The 5 Principles of the Subconscious Mind.


Many people are becoming aware of the subconscious mind and understand how important it is to work with the subconscious in order to better their lives. However, with the extensive literature surrounding the topic, people are becoming confused as to what the subconscious mind really is and how they can effectively use it.

This piece aims to return the basics and the original writers to shed some clarity on the subconscious mind. The Principles presented herein are not methods or ideas, they are the essential reality of how the subconscious mind operates in relation to the conscious mind.

The Five Principles for working with Subconscious Mind are:

  1. Correspondence – As Within, So Without – As Below, So Below
  2. Filter – The conscious mind acts as a filter, allowing and disallowing information to be transmitted to the subconscious mind.
  3. Always Active – The subconscious mind is always active. All external stimuli are absorbed by the subconscious at all times.
  4. Conflict – A conflict between the conscious and the subconscious thwarts an individual’s effort in programming the subconscious mind.
  5. Dominant Idea – The subconscious mind gives preference to the dominant idea.

Throughout this piece, these five important principles will be explained. We will be using two books to help elucidate our arguments; Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy,

If you would like a comprehensive book summary for both books, please click here & here.




As Inside, So Outside; As Above, So Below.

There is a direct connection between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

Whatever happens consciously will be registered into the subconscious mind. And vice versa; whatever is in the subconscious mind will manifest itself on the conscious mind.

If you think, speak, act and live in a negative manner, that will be the seed planted in your mind. As you continue to nurture this seed, you grow an undesirable plant. And that plant represents an undesirable and miserable life.

However, if you regularly think and speak positively, you plant a seed that will grow into a beautiful plant; that being a desirable and fulfilling life.

The conscious and subconscious mind are interdependent on each other.

The conscious mind relies on the subconscious mind for programs.

These programs are also known as habits. Once a thought pattern or a behaviour pattern is established in the subconscious mind, said thought or said behaviour becomes a habit.

Also, the conscious mind can create programs for the subconscious mind.

By sheer willpower and repetition, one can develop a program for the subconscious. This is essentially how habits are formed. One repeats a certain action for a long amount of time until that action becomes involuntary.

Reflect on the time when you first tried to ride a bike. You needed to focus and perform mental checks all the time. As you followed that process for an extended amount of time, the action of riding a bike became natural and involuntary. You no longer need to focus on hand placements and the movements of your legs, you hop on and ride away.

There are two ways to apply this law:

The Outward – Inward Approach.

Think about an action that you perform involuntarily, for example, checking your phone right after you wake up. If you are able to change that action you can reprogram your subconscious to perform a different action each time you wake up.

If the conscious mind prompts a certain behaviour or thought pattern or is exposed to a certain environment regularly, the subconscious mind.

Based on this, it seems important to a) repeat something you wish to ingrain in your subconscious b) surround yourself with the things of which you would like to ingrain in your subconscious.

The Inward – Outward Approach.

This approach looks at changing your inner programs to change your outer behaviours and actions.

This approach looks at autosuggestion to change the subconscious mind.


Many contemporary writers have given detailed steps for autosuggestion; however I find that these detailed steps are unnecessary.

Autosuggestion is a term which applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses” (Hill, 1983)

The key elements of autosuggestion are:

High Suggestibility – For the subconscious mind to pick up suggestions, the subconscious mind needs to be more accessible than the conscious mind. The conscious mind must be submerged temporarily. This is done through meditation, sleeping, hypnosis and general relaxation. At these moments you have high suggestibility and any suggestion made will reach the subconscious mind easily.

Emotion – “Plain, unemotional words do not influence the subconscious mind” (Hill, 1983). Many people utilise autosuggestion incorrectly by not including emotion with the statements that they are saying. An autosuggestion without emotion is considered to be a futile autosuggestion. In the following chapters we will explain why a statement without emotion will fail to make its way to the subconscious mind.

Faith – “When faith is blended with thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence, as in the case of prayer” (Hill, 1983). If you do not believe that your autosuggestion will become true, then it will not become true. If you do believe it will become true, then it will become true.

There are a few other tips for effective autosuggestion, however the above three elements are the most important.




The conscious mind acts as a filter, allowing and disallowing information to be transmitted to the subconscious mind.

Sometimes external stimulus is not transmitted to the subconscious and that is due to the filtering process of the conscious mind.

If the conscious mind finds some information to be untrue, then that information is rejected.

Many people make affirmations for wealth in the present tense.

A common one is ‘I am wealthy’. Later on, they may look into their wallets and find nothing there. At this point there is a conflict. You said you are wealthy, but you really aren’t. With this actual lack of wealth comes the feeling of the lack of wealth.

An affirmation mixed with faith and emotion is much more powerful than a vain affirmation.

ALL THOUGHTS WHICH HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALIZED, (given feeling) AND MIXED WITH FAITH, begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart” (Hill, 1983).

Many people try to deceive their minds by repeating a statement over and over.

This is futile.

The only way that affirmations could work is by attaching an emotion & faith to the affirmation. The best way to attach an emotion & faith to an affirmation is to visualise a scenario in which the affirmation has come to pass.

Visualisation is the closest you can get to actually experiencing a scenario.

Visualization is simply the creation of a strong Mental Image of the thing desired and perfecting it each until it becomes almost clear as an existing material thing. Then the Visualization tends to Materialize itself–that is, it begins to build around itself (the) actual material conditions corresponding with the mental framework” (Atkinson, 1909)

If you want to feel rich, visualise yourself as rich and iron out all the details; what car are you driving? What clothes you are wearing? How are you obtaining your wealth? And so on.

When visualising the money, you intend to accumulate, see yourself rendering the service, or delivering the merchandise you intend to give in return for this money. This is important! (Hill, 1983).

