2. How Your Own Mind Works – from The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
You have a mind, and you should learn how to use it. There are two levels of your
mind—the conscious or rational level, and the subconscious or irrational level. You think
with your conscious mind, and whatever you habitually think sinks down into your
subconscious mind, which creates according to the nature of your thoughts. Your
subconscious mind is the seat of your emotions and is the creative mind. If you think
good, good will follow; if you think evil, evil will follow. This is the way your mind
The main point to remember is once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to
execute it. It is an interesting and subtle truth that 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.
Peace of mind and a healthy body are inevitable when you begin to think and feel in the
right way. Whatever you claim mentally and feel as true, your subconscious mind will
accept and bring forth into your experience. The only thing necessary for you to do is to
get your subconscious mind to accept your idea, and the law of your own subconscious
mind will bring forth the health, peace, or the position you desire. You give the command
or decree, and your subconscious will faithfully reproduce the idea impressed upon it.
The law of your mind is this: You will get a reaction or response from your subconscious
mind according to the nature of the thought or idea you hold in your conscious
Psychologists and psychiatrists point out that when thoughts are conveyed to your
subconscious mind, impressions are made in the brain cells. As soon as your
subconscious accepts any idea, it proceeds to put it into effect immediately. It works by
association of ideas and uses every bit of knowledge that you have gathered in your
lifetime to bring about its purpose. It draws on the infinite power, energy, and wisdom
within you. It lines up all the laws of nature to get its way. Sometimes it seems to bring
about an immediate solution to your difficulties, but at other times it may take days,
weeks, or longer. . . . Its ways are past finding out.
Conscious and subconscious terms differentiated
You must remember that these are not two minds. They are merely two spheres of
activity within one mind. Your conscious mind is the reasoning mind. It is that phase of
mind, which chooses. For example, you choose your books, your home, and your partner
in life. You make all your decisions with your conscious mind. On the other hand,
without any conscious choice on your part, your heart is kept functioning automatically,
and the process of digestion, circulation, and breathing are carried on by your
subconscious mind through processes independent of your conscious control.
Your subconscious mind accepts what is impressed upon it or what you consciously
believe. It does not reason things out like your conscious mind, and it does not argue with
you controversially. Your subconscious mind is like the soil, which accepts any kind of
seed, good or bad. Your thoughts are active and might be likened unto seeds. Negative,
destructive thoughts continue to work negatively in your subconscious mind, and in due
time will come forth into outer experience which corresponds with them.
Remember, your subconscious mind does not engage in proving whether your thoughts
are good or bad, true or false, but it responds according to the nature of your thoughts or
suggestions. For example, if you consciously assume something as true, even though it
may be false, your subconscious mind will accept it as true and proceed to bring about
results, which must necessarily follow, because you consciously assumed it to be true.
Suggested Hypnosis Session: Stop Negative Thinking
Experiments by psychologists
Innumerable experiments by psychologists and others on persons in the hypnotic state
have shown that the subconscious mind is incapable of making selections and
comparisons, which are necessary for a reasoning process. They have shown repeatedly
that your subconscious mind will accept any suggestions, however false. Having once
accepted any suggestion, it responds according to the nature of the suggestion given.
To illustrate the amenability of your subconscious mind to suggestion, if a practiced
hypnotist suggests to one of his subjects that he is Napoleon Bonaparte, or even a cat or a
dog, he will act out the part with inimitable accuracy. His personality becomes changed
for the time being. He believes himself to be whatever the operator tells him he is.
A skilled hypnotist may suggest to one of his students in the hypnotic state that his back
itches, to another that his nose is bleeding, to another that he is a marble statue, to another
that he is freezing and the temperature is below zero. Each one will follow out the line of
his particular suggestion, totally oblivious to all his surroundings, which do not pertain to
These simple illustrations portray clearly the difference between your conscious
reasoning mind and your subconscious mind, which is impersonal, non-selective, and
accepts as true whatever your conscious mind believes to be true. Hence, the importance
of selecting thoughts, ideas, and premises, which bless, heal, inspire, and fill your soul
The terms objective and subjective mind clarified
Your conscious mind is sometimes referred to as your objective mind because it deals
with outward objects. The objective mind takes cognizance of the objective world. Its
media of observation are your five physical senses. Your objective mind is your guide
and director in your contact with your environment. You gain knowledge through your
five senses. Your objective mind learns through observation, experience, and education.
As previously pointed out, the greatest function of the objective mind is that of reasoning.
Suppose you are one of the thousands of tourists who come to Los Angeles annually. You
would come to the conclusion that it is a beautiful city based upon your observation of
the parks, pretty gardens, majestic buildings, and lovely homes. This is the working of
your objective mind.
