Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 11: The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 11, The Mystery of Sex Transmutation.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Sex transmutation is simple and easily explained. It means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature.”

Here’s my disclaimer for this chapter: I’m not sure I get what he means by “sex transmutation”.

He can’t JUST mean “switching of the mind” because that’s easily accomplished by being hungry instead. Eating trumps sex when you don’t have food.

My guess is that he means rechanneling the energy that would normally go into pursuing sex to pursuing a greater purpose.

During the rest of the analyses for this chapter I’ll be looking for clues to what it is that he really means here, and how to do it.

Quote and Analysis

“The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of will-power, to be sure, but the reward is worth the effort.”

So we will need willpower to make this work. So we are going to be “pushing against” something.

So it’s not the same as a more pressing concern (for example, hunger or thirst) taking precedence, since that doesn’t require willpower.

I don’t know though what the thing is that we are trying to avoid, or trying to force ourselves to do with the willpower.

Quote and Analysis

“The emotion of sex is an “irresistible force,” against which there can be no such opposition as an “immovable body.” When driven by this emotion, men become gifted with a super power for action. Understand this truth, and you will catch the significance of the statement that sex transmutation will lift one to the status of a genius.”

So one of the benefits of being able to transmute sex is that you can be gifted with a super power for action. Specifically action.

And then it’s almost like he’s linking action with genius. Which I can definitely buy. The more I do, the more I know, and the smarter I look to someone that isn’t doing or trying.

Quote and Analysis

“The desire for sex expression comes at the head of the list of stimuli, which most effectively “stepup” the vibrations of the mind and start the “wheels” of physical action. Eight of these stimuli are natural and constructive. Two are destructive. The list is here presented for the purpose of enabling you to make a comparative study of the major sources of mind stimulation. From this study, it will be readily seen that the emotion of sex is, by great odds, the most intense and powerful of all mind stimuli.”

Here he calls it “the desire for sex expression”. That seems different than just a desire for sex. But I’m not sure exactly how.

He gives a list of stimuli, but he says here that the emotion of sex is the most intense and powerful by great odds…so I’m not going to worry about the others.

Again he notes that the goal here is to start the “wheels” of physical action.

Quote and Analysis

“A better definition of a genius is, “a man who has discovered how to increase the vibrations of thought to the point where he can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of vibration of thought.””

This was also discussed in the chapter on Imagination.

He’s talking here about communicating with Infinite Intelligence.

And he’s saying that the way to get access to Infinite Intelligence is to increase the “energy”, the vibrations of thought through a stimuli, like the emotion of sex.

I’m still not sure what “the emotion of sex” is though.

Quote and Analysis

“The faculty of creative imagination is the direct link between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence. All so-called revelations, referred to in the realm of religion, and all discoveries of basic or new principles in the field of invention, take place through the faculty of creative imagination.”

So when you are using the emotion of sex to stimulate your mind to draw on Infinite Intelligence, you should be expecting insights of a new or fundamental nature. Not just a recombination of existing knowledge, but things that you might only have a hunch could work a particular way, but no solid reason why.

Quote and Analysis

“Moreover, while on this higher level of thought, the individual is not hampered or bound by any of the stimuli which circumscribe and limit his vision while wrestling with the problems of gaining the three basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. He is in a world of thought in which the ORDINARY, work-a-day thoughts have been as effectively removed as are the hills and valleys and other limitations of physical vision, when he rises in an airplane.”

So here again is a description of the quality of the thoughts you should be having.

It sounds similar to the “flow” state, where time seems to alter and the action or work just flows effortlessly.

Quote and Analysis

“The creative faculty becomes more alert and receptive to vibrations, originating outside the individual’s subconscious mind, the more this faculty is used, and the more the individual relies upon it, and makes demands upon it for thought impulses. This faculty can be cultivated and developed only through use.”

So this is a “practice”. It’s something you have to actively seek to use and exercise to get better at.

