The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind (1963) asserts that our outer world is a reflection of our subconscious mind. The book provides practical insights on the workings of the subconscious mind as well as on how to focus and redirect its energies. The author, Dr. Joseph Murphy (1898 – 1981) was a writer, minister and one of the key proponents of the ‘New Thought’ movement.
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind Summary
The Conscious & the Subconscious Mind
“There are two levels of your mind—the conscious (rational) and the subconscious (irrational). You think with your conscious mind, and whatever you habitually think sinks down into your subconscious mind, which creates according to the nature of your thoughts. ”
“Once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to execute it. It is an interesting and subtle truth that the law of the subconscious mind works for good and bad ideas alike.”
“You will get a reaction or response from your subconscious mind according to the nature of the thought or idea you hold in your conscious mind.”
“You must remember that these are not two minds. They are merely two spheres of activity within one mind. Your conscious mind is the reasoning mind. It is that phase of mind, which chooses. For example, you choose your books, your home, and your partner in life. You make all your decisions with your conscious mind.”
“On the other hand, without any conscious choice on your part, your heart is kept functioning automatically, and the process of digestion, circulation, and breathing are carried on by your subconscious mind through processes independent of your conscious control.”
“Your subconscious mind accepts what is impressed upon it or what you consciously believe. It does not reason things out like your conscious mind, and it does not argue with you… it responds according to the nature of your thoughts or suggestions. ”
. . .
The Captain and His Ship
The conscious mind is like the navigator or captain at the bridge of a ship… he directs the ship and signals orders to men in the engine room, who in turn control all the boilers, instruments, gauges, etc.”
“The men in the engine room do not know where they are going; they follow orders. They would go on the rocks if the man on the bridge issued faulty or wrong instructions based on his findings with the compass, sextant, or other instruments. ”
“The men in the engine room obey him because he is in charge and issues orders, which are automatically obeyed. Members of the crew do not talk back to the captain; they simply carry out orders. The captain is the master of his ship, and his decrees are carried out. ”
“Likewise, your conscious mind is the captain and the master of your ship, which represents your body, environment, and all your affairs. Your subconscious mind takes the orders you give it based upon what your conscious mind believes and accepts as true. ”
. . .
The Power of Suggestion
‘One of the basic laws of the mind: Your subconscious is amenable to suggestion.’
“A suggestion is the act or instance of putting something into one’s mind, the mental process by which the thought or idea suggested is entertained, accepted, or put into effect.”
“Different people will react in different ways to the same suggestion because of their subconscious conditioning or belief.”
“…your conscious mind has the power to reject the suggestion given.”
“The suggestions of others in themselves have absolutely no power over you except the power that you give them through your own thoughts. You have to give your mental con-sent; you have to entertain the thought. Then, it becomes your thought, and you do the thinking. Remember, you have the capacity to choose.”
. . .
The Power of an Assumed Major Premise
“Your mind works like a syllogism. This means that whatever major premise your conscious mind assumes to be true determines the conclusion your subconscious mind comes to in regard to any particular question or problem in your mind.”
“A college professor, who attended some of my science of mind lectures in May, 1962, at Town Hall, New York, said to me, “Everything in my life is topsy-turvy, and I have lost health, wealth, and friends. Everything I touch turns out wrong.”
“I explained to him that he should establish a major premise in his thinking, that the infinite intelligence of his subconscious mind was guiding, directing, and prospering him spiritually, mentally, and materially.”
“This professor formulated an over-all picture of the way he wanted his life to be, and this was his major premise: “Infinite intelligence leads and guides me in all my ways. Perfect health is mine, and the Law of Harmony operates in my mind and body. Beauty, love, peace, and abundance are mine. The principle of right action and divine order govern my entire life. I know my major premise is based on the eternal truths of life, and I know, feel, and believe that my subconscious mind responds according to the nature of my conscious mind thinking.” ”
“He wrote me as follows: “I repeated the above statements slowly, quietly, and lovingly several times a day knowing that they were sinking deep down into my subconscious mind and that the results must follow. I am deeply grateful for the interview you gave me, and I would like to add that all departments of my life are changing for the better. It works!”
. . .
Practical Techniques in Mental Healings
In chapter six of ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind,’ Dr. Murphy outlines several techniques that explain how to harness the subconscious mind to achieve goals, end bad habits, create wealth and more. Here are some notes summarizing a few of those techniques:
[Baudoin Technique] “Charles Baudoin was a professor at the Rousseau Institute in France. He was a brilliant psychotherapist and a research director of the New Nancy School of Healing, who in 1910 taught that the best way to impress the subconscious mind was to enter into a drowsy, sleepy state, or a state akin to sleep in which all effort was reduced to a minimum. Then in a quiet, passive, receptive way, by reflection, he would convey the idea to the subconscious.”
