Here are my notes from ‘The Master Key System’ by Charles F. Haanel.
Week 5 (Mind in Action)
Week 6 (Power of Thought)
Week 7 (Process of Visualization)
Week 8 (Thought results in Action)
After studying this part carefully, you will see that every conceivable force of object or fact is the result of mind in action.
Matter is powerless, passive, inert. Mind is force, energy, power. Mind shapes and controls matter. Every form which matter takes is but the expression of some pre-existing thought.
You can originate thought, and, since thoughts are creative, you can create for yourself the things you desire.
At least 90% of our mental life is subconscious, so that those who fail to make use of this mental power live within very narrow limits.
The subconscious can and will solve any problem for us if we know how to direct it. The subconscious processes are always at work; the only question is, are we to be simply passive recipients of this activity, or are we to consciously direct the work? Shall we have a vision of the destination to be reached, the dangers to be avoid, or shall we simply drift?
The mind, which pervades the body, is largely the result of heredity, which, in turn, is simply the result of all the environments of all past generations on the responsive and ever-moving life forces. An understanding of this fact will enable us to use our authority when we find some undesirable trait of character manifesting.
We can consciously use all the desirable characteristics with which we have been provided and we can repress and refuse to allow the undesirable ones to.
Again, this mind which pervades our physical body is not only the result of hereditary tendencies, but is the result of home, business and social environment, where countless thousands of impressions, ideas, prejudices and similar thoughts have been received.
Much of this has been received from others, the result of opinions, suggestions or statements; much of it is the result of our own thinking, but nearly all of it has been accepted with little or no examination or consideration.
The idea seemed plausible, the conscious received it, passed it on to the subconscious, where it was taken up by the Sympathetic System and passed on to be built into our physical body. “The word has become flesh.”
This, then, is the way we are consistently creating and recreating ourselves; we are today the result of our past thinking, and we shall be what we are thinking today, theis bringing to us, not the things we should like, or the things we wish for, or the things someone else has, but it brings us “our own,” the things which we have created by our thought processes, whether consciously or unconsciously. Unfortunately, many of us are creating these things unconsciously.
Keep your mental house clean and have this house-cleaning everyday. Mental, moral and physical cleanliness are absolutely indispensable if we are to make progress of any kind.
1.) You must earnestly desire it.
2.) You must assert your claim.
3.) You must take possession.
The great fact is that the source of all life and all power is from within. Persons, circumstances, and events may suggest need and opportunities, but the, strength and power to answer these needs will be found within.
Take away the spirit and what is left? Nothing.
If then the spirit is all there is, upon the recognition of this fact must depend the ability to demonstrate all power, whether physical, mental or spiritual.
Q.) What is the Law of Attraction bringing to us?
A.) Our “Own.”
Q.) What is our “Own”?
A.) What we inherently are, and is the result of our past thinking, both conscious and subconscious.
Q.) Of what is the material with which we construct our mental home composed?
A.) The thoughts which we entertain.
Q.) What is the Secret of Power?
A.) A recognition of the omnipresence of .
This part will give you an excellent understanding of the most wonderful piece of mechanism which has ever been created. A mechanism whereby you may create for yourself Health, Strength, Success, Prosperity or any other condition which you desire.
Every thought sets the brain cells in action. At first the substance upon which the thought is directed fails to respond, but if the thought is sufficiently refined and concentrated, the substance finally yields and expresses perfectly.
This influence of the mind can beupon any part of the body, causing the elimination of any undesirable effect.
Attention or concentration is probably the most important essential in the development of mind culture. The possibilities of attention when properly directed are so startling that they would hardly appear credible to the uninitiated.
The power of attention can be more readily understood by comparing it with a magnifying glass in sunlight. They possess no strength when the glass is moved about. But let the glass be held perfectly still and let the sun rays be focused on one spot for any length of time, the effect will become immediately apparent.
So with the power of thought. Let power be dissipated by scattering the thought from one object to another, and no result is apparent; but focus this power through attention or concentration on any single purpose for any length of time and nothing becomes impossible.
Try it. Choose any single object and concentrate your attention on it for a definite purpose for even ten minutes. You cannot do it. The mind will wander a dozen times and it will be necessary to bring it back to the original purpose, and each time the effect will have been lost and at the end of the ten minutes nothing will have been gained, because you have not been able to hold your thought steadily to the purpose.
It is, however, through attention that you will finally be able to overcome obstacles of any kind that appear in your path onward and upward, and the only way to acquire this wonderful power is by practice – practice makes perfect, in this as in anything else.
This step is simply for the purpose of preparing the soil. Next week we shall be ready to sow the seed.
It is by such exercises as these that you will finally be able to control your mental moods, your attitude, your consciousness.
A single idea may be worth millions of dollars, and these ideas can only come to those who are receptive, who are prepared to receive them, who are in a successful frame of mind.
Thought is the process by which we may absorb the Spirit of Power, and hold the result in our inner consciousness until it becomes a part of our ordinary consciousness.
Q.) Of what value is the power of concentration?
