Your Infinite Power to Be Rich

Your Infinite Power to Be Richby Dr. Joseph Murphy, New York: Prentice Hall, 1966, quotes and prayers selected by Dr. Peter Fritz Walter.

Review

This is the forth book published by the young Joseph Murphy, in 1966, after his bestselling first book ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ and the next two, ‘Miracle of Mind Dynamics’ and ‘The Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind Power.’

While I have read all of Murphy’s books, the present one is the least conceptual and the most practical one of them. In fact, most of the book consists of stories taken from daily life and the author’s travels and lecturing tours, and his many encounters with people who became his clients or enjoyed free consulting.

The advice the author gives to all those people is always to the point, first diagnosing the ‘problem’ which in most cases is negative thought, resentment, feelings of hatred or revenge or other ‘mental poisons,’ the author then spontaneously hands out a prayer, which can be extremely short or consisting of two or three full sentences, and gives a recommendation how to do the prayers.

Dr. Murphy did this ministry always with a pure mind and an astonishing generosity. The cure, then, comes from inside out, it’s a process that takes place in the mind of the beholder, the person himself or herself who applies the prayer technique for self-healing or ‘healing’ their financial situation (which amounts to the same in most cases).

This book is inspirational in the true sense for it leaves out the conceptual approach and focuses entirely upon the power of right thinking. In this same sense, some of those the author met already possessed the knowledge and applied the wisdom of right prayer, and just reported the often miraculous results to the author who always carefully takes note ‘for the record’ and joyfully acknowledges when other people spontaneously found the same truth, and shared it with others.

Prayers

—I am ever grateful for God’s riches that are ever active, ever present, unchanging, and eternal. /22

—God’s wealth is circulating in my life. His wealth flows to me in avalanches of abundance, and I give thanks for my good now and for all of God’s riches. /25

—I know that my good exists this very moment. I believe in my heart that I can prophesy for myself harmony, health, peace, and joy. I enthrone the concept of peace, success, and prosperity in my mind now. I know and believe these thoughts (seeds) will grow and manifest themselves in my experience. I am the gardener; as I sow so shall I reap. I sow God-like thoughts (seeds); these wonderful seeds are peace, success, harmony, and goodwill. It is a wonderful harvest. /77-78

—From this moment forward I am depositing in my subconscious mind seeds or thoughts of peace, confidence, poise, prosperity and balance. I am drawing out the fruits of the wonderful seeds I am depositing. I believe and accept the fact that my desire is a seed deposited in the subconscious. I make it real by feeling the reality of it. /78

—God’s love fills my soul, and I radiate love and goodwill to all those around me and to all people everywhere. God’s love flows through me as harmony, love, companionship, wealth, and true expression. God is my shepherd, and I shall never want for money, love, beauty, or companionship. God answers me now and I give thanks. /87-88

—I release this money freely, and God multiplies it exceedingly. /89

—God is my invariable source of supply, meeting instantly all my needs, and His riches flow to me ceaselessly, tirelessly, and endlessly. /90

—The limitless riches of God are flowing to me as fast as I can receive and use them, and every other man gets richer day by day. /98

—I recognize the eternal source of all riches which never fails. I am Divinely guided in all my ways, and I adapt myself to all new ideas. Infinite Intelligence is constantly revealing to me better ways to serve my fellow man. I am guided and directed to create products that will bless and help humanity. I attract men and women who are spiritual, loyal, faithful, and talented, and who contribute to the peace, prosperity, and progress of our business. I am an irresistible magnet and attract fabulous wealth by giving the best possible quality of products and services. I am constantly in tune with the Infinite and the substance of wealth. Infinite Intelligence governs all my plans and purposes, and I predicate all my success on the truth that God leads, guides, and governs me in all my undertakings. I am at peace inwardly and outwardly at all times. I am a tremendous success. I am one with God, and God is always successful. I must succeed. I am succeeding now. I grasp the essentials of all details of my business. I radiate love and goodwill to all those around me and to all my employees. I fill my mind and heart with God’s love, power, and energy. All those connected with me are spiritual links in my growth, welfare, and prosperity. I give all honor and glory to God. /99-100

—I am aware that there is a perfect law of supply and demand. I practice the golden rule in all my affairs. I am at peace. Whatever I wish to sell is an idea in the Mind of God. The principle of all knowledge is within me. I know everything that I need instantly. I recognize whatever I wish to buy or sell represents an exchange of ideas in Divine Mind within me. I know that there are mutual satisfaction, harmony, and peace. The price is right; the people are right; all is in perfect order. I know the Truth; I understand the Truth; and I am the consciousness of God in action. All the ideas I need constantly unfold within me with perfect sequence and perfect combinations. I receive and rejoice in Divine ideas, and I give them to my fellow creatures; I receive ideas in exchange. Peace is mine now. There is no delay in Divine Mind; I accept my good. /100-101

—I know that all men are my brothers; all of us have a common Father. I wish for everyone health, happiness, abundance, and all the blessings and riches of life. I mean this; I am sincere. I know that what I wish for the other, I also wish for myself, and as I bless the other I am blessing myself. The love of God flows through me to all mankind. I bless all who are richer than I, and I bless those who criticize and speak ill of me. I rejoice to see all my co-workers succeed and prosper. I open the windows of my mind, and I let in the riches of Heaven. I am loving toward all. I pray that God’s riches flood the mind and heart of all. I give thanks for His riches now. It is wonderful. /103

—God reveals to me better ways to present the truths of God to my fellow man. /124

—My business or profession is full of right action and right expression. The ideas, money, merchandise, and contacts that I need are mine now and at all times. All these things are irresistibly attracted to me by the law of universal attraction. God is the life of my business; I am Divinely guided and inspired in all ways. Every day I am presented with wonderful opportunities to grow, expand, and progress. I am building up goodwill. I am a great success, because I do business with others as I would have them do it with me. /127

—The law of increase is inevitable, and my mind is constantly open to a bountiful increase. My business grows, expands, and unfolds in a wonderful way, and my finances are always multiplied exceedingly. I am richly and abundantly supplied within and without from the infinite storehouse within me. I open my mind and my heart to the abundance and riches of God, and I am increasingly rich within and without. /137

—Divine intelligence leads and guides me to my right work, which I perform in a perfect way for a wonderful income. /148

Quotes

—The first principle in the art of becoming rich is to realize that thought is the only intangible power which can produce tangible riches from the storehouse of the Infinite. /38

—You live in a thought world, and in order to become rich and to solve your financial problems you must continuously dwell on thoughts of wealth, prosperity, and success. /38

—In your mind, continue to imagine that you are a distribution center, that you possess all sorts of riches and that you are bestowing these blessings on others. As you do this, you are opening the way for still greater supplies to flow in. /41

—Your vision or mental estimate of yourself activates your subconscious mind and compels you to be all that you imagine yourself to be. The law of your subconscious is compulsion. Get a bright new estimate of yourself. Your new concept will gain you new contacts, promotion, and untold wealth. /55

—When you mentally wish to withhold wealth from another, you also automatically withhold it from yourself. This is why the golden rule tells you to think, speak, and act well toward your neighbor; and never indulge in hate, resentment, or carping criticism for the simple reason that you are the only thinker in your universe, and your negative thoughts set up negative reactions in all departments of your life. Your subconscious mind is always fabricating and projecting on the screen of space the totality of your stream of thought-life. /76

—Love what you are doing now, i.e., do the best you can where you are. Be cordial, kind, affable, and full of goodwill. Think big and think of riches, and your present work will simply be a stepping stone to your triumph. Be conscious of your true worth, and claim riches in your mind and claim riches for every single person you meet during the day, whether it be your boss, an associate, a foreman, a customer, or a friend—all those around you. You will feel your radiation of riches and advancement, and Infinite Intelligence will very soon open up a new door of opportunity for you. /136-137

Think Yourself Rich

Think Yourself RichMore about Dr. Joseph Murphy

Use the Power of Your Subconscious Mind to Find True Wealth, Revised by Ian D. McMahan, Ph.D., New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001.

Review

Think Yourself Rich if one of Dr. Murphy’s books I found only recently, and I think it is very well written and edited, perhaps one of the best-edited books by the author, and the persons who care for the spiritual and literary legacy of the genius. What is unique in this book compared to The Power of Your Subconscious Mind and The Miracle of Mind Dynamics is the abundance of set prayers that you can profitably use for yourself. I will quote come of them further down.

Let me say this as an introduction to this review. This book is not only about creating wealth, but generally about handling your wishes and desires and learning to care for their positive outcome and realization in our space-time reality. This is not a lack of focus; the truth is you cannot separate material riches from spiritual riches, which is one of the eternal laws of the mind. The material plane is a sub-plane of the larger spiritual wealth plane, which is why in the Jewish tradition and other ancient spiritual traditions, material wealth is considered an outflow of spiritual wealth. 

King Solomon, as reported in the Bible, chose wisdom over material possessions and was then blessed with material wealth in addition to abundant spiritual knowledge and worldly power. This is not, as many today believe, a focus on material status, but flows out from a wide definition of spiritual wealth, as it is to be found in the root traditions of all ancient civilizations.

What I found very precious in this book compared to other books of the author is that it contains real life examples of people who did the prayers, but did them wrongly, thus experiencing no or reverse effects.

For example, Dr. Murphy told a client who prayed for an elder relative who suffered from a debilitating illness to change her approach and avoid dwelling on specific organs of the body and their disorders and instead identifying with the infinite healing presence in our subconscious mind. By the same token, prayers should not be endlessly repeated but only a few times per day because the very fact to pray excessively signals to the subconscious mind that we lack faith in the outcome of the prayer, thereby reversing the response of the subconscious mind. Hence, the importance of lightness of touch when praying. Murphy explains:

When, through sympathy, we accede to the negative or baleful aspects of a person’s situation or condition, we tend to aggravate the problem. /16

To feel sorry for the ill person and to commiserate with him or her is to drag the person down. This is a negative approach. /17

When you think of your desire, lightness of touch is important. /18

Long sessions of prayer are usually a mistake. They may indicate that you are trying to force things by using mental coercion. This generally leads to the opposite of what you are praying for. You will often find that a short prayer uttered from the heart gets better results than a long prayer. /81

Divine indifference means that you know it is impossible for your prayer to fail, for it is written, He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Deuteronomy 31:6)/96

The diagnosis as it were that the author applied to his clients, before he recommended a specific prayer, and by listening to their hardships, can be summarized as something like ‘the war against the world and circumstances.’ On the other hand, the cure of the disease of course is love, but it is hard to give a timeframe as to the outcome of the prayers:

The war you are waging against the world, you are really waging against your own subconscious mind. Every day you tell it that life is full of conflict and hostility, and every day it takes you at your word and makes manifest the conditions you expect. /20

Think regularly and systematically of life, illumination, inspirations, harmony, prosperity, happiness, peace, and the life more abundant. Think these truths rather than this or that condition on them. /24

Love frees; it gives; it is the spirit of God. Love opens prison doors and sets free the captives and all those bound by fear, resentment, and hostility. /43

People frequently ask me, ‘How often should I pray for a loved one who is ill, who is in the hospital, or who is having serious financial problems?’ The best response I can give is that you should pray until you feel satisfied within, or until you feel that this is the best you can do for the time being. (…) You will know when your prayer is answered, because you will experience an inner sense of peace and certitude. /81

Another important problem Dr. Murphy addresses in this book is to make choices. In fact, there are many people who do not dare to choose. They are afraid to choose or they are wary to choose, apprehensive of any possible outcome.

Dr. Murphy affirms our right to choose and explains that we actually always choose, even in the moment we refuse to choose. Because what we choose then, is being chosen by others, for passively fulfilling their needs and wants projected upon us:

I don’t know what to choose, Greta M told me. How can I possibly tell what is reasonable or logical? You have made a choice, I replied. By deciding not to choose for yourself, you have chosen to accept whatever comes from the mass mind or the law of averages, in which we are all immersed. /138

You are constantly being called upon to choose in this life. What kind of thoughts and images are you choosing? I want to reiterate and emphasize again that your whole life represents the sum total of your choices. /139

Some say, I will let God choose for me. When you say that, you mean a god outside yourself. God, or the Living Spirit, is omnipresent and is also within you, the very life of you. The only way God, or Infinite Intelligence, will work for / you is to work through you. In order for the Universal to act on the individual plane, it must become the individual. /139-140

The ultimate root of Murphy’s teaching is to bring us to assuming full responsibility for our lives; for this to achieve, we need to do away with projections and self-pity, and the eternal escape of blaming fate for our failures. Dr. Murphy explains:

It is not fate that blocks your success or riches, nor lack of money, introductions, or contracts. It is yourself. All you have to do is to change your thought-life and keep it changed. Let your habitual thinking be: Success is mine. God’s wealth is mine, harmony is mine, and I am a channel for all the riches of God.  Your thoughts are creative, you become what you think all day long. /162

Here are some prayers sampled from the book:

General Prayers

I know that to prosper means to grow spiritually in every dimension. God is prospering me now in mind, body, and affairs. God’s ideas constantly unfold within me, bringing to me health, wealth, and perfect Divine expression./10

Today is God’s day; it is a glorious day for me, as it is full of peace, harmony and joy. My faith in the good is written in my heart and felt in my inward parts. I am absolutely convinced that there is a Presence and a perfect Law that receives the impress of my desire now and that irresistibly attracts into my experience all the good things my heart desires. I now place all my reliance, faith, and trust in the Power and Presence of God within me; I am at peace./24

I am born to succeed; the Infinite within me can’t fail. Divine law and order govern my life, Divine peace fills my soul, Divine love saturates my mind. Infinite intelligence guides me in all ways. God’s riches flow to me freely. I am advancing, moving forward, and growing mentally, spiritually, financially, and in all other ways. I know these truths are sinking into my subconscious mind and will grow after their kind./68

I know there is only one Source, the Life-Principle, from which all things flow. It created the universe and all things therein contained. I am a focal point of the Divine presence. My mind is open and receptive. I am a free-flowing channel for harmony, beauty, guidance, wealth, and the riches of the infinite. I know that health, wealth, and success are released from within and appear without. I am now in harmony with the infinite riches within and without, and I know these thoughts are sinking into my subconscious mind and will be reflected on the screen of space. I wish for everyone all the blessings of life. I am open and receptive to God’s riches— spiritual, mental, and material—and they flow to me in avalanches of abundance./86-87

Today is God’s day. I choose harmony, peace, perfect health, Divine law and order, Divine love, beauty, abundance, security, and inspiration from On High. I know that as I claim these truths in my life, I awaken and activate the powers of my subconscious, which compel me to express all these powers and qualities. I know it is as easy for God to become all these things in my life as it is for a seed to become a blade of grass. I give thanks that this is so./137

Divine right action is mine. Success is mine. Wealth is mine. Happiness is mine. God’s river of peace flows through my mind, body, and activities, and whatever I do will prosper. I know my thoughts are creative./91

God opens up the way for me to go on this journey in Divine order and through Divine love./121

Giving Up Smoking

Freedom and peace of mind are mine now. I know that as I believe and affirm these truths, they are sinking down into my subconscious mind. I will be under compulsion to give up cigarettes, as the law of my subconscious is compulsion. In my / imagination I see my doctor before me. He has just finished examining me and is congratulating me on my freedom from my habit and my perfect health./20-21

Problem-Solving

The God-Presence within me is all-wise and is taking care of this in Divine order. I am not keeping tabs on the God-Presence within as to how, when, where, or through what source this will be solved. I let go and let God take care of it./22

Child-Rearing

I loose my son to God completely. He is Divinely guided in all his ways and Divine wisdom anoints his intellect. Divine law and order reign supreme in his life. He is guided to his true place and is expressing himself at his highest level. I loose him and let him go./23

Marriage

My husband is God’s child. god is guiding him to his true place. What he is seeking is seeking him. God’s love fills his soul and God’s peace fills his mind and heart. God prospers him in all ways. There are harmony, peace, love, and understanding between us. It is God in action in our lives./77

I know my desire for marriage and happiness is the voice of God in me urging me to lead a full and happy life. I know that I am one with the Infinite now. I know and believe there is a woman waiting to love and cherish me. I know I can contribute to her happiness and peace. I can be a great asset to her. I can cherish, love and inspire her to greatness, just as she inspires me. She loves my ideals, and I love her ideals. She does not want to make me over; neither do I want to make her over. There are mutual love, freedom, and respect between us. These words go forth and accomplish whereunto they are sent. I have written this request in my subconscious mind with faith and confidence, and I decree it is done, finished, and established in my deeper mind. Whenever I think of marriage, I shall remind myself that the Infinite Intelligence of my subconscious is bringing this to pass in Divine order./89

Helping Others

Infinite Spirit in its wisdom opens up the gateway for [name]’s true expression in life, where he [she] is doing what he [she] loves to do, is Divinely happy and Divinely prospered. He [she] is Divinely led to the right people, who appreciate his [her] talents, and he [she] receives marvelous and wonderful income for wonderful service. He [she] is conscious of / his [her] true worth, and he [she] is blessed and prospered with God’s riches beyond his [her] fondest dreams. I turn this prayer over to my subconscious mind, which has the ability to accomplish it. It brings it to pass in Divine order./129-130

My wife is a tremendous success. She is absolutely outstanding. The Infinite within her is all-wise and all-powerful. My wife is going from glory to glory; she is going up the ladder of success and promotion. Her real talents are revealed and appreciated. She is Divinely guided and her success comes to pass now. I give thanks, for I know what I decree stirs up the gift of God within her./201

Forgiving/Releasing

I forgive myself for harboring negative and destructive thoughts, and I release my former employers and present associates to God completely, wishing for them all the blessings of life. Whenever I think of any one of them, I will immediately affirm, ‘I have released you; God be with you.’ I know as I continue to do this that I will meet them in my mind and that there will no longer be any sting present. I claim promotion now, success now, harmony now. Divine law and order are mine now. God’s wealth flows to me in avalanches of abundance. Life is growth and expansion. I am an open channel for God’s riches, which are ever-active, ever-present, unchanging, and eternal. I give thanks now for the riches within and without. What I am now decreeing comes to pass, and the light of God shines upon me. /131

I radiate goodwill to all humankind in thought, word, and deed. I know the peace and goodwill that I radiate to every person comes back to me a thousandfold. Whatever I need to know comes to me from the God-Self within me. Infinite Intelligence is operating through me, revealing to me what I need to know. God in me knows the answer. The perfect answer is made known to me now. Infinite Intelligence and Divine wisdom make all decisions through me, and there is only right action and right expression taking place in my life. Every night I wrap myself in the mantle of God’s love and fall asleep knowing Divine guidance is mine. When the dawn comes, I am filled with peace. I go forth into the new day full of faith, confidence, and trust. Thank you, father. /132

I surrender my son, his wife, and family to God completely, lock, stock and barrel. I loose them and let them go. I give them freedom to lead his own life in his own way, knowing that he is God’s man and that God loves him and cares for him and his / family. I release him and set him free spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Any time he, his wife, or his family come to my mind, I will immediately affirm ,‘I have released you. God be with you. I am free now and so are you.’  It is God in action in my life, which means harmony, peace, and right action./208-209

Dissolving Addiction

I choose health, peace of mind, freedom and sobriety right now. This is my decision. I know that the Almighty Power backs up my choice. I am relaxed, and God’s river of peace flows through me. My spiritual food and drink are God’s ideas and eternal verities, which unfold within me bringing me harmony, health, peace, and joy. I am Divinely happy. Whenever the urge to drink comes, I remember these Divinely inspired ideas in my mind and the God Power backs me up./136

Specific Answer Desired

Father, you are all-wise. Reveal to me the answer and show me the way I should go. I give thanks for the right answer, for I know You know the only answer./141

Prosperity

God is my instant and everlasting supply, and that bill is paid in Divine order./67

That car is for sale. It is a Divine idea, and I accept it in Divine Order./67

I acknowledge and praise the Source within and I make contact with my thought. I give thanks that the gateway to riches is now open wide for me. God’s riches flow freely to me, and more and more money is circulating in my life every day. Every day of my life I grow richer spiritually, mentally, financially, and in all ways. Money is God’s idea circulating in my life, and there is always a surplus. I give thanks to the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17)./125

Infinite Intelligence knows my hidden talents and opens up a new door of expression for me in Divine order. This knowledge is immediately revealed to my conscious mind. I will follow the lead that comes clearly and definitely into my mind./126

Self-Acceptance

From this moment forward I sow in my subconscious mind thoughts of peace, confidence, poise, and balance. I harvest the fruit of the wonderful seeds I sow. I believe and accept the fact that my desire is a seed deposited in the subconscious. I make it real by feeling the reality of it. I accept the reality of my desire in the same manner I accept the fact that the seed deposited in the ground will grow. I know it grows in the darkness; also, my desire or ideal grows in the darkness of my subconscious mind. In a little while, like the seed, it appears above the ground as a condition, circumstance, or event. Infinite Intelligence governs and guides me in all ways. I meditate on whatsoever things are true, honest, just, lovely, and of good report. I think of these things, and God’s power is with my thoughts of good. I am at peace./142

Self-Realization

Infinite Intelligence is my constant guide and counselor. I will instantly recognize the promptings and monitions that come from my Higher Self, which forever seek to protect, guide, and watch over me in all ways. I will instantly recognize the lead which comes into my conscious mind, and I will always disregard groundless fancies. I know that my deeper mind responds to what I am now consciously writing on it, and I give thanks for the joy of the answered prayer. /146-147

Selling Stock Options

My subconscious mind will make me instantly aware of the right stock to buy, at the right time, in the right way. This will bless me and my clients./151

Selling Real Estate

I have perfect faith in God’s supply and in God’s guidance. I know that all who buy a home through me are prospered and blessed. Infinite Intelligence attracts buyers to me who want the houses I sell, who can afford to buy them, and who will rejoice in their possession. I am blessed, and they are blessed. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Divine activity and immediate, perfect results now take place in my life, and I give thanks for the miracles in my life./165

