Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind - Joseph Murphy

This book as the title suggests is about the power of subconscious to create and determine the course of our life. That our thoughts shape our life and we must think positive thoughts.

Since I had already read ‘The Secret’, this book was a revision of what I had learnt, in a way.
And it was inevitable for me to compare the two books.

A book such as ‘Power of Subconscious Mind’ (POSM) cannot be reviewed really. It has to be understood and applied in real life.

So most of what I have written below is comparison of POSM with ‘The Secret’, a comparison of the two approaches – one a pure market book and its shallow, lesser approach and the other, a sincere and a responsible approach.
Of course there are the noteworthy lines from the book as usual, my own experience in real life with some theories expounded in the book and certain points that I disagree with.

One has to be balanced while accepting or believing in these theories. Believing in the law of attraction or the power of subconscious mind to the exclusion of destiny, randomness of events, othersfactors that affect our lives – like the environment in which we live, the laws of the land, the society around us, the ways in which the body functions and others – believing, to the exclusion of all these, is kind of immature. It does not make much sense and our own life experiences do not agree fully with what is professed.

In the chapter that deals with health, the author says, disease is in the mind. There are several examples of how the placebo works.
A placebo is a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be a medicine. It pretends to be medicine, but it could be just a sugar pill or some powder.
The author says the placebo and o the actual medicine cures the disease because the patient believes that he is taking medicine and it will cure him.
When I was in Ladakh, I had gastric trouble and I took Zinetac believing I would be relieved. But I was not. The matter became serious. When I shared this with a doctor uncle of mine, he said most of the zinetac available in the market was spurious. Only after I switched to another medicine, I was cured.
So, you see, although I believed in the medicine I was taking, I did not cure me as it did not have to power to do so.
So, it’s not all in your mind.
Or let me put it this way. Mind is not the only reality. Other things in this world have their reality as well.

POSM is a lot more broader and deeper than secret.

One particular example used in Secret, among others of similar kind is a tell tale proof of the shallowness of the book. A person wanting to put to test the theory of ’The Secret’ visualizes a feather – and not just any feather – an indistinguishable one having a specific shape, texture, colour combination and all. And guess what, after a few days, he found that same feather ner an elevator. WoW. It works!

The example shows the shallowness of the approach and the fact that the team has underestimated the readers’ maturity.

Secret is designed/crafted for the short sighted, impatient, highly individualistic American audience.
The emphasis on ‘You can have anything you want without struggle, effort’.
The repeated mention of 1 million dollars, a big house, any car

The book says ‘there is no need to adjust, sacrifice and all’. ‘The world provides for all our wants and there is no need for anyone to make any sacrifice at all’.
It denounces the age old belief that people must make small sacrifices for the benefit of others, sometimes benefit of community. In doing so, it completely disregards the collectivistic ideal which is far higher and nobler than the individualistic ideal, which really is no ideal.

The Secret provides no guidance warning about wanton desires. It talks about the possibility of realization of any desire but does not say anything about the need to curb greed and lust that are natural to human desires.

POSM on the other hand provides guidance as to the necessity to moderate desires and does not sanction any and every desire. It recognizes the significance of the collectivistic ideal in man's life.

In the chapter on riches, the author while giving guidance to become rich and wealthy also says, ‘love of money to the exclusion of everything else will cause you to become lopsided and unbalanced.’

‘you cannot get something for nothing. There is no such thing as free lunch. You must give to receive.
Do not make god of money. It’s only a symbol. The real riches are in your mind. Lead a balanced life. Claim wealth, happiness, peace, true expression, love and personally radiate love and goodwill to all.’

On Success
People’s motive must be greater, nobler and more altruistic. They must serve others,…
The thing you want to do must not contribute only to your own success. Your desire must not be selfish. It must benefit humanity.

I don’t remember the details of ‘The Secret’ but it feels like the promise of a free lunch. There is no mention whatsoever of the individual’s responsibility to serve others, to work for the benefit of humanity.
It just says, you take care of yourself. The others will be taken care of. if each person takes care of himself, then where is the problem?
I don’t at all like the way the book appeals to the selfishness of the individualist.

The Secret talks about staying young forever, an obsession with Americans - says human body replaces all its old cells with new ones every 9 months or so. Therefore you can remain young forever. But the book does not dwell upon it sufficiently to answer the difficult questions like - does it mean I can look 25 when I am 60? Can I avoid death completely? There the theory would fail.

POSM talks about how to stay young in spirit forever. Which makes sense… which is so much more worthy of pondering than external beauty.

POSM not only talks about how to attract the ideal wife/husband but how to sustain the marriage through honesty, love, kindness, sincerity…
Also, it does not denounce divorce at all times. It does not promise miraculous solutions to all people for happy marriages. It admits, sometimes divorce is better.

There are repeated references in POSM to the higher goal of human beings – their well being, welfare – and implies that we must desire that which is aligned with this goal.
It draws reader’s attention towards the need to have priorities in life.

Given the fact that the book came much later than POSM, I would say it is a clever reproduction of POSM crafted for the market, relying on the weakness of today’s people - shortsightedness, impatience, and appealing to their greed and selfishness.

On the whole POSM is a more responsible endeavour.

Both the books denounce destiny.