A.) By the process we call thinking. It is the very highest personal accomplishment which can be acquired, and the distinguishing characteristic of every successful man or woman.
Q.) How may it be acquired?
A.) By faithfully practicing the exercises in this System.
Q.) Why is this so important?
A.) Because it will enable us to control our thoughts, and since thoughts are causes, conditions must be effects; if we can control the cause, we can also control the effect.
Through all the ages man has believed in an invisible power, through which and by which all things have been created and are continually being recreated.
We may personalize this power and call it God, or we may think of it as the essence or spirit, which permeates all things, but in either case the effect is the same.
So far as the individual is concerned, the objective, the physical, the visible, is the personal, that which can be cognized by the senses. It consists of body, brain and nerves. The subjective is the spiritual, the invisible, the impersonal.
The personal is conscious because it is a personal entity. The impersonal, being the same in kind and quality as all other Being, is not conscious of itself and has therefore been termed the subconscious. The personal, or conscious, has the power of will and choice, and can therefore exercise discrimination in the selection of methods whereby to bring about the solution of difficulties. The impersonal, or spiritual, being a part or one with the source, and origin of all power, can necessarily exercise no such choice, but, on the contrary, it hasresources at its command. It can and does bring about results by methods concerning which the human or individual mind can have no possible conception.
Utilize the potentialities of Infinity by making use of the subconscious mind.
Visualization is the process of making mental images, and the image is the mould or model which will serve as a pattern from which your future will emerge.
Make the pattern clear and make it beautiful. Do not be afraid. Make it grand. Remember that no limitation can be placed upon you by any one but yourself. You are not limited as to cost or material. Draw on the Infinite for your supply, construct it in your imagination; it will have to be there before it will ever appear anywhere else.
Make the image clear and clean-cut, hold it firmly in the mind and you will gradually and constantly bring the thing nearer to you. You can be what “you will to be.”
Work is necessary – labour, hard mental labuor, the kind of effort which so few are willing to put forth.
The first step is idealization. It is likewise the most important step, because it is the plan on which you are going to build. It must be solid; it must be permanent.
See the end before a single step is taken; picture in your mind what you want. You are sowing the seed, but before sowing any seed you want to know what the harvest is to be. This is Idealization.
If you are not sure, return to the chair daily until the picture because plain; it will gradually unfold. First the general plan will be dim, but it will take shape, the outline will take form, then the details, and you will gradually develop the power by which you will be enabled to formulate plans which will eventually materialize in the objective world. You will come to know what the future holds for you.
Then comes the process of visualization. You must see the picture more and more complete, see the detail, and, as the details begin to unfold the ways and means or bringing it intowill develop. One thing will lead to another. Thought will lead to action, action will develop methods, methods will develop friends, and friends will bring about circumstances, and finally, the third step, or Materialization, will have been accomplished.
We all recognize the Universe must have been thought into shape before it ever could have become a material fact. And if we are willing to follow along the lines of the Great Architect of the Universe, we shall find our thoughts taking form, just as the Universe took concrete form. It is the same mind operating through the individual. There is no difference in kind or quality, the only difference is one of degree.
If you can conscientiously follow these directions, you will develop Faith, the kind of Faith that is the “Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” You will develop confidence, the kind of confidence that leads to endurance and courage. You will develop the power of concentration which will enable you to exclude all thoughts except the ones which are associated with your purpose.
The law is that thought will manifest in form, and only one who knows how to be the divine thinker of his own thoughts can ever take a Mater’s place and speak with authority.
Clarity and accuracy are obtained only by repeatedly having the image in mind. Each repeated action renders the image more clear and accurate than the preceding, and in proportion to the clarity and accuracy of the image will the outward manifestation be. You must build it firmly and securely in your mental world, the world within, before it can take form in the world without, and you can build nothing of value, even in the mental world unless you have the proper material. When you have the material, you can build anything you wish, but make sure of your material.
This material will be brought out by millions of silent mental workers and fashioned into the form of the image which you have in mind.
You have over five million brain cells – mental workers – ready and in active use. There is another reserve force of at least an equal number, ready to be called into action at the slightest need. Your power to think, then, is almost unlimited, and this means that your power to create the kind of material which is necessary to build for yourself any kind of environment which you desire is practically unlimited.
In addition to these millions of mental workers, you have billions of mental workers in the body, every one of which iswith sufficient intelligence to understand and act upon any message or suggestion given. These cells are all busy creating and recreating the body, but, in addition to this, they are endowed with psychic activity whereby they can attract to themselves the substance necessary for perfect development.
Make the Mental Image. Make it clear, distinct, perfect. Hold it firmly. The ways and means will develop. Supply will follow the demand. You will be led to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way. Earnest Desire will bring about Confident Expectation, and this in turn must be reinforced by Firm Demand. These three cannot fail to bring about, because the Earnest Desire is the feeling, the Confident Expectation is the thought, and the Firm Demand is the will, and, as we have seen, feeling gives vitality to thought and the will holds it steadily until the law of Growth brings it into manifestation.