Being a Brilliant Actor

I give all my allegiance, devotion and loyalty to the God-Self within, which is none other than my Higher Self. I know that love of my Higher Self means to have a healthy, reverent, wholesome respect for the Divinity within me, which is all-powerful and all-wise. I know that love of God is to give my supreme allegiance to the One Presence and Power within me. I know I can do all things through the God-Power that strengthens me. As I perform on stage, just as in my life off-stage, the Presence within me speaks directly and clearly to the Presence within those who watch. I live the role I play: I feel entranced, fascinated, and absorbed in the drama; and I hear those I love and respect congratulating me. It is wonderful./171-172

Healing Skin Problem

My skin is an envelope of God’s love. It is without spot and blemish. It is fresher than a child’s, and the radiance of youth and beauty saturate my whole being./176

Resolving a Law Suit

All those involved in this suit are surrounded by the sacred circle of God’s love. God’s love, truth, and harmony reign supreme in the minds and hearts of all involved. They are all known in Divine mind, and the law of love prevails./176

Paying Debts

God is the source of my supply. I know when I am anxious, it means I do not trust God. The money I now possess is magnified and multiplied a thousandfold. I realize all the money I have is a symbol of the infinite riches of God. I turn to the Infinite Presence within, knowing in my heart and soul it opens the way for me to pay all my debts, leaving me a vast surplus. I surrender a list of all these debts in the hands of my Heavenly Father, and I give thanks they are all paid in Divine order. God’s riches are circulating in my life, and I rejoice and am exceedingly glad that every creditor is paid now, and God prospers me beyond my fondest dreams. I believe that I have received now, and I know that according to my faith is it done unto me. I know God will rain blessings from Heaven for me now./185

Peace at the Work Place

God’s love governs me at work. I have no opinion about others. I judge not; therefore I cannot suffer or be disturbed. The peace and harmony of God govern me and all that I do. Every anxious thought is completely stilled, for I am working for God, and His peace fills my soul. The confidence and joy of God enfold me at all times. All who work in the office are God’s sons and daughters, and each one contributes to the peace, harmony, prosperity, and success of this office. Divine love comes in the door of our office, and Divine love governs the minds and hearts of all in the office; and Divine love goes out the door. God is my boss, my paymaster, my guide, and my counselor, and I recognize no other. I give all power and recognition to God and I walk serenely and peacefully in His light. I laugh, I sing, and I rejoice. God works wonders in my life./187

Enhancing Memory

I have a perfect memory for everything I need and want to know./188

Relaxation

My feet are relaxed, my ankles are relaxed, the calves of my legs are relaxed, my abdominal muscles are relaxed, my heart and lungs are relaxed, my spine is relaxed, my neck and shoulders are relaxed, my brain is relaxed, my eyes are relaxed, my hands and arms are relaxed. My whole being is relaxed. I feel God’s river of peace flowing through me like a golden river of life, love, truth, and beauty. The spirit and inspiration of the Almighty flow through me, vitalizing, healing, and restoring my entire being. The wisdom and power of the Almighty enable me to fulfill all my goals in Divine order through Divine love. I am always relaxed, serene, poised, and balanced, and my / faith and confidence is in God and all things good. I can do all things through the God-Power that strengthens me. I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and all the thoughts entertained by me conform to harmony, peace, and goodwill to all./189-190

Spiritual Rebirth

Today I am reborn spiritually! I completely detach myself from the old way of thinking, and I bring Divine love, light, and truth definitely into my experience. I consciously feel love for everyone I meet. Mentally I say to everyone I contact, ‘I see the God in you and I know you see the God in me.’  I recognize the qualities of God in everyone. I practice this morning, noon, and night: it is a living part of me. I am reborn spiritually now, because all day long I practice the Presence of God. No matter what I am doing – whether I am walking the street, shopping, or going about my daily business – whenever my thought wanders away from God or / the good, I bring it back to the contemplation of His Holy Presence: I feel noble, dignified, and God-like. I walk in a high mood sensing my oneness with God. His peace fills my soul./190-191

Protection

God indwells me, walks and talks with me. God is guiding me now. I can do all things through the God-Power that strengthens me. If God be for me, who can be against me? There is no power to challenge God, and God watches over me in all my ways. I realize every problem is Divinely outmatched and I grapple courageously with every assignment, knowing that God reveals the answer. God loves me and cares for me./194

The indicator of the Presence of God within me is a sense of peace and poise. I now cease all sense of strain and struggle. I now cease to sweat and my body feels warm, relaxed, comfortable and naturally dry all day long. I trust the God-Power implicitly. I know that all the wisdom and power I need to live a glorious and successful life are within me. I relax my entire body; my faith is in His wisdom; I go free. I claim and feel the peace of God flooding my mind, heart, and whole being. I know the quiet mind gets its problems solved. I now turn the request over to the God-Presence knowing it has an answer. I am at peace./202

Success in Examination

I am relaxed, at peace, serene, and calm. I have a perfect memory for everything I need to know at every moment of time and point of space. I am Divinely guided in my studies and I am completely relaxed and at peace at all examinations. I pass all examinations in Divine order, and I sleep in peace and I wake in joy./226

Quotes/Excerpts

Your Right to Be Rich

It is your birthright to be rich. You are here to express the fullness of life in every way.

Your real purpose is to lead a happy, joyous, and glorious life—the life more abundant.

In fact, abundance are all around you, it is the main characteristic of nature. The treasure house of infinity is not to be found in a bank vault or a pirate’s trove. It is within your own inner mind.

Your thoughts are creative. Each thought tends to manifest itself in your life. Thoughts of promotion, riches, expansion, and achievement, provided you do not deny them subsequently, come forth after their kind. You promote yourself, thereby answering your own prayer because it is done to you as you believe.

Begin now to extract from that marvelous gold mine within you everything you need—money, friends, a lovely home, beauty, companionship, and all the blessings of life. Whatever you need, whatever you want, you can bring it forth when you learn to pray properly.

We are more than our bodies, our hereditary characteristics, our family tree, the color of our skin, and eyes. The human subconscious mind is part of the eternal spirit, the creator force which is available to you when you pray sincerely, and from your heart.

The greatest secret of all times is that all the riches of the universe are within you. It is infinite intelligence, boundless wisdom, infinite power and love, and the answer to all and every problem you may have. This secret is not hidden any further, for we are living in a time of revelation! Begin now to tap the tremendous powers within you and start to lead a full, happy and virtuous life.

It is natural that you want to achieve success, recognition, and prosperity in our life. You ought to have all the money you need for doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. There is no virtue in poverty. Poverty is a mental disease that should, and actually could be abolished from the face of the earth. Just as wealth is a state of mind, likewise poverty is a state of mind. If we want to eradicate all the slums in the world, we must first wipe out the mental slums created in people’s minds by their belief in poverty and lack.

It is the right of you and your family to have healthy, nourishing food, good clothes, a comfortable home, and the money you need to buy the good things of life. You need the time every day for meditation, prayer, relaxation, recreation, and places that make these necessities possible. The true meaning of prosperity does not lie in having more things. It means that you begin to advance mentally, spiritually, and intellectually, as well as socially and financially.

You are here to lead the abundant life, a life full of happiness, joy, health, and rich living. Begin now to release the riches of the treasure house within you. The real riches are within your subconscious mind.

The greatest secret in all the world is that God dwells in humans. The average person looks everywhere but within himself or herself for wealth, success, happiness, and abundance. God is the life principle, the infinite intelligence, and the infinite power within us, available instantly to all people through the medium of their thought.

You can tap the riches of your subconscious mind by claiming guidance, abundance, wealth, security, and right action, on a daily basis. Make a habit of meditating on these truths and your subconscious will respond.

If you lull yourself to sleep every night with two ideas, wealth and success, knowing that by repeating them you are activating the latent powers of your deeper mind, you will be compelled to express wealth and success. The infinite wisdom of your subconscious mind can only do for you what it can do through you. Your recurrent thoughts and feelings mold and fashion your destiny.

When you believe that the nature of this infinite intelligence in your subconscious mind is to respond to the nature of your request, the answers will always come to you, however most of the time in ways you do not know of.

Be careful when you affirm wealth, success, right action, and promotion that you do not subsequently deny what you have affirmed. That would be like mixing an acid with an alkali, and you would get an inert substance. In other words, stop neutralizing your good. Your subconscious mind is impressed by your predominant thoughts, emotions, and visual imagination. What you feel you attract, and what you imagine you become.

Be sure that you are not envious or jealous of the success, riches, and wealth of others. Your thoughts are creative, thus if you are envious or critical of those who have more wealth and honors than you, you will impoverish yourself along all lines. What you wish for others, you tend to create in your own life experience.

Whatever you really feel to be true, and so decree in your life, will definitely come to pass. Decree riches, health, beauty, security, and right action.

The Power of Scientific Prayer

To believe is to accept something as true. It is to make alive the truths of God by feeling the reality of them in your heart. This is much more than a conscious or theoretical assent; it means that you must feel the truth of what you affirm in your heart. Belief makes the difference between success and failure, riches and poverty, health and sickness. Believe in the riches of the infinite power within your subconscious mind and you will experience them.

When your problems seem overwhelming, break the tension by praying sincerely for someone who is very ill or in deep trouble, and suddenly you will find your own problems solved.

When praying for a loved one, be sure not to identify with the ailment or any part of the anatomy. Realize that the infinite healing presence is flowing through the person you pray for as harmony, health, peace, and joy. Visualize the person as radiant and happy. Meditate quietly on these truths and pray again when you feel led to do so. Wonders happen when you pray this way.

Sympathy means to go down into the quicksand with the other, and it does not help the sick person. Have compassion and give the sick person a transfusion of faith, confidence, and love, knowing that with God all things are possible.

Your thought is creative, and every thought tends to manifest itself. You can direct and steer your thoughts in the same way you steer your car. Thoughts are vibrations, and you have the power to raise those vibrations by raising the quality of your thoughts. The higher you vibrate, the more spiritual power you have. Your thought-image of wealth, success and achievement is the magnet that attracts to you all things that correspond with your thought-image.

The quiet mind get things done. Tell your body to be still, and quiet your mind by thinking of the infinite intelligence of your subconscious, which knows the answer. When your conscious mind is still and your body is relaxed, the wisdom of your subconscious will rise to the surface mind.

A good executive knows how to delete authority. You must be a good executive when using your mind. Turn your request over to your subconscious with faith and confidence, and you will get the appropriate response. You know when you have really turned it over, because you find yourself at peace.

You can give up smoking or any bad habit by decreeing freedom and peace of mind, while at the same time imagining a friend or a physician congratulating you on your freedom. As you affirm and envision an antipathy toward tobacco, your subconscious will take over and compel your freedom from the habit.

Many have discovered the wisdom of turning an acute domestic problem over to the God-Presence, trusting that divine wisdom and intelligence will bring about the solution that is best for all. The short affirmation ‘I now let go and let God’ brings about a perfect answer.

Liquidate the past and never dwell on old grievances or grudges. The future is your present thinking made manifest. Think regularly and systematically of harmony, beauty, love, peace, and abundance, and you will have a wonderful future.

We do not own our children. When difficulties arise with a child, pray as follows: ‘I loose my child to God completely. My child is divinely guided in all ways, and divine love takes care.’ Whenever you think of your child, bless him or her silently by knowing that God loves your child and cares for the best.’ As you do this, whatever happens will be good.

Think of the infinite riches within your subconscious ind. Think of harmony, peace, joy, love, guidance, right action, success—all these are principles of life, and as you think of the life more abundant, you activate the latent powers within you. Your subconscious will compel you to express the abundant life right here and now.

Become a Positive Thinker

Begin to think regularly and systematically of success, achievement, victory, abundance, and the good life. Thinking makes it so.

The rich get richer for the simple reason that the consciousness or awareness of wealth and the expectancy of more and more of God’s riches, which are omnipresent, attract more and more wealth, health, and opportunities to the person who walks in that state of mind. This requires you to become persistent in positive thinking.

The thought-image of wealth produces wealth; the thought-image of a journey results in the opportunity to take it. Life in the conscious expectancy to the best, and by the law of attraction, you will attract the riches of the infinite storehouse in your own subconscious mind. Keep thinking of prosperity, abundance, security, and increase in all things.

Whatever you give attention to grows, magnifies, and multiplies in your experience. Keep your attention on whatsoever things are lovely and of good report. Radiate abundance, goodwill, benevolence, and riches to others. They will pick it up subconsciously, and you will attract wonderful people into your life. They will prosper and you will prosper.

A rich person walks in the mental attitude that wealth is like the air he or she breathes. Having that state of mind, the person attracts more and more riches of all kinds. The poor person who is constantly picturing and talking of lack, bankruptcy, and hard times attracts these qualities to him or herself.

You can get acquainted with the riches of the infinite storehouse within you by reiterating and believing the following prayer: ‘I am ever grateful for God’s riches that are ever active, ever present, unchanging, and eternal.’

God gave you richly all things to enjoy in this universe. Life itself is a gift to you. The whole world was here before you were born. Believe and expect the riches of the infinite, and invariably the best will come to you. As you practice this simple truth, the desert of your life will rejoice and blossom.

Resentment and hostility are mental poisons that rob you of vitality, enthusiasm, and energy. A severe eating disorder is often a disguised form of committing suicide, a way of seeking revenge against someone else. The answer is to open the mind and heart to the influx of divine love and to realize that others really do care and love you, bringing about a healing and a transformation.

When you begin to realize that you are an organ of God and that God has need of you, a complete transformation takes place, and you begin to realize the riches of the infinite as love, goodwill, inner peace, and abundance.

Often blind faith will bring about remarkable results. Paracelsus said ‘Whether the object of your faith is true or false, you will get results.’ A young boy who stuttered fired his imagination into a joyous expectancy and blind faith and believed that if he slept in the cell where St. Kevin was supposed to have slept, he would be healed. His subconscious mind accepted his belief, and he was healed.

True faith consists of the belief that the infinite presence that created you knows all the processes and functions of your body and that when you unite with it believingly, results will follow. True faith is the combined use of your conscious and subconscious mind, scientifically directed.

Some people experience excessive emotionalism at public healing gatherings; their emotional hysteria often brings a temporary alleviation of pain. These hypnotic suggestions have only temporary effect, however. In true healing, your conscious and subconscious mind must agree, and you must believe in your heart in the infinite healing presence. Then the result is permanent, not temporary. When you pray for healing, complete forgiveness must take place of all guilt, peeves, and grudge. You know when you have forgiven others, because there is no sting in your mind.

There is no more power in sticks, stones, amulets, charms, or bones of saints. But if a person believes that the bone of a dog is that of a saint and that kissing it will bring a healing, it is not the bone of the dog that heals; it is the response of the person’s subconscious mind to blind belief.

Negative and destructive emotions snarl up in your subconscious mind and cause many diseases. When a person feels guilty, he feels he should be punished, but what he fails to see is that he is punishing himself.

A wonderful prayer for forgiveness is this: ‘I forgive myself for harboring negative and destructive thoughts about myself and others, and I resolve not to do this any more. Whenever a negative thought comes to me, I will immediately affirm, ‘God’s love fills my soul.’

Your skin is where the inner and the outer world meet. Emotions of hostility, anger, suppressed rage, and resentment may express themselves as skin diseases. Remorse and guilt, according to psychosomatic medicine, are the cause of many skin eruptions.

God never punishes. This presence always seeks to heal you and to make you whole. Self-condemnation and self-criticism are destructive mental poisons that send toxic signals all over your system, leaving you a mental and physical wreck.

Come to a decision. Forget the past and saturate your mind with divine love, peace, and harmony. Realize that divine love dissolves everything unlike itself. No matter what has happened in the past, you can change it now. Fill your subconscious with life-giving thought patterns and you will erase and crowd out everything unlike God.

Build Wealth Consciousness

Begin to think of the untold riches all around you waiting for human intelligence to reveal them. There is a guiding principle within you that, when called upon, will reveal to you the riches you are seeking.

There is an old saying: ‘Make friends with money, and you always have it.’ Look upon money as God’s idea, circulating among nations, maintaining economic health. Claim that money is circulating in your life, and your subconscious mind will see to it that you have all the money you need.

If you condemn money, calling it ‘filthy lucre,’ the root of all evil, and making other such nonsensical statements, your money will take wings and fly away. Money, like everything else in the universe, is universal substance, which is Spirit reduced to the point of visibility. Money, like nickel, cobalt, iron, platinum, lead, oil, and coal, are all forms of the universal substance operating at different frequencies and vibrations.

Adopt a new attitude toward money, realizing you are entitled to be richly compensated for your work, whether it be writing, teaching, gardening or whatever. Think of all the good you can do when money is circulating freely in your life.

You can work very hard, but if you dislike money or criticize it, you will find yourself in want financially. You do not make a god of money, but you realize that it is essential on this plane of existence. You look to the real source of wealth, which is God, and you know that as you turn to the source, it will turn to you and give you all the riches of life.

Claim that you are always using money wisely, judiciously, and constructively for your own good and for that of all men and women everywhere. Constantly claim also that the infinite reveals better ways in which you can serve.

The master key to disciplining the mind for money is to come to a clear-cut decision once and for all that God is the source of everything you see in the universe and that everything people have made came also out of the mind of God. Believing this to be true, your affirmation for wealth will prove productive. When fearful thoughts or thoughts of lack come to your mind, reverse them, at once by affirming, ‘God is my instant supply—that bill is paid in divine mind now.’ Never finish a negative statement about your finances. After a while, the negative thoughts will cease to come, and you will find you have conditioned your subconscious to wealth.

Praying Effectively

Whatever money you have, bless it now and believe it when you say, ‘God will multiply this exceedingly, now and forevermore.’ Believe it in your heart and you will never want all the days of your life.

When a husband and wife pray for each other, exalting the presence of God in one another and claiming peace, harmony, love, and inspiration, all resentment and ill will are dissolved, and both will prosper. If you are fired from a position, claim, ‘Only good can come out of this.’ You will discover a new door that opens up a far more wonderful position than the previous one.

Focus your attention on whatsoever things are lovely, noble, wonderful and God-like, and you will experience the riches of life. Remember, you reap what you sow in your subconscious. Watch your thoughts, for they are creative. Never talk about lack, limitation, or being unable to make ends meet. This multiplies your misery. Think of God’s riches and affirm boldly that the riches of the infinite are flowing to you in avalanches of abundance. Claim it boldly and the infinite will respond.

Your subconscious accepts the dominant of two ideas. Reason out clearly why all things visible and invisible come from one source. Think prosperity thoughts, and your subconscious mind will respond to your habitual thinking. Supplant all thoughts of poverty with the idea of God’s opulence and endless resources. Be open and receptive, and let wealth flow freely to you. Be a good receiver!

Your conscious mind is the pen with which you inscribe your true desires in your subconscious. Think quietly and with interest of each desire separately, watering it and nurturing it with faith and expectancy. Do this three to four times a day, in a quiet moment. By frequent habitation of the mind, you will impregnate your subconscious, and the cherished desires of your heart will be realized.

Never engage in thinking of lack, limitation, loneliness, and frustration. On the contrary, have a mental plan of the things you want, then realize whatever you attach to I am … , you will create in your life. Repeat it over and over again as a lullaby. Do it knowingly and feelingly. As you sow in your subconscious, so also will you reap.

Instead of grumbling, whining, and complaining about current conditions, reverse that attitude of mind and claim boldly: ‘Divine right action is mine. Divine success is mine. Divine love fills my soul, and whatever I do will prosper.’ Know that your thoughts are creative and that you are what you think all day long. Have a healthy respect for your thoughts of good. Your thoughts are your prayer!

Begin to contemplate that God’s beauty and riches flow freely through your thoughts, words, and deeds and you will experience the results of your thinking; furthermore, you will be able to pass on to your family the riches acquired by contemplation. You must have in order to give. Only rich people can contribute richly to all; the poor cannot give.

Life is a mirror for the king and the beggar, reflecting back to each of us precisely that which we deposit in our mind.

Your Psychic Treasure Map

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope. Imagination is the primal faculty of man, and it has the capacity to bring your idea into visibility on the screen of space.

You can draw up for yourself a treasure map, listing the cherished desires of your heart. Go over it several times a day, claiming and imaging the fulfillment of each desire now. Persevere and you will find that the images will be deposited in your subconscious mind, which will bring them to pass.

If you are apprehensive and worried about any important matter, such as, for example, a legal controversy, quiet your mind and claim that harmony, peace, and divine understanding operate in the minds and hearts of all involved. Imagine in all detail the harmonious agreement reached, and lull yourself to sleep with the phrase, ‘happy ending.’ You will succeed in impregnating your subconscious with the desired solution, and there will be a good outcome.

If you have trouble selling your house, imagine you are holding the check for full payment in your hand prior to sleep. Give thanks for the check, feel its reality, the naturalness and wonder of it all, and imagine yourself at the teller’s window depositing it in your bank account. Give thanks to your higher self and you will find wonders happening as you pray.

When you are competing with others for a contract, assignment, or position, avoid anxiety and tension by affirming, ‘I accept this assignment or something far more wonderful according to the riches of the infinite for me.’ If you do not get this particular position, something far more wonderful will open up for you in the light of your higher self.

All people throughout the world want increase; it is the divine urge within us seeking fuller, greater, grander expression in all phases of our lives. You plant wheat, barley, or oats in the soul, but it is God who gives the increase by multiplying the grains a thousandfold. Increase means the multiplication of your good along all levels.

Attention is the key to life. Clothe everybody mentally with the riches of God. Stop brooding over your own financial problems and stop talking about your lack of money. Give attention to the riches within and without, and you will prosper.

The Amazing Power of Belief and Faith

When I speak of faith—and even as it is spoken of in the Bible—I am not referring to creeds, dogmas, traditions, rituals, ceremonies, institutions, formulas, religious persuasion, or belief in a particular person, object, or thing. Look upon faith as an attitude of mind, an inner certitude—a certain way of thinking whereby you know that any idea that you emotionalize and feel to be true, is true and will be shown to be true.

A chemist has faith in the laws of chemistry, having learned the principles of chemistry; a farmer has faith in the laws of agriculture, having learned the principles of agriculture; and an engineer has faith in the laws of mathematics, having learned the principles of mathematics. To live the life you truly desire, you must have faith in the laws of your mind, having first learned the principles of your conscious and subconscious mind.

Everyone has faith in something. Some people have faith in failure, sickness, accidents, and misfortune. When you hear exhortations to have faith, you must remember that you already have faith. The question is, how are you using it constructively or negatively?

