Subway posters, pop up ads, billboards, taxi cabs, sides of buses, sides of buildings, on our screens and in our phones – the constant bombardment of negative, or at the very least, unholy, images is relentless.
We live in a world of pictures and imagery; still or moving, flat or 3-Dimensional, silent or screaming—but either way—constant, ubiquitous and in our face.
Yankelovich, a market research firm, estimates that we are exposed to some 20,000 marketing messages daily. If there is a blank space – a marketing firm will find a way to plaster an image and message to it. A video screen in a taxi; marketing messages stamped on eggs; ads for insurance on subway turnstiles; and even Tylenol marketing images on the examining table in a doctor’s office.
As the New York Times headlined it; Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad.
The images that are used are curated specifically to draw us deeply into the company’s message and to desire that which they place before us. The images don’t just pass through our field of vision and then move on, they become a part of us, contrary to our values, that we then need to work on ourselves to get rid of, or at least counter somewhat.
What are we to do with this total bombardment to our visual sense?
We speak about ‘Shmiras Einayim’ “Guarding our Eyes” – but realistically – how can we do this besides walking around completely blindfolded?
Rabbi DovBer Pinson in his newest book, “Visualization and Imagery: Harnessing the Power of Our Mind’s Eye” wants us to know that while we assume that what we see with our eyes is absolute, we have the ability to choose, not only what we see, but how we see.
This choice of our visual intake directly translates into how we experience life, and our relationship with Hashem.
Rabbi Pinson writes of how the Rebbe encouraged public menorah lightings as a way of bringing positive, holy visual imagery into the eyes of the world. In order for the world to be ready for moshiach, we need to have appropriate visual cues.
The public menorah, lit on the darkest nights of the year, in the most visible venues possible, sent a clear visual message of the possibility of light conquering darkness, and a new era of kedusha being ushered into the world.
Using our mind to visualize and our imagination to create holy realities for ourselves is something that is deep in the tradition of kabbalah and chassidus.
As part of a larger series geared to restoring these authentic Torah traditions, Rabbi Pinson leads us through visualization and imagery teachings and techniques, ranging from the R. Eliezer Azikiri to the Ramak, the Arizal to the Baal Shem Tov, the Alter Rebbe and the various Talmidei HaMagid.
Rabbi Pinson sheds new light onto these treasures within our very own mesorah, and brings them into today’s modern setting, providing us with real tools to transform our lives and connect with Hashem, showing us the possibility of achieving true deveikus, and strengthening our avodas Hashem.
Available on Amazon and Judaica stores.
Also available in this series: Breathing and Quieting the Mind