Quote and Analysis

“Dr. Elmer R. Gates…earned his living by “sitting for ideas” for individuals and corporations. Some of the largest corporations in America paid him substantial fees, by the hour, for “sitting for ideas.”

This chapter inspired me to look this guy up:

This guy really was a surreal inventor. He discovered things that we still haven’t fully explored or explained. His experiments with evolution are astoundingly interesting. (At least I think so…almost everyone I’ve tried to share the findings with thinks otherwise…)

He invented in multiple areas of science. Generally a person becomes familiar with one area and just sticks to it. But this guy was inventing across disciplines. He was working in acoustics, biology, chemistry, weather, weapons, gold mining, psychology, brain development, and more.

And he really did exercise this creative imagination. He would analyze everything he knew about a subject and try to find connections between different apparently unrelated ideas. And then he would just sit and wait in the dark with all other distractions removed. The room he would sit in was sound proof, light proof, UV proof, and was even up on shocks to remove external vibrations.

He wanted to know how to make the brain work better, so he investigated what the best environment was for the brain to work, and he viewed inventing as the best work that the brain could do.

Quote and Analysis

“The reasoning faculty is often faulty, because it is largely guided by one’s accumulated experience. Not all knowledge, which one accumulates through “experience,” is accurate. Ideas received through the creative faculty are much more reliable, for the reason that they come from sources more reliable than any which are available to the reasoning faculty of the mind.”

He’s saying to trust a hunch more than experience.

Quote and Analysis

“For example, the scientific inventor, or “genius, begins an invention by organizing and combining the known ideas, or principles accumulated through experience, through the synthetic faculty (the reasoning faculty). If he finds this accumulated knowledge to be insufficient for the completion of his invention, he then draws upon the sources of knowledge available to him through his creative faculty. The method by which he does this varies with the individual, but this is the sum and substance of his procedure:

1. HE STIMULATES HIS MIND SO THAT IT VIBRATES ON A HIGHER-THAN-AVERAGE PLANE, using one or more of the ten mind stimulants or some other stimulant of his choice.

2. HE CONCENTRATES upon the known factors (the finished part) of his invention, and creates in his mind a perfect picture of unknown factors (the unfinished part), of his invention. He holds this picture in mind until it has been taken over by the subconscious mind, then relaxes by clearing his mind of ALL thought, and waits for his answer to “flash” into his mind.

Sometimes the results are both definite and immediate. At other times, the results are negative, depending upon the state of development of the “sixth sense,” or creative faculty. Mr. Edison tried out more than 10,000 different combinations of ideas through the synthetic faculty of his imagination before he “tuned in” through the creative faculty, and got the answer which perfected the incandescent light. His experience was similar when he produced the talking machine.”

I’m copying this here for myself for use when I need to surmount a challenge.

Imagine using this for any challenge you might be facing. It doesn’t have to be an “invention”. It could be the solution to a relationship problem, a business issue, a health problem, or any other challenge that you want a solution to.

Quote and Analysis

“If good taste would permit, we might easily mention scores of men, well known to the American people, who climbed to great heights of achievement under the stimulating influence of their wives, only to drop back to destruction AFTER money and power went to their heads, and they put aside the old wife for a new one.”

Now we’re back into the specifics of the emotion of sex.

He’s linking it specifically to one particular woman, the “old wife”. So it has something to do with that relationship.

Quote and Analysis

“The human mind responds to stimulation! Among the greatest, and most powerful of these stimuli is the urge of sex. When harnessed and transmuted, this driving force is capable of lifting men into that higher sphere of thought which enables them to master the sources of worry and petty annoyance which beset their pathway on the lower plane.”

Again a hint of what it feels like to do this right. Your mind should be free of “worry and petty annoyance”.

Quote and Analysis

“I discovered, from the analysis of over 25,000 people, that men who succeed in an outstanding way, seldom do so before the age of forty, and more often they do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of fifty. This fact was so astounding that it prompted me to go into the study of its cause most carefully, carrying the investigation over a period of more than twelve years.

