Zero Limits Header Image

Accepting the Supremacy of Mind over Matter

That mind-over-matter stuff is all bunk,” a man declared after he had listened to a talk on the efficacy of mind power. “Anyone believing in it is not too bright,” he added.

His is not an isolated case, although it is rare these days; but around the turn of the century, the subject could not be mentioned without many people taking issue with it.

The fact is that nothing man-made has ever been created without having been started with a thought; therefore, statements to the contrary are just plain wrong.

It may be, perhaps, that the opponents to the principles of mind over matter are not, in reality, antagonistic to them as such, but that they have difficulty in believing that the way they think—negatively or positively—can have any bearing on what happens to them.

To get the amount of good from this book that you should—and can—get, it is absolutely necessary that you accept the supremacy of mind over matter. And this will not be difficult since, as I said above, every accomplishment starts with a thought.

Please remember: In talking about mind over matter I am not talking about cults, dogmas, “isms,” black magic, or anything bordering on the supernatural. I am discussing only the normal manner in which mind operates.

In discussing the mind and how it operates I do not wish to convey the idea that I know all about the subject. I would fall dismally short if I tried to give a correct definition of mind.

Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University—a man who probably knows more about the human mind than any other man of our time—opens his book, The Reach of the Mind, by saying: “Science cannot explain what the human mind really is and how it works with the brain. No one even pretends to know how consciousness is produced. What kind of a natural phenomenon is thought? There isn’t even a ‘theory.’ “

Electrical engineers are adept in the use of electricity, but if you asked any one of them to explain what electricity really is, he could do no more than guess.

In my many years devoted to the study of the mind, I have learned much regarding its use, but as to what the mind really is, I am in complete accord with Dr. Rhine.

Many times, the expression “mind over matter” is used with reference to the influence of mind over the motion of objects, referred to as psychokinesis. Experiments at Duke University and elsewhere seem to indicate that the power of mind can be actually directed to influence the motion of objects.

In this book we will consider only the influence of mind over matter in the sense that a human being controls matter through mental direction. You get an idea for something you wish to make. You assemble the materials you need and proceed to produce the thing which is pictured in your mind. In time you have a replica of the object pictured, and your achievement is a manifestation of mind over matter.

Remember! The magnitude of your project is in direct proportion to the extent of the mental image you can conceive. As an illustration: You may picture in your mind a letter you wish to write. There is absolutely no doubt as to your ability to carry through on this project. You assemble your paper, envelope, pen and stamp and you reproduce in material form the image first held in mind. Going to the other extreme, suppose you had a desire to build a building such as the Empire State Building in New York City, how far would you get? The undertaking is such a gigantic one that you would have difficulty in controlling your mind to the point where you could see yourself completing —or even attempting—the huge job.

This illustration might prompt one to say: “But to build an enormous building would require a large sum of money; only the rich could entertain such an idea.” This is not always true. Permit me to tell you of a case with which I am personally familiar.

A man without means became obsessed by the idea that he would like to own and operate a large apartment house. Instead of bemoaning the fact that he had no money, he began thinking of ways and means of starting such a project without money.

In Westchester County—a suburb of New York City—he found an ideal piece of property for his apartment building.

Being a choice location, the price of the lot ran into large figures. This aggressive young man went to the owner of the plot and made a proposal. He told him that with the lot he could borrow enough money from banks or insurance companies to finance the building of an apartment house. He said that he would want an interest in the building for his work in putting it over and that he would also want to manage the building.

His sincerity impressed the property owner, and he accepted the proposal. An architect designed a handsome twelve-story apartment house; the financing was arranged, and in due time the man who started with nothing but an idea owned an interest in, and was managing, a very successful enterprise.

Good ideas are better than money, because with good ideas it is not difficult to obtain money.

One might think that this enterprising man had reached a peak of satisfaction and should be content to remain as he was; but the thrill of achievement was too great. He could not resist seeking new trails to blaze. His next venture was another apartment house, but this time he had money with which to finance it himself. The last time I heard, he was planning a multi-million dollar motel.


You have learned that Mind is Man. In other words, the you which others like or dislike is not what they see, but what you project from your mind.

A man’s stature, therefore, is not measured in feet and inches, but by accomplishment. A short man can be a big man if he measures up to the word mentally. Again quoting Napoleon Hill: “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

It may not be wise to attempt to jump from a mediocre existence to the level of a capitalist in one leap. It can be done; it has been done; and it will be done. But, with the average individual, the distance from obscurity to fame and riches is so great it is hard to conceive and believe he can do it.

If I were to build a business, I do not believe I would start out with the intention of making it national, or international, in one operation. I would probably open up one region at a time, and expand solidly and soundly until the nation was covered. And, it is more fun to work in this manner. If you could accomplish your objective at one time, although the thrill of accomplishment would be great, you would soon take your business for granted and it would lose its zest. But, if you worked on a step-by-step basis, each time you attained a minor objective, there would be a great thrill and also the exciting anticipation of accomplishing the next step.

