Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson
“An eminent authority, Sir Francis Galton, who was one of the leading authorities upon psychology of preceding generations, has said on this subject:
“The free action of a high visualizing faculty is of much importance in connection with the higher processes of generalized thought. A visual image is the most perfect form of mental representation whatever the shape, position and relations of objects to space are concerned.
The best workmen are those who visualize the whole of what they propose to do before they take a tool in their hands. Strategists, artists of all denominations, physicists who contrive new experiments, and in short, all who do not follow routine, have need of it. A faculty that is of importance in all technical and artistic occupations, that gives accuracy to our perceptions and justice to our generalizations, is starved by lazy disuse instead of being cultivated judiciously in such a way as will, on the whole, bring the best return. I believe that a serious study of the best way of developing and utilizing this faculty, without prejudice to the practice of abstract thought in symbols, is one of the many pressing desiderata in the yet unformed science of education.”
And what Galton has said of the value of the use of this faculty of the mind in the affairs of the material plane, so it is likewise true of the manifestations on the mental plane. You know that the clearer a Mental Picture you possess of anything that you want—the better do you know just what you do want—and the better you know the latter, the better able are you to take steps to get it.
Many people go through life wanting “something,” but not really knowing “just what” they do want. Is it any wonder that they do not realize or materialize their desires any better? And the same thing holds good on the plane of the manifestation of Mental Influence. If one wishes to materialize anything by the use of the influence, is he not handicapped by a lack of a Mental Image of just what he wants to materialize, and is he not helped very much by the creation of a mental “pattern” or plan, in the shape of a mental picture, through and around which he may direct his thought-currents?
The occultists manifesting the greatest degree of Mental Influence acquire by practice this art of creating Mental Images of that which they wish to materialize. They train their Imaginations in this way until the very act of creating the Mental Image acts strongly toward the actual materialization of the thing itself. They see the desired thing, or event, as “actually existing” in their minds before they attempt to concentrate their Thought-Waves upon the task of accomplishing it. Then the Mental Picture, being completed and standing in strong outline, they focus their mental force through it, just as in the case of the magic lantern before referred to, and lo! the picture is reproduced on the screen of mentality of other people.”