Occultism has always involved three techniques for changing and creating reality: thinking, speaking, and visualizing. The first one is the most familiar, having been promoted in the world and the church as “Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale and as “Possibility Thinking” by Robert Schuller. The second is mostly known among charismatics. It is the “Positive Confession” (or Positive Speaking) of the Faith movement to which we have already referred as well.
The third technique is the most powerful. It is the fastest way to enter the world of the occult and to pick up a spirit guide. Shamans have used it for thousands of years. It was taught to Carl Jung by spirit beings, and through him influenced humanistic and transpersonal psychology. It was taught to Napoleon Hill by the spirits that began to guide him. Agnes Sanford, of whom we will have more to say later, was the first to bring it into the church. Norman Vincent Peale was not far behind her, and his influence was much greater. He wrote:
“Suppose a trusted friend…said, ‘There’s a powerful new-old idea…a concept available to all of us that can shape and change human lives for the better in an astonishing way….’ You’d say, ‘Tell me about it!’ wouldn’t you. That’s what I want to do in this book—tell you about it. The concept is a form of mental activity called imaging. It consists of vividly picturing, in your conscious mind, a desired goal or objective, and holding that image until it sinks into your unconscious mind, where it releases great, untapped energies…. The idea of imaging…has been implicit in all the speaking and writing I have done…. But only recently has it begun to…be recognized by scientists and medical authorities….”
This occult technique has invaded the church. Certain leaders have been teaching visualization for years. In his booklet, The Power of the Inner Eye, Robert Schuller (like Yonggi Cho and others) perverts Scripture by claiming that it advocates the occult technique of visualization. He writes:
“In the May, 1985, issue of Psychology Today, there was a wonderful article entitled ‘In the Mind’s Eye.’ [It] deals with…visualization…. This is the vision that the Bible is talking about in the verse, ‘Where there is no vision the people perish.’… I have practiced and harnessed the power of the inner eye and it works…. Thirty years ago we started with a vision of a church. It’s all come true.”
On the contrary, Solomon (Proverbs:29:18) is not encouraging the occult practice of visualization! Does Schuller really credit what his church is today to harnessing “the power of the inner eye” through visualization? What did God have to do with it? And if God was involved at all, was it because the practice of visualization somehow compelled Him to do it?