Faith is the mental image that in time clothes itself in a body of manifestation.

The law of belief operates in all religions of the world and is the reason they all are psychologically true. The Buddhist, the Christian, the Muslim, and the Jew all are able to receive answers to their prayers—but not because of the particular creed, religion, affiliation, ritual, ceremony, formula, liturgy, incantation, sacrifices, or offerings, but solely because of their belief, or mental acceptance and receptivity, about that for which they pray.

As a person thinks, feels, and believes, so it is done unto him or her.

Our lives are the result of the totality of our beliefs. That is why the law of life is the law of belief.

Your subconscious mind works according to the law of belief. All things that have happened to you are based on the thoughts you’ve impressed on your subconscious mind through belief.

What you believe in decides how you will live.

Whatever you think, feel, believe, and accept as true in your mind is the only cause in your world. Remember: It is done unto you as you believe.

Place your faith in God and all things good, and you will attract to yourself—by an immutable law—the people, conditions, circumstances, and events in the image and likeness of your contemplation.

If someone asked me how I pray, I would respond by saying that to me, prayer means the contemplation of the eternal verities or truths of the Infinite from the highest possible standpoint. It’s a way of thinking. It is a constructive mental attitude with the constant awareness that whatever you impress in your subconscious mind will come forth on the screen of space.

In other words, prayer is belief.

The Miraculous Power of Prayer

Many people’s prayers aren’t answered because consciously or unconsciously they are believing in two powers, or forces, in the world: one that brings sickness, and one that brings health; one that brings success, and one that brings failure; one that brings joy, and one that brings sorrow.

There is only One Power. Know this in your heart, and you will gain confidence and cease struggling, straining, and believing that you must put great effort into your prayers—thinking that praying is a type of contest between opposing forces.

In prayer, you are communing with your subconscious mind. When you offer new mental patterns to your subconscious mind through prayer, the latter accepts the new imagery and the past is obliterated and expunged.

In truth, you answer your own prayer, whether you are aware of it or not, because whatever you really believe to be true and accept in your conscious mind, is already real. In your mind, in other words, it is already a reality. Your subconscious mind simply brings it forth consistently as form, function, experience, and events.

Prayer is an act of spiritual companionship: Your conscious mind is conversing with your Higher Self, the God Presence within you, whereupon your Higher Self responds according to your belief in it.

In order to receive an answer to your prayer, you must first give to your mind. When you pray, you are not supplicating some distant deity. You are activating the Infinite Intelligence resident within you to begin working on behalf of your expressed desires.

When you beg and beseech, you are expressing that you don’t have what you want now, and your sense of lack attracts more loss, lack, and limitation.

Prayer is cooperation with your subconscious. Lightness of touch is important. Remind yourself that Infinite Intelligence is taking care of things in Divine order far better than you can by tenseness of your conscious mind. With the subconscious mind, relaxation is the key.

Do not be concerned with details and means as to how your prayer will be answered. Turn your request over quietly, with faith and confidence, to your subconscious mind, knowing in your heart that the answer will come—knowing that like the seed you deposit in the ground, which grows after its kind, so will there be an answer to your request according to your desire.

Only Infinite Intelligence within your subconscious knows the answer. Imagine the end as finished state. The law of your mind will do the rest.

Effective prayer is based upon the spiritual premise that there is a Supreme Intelligence within us that becomes the thing we desire, to the degree that we accept this premise as being true. Then, as you give your attention in prayer to God and Truth, you create a state of consciousness that begins to express itself as experience in your life. If you maintain a sustained, affirmative attitude of mind, you will sooner or later reach a state of fulfillment, a sense of absolute conviction. The acid test of whether or not you have reached a conviction is when your mind accepts the idea completely and you can’t conceive of the opposite. You must, in other words, unwaveringly believe in—accept as true—what you want. When you do that, you will have truly impressed your subconscious mind, which must then respond accordingly. Then you know the answer will come.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

You cannot really forgive others completely until you have forgiven yourself first. To refuse to forgive yourself is nothing more or less than spiritual pride or ignorance.

Be intolerant of false ideas, but not of people.

The law of forgiveness is a scientific law of mind. Think and act aright, and you will be forgiven, even if in the past you have not used the principles of mind to pursue the highest good for yourself and others.

Self-condemnation brings failure and misery. Self-forgiveness brings happiness, peace, and triumphant living.

The Mysterious Power of Desire

The Infinite Power that gives you the desire will also reveal to you the perfect plan for its fulfillment.

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11:24)

Following the Biblical instruction, once you give thought to your desire with conviction, you completely eliminate from your mind all consideration of conditions, circumstances, or anything that might imply adverse contingencies. You pray believing that you have already received it. Have faith in the reality of your desire, and you will attract everything necessary for its fulfillment. You are planting a seed in your mind by impressing upon the subconscious the particular thing that you desire. If you leave it undisturbed, it will infallibly germinate into external fruition.

The mere fact that you have a desire for which you seek an answer means that the answer is already present in your mental and spiritual world.

When you pray for your desire, you aren’t giving vitality to it: vitality is already inherent within it. What you’re doing is nourishing its manifestation as form, function, experience, or event.

Practice the law of silence. When you have a desire, don’t discuss it with anyone except when it is absolutely necessary to do so—for example, someone who is directly involved. You can share it with a spiritual advisor, who is there to aid you. To talk with anyone else—friends, relatives—however, can prove to be unwise, as often they will ridicule your desires and diminish your faith in attaining them successfully.

A desire is a prayer. The desires of an atheist can be answered just as well as those of any religious person, as long as the atheist puts his or her whole faith into the desires. The law of mind, like the law of nature, works for one and all.

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm.’ Therefore you must back your desire with enthusiasm.

Take your attention completely away from the thought of opposition; this will starve the opposition thought to death. Feast mentally and emotionally on your ideals and goals in life.

Failure over a long period of time to listen to your desires to be, to do, and to have will lead to frustration and unhappiness. Extinction of desire means apathy, no feeling, and no action.

Affirmations and prayer will not change matters. What is essential is that these are imbued with a strong desire. It is this combination that has the power to bring into your life prosperity of all kinds.

You must realize that there is nothing too good to be true, and nothing too wonderful to last.

Be careful that your desires to not conflict with your beliefs, your imaginings. /120

Techniques for Harnessing the Power of Desire

Twice a day, quiet the activity of your mind and remove all tension from your body by simply talking to it and telling it to relax. This brings about an outcropping of your subconscious mind, and all effort and negative thoughts will be reduced to a minimum. Know that if you order it in this way, it has to obey. In that quiet, receptive, peaceful state, focus your attention completely on your desire. Feel the joy and reality of it all. Become identified with the picture of your desire in your mind, and have faith that what you imagine and believe must come to pass. Think, imagine, speak, and act the way you would if you possessed your desire. For example, if you wanted a beautiful home, picture that ideal home in your mind—imagine yourself walking through the house, watering the garden, and playing with the children. Make it vivid and real. Feel its naturalness. Feel the solidity of the walls and the furniture. Show your friends through the house. Live there mentally, and what you imagine and feel to be true will come to pass. Then, turn this request over to your subconscious mind, releasing it with absolute faith and confidence in the same way that a farmer deposits a seed in the ground, trusting implicitly in the laws of growth, knowing that your subconscious will likewise respond according to the nature of your request.

The Persuasive Power of Gratitude

Praise and gratitude do not move God or the Law, but they do bring about a transformation in our minds and hearts so that we become a spiritual and mental magnet, attracting all kinds of good from countless sources.

The Boundless Power of Imagination and Visualization

Imagination is the action of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses. This is why it is said that where the five-sense person sees an acorn, the person with imagination sees an oak tree.

Your outer world and all its happenings, experiences, and events are projections of your inner mental images. When you become conscious of the distinction between your inner, causal world of imagination and the outer world of effects, you begin to truly understand how to bring your desires to fulfillment.

Mental images that you consciously accept as true are impressed on your subconscious mind and made manifest in your life. This was proved by Dr. Hans Selye at the University of Montreal’s Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, who demonstrated that the subconscious mind does not differentiate between stress states caused by imagined worries and stress states caused by real concerns. Dr. Selye showed that if a person persists in indulging in imagined worries, the body will create excess hormones that will play havoc with the body, causing psychosomatic disease.

Remember, then, that the law of your mind is that 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 mind. The subconscious will not argue with you. If you negatively discipline, control, and direct your imagination by imagining fears and worries, that is what you will bring into your life. Or you can constructively discipline, control, and direct your imagination and get what you want in life and according to your belief it will be done unto you.

Unless there is first an image in the mind, it cannot move, for there would be nothing for it to move toward. Your prayer, which is your mental act, must be accepted as an image in your mind before the power from your subconscious will play upon it and make it productive.

With your disciplined imagination, you can soar above all appearances, discord, and sense evidence, and imagine the way things ought to be, realizing the sublime principle of harmony operating through, in, and behind all things.

Every picture that you create in your mind, particularly when emotionalized, comes to pass. It works out in action, either internally or externally. If you inhibit it from working out in external action, it is inevitable that it will manifest itself in some mental, physical, or emotional disharmony in the body.

As you are visualizing your desire, you will discover that there will come a time when you no longer feel driven to do so. This is the sure psychological sign that you have embodied your desire subjectively. It has become an inner knowing. Having realized your desire subjectively, you will have no further compulsion to pray for it.

The Creative Power of Sleep and Dreams

The highest degree of outcropping of the subconscious occurs prior to sleep and just after we awaken. In this state, negative thoughts that tend to neutralize your desire and so prevent acceptance by your subconscious mind are no longer present.

At times a dream may cause you to question some prevailing belief, thought, or action you are holding. Infinite Intelligence, in other words, often uses the occasion of sleep to stir us up, create a quarrel in our minds, and challenge our false indoctrinations, creeds or dogmas, compelling us instead to listen to God and Love.

You mold, fashion, and shape your own future by your thought and feeling, not by your dreams.

When you dream, your conscious mind is asleep and is creatively joined to your subconscious, which then dramatizes its contents in the form of dreams.

Robert Louis Stevenson devotes a whole chapter of Across the Plains to dreams. He was a vivid dreamer and had the persistent habit of giving specific instructions to his subconscious every night prior to sleep. He would request his subconscious to evolve stories for him while he slept. If Stevenson’s funds were at a low ebb, his command to his subconscious would be something like this: ‘Give me a good, thrilling novel that will be marketable and profitable.’ His subconscious responded magnificently.

Your Unlimited Power to Attain Success

—ou may say, ‘How can I put the first step of your steps to success into operation, if I don’t know what my true place is or what I should do?’ In such a case, pray for guidance as follows, knowing that the idea of success contains all the essential elements of success: ‘The Infinite Intelligence of my subconscious mind reveals to me my true place in life.’ Repeat this prayer quietly, positively, and lovingly to your deeper mind. As you persist with faith and confidence, the answer will come to you as a feeling, a hunch, or a tendency in a certain direction. It will come to you clearly and in peace, and as an inner silent awareness.

There is a law of mind that states that supply and demand are two aspects of one thing. What you are seeking is also seeking you. If you place your faith in Infinite Intelligence, it will direct you to your true place.

Learn that what you expect, you experience. You must, therefore, break the so-called jinx by boldly affirming the following before the commencement of any desired activity: ‘Infinite Intelligence is within me and knows how to complete all undertakings. If I waver or falter, I need only ask for and trust in the guidance of Infinite Intelligence, which is my own subconscious mind, and I will succeed.

Your Unlimited Power for Self-Acceptance

Life created you for a purpose. Bless those around you, and you will discover that by blessing others, you too will be blessed, and all sense of personal lack will be overcome.

There is genius within you. Attune yourself with the Wisdom and Intelligence of your subconscious, and the genius in you will be revealed.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson often pointed out, the great so often appear great to us because we are, through self-denigration, so completely on our knees.

Love of self, in the true biblical meaning, has nothing to do with egoism or self-aggrandizement. On the contrary, it is the wholesome veneration for the Divinity within you.

We rise as high as our dominant aspiration and descend to the level of our lowest concept of ourselves. Think kindly of yourself and have high hopes.

There are important reasons for you to accept yourself. You are Life expressed. Life became you, and you are an instrument for Life’s expression. You are very important, therefore, to Life, and you must recognize that Life is intensely interested in your welfare, development, and unfoldment, because you have a special work to do here.

Timidity is a state of mind. Do the things that you fear to do. Then the death of fear is certain, and you will find that you can lift yourself up to astonishingly great heights.

Refuse to accept suffering and never resign yourself to any situation. The cause of all is your own mind and spirit, and as you are the only thinker in your universe, you can change your thoughts. Then, there is nothing that can defeat you. Remember these things and you will find that you can lift yourself up mentally over all conditions and circumstances.

No two people are alike, any more than any two leaves of a tree or two crystals of snow are alike. That is why you are here for a purpose, and it is not lowly. Emerson said: ‘I am an organ of God and God hath need of me where I am, otherwise I would not be here.’

Monitor your self-talk constantly. There is a law of mind that responds to what you believe and decree yourself to be. Ideas are conveyed to the subconscious by repetition, belief, and expectancy, and are made manifest in your life. You cannot grow if your self-talk is negative.

Your Unlimited Power to Nurture Relationships

Do not permit people to take advantage of you and gain their point by attacks of the heart. Be firm but kind, and refuse to yield. Appeasement never wins. Refuse to contribute to others’ selfishness and possessiveness. Remember, do that which is right. You are here to fulfill your ideal and remain true to the eternal verities and spiritual values of life.

Remain true to your ideal. Know definitely and absolutely that whatever contributes to your peace, happiness, and fulfillment must of necessity bless all people who walk the earth.

When we understand the creative law of our own minds, we cease blaming other people and conditions for making or marring our lives. We are aware that externals are not the causes and conditioners of our lives and experiences. We know that our own thoughts and feelings create our destiny. For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)

You must not try, through the use of any subtle mental influence of prayer, to bend another to your will. You must trust the Infinite Intelligence of your subconscious to bring what you desire in your life. You can get what you want in life through Divine Law and Order without infringing on the rights of others. Then there is no occasion for the use of mental coercion to try to influence others to do your bidding.

Not every critical comment from another will be false. If another finds fault with you and these faults are within you, rejoice, give thanks, and appreciate the comments. This gives you the opportunity to correct the particular fault.

Remember that negative criticism cannot hurt you without your consent. You cannot be hurt when you know that you are master of your thoughts, reactions, and emotions. Emotions follow thoughts, and you have the power to reject all thoughts that may disturb or upset you because they are not in accordance with the law of harmony.

Refuse to transfer the creative power within you to others. You are the master of your own mind and should positively refuse to let others disturb you or manipulate your mind. The suggestions of others have no power to create the things they suggest. The power is in your own thought.

There are difficult people in the world. They are argumentative, uncooperative, cantankerous, cynical, and sour on life. Just remember that misery loves company. When you are around such people, think love in your heart, and it will be so.

In love and marriage, adjustments are needed, but this is not the same as trying to make your partner over. Such attempts only destroy the other’s pride and self-esteem, and arouse a spirit of contrariness and resentment that proves fatal to the marriage bond.

Before you can draw to yourself the ideal partner and enter into a truly harmonious relationship, you must forgive the people in your past relationships.

Your resentment and hostility toward your previous partners becomes magnified in your subconscious mind and leads you over and over again to attract—and be attracted by—others who have an affinity with those negative feelings. It is the operation of the law of attraction. Like draws like. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

The key to changing this pattern is forgiveness. You must set yourself and your former partners free. You must replace your attitude of resentment with one of love and peace. If you can sincerely affirm, regarding your past partners, ‘I release you and let you go, wishing for you health, wealth, love, happiness, peace, and joy,’ you will find your whole understanding of love and marriage changed to a more spiritual basis.

The Miracle of Mind Dynamics

More about Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Miracle of Mind Dynamics

A New Way to Triumphant Living, New York: Penguin Putnam, 1964.

Review

I found Dr. Murphy’s books in a time of great personal turmoil, in a condition that was a karmic backlash of actions that were the result of confusion and lack of insight in the workings of life, and its creative energy.

It was a time of change, and I was passing through a major period of transformation that was putting my life on a different foundation, one I would call spiritual without giving a fancy meaning to that term.

I am using the term spiritual not in the sense to signify something special, as all in life is one, but simply in the sense of conscious. And in fact, at that time in my life, I was simply putting words on things, rendering conscious my emotional and sexual wishes and my longings for partnership, instead of complaining about my loneliness.

I was learning to see and emphasize the beauty of longing itself, its streaming, its creative flow, its visionary quality. My psychiatrist, helped me greatly on this new path of consciousness. And he fully endorsed and embraced my wish to include Murphy’s prayer technique in our therapy.

And not enough, I also took up work with recovering and healing my inner child, and developed a method I later called Life Authoring. Now, what I wish to convey here is that when you do those things, it’s not enough to do them for a certain time and then forget about them again. I had done exactly that. At that time my body weight was ideal, my health was good, I was a vegetarian, had clear dreams and received daily guidance through them, had many friends, and there was no alcohol problem.

Now listen how the story continues. After five years of such spiritual life, I left the retreat and entered business. The first one was a failure, the second one was successful. I began to grow into a kind of social life, was developing a successful career as a coach and corporate trainer—and was gradually abandoning most of the work techniques.

A decisive turn was the death of my mother six years after I had left the retreat situation. I inherited our family fortune, which meant on one hand a lot of trouble, on the other however a decent amount of money.

I still continued creative writing, spontaneous dance and spontaneous composing. But again six years ahead of that point, I also abandoned creative writing and composing, and was beginning to edit and publish my writings, music and art. That meant coping with a lot of technical and design matters, and it was a completely stationary kind of life.

I became an alcoholic with an enormous daily beer and wine consumption, and gained thirty kilograms on top of my ideal body weight. When some health problems began to manifest, I woke up from my slumber and questioned myself why I had become a meat-eater again, why I had begun to smoke again, why I had become an alcoholic, why I had become restless and short-breathed, why I had abandoned meditation and my daily fitness program, and why I was so much focused on achieving public fame, instead of simply continuing to create?

And I found that indeed I had been craving for social success, fame and recognition—at the price of my health and wellbeing. Then, and only then, I took up Creative Prayer again and read others of Murphy’s books. After a few months it was easy to drop smoking, and put my regime back to a pure vegetarian diet, and I was able to restrict wine and beer consumption to occasional glasses that accompanied a meal.

Why had it been so easy to get back to normal? I think there are two reasons. The first reason is that I had embraced that condition earlier on in my life, so the pattern was already familiar to me, as a matter of morphological resonance.

Second, I knew from my earlier studies on prayer that it’s all about belief and accepting or not accepting certain conditions. First of all, I had learnt to say a decisive No to conditions I found are damaging my health and wellbeing, or conditions that put me in danger and thus invoke constant fear. So I said No to being fat, immobile and short-breathed, and I said No to bringing danger to my life and my brain through alcoholism. What happened next? I remembered the following.

The law of life is the law of belief. Whatever you mentally accept and feel to be true will come to pass./33

Man is what he thinks all day long, and his character is the totality of his thinking. In order to experience good luck or good fortune, realize that you are the maker and shaper of your conditions, experiences, and events./34

So I asked what I had been thinking, predominantly, all through these years? I had been thinking virtually every day that I was not a published author, that all my writings were just manuscripts, that I had got but refusals from publishers and that I wanted to be published. Working on publishing my writings, music, art and photography, I was repeating these thoughts in my mind, on a daily basis.

Dr. Murphy illustrates in the following anecdote from this book that the law of belief is a universal law, not a fancy or a theory, and that it has nothing to do with morality either. Thus, contrary to many religions, good-and-bad categories do nothing here, because profiting from a law does not depend on ‘goodness,’ but on the simple fact to obey the law.

Why the So-Called Good Suffer
I received a letter some time ago from a woman asking me, ‘Why is it that some men who are honest and good suffer so much, and the wicked men prosper like the green bay tree?’ I don’t know exactly what she meant by ‘good’; perhaps she meant from a superficial standpoint that these men went to church, were honest in business transactions, kind to neighbors, gave to charity, were good to their wives and families, and practiced the rituals and rites of their churches. Maybe she meant by ‘wicked men’ those who are irreligious, who have no church affiliations, who cheat and steal, who get drunk, and who deny God or any Superior Power. If so, her thinking is very shallow.
The so-called wicked man may believe in success, prosperity, and good health, and it is done to him as he believes. The Law is no respecter of persons. The sun shines on the just and the unjust, and Law has no morals. If a murderer can swim, the water will sustain him as well as a holy man. A cutthroat can breathe the air just as well as a spiritually illumined person. The so-called honest and good man may secretly harbor obnoxious, vicious, hateful thoughts, and he will bring upon himself the sufferings which his secret, destructive thinking produces. You do not see others’ secret fears, peeves, grudges, hates, and jealousies, but looking outwardly you are prone to judge by external appearances.
It is not what a man does externally for show and reward of men that matters. It is the inner movement of his heart that counts. It is what he thinks, feels, and believes deep down in his heart that matters, not what he professes to believe. Thus a man may observe all the tenets, rules, and regulations of his church; he may attend the ceremonies and rituals, give candy to children and dimes to the blind; and he may visit the sick—all of which may be considered ‘good’ from an external standpoint, but not from the standpoint of God and His law, which is ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’/35-36

What was it that I had believed? I believed that I had to work hard, so hard that I was actually ten hours behind two huge computer monitors every day, while I was not making a cent from all the work I did. I did it for expressing myself, in the belief if I was only working hard enough success would come by itself. Nope, it didn’t.

After ten years of unwavering efforts I had a range of brilliant web sites that went for the most part unnoticed, and nobody cared about my design, and the content of my many e-books. Then I found this.

Hard Work Is Not the Answer to Wealth and Success
A man may work very hard 14 or 16 hours a day, but if he fears that he will fail or if he has a guilt complex and feels that he should be punished, it will be done unto him as he believes. The law of life is the law of belief. A man may be completely dishonest in certain directions from a worldly standpoint and actually deny the Presence of God; yet there is no law which says that he can’t acquire wealth, provided he believes that he will be a success and that he will be wealthy. Then, according to his belief, is it done unto him. The dishonest man or the wicked man garners his own sufferings and the results of his thinking are the same as those of the honest and so-called good man. The Great Law is absolutely just and cannot give good for evil, or evil for good. All evil ultimately destroys itself./36

Over the next decade or so, I was in what seemed a negative growth cycle in that I lost money instead of making it, through a lack of business knowledge, on one hand, and through suffering betrayal and robbery, on the other.