Your subconscious mind is oftentimes referred to as your subjective mind. Your
subjective mind takes cognizance of its environment by means independent of the five
senses. Your subjective mind perceives by intuition. It is the seat of your emotion and the
storehouse of memory. Your subjective mind performs its highest functions when your
objective senses are in abeyance. In a word, it is that intelligence which makes itself
manifest when the objective mind is suspended or in a sleepy, drowsy state.
Your subjective mind sees without the use of the natural organs of vision. It has the
capacity of clairvoyance and clairaudience. Your subjective mind can leave your body,
travel to distant lands, and bring back information oftentimes of the most exact and truthful character.
Through your subjective mind you can read the thoughts of others, read the contents of sealed envelopes
and closed safes.
Your subjective mind has the ability to apprehend the thoughts of others without the use of the ordinary objective
means of communication. It is of the greatest importance that we understand the
interaction of the objective and subjective mind in order to learn the true art of prayer.
The subconscious cannot reason like your conscious mind
Your subconscious mind cannot argue controversially. Hence, if you give it wrong
suggestions, it will accept them as true and will proceed to bring them to pass as
conditions, experiences, and events. All things that have happened to you are based on
thoughts impressed on your subconscious mind through belief. If you have conveyed
erroneous concepts to your subconscious mind, the sure method of overcoming them is
by the repetition of constructive, harmonious thoughts frequently repeated which your
subconscious mind accepts, thus forming new and healthy habits of thought and life, for
your subconscious mind is the seat of habit.
The habitual thinking of your conscious mind establishes deep grooves in your
subconscious mind. This is very favorable for you if your habitual thoughts are
harmonious, peaceful, and constructive. If you have indulged in fear, worry, and other
destructive forms of thinking, the remedy is to recognize the omnipotence of your
subconscious mind and decree freedom, happiness, and perfect health. Your
subconscious mind, being creative and one with your divine source, will proceed to
create the freedom and happiness, which you have earnestly decreed.
The tremendous power of suggestion
You must realize by now that your conscious mind is the “watchman at the gate,” and its
chief function is to protect your subconscious mind from false impressions. You are now
aware of one of the basic laws of mind: Your subconscious mind is amenable to
suggestion. As you know, your subconscious mind does not make comparisons, or
contrasts, neither does it reason and think things out for itself. This latter function belongs
to your conscious mind. It simply reacts to the impressions given to it by your conscious
mind. It does not show a preference for one course of action over another.
The following is a classic example of the tremendous power of suggestion. Suppose you
approach a timid looking passenger on board ship and say to him something like this:
“You look very ill. How pale you are! I feel certain you are going to be seasick. Let me
help you to your cabin.” The passenger turns pale. Your suggestion of seasickness
associates itself with his own fears and forebodings. He accepts your aid down to the
berth, and there your negative suggestion, which was accepted by him, is realized.
Different reactions to the same suggestion
It is true that different people will react in different ways to the same suggestion because
of their subconscious conditioning or belief. For example, if you go to a sailor on the ship
and say to him sympathetically, “My dear fellow, you’re looking very ill. Aren’t you
feeling sick? You look to me as if you were going to be seasick.” According to his
temperament he either laughs at your “joke,” or expresses a mild irritation. Your
suggestion fell on deaf ears in this instance because your suggestion of seasickness was
associated in his mind with his own immunity from it. Therefore, it called up not fear or
worry, but self-confidence.
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The dictionary says that a suggestion is the act or instance of putting something into
one’s mind, the mental process by which the thought or idea suggested is entertained,
accepted, or put into effect. You must remember that a suggestion cannot impose
something on the subconscious mind against the will of the conscious mind. In other
words, your conscious mind has the power to reject the suggestion given. In the case of
the sailor, he had no fear of seasickness. He had convinced himself of his immunity, and
the negative suggestion had absolutely no power to evoke fear.
The suggestion of seasickness to the other passenger called forth his indwelling fear of
seasickness. Each of us has his own inner fears, beliefs, opinions, and these inner
assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself except
if you accept it mentally. This causes your subconscious powers to flow in a limited and
restricted way according to the nature of the suggestion.
How he lost his arm
Every two or three years I give a series of lectures at the London Truth Forum in Caxton
Hall. This is a Forum I founded a number of years ago. Dr. Evelyn Fleet, the director,
told me about an article which appeared in the English newspapers dealing with the
power of suggestion. This is the suggestion a man gave to his subconscious mind over
a period of about two years: “I would give my right arm to see my daughter cured.” It
appeared that his daughter had a crippling form of arthritis together with a so-called
incurable form of skin disease. Medical treatment had failed to alleviate the condition,
and the father had an intense longing for his daughter’s healing, and expressed his desire
in the words just quoted.
