the action picked up from where it left off. The partners can agree beforehand that there will be a particular path followed. One may suggest that the subject is going to some new kind of place that exists only in his or her own imagination. It might be a meadow or a forest or mountain, or beach, or it might even mean leaving the planet.
There are all kinds of possibilities. Visualization can take many different forms and contains all kinds of surprises for the explorers of the psyche. We are entering here into the realm of the creative imagination. Sometimes the journey opens up entirely new areas of imagery. For others who do not visualize, different thought forms can emerge-new ideas, stories, fairy tales, untold possibilities.
On these journeys we meet different kinds of people, animals, symbols, and energies of all kinds. It is often possible to talk with these different figures, to learn from them, but with an aware ego that can evaluate the material that is being experienced. These inner journeys can be extremely enriching and often bring much light to bear on the relationship. They can give a picture of the relationship as it is, and they can give guidance on where it is going or what needs to be done.
The development of wisdom and the acceleration of the evolution of consciousness can be directly supported in relationship by regular use of visualization. In this way, we can help one another gain access to inner knowledge by leading our partners, or friends, in these visualizations.
There are many books on guided imagery and many excellent teachers. One that we strongly recommend is called Creative Visualization, written by Shakti Gawain and published by New World Library in San Rafael, California. There is also an extensive literature in psychosynthesis to help us in these explorations. If this type of work appeals to a couple, they can study together and make this kind of exploration an ongoing process, which can add an unbelievably rich dimension to the relationship.