If you have a fine record player, your interest will be kept alive as long as you secure new records. As soon as you stop getting them, your interest wanes and the time will come when you will not listen to your instrument at all.

When you gain a good idea, do not become impatient in wanting to rush it through to completion. The only impatience should be in getting started. Once a start is made, you can enjoy the progress and happily survey each completed step. Such an attitude prevents any task from becoming boring. Your mind is not focused on completion, but on perfection at each step of the way.

Do I appear to be inconsistent? Throughout this book I have been showing you how easy it is to gain success. Now I suggest that you do not hasten the process, and I mean just that. “Anticipation is greater than realization” is a proverb often said, but seldom understood; yet it is true. When one knows he is on his way to attain a certain objective he is elated. After he has reached his goal he is glad of his accomplishment, but it is soon taken for granted and ceases to be a cause for joy.

I really didn’t start to climb until I had passed the age of fifty. I made my greatest strides during my sixties. I am happy about this. Had I acquired what I now have when I was in my forties, by now I would fit into my belongings so thoroughly it would seem perfectly natural that I should have them. As it is, each time I see a new objective coming into being—something I yearned for in my younger days—it is exciting.


Do not confuse mind with brain. Your brain is not your mind.

My concept of brain is that it acts as a receiving station for thoughts and ideas from the mind. A mind does not become ill; a mind does not become defective. Unless your brain is impaired in some way, your mind is capable of conceiving just as good ideas as the mind of the greatest individual.

If your mind is not bringing in good, constructive ideas, it is because of bad mental habits. You have thwarted your mind by holding thoughts of inadequacy, lack, gloom and ill health.

You will always live a commonplace existence until you re-educate both your conscious mind and your Creative Mind to hold positive, constructive thoughts.

The process of re-education of your minds is simple, but requires diligence. Determine that you will constantly rout all negative thoughts which attempt to enter your mind. If you have a task to perform and feel inclined to think that it is too much for you and that you can’t do it, change your thinking to the positive side. Know that the job is made for you, that you are fully capable of doing it. You’ll find that your Creative Mind will direct your conscious mind so that you will tackle the job with a success spirit and that you can easily do it.

Remember! A single victory similar to the one just mentioned is no assurance that you have eliminated your negative thinking. It means that, through conscious effort, you were able to do a job which at first appeared difficult. You’ll have to work at it. Each time you attempt something and you become blocked through the word “can’t,” do as you did before. Begin holding the thought that you can do it, that it will be easy, and that you’ll enjoy doing it.

Each time you eliminate a negative, it will become easier. In time—not so long, either—a new habit pattern will be formed, and it will become natural to think in terms of I CAN!

Sometimes a bit of rationalization will help. One man told me what he did to break the negative barrier. He was facing a situation where he had to make a choice: either to cut down his standard of living and move into a less expensive home, or increase his income so that he could meet his standard of living.

His problem so preyed on his mind he had difficulty in sleeping at night and he would often get up and play solitaire until he became drowsy.

During one such session with the cards he began thinking about his wife. “She has full confidence in me,” he thought. “She hasn’t the slightest doubt about my ability to put our ship back on an even keel.”

As he thought about her and her unswerving trust, he determined that he would not let her down; others had solved problems greater than his—and, for his wife’s sake, he would make the grade. He did! As soon as his mind began running in I CAN channels, ideas started to flow. His road ahead became clear and he not only raised his income to a point where he could maintain his standard of living, but even went beyond and was able to raise his standard of living. Here is further proof of the operation of mind over matter.

The point I am making in this chapter is that if any problem is facing us, we have within our minds the means of solving it. Or, if we desire to better our condition, we have all we need to change for the better.

In a previous book I made the assertion that we should be glad that we have problems, because we grow as a result of them. If you have a problem and solve it, you have learned what to do should that problem ever appear again; although, once you have mastered it, it’s not likely that it will ever recur.

It is interesting to try to visualize a life without problems. “Wonderful,” you might say, but think about it. Life would become so boring you would look forward to the end. My latest motto fits in well at this point:

“It is not our problems which disturb us; it is our lack of faith in our ability to solve them.”

In earlier chapters I suggested affirmations for you to use to rid your mind of negative thoughts. If you have started using them, I know you are astonished with the results you are obtaining.

Since you now have a better understanding of the supremacy of Mind Over Matter, I will leave another affirmation with you, which will quickly help you to gain mental self-mastery.

“I am at peace with myself and the world. Problems facing me are no longer disturbing because I have made contact with my true source of intelligence and power. I am guided to do the right thing at the right time.”

It would be well to copy this on a card and carry it with you. Whenever you have a spare moment, read it. And, do not forget to read it just before retiring at night. You will awaken in the morning with all the courage you need to tackle any problem which may be disturbing you.

Visit Grow Rich While You Sleep for more articles from this book by Ben Sweetland.