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“THERE IS no artist, man of science, or writer of any distinction, however little disposed to self-analysis, is not aware by personal experience of the unequalled importance of the subconscious,” wrote Gustave Geley, distinguished French psychologist and author of From the Unconscious to the Conscious. He pointed out that up to the nineteenth century, the psychology of the subconscious was completely ignored, and was considered only as the cause of abnormal disease or accident. Geley added that the best results in life were obtained by close harmony and cooperation between the conscious and subconscious minds.
The subconscious plays a very important part in the magic of believing. It will bring you a quicker understanding of this science. You will have a clear and detailed picture of what the subconscious mind is, where it is located, and how it functions – both by itself, and in collaboration with the conscious mind Some of the material in this chapter you will find referred to or repeated in later chapters. But remember that repetition is an essential part of the technique of this science. Repetition is equally effective in presenting the knowledge of this science. Furthermore, the faster you get an understanding of it, the quicker you will be on your way to getting whatever you desire.
In giving you this picture of the subconscious mind, I must use scientific terms here and there, since practically all the knowledge of the subconscious has come from the study and experimentation of some of the world’s greatest psychologists. But even if you find this a little difficult to understand at first, repeated readings will make it all clear, giving you a solid foundation upon which to proceed with the active part of the science.
As I told you in the first chapter, The Law of Psychic Phenomena by Thomson Jay Hudson first got me thinking about the subconscious mind and its great possibilities for helping individuals in everyday life. Since that time, other books – such as The Sub-Conscious Speaks by Erma Ferrell Grabe and Paul C. Ferrell, The Source of Power by Theodore Clinton Foote, The Unconscious by Morton Prince, M.D., and Common Sense and Its Cultivation by Hanbury Hankin – have greatly added to the knowledge of the subject. I intend to give you a picture of the conscious and subconscious minds, as well as definite instructions as to how you can bring them under control and direct their energies toward fulfilling your desires.
“There is dormant in each human being a faculty, whether developed or not, which will enable that particular individual to succeed if the desire for success is present in his conscious mind,” thus wrote the authors of The Sub-Conscious Speaks. This “faculty” has always been known and recognized for its strange and unusual powers, but not until about a century and a half ago did psychologists who made it the subject of their special investigation and experimentation, call it the subconscious mind Emerson was certainly aware of the dual character of the human mental organization when he wrote in his Journals, “I find one state of mind does not remember or conceive of another state.
Thus I have written within a twelve-month verses [‘Days’] which I do not remember the composition or correction of, and could not write the like today, and have only for proof of their being mine, various external evidences, as the MS. in which I find them, and the circumstances that I have sent copies of them to friends, etc., etc.”
Today the words conscious and subconscious are widely understood. It is recognized that we all have two minds, each one endowed with separate and distinct attributes and powers, and each one capable, under certain conditions, of independent action. There is no difficulty in comprehending that the conscious mind operates in the brain, for whenever you do any concentrated thinking, you feel it in your head. Sometimes the thought is so intense and prolonged that your head aches, or your eyes become tired, or your temples throb. Also, you can generally trace the source of the thought. It may be suggested by something you have seen or heard or read; perhaps it is a new idea for your business or home; maybe it is the continuation of some thought you have been pondering for a long time—in short, you can connect it with something already related to your consciousness.
Sometimes your thought is concerned with trying to solve a difficult problem, and you have become so exhausted and discouraged at failing to arrive at a solution that you “give it up,” “let the whole thing go,” “dismiss it from your mind,” an action you often take at night when you can’t sleep because of the thought that is pounding and gripping your brain. The moment you let it go, it begins to sink, as though it were moving downward somewhere inside of you. The tension in your conscious mind then decreases and you are soon asleep. The next morning when you wake up, your conscious mind begins to think again about the problem, when suddenly there appears before your mind’s eyes a mental picture of the complete solution, with all the necessary directions for appropriate action on your part.
When you released it from your conscious mind, where did the thought go? Through what power inside of you was the problem solved? Many writers, orators, artists, musical composers, designers, inventors, and other creative workers have long made use of their subconscious minds, either consciously or unconsciously. Merton S. Yewdale, well-known book editor, called my attention to a statement by the American novelist Louis Bromfield:
One of the most helpful discoveries I made long ago in common with some other writers is that there is a part of the mind, which the psychologists call the “subconscious” that works while you are sleeping or even while you are relaxing or engaged in some other task far removed from writing. I have found it possible to train this part of the mind to do a pretty organized job. Very often I have awakened in the morning to find a problem of technique, or plot, or character, which had long been troubling me, completely solved while I had been sleeping. The judgment of the “subconscious mind” which represents inherited instincts and the accumulation of experience, is virtually infallible, and I would always trust its decisions over any judgment arrived at through a long and reasonable process of conscious thinking.
No doubt you already have a mental picture of your two minds: the conscious mind in your head, above the line of consciousness; and the subconscious mind in your body, below the line of consciousness – with a means of communication between them.
Now the conscious mind is the source of thought. Also, it gives us the sense of awareness in our normal waking life; the knowledge that we are ourselves here and now; the recognition and understanding of our environment; the power to rule over our mental faculties, to recall the events of our past life, and to comprehend our emotions and their significance. More concretely, it enables us to have a rational understanding of the objects and persons about us, of our own successes or shortcomings, of the validity of an argument, or the beauty of a work of art.