This study disclosed the fact that the major reason why the majority of men who succeed do not begin to do so before the age of forty to fifty, is their tendency to DISSIPATE their energies through over indulgence in physical expression of the emotion of sex. The majority of men never learn that the urge of sex has other possibilities, which far transcend in importance, that of mere physical expression. The majority of those who make this discovery, do so after having wasted many years at a period when the sex energy is at its height, prior to the age of forty-five to fifty. This usually is followed by noteworthy achievement.”

If nothing else, this particular section is interesting because it reminds us that we don’t have to “succeed” early in life. No need to beat ourselves up about wasted time and energy.

Quote and Analysis

“The world is ruled, and the destiny of civilization is established, by the human emotions. People are influenced in their actions, not by reason so much as by “feelings.” The creative faculty of the mind is set into action entirely by emotions, and not by cold reason. The most powerful of all human emotions is that of sex.”

Emotions make us act. You can’t reason someone into action. But if you can make them feel a certain way, you can get them to move. The same is true of ourselves. If we can take control of our emotions, how we “feel” about something, then we can induce action.

If we know logically why we should do something, but we don’t feel like doing it, then it probably won’t happen. Like avoiding cookies.

If we feel like we should do something, but logically we know we shouldn’t, there’s a damn good chance we’re going to do it regardless of what we know…unless we can find another emotion or feeling to counter the “do it” one.

If you’re trying to force yourself to do something, take a step back and figure out what feeling you would need to want to do that thing, and then build that feeling through auto-suggestion, and visualizing the result in a way that makes you feel good about doing the work.

Quote and Analysis

“The explanation is, that the factor of personality known as “personal magnetism” is nothing more nor less than sex energy. Highly sexed people always have a plentiful supply of magnetism.”

Okay, so it’s not so much a desire for sex, as it is an energy that you exude.

Quote and Analysis

“People who lack sex energy will never become enthusiastic nor inspire others with enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is one of the most important requisites in salesmanship, no matter what one is selling.”

Okay, so it’s linked to enthusiasm. If you’re not enthusiastic, or excited, then you are missing that energy.

Also interesting that he talks about inspiring others with enthusiasm. Giving them the energy and drive to pursue your aims. So more is done toward your Definite Chief Aim than you would be able to alone.

Quote and Analysis

“Master salesmen attain the status of mastery in selling, because they, either consciously, or unconsciously, transmute the energy of sex into SALES ENTHUSIASM! In this statement may be found a very practical suggestion as to the actual meaning of sex transmutation.

The salesman who knows how to take his mind off the subject of sex, and direct it in sales effort with as much enthusiasm and determination as he would apply to its original purpose, has acquired the art of sex transmutation, whether he knows it or not.”

Okay, so, transmutation of sex energy is taking the same energy and enthusiasm that a guy would pursue sex with, and instead directing it at some other aim.

An example comes to mind. A startup CEO said that every time he was handling a customer service call, he would visualize the customer as a hot girl. Instantly his demeanor and willingness to help this person skyrocketed. And I imagine his energy and interest were elevated as well.

So given that, it would be like putting the object of your sex desire on the other side of the thing you want. So say you want to climb a mountain. Then you would imagine that getting to the top of that mountain would get you more sex.

So maybe the willpower comes in when you decide that you will deny yourself a faster route to sex and require of yourself that this aim and sex are inseparably linked.

Quote and Analysis

“It seemed quite significant to the author, when he made the discovery that practically every great leader, whom he had the privilege of analyzing, was a man whose achievements were largely inspired by a woman. In many instances, the “woman in the case” was a modest, self-denying wife, of whom the public had heard but little or nothing. In a few instances, the source of inspiration has been traced to the “other woman.” Perhaps such cases may not be entirely unknown to you.”

Why “modest, self-denying”? Is this code for “plain”? And so the man isn’t always thinking about sex with his wife?

But that doesn’t fit with the “other woman”.