As a result, I had built strong resentment which triggered negative self-talk and resentful feelings toward the world and others.

I lost many friends during that time. And I thought why me, and why is that possible at all? And I found this.

Don’t Worry About Evildoers
The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind / exceedingly fine. ‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay’ Remember that your subconscious mind, which in the Bible is called the ‘Law,’ is like a recording, which reproduces whatever you have impressed upon it. This is why you are told not to fret about evildoers or the workers of iniquity; their own subconscious mind reacts negatively or positively according to the use they are making of it. The point is this: Use your own mind constructively and harmoniously, and don’t bother about the other fellow—just wish him well. /36-37

The next point in the list that may be entitled ‘The Etiology of Failure’ was my constant procrastination in front of change. I had felt that I needed a change, also physically, thus kept my vision:

Your vision is a definite promise of what you one day shall be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. (…) You will always gravitate to that which you secretly most love. You will meet in life the exact reproduction of your own thoughts. There is no chance, coincidence, or accident in a world ruled by law and Divine Order./37

Finally I found out that I did not need to be a vegetarian in order to be healthy and strong. I eventually found that my nutrition was not the culprit behind my depressions, but the way I was thinking about it all, and about the whole of my life:

He Blamed Heredity and Diet
I had a chat with a man a few months ago who had been taking sedation, rest cures, and observing a special diet for colitis, from which he had suffered for several years. He was deceiving himself by blaming heredity and diet as the cause. He said, ‘Colitis runs in my family; my mother and grandmother had it, also, and I’m sure the food I eat has something to do with my trouble. I pointed out to this man that the late Dr. Flanders Dunbar, an authority on psychosomatic medicine, said that a study of a number of colitis cases in a New York hospital showed that the men were tied to their mothers and had never been away from their mothers for more than 30 days in their whole lives. None of these men were married, and the onset of their colitis was associated with the conflict between the mother-tie and desire for marriage.
This man had a similar conflict plus a deep-seated resentment of his mother, who seemed to criticize and find fault with every girl he brought to their house as a prospective bride. I found that he was deeply in love with a spiritually minded young woman, but hesitated to marry lest he offend and disturb his mother.
His eventual solution was simple: He came to a decision to marry, and he bought a home for his bride. He broke the umbilical cord once and for all. He radiated love and good will to his mother and wished for her all the blessings of Heaven, but he informed her that his wife now came first in his life. His ulcerated colitis cleared up miraculously in a few weeks. He had been deceiving himself for several years, failing to see that the cause of his sickness was purely emotional and was due to the poison pocket of resentment in the crevasses of his soul. This man did not deliberately give himself colitis; his trouble came from the accumulation of his negative and destructive thinking.
Because the subconscious is a law, it arranges all the deposited thoughts into a complex pattern, and these constantly fed subconscious patterns are not only the cause of all ills, but also the cause of our successes and triumphant achievements./45-46

Fortunately I never believed in ‘heavenly’ punishment, as the woman in the following quote from this book.

I knew that the cause of my ailments was too much ‘immobility’ in my thoughts and action, too much of a stationary spirit and attitude, and not enough moving and flowing with life—thus to put it in a word: resistance. I had resisted the welcome change by putting pressure upon myself, and by stressing achievement over creation, instead of just creating more, with a carefree and joyful attitude.

Why Doesn’t God Heal Her?
While talking to a woman recently, I learned her mother had a serious illness, and that as she was a splendid Christian, kindhearted, religious, and most generous, why didn’t God do something for her? Such a question illustrates perfectly the great deception that affects many people. The Law of Life is the law of belief, and we demonstrate what we believe. Whatsoever we sow in our subconscious mind, we shall reap. If we sow thoughts of sickness, fear, resentment, and enmity, we shall reap these things. To ‘sow a thought’, Biblically speaking, means to accept it wholeheartedly; it is our deep-seated beliefs that we demonstrate.
This girl and her mother were completely deceived, in that both of them believed that sickness is independent of the mind and has nothing to do with the thinking process. Her mother had a bad heart condition and believed that she could not be cured. That was her real belief, and so, naturally, she could not get a healing.
There are no incurable diseases – there are only incurable people; i.e., there are those who believe that they cannot be healed, and according to their belief it is done unto them.
Her mother is now making excellent progress. She is no longer under the spell of the great deception that her heart is a material object with laws of its own, independent of her thinking. She now believes that her body is subject to her thoughts and feelings, and as she changes her mind, so she will change her body. She is praying regularly, knowing that the Infinite Healing Process is flowing through her as the beauty of wholeness, vitality, and strength, and that God’s love dwells in her mind and body.
She is beginning to realize that sickness has no power beyond what she gives it in thought, and she will find herself healed. When trouble of any kind comes, look upon it as nature’s signal that you are thinking wrongly in that direction; then change your thought and keep it changed./47

Finally, I self-published my books, and three years later made a summary, practicing an exercise I had found in a book. In this exercise, you vividly imagine to be on your death bed and look back at your life. Then, you find out what it is that you would want to have done differently.

Doing this exercise, I realized that I had sold very little, and the income generated as royalties from the books was so low that it would barely pay a single meal per month. But instead of throwing myself again into depression and despair, I had developed a new attitude, and I had developed it because of the prayers and that amazing exercise.

As a result, I unpublished all of the books and changed my basic attitude behind publishing. Once of a sudden, I became aware that the basic intention behind my efforts was one of being recognized as a ‘published author,’ as some sort of personal glory.

I then realized that this was not what my soul wanted. Imagining myself to be on my death bed and looking back at my life in retrospection, the result was dumbfounding me. I realized that what I really wanted was to share my knowledge, even for free, and without any credit for myself. This new insight virtually poured streams of happiness into me that I had never known in my life before. I expressed to the universe my gratitude to have had this fundamental insight not on my death bed but when I had still time enough to change course and start all over again. I became acutely aware that my selfish beliefs and attitude were behind my failure in publishing my creations.

All our beliefs and tendencies with which we were born are still with us, and they have power to manifest in and influence our lives. For example, if you believe that sitting near a fan will give you a stiff neck, your subconscious mind will see to it that you get a stiff neck—not because of the fan which represents innocuous molecules of energy oscillating at a high frequency, but because of your erroneous belief. If you are afraid that you will catch a cold because someone sneezes, your fear is a movement of your own mind which creates what you expect, fear, and believe. If you happen to be in a warm room and then go out into the cool atmosphere, nature may cause you to sneeze. This is nature’s way of bringing about a balance and equilibrium in the body— the sneeze is a blessing. Many, however, fear that they are now catching a cold, not knowing it is the creative power of their own thought that causes the cold./48

My retrospection showed me that death is not an end to anything that is based upon our genuine creativeness, and that life is given to us as a free gift we should use not only for our own glory, but for sharing our gifts and talents with others in a natural, carefree and joyful manner.

As uncanny as it sounds, death had taught me how to live, and how to live happily and with a feeling of being blessed:

It is impossible that anything so universal as death should ever be looked upon as evil. It must be good or it would not be./64

Quotes/Excerpts

—Dr. Joseph Murphy, The Miracle of Mind Dynamics: A New Way to Triumphant Living, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1964, pp. 57-61.

How to Overcome Waves of Doubt and Anxiety

Our Bible states that there arose a great tempest in the sea. Each man is a ship traveling on the ocean of life. All of us are immersed in the great universal sea of consciousness. All of us are traveling psychologically and spiritually to certain goals, objectives, and achievements. Sometimes the ship becomes covered with waves; this represents the race belief in failure, lack, and limitation. The storms of doubt, anxiety, and depression haunt us at times The disciples said: ‘… Lord, save us: we perish.’ The disciples represent your faculties of mind, your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, plus mental attitudes and expectancy in general. You must train your faculties of mind to look inwardly and to have faith in all things good, a joyous expectancy of the best, and to have a firm belief inscribed in your heart that Infinite Intelligence will lead you out of your difficulty and show you the way. Have a firm conviction in the Power of God to solve problems and show you the way. This faith in God will enable you to walk over the waters of fear, doubt, worry, and imaginary dangers of all kinds.

There is Always a Way Out

When you say, ‘There is no way out. I have no chance,’ you are looking at the winds of confusion, fear, and human opinion, but when you remember the Lord, which is the Spiritual Power within you, absolutely All-Wise and All-Knowing, you will be looking at the solution, the way out, the happy ending, thereby ignoring the winds of human intellect and the waves of despair, melancholia, and depression.

The Meaning of Faith

Man is asleep to the God Power and the God Wisdom locked in his own unconscious depths; this is why in Matthew 8:24 it says, ‘he was asleep.’ The man of faith awakens and stirs up the gift of God within him. He knows this is the Kingdom of the Real. He knows that his ideal or desire is real in the Inner Kingdom, and that his faith or feeling will cause the formless, or the invisible Presence, to take on substance as a condition, event, or experience. This is why the man of faith walks upon the waters of doubt and fear and moves in confidence and understanding of the promised land—his cherished goal. Faith is accepting as true that which your reason and intellect deny.

Why Your Thoughts Are Things

Man must awaken to the fact that science and religion are two arcs of a circle which unite to form a complete whole. He must leave the old-fashioned concepts which do not stand the test of truth. The sciences of chemistry and physics of a quarter-century ago are no longer tenable. Science is constantly discovering new truths. For example, the dogma of immutable elements is outmoded. This dogma disappeared with the discovery of radioactivity. At one time, people believed that the world was a fixed, static thing; today we know it is a fluid universe. Einstein and others have shown that the conservation of energy and mass are gone as distinct and separate verities. Energy and mass are interchangeable—this is why thoughts are things.

The Doom of Dogma

We must leave forever the old dogmas which assert something to be true which every scientific thinker knows is false. We are people who still insist on the six-day creation of the earth and that Adam and Eve were our first parents. The allegory of the Garden of Eden together with such concepts as the immaculate conception, the fall of man, judgment day, blood of the lamb, salvation, hell, and damnation—all these terms are based on theological dogma and are of ancient vintage; they must be seen as age-old myths exemplifying inner psychological and spiritual truths.

Religion must keep its mind continually open to new truth. Religion is undergoing a revolution today, and there is no end to the truths of God which will be constantly revealed to the perceptive and meditative mind. Creed, dogma, and tradition will not solve the problems of today. Man needs to discover his hidden powers and learn to rely on them and use the wisdom and power within him to lead him to paths of pleasantness and ways of peace.

He Was Afraid of God

A man wrote me some time ago, stating that he was a good Christian, gave to the poor, attended church regularly, and practiced the precepts and tenets of the church, yet he added, ‘Everything in my life is upside down. I am sick, mentally tortured, financially broke, and I find myself on the rocks. What is wrong?’

In an interview with this man, I found he had a degree in science, was a teacher in Sunday school, was an ardent student of Plato, Aristotle, Eckhart, and Plotinus, and could quote liberally from these famous mystics and philosophers.

While thoroughly conversant with these abstract philosophical ideas, he had never assimilated them so that these concepts could be utilized to bring him a measure of peace. To him, these writings were a sort of intellectual exercise and had never been appropriated so as to reach his heart. ‘Out of the heart are the issues of life.’

He believed in a God in space, away up in the skies, some sort of an inscrutable, tyrannical being who would punish him if he sinned and who was sure to judge him on the last day. He was actually afraid of God; moreover, he believed God’s will was that he suffer. I explained to him how his subconscious mind works, adding that as a scientifically trained man, he should know that laws of mind, like the laws of chemistry, physics, or mathematics, are purely impersonal, and that whatever he impressed on his subconscious mind would be expressed in the same manner that seeds deposited in the soil would come forth after their kind. His religion was not scientific, and he actually violated comment sense. His whole religious viewpoint was irrational, unreasonable, and most unscientific. He learned that he was punishing himself, and that his chaotic life was due to his negative and fearful habitual thoughts which generated destructive, negative emotions.

How She Triumphed Over Intention to Kill the Other Woman

Here is another illustration which points out vividly the workings of the mind. A woman was very angry, hateful, and resentful toward her husband because she discovered he had a mistress; she taught the children to hate him also. She was terribly jealous of the other woman and told me that she had bought a gun with which she intended to kill the other woman. I explained to her the workings of her deeper mind. I showed her that the corrosive and poisonous emotions which she was generating, if sustained, would build up a subconscious reflex mechanism which would compel her to commit the murder which consciously she did not desire. Her orthodox religious concepts proved to be of no avail in the solution of her problem. She needed to awaken the Presence and Power asleep in the boat. She began to awaken to the fact that all the religions of the world, when shorn of their superficialities, wrappings, and trappings, consist exclusively of this basic and fundamental truth taught in the Scriptures: ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ The heart means the subconscious mind, and what you impress upon it will come to pass. Thoughts and feelings suppressed in your subconscious mind have a life of their own and are made manifest in your subconscious mind in your experience. Remember that the impressions made in your subconscious are compulsive.

This woman gave up her antiquated ideas and false opinions about religion and realized that she was the captain of her ship and was actively driving it on the rocks. Creed, dogma, and the traditional concept failed her completely. She prayed as follows: ‘I surrender my husband and his mistress to God completely. I know God is the Great Deliverer. God knows me. God cares for me. I expect this mysterious and marvelous Divine Power to bring peace into my soul and lead me to harmony and joy. I will keep on knowing that God’s love fills my mind and body. I know this Universal Power heals me, protects me and opens up new vistas of peace and prosperity for me. I know that the Holy Spirit flows through my mind, calming the winds. This Divine Spirit fills my heart, stilling the waves, and His power strengthens my body. God is stilling the winds and the waves in me now, and I feel a great calm in my soul.’

She repeated this prayer out loud slowly and lovingly many times a day. The result was that her husband came home to her and his family, asking forgiveness. The other woman, in the meantime, had passed on suddenly to the next dimension of life. There is a great calm in this home today.

Regardless of your professed religious beliefs, philosophical attainments, or scientific achievements, the only thing that really matters is to become intimately acquainted with the Spiritual Factor within you. It is indomitable, invincible, and invulnerable.

Why the Flame of Fire Could Not Burn Him

H.T. Hamblin, the late editor of Science of Thought Review, Chichester, England, related to me an incident of two planes, one British and the other German, which had fought in the air near his home. one of the planes fell and crashed into the meadow in flames. The young English pilot was not touched. He told Mr. Hamblin, who had been praying for his security, ‘I knew I was falling, and I wasn’t a bit afraid; on the way down—I don’t know how to tell you, but something changed inside of me, and I knew I could not be burned or hurt in any way.’ A man can be in an exalted state of consciousness, living in higher dimensions of thought, and water will not drown him or fire burn him.

In the Book of Daniel, the incident mentioned above is corroborated. Three men—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—were thrown into the midst of a fiery furnace. ‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and thy have no hurt; and the form of the forth is like the Son of God.’ The ‘Son of God’ refers to the Presence of God in each man which can save him from any predicament.

Learn to Triumph Over All Your Problems

Cease trusting in a vague, mysterious being outside of yourself. Learn the laws of your mind which are dependable, and you can trust these laws and principles implicitly. Feel the Presence of God’s Love in your soul and become acquainted intimately with God’s qualities and attributes by building these qualities into your though and feeling. Resurrect your God-given powers, and learn that you can overcome all problems and difficulties. Rise in consciousness by thinking of God and His supreme wisdom and power, and you will still the winds of confusion and the waves of fear and rage: ‘Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.’

—Dr. Joseph Murphy, The Miracle of Mind Dynamics: A New Way to Triumphant Living, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1964, pp. 63-64.

Thousands of years ago Job asked, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ This question has been asked millions of times since then. The truth is that there is no death in the sense of oblivion. God is Life, and that Life is our Life now. Life, or God, had no beginning, and It has no ending. Man, being Life as God in manifestation, cannot die.

The body has a beginning, and the body has an ending. We will always have a body because man’s body, whether three dimensional or fourth dimensional, is the vehicle for the expression of Life. When the vehicle or body is no longer a fit instrument here, it is laid aside. Spirit then clothes Itself in a new body.

We must not think of death as an ending. Let us rather think of it as a new beginning, and that more abundant. We must not think it as losing, but rather as gaining. Instead of dismally thinking of parting, let us think of reuniting with all our loved ones. Instead of thinking that we are doing away, let us realize that we are arriving at our new destination. When we have tasted the reality of what man calls ‘death,’ we will have become aware that it is a new birth. It will be what health is to the sick man, what home is to the exile.

Milton said, ‘Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.’ It is impossible that anything so universal as death should ever be looked upon as evil. It must be good or it would not be. The journey is from glory to glory; man goes onward, upward, and Godward. We admit renewal, resurrection and fruition processes in the seasons, birds, flowers, and insect life; but when it comes to man, we are struck numb and dumb with fear. We are timid about taking the position that death and birth are but two sides of the shield of life and should not be feared. Basically, it is life in the process of changing. Something old given up for something new is the transaction consummated in the so-called death process.

When you pass on to the next dimension of life, you will have the full use of your mental faculties. You will recognize your new environment. You will know others and you also will be known. You will see, understand, learn, and advance in all phases of your life. Death is more than an end; actually it is a new beginning, for when something ends something else always begins. This is why every end is a beginning. The entry into the next dimension of life is characterized by newness, freedom, and expression.

Life is an Endless Unfoldment

Life is a progression, an endless unfoldment forever expanding. In the next dimension of life, you will possess a memory of your life on this earth plane, and the remembrance of who you are and what you are is the link which reminds you of the continuity of your individual life as you expand ceaselessly. God is Infinite. You are also infinite, and never in eternity could you exhaust the glories and beauties that are within you—this is how wonderful you are!

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

The Power of Your Subconscious MindMore about Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Landmark Bestselling Self-Help Book, Revised by Ian D. McMahan, Ph.D., New York: Penguin Putnam, 2000, Originally Published in 1963

Review

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind helped me to pass a personal life crisis thirty years ago, and it also helped me to remain on a path of personal growth for the years to come, after this profound transformation. I was then trying to open a conduit toward others, by teaching the method in a way that is comprehensive, but also backed by neuroscience, consciousness research and cutting-edge research on the quantum field. I came to call the technique ‘Creative Prayer.’

I found that my previous work on healing my inner child and generally, to practice a form of inner dialogue had opened to me a door to my inner life:

Look around you. Wherever you live, whatever circle of society you are part of, you will notice that the vast majority of people lives in the world without. Those who are more enlightened, however, are intensely involved with the world within. They realize—as you will, too—that the world within creates the world without. Your thoughts, feelings, and visualized 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. /8

Dr. Murphy properly explains the laws of the mind; he also gives brilliant examples from his long career as a public authority on what Ernest Holmes called ‘The Science of Mind,’ title of a book he published in 1938.

In this role, he received much mail from the public, and was talking to innumerable people in many countries, and this not over years, but over decades. This is how he could collect so many intriguing personal stories that enrich his books and make them a pleasant time to read. Here is one that is really shocking, but it is the best I ever heard to explain the workings of the mind. I will relate it here in its entirety:

For many years I gave a regular series of lectures at the London Truth Forum in Caxton Hall, which I founded a number of years ago. Dr. Evelyn Fleet, the director, told me about a man whose young daughter suffered from both crippling rheumatoid arthritis and the disfiguring and painful skin condition called psoriasis. They tried many treatments, but nothing the doctors did seemed to help. The man was near despair. Over and over he said, to himself and to his friends, ‘I would give my right arm to see my daughter cured.’
According to Dr. Fleet, one day the family was out for a drive. Their car was involved in a head-on collision. The father’s right arm was torn off at the shoulder. When he came home from the hospital, he discovered that his daughter’s arthritis and skin condition had vanished.
You must be very careful to give your subconscious only those suggestions that heal, bless, elevate, and inspire you in /all your ways. Remember, your subconscious mind doesn’t understand a joke. It takes you at your word. /22-23

Now, the next step is to know how the conscious and the unconscious interact with one another. What Sigmund Freud observed is not theory but the observation of a universal mechanism that Murphy explains as follows:

The reason there is so much chaos and misery in the world is that so many people do not understand the interaction of their conscious and subconscious minds. When these two principles are in accord, in concord, in peace, and synchronously together, you will have health, happiness, peace, and joy. There is no sickness or discord when the conscious and subconscious work together harmoniously and peacefully. /39

This insight, that may sound novel, is known in tribal cultures who stress the importance to listen, on a daily basis, to the messages of our dreams, as they are the voice of our subconscious mind.

Hence, to disregard them means to run around without the other half, and think and act in a fragmented manner.

The wisdom of our subconscious mind is unifying our mind, when we listen and observe it regularly. The same is true for the relationship between our intellect and our emotions. Here, too, we must strive for balance, and integration. As Murphy says, ‘Motion and Emotion must balance.’

We are often torn up by our frustrations which are of course due to our unfulfilled desires. But what about desire? Why is there desire?

Desire serves us to continue and fulfill our evolution. Desire attracts us to certain actions, to certain pathways, which are pathways of realizing ourselves. And here are at the core of religious teaching: how are we going to realize our desires? Murphy first quotes the Bible, and then explains:

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. [Mark 11:24] The success of this technique relies on the confident conviction that the thought, the idea, the picture is already fact in mind. In order for anything to have substance in the realm of mind, it must be thought of as actually existing./51

Another important question that comes up in this context is how faith effects miracles, and what faith actually is? Murphy explains it in a very simple and comprehensive manner: it’s the fact to accept as true what is desired. Now, how active must that acceptance be, or in other words, is it possible to overrun the subconscious when this inner faith is not yet fully developed? Murphy answers the question in the affirmative, using another case story.

