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Did you like The Power of Your Subconscious Mind? If so, be ready for a treat!
Joseph Murphy expands on his theory that “that the latent powers inherent in our subconscious can improve our lives” in yet another book:
Who Should Read “The Miracles of Your Mind”? And Why?
“Whether you wish to conquer a bad habit, be more successful, obtain harmony in your family, or achieve goals that have thus far been unattainable,” says the blurb of The Miracles of Your Mind, this book will give you “guidelines to put you on the right path.”
Read it if you can suspend your disbelief, though, and you are not a scientific person. Because there are no arguments or cited studies here, and most of the claims are yet to be proven by science.
About Joseph Murphy
Joseph Murphy was an Irish-born American bestselling author and one of the leaders of the New Thought and the Human Potential movement.
A Roman Catholic, he traveled to India in his thirties and soon after formed a new church in America influenced by Hindu ideology. Later, he became the minister of the Los Angeles Divine Science Church in 1949, which, under his leadership, became one of the largest New Thought congregations in the United States.
He published his first book in 1945 (at the age of 47), but wrote a lot of books afterward. Published in 1963, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind is still considered a New Thought classic.
“The Miracles of Your Mind PDF Summary”
Published in 1953, The Miracles of Your Mind is perhaps Joseph Murphy’s second best-known book, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind being the other.
We’d hate to disappoint you, but the main ideas of both are pretty the same: there are two parts of your brain, and one of them (the subconscious mind) has the tools to control the other (the conscious mind). By tapping into the power of your subconscious mind, you will be able to perform feats and endeavors science refers to as miracles, and the New Thought movement deems ancient knowledge.
Though in The Miracles of Your Mind—a fairly short book (about 100 pages)—Joseph Murphy lists fewer real-life examples than in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, he does offer more practical and actionable bits of advice, mostly 1-2-3 techniques to overcome a bad habit or achieve a certain goal.
As he says in the second chapter of the book, his purpose is “to remove the mystery of the workings of the mind, in order to know better its modus operandi.”
As always, it is our purpose to remove the mystery of his book and pack it up in a neat summary.
So, what are we waiting for?
How Your Mind Works
“Man has only one mind, but he has two distinct phases or functions of the one mind”—that’s the introductory sentence of Murphy’s The Miracles of Your Mind.
If it sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is: it is very similar to the opening sentence of the third chapter of William Walker Atkinson’ Thought Vibration: “Man has but one mind, but he has many mental faculties, each faculty being capable of functioning along two different lines of mental effort.”
This should surprise nobody since the philosophy underlying both books is one and the same. Only the terms are somewhere different.
For Atkinson, the two states of the mind were the active and the passive. For Murphy, they are the objective and the subjective mind (though he says that they can also be called the conscious and the subconscious mind—we’ll use this dichotomy the most—the waking and the sleeping mind, the male and the female mind, the voluntary and the involuntary mind, etc. etc.)
The objective mind is the one which deals with objective things and uses the five physical senses to know the world. The subjective mind, on the other hand, perceives by intuition and is the seat of your emotions.
Consequently, while the objective mind is limited by the physical aspects of your existence, the subjective mind can leave the body, travel to distant lands, bring back intelligence from across space and time, and even read the contents of sealed envelopes and closed safes.
One other thing: the subjective mind is very susceptible to suggestions and, in one way or another, says yes to all of them. It is much like the soil: it will accept any seed you plant in it, be it good or bad. That makes your conscious mind the boss of it, even though the subconscious mind is by far the more powerful of the two:
The captain is the master of the ship; his orders are followed out; likewise, your conscious mind is the captain, the master of your ship. Your body and all of your affairs represent the ship. Your subconscious mind takes the orders you give it based upon your belief and suggestions accepted as true. Another simple illustration is this: When you repeatedly say to people, ‘I do not like mushrooms,’ then the time comes for you to be served mushrooms, you get indigestion because your subconscious mind says to you, ‘The boss does not like mushrooms.’ This is an example probably amusing to you; nevertheless, this is an example of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind.
The conscious and the subconscious mind are connected in an inverse proportion: the more one of them is used, the less the other contributes. That’s why the subconscious mind “performs its highest functions when the objective senses are in abeyance… when the conscious mind is suspended or in a sleepy, drowsy state.”
And, boy, what functions are these!
