Interior Castle: Sixth Mansions: Chapter Nine
According to Teresa of Avila, Imaginary Visions present a “more profitable” vision than anything we’ve seen up to this point. But, the devil will “interfere more frequently” with these types of visions. This leaves us vulnerable to deception. We must avoid a couple of pitfalls:
- We dismiss Imaginative Visions because they might be of the devil or our imagination. The problem with dismissing all visions is we potentially miss communication, insight, and direction from God. This will hinder our ability to embrace a vision that will change our life and the lives of others.
- We indiscriminately accept our runaway thoughts as messages from God. Then we get tricked by the devil or deceived by our own imagination. The devil’s strategy is to get us to believe lies, distract us from more important things, and subtly undermine love in our families and faith community. These attacks seem may seem small at the time, but end in chaos and catastrophe.
We learned earlier in the Interior Castle that visions could come from several sources: God, the devil, or our imagination. Teresa’s purpose in this chapter is to help us understand Imaginative Visions, gain discernment, and avoid deception.