Dr Joseph Murphy on Becoming Responsible
Today I stumbled across an old favourite of mine. A fine book called ‘How to Use the Laws of Mind’ by Dr Joseph Murphy. I was immediately taken aback by the simplicity with which Murphy conveyed his message on being self responsible. I quickly realised that as an author, much of his huge success and book sales could be attributed to the fact he managed to merge spirituality, science and practicality so simply into his numerous books. His writing is plain and easy to understand for anyone looking to work on self development. Everything is laid bare very clearly, meaning even a novice can gain much from his work.
He somehow manages to make very difficult concepts easy to comprehend in a way, many other authors/teachers often failed to achieve. His most famous work was the best selling ‘The Power of your Subconscious Mind’. This book defined his career and sold many millions of copies worldwide. It is a very fine practical manual to the development of the subconscious mind/inner self, which leaves no stone left unturned.
I personally prefer ‘How to Use the Laws of Mind’ though, as it’s message is much more concise and straightforward. His main message focussing around the power of faith in the inner self and the duty for us as humans to become responsible over our lives once again. This book was written shortly before his passing in 1981. I can only describe it as very mature and refined progression from ‘The Power of your Subconscious Mind’. I will include some key quotes in the following.
The Truth that sets you Free is Being Self Responsible
‘When you realise that every form of lack and limitation is the result of your wrong thinking and feeling, you shall know the Truth that sets you free. The mountains will be removed.’ – Dr. Joseph Murphy
When we truly begin to realise that a lot of the circumstances in our lives are governed by our thoughts and feelings, we have discovered the truth that sets us free. I have written extensively about the power of faith, letting go and the need for us to go within and connect with our inner self. I have also written extensively about the subconscious mind and how it is the hidden controller of our daily conscious experience.
The thoughts and feelings we hold hidden away in the subconscious mind, make us the people we are. Other people do not make us who we are, do not let other people have power over you like this! How we think about ourselves is the the thing that makes us who we are. Unless we assume responsibility over the inner self/subconscious, we will fail to make any changes whatsoever. Once we understand the importance of self responsibility for our lives. We have found the truth that will set us free! The seeming mountains of suffering and hardship in our lives, will be hastily removed from our pathway.
‘When you give Power to conditions, circumstances, events, or to other people to mar your happiness or thwart your good, you are giving power to externals and not to the First cause’ – Dr. Joseph Murphy
This is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks in our search for change, the stumbling block being our ability to assume responsibility for our lives. Many of us find it much easier to blame others for anything that happens to us, rather than to take a genuine look at ourselves on a deeper level. To change ourselves and to take responsibility for ourselves is hard work. It is always a much easier option for us to give our responsibility away to others. We can’t continue offloading the blame on to the world and still expect to change our lives though.
Avoiding the need to be Self Responsible
Many people do not like responsibility of any kind and will do anything to avoid it. Many people will moan endlessly about the hardships they face while doing nothing to change their circumstances. In fact, many people will grow angry and defensive, if it is even insinuated that they should take responsibility over their own lives. If they are encouraged to be responsible, they will have a list of excuses as to why they can’t become responsible. They fail to understand how self destructive this behaviour is though and will continue on this perilous path to ruin. It must be emphasised again, if you fail to change your thoughts about yourself. You will fail to make any lasting external changes.
Remember the ‘First Cause’ is always Inside of Us
We must remember the first cause of our lives, the first cause being the inner self/subconscious/unconscious mind. Whatever thoughts and feelings circulate inside of us are the first cause of all of our external circumstances that we feel powerless to fight against. As within, so without. We must look to change ourselves on the inside, if we wish to change our external circumstances.
Understanding the Power of the Subconscious
When we do learn to take responsibility for our minds and understand, that we are creating the lives we lead through our thoughts and feelings. We have discovered a wonderful realisation of our own ability to create a new life. Once this realisation is made, everything changes and the Truth is found. Before this discovery, we were merely slaves and servants to circumstances. You have been living in ignorance of your true powers. We are free to create a new life when we discover that the subconscious mind is governing our daily existence. We put ourselves back in the driving seat, whereas before we were merely passengers.
Understanding that our destines are governed by our own beliefs about ourselves makes taking responsibility a fun thing to embrace, not a hardship. We understand that our happiness is in our own hands. We no longer simply offload all of our woes on to other people.
How do we become Responsible for the Mind?