How the Subconscious Mind Can Help You
What we summed up above is the introductory—let’s just say, theoretical—chapter of The Miracles of Your Mind. It is, by far, the most important chapter of the book since it outlines the underlying philosophy not just behind it, but also behind everything Murphy ever wrote.
The rest of the book consists of (about ten-page) chapters (six, in all) where the knowledge laid down at the beginning is translated into practical techniques which should help you achieve specific things, such as health (this is the longest chapter in the book), wealth and marital peace, as well as offer you guidance on overcoming bad habits and teething troubles such as alcoholism and fear.
Let’s speed-read through these chapters, focusing mainly on the techniques Murphy reveals and describes.
The Subconscious Mind and Health
As far as Murphy is concerned, there is one—and only one—universal healing principle: namely, the subconscious mind. There is also one—and only one—process of healing: faith. The equation between the two is quite simple: sincerely and naively believe that you can heal yourself, and your subconscious mind will believe you and do the rest of the work.
This knowledge is not new, Murphy says, referring us to Paracelsus, a 16th century alchemist, and quoting twice a belief of his: “Whether the object of your faith be true or false, you will nevertheless obtain the same effects.”
In other words, “if you believe in the bones of saints to heal, or if you believe in the healing power of certain waters, you will get results, because of the powerful suggestion given to your subconscious mind; it is the latter that does the healing. The witch doctor with his incantations heals by faith also.”
It would be, of course, too easy if you could just say “I have no headache,” and you stopped having headaches for the rest of your life. True, you are the boss of your subconscious mind, but tyrants are never liked by their subordinates. Also, your subconscious mind doesn’t accept contradictions that easily; it accepts only what you believe and feel as true or possible.
So, what you want to do is impress your subconscious mind into cooperation; in plainer words, you need to sell him the idea that you have no headache. As a friend of Murphy realized, though the affirmation “I have no headache” doesn’t work, the declaration “It is passing away” does.
Especially if uttered before going to sleep or in a drowsy, reverie-like state when the conscious mind gives way to the subjective part of your being, and your subconscious mind takes over.
However, don’t ever weaken your treatment by saying things such as “I hope so,” or “It will be better.” As Murphy says, “the cellular set-up of your body will follow faithfully and honestly whatever blueprint the conscious mind hands over to them via the subconscious mind.”
Doubt and hope are not your friends. Even worse than they are fear, hate, guilt, and inferiority—the “four basic personality difficulties… at the root of everything that goes wrong in the subconscious mind.”
Show them who is “the boss” by carefully balancing out your pitch to the subconscious mind. “Know that health is yours!” shouts Murphy. “Harmony is yours! Become intelligent by becoming a vehicle for the infinite, healing power of the subconscious mind.”
The Subconscious Mind and Alcoholism
Regardless of the problem, the usual procedure to contact your subconscious mind and order him to do something consists of three steps:
#1. Take a look at the problem.
#2. Turn to the solution or way out known only to the subconscious mind (talk to it in a reverie-like state, without doubt or fear)
#3. Rest in a sense of deep conviction that it is done.
Murphy advises that you use this technique with “complete simplicity and naiveté,” “As a man imagines and feels, so is he,” says an ancient proverb, and Murphy claims that in these few words all of the knowledge a man needs to lead a happy life lies buried.
If you are an alcoholic—since, as Johann Hari says, “the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety: it’s connection”—Murphy suggests a subtly updated technique, one inspired by Goethe’s practice of having “imaginary, mental conversations” with his absent friends:
#1. Get still and quite the wheels of your mind. Enter into a sleepy, drowsy state.
#2. Use a trick out of the Nancy School hypnosis-centered toolbox: “take a brief phrase which can readily be graven on the memory, and repeat it over and over again as a lullaby.” Murphy suggests the following phrase: “Sobriety and peace of mind are mine now, and I give thanks.”
So, that you prevent your mind from wandering, you should repeat this phrase for five minutes, either aloud or “sketch its pronunciation with lips and tongue as you say it mentally.”
#3. Just before going to sleep, use Goethe’s imagine-a-friend technique.
“Imagine a friend,” Murphy advises, “a loved one in front of you. Your eyes are closed; you are relaxed and at peace. The loved one is subjectively present and is saying to you, ‘Congratulations!’ You see the smile; you hear the voice. You touch the hand and the face; it’s all so real and vivid. The word ‘congratulations’ implies complete freedom. Hear it, over and over again, until you get the reaction which satisfies.”
