Enrico Caruso's Method of Mastering the Mind and Fear

Enrico Caruso’s Method of Mastering the Mind and Fear

“The Little Me would like to strangle the important Me within!
Move out Little Me, the Big Me would like to sing through me! Escape, escape, the important Me could sing!”

An excerpt from The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

“Each chapter of this book gives concrete, specific illustrations of how to apply the laws of mind. Once you learn to use these techniques, you will experience abundance instead of poverty, wisdom instead of superstition and ignorance, peace instead of inner strife, success instead of failure, joy instead of sadness, light instead of darkness, harmony instead of discord, faith and confidence instead of fear. Could there be any more wonderful set of blessings than these?

Most of the great scientists, artists, poets, singers, writers, and inventors have had a deep understanding of the workings of the conscious and subconscious minds. It was this that gave them the power to accomplish their goals.

Once Enrico Caruso, the great operatic tenor, was struck with stage fright. Spasms caused by intense fear constricted the muscles of his throat. His vocal cords felt paralyzed, useless. He stood backstage, already in costume, while perspiration poured down his face. In just moments he was supposed to go out on the stage and sing, before an eager audience of thousands.

Trembling, he said, “I can’t sing. They will all laugh at me. My career is finished.”

He turned to go back to his dressing room, Then, suddenly, he stopped and shouted, “The Little Me is trying to strangle the Big Me within!”

He turned toward the stage again and stood taller. “Get out of them,” he commanded, addressing the Little Me. “The Big Me wants to sing through me.”

By the Big Me, Caruso meant the limitless power and wisdom of his subconscious mind. He began to shout, “Get out, get out, the Big Me is going to sing!”

His subconscious mind responded by releasing the vital forces within him. When the call came, he walked out onstage and sang gloriously and majestically. The audience was enthralled.

From what you have already learned, you can see that Caruso understood the two levels of mind—the conscious or rational, and the subconscious or irrational level. Your subconscious mind is reactive. It responds to the nature of your thoughts. When your conscious mind (Caruso’s Little Me) is full of fear, worry, and anxiety, the negative emotions these create in your subconscious mind (the Big Me) are released. They flood the conscious mind with a sense of panic, foreboding, and despair. When this happens to you, you can follow the example of the great Caruso. You can speak affirmatively and with a deep sense of authority to the irrational emotions generated in your deeper mind. You can say, “Be still. Be quiet. I am in control. You must obey me. You are subject to my command. You cannot intrude where you do not belong.”

You will be fascinated to see what happens when you speak authoritatively and with conviction to the irrational movement of your deeper self. Your mind will be flooded with harmony and with peace. The subconscious is subject to the conscious mind. That is why it is called subconscious or subjective.

Joseph Murphy, in the passage, illustrates a powerful concept through the story of Enrico Caruso, the renowned operatic tenor, who overcame stage fright with a profound psychological insight.

Murphy is discussing the interplay between what he metaphorically refers to as the “Big Me” and the “Little Me.” In this context, the “Little Me” represents Caruso’s conscious mind, which is filled with fear, worry, and anxiety—emotions that threatened to paralyze his ability to perform. This aspect of the self is rational but also susceptible to negative emotions and limiting beliefs.

The “Big Me,” on the other hand, symbolizes the subconscious mind, which Murphy describes as possessing limitless power and wisdom. Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious operates on a deeper level, influencing our actions and reactions in ways we might not be fully aware of. It’s a reservoir of our deeper beliefs, emotions, and capabilities.

Murphy’s narrative about Caruso’s internal struggle and ultimate victory is a metaphor for the conflict many people experience between their conscious fears and the untapped potential of their subconscious minds. When Caruso exclaimed, “The Little Me is trying to strangle the Big Me within!” he was recognizing the battle between his fear-ridden conscious mind and the powerful, capable subconscious that could carry him through the performance.

By commanding the “Little Me” to get out of the way, Caruso was effectively using his conscious will to tap into the vast resources of his subconscious mind—the “Big Me”—allowing it to guide his performance. His affirmation, “Get out, get out, the Big Me is going to sing!” was a direct appeal to his subconscious to take over, bypassing the paralyzing fear instilled by his conscious mind.

This story of Murphy touches upon a broader message about the potential to harness the power of the subconscious mind to overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and improve one’s life.

According to Murphy, when we speak to our subconscious with authority and conviction, commanding it to align with our conscious desires and goals, we can unlock a powerful force that brings about harmony, peace, and achievement. The subconscious mind, being subject to the conscious mind’s directives, can be steered to support our objectives, rather than hinder them, when approached with the right mindset.

Before Spock’s days, it was Caruso who boldly went where no tenor had gone before—blending the sacred with the theatrical. Here in ‘La Juive’, he’s not just striking a pose; he’s channeling the ancient Priestly Blessing. Fingers split, thumbs touching, he gives a nod to the Kohanim’s benediction, millennia old. In the Jewish faith, during the Priestly Blessing or Birkat Kohanim, the Kohanim (descendants of Aaron who was the first High Priest in the Bible) bless the congregation with their hands in a specific position. They split their fingers into two sets, touching their thumbs together, and this creates a shape that has been popularized in contemporary culture as the Vulcan salute from “Star Trek,” which Leonard Nimoy, who was Jewish, borrowed from his religious heritage. In “La Juive” (“The Jewess”), Enrico Caruso played Éléazar, who is a Jewish goldsmith. Nimoy may have taken this gesture to the stars, but Caruso planted it firmly on the opera stage, as Éléazar, a character caught in the crossfire of faith and fate.