“The following is his formula: “A very simple way of securing this (impregnation of the subconscious mind) is to condense the idea which is to be the object of suggestion, to sum it up in a brief phrase which can be readily graven on the memory, and to repeat it over and over again as a lullaby.” ”
[A Drowsy State] “By entering into a sleepy, drowsy state, effort is minimized. The conscious mind is submerged to a great extent when in a sleepy state. ”
“The reason for this is that the highest degree of outcropping of the subconscious occurs prior to sleep and just after we awaken. In this state the negative thoughts, which tend to neutralize your desire and so prevent acceptance by your subconscious mind, are no longer present. ”
“Suppose you want to get rid of a destructive habit: Assume a comfortable posture, relax your body, and be still. Get into a sleepy state, and in that sleepy state, say quietly, over and over again as a lullaby, “I am completely free from this habit; harmony and peace of mind reign supreme.” ”
“Repeat the above slowly, quietly, and lovingly for five or ten minute’s night and morning. Each time you repeat the words the emotional value becomes greater. When the urge comes to repeat the negative habit, repeat the above formula out loud by yourself. By this means you induce the subconscious to accept the idea, and a healing follows. ”
[Visualization] “The easiest and most obvious way to formulate an idea is to visualize it, to see it in your mind’s eye as vividly as if it were alive. You can see with the naked eye only what already exists in the external world; in a similar way that which you can visualize in your mind ’s eye already exists in the invisible realms of your mind. ”
“Any picture, which you have in your mind, is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. What you form in your imagination is as real as any part of your body. The idea and the thought are real and will one day appear in your objective world if you are faithful to your mental image. ”
“This process of thinking forms impressions in your mind; these impressions in turn become manifested as facts and experiences in your life.”
. . .
The Law of Reversed Effort
“Coué, the famous psychologist from France who visited America about forty years ago, defined the law of reversed effort as follows: “When your desires and imagination are in conflict your imagination invariably gains the day.”
“If, for example, you were asked to walk a plank on the floor, you would do so without question. Now suppose the same plank were placed twenty feet up in the air between two walls, would you walk it?”
“Your desire to walk it would be counteracted by your imagination or fear of falling. Your dominant idea, which would be the picture of falling, would conquer. Your desire, will, or effort to walk on the plank would be reversed, and the dominant idea of failure would be reinforced. ”
“… your sub-conscious is always controlled by the dominant idea. Your subconscious will accept the stronger of two contradictory propositions. The effortless way is the better.”
“If you say, “I want a healing, but I can’t get it;” “I try so hard;” “I force myself to pray;” “I use all the will power I have,” you must realize that your error lies in your effort. Never try to compel the subconscious mind to accept your idea by exercising will power.”
“The conflict of desire and imagination must be reconciled.”
“It means the harmonious union or agreement between your conscious and subconscious on any idea, desire, or mental image. When there is no longer any quarrel in either part of your mind, your prayer will be answered.”
“You avoid all conflict between your desires and imagination by entering into a drowsy, sleepy state which brings all effort to a minimum.”
. . .
Programming the Subconscious Mind for Wealth
“I have talked to many people during the past thirty-five years whose usual complaint is, “I have said for weeks and months, ‘I am wealthy, I am prosperous,’ and nothing has happened.” I discovered that when they said, “I am prosperous, I am wealthy,” they felt within that they were lying to themselves. ”
“You will not become a millionaire by saying, “I am a millionaire, I am a millionaire.” You will grow into a wealth consciousness by building into your mentality the idea of wealth and abundance.”
“Repeat for about five minutes to yourself three or four times a day, “Wealth—Success.” These words have tremendous power. They represent the inner power of the subconscious mind. Anchor your mind on this substantial power within you; then conditions and circumstances corresponding to their nature and quality will be manifested in your life. ”
“The feeling of wealth produces wealth; keep this in mind at all times. Your subconscious mind is like a bank, a sort of universal financial institution. It magnifies whatever you deposit or impress upon it whether it is the idea of wealth or of poverty. Choose wealth.”
. . .
Using the Subconscious Mind to Overcome Fear
“A young lady was invited to an audition. She had been looking forward to the interview. She possessed a very good voice, but was certain that when the time came for her to sing, she would be seized with stage fright. On three previous auditions she sang wrong notes, and she finally broke down and cried. The cause, as previously outlined, was an involuntary autosuggestion, i.e., a silent fear thought…”
“She overcame it by the following technique: Three times a day she isolated herself in a room. She sat down comfortably in an armchair, relaxed her body, and closed her eyes. She stilled her mind and body to the best of her ability.” Physical inertia favors passivity and renders the mind more receptive to suggestion. She counteracted the fear suggestion by its converse, saying to herself, “I sing beautifully. I am poised, serene, confident, and calm.”
“She repeated the words slowly, quietly, and with feeling from five to ten times at each sitting. She had three such “sittings” every day and one immediately prior to sleep at night. At the end of a week she was completely poised and confident, and gave a definitely outstanding audition.”
“Fear is a negative thought in your mind. Supplant it with a constructive thought. The things you fear do not really exist except as thoughts in your mind. ”
“If you are afraid to cross water, swim. In your imagination swim freely, joyously. Project yourself into the water mentally. Feel the chill and thrill of swimming across the pool. Make it vivid. As you do this subjectively, you will be compelled to go into the water and conquer it. This is the law of your mind.”
. . .
More Book Summaries