Awareness is the key to implementing this strategy, through awareness we start to look at the thoughts and feelings we have. This is the first step to self responsibility. If we fail to become aware of our thoughts, then we fail to become responsible. When we have dark thoughts, to simply let the thoughts overpower us is to avoid responsibility. When negative thoughts enter your mind, you must question them directly. You don’t need to avoid or deny the thoughts, it is a silly notion to avoid or deny anything. Awareness of your thoughts good or bad, is the crucial way to approach this. Running away from negative thoughts, simply leads to greater repression of thoughts causing more bad subconscious belief systems to be formed.
Ask Why, Why and Why again and be Aware
‘The problem confronting one is itself an out picturing of oneself. We can learn much of ourselves, about the true self within, from a study of the unresolved problem confronting us. It ought to receive a great deal of study and meditation, to stimulate us to ask ‘Why’ many times’. – Dr. Israel Regardie
Simply start by asking yourself the question ‘Why do I feel like this?’ when destructive thoughts enter the mind. This is the true nature of taking back responsibility. Those deadly thoughts that we often ignore or run away are now being confronted and faced directly when we ask ‘Why?’. Many children will often ask Why when confronted with anything new in their lives. We must go back to being innocent children, when negative thoughts enter our mind. We must become Aware of the thought itself and then simply ask ‘Why?’ as a starting point for becoming Self Responsible.
By questioning thoughts and feelings. We begin to question the reality of the negative thought or feeling and immediately reduce its power over us. By asking ‘Why?’, we also get to understand where these destructive patterns stem from. Our subconscious will often show us where this belief stems from, if we truly look at the thought and continue to ask ‘Why?’ with discipline. Once we have established where these thoughts are stemming from. We then find the root of our negative thoughts/feelings about ourselves. Once we have found the root of our destructive thinking. We can then gain a much greater awareness of why our mind functions the way it does.
The Bullies and Enemies that torment us
‘More importantly, to love your enemies means to banish from your mind your fears, hates, jealousies, angers and resentments, all of which are self created, for these are your real enemies.’ – Dr. Joseph Murphy
A lot of negative thoughts can be likened to bullies and enemies that torment us. How do we resolve the issue with a bully or enemy though? If we run from the bully or simply try to ignore him, he sees this as a sign of weakness and comes into attack us some more. Only once the bully is stood up to and confronted, does he suddenly shrink away and back down. As is the nature of most bullies, they are in reality cowards. Our destructive thoughts are also cowards and don’t like being confronted or faced. Once they are confronted, they begin to lose there rule and dominion over us.
Feeling jealous, hateful, fearful and resentful are all enemies which we must learn to confront and banish. If we continue to feed on such negative energy on the inside, our outside life will continue to reflect this deeply negative inner nature. If we experience these emotions, we must not just dismiss them as something coming from outside of ourselves. We have created these thoughts/feelings and must be responsible for them. No one was born into the world feeling hateful and angry. Surely this in itself, proves that all of these destructive emotions have been created within us throughout our lifetime
Our negative thoughts must be likened to enemies and we must confront them when they carry a venomous quality. We will find simply from confronting the thoughts and asking why, these mountains will shrink before our eyes. The power they are holding over us is lessened in an instant. This process does require self discipline but the discipline itself pays it’s own dividends in time.
‘Once you know that consciousness is the only reality and is the sole creator of your particular world and have burnt this truth into your whole being, then you know that success or failure is entirely in your own hands’ – Neville Goddard
This discipline I speak of, is understanding your ability to become responsible for your own thoughts and feelings. As Neville puts so accurately in the above quote, really burn the truth inside yourself that you are responsible for your own life. Your fate is entirely in your own hands and no one else holds the key. Only once you gain this higher level of awareness and responsibility over your self can Freedom and Truth be found again. We must stop seeking outside of ourselves for change! We must start by becoming responsible for making our own inner changes. Becoming aware of all of our thoughts whether good or bad, is our greatest step to achieving this goal.
You are not born to suffer and fail as many would have you believe, you are born to succeed. Never forget it! If you are looking to find an easy to read book that bridges the gap between spiritual and scientific thinking. ‘How to Use the Laws of Mind’ by the great Dr. Joseph Murphy, should be at the top of your list. The only book I feel that achieves a better balance on this front, is ‘The Romance of Metaphysics – An Introduction to the History, Theory and Psychology of Modern Metaphysics’ by Dr. Israel Regardie. This book is not quite such, an easy read though. I will leave you with an inspiring lecture from Neville Goddard on this very topic, ‘No One to Change But Self’.