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Synopsis

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind explains how we can access the untapped potential of our subconscious mind. Accessing our subconscious mind can make us happier and wiser. Plus, it has the potential to lower mortality rates, help you make money, and assist you in finding the love of your life. This book is full of examples from Joseph Murray’s life. Each example showcases the fantastic potential for the subconscious mind to change people’s lives for the better. Years of research studying the world’s major religions convinced Joseph Murphy that some Great Power lay behind all spiritual life and that this power is within each of us.

About Joseph Murphy

Joseph Murphy was an Irish-born American author with a degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California. In the mid-1940s, he moved to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Murphy met Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes and was ordained into Religious Science. Subsequently, he taught at the Institute of Religious Science. A meeting with Divine Science Association president Erwin Gregg led to him being reordained into Divine Science. He became the minister of the Los Angeles Divine Science Church in 1949, which he built into one of the country’s largest New Thought congregations. Murphy specialized in using the subconscious mind to treat diseases.

“The law of the subconscious mind works for good and bad ideas alike. This law, when applied in a negative way, is the cause of failure, frustration, and unhappiness. However, when your habitual thinking is harmonious and constructive, you experience perfect health, success, and prosperity.”

– Joseph Murphy

Repetition Can Train Your Subconscious Mind

Learning a new skill initially takes considerable conscious effort. For example, the first time you learned to ride a bike, it would have been challenging. However, repetition meant that riding a bike started to require less conscious effort. Your subconscious mind then began to grasp the task better, and riding a bike became automatic. 

This repetition can be used to overcome personal challenges. Joseph Murphy provides the example of Enrico Caruso, who was an Italian opera singer in the late nineteenth century. Enrico was incredibly nervous before shows and would subsequently suffer from throat spasms before performances. This nervousness was his conscious mind impairing a skill that had become subconscious for him. Joseph Murphy explains that the conscious mind took over as he was bogged down with negative thoughts. He was worried about the performance going badly and the crowd reacting in a hostile manner. Despite this, he was able to conquer these physical reactions by repeatedly telling his conscious mind to stop interfering with his subconscious mind. This meditative practice allowed him to reduce his fears and perform naturally and automatically. 

Positive Thinking and Visualization Are Integral to Achieving Your Dreams

Positive thinking and visualization can heal. In the eighteenth century, priests would heal the sick by persuading them to believe God would make them better. Some would attribute the success of this practice to the existence of God. However, it is more likely that these practices recruited the subconscious mind. 

In this book, Murphy gives an anecdote about his own life. When one of Murphy’s relatives developed tuberculosis, the relative’s son was determined to help him get better. His relative’s son picked up a piece of wood off a sidewalk and gave it to his father. The son explained that this was a cross bought from a monk who had recently worked at a healing shrine. He also stated that the cross had been used to heal many people. The father held onto the piece of wood tightly overnight, and the next morning he was completely healed. Principally, if you visualize or imagine what you hope to be true, sometimes it does come true. Importantly, you should not then break the illusion for the healed person. Breaking the illusion can cause the disease to resurface. 

This ‘miracle’ is not a unique circumstance. Joseph Murphy taught the subconscious mind’s power to millions of listeners on a weekly radio show called the Church of Divine Science. On this radio show, he described the mental movie method. This method involves creating a mental image that you desire. Then, you hold it in your mind until your subconscious makes it a reality. Many listeners used this approach to sell their property for the right price and to the right buyer. Several listeners sent in thank you letters to the author since this technique worked so well for selling their homes. 

Utilize Your Natural Ability to Self-Heal

You can activate your subconscious mind by allowing your body to self-heal. One of the most effective self-healing approaches is to sleep over things when you cannot decide which choice to pick. 

Joseph Murphy provides an example of how giving your brain time to consider options can allow your subconscious mind to communicate the best option. Joseph introduced readers to a woman who was given a job opportunity on the other side of the country. Although the salary was double what she was currently earning, she was unsure whether it was worth the money. Therefore, instead of making a rash decision, this woman went to bed early and slept on the decision. Subsequently, she was letting her subconscious mind influence her decisions. In the morning, her sixth sense told her that she should not accept the offer. She listened to her subconscious mind and rejected the offer. Three months later, she came to realize that she had made the correct decision as the other company had filed for bankruptcy. Sometimes we need to give our subconscious room to improve our lives.