In one way however, Secret beats POSM.
The secret impresses upon the minds of it's readers, a sense of urgency, immediacy and cautions the reader against negative thinking in every chapter - 'watch your thoughts. now. at this very moment you are attracting to yourself whatever you are thinking' – it is very persuasive.
For a week or so after reading The Secret, I was watchful of my thoughts like never before. When I saw negative thoughts, I at once, switched to positive thoughts.
POSM on the other hand, educates and informs you dispassionately in a tone that is calm, impersonal and detached.
It is not persuasive.
The Secret guarantees results without conditions. That is a definite motivation for the reader to apply the techniques.
POSM promises results too but then it asks you not to put money above everything, it asks you to work for others’ benefit, it asks to make effort, it says you can’t get something for nothing - which place responsibility on the individual and that lessens the guarantee.


…You must ask believing, if you are to receive.

…If you have faith you will get results.
Whether the object of your faith be real or false, you will nevertheless obtain the same effects. Thus, if I believed in Saint Peter’s statue as I should have believed in saint peter himself, I shall obtain the same effects that I should have obtained from saint peter. But that is superstition. Faith, however produces miracles. And whether it is true or false faith, it will always produce same wonders.

…The best way to impress the subconscious mind is to enter into a drowsy sleepy state or a state akin to sleep in which all effort is reduced to a minimum. Then the idea can be conveyed to the subconscious in a quiet, passive, receptive way, by reflection.

…The result of the affirmative process of prayer depends on conforming to the principles of life, regardless of appearances. Consider for a moment: there is a principle of mathematics but none of error. Principle of truth, none of dishonesty; principle of intelligence; none of ignorance; principle of harmony, none of discord. Principle of heath, none of disease; principle of abundance, none of poverty.

…Your thought can only affirm, for even if you deny something, you are actually affirming the presence of what you deny.

…Anytime you force your subconscious mind to do something for you, you will fail. The results will become more distant. Subconscious does not respond to coercion, but faith.

…Use imagination, not will power. Put away your intellectual problem solving skills. Maintain a simple childlike, miracle making faith.

…Why you get the opposite of what you pray for – when your desires and imagination are in conflict, imagination invariably gains the day.

…To him that hath the feeling of wealth, more wealth shall be added; to him that hath the feeling of lack, more lack shall be added. Your subconscious multiplies and magnifies whatever you deposit in it.

…If someone is making money dishonestly, he is using the law of mind negatively. In time, the law will take care of him.

..the power of assumed major premise is immense. Hence we must rethink our major premises.

…There are two levels of mind - conscious or rational, subconscious or irrational level.
…the subconscious is subject to the conscious mind.

…autosuggestion – suggestions we give to our subconscious.
…heterosuggestion – suggestions others give to our subconscious. Watch that is being suggested to your subconscious.


…for as a person thinketh in his subconscious mind, so is he.

…Act as though I am and I will be.

…your thoughts, feelings and visualised imagery are the organizing principles of your experience. The world within is the only creative power. Everything you find in your world of expression has been created by you in the inner world of your mind, whether consciously or unconsciously.

…subconscious mind is the source of ideals aspirations and altruistic urges. - Shakespeare, Beethoven perceived and communicated art through subconscious mind

…having clearly seen the end, you have willed the means to the realization of the end.

…Emerson - Man is what he thinks all day long.

…your vitality, body, financial condition, friends, and social status represent a perfect reflection of the idea you have of yourself.

…The instinct of self preservation is the first law of nature and self-preservation is the foremost function of the subconscious mind.

…The trouble with most people is they have no invisible means of support.

…Conscious mind is the starter. Subconscious mind is the motor.

…Subconscious mind has a memory of everything that has ever happened in the history of our species.

…People – professors, researchers have received solutions to problems in their dreams.

…the doctor dresses the wound and god heals it.


Anonymous said...

very good

சங்கரன் said...

Quite interesting Comparison Sowmyaa.. :)

shivdas said...

Subconscious mind is a powerful resource which has infinite potential and energy.

Believe in the power of your subconscious to heal, inspire, strengthen, achieve whatever you desire and prosper you.

Subconscious has answers to all the problems.

Whatever is being impressed by conscious mind upon subconscious mind, the latter will move heaven and earth to bring it to pass.

Subconscious mind directs all the energies, thinking process and actions towards achieving what you desire.

Affirm, “I can do all things through the power of my subconscious mind.”

Believe in good fortune, appropriate guidance, right action, and all the blessings of life.

Practice to contact & release the powers of sub conscious mind. Practice to make a proper connection between conscious mind (alertness) and subconscious mind (powerhouse).

Subconscious mind functions efficiently in drowsy state.

A cool, composed, peaceful and concentrated mind yields better results

Rahul said...

The book title is misleading. I was looking for a book that tells what is subconscious, how things work out in the mind,How do we improve it for a better life etc..This book title is misleading. It tells about only one thing "Think Positive" and train your brain. Things will happen. The same concept has been told in different ways.Just to know this one sentence, i think you need not purchase this book.The book doesn't relate any scientific approach towards it or the logic behind it. Just repeats the same concept by jumbling the words in different ways. You will really get bored even without completing 2 chapters.

Anonymous said...

Have you read Vasistha's Yoga? I think it conveys anything you could hope to learn from these two New Thought, Advaita-derived books you are discussing.

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