The Subconscious Mind and Wealth
“Money is essential for your economic health in this country,” states the obvious Murphy; “therefore, you should have all you need and a surplus.”
There are two reasons why you don’t already have that much: either you are constantly thinking to yourself something “foolish” about money (“I despise money.” “It is an evil thing.” “It is the root of all evil.”) or you are ordering your subconscious mind the wrong things (“I need money.” “I want wealth and success.”)
The trick is, once again, to find the most suggestible phrase and to repeat it for a few minutes in a drowsy state. In the case of money, Murphy suggests quite a few:
• “Wealth—Success.” This is the simplest one. Just repeating these two words one after another for about five minutes three or four times a day creates the necessary connections—not just between them, but also between yourself and your subconscious mind, and, finally, your subconscious mind and the world.
• “By day and by night, I am being prospered in all of my interests.” This is even gentler and, as such, it “will not arouse any argument because it does not contradict the subconscious mind’s impression of financial lack.”
• “My sales are improving every day. I am advancing, progressing, and getting wealthier every day.” Hear the happiness inside this sentence? There is no fear, doubt or guilt there. That’s why it should work!
The Subconscious Mind and Marital Problems
The subconscious mind has tremendous power, but it is absolutely pointless to use it when its use would benefit nobody.
For example, if one ends up being married to a drug addict, it is not at all wise to try and use your subconscious mind to prolong that marriage (though you can); it is much better to pack your bags and leave—because even if your partner wants the opposite, that marriage is doomed to failure.
“If one of the partners has an intense desire to terminate the marriage,” writes Murphy, “and the other has an equally intense desire to remain united in marriage, and they are both sincere… this is a house divided against itself; sooner or later it will dissolve.”
That’s why “the best time to prevent a divorce is before marriage.” The cause of all of your marital trouble is that you didn’t use your subconscious mind to attract the right wife or husband.
Murphy shares this technique if you want to achieve this:
Sit down at night in your armchair; close your eyes; let go; relax the body; become very quiet, passive, and receptive. Talk to your subconscious mind, and say to it, ‘I am now attracting a partner into my experience who is honest, sincere, loyal, kind, faithful, and prosperous. He is peaceful and happy. These qualities are sinking down into my subconscious mind now. As I dwell upon these qualities, they become a part of me. I know there is an irresistible law of attraction, and that I attract to me a man according to my subconscious belief. I attract that which I feel as true in my subconscious mind. In other words, I know that according to the law, I will attract a partner in accordance with my feelings, beliefs, and impressions made on my subconscious mind regarding the type of man I seek.’
The Subconscious Mind and Guidance
You know how you woke up that time at 5:45 AM without the alarm, and that was precisely the hour you wanted to wake up?
Well, by now you know what happened: you suggested your subconscious mind to wake you up, and since you did this in a drowsy reverie-like state, the subconscious mind took the reins in its hands and obeyed the order.
It’s the same when you need guidance for something. In this case, however, instead of ordering your subconscious mind to do something, just ask it a question before you go to sleep. Your subconscious mind has superior wisdom, and it will give you the answer—sometimes even in your dreams.
The technique is still the same. In your bed tonight, quiet your mind, still your body and tell all of yourself to relax. Immobilize your attention and focus all of your thoughts on your problem.
First, try and solve it with your conscious mind. Then, think about how happy you’d be when you’ve finally found the solution. Think about nothing else, though: if your mind wanders, bring it back gently.
Finally, in the sleepiest, drowsiest state before dreams come, say quietly and positively: “The answer is mine now; I know my subconscious mind knows the answer.”
Fall asleep with the mood or feeling of a found solution. Let your mind play around with this mood in a relaxed manner. Even if you drift away before you go through all of these steps, don’t worry: your subconscious mind will be active in the morning as well.
Just don’t transfer the problem to your conscious mind: your solution should come when you’re preoccupied with something else.
Remember: no matter what happens, “you will always receive guidance with respect to the subject in which you think about the most.”
The Subconscious Mind and Fear
“Do the thing you fear,” said Emerson once, “and the death of fear is certain.” What he forgot to mention is that you need not do the thing you fear for real: you can imagine it and do it perfectly in your mind beforehand. Afterward, the subconscious mind will walk you on the right track.