A man once asked me, ‘How is it that I got a healing through a certain minister? When he told me that there is no such thing as disease and that matter does not exist, I did not believe a word he said. I thought he was insulting my intelligence. And yet, I was healing. How could that be?’ As I told this man, the explanation is simple. He was quieted by soothing words and told to get into a perfectly passive condition, to say nothing and think of nothing for the time being. The minister also became passive. He affirmed quietly, peacefully, and constantly for about a half hour that this man would have perfect health, peace, harmony, and wholeness. At the end of the half hour, the man felt immense relief and was restored to health./69

Now, it’s only logical that when you can hypnotize your subconscious into healing, you can also hypnotize it into sickness. The latter is the pitfall of belief, and unfortunately most people in fact unconsciously use the law of belief, but in the wrong, negative, way, in that they affirm constantly their aches, their weaknesses, their illnesses. What is important as well is how to pray, and Murphy calls it ‘the science and art of true prayer.’ He explains that his technique is one of personal prayer, not the group prayer that is part of religious ritual, and that belongs to various religious cults.

The sound basis for the art and science of true prayer is your knowledge and complete confidence that the movement of your conscious mind will gain a definite response from your subconscious mind, which has boundless wisdom and infinite power. By following this procedure, your prayers will be answered./79

Quotes/Excerpts

What this Book Can Do For You

I have seen miracles happen to men and women in all walks of life al over the world. Miracles will happen to you, too—when you begin using the magic power of your subconscious mind. This book is designed to teach you that your habitual thinking and imagery mold, fashion, and create your destiny.

What motivates me to write books is a deep desire to share with others the answers I have discovered to many questions people carry in their minds all through their lives. I have tried to explain the great fundamental truths of your mind in the simplest language possible. I believe it is perfectly possible to explain the basic and fundamental laws of life and of your mind in ordinary everyday language. You will find that the language of this book is that used in your daily papers and current periodicals, in your business offices, in your home, and in the daily workshop.

I urge you to study this book and apply the techniques it outlines. As you do, I am absolutely convinced that you will lay hold of a miracle-working power that will lift you up from confusion, misery, melancholy, and failure. It will guide you to your true place, solve your difficulties, sever you from emotional and physical bondage, and place you on the royal road to freedom, happiness, and peace of mind.

Scientific prayer is the harmonious interaction of the conscious and subconscious levels of mind scientifically directed toward a specific purpose. This book will teach you the scientific way to tap the realm of infinite power within you, enabling you to get what you really want in life. You desire a happier, fuller, and richer life. Begin to use this miracle-working power and smooth your way in daily affairs, solve business problems, and bring harmony in family relationships.

Do you know how to pray effectively? How long is it since you prayed as part of your everyday activities? In an emergency, in time of danger or trouble, in illness, and when death lurks, prayers pour forth. Certainly, prayer is an ever-present help in time of trouble. But why should you wait for trouble to make prayer an integral and constructive part of your life?

My work with people has led me to study the various approaches to prayer. I have experienced the power of prayer in my own life, and I have talked and worked with many others who have benefited greatly from the help of prayer. The problem usually is ow to tell someone else how to pray. People who are in trouble have difficulty in thinking and acting reasonably. Their problems overwhelm them and block their ability to listen and understand. They need an easy formula to follow, an obviously workable pattern that is simple and specific.

Contrary to what many people think, it is not the thing that is believed in that brings an answer to a person’s prayer. Prayers are answered when the individual’s subconscious mind responds to the mental picture or thought in his or her mind. This law of belief is the secret operating principle in all religions of the world. It is the hidden reason for their psychological truth.

The law of life is the law of belief. Belief can be summed up briefly as a thought in your mind. As a person thinks, feels, and believes, so is the condition of his or her mind, body, and circumstances. A technique, a methodology based on an understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing it will help you to bring about a subconscious embodiment of all the good things of life. Essentially, answered prayer is the realization of your heart’s desire.

The Treasure House Within You

The treasure house is within you. Look within for the answer to your heart’s desire.

The great secret possessed by the great men of all ages was their ability to contact and release the powers of their subconscious mind. You can do the same.

Your subconscious has the answer to all problems. If you suggest to your subconscious prior to sleep, ‘I want to get up at 6 AM,’ it will awaken you at that exact time.

Your subconscious mind is the builder of your body and can heal you. Lull yourself to sleep every night with the idea of perfect health, and your subconscious, being your faithful servant, will obey you.

Every thought is a cause, and every condition is an effect. If you want to write a book, write a wonderful play, give a better talk to your audience, convey the idea lovingly and feelingly to your subconscious mind and it will respond accordingly.

You are like a captain navigating a ship. He or she must give the right orders, or the ship is wrecked. In the same way, you must give the right orders (thoughts and images) to your subconscious mind, which controls and governs all your experiences.

Never use such expressions as ‘I can’t afford it’ or ‘I can’t do this.’ Your subconscious mind takes you at your word. It sees to it that you do not have the money or the ability to do what you want to do. Affirm, ‘I can do all things through the power of my subconscious mind.’

The law of life is the law of belief. A belief is a thought in your mind. Do not believe in things that will harm or hurt you. Believe in the power of your subconscious to heal, inspire, strengthen, and prosper you. According to your belief it is done to you. Change your thoughts, and you change your destiny.

How Your Mind Works

Thank good and good follows. Think evil, and evil follows. You are what you think all day long.

Your subconscious mind does not argue with you. It accepts what your conscious mind decrees. If you say, ‘I can’t afford it,’ your subconscious mind works to make it true. Select a better thought. Decree, ‘I’ll buy it. I accept it in my mind.’

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 personality.

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 happen and is happening now. Your greatest power is your capacity to choose. Choose happiness and abundance.

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.

Watch that you say. You have no 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.

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.

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.’

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.

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! Choose happiness!

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.

The Miracle-Working Power of Your Subconscious

Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes of your bod and knows the answer to all problems.

Prior to sleep, turn over a specific request to your subconscious mind and prove its miracle-working power to yourself.

Whatever you impress on your subconscious mind is expressed on the screen of space as conditions, experiences, and events. Therefore, you should carefully watch all ideas and thoughts entertained in your conscious mind.

The law of action and reaction is universal. Your thought is action, and the reaction is the automatic response of your subconscious mind to your thought. Watch your thoughts!

All frustration is due to unfulfilled desires. If you dwell on obstacles, delays, and difficulties, your subconscious mind responds accordingly, and you are blocking your own good.

The Life Principle will flow through you rhythmically and harmoniously if you consciously affirm: ‘I believe that the subconscious power that gave me this desire is now fulfilling it through me.’ This dissolves all conflicts. You can interfere with the normal rhythm of your heart, lungs, and other organs by worry, anxiety, and fear. Feed your subconscious mind with thoughts of harmony, health, and peace, and all the functions of your body will become normal again.

Keep your conscious mind busy with the expectation of the best, and your subconscious will faithfully reproduce your habitual thinking.

Imagine the happy ending or solution to your problem, feel the thrill of accomplishment, and what you imagine and feel will be accepted by your subconscious mind, which will bring it to pass.

The Power of Mental Healing

Remind yourself frequently that the healing power is in your subconscious mind. Know that faith is like a seed planted in the ground; it grows after its kind. Plant the idea (seed) in your mind, water and fertilize it with expectancy, and it will become manifest.

The idea you have for a book, new invention, or play is real in your mind. This is why you can believe you have it now. Believe in the reality of your idea, plan, or invention, and as you do, it will become manifest.

In praying for another, realize that your silent inner knowing of wholeness, beauty, and perfection can change the negative patterns of the other’s subconscious mind and bring about wonderful results.

The miraculous healings you hear about at various shrines are due to imagination and blind faith that act on the subconscious mind, releasing the healing power.

All disease originates in the mind. Nothing appears on the body unless there is a mental pattern corresponding to it.

The symptoms of almost any disease can be induced in you by hypnotic suggestion. This shows you the power of your thought.

There is only one process of healing and that is faith. There is only one healing power; namely, your subconscious mind.

Find out what it is that heals you. Realize that correct directions given to your subconscious mind will heal your mind and body.

Develop a definite plan for turning over your requests or desires to your subconscious mind. Imagine the end desired and feel its reality. Follow it through, and you will get definite results.

Decide what belief is. Know that belief is a thought in your mind and that what you think you create.

It is foolish to believe in sickness or anything that will hurt or harm you. Believe in perfect health, prosperity, peace, wealth, and divine guidance.

Great and noble thoughts upon which you habitually dwell become great acts.

Apply the power of prayer therapy in your life. Choose a certain plan, idea, or mental picture. Unite mentally and emotionally with that idea. As you remain faithful to your mental attitude, your prayer will be answered.

Always remember, if you really want the power to heal, you can have it through faith, which means a knowledge of the working of your conscious and subconscious mind. Faith comes with understanding.

Blind faith means that the person may get results in healing without any scientific understanding of the powers and forces involved.

Learn to pray for your loved ones who may be ill. Quiet your mind. Your thoughts of health, vitality, and perfection operating through the one universal subjective mind will be felt and made manifest in the mind of your loved one.

Be a mental engineer and use tried and proven techniques in building a grander and greater life.

Your desire is your prayer. Picture the fulfillment of your desire now and feel its reality, and you will experience the joy of the answered prayer.

Desire to accomplish things the easy way—with the sure aid of mental science. You can build radiant health, success, and happiness by the thoughts you think in the hidden studio of your mind.

Experiment scientifically until you personally prove that there is always a direct response from the infinite intelligence of your subconscious mind to your conscious thinking. Feel the job and restfulness in foreseeing the certain accomplishment of your desire. Any mental picture you have in your mind is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

A mental picture is worth a thousand words. Your subconscious will bring to pass any picture held in the mind that is backed by faith. Avoid all effort or mental coercion in prayer. Get into a sleepy, drowsy state and lull yourself to sleep feeling and knowing that your prayer is answered.

Remember that the thankful heart is always close to the riches of the universe. To affirm is to state that it is so, and as you maintain this attitude of mind as true, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, you will receive an answer to your prayer.

Generate waves of harmony, health, and peace by thinking of the love and the glory of God. What you decree and feel is true will come to pass. Decree harmony, health, peace, and abundance.

When your mind is relaxed and you accept an idea, your subconscious goes to work to execute the idea. Think and plan independently of traditional methods. Know that there is always an answer and a solution to every problem.

Do not be overly concerned with the beating of your hearth, with the breathing of your lungs, or the functions of any organ in your body. Lean heavily upon your subconscious and proclaim frequently that Divine right action is taking place.

The feeling of health produces health, the feeling of wealth produces wealth. How do you feel? Imagination is your most powerful faculty. Imagine what is lovely and of good report. You are what you imagine yourself to be.

You avoid conflict between your conscious and subconscious in the sleepy state. Imagine the fulfillment of your desire over and over again prior to sleep. Sleep in peace and wake in joy.

Attract Wealth the Easy Way

Decide to be wealthy the easy way, with the infallible aid of your subconscious mind. Trying to accumulate wealth by the sweat of your brow and hard labor is one way to become the richest man of the graveyard. You do not have to strive or slave hard.

Wealth is a subconscious conviction. Build into your mentality the idea of wealth! The trouble with most people is that they have no invisible means of support. Repeat the word ‘Wealth’ to yourself slowly and quietly for about five minutes prior to sleep and your subconscious will bring wealth to pass in your experience.

The feeling of wealth produces wealth. Keep this in mind at all times. Your conscious and subconscious mind must agree. Your subconscious accepts what you feel to be true. The dominant idea is always accepted by your subconscious mind. The dominant idea should be wealth, not poverty.

You can overcome any mental conflict regarding wealth by affirming frequently, ‘By day and by night I am being prospered in all of my interests.’

Increase your sales by repeating this statement over and over, ‘My sales are improving every day; I am advancing, progressing, and getting wealthier every day.’

Stop writing blank checks, such as, ‘There is not enough to go around’ or ‘There is a shortage,’ and so forth. Such statements magnify and multiply your loss. Deposit thoughts of prosperity, wealth, and success in your subconscious mind and the latter will give you compound interest.

What you consciously affirm, you must not mentally deny a few moments later, for this will neutralize the good you have affirmed.

Your true source of wealth consists of the ideas in your mind. You can have an idea worth millions of dollars. Your subconscious will give you the idea you seek.

Envy and jealousy are stumbling blocks to the flow of wealth. Rejoice in the prosperity of others.

The block to wealth is in your own mind. Destroy that block now by getting on good mental terms with everyone. Be bold enough to claim that it is your right to be rich. Your deeper mind will honor your claim.

You don’t want just enough to go around. You want all the money you need to do all the things you want to do, when you want to do them. Get acquainted with the riches of your subconscious mind.

When money is circulating freely in your life, you are economically healthy. Look at money like the tide and you will always have plenty of it. The ebb and flow of the tide is constant. When the tide is out, you are absolutely sure it will return.

Knowing the laws of your subconscious mind, you will always be supplied regardless of what form money takes. One reason many people simply make ends meet and never have enough money is that they condemn money. What you condemn takes wings and flies away.

Do not make a god of money. It is only a symbol. Remember that the real riches are in your mind. You are here to lead a balanced life—this includes acquiring all the money you need.

Don’t make money your sole aim. Claim wealth, happiness, peace, true expression, and love, and personally radiate love and goodwill to all. Then your subconscious mind will give you compound interest in all these fields of expression.

There is no virtue in poverty. It is a disease of the mind. You should heal yourself of this mental conflict or malady at once. You are not here to live in a hovel, to dress in rags, or to go hungry. You are here to lead the life more abundant.

Never use the term ‘filthy lucre’ or say ‘I despise money. You lose what you criticize. Money in itself is neither good nor bad, but thinking of it in either light makes it so. Repeat frequently, ‘I like money. I use it wisely, judiciously, and constructively. I release it with joy, and it returns a thousandfold.’

Money is not evil any more than copper, lead, tin, or iron that you may find in the ground are. All evil is due to ignorance and misuse of the mind’s powers. To picture the end result in your mind causes your subconscious to respond and fulfill your mental picture.

Stop trying to get something for nothing. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You must give to receive. If you give mental attention to your goals, ideals, and enterprises, your deeper mind will back you up. The key to wealth is to apply the laws of the subconscious mind by impregnating it with the idea of wealth.

Use Your Subconscious Mind as a Success Strategy

Success means successful living. When you are peaceful, happy, joyous, and doing what you love to do, you are successful. Find out what you love to do, then do it. If you don’t know your true expression, ask for guidance, and the lead will come. Specialize in your particular field and try to know more about it than anyone else.

Those who are successful are not selfish. Their main desire in life is to serve humanity. There is no true success without peace of mind. A successful person possesses great psychological and spiritual understanding. If you imagine an objective clearly, you will be provided with the necessities through the wonder-working power of your subconscious mind.

Your thought fused with feeling becomes a subjective belief, and according to your belief is it done unto you.

The power of sustained imagination draws forth the miracle-working powers of your subconscious mind. If you are seeking promotion in your work, imagine your employer, supervisor, or loved one congratulating you on your promotion. Make the picture vivid and real. Hear the voice, see the gestures, and feel the reality of it all. Continue to do this frequently, and through frequent occupancy of your mind, you will experience the joy of the answered prayer.

Your subconscious mind is the storehouse of memory. For a perfect memory, affirm frequently: ‘The infinite intelligence of my subconscious mind reveals to me everything I need to know at all times, everywhere.’

If you wish to sell a home or property of any kind, affirm slowly, quietly, and feelingly as follows: ‘Infinite intelligence attracts to me the buyer for this house or property, who wants it, and who prospers in it.’ Sustain this awareness, and the deeper currents of your subconscious mind will bring it to pass.

The idea of success contains all the elements of success. Repeat the word ‘success’ to yourself frequently with faith and conviction and you will be under a subconscious compulsion to succeed.

How Scientists Use the Subconscious Mind

By giving your conscious attention and devotion to the solution of a perplexing problem, your subconscious mind gathers all the necessary information and presents it full-blown to the conscious mind.

If you are wondering about the answers to a problem, try to solve it objectively. Get all the information you can, but if no answer comes, turn it over to your subconscious mind prior to sleep, and the response will come. It never fails.

You do not always get the answer overnight. Keep on turning your request over to your subconscious mind until the day breaks and the shadows flee away. You delay the answer by thinking it will take a long time or that it is a major problem. Your subconscious has no problem, it knows the answer.

Believe that you have the answer now, in this moment. Get into a mood of receiving the perfect answer! Your subconscious will respond to your feeling.

Any mental picture, back by faith and perseverance, will come to pass through the miracle-working power of your subconscious. Trust it, believe in its power, and wonders will happen as you pray.

Your subconscious is the storehouse of memory, and within your subconscious are recorded all your experiences since childhood.

Scientists meditating on ancient scrolls, temples, fossils, and other evidence are able to reconstruct scenes of the past and make them alive today. Their subconscious mind comes to their aid in this task.

Turn over your request for a solution to your subconscious prior to sleep. Trust it and believe in it, an the answer will come. It knows all and sees all, but you must not doubt or question its powers.

The action is your thought, and the reaction is the response of your subconscious mind. If your thoughts are wise, your actions and decisions will be wise.

Guidance comes as a feeling, an inner awareness, an overpowering hunch whereby you know that you know. It is an inner sense of touch. Follow it with the simplicity of faith.

The Wonders of Sleep and Dreaming

If you are worried that you will not wake up on time, suggest to your subconscious mind prior to sleep the exact time you wish to arise and it will awaken you. It needs no clock. Do the same thing with all problems. There is nothing too hard for your subconscious.

Your subconscious never sleeps. It is always on the job. It controls all your vital functions. Forgive yourself and everyone else before you go to sleep and healing will take place much more rapidly.

Guidance is given you while you are asleep, sometimes in a dream. The healing currents are also released, and in the morning you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

When troubled by the vexations and strife of the day, still the wheels of your mind and think about the wisdom and intelligence lodged in your subconscious mind, which is ready to respond to you. This will give you peace, strength, and confidence.

Sleep is essential for peace of mind and health of body. Lack of sleep can cause irritation, depression, and mental disorders. We need eight hours’ sleep.

You are spiritually recharged during sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for joy and vitality in life. Your tired brain craves sleep so hungrily that it will sacrifice anything to get it. Many who have fallen asleep at the wheel of an automobile can testify to this.

Many sleep-deprived people have poor memories and lack proper coordination. They become befuddled, confused, and disoriented.

Sleep brings counsel. Prior to sleep, claim that the infinite intelligence of your subconscious mind is guiding and directing you. Then, watch for the lead that comes, perhaps on awakening.

Trust your subconscious completely. Know that its tendency is always lifeward. Occasionally, your subconscious answers you in a very vivid dream and a vision in the night.

Your future is in your mind now, based on your habitual thinking and beliefs. Claim infinite intelligence leads and guides you and that all good is yours, and your future will be wonderful. Believe it and accept it. Expect the best, and invariably the best will come to you.

If you are writing a novel, play, or book, or are working on an invention, speak to your subconscious mind at night and claim boldly that its wisdom, intelligence, and power are guiding you. It will reveal to you the right way to go, and if there are obstacles, it will reveals to you how to overcome them. The solution will come to you as you pray this way.

Solving Marital Problems

Ignorance of mental and spiritual laws is the cause of all marital unhappiness. By praying scientifically together, you stay together.

The best time to prevent divorce is before marriage. If you learn how to pray in the right way, you will attract the right mate for you. Marriage is the union of a man and woman who are bound together by love. Their hearts beat as one, and they move onward, upward, and Godward.

Marriage does not guarantee happiness. People find happiness by dwelling on the eternal truths of God and the spiritual values of life. Then, the man and woman can contribute to each other’s happiness and joy.

You attract the right mate by dwelling on the qualities and characteristics you admire in a woman or a man. Then your subconscious mind will bring you together in divine order.

You must build into your mentality the mental equivalent of what you want in a marriage partner. If you want to attract an honest, sincere, and loving partner in life, you must be honest, sincere, and loving yourself.

You do not have to repeat mistakes in marriage. When you really believe you can have the type of man or woman you idealize, it is done unto you as you believe. To believe is to accept something as true. Accept your ideal companion now mentally.

Do not wonder how, why, or where you will meet the mate you are praying for. Trust implicitly the wisdom of your subconscious mind. It has the power to carry out its mission. You don’t have to assist it. However, you are mentally divorced when you indulge in peeves, grudges, ill will, and hostility toward your marriage partner. You are mentally dwelling with error in your mind. Adhere to your marriage vows, ‘I promise to cherish, love, and honor him (or her) all the days of my life.’

Cease projecting fear patterns to your marriage partner. Project love, peace, harmony, and goodwill, and your marriage will grow more beautiful and more wonderful through the years.

Radiate love, peace, and goodwill to each other. These vibrations are picked up by the subconscious mind resulting in mutual trust, affection, and respect.

A nagging partner is usually seeking attention and appreciation. He or she is craving love and affection. Praise and exalt their many good points. Show them that you love and appreciate them.

Partners who love each other do not do anything unloving or unkind in word, manner, or action. Love is what love does.

In marital problems, always seek expert advice. You would not go to a carpenter to pull a tooth; neither should you discuss your marriage problems with relatives or friends. If you need counsel, to go a trained person.

Never try to make over your wife or husband. These attempts are always foolish and tend to destroy the pride and elf-esteem of the other. Moreover, they arouse a spirit of resentment that can prove fatal to the marriage bod. Cease trying to make the other a second edition of yourself.

Pray together and you will stay together. Scientific prayer solves all problems. Mentally picture your wife as she ought to be, joyous, happy, healthy, and beautiful. See your husband as he ought to be, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and kind. Maintain this mental picture, and you will experience the marriage made in heaven, which is harmony and peace.

Praying for Happiness

William James said that the greatest discovery of the nineteenth century was the power of the subconscious mind touched by faith. There is tremendous power within you. Happiness will come to you when you acquire a sublime confidence in this power. Then you will make your dreams come true.

You can rise victorious over any defeat and realize the cherished desires of your heart through the marvelous power of your subconscious mind. You must choose happiness for it is a habit, a good habit.

When you open your eyes in the morning, say to yourself, ‘I choose happiness today. I choose success today, I choose right action today. I choose love and goodwill for all today, I choose peace today.’ Pour life, love, and interest into this affirmation, and you have chosen happiness.

Give thanks for all your blessings several times a day. Furthermore, pray for the peace, happiness, and prosperity of the members of your family, your associates, and all people everywhere.

