Visualization usually isn't

One of the things I read constantly in magical, occult, meditative, and other works is the need to "visualize" things.  One visualized light, or deities, or anything else.  When it comes to mental and magical work, visualize is pretty high in the buzzword bingo game. Visualization is of course very important as any meditator and magician can tell you, but I find that it's one of those words that's misunderstood and often misused.

When the term "visualization" comes up (when it's not being thrown around casually), it usually seems to mean one doesn't just imagine the site of something, but feels something intensely - site, sound, smell, etc.  One is not "observing" what is to be visualized passively, but is intimately involved with it as if it is a real object.  In my own writing I tend to think o fit as "feeling" an object or image.

Unfortunately, more and more I encounter people that think visualizing really is just conjuring up a visual image.  It's pale, context-less, and uninvolving for the most part.  We can let a thousand images pass before our inner eye and not feel any connection to them - and connection is what magic and meditation is all about.

I think the term "visualization" wormed its way into common usage simply because humans are visual creatures, and the term itself is convenient for the act of actively conjuring up an image.  Unfortunately it's too easy to take the term literally.

Now that being said, ask yourself what other commonly used words aren't actually as useful as they may seem in occultism . . .