Murphy tells the story of a singer who was afraid to sing before an audience, even though she had a beautiful voice. He suggested her the technique below and, lo and behold, she became a star. Unfortunately, Murphy doesn’t share with us her name, and we have to take his words at face value.
As for the technique.
The singer was advised to isolate herself three times a day in a quiet room. Then she was supposed to sit down comfortably in an armchair, relax her body, and close her eyes. “Physical inertia favors mental passivity,” writes Murphy, “and renders the mind more receptive to suggestion.”
So, now, it was time for suggestions. The girl was advised to say to herself something along the lines of “I sing beautifully, I am poised, serene, confident, and calm.” Slowly, quietly, and with a feeling.
Three such “sittings” a day and one immediately before sleep made this woman a star-singer after only a week: she gave a remarkable, wonderful audition and she never felt the fear of being on stage ever again.
“Carry out the above procedure with assurance and conviction,” concludes Murphy, “and the death of fear is certain.”
Key Lessons from “The Miracles of Your Mind”
1. Your Mind Has Two Distinct Phases: Objective and Subjective
2. The Subconscious Mind Is Most Powerful When the Conscious Mind Is Switched Off
3. The True Meaning of the Words “Heart” and “Lord”
Your Mind Has Two Distinct Phases: Objective and Subjective
Even though we have only one mind, it has “two distinct phases or functions.” These two functions have many names, but the ones Murphy prefers are objective (or conscious) and subjective (or subconscious).
The objective (or the conscious) mind, via our five senses, takes cognizance of the objective world; the subjective, on the other hand, is the seat of our emotions. The former gives orders and is limited by our senses; the latter is susceptible to suggestions and is superior in all aspects to the conscious mind.
The Subconscious Mind Is Most Powerful When the Conscious Mind Is Switched Off
Just as the conscious mind works best when you are fresh and active, the subconscious mind works best when you are not, because that’s when the objective function of your brain is suppressed by your body.
That’s what happens when you’re drowsy or sleepy (this is when you’re most unable to discern reality from fantasy), so this is the best time to start suggesting something to your subconscious mind. It is the time when it is most open to listening.
So make your pitch to it just before you fall asleep, in the quiet, relaxed, reverie-like state of lethargy.
The True Meaning of the Words “Heart” and “Lord”
“The heart is called the subconscious mind in ancient allegories,” writes Murphy. “The Egyptians knew that the heart was the subconscious mind, but they did not call it by that name. The Chaldeans and the Babylonians called it by different names.”
In addition, in the penultimate chapter of the book, Murphy adds that “the Lord is an ancient word meaning your subconscious mind.”
In other words, when you’re talking to your heart or the Lord, you’re actually talking to your subconscious mind.
But that is not a mistake, because this is how your most intimate wishes actually come true. You just need to believe it—naively and with total dedication. It doesn’t matter what it is: faith opens the path to your subconscious mind, and it answers to many different names.
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“The Miracles of Your Mind Quotes”The subconscious mind is the seat of your emotions. Click To Tweet Anything that you accept as true and believe in will be accepted by your subconscious mind, and brought into your life as a condition, experience, or event. Ideas are conveyed to the subconscious mind through feeling. Click To Tweet Any idea that is emotionalized or felt as true will be accepted by your subconscious mind. Click To Tweet Whether the object of your faith be real or false, you will nevertheless obtain the same effects. Click To Tweet Learn the powers of your subconscious, how it works and functions. Master the techniques… Put them into practice now—today! Your subconscious will respond, and you will be free of all fears. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
More or less, The Miracles of Your Mind can be summed up in two sentences, and we really feel that Joseph Murphy is spinning them out in a book so that he can profit from selling it.
Which doesn’t mean that he doesn’t believe in his own philosophy. But it does mean that we don’t: The Miracles of Your Mind seems to us quite unscientific and unempirical—even half-baked (there are so many examples here that we have no way of finding out whether they are invented or not).
Finally, even though it says it’s practical, there’s really nothing of that sort here: blame us for being conservative if you’d like, but it’s not that practical to expect to become rich by merely thinking about it three times a day. You need to work for it!However, if you appreciate the New Thought and the Human Potential Movement and its advocates, then this is a book you have to read. It’s a classic, and it will be for many years to come.