Dr. Evelyn Fleet said that the newspaper article pointed out that one day the family was
out riding when their car collided with another. The father’s right arm was torn off at the
shoulder, and immediately the daughter’s arthritis and skin condition vanished.
You must make certain to give your subconscious only suggestions, which heal, bless,
elevate, and inspire you in all your ways. Remember that your subconscious mind cannot
take a joke. It takes you at your word.
How autosuggestion banishes fear
Illustrations of autosuggestion: Autosuggestion means suggesting something definite and
specific to oneself. Herbert Parkyn, in his excellent manual of autosuggestion,* records
the following incident. It has its amusing side, so that one remembers it. “A New York
visitor in Chicago looks at his watch, which is set an hour ahead of Chicago time, and
tells a Chicago friend that it is twelve o’clock. The Chicago friend, not considering the
difference in time between Chicago and New York, tells the New Yorker that he is
hungry and that he must go to lunch.”
Autosuggestion may be used to banish various fears and other negative conditions. A
young singer was invited to give an audition. She had been looking forward to the
interview, but on three previous occasions she had failed miserably due to fear
Herbert Parkyn, Autosuggestion (London: Fowler, 1916).of failure. This young lady had
a very good voice, but she had been saying to herself, “When the time comes for me to
sing, maybe they won’t like me. I will try, but I’m full of fear and anxiety.” Her
subconscious mind accepted these negative autosuggestions as a request and proceeded to
manifest them and bring them into her experience. The cause was an involuntary
autosuggestion, i.e., silent fear thoughts emotionalized and subjectified.
She overcame it by the following technique: Three times a day she isolated herself in a
room. She sat down comfortably in an armchair, relaxed her body, and closed her eyes.
She stilled her mind and body as best she could. Physical inertia favors mental passivity
and renders the mind more receptive to suggestion. She counteracted the fear suggestion
by saying to herself, “I sing beautifully. I am poised, serene, confident, and calm.” She
repeated this statement slowly, quietly, and with feeling from five to ten times at each
sitting. She had three such “sittings” every day and one immediately prior to sleep. At the
end of a week she was completely poised and confident. When the invitation to audition
came, she gave a remarkable, wonderful audition.
Suggested Hypnosis Session: Hypnosis for Self Confidence
How she restored her memory
A woman, aged seventy-five, was in the habit of saying to herself, “I am losing my
memory.” She reversed the procedure and practiced induced autosuggestion several times
a day as follows: “My memory from today on is improving in every department. I shall
always remember whatever I need to know at every moment of time and point of space.
The impressions received will be clearer and more definite. I shall retain them
automatically and with ease. Whatever I wish to recall will immediately present itself in
the correct form in my mind. I am improving rapidly every day, and very soon my
memory will be better than it has ever been before.” At the end of three weeks, her
memory was back to normal, and she was delighted.
Suggested Hypnosis Session: Brain Power Series
How he overcame a nasty temper
Many men who complained of irritability and bad temper proved to be very susceptible to
autosuggestion and obtained marvelous results by using the following statements three or
four times a day—morning, noon, and at night prior to sleep for about a month.
“Henceforth, I shall grow more good-humored.
Joy, happiness, and cheerfulness are now becoming my normal states of mind. Every day
I am becoming more and more lovable and understanding. I am now becoming the center
of cheer and good will to all those about me, infecting them with good humor. This
happy, joyous, and cheerful mood is now becoming my normal, natural state of mind. I
The constructive and destructive power of suggestion
Some illustrations and comments on heterosuggestion: Heterosuggestion means
suggestions from another person. In all ages the power of suggestion has played a part in
the life and thought of man in every period of time and in each country of the earth. In
many parts of the world it is the controlling power in religion.
Suggestion may be used to discipline and control ourselves, but it can also be used to take
control and command over others who do not know the laws of mind. In its constructive
form it is wonderful and magnificent. In its negative aspects it is one of the most
destructive of all the response patterns of the mind, resulting in patterns of misery,
failure, suffering, sickness, and disaster.
Have you accepted any of these?
From infancy on the majority of us have been given many negative suggestions. Not
knowing how to thwart them, we unconsciously accepted them. Here are some of the
negative suggestions: “You can’t.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You mustn’t.”