Joseph explains that the subconscious mind processes data faster and through different methods than the conscious self. Therefore, letting your gut work overnight will help you think clearly and with more confidence the following day. Also, we need to rely on belief. The unconscious realm feeds off of belief. Therefore, if you believe you are in good health, this will activate your unconscious’ ability to self-heal. Joseph also talks about a universal process of self-healing, which is called faith. All sickness, ailments, and traumatic events can be healed by placing healing thoughts into our unconscious realm. Joseph does not discount the importance of science. Instead, he explains that our unconscious mind can complement medicine and science. For example, even pseudoscientific historical approaches, like healing through touch, have healed multiple people. In these instances, it is not the healers who are healing. Instead, it is the individual’s unconscious mind. 

Self-healing is also how placebo effects are established. Placebos occur when an individual gets better or feels better after being given a substance that is not a real treatment. The most famous example is giving participants sugar tablets rather than real medication. However, placebos often work as well as the genuine medication. Even though taking placebos is not a real treatment, doctors have found that this effect has various physical and psychological benefits. Several placebo experiments have produced better results for heart rate, blood pressure, and other aspects of health. The main thing is that our mind in health and well-being is stable. Joseph Murphy would attribute this effect to our unconscious mind. 

Joseph Murphy also explains that you do not even have to believe in the genuineness of a treatment for it to work. Instead, if we allow our subconscious field to be open to questioning and challenging standard views, then this is enough. When you are in a drowsy state, you allow your subconscious mind to have a more significant influence over your faith in a treatment. This drowsiness is how praying to God can sometimes help individuals be healed. Praying shuts out your conscious realm and allows the irrational, subconscious mind to work properly.

Let Go of All Negative Thoughts

“What the other person says or does cannot really annoy or irritate you except you permit him to disturb you. The only way he can annoy you is through your own thought. For example, if you get angry, you have to go through four stages in your mind: You begin to think about what he said. You decide to get angry and generate an emotion of rage. Then, you decide to act. Perhaps, you talk back and react in kind. You see that the thought, emotion, reaction, and action all take place in your mind. When you become emotionally mature, you do not respond negatively to the criticism and resentment of others.”

– Joseph Murphy

Our natural reaction is to adopt negative thoughts about circumstances. Instead, we should be attempting to choose happiness. 

Negative thoughts are highly detrimental. Not only do they impact on your emotions, but they also prevent you from succeeding. Joseph Murphy gives another personal anecdote for this section. One of Joseph Murphy’s associates worked day in and day out. Working those long hours lead to him neglecting his family and increasing his blood pressure to an unhealthy level. However, Murphy’s associate had a negative viewpoint on why he worked so much. The associate accepted that he felt guilty about not doing the right thing by his deceased brother, who had passed away years before. The remorse he felt came from a place of negativity. These negative thoughts then pushed him to behaviors that punished himself, his wife, and children. Plus, it prevented him from realizing that these long hours were not his boss’ fault; they were the fault of his negative thoughts. 

Fears Are Just False Thoughts

“You grow old when you lose interest in life, when you cease to dream, to hunger after new truths, and to search for new worlds to conquer. When your mind is open to new ideas, new interests, and when you raise the curtain and let in the sunshine and inspiration of new truths of life and the universe, you will be young and vital.”

– Joseph Murphy

Fear is an emotion that troubles us throughout our lives. When we were young, we were fearful of monsters under our beds. As we grow up, we continue to have fears in the shape of worrying about money. Both these fears are based on false thoughts, and we challenge these fears by challenging these thoughts. 

Joseph Murphy also describes aging as a widespread fear for adults. However, we can also overcome this fear by changing the way we think about aging. Aging only happens when we stop learning new skills. Staying young isn’t about age but about remaining active and doing the things we enjoy. Joseph provides an anecdote of an executive that lived near him and retired at 65. The man had spent almost all of his life learning. He did not view retirement as something to be afraid of, but yet another opportunity to learn. He started learning new skills, such as photography. Plus, he sought out opportunities to travel the world. Finally, this man became a lecturer on how to age well. In this book, Joseph also talks about his father. At 65, Joseph’s father set out to learn French. Five years later, he was a specialist. He then started to study Gaelic. Again, he reached a level that meant he was teaching it until his death at 99 years. If we keep positivity and learning at the forefront of our minds, we will feel younger and, it seems, live longer.