The information that should not be allowed to make its way into the subconscious mind includenegative dialogue phrases, negative visuals and negative music.

The filter process plays an important part regarding the rejection of information into the subconscious mind.

If one does not use his conscious mind to actively reject such external stimuli then that information could easily enter the subconscious mind.

Check regularly on the negative suggestions people make to you. You do not have to be influenced by destructive heterosuggestions” (Murphy, 1963)



Always Active

The subconscious mind is always active. All external stimuli are absorbed by the subconscious at all times.

The first thing to realize is that your subconscious mind is always working” (Murphy, 1963)

Anything that is sensed or felt is transmitted to the subconscious mind, even if such sensations or stimulus are not consciously registered.

Hence it becomes essential to take heed of your environment.

Are you in an environment that fosters positive experiences or negative experiences?

Are you actively watching or listening to media that is of a good or bad nature?

Are you with people that speak and act positively or negatively?

It is important to spend most of your time in a good environment, however this cannot be the case for most of the time. Undoubtedly you will find yourself in an undesirable environment, and it is important that at that moment you should remain aware and vigilant. Mentally reaffirm to yourself that such environments are not good and never allow yourself to get comfortable in such environments.

The mind works off habits and familiarity. Whatever is familiar is what the mind will seek, and whatever the mind seeks, is what the person himself will seek.

An important question arises here:

Are people the controllers of their mind or is the mind the controller of the person?

The answer is both.

We live based on the patterns and attitudes submerged in our subconscious mind. Hence, we say the mind controls the person. However, the person is fully capable of changing those patterns and attitudes and therefore we can also say that the person controls the mind.

The subconscious mind controls a person’s actions and behaviours without him even realising.

We perform certain things every day without a voluntary will to do so. We pull out our phones in certain situations, we wake up and perform the same behaviours every morning and before we sleep, we perform the same behaviours.

However, through self-awareness one can pick up on certain habits, and through willpower and determination one can replace a regularly performed behaviour with a more desirable behaviour. Then the mind will pick up on the new pattern and sooner or later one finds himself performing the new behaviour involuntarily.

To conclude; we find that it is important to practice self-awareness and reflect on the environments you spend most of your time. It is not wise to allow your mind to become too familiar with an undesirable environment, it is better for one to choose himself which environments the mind can become familiar with.




A conflict between the conscious and the subconscious thwarts an individual’s effort in programming the subconscious mind.

This is an essential law for those who are struggling to see results from their efforts in reprogramming their subconscious mind.

For instance:

You desire wealth and proceed to perform affirmations, autosuggestions, and other techniques in order to attract wealth. However, at the same time you worry and fret about the lack of wealth, you also criticise and feel a tint of animosity upon seeing others who are wealthy.

Joseph Murphy (1963) writes; “This is why they lack; they are condemning the thing they desire and want.”

At this point there is a conflict. You consciously wish and desire for wealth, yet your subconscious has already associated wealth with worry, stress and animosity.

To effectively program your subconscious mind to attract wealth, your subconscious mind must have a completely positive association with wealth.

You cannot attract what you criticize.

You cannot attract what you worry about.

You cannot attract what you dislike.



Dominant Idea

The subconscious mind gives preference to the dominant idea.

Your subconscious is always controlled by the dominant idea.” (Murphy, 1963)

This principle leads on from the previous one (Conflict).

When there is a conflict of ideas & interests, the subconscious mind will give preference to the dominant idea.

What makes an idea or proposition dominant ?

Emotion: A thought backed by emotion is more powerful than a thought with no emotion.

The subconscious acts first on the dominating desires which have been mixed with emotional feelings such as faith” (Hill, 1983).

Previously Rooted Ideas: An idea that already has roots in the subconscious mind is more dominant than an idea which has no roots in the subconscious mind.

Repetition: The repetition of a proposition gives that proposition dominance.

It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to BELIEVE whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false (Hill, 1983).

If you wish to reprogram your attitudes and beliefs, you must keep this principle in mind.

You already have dominant attitudes that currently shape your life. Reprogramming these deeply rooted attitudes is no easy feat.

Affirmations and autosuggestion are not enough. You must live up to your desired attitude.

An example.

One person desires to reprogram his subconscious mind to love money and view money as good.

For him to live up to his desired attitude, he must:

  • See money as good instead of an evil
  • Be happy for a person if he is successful and rich instead of criticising him.
  • Not stress or fret when he finds out that he has low or no money.
  • Not rush to make money, rather he should live naturally and work within his limits.

In conclusion, one should associate money with good in all circumstances.

If you wish to unroot a plant that has had roots in the ground for a long time, you will know that you will have to use more strength and power.

It is the same circumstance with the subconscious mind.

To replace a deeply rooted attitude with another one, you must use much strength and power.



The subconscious mind has become a popular topic amongst those who are keen to improve themselves, however due to the proliferation of content on this topic, the true principles of autosuggestion, affirmations and the subconscious mind has been corrupted with opinions and false attributions.

This small piece brought back the essential principles for working with the subconscious mind, back into focus.

The main principles are as follows:

1. Correspondence – As Within, So Without – As Below, So Below

2. Filter – The conscious mind acts as a filter, allowing and disallowing information to be transmitted to the subconscious mind.

3. Always Active – The subconscious mind is always active. All external stimuli are absorbed by the subconscious at all times.

4. Conflict – A conflict between the conscious and the subconscious thwarts an individual’s effort in programming the subconscious mind.

5. Dominant Idea – The subconscious mind gives preference to the dominant idea.

We advise our readers to read the classical books on the subconscious mind as contemporary books are filled with fluff and icing instead of base ingredients and flour.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

The Complete Works of William Walker Atkinson


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