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“You’ll fail.” “You haven’t got a chance.” “You’re all wrong.” “It’s no use.” “It’s not
what you know, but who you know.” “The world is going to the dogs.” “What’s the use,
nobody cares.” “It’s no use trying so hard.” “You’re too old now.” “Things are getting
worse and worse.” “Life is an endless grind.” “Love is for the birds.” “You just can’t
win.” “Pretty soon you’ll be bankrupt.” “Watch out, you’ll get the virus.” “You can’t
trust a soul,” etc.
Unless, as an adult, you use constructive autosuggestion, which is a reconditioning
therapy, the impressions made on you in the past can cause behavior patterns that cause
failure in your personal and social life. Autosuggestion is a means releasing you from the
mass of negative verbal conditioning that might otherwise distort your life pattern,
making the development of good habits difficult.
You can counteract negative suggestions
Pick up the paper any day, and you can read dozens of items that could sow the seeds of
futility, fear, worry, anxiety, and impending doom. If accepted by you, these thoughts of
fear could cause you to lose the will for life. Knowing that you can reject all these
negative suggestions by giving your subconscious mind constructive autosuggestions,
you counteract all these destructive ideas.
Check regularly on the negative suggestions that people make to you. You do not have to
be influenced by destructive heterosuggestion. All of us have suffered from it in our
childhood and in our teens. If you look back, you can easily recall how parents, friends,
relatives, teachers, and associates contributed in a campaign of negative suggestions.
Study the things said to you, and you will discover much of it was in the form of
propaganda. The purpose of much of what was said was to control you or instill fear into
you. This heterosuggestion process goes on in every home, office, factory, and club. You
will find that many of these suggestions are for the purpose of making you think, feel,
and act, as others want you to and in ways that are to their advantage.
How suggestion killed a man
Here is an illustration of heterosuggestion: A relative of mine went to a crystal gazer in
India who told him that he had a bad heart and predicted that he would die at the next
new moon. He began to tell all members of his family about this prediction, and he
arranged his will. This powerful suggestion entered into his subconscious mind because
he accepted it completely. My relative also told me that this crystal gazer was believed to
have some strange occult powers, and he could do harm or good to a person. He died as
predicted not knowing that he was the cause of his own death. I suppose many of us have
heard similar stupid, ridiculous, superstitious stories.
Let us look at what happened in the light of our knowledge of the way the subconscious
mind works. Whatever the conscious, reasoning mind of man believes; the subconscious
mind will accept and act upon. My relative was happy, healthy, vigorous, and robust
when he went to see the fortuneteller. She gave him a very negative suggestion, which he
accepted. He became terrified, and constantly dwelt upon the fact that he was going to
die at the next new moon. He proceeded to tell everyone about it, and he prepared for the
end. The activity took place in his own mind, and his own thought was the cause. He
brought about his own so-called death, or rather destruction of the physical body, by his
fear and expectation of the end. The woman who predicted his death had no more power
than the stones and sticks in the field.
Her suggestion had no power to create or bring about the end she suggested. If he had known
the laws of his mind, he would have completely rejected the negative suggestion
and refused to give her words any attention, knowing in his heart that he was governed
and controlled by his own thought and feeling. Like tin arrows aimed at a battleship, her
prophecy could have been completely neutralized and dissipated without hurting him.
The suggestions of others in themselves have absolutely no power whatever over you
except the power that you give them through your own thoughts. You have to give your
mental consent; you have to entertain the thought. Then, it becomes your thought, and
you do the thinking. Remember, you have the capacity to choose. Choose life! Choose
love! Choose health!
The power of an assumed major premise
Your mind works like a syllogism. This means that whatever major premise your
conscious mind assumes to be true determines the conclusion your subconscious mind
comes to in regard to any particular question or problem in your mind. If your premise is
true, the conclusion must be true as in the following example:
Every virtue is laudable; Kindness is a virtue; Therefore, kindness is laudable.
Another example is as follows: All formed things change and pass away; The Pyramids
of Egypt are formed things; Therefore, some day the Pyramids will pass away.
The first statement is referred to as the major premise, and the right conclusion must
necessarily follow the right premise. A college professor, who attended some of my
science of mind lectures in May, 1962, at Town Hall, New York, said to me, “Everything
in my life is topsy-turvy, and I have lost health, wealth, and friends. Everything I touch
turns out wrong.”
I explained to him that he should establish a major premise in his thinking, that the
infinite intelligence of his subconscious mind was guiding, directing, and prospering him
spiritually, mentally, and materially. Then, his subconscious mind would automatically
direct him wisely in his investments, decisions, and also heal his body and restore his
mind to peace and tranquility.