Perhaps, as above, the man tells himself that he must achieve his goal for the sake of the wife or other woman?

Another possibility that occurred to me after reading further is that the “self-denying” wife is allowing her husband to take the spotlight. She’s allowing him to “feel like a man”. If the wife is instead one that hogs the spotlight and brings her husband down in order to elevate herself, then that would tend to detract from his drive to succeed.

Quote and Analysis

“Intemperance in sex habits is just as detrimental as intemperance in habits of drinking and eating. In this age in which we live, an age which began with the world war, intemperance in habits of sex is common. This orgy of indulgence may account for the shortage of great leaders. No man can avail himself of the forces of his creative imagination, while dissipating them. Man is the only creature on earth which violates Nature’s purpose in this connection. Every other animal indulges its sex nature in moderation, and with purpose which harmonizes with the laws of nature. Every other animal responds to the call of sex only in “season.” Man’s inclination is to declare “open season.””

It sounds like maybe this is a context for this chapter that I’m missing. Just like other chapters are written in the context of the stock market crash of the time, maybe this one is written with an eye towards gluttony and orgies of the time that I’m unaware of?

Quote and Analysis

“Between the ages of thirty and forty, man begins to learn (if he ever learns), the art of sex transmutation. This discovery is generally accidental, and more often than otherwise, the man who makes it is totally un-conscious of his discovery. He may observe that his powers of achievement have increased around the age of thirty-five to forty, but in most cases, he is not familiar with the cause of this change; that Nature begins to harmonize the emotions of love and sex in the individual, between the ages of thirty and forty, so that he may draw upon these great forces, and apply them jointly as stimuli to action.

Sex, alone, is a mighty urge to action, but its forces are like a cyclone-they are often uncontrollable. When the emotion of love begins to mix itself with the emotion of sex, the result is calmness of purpose, poise, accuracy of judgment, and balance. What person, who has attained to the age of forty, is so unfortunate as to be unable to analyze these statements, and to corroborate them by his own experience?

When driven by his desire to please a woman, based solely upon the emotion of sex, a man may be, and usually is, capable of great achievement, but his actions may be disorganized, distorted, and totally destructive. When driven by his desire to please a woman, based upon the motive of sex alone, a man may steal, cheat, and even commit murder. But when the emotion of LOVE is mixed with the emotion of sex, that same man will guide his actions with more sanity, balance, and reason.”

I think he is saying love tempers lust. A general desire to provide for and make the other person feel good that goes beyond just wanting to have sex with them.

Quote and Analysis

“Reformation comes, if at all, through the heart, or the emotional side of man, not through his head, or reasoning side.

Reformation means, “a change of heart.” It does not mean a “change of head.” A man may, because of reason, make certain changes in his personal conduct to avoid the consequences of undesirable effects, but GENUINE REFORMATION comes only through a change of heart -through a DESIRE to change. Love, Romance, and Sex are all emotions capable of driving men to heights of super achievement. Love is the emotion which serves as a safety valve, and insures balance, poise, and constructive effort. When combined, these three emotions may lift one to an altitude of a genius. There are genii, however, who know but little of the emotion of love. Most of them may be found engaged in some form of action which is destructive, or at least, not based upon justice and fairness toward others. If good taste would permit, a dozen genii could be named in the field of industry and finance, who ride ruthlessly over the rights of their fellow men. They seem totally lacking in conscience. The reader can easily supply his own list of such men.”

Again the presentation of the power of emotion versus logical reasoning in causing a change which will result in different actions.

And a reminder that the goal is not just love of your partner, but eventually love and justice and fairness toward all.

Quote and Analysis

“The emotions are states of mind. Nature has provided man with a “chemistry of the mind” which operates in a manner similar to the principles of chemistry of matter. It is a well known fact that, through the aid of chemistry of matter, a chemist may create a deadly poison by mixing certain elements, none of which are-in themselves-harmful in the right proportions. The emotions may, likewise, be combined so as to create a deadly poison. The emotions of sex and jealousy, when mixed, may turn a person into an insane beast.