You must sincerely desire to be happy. Nothing is accomplished without desire. Desire is a wish with wings of imagination and faith. Imagine the fulfillment of your desire, feel its reality, and it will come to pass. Happiness comes in answered prayer.

By constantly dwelling on thoughts of fear, worry, anger, hate, and failure, you will become depressed and unhappy. Remember, your life is what your thoughts make of it.

You cannot buy happiness with all the money in the world. Some millionaires are happy, some are unhappy. Many people with little worldly wealth are happy, and some are unhappy. Some married people are happy, and some unhappy. Some single people are happy, and some are unhappy. The kingdom of happiness is in your thought and feeling.

Happiness is the harvest of a quiet mind. Anchor your thoughts on peace, poise, security, and divine guidance, and your mind will be productive of happiness.

There is no block to your happiness. External things are not causative. They are effects, not causes. Take your cue from the only creative principle within you. Your thought is cause, and a new cause produces a new effect. Choose happiness.

The happiest person is the one who brings forth the highest and the best in himself or herself. God is the highest and the best in him or her, for the kingdom of God is within.

Praying for Good Relationships

Your subconscious mind is a recording machine that reproduces your habitual thinking. Think good of the other, and you are actually thinking good about yourself. A hateful or resentful thought is a mental poison. Do not think ill of another for to do so is to think ill of yourself. You are the only thinker in your universe, and your thoughts are creative.

Your mind is a creative medium; therefore, what you think and feel about the other, you are bringing to pass in your own experience. This is the psychological meaning of the Golden Rule. As you want others think about you, think you about them in the same manner.

To cheat, rob, or defraud another brings lack, loss, and limitation to yourself. Your subconscious mind records your inner motivations, thoughts, and feelings. When these are negative, loss, limitation, and trouble come to you in countless ways. What you do to the other, you are doing to yourself.

The good you do, the kindness proffered, the love and good you send forth will all come back to you multiplied in many ways. You are responsible for the way you think about the other. Remember, the other person is not responsible for the way you think about him or her. Your thoughts are reproduced. What are you thinking now about the other person?

Become emotionally mature and permit other people to differ with you. They have a perfect right to disagree with you, and you have the same freedom to disagree with them. You can disagree without being disagreeable.

Just as animals are able to pick up fear vibrations, many people are just as sensitive. The thoughts you believe are hidden are actually broadcast by your voice, your facial expressions, and your body language. This is true both for positive and negative thoughts.

Your inner speech, representing your silent thoughts and feelings, is experienced in the reactions of others toward you. With for the other what you wish for yourself. This is the key to harmonious human relations.

Change your concept and estimate of your employer. Feel and know he or she is practicing the Golden Rule and the law of love, and he or she will respond accordingly. Another person cannot annoy or irritate you except if you permit him or her to. Your thought is creative; you can bless the other person. If someone calls you an insulting name, you have the freedom to reply, ‘God’s peace fills your soul.’

Love is the answer to getting along with others. Love is understanding, goodwill, and a respect for the divinity of the other. Have compassion and understanding for those whose negative conditioning has made them difficult and unpleasant. The divine spark is within them, just as it is within everyone. To understand all is to forgive all.

Rejoice in the success, promotion, and food fortune of others. In doing so, you attract good fortune to yourself. Never yield to another’s emotional scenes and tantrums. Appeasement never wins. Do not be a doormat. Adhere to that which is right. Stick to your ideal, knowing that the mental outlook that gives you peace, happiness, and joy is right, good, and true. What blesses you, blesses all. All you ow to any person in the world is love, and love is wishing for everyone what you wish for yourself—health, happiness, and all the blessings of life.

Praying For Forgiveness

God, or life, is no respecter of persons. Life plays no favorites. Life, or God, seems to favor you once you begin to align yourself with the principles of harmony, health, joy, and peace.

God, or life, never sends disease, sickness, accident, or suffering. We bring these things ourselves by our own negative destructive thinking, based upon the law As we sow, so shall we reap.

Your concept of God is the most important thing in your life. If you really believe in a God of Love, your subconscious mind will respond by bringing countless blessings to you. Believe in a God of Love.

Life, or God, holds no grudge against you. Life never condemns you. Life heals a cut on your hand. Life forgives you if you burn your finger. It reduces the edema and restores the part to wholeness and perfection.

Your guilt complex is a false concept of God and life. God, or life, does not punish or judge you. You do this to yourself by the subconscious effects of your false beliefs, negative thinking, and self-condemnation. The forces of nature are not evil. They react to how you think and use the power within you. You can use electricity to kill someone or to light the house. You can use water to drown a child or quench his thirst. Good and evil come right back to the thought and purpose in a person’s own mind. People punish themselves by their false concepts of God, life, and the universe. Their thoughts are creative, and they create their own misery.

If another criticizes you, and these faults are within you, rejoice, give thanks, and appreciate the comments. This gives you the opportunity to correct that particular fault. You cannot be hurt by criticism when you know that you are master of your thoughts, reactions, and emotions. This gives you the opportunity to pray for and bless the other, thereby blessing yourself.

When you pray for guidance and right action, take what comes. Realize it is good and very good. Then there is no cause for self-pity, criticism, or hatred. There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. There is no evil in the desire for food, sex, wealth, or true expression. It depends on how you use these urges, desires, and aspirations. Your desire for food can be met without killing someone for a loaf of bread.

Resentment, hatred, ill will, and hostility are behind a host of maladies. Forgive yourself and everybody else by pouring out love, life, joy, and goodwill to all who have hurt you. Continue until such time as you can meet them in your mind and know that you are at peace with them. To forgive is to give something for. Give love, peace, joy, wisdom, and all the blessings of life to the other, until there is no sting left in your mind. This is the acid test for forgiveness.

If someone has hurt you, lied about and vilified you, and has said all manner of evil about you, is your thought of that person negative? Is so, you have not yet forgiven. The roots of hatred are still in your subconscious mind, playing havoc with you and your good. The only way to wither those roots is with love. Wish for the person all the blessings of life. This is the meaning of Forgive until seventy times seven.

Removing Mental Blocks

The solution lies within the problem. The answer is in every question. Infinite intelligence responds to you as you call upon it with faith and confidence.

Habit is the function of your subconscious mind. There is no greater evidence of the marvelous power of your subconscious than the force and sway habit holds in your life. You are a creature of habit, forming habit patterns in your subconscious mind by repeating a thought or act over and over until it establishes tracks in the subconscious mind and becomes automatic. You have the freedom to choose. You can choose a good habit or a bad habit. Prayer is a good habit.

Whatever mental picture, back by faith, you behold in your subconscious mind, your subconscious will bring to pass. The only obstacle to your success and achievement is your own thought of failure. When your attention wanders, bring it back to the contemplation of your good or goal. Make a habit of this by disciplining your mind.

Your conscious mind is the camera and your subconscious mind is the sensitive plate on which you register or impress the picture.

The only thing that follows anyone is the fear thought repeated over and over in the mind. Break the jinx by knowing that whatever you start you will bring to a conclusion in divine order. Picture the happy ending and sustain it with confidence.

To form a new habit, you must be convinced that it is desirable. When your desire to give up the bad habit is greater than your desire to continue, you are already fifty-one percent healed.

The statements of others cannot hurt you except through your own thoughts and mental participation. Identify yourself with your aim, which is peace, harmony, and joy. You are the only thinker in your universe.

Excessive drinking is an unconscious desire to escape. The cause of alcoholism is negative and destructive thinking. The cure is to think of freedom, sobriety, and perfection and to feel the thrill of accomplishment.

Many people remain alcoholics because they refuse to admit their problem. The law of your subconscious mind, which held you in bondage and inhibited your freedom of action, will give you freedom and happiness. It depends on how you use it. Your imagination took you to the bottle; let it take you to freedom by imagining you are free.

Praying for Dissolving Fear

Do the thing you are afraid to do, and the death of fear is certain. If you say to yourself with perfect confidence and fait, ‘I am going to master this fear,’ you will. Fear is a negative thought in your mind. Supplant it with a constructive thought. Fear has killed millions. Confidence is greater than fear. Nothing is more powerful than faith in God and the good.

Fear is a person’s greatest enemy. It is behind failure, sickness, and bad human relations. Love casts out fear. Love is an emotional attachment to the good things of life. Fall in love with honesty, integrity, justice, goodwill, and success. Live in the joyous expectancy of the best, and invariably the best will come to you.

Contract fear suggestions with the opposite, such as, I sing beautifully; I am poised, serene, and calm.’ It will pay fabulous dividends.

Fear is behind the suggestive amnesia that strikes during examinations. You can overcome this by affirming frequently, ‘I have a perfect memory for everything I need to know.’ Imagine a friend congratulating you on your brilliant success on the exam. Persevere and you will win.

If you are afraid to cross water, swim. In your imagination swim freely, joyously. Project yourself into the water mentally. Feel the chill and thrill of swimming across the pool. Make it vivid. As you do this subjectively, you will be compelled to go into the water and conquer it. This is the law of your mind.

If you are afraid of closed places, such as elevators, mentally ride in an elevator while sincerely blessing all its parts and functions. You will be amazed how quickly the fear will be dissipated.

You were born with only two fears, the fear of falling an the fear of noise. All your other fears were acquired. Get rid of them.

Normal fear is good. Abnormal fear is very bad and destructive. To constantly indulge in fear thoughts results in abnormal fear, obsessions, and complexes. To fear something persistently causes a sense of panic and terror.

You can overcome abnormal fear when you know the power of your subconscious mind can change conditions and bring to pass the cherished desires of your heart. Give your immediate attention and devotion to your desire, which is the opposite of your fear. This is the love that casts out fear.

If you are afraid of failure, give attention to success. If you are afraid of sickness, dwell on perfect health. If you are afraid of an accident, dwell on the guidance and protection of God. If you are afraid of death, dwell on eternal life. God is life, and that is your life now.

The great law of substitution is the answer to fear. Whatever you fear has its solution in the form of your desire. If you are sick, you desire health. If you are in the prison of fear, you desire freedom. Expect the good. Mentally concentrate on the good, and know that your subconscious mind answers you always. It never fails.

The things you fear do not really exist except as thoughts in your mind. Thoughts are creative. Look at your fears; hold them up to the light of reason. Nothing can disturb you but your own thought. The suggestions, statements, or threats of other persons have no power. The power is within you, and when your thoughts are focused on that which is good, then God’s power is with your thoughts of good.

There is only one creative power, and it moves as harmony. There are no divisions or quarrels in it. Its source is love. This is why God’s power is with your thoughts of good.

Remain Young in Spirit

Patience, kindness, love, goodwill, joy, happiness, wisdom, and understanding are qualities that never grow old. Cultivate them and express them and remain young in mind and spirit.

The neurotic fear of the effects of time may well be the cause of premature aging. Age is not the flight of years; it is the dawn of wisdom in the mind of humans. The most productive years of your life can be from sixty-five to ninety-five. Welcome the advancing years. It means you are moving higher on the path of life, which has no end.

God is life, and that is your life now. Life is self-renewing, eternal, and indestructible and is the reality of all humans. You live forever, because your life is God’s life.

You cannot see your mind, but you know you have a mind. You cannot see spirit, but you know that the spirit of the game, the spirit of the artist, the spirit of the musician, and the spirit of the speaker is real. Likewise, the spirit of goodness, truth, and beauty moving in your mind and heart are real. You cannot see life, but you know you are alive.

Old age may be called the contemplation of the truths of God from the highest standpoint. The joys of old age are greater than those of youth. Your mind is engaged in spiritual and mental athletics. Nature slows your body so that you may have the opportunity to meditate on things divine.

We do not count a man’s years until he has nothing else to count. Your faith and convictions are not subject to decay. You are as young as you think you are. You are as strong as you think you are. You are as useful as you think you are. You are as young as your thoughts. Your gray hairs are an asset. You are not selling your gray hairs. You are selling your talent, abilities, and wisdom that you have garnered through the years.

Fad diets and expensive pills won’t keep you young. As a man thinketh so is he. Fear of old age can bring about physical and mental deterioration. The thing I greatly feared has come upon me. You grow old when you cease to dream and when you lose interest in life. You grow old if you are irritable, crotchety, petulant, and cantankerous. Fill your mind with the truths of God and radiate the sunshine of his love—this is youth.

Look ahead, for at all times you are gazing into infinite life. Your retirement is a new venture. Take up new studies and interests. You can do the things you always wanted to do when you were so busy making a living. Give your attention to living life. Become a producer and not a prisoner of society. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. The secret of youth is love, joy, inner peace, and laughter. In God here is fullness of joy. In God there is no darkness at all.

You are needed. Some of the great philosophers, artists, scientists, writers, an others accomplished their greatest work after they were eighty years old. The fruits of old age are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. You are a child of the infinite life that knows no end. You are an heir to eternity. You are wonderful!

Hara, the Vital Center of Man

Hara, the Vital Center of ManRochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2004. Originally published in 1956. Translated from German by Sylvia-Monica von Kospoth in collaboration with Estelle R. Healey.

Hara is essential reading for all who inquire into the spiritual principles and practices that are fundamental to all wisdom traditions and natural healing professions.

—Don Stapleton, Self-Awakening Yoga

About the Author

Karlfried Graf Dürkheim (1896-1988) spent eight years in Japan before World War II and was a professor at the University of Kiel until Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. In Japan he discovered Zen Buddhism in its various expressions and subsequently became a Western authority on the subject.
—From: Backcover

About this Book

When we speak of an individual’s state, we are actually referring to something that transcends the duality of body and soul, something that reflects the entirety of a person’s being. Because each of us is a unity of body and soul, there is no psychic structure or inner tension that is not reflected outwardly in the form and order of the body. When we find the physical center of the body we also find the psychological center of the soul. According to Zen masters, by correcting posture and breathing to balance this center, one can cultivate inner tranquillity and balance: the state called Hara.

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim
Karlfried Graf Dürckheim

Karlfried Graf Dürkheim shows the Western world how to overcome the physical and spiritual decay of modern life by adopting the age-old techniques of Japanese Zen masters. By leaving behind the ‘chest-out-belly-in’ posture and attitude of the West and adopting the belly-centered posture and attitude of Hara, individuals can live a calm, grounded, and more balanced life. Included in this classic text are vital life force practices and translations of the wisdom teaching of three Japanese Zen masters. This book also explores how the practice of Hara emphasizes empirical learning and the cultivation of self-knowledge through the perfection of arts such as painting and archery.
—From: Backcover

Review

In this mind-boggling book, Karlfried Graf Dürckheim provides a brilliant analysis of the concept of Hara, known from Japanese culture and wisdom, but not limited to Japan. In fact, the author writes that if the concept was only of value for the Japanese, he would not have written the book. As the lecture after about half the book shows, the author has in fact trained in Hara in Japan, during the eight years of his stay, prior to WW2, and thus the book is also a practical manual how to ‘Sit with Hara’ and ‘How to Breath with Hara’ and even how to walk with Hara. In fact, no area of life, including sexuality, is excluded from the effort of the Hara practitioner to bring the conscious and unconscious forces in man into harmony and collaboration.

As a psychotherapist, the author also has the authority to assess where people with a dominance of the ego end up in life: he describes at length their struggles with an ego-based worldview and how such an attitude negatively affects the human body, leading to a suffocation of the vital instincts, a ridification of the muscles, breathing problems later in life, arteriosclerosis, loss of memory, and premature aging.

In this sense, then, without the author claiming it, Hara meditation is also a rejuvenating and tonifying practice that, as shown exemplarily in the author’s long life and radiant health even in later years, has a life-sustaining value.

There is no other study than Dürckheim’s about Hara in Japanese philosophy. It is really very different from Indian philosophy for Japanese philosophy is totally life-affirming while Indian philosophy is more or less life-denying.

I have myself practiced Zen meditation for more than ten years which simply consists of concentrating your energy on the hara point. It’s all but that. When your consciousness descents from the ‘upper parts’ of the body (brain and heart) to the belly, a whole new dimension opens which has these effects long-term:
1) Integration of emotions and sexual desire into one streaming energy flow and absence of any highly bothering ‘urges’ and their fantasies;
2) A totally different way to sit, stand and walk, as the axis point of the body is shifted from the middle of the spine (very weak) to the lower spine (very strong). It is told as a tale in Japan that Western people standing at a party could easily be toppled by just prodding a finger into their spine, for they have no Hara stand. A Japanese can even be pushed with both hands and he will not fall, for he’s grounded in the Hara point, the lower belly, and this is even so for ordinary men and women
3) Hara consciousness is different from Ego consciousness in that it is integrated into a greater ‘group’ or ‘cosmic’ consciousness which is why the Japanese are so excellent on the social level and Western people generally so poor.

Quotes

[Introduction]

—Western ways of life have come to an end of their fruitfulness, rationalism has made its final contribution and modern man will succumb increasingly to physical and spiritual decay unless he finds some new way of coming back to his essential self and the true sense of life. /1

—Religion today can withstand neither rationalism nor can it satisfy man’s longings for inner safety. The predominance of the ego with its self-centered structure of consciousness, as well as all its claims, which obstruct and distort man’s connection with the ground of Being, is also the cause of his incapacity for any real faith. /1

—By Hara—and we hold to this name—the Japanese understand an all-inclusive general attitude which enables a man to open himself to the power and wholeness of the original life-force and to testify to it by the fulfillment, the meaningfulness, and the mastery displayed in his own life. Knowledge of Hara is valid not only for the Japanese. It has universal human validity. /2

—Immaturity, unripeness, is the cancer of our time, the incapacity to ripen the specific mark of our time. The neurosis which drives the spiritually sick to the therapist is simply the clearest expression of the universal suffering, the suffering due to man’s estrangement from Being! /3

[Hara in the Life of the Japanese]

—Where the center of gravity shifts upward to the chest and the middle of the body is gainsaid and constricted; the natural alternation of tension and relaxation is replaced by a wrong one which forces a man to swing between hypertension and slackness. /6

—Man, as a living being, is not rooted in himself. Rather is he nourished, sustained and held in order by Nature whose laws operate without his knowledge and assistance. Man sets himself in opposition to the order of life which fundamentally sustains him if, by an unnatural shifting of his center of gravity, he denies that vital center in his bearing which testifies to this order. /7

—Intellect, will and emotion, the powers of head, chest and heart with which man as a conscious being has been endowed will prove his undoing if, caught in the net of his concepts, in the brilliance of his achievements and in the web of his entanglements he forgets his anchorage in the weaving and working of the Greater Life. Just as the growth and unfolding of the crown of a tree depends directly on its root-system, so also the vital development of man’s spirit depends on his being true to his roots, that is, to an uninterrupted contact with the primal unity of Life, from which human life also springs. If, forgetting this, man diminishes the realm of his primal life by artificially pulling himself upwards physically he disturbs the balance of his natural forces, and the inflated I then bars access to that higher development which real function is to humbly prepare, protect, and serve. /7

—The integration of these two poles—the unconscious, and the conscious life of the mind, as well as between life in space time reality and the Reality beyond space time—constitutes the way to human maturity. Maturity is that condition in which man reaps the fruit of the union he has regained. /9

[Hara in the Everyday Life of Japan]

—I remember a large reception, the guests European and Japanese, stood around after dinner drinking coffee and smoking. A Japanese friend of mine who knew of my interest in the ways of his country joined me and said, ‘Do you see that the Europeans standing here could be easily toppled over if one were suddenly to give them a little push from behind? But none of the Japanese would lose their balance even if they were given a much harder push.’ /13

—Upright, firm and collected—these are the three marks of that posture which is typical of the Japanese who knows how to stand, and taken altogether, show the presence of Hara. /13

—A Buddha is not a transcendental god, but a human being into whom the Great Being has penetrated bringing transformation and liberation into the bright light of consciousness. /17

[Hara in the Japanese Language]

—The man with center has calm, unprejudiced judgment. He knows what is important, what unimportant. He meets reality serenely and with detachment keeping his sense of proportion. (…) The mark of it is an inner elasticity which enables him to conduct himself with the utmost matter-of-factness and composure in any situation. /38

—Hara is only in slight measure innate. It is above all the result of persistent self-training and discipline, in fact the fruit of responsible, individual development. That is what the Japanese means when he speaks of the Hara no dekita hito, the man who has accomplished or finished his belly, that is, himself: for he is mature. If this development does not take place we have the Hara no dekita inai hito, someone who has not developed, who has remained immature, who is too young in the psychological sense. /39

—The Japanese are not fond of making moral judgments, except in rare instances. But their characteristic attitude is to affirm life as it is, to accept it and give it its due in its uniqueness, instead of trying to compose it into rational and ethical systems. Such at least is the popular ideal, in the face of which pointless grumbling is considered weak, and narrow-minded judgment despicable. /40

—Thus ‘Hara’ is something which puts the whole man in a specific condition (state), indeed one could say, that he is a ‘whole man’ only because of Hara. Where, however, Hara is lacking, man is not yet ‘whole.’ This idea is also very obvious in other popular sayings. If one says of an action that it is done ‘with the belly’ one means that it is not done by any separate function, not by any specialized organ but by the ‘whole’ of the person, even though he may make use of his or that particular organ. /40-41

—Hara in the true sense has nothing to do with being corpulent, that is, with having a big physical belly. Thus people with no outward belly may have belly in the psycho-spiritual sense and vice versa. /41

—So it can be seen that, through the increase of Hara and its culmination in haragei, an all-round transformation of all man’s faculties takes place. He perceives reality more sensitively, is able to take in perceptions in a different way, assimilates them and therefore reacts differently, and through a different power. The three fundamental reactions to life and the world—perception, assimilation and response—change in the direction of expansion, deepening and intensifying of the whole personality. It becomes altogether wider, deeper and more powerful. /44

[Hara in its General Human Significance]

—In all that has been said until now Hara has appeared as a phenomenon of Japanese life only. But if Hara were nothing but an aspect of Eastern life it would be of merely ethnological interest and the purpose of studying it would be only to obtain a deeper understanding of Eastern people and their way of life. But the longer one studies Hara as understood by the Japanese the more obvious it becomes that the term expresses not just a specifically Japanese phenomenon but one that is universal and valid for all mankind. It is a prime factor of all human life, the realization and practice of which is of equal concern to ourselves. /52