This professor formulated an overall picture of the way he wanted his life to be, and this
was his major premise: “Infinite intelligence leads and guides me in all my ways. Perfect
health is mine, and the Law of Harmony operates in my mind and body. Beauty, love,
peace, and abundance are mine. The principle of right action and divine order govern my
entire life. I know my major premise is based on the eternal truths of life, and I know,
feel, and believe that my subconscious mind responds according to the nature of my
conscious mind thinking.”
He wrote me as follows: “I repeated the above statements slowly, quietly, and lovingly
several times a day knowing that they were sinking deep down into my subconscious
mind, and that results must follow. I am deeply grateful for the interview you gave me,
and I would like to add that all departments of my life are changing for the better. It
The subconscious does not argue controversially
Your subconscious mind is all wise and knows the answers to all questions. It does not
argue with you or talk back to you. It does not say, “You must not impress me with that.”
For example, when you say, “I can’t do this.” “I am too old now.” “I can’t meet this obligation.”
“I was born on the wrong side of the tracks.” “I don’t know the right politician,” you
are impregnating your subconscious with these negative thoughts, and it responds accordingly. You are actually
blocking your own good, thereby bringing lack, limitation, and frustration into your life.
When you set up obstacles, impediments, and delays in your conscious mind, you are
denying the wisdom and intelligence resident in your subconscious mind. You are
actually saying in effect that your subconscious mind cannot solve your problem. This
leads to mental and emotional congestion, followed by sickness and neurotic tendencies.
To realize your desire and overcome your frustration, affirm boldly several times a day:
“The infinite intelligence which gave me this desire leads, guides, and reveals to me the
perfect plan for the unfolding of my desire. I know the deeper wisdom of my
subconscious is now responding, and what I feel and claim within is expressed in the
without. There is a balance, equilibrium, and equanimity.”
If you say, “There is no way out; I am lost; there is no way out of this dilemma; I am
stymied and blocked,” you will get no answer or response from your subconscious mind.
If you want the subconscious to work for you, give it the right request, and attain its
cooperation. It is always working for you. It is controlling your heartbeat this minute and
also your breathing. It heals a cut on your finger, and its tendency is life ward, forever
seeking to take care of you and preserve you. Your subconscious has a mind of its own,
but it accepts your patterns of thought and imagery.
When you are seeking an answer to a problem, your subconscious will respond, but it
expects you to come to a decision and to a true judgment in your conscious mind. You
must acknowledge the answer is in your subconscious mind. However, if you say, “I
don’t think there is any way out; I am all mixed up and confused; why don’t I get an
answer?” you are neutralizing your prayer. Like the soldier marking time, you do not get
Still the wheels of your mind, relax, let go, and quietly affirm: “My subconscious knows
the answer. It is responding to me now. I give thanks because I know the infinite
intelligence of my subconscious knows all things and is revealing the perfect answer to
me now. My real conviction is now setting free the majesty and glory of my subconscious
mind. I rejoice that it is so.”
Review of highlights
1. Think good, and good follows. Think evil, and evil follows. You are what you think all
2. Your subconscious mind does not argue with you. It accepts what your conscious mind
decrees. If you say, “I can’t afford it,” it may be true, but do not say it. Select a better
thought, decree, “I’ll buy it. I accept it in my mind.”
3. You have the power to choose. Choose health and happiness. You can choose to be
friendly, or you can choose to be unfriendly. Choose to be cooperative, joyous, friendly,
lovable, and the whole world will respond. This is the best way to develop a wonderful
4. Your conscious mind is the “watchman at the gate.” Its chief function is to protect your
subconscious mind from false impressions. Choose to believe that something good can
5. The suggestions and statements of others have no power to hurt you. The only power is
the movement of your own thought. You can choose to reject the thoughts or statements
of others and affirm the good. You have the power to choose how you will react.
6. Watch what you say. You have to account for every idle word. Never say, “I will fail; I
will lose my job; I can’t pay the rent.” Your subconscious cannot take a joke. It brings all
these things to pass.
7. Your mind is not evil. No force of nature is evil. It depends how you use the powers of
nature. Use your mind to bless, heal, and inspire all people everywhere.
8. Never say, “I can’t.” Overcome that fear by substituting the following, “I can do all
things through the power of my own subconscious mind.”
9. Begin to think from the standpoint of the eternal truths and principles of life and not
from the standpoint of fear, ignorance, and superstition. Do not let others do your
thinking for you. Choose your own thoughts and make your own decisions.
10. You are the captain of your soul (subconscious mind) and the master of your fate.
Remember, you have the capacity to choose. Choose life! Choose love! Choose health!
11. Whatever your conscious mind assumes and believes to be true, your subconscious
mind will accept and bring to pass. Believe in good fortune, divine guidance, right action,
and all the blessings of life.
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