The presence of any one or more of the destructive emotions in the human mind, through the chemistry of the mind, sets up a poison which may destroy one’s sense of justice and fairness. In extreme cases, the presence of any combination of these emotions in the mind may destroy one’s reason.

The road to genius consists of the development, control, and use of sex, love, and romance. Briefly, the process maybe stated as follows:

Encourage the presence of these emotions as the dominating thoughts in one’s mind, and discourage the presence of all the destructive emotions. The mind is a creature of habit. It thrives upon the dominating thoughts fed it. Through the faculty of will-power, one may discourage the presence of any emotion, and encourage the presence of any other. Control of the mind, through the power of will, is not difficult. Control comes from persistence, and habit. The secret of control lies in understanding the process of transmutation. When any negative emotion presents itself in one’s mind, it can be transmuted into a positive, or constructive emotion, by the simple procedure of changing one’s thoughts.”

Here’s the recipe. Train your mind to toss aside “destructive emotions” and search out “constructive emotions”. And you do this through practice.

You notice you don’t like something. Okay, fine. Now, what DO you like? What piece of this can be good. Or if nothing can be good about it, then be glad that you are alive, and have had better times in the past. Or that when it’s over, everything else is going to feel even better than it did before. Like getting that first drink of water after being thirsty for a long time.

Quote and Analysis

“Even the memories of love are sufficient to lift one to a higher plane of creative effort. The major force of love may spend itself and pass away, like a fire which has burned itself out, but it leaves behind indelible marks as evidence that it passed that way. Its departure often prepares the human heart for a still greater love. Go back into your yesterdays, at times, and bathe your mind in the beautiful memories of past love. It will soften the influence of the present worries and annoyances. It will give you a source of escape from the unpleasant realities of life, and maybe-who knows?-your mind will yield to you, during this temporary retreat into the world of fantasy, ideas, or plans which may change the entire financial or spiritual status of your life.”

There’s a specific example of how to cast aside a destructive emotion and go back into your past and find a constructive emotion to encourage.

Quote and Analysis

“Love is, without question, life’s greatest experience. It brings one into communion with Infinite Intelligence. When mixed with the emotions of romance and sex, it may lead one far up the ladder of creative effort. The emotions of love, sex, and romance, are sides of the eternal triangle of achievement-building genius. Nature creates genii through no other force.

Love is an emotion with many sides, shades, and colors. The love which one feels for parents, or children is quite different from that which one feels for one’s sweetheart. The one is mixed with the emotion of sex, while the other is not.

The love which one feels in true friendship is not the same as that felt for one’s sweetheart, parents, or children, but it, too, is a form of love.

Then, there is the emotion of love for things inanimate, such as the love of Nature’s handiwork. But the most intense and burning of all these various kinds of love, is that experienced in the blending of the emotions of love and sex. Marriages, not blessed with the eternal affinity of love, properly balanced and proportioned, with sex, cannot be happy ones-and seldom endure. Love, alone, will not bring happiness in marriage, nor will sex alone. When these two beautiful emotions are blended, marriage may bring about a state of mind, closest to the spiritual that one may ever know on this earthly plane.

When the emotion of romance is added to those of love and sex, the obstructions between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence are removed.”

I think he’s saying that “love” is the key to “sex transmutation”. And that romance is needed even beyond love and sex to take advantage of the connection to Infinite Intelligence.

Quote and Analysis

“It is an interpretation which would, when properly understood, bring harmony out of the chaos which exists in too many marriages. The disharmonies often expressed in the form of nagging, may usually be traced to lack of knowledge on the subject of sex. Where love, romance and the proper understanding of the emotion and function of sex abide, there is no disharmony between married people.

Fortunate is the husband whose wife understands the true relationship between the emotions of love, sex, and romance. When motivated by this holy triumvirate, no form of labor is burdensome, because even the most lowly form of effort takes on the nature of a labor of love.”