There are many who fail to bring the law into operation. The difficulty in almost every case is that they are dealing with externals. They want money, power, health and abundance, but they fail to realize that these are effects and can come only when the cause is found.
Those who will give no attention to the world without will seek only to ascertain the truth, will look only for wisdom, will find that this wisdom will unfold and disclose the source of all power, that it will manifest in thought and purpose which will create the external conditions desired. This truth will find expression in noble purpose and courageous action.
Create ideals only, give no thought to external conditions, make the world within beautiful and opulent and the world without will express and manifest the condition which you have within. You will come into a realization of your power to create ideals and these ideals will be projected into the world of effect.
For instance, a man is in debt. He will be continually thinking about the debt, concentrating on it, and as thoughts are causes the result is that he not only fastens the debt closer to him, but actually creates more debt. He is putting the great Law of Attraction into operation with the usual and inevitable result – Loss leads to greater “Loss.”
What, then, is the correct principle? Concentrate on the things you want, not on the things you do not want. Think of abundance, idealize the methods and plans for putting the Law of Abundance into operation. Visualize the condition which the Law of Abundance creates; this will result in manifestation.
We must plant the seed and leave it undisturbed. This does not mean we sit and do nothing. We will do more and better work than we have ever done before, new channels will constantly be provided, new doors will open. All that is necessary is to have an open mind, be ready to act when the time comes.
Ask yourself a few questions and then reverently await the response.
Q.) Why do many fail?
A.) Because they concentrate on loss, disease and disaster. The law is operating perfectly; the things they fear are coming upon them.
Q.) What is the alternative?
A.) Concentrate on the ideals which you desire to see manifested in your life.
In this part you will find that you may freely choose what you think but the result of your thought is government by anlaw. If it were not for this Law, the Universe would be Chaos instead of Cosmos.
Here, then, is the secret of the origin of both good and evil.
Thought results in action, if your thought is constructive and harmonious, the result will be good; if your thought is destructive or in harmonious, the result will be evil.
We are to hate nothing, not even the “bad,” because hatred is destructive.
You may freely choose what you think, but the result of your thought is governed by an immutable law. Any line of thought persisted in cannot fail to produce its result in the character, health and circumstances of the individual. Methods whereby we can substitute habits of constructive thinking for those which we have found produce only undesirable effects are therefore of primary importance.
This is by no means easy. Mental habits are difficult to control, but it can be done and the way to do it is to being at once to substitute constructive thought for destructive thought. Form the habit of analysing every thought. If it is necessary, if its manifestation in the objective will be a benefit, not only to you, but to all whom it may affect in any way, keep it; treasure it; it is of value; it is in tune with the Infinite; it will grow and develop and produce fruit a hundred fold.
Imagination is the constructive form of thought which must precede every constructive form of action.
Constructive imagination is not day-dreaming, it means mental labour considered by some to be the hardest kind of labour but, if so, it yields the greatest returns, for all the great things in life have come to men and women who had the capacity to think, to imagine, and to make their dreams come true.
All power is from within, but it must be developed, unfolded, cultivated. In order to do this we must be receptive, and this receptivity is acquired just as physical strength is gained, by exercise.
Yourmental attitude is what counts, not what you think once-in-a-while after reading a book.
You cannot entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong, and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.
Real power comes from within. All power that anybody can possibly use is within man, only waiting to be brought into visibility by his first recognizing it, and then affirming it as his, working it into his consciousness until he becomes one with it.
Successful men make it their business to hold ideals of the conditions which they wish to realize. They constantly hold in mind the next step necessary to the ideal for which they are striving.
If you have been faithful to your ideal, you will hear the call when circumstances are ready to materialize your plans and results will correspond in the exact ratio of your fidelity to your ideal. The ideal steadily held is what pre-determines and attracts the necessary conditions for its fulfilment.
In the last part you created a mental image, you brought it from the invisible into the visible. This week I want you to take an object and follow it back to its origination, see of what it really consists. If you do this you will develop imagination, insight, perception, and sagacity.
It is the few who know that the things which they see are only effects, and understand the causes by which these effects were brought into existence.
You will find exercises of this kind invaluable. When the thought has been trained to look below the surface everything takes on a different appearance, the insignificant becomes significant, the uninteresting interesting; the things which we supposed to be of no importance are seen to be the only really vital things in existence.
Q.) What is the imagination?
A.) A form of constructive thought. The light by which we penetrate new worlds of thought and experience. The might instrument by which every inventor or discoverer opened the way from precedent to experience.
Q.) What is the result of imagination?
A.) The cultivation leads to the development of the ideal out of which your future will emerge.
Q.) How does imagination differ from day-dreaming?
A.) Day-dreaming is a form of mental , while imagination is a form of constructive thought which must precede every constructive action.
Q.) What are mistakes?
A.) The result of ignorance.
Q.) What is knowledge?
A.) The result of man’s ability to think.
Q.) What pre-determines the result?
A.) The ideal held steadily in mind attracts the necessary conditions for its fulfilment.
‘The Master Key System’, Haanel, Charles, 1912, Public Domain.