—In every case where a Western man reached the highest development it was possible only because he had first traversed the ‘deep dark.’ The descent into the center of the earth must always precede the ultimate ascent of the spirit. /54

—Despite individual differences, Western man today is generally afraid of being too stout; he seeks a harmony which has its center of gravity in the upper part of the body, and he clearly prefers the confined to the too expansive. All this manifests itself in a universal rejection of the belly. Nothing is more opposed to the modern Western ideal of beauty than the big belly. /54

—The unpopularity of the belly is due to two converging factors. One is simply the unthinking acceptance of fashion, while the other is rooted in an intellectual notion. A big belly, or even a tendency to one, is regarded as a sort of mental fatty degeneration, a coarsening tantamount to a decline of all the mind’s faculties. Secondly, it is equated with a loss of elasticity, particularly of mental energy; in fact, with increased materiality and cumbersomeness—things which modern man dislikes beause he is always aiming at agility, at speed and the upward thrust. High heeled shoes and padded shoulders stress these up-going tendencies. The urge to transcend gravity is quite natural to man as a spiritual being, but the desire to break loose from the vitalizing bond with the solid earth is in conflict with the law of this terrestrial existence. /55

—The present day rejection of the belly is unnatural and betokens a misguided way of thinking. It shows that the natural instinct for the true bodily center of gravity has been lost. /56

—This sustaining, ordering and healing strength rooted in the fundamental unity of life is veiled, however, as soon as a man, relying on his rational powers, falls into the delusion that he can do everything by and through himself. Therefore we usually find natural Hara where rational life-consciousness is not yet formed, as for instance in the healthy-minded child whose uninhibited self and life-consciousness do not rest upon his ability or his knowledge but are simply ‘given.’ /58

—The right weight shows rather in a firm fullness, an inner solidity, and mature breadth. The ‘man of good standing’ and the ‘sedate person’ have their center of gravity in the lower body. The supporting width of the trunk from the waist downward is what often gives to old gentlemen and to matrons their essential dignity of bearing, the marks of the tranquil mind and of inner maturity. /60

—In the Romanesque and Gothic sculpture the belly is clearly stated and expresses strength, achieved self-renunciation and calm acceptance of the bond with earth. It shows the humility in which man, from the weakness of his I and from his bondage to the earth, opens himself to the Eternal. The Gothic belly seems to say: ‘You cannot win heaven if you betray Earth.’ /60

durkeim

[Man with Hara]

—Man’s right relationship to himself is lost where in the interplay of inner life and outer form a disparity appears, either as an excess of the driving force of life or as an exaggerated reserve and self-protection. /69

[Hara has Secular Power]

—Hara reestablishes man’s unity with himself. In regard to his body thi means that he is not in constant opposition to his elementary impulses which require freedom and action, nor is he obliged to be constantly deciding whether to affirm or to deny them. It is as if Hara opened within us a completely new region where our tangled energies can swing easily without necessarily discharging themselves in action. Many life-impulses which for one reason or another have to be suppressed, can, with Hara, be dismissed into a secret inner region whence they return as increasaed overall strength. When this is understood Hara gives man a legitimate power over his sexuality. When the I with its imagination takes possession of a man and demands particular forms of fulfillment his sexuality creates an unbearable tension which has to be either repressed or lived out—alternatives often equally damaging. With Hara an inner door seems to open. Going through this door he lets fall his ego-based imagination-ridden idea of fulfillment, destructive tensions are resolved, and the dammed-up forces acquire positive creative significance. To summarize: anchorage in the vital center which is Hara guarantees man enjoyment of a power which enables him to master life in a new and different way. It is a mysteriously sustaining, ever renewing, ordering, and forming power, as well as a liberating and integrating one. /86-87

[The Strength, Breadth, and Closeness Engendered by Hara]

—The Self he now knows is clearly no longer the old I but a wider, more comprehensive one. He becomes conscious of a new inner breadth, he feels an increase of inner volume as if he had burst the bonds confining him in his physical body. A strange feeling of boundlessness arises, a lierating breadth. He does not lose himself in it, on the contrary, truly finds himself. A new breathing space, scope, and sphere of action opens up and he realizes only then how confined he had been before, how imprisoned and isolated. The man without Hara has only a very small space within, and around him. /96

—The man who gains Hara enters into a new relation with the world which makes him both independent of it and yet connected with it because he has found within himself a broader base of action. He can embrace the world and let himself be embraced by it because in his being he feels at one with it, and yet he can detach himself from it because his new Self, as distinct from his old I, is no longer bound down by it. The man without Hara is dependent on the world precisely because he lacks real connection with it; the man with Hara is constantly connected with it because he is independent of it. /96

[The Order of Life in the Symbolism of the Body]

—For the I-centered mind, with its moral values, the blind natural drives constitute a repellent and unworthy contradiction. The resulting conflict erects barriers against the natural life striving upward from the unconscious and obstructs the way to an all-round human development, more particularly the unfolding of that mind which transcends the overlordship of the purely rational. Instead of a hierarchic order based on the Way leading to the full unfolded Self, a conflict arises in which the mainly rational man excludes and represses that part of his nature which he feels to be irrational, less valuable or even value-destructive. ‘Above’ and ‘below’ are then evaluated as high and low, noble and base, spiritual and material, light and dark. /100

Art as Medicine

Art as MedicineCreating a Therapy of the Imagination, by Shaun McNiff, Boston & London: Shambhala, 1992.

Review and Quotes

The soul is a very perfect judge of her own motions, if your mind does not dictate other. … The soul’s deepest will is to preserve its own integrity, against the mind and the whole mass of disintegrating focus.

Soul sympathizes with soul.

—D.H. Lawrence (1923)

Review

Internationally renowned art therapist Shaun McNiff outlines in this fascinating book his approach to art theory which I found to be both holistic and highly original. The author sees art therapy as a process in which the soul reveals itself to the inquiring individual and the group surrounding him or her. In fact, while he admits that art therapy can exceptionally be a solitary process, the author favors the group therapy approach as it is conducive to soul revelation and spiritual growth.

There are several methods the author discusses in his book, and that are the work processes his therapy seminars are composed of. It is first of all making paintings, then to respond to them by meditative dialogue, and finally orchestrating them in a shamanic setting where the body takes over the meditative talk, and finally dreaming about them, and continue the art process by considering to weave the dream images into the fabric of the entire process.

Finally, the entire last part of the book entitled ‘Demonstration’ is devoted to dialoguing directly with the images, letting visual elements talk to the painter or to each other, including houses, objects, animals, and humans. This part of the book may be difficult to read and digest for some as it requires a high level of imagination to follow these dialogues.

The book is written in fluent style and contains a wealth of hints to ‘real’ art and fine details from the lives of famous artists; it also shows the imbeddedness of the therapeutic approach in psychoanalysis. I have been greatly enriched by the book and would recommend it to each and everybody who seeks to expand his or her soul life, and make their lives richer and more meaningful overall.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part One — Context

Simple Beginnings
Shamanic Continuities
Attunement to the Archetypal
A Link to the ‘Art World’
Psyche’s Movement
Imaginal Realism
Artist and Angel
The Daimonic Tradition

Part Two — Dialoguing and Other Methods

Loquent Meditations
Creation Stories
Responding
Talking with Images
The Value of Dialogue
Performing
Dreaming

Part Three — Demonstration

Image Dialogues

Bibliography
Index

Introduction

Whenever illness is associated with loss of soul, the arts emerge spontaneously as remedies, soul medicine. Pairing art and medicine stimulates the creation of a discipline through which imagination treats itself and recycles its vitality back to daily living.

My perspective on medicine is artistic. I will not make bioenergetic assessments of pulse beats altered by meditations on images.

Although the chemistry of the body no doubt changes as a result of artistic expression and reflection, the purpose of this book is to engage them as modes of psychological inquiry. Rather than attempting to explain the artistic emanations of soul, our psychology desires to activate and move soul by striving to speak its own language.

The methods and philosophy in this book are based on principles of dialogue and interplay. Creation is interactive, and all of the players are instrumentalities of soul’s instinctual process of ministering to itself. Conflict as well as affection propel the process.

Art as medicine does not restrict its interactions to human relationships. Concentration on the ‘other’ ensouls the world, and paintings are ensouled objects or beings who guide, watch, and accompany their makers and the people who live with them. Their medicine is established by this ‘otherness,’ which enables them to influence people who open themselves to receiving help from another.

I intend this to be a practical book, based on life experiences, but not limited to descriptions of those experiences. The book is itself a ‘doing,’ an action in which soul demonstrates how it moves within the individualized yet archetypal context of a person’s life. The word soul suggests the essential nature of persons and other phenomena. It is characterized by individuality, the aesthetic quality, or aura, that distinguishes one thing from another. It is also an inner movement or stirring, the force of creative animation and vitality. Soul is closely related to and sometimes synonymous with psyche, daimon, and other words that appear frequently in this text. All of these words emanate from a common mystery. Their purpose is poetic rather than explanatory, and through them the soul experiences itself more deeply. Throughout the book I will use the word image and generally refer to the visual images of dreams and pictures, but movements, sounds, poetry, enactments, and ideas are not excluded from my sense of the word.

As soon as a painting is made, or a dream remembered, the images that constitute their being are experienced as wholly other. This autonomous life of the image is the foundation of the revolutionary and pragmatic treatment of our psychic diseases. We see the dogs, automobiles, houses, and rivers in our paintings and reams as parts of ourselves, confirming the egocentric madness of our reality. Everything is reduced to the perspective of the experiencing ‘I.’

It is through others that we discover who we are. When we learn how to step aside and watch ourselves, the other becomes an agent of transformation. Dialoguing with images is a method for expanding ego’s singular vision. In opening to others, we do not have to give away our place within the interaction. Others have an experience of us that may be quite different from our experience of ourselves. All of these perspectives are elements in the psychic stew. Reality is an ever-changing interplay and never a single, fixed position.

The dialogue between an artistic and a painting is rarely limited to ‘twofold’ communication. Many figures within the painting and the artist enter these conversations. It becomes increasingly clear that the first-person perspective of the artist, the ‘I’ who is speaking, is composed of various voices. On entering the world of the painting, we become aware of the many who speak through us, not just the figures in the pictures, but also the varied aspects of our thought. The articulation of these diverse ‘persons’ is yet another aspect of image dialogue.

Virtually every person who uses art in psychotherapy believes in the ability of the image to expand communication and offer insight outside the scope of the reasoning mind. However, there are sharp distinctions in how we treat pictures once they appear. These attitudes range from approaching them as graphic signs for evaluating the mental conditions of artists, to greeting them as angels who come to offer assistance.

I view the making of art as a medicine that proceeds through different phases of creation and reflection. Although therapists and other people involved in this process make their contributions as guides and witnesses, the medicinal agent is art itself, which releases and contains psyche’s therapeutic forces. The medicine offered by meditation on art is generally an infusion of imagination and awareness rather than a specific answer. ‘Messages’ may ultimately be less significant than the engagement of images. Rather than understanding the ‘meaning’ of the dreamer’s pleasurable slide down a long pole into the darkness, we enjoy the slide and hold on to the image.

Yet artistic images encourage us to look at them and reflect upon their natures, both physical and psychological. Interpretation enters the world of the image and responds to its nature. Rather than labeling pictures from our frames of reference, we meditate on them, tell stories about how we created them, speak to them, listen to what they have to say, dramatize them through our bodily movement, and dream about them. All of these methods are dedicated to the ongoing release of art’s expressive medicine. Analysis and reason make many contributions to our meditations, but they do not dominate.

Interpretative dialogue offers artists a psychology that resonates with the shaping of images. Although our emphasis here is on the personal and intimate dialogue between individual painters and their pictures, the same principles can be applied to ‘public’ art. Inner dialogue and meditation enable a person to establish a private relationship with any art object. This mode of interpretation can be likened to Henry Corbin’s vision of ‘creative prayer’ as an ‘intimate dialogue between two beings who depend on one another and whose interaction leads to ‘new creations.’

Since very aspect of art contributes to its medicine, we do not assume that some expressions heal and others do not. Negative and disturbing images are vial stimulants for healing in that the toxin is the antitoxin. Art’s medicine trusts spontaneous expression and avoids prescriptions—bright colors to cure depression, heroic figures to conquer fear, good energies to overwhelm bad. The grotesqueness of Bosch’s underworld is welcomed together with the serenity of Monet’s water lilies. Creative expression of the soul’s aberrations gives them the opportunity to affirm rather than threaten life.

Paradoxically, it is the particulars of ordinary life that open to archetypcal existence. The only way to soul’s authentic and firsthand movement is through the medium of our most personal materials endowed with archetypal significance. The fact that in this book I use my own paintings and demonstrative interpretative dialogue may strike some readers as a contradiction to my admonition against egoism. My objective, though, is the dmonstration of a method of relating to images that will help reshape our relationship to art in and out of therapy. It is the life of imagination that I hope to convey and not the details of the artist’s life.

Shaun McNiff
Shaun McNiff

Although I have published many dialogues with other people in which we work with their art, I am not focusing on that aspect here. I want to show how an artist dialogues with his own pictures and how the many figures of imagination speak through the process. Direct engagement of images will, I hope, be instructive for therapists interested in methods that they can use with their patients. My focus here is on the engagement of the ‘persons’ of the image. As Jung suggests, a better understanding of inner processes will benefit what we do in the ‘outer’ world of therapeutic practice.

In using my own pictures, I can take risks, speak freely, and publish the contents of intimate dialogue. I do not want to use another person’s private expression to elucidate my methods. And no doubt my commitment to the ethics of how we use images in therapy and psychology shapes my methods. Only the total involvement of ‘expert’ interpreters in every phase of the artistic process will protect images and artists from those who claim authority in a realm they never visit. Taking on the role of helper demands a continuous examination of how I am living the process I encourage in others.

The provision of medicine for the body and soul is one of art’s many functions. Other aspects in art, and especially its importance as a commodity and its role as an indicator of ephemeral tastes, have dominated our culture and alienated us from the healing muses. Art itself be in need of treatment, and there is no stronger and more reliable remedy than its eternal function as articulator of the soul’s uncensored purpose. This enduring role is performed by radically personal, risky, sometimes offensive, and intimate art works that embrace psychic spontaneity—rather than market planning or political approval—as the basis of creation. Artists as well as people in therapy ask for this medicine, and art is ready to respond when we establish the context of treatment. For over two decades my work has responded to this calling, and I see clearly that the fulfillment of the vision demands the dissolution of boundaries between the communities of the arts and healing. In those rare moments when the best resources of both are gathered in a shared commitment, we experience a satisfaction achieved only by the realization of ‘the soul’s deepest will.’

This book begins with a description of the varied influences that have shaped my experience of art as medicine. These reflections are followed by an attempt to examine the methodological essentials of interpretive dialogue, after which we return to the living sea of practice through meditations on images. /1-5

Quotes

[Simple Beginnings]

—This attraction to art as medicine, and the openness people bring to the process, significantly deepens the experience and increases the powers of suggestion and persuasion that form the basis of every medicine. /12

—When I look at ego as one of many inner figures, I am amused by its actions. I observe its foibles with compassion and acceptance. Ego is not rejected, because it is a part of the process. Suppression only increases its power, whereas if I watch ego as a psychic figure, I am not completely possessed by it. Creative interaction and change replace possession and fixity. /13

—The skill involved has to do with learning to help people relax, to watch the flow of painting from the soul, and to realize that their individual style will emerge. /13-14

—This way of working is radically different from technique-oriented systems of contemporary psychotherapies. Our therapeutic values affirm diversity and the vitality and wisdom of spontaneous expression realized through freedom of movement and a moment-to-moment appreciation for what is taking place. /14

—This orientation does not deny psychopathology and its presence in our expression. Art therapy’s embrace of pathos can actually contribute to the revitalization of art, which flourishes when it opens to the troubles of the soul. /15

[Shamanic Continuities]

—Creative expression is a spontaneous and unconscious effort of the soul to treat itself in keeping with a ‘uniform metaphysical instinct.’ /17

—Without romanticizing psychosis and the way it disturbs thought, we can say that those suffering from emotional upheavals are in direct contact with powerful energies that can be channeled into paintings. /17

—Psychic illness is an alienation of soul and a possession of the psyche by preoccupations, obsessions, fears, anxieties, and other distractive conditions that are contemporary equivalents of the aboriginal ‘evil spirits.’ /18

—Our contemporary fascination with shamanism is an experience of a hunger for experiences that engage and sanctify the total spectrum of life, and not just the human dimension. /19

—The inner shaman is a figure within the soul, one of its many aspects, which contribute to its well-being. /19

—Shamanic cultures throughout the world describe illness as a loss of soul. The shaman’s task is to go on a journey in the search of the abducted or lost soul and return it to the sick person. /21

—The soul cannot be lost in a literal sense because it is always present within us. However, we do lose contact with its movements within our daily lives, and this loss of relationship results in bodily and mental illness, rigidification, and the absence of passion, and the estrangement from nature. /21

—Art as medicine embraces life as its subject matter, and separations among the arts are contratherapeutic. As I work with individuals, I am open to their poetic speech, stories, body movements, dramatic enactments, sounds, and other expressions as well as to teh pictures they paint. I try to establish contact with as many aspects of the person’s presence as possible. /22

—History affirms the value of collaboration in the artistic process. Our stereotypic fantasy of the individual artist, creating alone and outside society, ignores art’s history of cooperation and communal influences. To the extent that the work of the artist corresponds to the movements of soul in the world, the alienated artist is an expression of a contemporary malady. The artist who takes on the heroic values of our civilization lives out their tragic and unfulfilling consequences for all of us to witness, and reaffirms the need for community. /22

—Drumming and other percussive instruments were introduced to summon images and support their emergence. The drums help us to imagine painting as dance and movement. When we talk about pictures, our circle of painters is transformed into a community of storytellers. /23-24

—The lost and suffering soul that we encounter within mental institutions is an aspect of our collective human nature, which calls for attention through the extreme conditions of psychopathology. Compassion and identification with these conditions is the course helpful to our patients, but the patients have also helped us, and they have helped the soul, by drawing our attention to its needs. /24

—Tribal societies knew how to make use of those who were possessed by emotional upheavals. We do not. By trying to fix them, improve them, eliminate them, durg them, and cure them, we are showing that we have not grasped how they can help us. /25

—Rather than seeing pathology in a painting or dream as something sick and negative, we can embrace it as part of the soul’s nature. This orientation does not take us away from the clinic, the hospital, and the prison but instead deepens our therapeutic identification with those places where the soul’s suffering is most extreme. (…) Therefore, pathology is not limited to patients. It is in all of us, a fundamental element of the soul./25

—Tribal societies knew how to make use of those who were possessed by emotional upheavals. We do not. By trying to fix them, improve them, eliminate them, drug them, and cure them, we are showing that we have not grasped how they can help us. The best medicine I can offer to a troubled person is a sense of purpose, the feeling that what he is going through may contribute to the vitality of the community. The process is reciprocal. /25

—My experiences with the extremes of psychopathology have taught me that the therapy of soul extends to every life situation. The shrieks of the mental hospital have made me aware of the stoic yet equally needy souls in every community. By working with the soul in cases of extreme pathology, therapists get to know the range and depth of its expressions and afflictions. /25

—Art as medicine returns the treatment of pathologies to ritual activities within the context of a sympathetic community. If soul’s existence is inseparable from its pathologies, to restrict its exploration to hospitals and clinics restricts soul itself. By detaching pathology from an exlusive reference to sick persons, the therapeutic consciousness is let loose on every aspect of society. As soul thrives, everything around it thrives as well. /26

—The exclusive belief that therapy repairs what is wrong keeps us in a condition of eliminating symptoms. When these attitudes are applied to psychic images, we essentially eradicate the expressions of soul rather than entertain them. /26

[Attunement to the Archetypal]

—After making hundreds of simplistic sketches of the same house with a Christmas tree in front of it, Christopher, who had been in the hospital for thirty-five years, began to copy the design of his packet of Bugler tobacco. He not only grasped the gestalt of the image, but he rendered it with an intriguing style. I encouraged him to imitate paintings by Picasso and other prominent painters, and he responded with original interpretations. I coached him with occasional technical advice, and he went on to draw pictures of people in the studio and a series of self-portraits. Through the seven years that we worked together, the quality of the work was maintained. /27

—Anthony was thirty-five when we began our work together. For twenty years he had lived in a locked ward without carrying on a conversation with another person. It was thought that he was severely retarded. After months of making the same scribble of a human figure, he began to draw objects and people in his environment in an original style. With constant attention and support, he gradually spoke to me, touching his throat to feel the unfamiliar vibrations of dormant vocal chords. /27

—Both Anthony and Christopher ultimately left the hospital, and their involvement with art ended without the supportive environment of a studio tailored to their needs. /27

—Today in art therapy, whenever people ask me how to begin, I say: ‘Just paint. Begin to move with the brush in different ways. Watch what comes. If you paint, it ‘will come.’ Nothing will happen unless you begin to paint, in your own way. Start painting as though you are dancing with your whole body, and not just using your fingers and your wrist. Use your arms with the force of the body behind them. Look at the shapes that appear, and think about what you can do with them.’ /33

—I try to help people approach painting as tactile and movement-based. We deemphasize the ‘visual’ dimension at first, to avoid concentrating too much attention in the controlling mind. In our first pictures we simply move and express feelings while trying to suspend criticism. /34

—In our studios we try to help painters establish this orientation to the ‘responding’ mind rather than the ‘strategic planning’ mind. The artistic consciousness seldom operates according to blueprints and roadmaps. /34

—Nothing will happen unless a person begins and risks failure. And there will be constant failures and restarts and changes of direction along the way, all of which are essential to the emergence of something fresh and surprising. The same thing applies in the other arts. Nothing happens in the creation of a poem until the person starts to write. Ideas emerge from the movement of the hands and their interaction with the mind. All of the senses must collaborate if expression is to achieve psychic authenticity. /34

—’Creative blocks’ usually result from expectations that take us away from our immediate experiences. When art therapists ask me how I deal with blocks to expression, I talk to them about how important it is to engage the context of our present life and let the art flow from that source. I create from where I am and not from where I think I should be. /35

[Psyche’s Movement]