Okay, so if the wife is understands (and presumably puts into action) the relationship between love, sex, and romance, then she can get her husband to happily do anything.

I’ve heard this called “chore-play”.

Quote and Analysis

“It is a very old saying that “a man’s wife may either make him or break him,” but the reason is not always understood. The “making” and “breaking” is the result of the wife’s understanding, or lack of understanding of the emotions of love, sex, and romance. Despite the fact that men are polygamous, by the very nature of their biological inheritance, it is true that no woman has as great an influence on a man as his wife, unless he is married to a woman totally unsuited to his nature. If a woman permits her husband to lose interest in her, and become more interested in other women, it is usually because of her ignorance, or indifference toward the subjects of sex, love, and romance. This statement presupposes, of course, that genuine love once existed between a man and his wife.

The facts are equally applicable to a man who permits his wife’s interest in him to die. Married people often bicker over a multitude of trivialities. If these are analyzed accurately, the real cause of the trouble will often be found to be indifference, or ignorance on these subjects. Man’s greatest motivating force is his desire to please woman! The hunter who excelled during prehistoric days, before the dawn of civilization, did so, because of his desire to appear great in the eyes of woman. Man’s nature has not changed in this respect. The “hunter” of today brings home no skins of wild animals, but he indicates his desire for her favor by supplying fine clothes, motor cars, and wealth. Man has the same desire to please woman that he had before the dawn of civilization. The only thing that has changed, is his method of pleasing. Men who accumulate large fortunes, and attain to great heights of power and fame, do so, mainly, to satisfy their desire to please women.

Take women out of their lives, and great wealth would be useless to most men. It is this inherent desire of man to please woman, which gives woman the power to make or break a man.

The woman who understands man’s nature and tactfully caters to it, need have no fear of competition from other women. Men may be “giants” with indomitable will-power when dealing with other men, but they are easily managed by the women of their choice.

Most men will not admit that they are easily influenced by the women they prefer, because it is in the nature of the male to want to be recognized as the stronger of the species. Moreover, the intelligent woman recognizes this “manly trait” and very wisely makes no issue of it. Some men know that they are being influenced by the women of their choice-their wives, sweethearts, mothers or sisters-but they tactfully refrain from rebelling against the influence because they are intelligent enough to know that NO MAN IS HAPPY OR COMPLETE WITHOUT THE MODIFYING INFLUENCE OF THE RIGHT WOMAN. The man who does not recognize this important truth deprives himself of the power which has done more to help men achieve success than all other forces combined.”

I quoted that in its entirety so I wouldn’t get in trouble trying to tease out specific pieces.

He points out that it’s both the man’s and the woman’s job to keep the love, sex, and romance in the marriage.

He also points out that women are the only reason men want money. As a friend of mine says “Men want sex, and women want money.” And “money” is just a way of getting security and comfort. That may not always be the case, but on average it has the ring of truth.

If you read this chapter carefully, what you find is that Hill is saying the woman really has all the power. She can make or break the man, but to use that power, she has to appear to give away the credit.

What I find interesting about that is that it is an excellent definition of the perfect leader. Someone who empowers their “followers” to do great things, and then gives the followers all the credit so they will go out and do even greater things.

And if you read that even more carefully, this chapter is really saying that men are just tools in the hands of women. That the only power men have is in choosing the right woman to wield.

That’s a pretty awesome specific example of the way to get yourself to do anything in life. You craft your environment, so that you make the things you logically want to have done the physically and emotionally easiest things to do.

You choose a wife who is going to support you in becoming wealthy.

You choose to only have healthy food in the house, so that when you are hungry and tired, you would have to get in your car and drive to get something unhealthy.

You remove TVs from your house, and avoid reading the news, to keep from accidentally absorbing someone else’s opinions.

You put your cash in investments so you can’t frivolously spend it.

You set an alarm to wake you up when you want to get up.

And so on.

Craft the environment now, so your future self can’t help but do the things you want it to do.


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