Reading Room

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy

“The result of the affirmative process of prayer depends on your conforming to the principles of life, regardless of appearances. Consider for a momReadingRoomMurphyent that there is a principle of mathematics and none of error; there is a principle of truth but none of dishonesty. There is a principle of intelligence but none of ignorance; there is a principle of harmony and none of discord. There is a principle of health but none of disease, and there is a principle of abundance but none of poverty.”

“Whatever is impressed in your subconscious mind is expressed on the screen of space. This same truth was proclaimed by Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Buddha, Zoroester, Laotze and all the illumined seers of the ages. Whatever you feel as true subjectively is expressed as conditions, experiences, and events. As in heaven – your own mind – so on earth – in your body and environment. This is the great law of life.”

“The law of your mind is the law of belief. This means to believe in the way your mind works is to believe in belief itself.”

In a nutshell

By understanding how the subconscious mind works, you can learn how dreams become reality. Dr. ]oseph Murphy spent a good part of his life studying eastern religions and was a scholar of the I-Ching, the Chinese book of divination whose origins are lost in history. He was also, for 28 years, Minister at the Los Angeles branch of the Church of Divine Science, a New Thought church that promotes a practical spirituality, free of the usual religious creed and dogma.

It is a long way from the ancient East to LA, but Murphy felt that there were secrets he had found concerning the subconscious that were beyond time and culture, and that they should find a wider audience.

How the subconscious works and what it can do

Murphy saw the subconscious mind as a darkroom within which we develop the images that are to be lived out in real life. While the conscious mind sees an event, takes a picture of it, and remembers it, the subconscious mind works backwards, “seeing” something before it happens. This is why intuition is infallible.

The subconscious responds to habit and habitual thinking. Being totally neutral in a moral sense, it is happy to adopt any habit as “normal” – good or bad. We blithely let negative thoughts drop into the subconscious every minute of our lives, then are surprised when they find expression in day-to-day experiences and relationships. While there are some things that will happen to us that we had no role in creating, in fact these are rare. Mostly the bad that happens is in us already, waiting for the light of day.

This is the harsh reality, but knowledge of the subconscious also delivers us a breakthrough: It means that we can remake ourselves anew simply by controlling the thoughts and images with which we feed it. This makes Murphy’s book, with its instructions and affirmations that will have the greatest effect on the subconscious, a tool of liberation. Understanding your subconscious mind as a photographic mechanism removes the emotion and struggle from changing your life, because if it is simply a matter of replacing existing mental images with new ones, you begin to see the ease with which you may change.

Relaxed faith = results

The subconscious is an entirely different kettle of fish to the conscious mind. It cannot be coerced, responding best to relaxed faith that it will do its transforming work with ease. Trying hard, which may work for a task given to the conscious mind, is a cause of failure with its subterranean other half. It suggests to your subconscious that there is a lot of opposition to what you want done.

Along with relaxed faith, the ease with which the subconscious accomplishes things increases with emotion. An idea or a thought alone may excite the rational, conscious mind, but the subconscious likes things to be “emotionalised.” When a thought becomes a feeling, and imagination becomes desire, it will deliver what you want with speed and abundance.

Yet Murphy said that it is less important to know how your subconscious works than to develop the faith that it can. William James, the father of American psychology, believed that the greatest discovery of the nineteenth century was the power of the subconscious mind added to faith. The idea that you can change your life by changing the landscape of your mind may not have appeared in history books alongside the discovery of new continents or electricity or steam, but all the great minds have known it.

Believing it to be so

“The law of your mind is the law of belief itself,” Murphy noted. What we believe makes us who we are. William James observed that whatever people expect to be true will be so, irrespective of whether the object of their belief exists. In the West we have made “the truth” our highest value; this motivation, while important, is weak next to the actual power of belief in shaping our lives. Whatever you give your subconscious – false or true, good or evil – it will register as fact. Be careful not to joke about misfortune, as the subconscious has no sense of humour.

A mentally disturbed person and a healthy person share the same power of belief; the sane differ from the insane only in that they retain objectivity about their beliefs. When a man in a hospital says he is Elvis Presley, he is not “making it up,” he knows he is Elvis. We must use this same power for constructive ends, not wishing but knowing that we are a perfect spouse or a business genius. The trick is to choose to know something that seems almost mad but not quite – something that seemed impossible to us a year ago, yet at the same time would be an enactment of our heart’s desire.

Health and prosperity

In the rituals of ancient times, with their weird mixtures and incantations, it was the power of suggestion and acceptance in the subconscious mind that healed. Even today, doctors report the power of placebos to produce miraculous recoveries if they are accompanied by doubt-free instructions that “this will do the trick.” Miracles of healing, Murphy said, are simply the body obeying the subconscious mind’s knowledge of “perfect health” when the questioning nature of the normal conscious mind is silenced.

The other aspect of mental healing is the premise that our individual minds are part of a larger human mind (as Emerson believed), which itself is linked to “infinite intelligence.” This is why it is not crazy, Murphy claimed, to believe that you can heal people who are not even physically near to you, by visualising all the health, energy, and love in the universe applied to that person, the life force pulsing through every cell of their body, cleaning and invigorating as it goes.

As there is a principle of health and harmony in the universe, so there is a principle of abundance. “The trouble with most people is that they have no invisible means of support,” commented Murphy. Others, aware of the law of abundance, will not be thrown into a nervous breakdown if their bank account goes into the red or their business is lost. They will understand it as a message to get re-attuned and reacquainted with the fact of a prosperous universe.

The “feeling of wealth,” Murphy said, produces wealth in reality. The subconscious mind understands and follows the idea of compound interest. That is, little thought deposits made regularly over time compound to produce a large principal of mental abundance. He shows the reader exactly how to send the right signals to their subconscious to make sure that these abundant images manifest themselves in the real world.

Why prayers are usually in vain

Our universe is one of law and order, Murphy wrote, therefore there should be nothing “mystical” about getting answers to our prayers. It is a process no more mysterious than the erection of a building. One who knows the workings of the subconscious mind will learn how to pray “scientifically.”

What does this mean? Prayers traditionally consist of earnest utterances to God followed by “hoping for the best.” Logically, however, such prayers will carry little weight or power because they are framed in doubt. It is the great irony of conventional prayer (the pleading, wishing, hoping variety) that it involves no faith. Real faith is simple: the knowledge that something is happening, is being provided, present tense. When prayers become occasions to give thanks for the fact of assistance (even if it has yet to materialise), they cease to be a mystical ritual that we hope God will notice, and become a co-creating process with definite ends.

Final comments

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind is simply written and tries to be free of culture or religion. It is slightly repetitive, but this in itself mirrors the book’s idea of subconscious programming. The first half is the best, as it explains how the subconscious works. The second half deals with its role and power to transform in areas like marriage, human relations, scientific discovery, sleep, fear, forgiveness, and “eternal youth.” For full effect, the author’s advice that it be read at least twice should be taken.

To some the book will be somewhat “way out,” but many people say that their life was not the same after reading it. The subconscious is a powerful thing, and what you get from Murphy is the realisation that if you refuse to try to understand the non-rational mind, your rational desires and plans will be forever sabotaged.

This copy was taken from 50 Self-help Classics, written and compiled by Tom Butler-Bowdon.


About Tom Cottrell

A struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.
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One Response to Reading Room

  1. Pingback: How to go about thinking | A short stroll to the horizon

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