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mind over matter

Willpower can overcome physical obstacles, as in Margaret was determined to go to the wedding even on crutches—mind over matter. This idea was already expressed by Virgil in the Aeneid (c. 19 b.c.) as Mens agitat molem, “Mind moves matter,” and it appeared in various forms in English by 1700.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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