The Power Of The Unconscious In Manifestation
I have been working this afternoon on the power of the unconscious mind, and its ability to produce synchronicity, coincidence, and generally act as a gateway between your conscious intentions and the astounding power of the universe. It is, in short, an agent of manifestation.
So I thought I’d have a bit of fun to close my working day, and open Napoleon Hill’s book Think And Grow Rich at random, to see if I could construct an article with any kind of synchronicity.
I’ll tell you what did strike me immediately: the fact that Think And Grow Rich is a book written in 1928! It’s desperately in need of updating.
However, it does contain some fundamental truths about manifestation, and Hill’s writing is good in some areas.
He strong, for example, when he talks about the sixth sense being the agent through which “infinite intelligence” can communicate with everyone of us.
Now I know what he means by infinite intelligence – he means cosmic consciousness, universal energy, the collective unconscious, or some higher power, which appears to be the collective memory and knowledge of the universe, together with some kind of space-time continuum out of which an infinite number of possibilities can manifest on our physical plane.
Not that Hill put it that way, LOL!
Rather, Hill referred to the sixth sense as the creative imagination, but to be honest you can call it what you will. He was right in saying, however, that it defies description. And he was also right in saying that it can’t be described to someone who hasn’t mastered the philosophy of manifestation.
In short, unless you’ve experienced the power of the subconscious for yourself, you’re not likely to be able to fully understand it. And, you probably won’t believe in it, either.
As Hill said, you can only understand the creative imagination if you have spent time exploring how it operates, and using it as the “medium of contact between the finite mind of man and infinite intelligence”.
The creative intelligence, or the sixth sense, or the unconscious mind, have a spiritual aspect to them: they are the gateway, or the point of contact, between the human mind and the collective unconscious or infinite intelligence.
The way in which this works is mysterious to us, even now, but it’s certainly the means by which “miracles” appear to happen in our lives. Yet of course manifestation only appears to be a miracle because we don’t know the full explanation of how our minds can connect with the infinite intelligence of the universe.
What we do know is that manifestation is not a magical process, and in one sense at least it’s not a mysterious one either.
Manifestation takes place because our minds have the ability to communicate with infinite intelligence. And infinite intelligence is able to transmute our desires into concrete or material form.
Internal counsellors and manifestation
So one of the things that Hill wrote about was his internal, imaginary council. This was composed of historical figures in his imagination including Napoleon, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and other notable figures from the world of business and science at the time.
Hill invited these figures – initially nine of them – into his imagination and sat them around what he called the council table, where he acted as chairman. And then he allowed them free range of expression, so they could say what they wanted to, they could make observations as and when they felt so inclined, and they could offer advice in response to his questions.
So far so good – quite an ingenious process, don’t you think?
Hill started this process because he wanted to incorporate the character of his counselors into his own psyche – specifically, he says in his book, to overcome the disadvantages of the circumstances into which he was born (he speaks of the handicap of being born into an environment of ignorance and superstition).
At the time, the development of psychology as a science was taking place in America, and people like William James were coming up with the first ideas about how personality and character was formed.
Hill clearly believed that a man’s character was determined by his dominant thoughts, and he believed that if he incorporated the best and most impressive characteristics of his imaginary counselors into his own behavioral and emotional repertoire, he would take on those characteristics.
Again, a fair assumption, quite sophisticated for his time.
But something rather unexpected began to happen: Hill began to experience these characters as though they were real.
For example, they developed individual habits and characteristics in his imagination, and sometimes they offered individual advice and behaved in a very idiosyncratic way.
It’s no wonder that at the time Hill kept this to himself: indeed, he didn’t speak of it until he was in the last third of his life, by which time, as he wryly observed, he had more courage to speak of such matters than he had in his youth!
Eventually, the meetings became so realistic that Hill developed some anxiety about the consequences, and discontinued them for several months.
Indeed, it appears that Hill might have thought he was going mad, although what he actually said was: “I was afraid if I continued them I would lose sight of the fact that the meetings were purely experiences of my imagination.”
Yet it’s clear from his writing about his counselors that he really suspected something above and beyond the power of his imagination was at work here.
One night, he had a dream in which Abraham Lincoln came to him and told him how essential his work would be in inspiring future generations, as a result of which he reconvened his imaginary council, and set it back to work.
Now Napoleon Hill does emphasize the fact that he knew this council was purely imaginary, but he also said that “While the members of my cabinet may be purely fictional, and the meetings existent only in my imagination, they have led me into glorious pats of adventure, rekindled an appreciation of true greatness, encourage creative endeavor, and embolden the expression of honest thought.”
He then goes on to talk about the sixth sense, what he described as the source of “hunches”. And then he specifically said that during his meeting with his counselors, he found his mind most receptive to ideas, thoughts, and knowledge which reached him through his sixth sense. Indeed, he attributed his counselors full credit for such ideas, facts or knowledge as he received through inspiration.
In other words, Hill regarded his imaginary counselors as being a gateway to infinite intelligence.
He had, in short, developed a mode of connection with infinite intelligence using symbols and imagination in his own mind. (Read more about master mind groups here.*)
And although he started out years before with the intention of taking on the characteristics of the men who he recruited into his council, in later years, he began to use them as a source of inspiration and information.
Although he freely admitted that he did not depend entirely on information from this source, what he said was that he went to his imaginary counselors with “every difficult problem which confronts me and my clients. The results are often astonishing, although I do not depend entirely on this form of counsel”.
Now what’s interesting about this to me is that people often speak of the power of the unconscious when they are talking about manifestation, yet I don’t really see anybody, anywhere, using a system as refined as Napoleon Hill’s as a mechanism for contacting infinite intelligence.
Just imagine, for a moment, if you could develop a system like this in your mind, and use it as a deliberate conduit through which you could communicate your intentions and goals – in short the things you wish to manifest – to the universal intelligence.
Would this not be a very powerful and effective adjunct to the process of manifestation?
Perhaps this was what Hill meant when he spoke about “the secret” that he had concealed within the pages of Think And Grow Rich?
*When success guru Napoleon Hill interviewed Andrew Carnegie, inquiring as to the secret of his success, Carnegie replied that it could be traced to the “sum total of the minds” of his business associates–his managers, accountants, chemists and so on. He called this combined brain power a “master mind,” and attributed to it the power of his success. Hill came to believe that a Master Mind was not only the key to Carnegie’s success, but the secret to the success of all great men, the “very foundation stone of all outstanding personal achievements.” From Art Of Manliness.