The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, revised by Ian McMahan, 2000; Reward Books, imprint of Prentice Hall Press.

This easy-to read book on the subconscious and how it influences our lives would be a good read for anyone who wants to move his/her life into a more harmonious plane of life. The reader will find  numerous practical strategies on how to accomplish this.  

Dr. Murphy’s book is madeup of 20 chapters including “How Your Mind Works,” “Mental Healings in Ancient Times,” “Mental Healings in Modern times” “Practical Techniques in Mental Healings” “Your Subconscious and the Wonders of Sleep,” “How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to Remove Fear,” and so on.  Murphy gives anecdotes of lives improved ty implementing his techniques e.g., the 75-year- old woman whose memory improved after telling herself (autosuggestion) several times a day, “From today onward, my memory is improving in every way…” The book also has a useful index and at the end of each chapter a succinct summary.

Murphy starts out with the truth that our mind is made up of “two distinct and functional parts” — the subconscious and conscious.  The subconscious perceives information by intuition, is the seat of emotions and creativity, does not reason and although is often irrational, is very amenable to suggestions from the conscious mind.  Now the conscious mind perceives the world through the five senses and makes decisions.  The conscious part of the mind  to an extent, can control your thoughts.  According to Murphy:

“When ….the thoughts deposited in your subconscious mind are constructive, harmonious and peaceful, the magic working power of your subconscious will respond.  It will bring about harmonious conditions, agreeable surroundings and the best of everything.  Once you begin to fully control your thought processes, you can apply the powers of your subconscious to any problem or difficulty.  You will actually be consciously cooperating with the infinite power and omnipotent law that governs all things.”

There’s a sense of Twelve Steps here, but I think you would find that idea in most self help books, and a little bit of religion too, but nothing terribly strong. .

Some of the useful practical suggestions I found included the following:

  • “Never finish a negative statement.  Reverse it immediately…Negative, destructive thoughts continue to work negatively in your subconscious mind”
  • “Lull yourself to sleep every night with the idea of perfect health, and your subconscious, being your faithful servant, will obey you.”
  • Understand that your ”subconscious is always working.”
  • “Every thought is a cause and every condition is an effect.”
  • “The subconscious is subject to the conscious mind.”
  • “Change your thoughts , and you change your destiny.”
  • -“Your subconscious mind will accept any suggestions, however false.”
  • “If you want the subconscious to work for you, you have to give it the right request and get its cooperation. “
  • “You are what you think all day long.


And there are more “ Ideas Worth Remembering,” “Healing Points in Review,” Summary of Steps to Happiness” and “Profitable Pointers in Human Relations.” The  big take away point for me however,  is that the subconscious never rests, it is always receiving information – from the conscious part of the mind and the environment—and from this information people make decisions. Murphy reminds the reader that s/he has the power to choose and if you approach events from a standpoint of fear and ignorance, you are likely to allow others to do your thinking (choosing) for you.

I don’t agree with everything in this book, and most people won’t, but there is enough good advice here to recommend reading the book.  Then it’s up to the individual to train the mind, and that is where the hard work starts.