I find this book review somewhat more difficult to write than other reviews in the “New-Age/ Self-Help” genre because I quite enjoyed the earlier chapters and then there were some chapters that I did not care for. Some of the information in The Magic in Your Mind really resonated with me, and then some of the information was completely contrary to my views. I’m not saying that if a book doesn’t reinforce my views then it is no good; on the contrary, I believe that “If you simply believe everything you read, why read?” So, based solely on the quality of the information, I find this book to be well worth the read; however, I did find some parts of The Magic in your Mind to be contradictory to others parts of the book and I did find some of the ideas a little redundant.
In general, the premise that U.S. Andersen advocates is that there is a universal “Secret Self” (or subconscious mind) that is separate from our ego based “Surface Self”, “Between the surface self and the Secret Self lies and opaque wall, impenetrable to the gaze of the ego and yielding its secrets only to one who has expanded his consciousness beyond the limits of his conscious mind.” It is only through overcoming the dependence on our five senses that we are able to connect with our Secret Self, “To get outside and free from the grip of the senses is the only path to discovery of the Secret Self.”
In other words, Andersen is saying that our physical senses only perceive an infinitesimally small portion of reality and we then use this information to support the egoic notion that we are separate from everything else. So, how does one escape this invisible prison? By making use of our imagination, primarily through visualization we can create a new reality that frees us from the physical limits that confine us. As many others have stated throughout history, it is our thoughts that create our reality and, echoing this belief, Andersen states, “It is deeply significant that we exist by grace of thought, and it is even more significant that at any particular time we are the sum total of the thoughts we hold in mind.” Andersen goes on to say that, “A man is with his mind twenty-four hours of every day, and he never ceases to think. He is influenced a thousand times more by the thoughts that cross his consciousness then he ever is by the situations he encounters in the sensual world.”
Aside from the essential message about the power of our thoughts, the book also delves into: how fear robs us of our power and how risk taking is a necessary ingredient to personal development/success, how knowledge can actually inhibit growth, the fact that guilt and hostility are “accoutrements” of the ego that need to be dispelled and the important role that intuition plays in our lives.
In all, an empowering book with many positive points to ponder.
As a final point for anyone considering this book, I should mention that U.S. Andersen has a writing style that might be considered more “intellectual” than some of the other authors in this genre. This is neither negative or positive, I just wanted to make mention of this point in case some potential readers have challenges with more “scholarly” authors