The chief powers of the conscious mind are reason, logic, form, judgment, calculation, conscience, and the moral sense. By it we take cognizance of the object world, and its means of observation are our five physical senses. Our conscious mind is the outgrowth of our physical necessities, and likewise our guide in the struggle with our material environment. Its highest function is that of reasoning, and by all methods – inductive and deductive, analytic and synthetic. For example, suppose you are undertaking to discover a new theory. You use your conscious mind and employ the inductive method of reasoning. That is, you first collect the facts and elements presented to your sense perceptions; then you compare them one with another, noting similarities and dissimilarities. Then you select those which are alike in qualities, in uses, or in function, after which you proceed to form a generalization or law, that certain things which have such qualities will function in such a way.
This is the scientific method of arriving at knowledge, and it forms the basis of modern education in schools and colleges. We all use it in some form or other, to help solve our problems, whether personal, social, business, professional, or economic. Many times the solution of our problems results from this use of our conscious mind. But now and then, when the solution is not forthcoming, we become exhausted with continued trying. We begin to lose confidence in ourselves, and we often resign ourselves to the idea that we have failed and that nothing can be done about it. Here is where the subconscious mind comes in – to help renew our belief in ourselves, to assist us to overcome our difficulty, and to put us on the road to achievement and success.
Just as the conscious mind is the source of thought, so the subconscious is the source of power. Rooted in instinct, it is aware of the individual’s most elemental desires, and it is always pressing upward into conscious existence. It is a repository of spontaneous impressions of man and nature, and a memory vault in which are kept the records of facts and experiences sent down to it from time to time by the conscious mind for safekeeping and future use. Thus the subconscious mind is not only a mighty storehouse of ever-ready material that can be placed at the disposal of the conscious mind, but also a powerhouse of energy with which the individual can be charged, thus enabling them to recover their strength, courage, and faith in themselves. Such is the power of your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is beyond space and time, and is fundamentally a powerful sending and receiving station with a universal hookup. It can communicate with the physical, mental, psychic, and – according to many investigators – spiritual worlds. In brief, the subconscious embodies the feeling and wisdom of the past, the awareness and knowledge of the present, and the thought and vision of the future. Emerson, though he wrote of “instinct,” endowed it with so many superior attributes that he undoubtedly was thinking of the subconscious mind when he wrote, “All true wisdom of thought and of action comes of deference to this instinct, patience with its delays. To make a practical use of this instinct in every part of life constitutes true wisdom, and we must form the habit of preferring in all cases its guidance, which is given as it is used.”
The powers of the subconscious are many: intuition, emotion, certitude, inspiration, suggestion, deduction, imagination, organization, and, of course, memory and dynamic energy. It takes cognizance of its environment by means independent of the physical senses. It perceives by intuition. It operates most successfully and performs its highest function when the objective senses are quiescent. But it can function during the waking hours as well as during sleep. As a distinct entity, it possesses independent powers and functions, with a unique mental organization all its own. It sustains an existence closely allied to the physical body and the life of the individual, yet also operates independently of the body.
Now the subconscious mind has three primary functions. First, with its intuitive understanding of the bodily needs, it maintains and preserves (unaided by the conscious mind) the well-being and indeed the very life of the physical body. Second, as pointed out in the last chapter, in times of great emergency it springs into immediate action (again independently of the conscious mind) and takes supreme command, acting with incredible certitude, rapidity, accuracy, and understanding. Third, it is operative in the psychic world. The psychic powers of the subconscious are manifested in such phenomena as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis.
But, also, it can be summoned to help the conscious mind in time of great personal necessity, when the conscious calls upon the subconscious to use its powers and resources to solve a vital problem or bring to pass whatever the individual seeks or desires. In this book we are concerned particularly with the technique by which the subconscious mind operates for your benefit.
Accordingly, to draw upon the resources and powers of the subconscious and awaken it into action, you must first be sure you are asking for something that is rightfully yours to have and within your ability to handle, for the subconscious manifests itself only according to a person’s capabilities. Next, in conveying your need to the subconscious, it must be in images of the work having already been done. Thus, while it is necessary for you to feel and think yourself successful, it is important to go one step further and actually see yourself as already successful, either in the performance of some selected task or as actually occupying the position to which you aspire.
For the next and final step, you must wait patiently while the subconscious assimilates the elements of your problem and then goes about its own way to work it out for you. You must have patience and absolute faith, for, as Theodore Simon Jouffroy, the French philosopher, said, “The subconscious mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it.”
In due course, with the flowing of the ideas and plans of the subconscious into your waiting conscious mind, the solution of your problem will be revealed to you and the correct course of action indicated. You must receive the message from the subconscious freely, and after understanding it you must act at once, immediately and unquestioningly. There must be no hesitation on your part, no mental reservation, no deliberation. Only by a prompt and automatic response will you make your subconscious continue to respond whenever you call upon it.
However, your problem may be one that cannot be solved in this manner Instead of receiving the solution in the form of a “blueprint” to guide your steps to the final fulfillment, at intervals you may feel some mysterious force urging you to do certain things that seem to have no special significance or logical connection. Nevertheless, you must continue to believe in the power and wisdom of the subconscious. Obediently perform the seemingly irrelevant things, and one day you will find yourself in the position you sought, doing the work you envisioned for yourself. Then, when you look back, you will see how the things you were called upon to do, through the aid of the subconscious, all formed a logical line of events, the last one of which was your final arriving – the reward of your sincerest hopes and desires, your own triumphant personal success!