Combining Visualization and Personal Passions Can Considerably Improve Your Life

As well as helping people sell their houses and potentially heal illnesses, visualization can also help you attract money. Specifically, if you combine visualization and your passions, you can attract money. Joseph Murphy recommends picturing your desired end goal in life. This will feed your subconscious, which will help you reach this goal. 

Joseph Murphy gives an example of a young Australian boy. He wanted to become a doctor and surgeon. However, the boy did not have the money to start his journey toward doing so. Every night before he fell asleep, he would envision a medical diploma hanging on his wall. Eventually, he got a break when a doctor saw his potential and taught him how to sterilize instruments and give injections. The doctor paid him for this work, and the boy used this money for his medical school tuition. This is a perfect example of combining your passions with positive visualization, leading to initial success and motivating you to excel even further. 

Your Subconscious Can Help You Find the Ideal Romantic Partner

Joseph Murphy explained that positive visualization could even be used to find the perfect romantic partner. From his personal experience, he describes how a teacher he knew used visualization for this purpose. This teacher had three ex-husbands. Each of these ex-husbands was weak and passive. These were not the qualities that she desired in a partner. She was a relatively masculine woman with a dominant personality. She was attracting men with the opposite character to what she desired. However, she then used her subconscious to construct an image of her ideal partner mentally. She would do this every night before falling asleep. She then accepted a job as a secretary in a doctor’s office and found the strong man of her dreams. The physician was a healthy, successful man. They quickly married and have been happily married ever since. 

The Three Steps to Success

Love Your Work

It might be hard sometimes, but loving your work will hugely improve your quality of life. If you are doing a job you genuinely love, it won’t feel like work. You will be ingrained in your craft and completely motivated to continue working. You might be struggling to find a job that you genuinely love. If so, Joseph Murphy recommends asking for guidance from career experts. However, you must also proceed with faith and confidence that you will find the job that you love.

Specialize

If you manage to find a job that you love, you should look to specialize in particular areas. Perfecting a craft is a thoroughly rewarding pursuit. It allows you to become a leader in your field. Mastering your work will help make you feel more fulfilled, and economic success will follow.

Altruism

Joseph Murphy describes this as the most crucial step to happiness. Your love of work cannot be associated with selfish desires. Instead, you gain the most happiness from your motivations being tied to a cause beyond yourself. A cause that serves humanity. 

Desire Happiness

“You must choose happiness. Happiness is a habit. It is a good habit to ponder often.”

– Joseph Murphy

Joseph Murphy believes that happiness is just a mental construct. This is not a negative thing, though. It means that we can foster a feeling of happiness if we truly desire it. However, the majority of people have a disposition for unhappiness. Those who have a disposition for unhappiness will search for what is wrong in their environment. It is always possible to find negatives in our environment. When we find these negatives, we are only attracting more negative experiences. 

What Factors Prevent You from Using Your Subconscious Mind?

Some circumstances can prevent the unconscious realm from having a significant impact on your life. Critics will often use these examples as evidence of the method not working. Still, the reality is that the environment was not optimal for the subconscious mind to excel. 

Joseph Murphy outlines two factors that can make our unconscious realms fail. The first factor is a lack of confidence, and the second factor is putting too much effort into making it work. 

It is essential to understand that your unconscious mind will carry out an idea as soon as it accepts this idea. Hence, the unconscious mind will carry out any action planted in it, whether it is good or bad. Similarly, if we start having doubts about something, then these hesitations will become rooted in the unconscious realm. Murphy provides an example of money. Suppose you try and imagine being rich in the future. Even if you manage to imagine being rich, it is likely that you still won’t believe that you will one day be rich. In this instance, your unconscious realm is creating a reality where you have no money. Therefore, you are not using the unconscious mind for your benefit. The only reason for this ineffectiveness of the unconscious realm is a lack of self-confidence.

Although it is important to let the unconscious realm influence your life, it is also crucial you do not force the unconscious realm to help you. If you force the unconscious mind too much, then you will fail. Rather than utilizing forced beliefs, utilizing real beliefs allows the unconscious mind to turn these beliefs into a reality. Forcing things to happen only works within the conscious realm. Hence, Joseph Murphy recommends relaxing and putting faith in the notion that the unconscious mind will work for you. You must maintain this relaxed approach even when you are not obtaining instant results. 

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