—I imagine soul as kinesis, process, creation, interplay, and continuous motion. Soul is generally synonymous with psyche, but it suggests particular and individualized conditions. It is a word that philosophers and artists have always used to suggest the essential vitality of a person, thing, or the world itself. Loss of soul is a ‘stuck’ condition in which the flow has stopped. Psychology speaks of ‘fixations’ as defenses against change. The ‘fixed’ idea is nonvolatile, stationary. Artists accustomed to a vital kinesis of imagination fear the prospect of ‘drying up.’ The soulless state is one of desiccation, when ‘the currents’ no longer run. /54

—When people open to art’s suggestions, they change as they watch images change. /56

—Heroic expectations are blindfolds, obstructing the spontaneous response to what arrives independently of my intent. /60

—Viewing art as an expression of ‘the unconscious’ assumes that consciousness is limited to reasoning. This attitude devalues the intelligence of the senses, the ‘thought of the heart,’ the thinking hand and eye, and the thoughtfulness of the moving body. /61

—Many of our psychic maladies are in fact caused by the overactive mind, and exclusively analytic therapies may deepen the quagmire. /61

[Imaginal Realism]

—Vigorous, disciplined, and imaginative sympathy with the life situation of people, cultures, and inner characters outside my immediate frame of reference is a racial political perspective. It counters the often brutal ax-grinding that ‘well-intentioned’ reformers inflict on others with their righteous ideology and singularity. Sympathy supports not vacillation but direct and imaginative action based on the specific nature of a situation. Art compassionately immerses itself in events while maintaining its flexibility of movement. /71

—The other says to me, ‘Tell me what you are going through, and that will be more helpful than telling me what to do. Give me an account of the conditions of your life, your wounds, the things with which you struggle and those that bring delight. I want to hear the longings of your soul, honest emotions, and not advice.’ /72

[Artist and Angel]

—Even lines, gestures, colors, and shapes can have an angelic existence. Artists are thus instruments of those manifestations. (…) The interpretive reductionism of our twentieth-century psychologies, in which pictures are viewed as EKGs of the artist’s emotions, signifies the loss of the angel. /75

—I am an artist reflecting on inner movements, and do not wish to present myself or my colleagues as ‘psychics’ who have special powers of communicating with spirits. Our sensibilities are nothing but the extraordinary resources of the ordinary imagination. /76

—Diagnostic interpreters are so concerned with attaching labels and reaching conclusions based upon the perspectives of their psychologies that they do not cultivate the relationship with the image and the internal drama that it invites. They take the message as though it were generated by a fax machine. Our free-spirited angels will never submit to labels that nail them down. It is their nature to awaken the soul and help it to contemplate itself through intermediaries—dreams, visions, feelings, paintings, music, poems, dance, objects, nature, animals, and even other people. /76

—As art therapy becomes part of a dramaturgy, as contrasted to the conventional tendency to locate it within behavioral science, and as the pictures and aspects of pictures exercise their ability to speak, the process parallels the functioning of angels. In Western history the arts have cared for the angels and saved them from extinction. The angels, like the arts, live outside the rules of reason. These movements do not oppose or challenge reason. They express different needs of the soul. /77

—Homes are unwittingly constructed as sanctuaries for familiar spirits. When we fill our houses with paintings, personal objects, family photographs, music, and other creative expressions, we are enveloping daily life in the plurality of angels. /77

—Anyone who insists that imagining angels is a form of madness has not distinguished psychosis from healthy imaginal life. People suffering from psychosis are flooded with repressed figures and voices. /77

—Confusion ensues because psychic figures are experienced as literal presences and cognition loses its ability to differentiate. We intensify the madness by denying the existence of these figures while simultaneously taking measures to eradicate them. Sick persons need guidance and support in making distinctions between imaginal figures and other forms of life. They need help in moving between inner and outer experience, private and public realms. /78

—Cross-cultural manifestations of the figures we call angels and their shamanic forebears conirm the absence of consistent conceptions and categories. It is the nature of angels to avoid universal definition and so assume varied and radically individualized characteristics. They are specific and intimate figures of the imagination who manifest themselves in an eternal variety of forms or formless presences. They may be conceived as persons who emerge from the artist’s imagination, as the force of creation that moves through the artist, as invisible objects of desire, and so on. /78

—Mythic, religious, and artistic accounts of angels and related phenomena are as multiple as the figures themselves. Each representation is shaped by the image that the person or culture is living, in cooperation with teh inherent nature of the angels. James Hillman says that while people want relationships with angels, it is animals that constantly appear in dreams and art. The animal images take on the angelic ‘functions’ of guiding and restoring the soul’s instinctual nature. /78

—Religions need not oppose the unpredictable multiplicities of the visionary imagination because the mysterium does not relinquish its essential and basic nature. It continues as the hypostasis of every manifestation. In our era when obedience to doctrine and control of the mind seem less significant than personal virtue, meditation, and the experience of creation, there is room once again for individual and independent angels who embody freedom of imagination and spiritual renewal. /79

—The guardian angel is a survival of the Greek daimon and even Socrates, the avatar of rational discourse, imagined that he was guided through his life by a personal daimonion. The Socratic daimonion, an inner teacher or conscience, appears to be synonymous with daimon. My guardian angel or daimon, is forever reinforcing my commitment to art therapy. /80

—Instead of restricting angels to clouds and celestial domains, they can be imagined as emotions and reflections. /80

—As we have found in our work in art therapy, it is the actions of human beings rather than those of the psyche that are dangerous. Nietzsche confirms that when the soul declares itself alone and in difficulty, sympathetic and personal figures will appear. Once again the shamanic pattern presents itself. /80

—It is the person of Zarathustra who reveals and defines himself in Nietzsche’s imagination. The author’s daimon and lifelong companion, not the person of Nietzsche, becomes the object of a sustained meditation and embodiment that brings profound satisfaction. Even though Nietzsche’s Zarathustra preaches self-actualization, the reality of the book involves the actualization of Nietzsche’s angel. The angel ‘individuates himself’ and spontaneously ‘ammounces the soul’s attainment of its truly personal symbol, and the great of the Event resides there.’ /82-83

[The Daimonic Tradition]

—The daimon is related to the Roman concept of genius and similarly serves as a guiding spirit. In our culture genius has lost its original meaning. To renew the notion of genius in art therapy, I have described it as the expressive style that is ‘native’ to a person. Our objective is to support the emanation of the soul’s individual nature, the genius of every person and thing. /90

—Whenever we are oriented exclusively to transcendence, the abandoned chthonic and sensual world becomes demonized. The earthly and imaginal instincts threaten the spiritual order which has not incorporated them as active collaborators, and the repressed aspect becomes a threatening shadow figure. Reason has made demons of essential aspects of soul because they do not fit into its moral schema, but the cultivation of soul involves an interaction with all its qualities. /90

—When artists speak of the spirits of inspirational figures in art who move through them as they create, they may be echoing something close to Hesiod’s ancestral daimones. The great artists of history certainly live on as guides and daimonic functionaries, taking up residence in the souls of later generations who have corresponding sensibilities. /91

—The daimon never takes on fixed meanings, because it is always moving. It is a formative power, creation itself. The personal daimon is associated with the psyche of the individual artist, a familiar, in contrast to the agencies of nature and the influences of other people. Pythagoras considered daimones to be the same as the psyches of men, and for Heraclitus the daimon was a person’s essential nature. (…) Plato presents them as intermediaries between gods and humans, tutelary spirits. (…) Menander in the fourth century B.C. said: ‘By every man at birth a good daimon takes his stand, to initiate him in the mysteries of life.’ /91-92

[Loquent Meditations]

—Our method of dialoguing is based upon careful and sustained observation of the physical qualities of an image. What is it that we see? How do our perceptions differ and agree? What attracts the eye first? Where does it go from there? What do we overlook? We might begin by thinking only of physical qualities—texture, forms, lines, colors, contrasts, light, dark, edges, figures, backgrounds, placements, spatial relationships, verticals, horizontals, and so on. /97-98

—This way of looking becomes a meditation on ‘the other.’ It prevents us from quickly labeling an image according to our frame of reference. /98

—We affirm the particular qualities that comprise its identity, the idiosyncratic traits that define the soul of a person or an object. The experience of soul is connected to the observation of specifics. It has nothing to do with generalizations, standard types, intellectual classifications, and habitual judgments. The person who looks into the soul of another contemplates facets of that person’s being without judgment. /98

[Creation Stories]

—In my studios people instinctively tell stories about the images they make—the obstacles they faced, problems they solved or did not solve, unexpected happenings. I prefer to call these descriptions ‘stories’ rather than ‘explanations.’ because the former suggests elements of poetry and emotion. The story is not necessarily a fiction, although invented and imaginary aspects can certainly further its dramatic and psychological impact. Storytelling is the soul’s speech, and it is free to move between the realities of imagination and literal events. /99

—The guiding attitude of this method is the treatment of images as ensouled. We approach them as we would a person, who similarly cannot be explained. (…) Neither the lion who lives in the wild nor the lion in a person’s painting can be reduced to ‘aggression.’ The more we know about lions, the more we see the unique and specific qualities of each animal. Labeling images betrays the absence of deeper knowledge of the phenomena. They are unique configurations that exist outside the context of descriptive categories. /99

—Our respect for mystery does not mean that we encourage obscurity. The stories we tell about images help us to see them with more emotional insight and visual precision. Stories elucidate the images and their psychological evocations while sustaining mystery. we affirm those aspects of the creative process which will never be grasped by the reasoning mind, but which nevertheless fuel the intellect and introduce drama to the interpretive process. Although it can be fascinating to continuously meditate on the physical qualities of paintings, the soul delights in the enactment of feelings and psychological tensions. /100

—Stories are generally motivated by a desire to share the process of making the image. Although these narratives are another phase of art’s emanation, they are reflective and historic, giving accounts of things that have already happened. (…) The story helps everyone in the group, including the painter, to become aware of the context in which a painting is created. It informs, inspires, and initiates us into the mysteries of the image. /100

—As people take turns in telling stories about their process, the ritual aspects of the procedure are enhanced. Since we typically give all of the people in the studio the opportunity to describe their work, the group practices the art of silent response and affirmation. In our studios we have found that it is natural and important to acknowledge all of the pictures that have been created, so methods tend to be focused on the need to engage the image as well as the person. Telling creation stories is a rite de passage that initiates outsiders into the inner context of the image. /100

[Responding]

—The giving of responses is always guided by the principle of staying with the image, and staying with the person who shows the paintings. If a person strays far afield from the image, the group feels the loss of engagement. Irritation brews if the discourse is not refocused on the image. If we stray with the image and the artist showing the work, we maintain a sensitivity for what is needed. /103

—Timing, sensitivity, precision, and sincerity are traits that we work toward in responding to one another in our studios. Strong, negative, or provocative statements support the group if the purpose of the expression is clear and acceptable. /103

—Attitudes toward time are surprisingly significant within the art therapy studio. Time can be viewed as a ‘personified notion’ that contains emotional histories. Being on time, having enough time, letting go of the past, concerns for the future, engaging the present, flexible engagement of unscheduled arrivals, patient postponement—the clock is the ultimate image of social regulation and it evokes our shadows of compulsion and inattentiveness to others as well as signaling the depth of our caring. /104

[Talking with Images]

—Image dialogue is based on acceptance of the autonomous life of pictures within a world of interactions and multiple perspectives. The artist realizes that the process of expression is never finished. It is unending dialogue. /105

—When I perceive the painting that I make, or the dream that I have as other than myself, I set the stage for dialogue. The painting might have something to say to me, and so I take on the role of listener rather than explainer. A shift takes place in art therapy when people leave the ego position and let the figures in paintings speak through them. These interactions may include both conversation and poetic speech. /106

—In their art work, adults return to the kinetic and free styles of painting that characterize the art of young children before imagination is displaced. The same thing happens when they begin to talk with paintings through the imaginative mind. Fresh and intriguing statements are made. The person speaking is taken by surprise. A sense of vitality emerges from these spontaneous expressions, unrestrained by habitual explanations. Getting out of the ego voice and experiencing other perspectives are fundamental to conflict resolution, innovation, and productivity. /106

—The process of talking with images is close to the free-association techniques of early psychoanalysis, which enabled ‘unconscious’ expressions to circumvent the ‘conscious’ mind. Freud described the artist as ‘leaving’ reality to become immersed in creative fantasy, whereas we see the artist as a person who moves among different realities and psychic states. Creative fantasy is simply another reality. /106

—During the Italian Renaissance, images were introduced to a patient’s imagination to stimulate changes. There was an emphasis on changing the images that lived within the person’s psyche rather than trying to alter the biological conditions of mind. The Renaissance therapies of imagination suggest that we might be better off changing images, stories, and conversations than attempting to ‘fix’ the organism that houses them. This image-centered orientation has fallen like a golden egg into the lap of art therapy. Art can once again operate as a ‘primary’ therapeutic method in which the creative process restructures the images and interactive processes that shape consciousness. /107

—People need coaching and support in dialoguing with images, because they typically think it unusual and ‘out of character’ or ‘childish’ to speak with imaginary figures. Children, by contrast, dialogue effortlessly when given the opportunity. The adult has fallen from imaginal grace. /107

—Image dialogues are threatening because they are not part of our habitual mode of conversation. We fear that we will not be able to do it, that we will make fools of ourselves, that we will not be creative enough, or we question the legitimacy of the procedure. The ideas in our minds block the expression of new images. We think too much about what we are doing, what we should be doing. We are overloaded with information and fear the loss of what we have. /107

—Participants in our studios describe how they ‘feel’ the conversations as discourse shifts into dialogue. The pictures and the experience of dialogue begin to act on our emotions. Paintings have stories to tell, feelings to express, complaints to make, and endless communications which expand the scope of our studio. If we view paintings as personified images, we identify with them in new ways. /108

—When we talk about pictures rather than with them, we are in the genre of opinion, and description. Talking with a person replaces monologue with dialogue; we find ourselves in group situations where we talk to ourselves, or simply talk in the company of others without interacting and listening. Artistic dialogue encourages each person’s expression but shifts it to a context of active listening and responding, in which the quality of the interaction is more important than making your point. We have found that this other-centered orientation helps individuals express themselves, since people make more of an effort to listen and support one another. /108

[The Value of Dialogue]

—I have found that people suffering from psychosis are living in states of perceptual fragmentation, withdrawal, and extreme self-protection. They are typically involved in autistic fantasies. Through image dialogues they make perceptual contact with a particular image and respond to it within a conversational context. Image dialogues differentiate states of consciousness and connect inner experience to external objects. /109

—Outside the realm of psychosis, image dialogues deepen the creative process. /109

—The dialogues help us to see more in our paintings. If I make a series of pictures of cows, I do not leave the specific images and conceptualize them as expressions of my feminity, ‘anima,’ the repression of the feminine, my nurturing potential, needs for nurturance, fear of nurturance, longing for mother, and so forth. These conceptualizations abandon the cows to the voracious and all-enveloping ego, which sees itself in everything. /109

—In our studios we try to stay with the cows, enter their world, and look carefully at their distinct qualities. How are they similar and different? How do I respond to the feelings they express through their colors, textures, bodies, faces, environment? /109

—Through dialogue I become sensitive to my interaction with the cows. Rather than try to explain ‘why’ I painted the cows, I encourage them to speak to me and to one another. /109

—Dialoguing with images is not always necessary. Cows being cows, they may not want to speak to us. (…) The psychic cows may be emissaries of pastoral existence, artistic daimones who shows us the pleasures of sensing without chatter. /110

—The value of Jung’s psychology has little to do with ‘proving’ the existence or nonexistence of autonomous figures. Psychic pathologies, wounds, and helpers all exist within the imagination his therapy activates. Jung’s practice of ‘active imagination’ follows the artistic tradition of encouraging characters and images to reveal themselves, to speak for themselves, and influence the person who contemplates them. /110

—Art as medicine strives to establish imaginal sympathies with simple things that are taken for granted each day. Actually, the things that we find most insignificant and even repulsive can be useful objects for dialogue. They contain our shadows, dislikes, biases, intolerances, inattentiveness, and sense of superiority. Commonplace objects—machines, trash, run-down houses, gawdy constructions, poorly painted pictures, ‘eyesores’—carry potential for imaginative dialogue about themes that we overlook. /112

—The picture feels insulted and asks: ‘What’s wrong with a first-grade painting? And isn’t the first grade the place where you stopped making pictures? Maybe you have to bo back to the first grade of your imagination, back to the fundamentals, in order to begin to paint. First you praise the freedom and spontaneity of children’s art and wish you could be that free, and then you begin to judge your work as ‘childish’ and reject it. You sound confused. Whom are you trying to please? Why can’t you enjoy yourself? Why is everything so serious? /112-113

—The patient may be less threatened by the prospect of talking to a figure in a painting than to another person. Ultimately, therapists must adjust their methods to the particulars of each situation and avoid generalization. /118

[Performance]

—The performance dimension was a natural extension or our attempts to find more spontaneous ways of interacting with paintings. With performance art we are able to give the artist the opportunity to move with the image, to enact the impact that it has on the psyche, and to explore how the image affects the body. Through performance we move from two to three dimensions and consciously introduce the ritual aspect of art therapy. /119

—People who respond to their art through performance in our studios report that the dramatic context brings the most complete release from debilitating self-consciousness. /120-121

—We generally limit performances to ten minutes to enhance focus. The participant senses that ‘This is it. This is my time.’ And the audience reciprocates with a corresponding attitude. Concentration is heightened by time restraints, which, far from creating inhibiting ‘pressures,’ stimulate creativity. /121

—Even highly trained performers found that the brevity of the format served to intensify the work, largely as a result of its ability to hold the attention of the audience at peak levels of concentration. The sequential process of three or four performances following one another also demands that we do not saturate the audience and drain their capacity to respond. I have discovered that brevity, as in the haiku poem, helps to articulate the essential statement with a minimum of distractions. /121

—The presentation of the body as an image helps eliminate the separation of teh art work from its environment. Customer, together with the archaic practice of painting and decorating the body, bring yet another trace of shamanic practices. Artists enter, move within, and leave the environment of the performance. /125

—As temporal events, performances are inseparable from ritual. A performance is presented once. This immerses it in the larger context of life and undermines the tendency to view art as an object separate from both time and life. The performance has its designated time yet connects participants to the nonlinear ‘dreamtime’ of shamanic culture. /125-126

—By keeping a performance as simple as possible, artists increase their sensitivity to the environment, the group energy, and the dreamtime. I often introduce performance to a studio group by inviting participants to leave their positions in the circle and move into the center of the group for at least sixty seconds while they practice presenting themselves as images. This elementary change in position, together with the absence of talking, generates a transformative sensitivity to bodily communication. Presence is heightened through silence, and there is an immediate sense of the group’s focused energy and the animation of the physical space. /126

—Our performance art relates to images that have emerged from paintings and helps the actor to establish bonds to feelings and images that have been ‘inwardly experienced.’ The performance offers both an opportunity to reenter the feeling of the experience and to travel to yet another place. /126

[Dreaming]

—Although paintings are frequently made in response to dreams, dreams can themselves interpret art with insights that the conscious mind cannot approach. In this way dream experience joins performance, dialogue, and meditation in contributing to the exegesis of a picture. Dreams speak through visual imagery, environments, movements, and feelings as well as words. /128

—Every painting and dream is a new birth in which the procreating imagination lives and sustains its generative force. /130

—Dreams and paintings involve a nonlinear convergence of forces—psychic and material, personal and impersonal—which interact to create an event. /130

—The dream is not to be interpreted literally, and we assist the agents provocateurs in eluding the snares of literalism. The literal reading of the dream may limit interpretive meditation. Something that is repugnant in waking life may serve the symbolic purpose of the dream. Yet I do not want to say that dreams never speak literally. Their communications are multifaceted and often include shockingly direct expressions. /131

—Dreams are vital participants in our art therapy studios. Their emanation closely parallels the making of artistic images, and we respond to dreams in much the same way that we engage paintings. The making of artistic images can be likened to a waking dream. By sharing dreams we immerse our studio in the irradiations of psyche and invoke its manifestations. My meditations on dreams spiritualize my waking life, and there is no doubt that the raw material of what I do each day, the insignificant, subtle, and unwatched experiences, provide the subject matter for psyche’s nocturnal art. /131

—In a contemporary and ‘living’ dream life, the artifacts of the present become shamanic tools, which are not restricted to rattles, drums, horses, feathers, and other classical objects. The presence of contemporary artifacts in dreams is an opening to the discovery of divinities in our homes, streets, work places, the devis and devas who flourish in our shopping malls. The instinctus divinus is strongest in the most unlikely and therefore most unconscious places. Dreams thus infuse the day world with the divine. /134

[Image Dialogues]

—Image dialogue is a mode of the creative process that follows picture making and creates yet another series of expressions. This therapy of the imagination was anticipated by Jung, who introduced all of the creative arts therapies to psychotherapy through his practice of active imagination, an inner drama involving the full spectrum of artistic expressions. /145

—My use of dialogue has emerged from a desire to deepen psychological engagement with images and amplify the spectrum of expression. /145

The Four Insights

 

The Four InsightsWisdom, Power, and Grace of the Earthkeepers, Los Angeles: Hay House, 2007.

The Four Insights chronologically is the last of the three books by Dr. Alberto Villoldo that I review here, as it was the most recent at the time I drafted these reviews.

The book is structured very differently from the preceding ones, in that it condenses the teaching into Four Insights.

Part One: Understanding the Energy of Perception

The Four Levels of Perception
Your Energetic Anatomy

Part Two: The Four Insights

Insight One—The Way of the Hero

The Practice of Nonjudgment
The Practice of Nonsuffering
The Practice of Nonattachment
The Practice of Beauty

Insight Two—The Way of the Luminous Warrior

The Practice of Fearlessness
The Practice of Nondoing
The Practice of Certainty
The Practice of Nonengagement

Insight Three—The Way of the Seer

The Practice of Beginner’s Mind
The Practice of Living Consequently
The Practice of Transparency
The Practice of Integrity

Insight Four—The Way of the Sage

The Practice of Mastering Time
The Practice of Owning Your Projections
The Practice of No-mind
The Practice of Indigenous Alchemy Continue reading