This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What exactly is Universal Consciousness? Is there a way you can connect to the universal, all-encompassing mind?
According to Joseph Murphy, Universal Consciousness is the “life force” that created and continues to manage the entire universe. You are already connected to the Universal Consciousness through your subconscious mind. Through this access, your subconscious mind orchestrates interactions and creates experiences that line up with your habitual conscious thoughts, expectations, and beliefs. These results reflect both how you feel about yourself and what you expect to experience in your life.
In this article, you’ll learn how your subconscious mind aligns your life experiences with your habitual thoughts.
Connecting to the Universal Consciousness
Murphy argues that your subconscious mind is infinite and has no limitations: There is no limit to the amount of information it can record and store, and its connection to Universal Consciousness gives it access to all of the information in the universe. They encompass every area of your life including your health, relationships, finances, and career.
Murphy claims that your subconscious mind leads you to these experiences through the use of intuition. Each time you feel inspired, have a gut instinct, or the impulse or urge to do something, this is your subconscious communicating and guiding you towards specific life experiences that match your habitual conscious thoughts. Murphy’s theory explains the coincidences and serendipitous moments that occur in your life.
For example, you’re on your way somewhere but feel impelled to take a different route. This route leads you to bump into someone you were planning to get in touch with. Though you may pass it off as a happy coincidence, Murphy argues that this is your subconscious mind creating your life experiences.
|The Law of Attraction: The Universe Communicates With You Through Intuition
Murphy claims that your subconscious mind creates life experiences that align with your habitual conscious thoughts. But he doesn’t explain how it produces results. Therefore, we’ll consider how Law of Attraction theory argues this interplay occurs, as it aligns well with the principles of the New Thought Movement.
Like Murphy, the Law of Attraction (LoA) also claims that your life experiences match your habitual thoughts. This philosophy is centered around the belief that you get what you focus on: Positive thoughts lead to positive consequences, and negative thoughts lead to negative consequences. However, unlike Murphy, the LoA doesn’t factor in the role that your subconscious mind plays in this process. Instead, it argues that your thoughts and beliefs (what the LoA calls your “frequency”) send a signal to the universe. The universe then delivers experiences that match your thoughts and beliefs.
To visualize how this works, picture a vast, infinite ocean of magnetic thoughts and experiences shared and influenced by the entire universe. Each of your conscious thoughts is a magnetic drop in this ocean—the thought feels impelled to move towards an experience that matches it, and this experience feels impelled to move towards the thought that created it. In this way, your conscious thoughts influence the shape and the frequency of the currents and the waves (your life experiences).
Similarly to Murphy, the LoA claims that these magnetic pulls influence your emotions and your intuition—the universe creates your feelings of intuition to guide you to experiences that match your thoughts. This explains why you’re repeatedly drawn to the same types of situations and life experiences.
For example, you habitually complain about your love life because you always feel attracted to the type of partner that lets you down. According to the LoA, you initially feel inspired to trust this type of partner because your habitual thoughts instruct the universe to guide you to the wrong type of partner. As a result, the universe sends you emotions and intuitive feelings that encourage you to start relationships that are destined to fail.
According to research, intuition does give us the ability to know something without conscious analytical thought—this knowledge comes from all of the information you have stored in your subconscious mind. While it’s clear that your subconscious mind does influence your emotions and your intuitive feelings, there isn’t any scientific research to back up the theory that these feelings are messages from the universe.
You’re Designed to Feel Healthy and Happy
Murphy believes that Universal Consciousness is a benevolent force that your subconscious mind is connected to, and the natural by-products of this force are positive: vitality, bliss, and forward motion. Because you have an innate connection to this force, you are a physical extension of this positive force—he explains that a stream of positive energy flows within you to nurture you both physically and emotionally and around you to create joyous life experiences. Consequently, Murphy concludes that you’re designed to think in ways that align with this energy so that you can live in a constant state of bliss.
To visualize this, imagine that you’re rowing down a stream made up of this positive force of energy. Everything and everyone you pass on your way along this stream represents your physical and emotional well-being and all of your life experiences. The stream comfortably flows towards good health, happy relationships, and satisfying experiences.
|Humans Turn to Higher Powers to Control the Uncontrollable
Murphy’s claim that Universal Consciousness is inherently good, and his belief that its “good” energy can help you to feel good too, is rooted in his religious background. Murphy was Minister-Director of the Church of Divine Science, a religious faction within the wider New Thought movement. This religion’s core belief is that God is good, the source of all creation, and is omnipresent. This faction instructs followers to practice feeling the “presence of God” in order to connect to the inherent goodness within us and the universe.
The belief in an inherently good higher power lies at the forefront of most dominant religions. Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens) explains that the idea of a benevolent God originally arose from the human need to control our environment. When faced with uncontrollable events, such as a drought or epidemic, humans created Gods and assigned them the power to control the things they couldn’t.
By assigning these Gods with personalities and biases, humans could believe that these Gods took an active interest in the human world. Further, they believed that by praying and providing offerings, they could negotiate with these Gods to intervene in the world and shape their experiences. The act of turning things over to a higher power gave humans a way of rationalizing uncontrollable events and the resilience to face challenges and upheavals.
The Church of Divine Science takes this concept of God a step further: It teaches that humans, through their connection to a higher power, are God. According to this religion, we don’t need to pray to a higher power to intervene on our behalf. Instead, we can take control of our environment by connecting to the higher power that lives within us.
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Here's what you'll find in our full The Power of Your Subconscious Mind summary :
- How your subconscious mind creates your life experiences
- How to improve your life experiences by using your conscious mind to influence your subconscious
- Why we're all designed to experience happiness