The Master Key

by Charles F Haanel

Author's Introduction, Part III

Contents List:

Mind Power
Definite Principles
A New Civilization
Manifesting Spirit

Return to:

Title Page

See also:

Natural Law in the Spiritual World
Spiritual Law in the Scientific World
Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning
Facts and Faith


The scientific spirit now dominates every field of effort; relations of cause and effect are no longer ignored.

The discovery of a reign of law marked an epoch in human progress. It eliminated the element of uncertainty and caprice from men's lives, and substituted law, reason, and certitude.

Men now understand that for every result there is an adequate and definite cause, so that when a given result is desired, they seek the condition by which alone this result may be attained.

The basis upon which all law rests was discovered by inductive reasoning, which consists of comparing a number of separate instances with one another until the common factor which gives rise to them all is seen.

It is this method of study to which the civilized nations owe the greater part of their prosperity and the more valuable part of their knowledge. It has lengthened life, it has mitigated pain, it has spanned rivers. It has brightened night with the splendour of day, extended the range of vision, accelerated motion, annihilated distance, facilitated intercourse, and enabled men to descend into the sea and to soar in the air. No wonder, then, that men soon endeavoured to extend the blessings of this system of study to their method of thinking, so that when it became plainly evident that certain results followed a particular method of thinking, it only remained to classify these results.

This method is scientific and it is the only method by which we shall be permitted to retain that degree of liberty and freedom which we have been accustomed to look upon as an inalienable right. A people is safe at home and in the world only if national preparedness means such things as growing surplus of wealth, accumulated efficiency in public and private business of whatever sort, continuous advance in the science and art of acting together, and the increasingly dominant endeavour to make all of these and all other aspects of national development centre and revolve about ascending life, single and collective, for which science, art, and ethics furnish guidance and controlling motives.

Mind Power

The Master Key is based on absolute scientific truth and will unfold the possibilities that lie dormant in the individual. It will teach how they may be brought into powerful action to increase the person's effective capacity, bringing added energy, discernment, vigour and mental elasticity. The student who gains an understanding of the mental laws which are unfolded will come into the possession of an ability to secure results hitherto undreamed of and which has rewards hardly to be expressed in words.

It explains the correct use of both the receptive and active elements of the mental nature, and instructs the student in the recognition of opportunity. It strengthens the will and reasoning powers, and teaches the cultivation and best uses of imagination, desire, the emotions, and the intuitional faculty. It gives initiative, tenacity of purpose, wisdom of choice, intelligent sympathy, and a thorough enjoyment of life on its higher planes.

The Master Key teaches the use of Mind Power, true Mind Power, not any of the substitutes and perversions. It has nothing to do with Hypnotism, Magic, or any of the more or less fascinating deceptions by which many are led to think that something can be had for nothing.

The Master Key cultivates and develops the understanding which will enable you to control the body and thereby the health. It improves and strengthens the Memory. It develops Insight, the rare kind of Insight which is the distinguishing characteristic of every successful business man; the kind which enables men to see the possibilities as well as the difficulties in every situation; the kind which enables men to discern opportunity close at hand, for thousands fail to see opportunities almost within their grasp while they are industriously working with situations which under no possibility can be made to realize any substantial return.

The Master Key develops Mental Power. This means that others instinctively recognize that you are a person of such force of character that they want to do what you want them to do. It means that you attract men and things to you; that you are what some people call "lucky"; that "things" come your way; that you have come into an understanding of the fundamental laws of Nature, and have put yourself in harmony with them; that you are in tune with the Infinite; that you understand the law of attraction, the Natural laws of growth, and the Psychological laws on which all advantages in the social and business world rest.

Mental Power is creative power: it gives you the ability to create for yourself. This does not mean the ability to take something away from someone else. Nature never does things that way. Nature makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before, and Mind Power enables men to do the same thing.

The Master Key develops insight and sagacity, increased independence, the ability and disposition to be helpful. It destroys distrust, depression, fear, melancholia, and every form of lack, limitation and weakness — including pain and disease. It awakens buried talents, supplies initiative, force, energy, vitality. It awakens an appreciation of the beautiful in Art, Literature and Science.

Definite Principles

It has changed the lives of thousands of men and women by substituting definite principles for uncertain and hazy methods because principles are the foundation upon which every system of efficiency must rest.

Elbert Gary, the chairman of the United States Steel Corporation, said: "The services of advisers, instructors, efficiency experts in successful management are indispensable to most business enterprises of magnitude, but I deem the recognition and adoption of right principles of vastly more importance".

The Master Key teaches right principles, and suggests methods for making a practical application of the principles. In that, it differs from every other course of study. It teaches that the only possible value which can attach to any principle is in its application. Many read books, take home study courses, attend lectures all their lives without ever making any progress in demonstrating the value of the principles involved. The Master Key suggests methods by which the value of the principles taught may be demonstrated and put into actual practice in the daily experience.

A New Civilization

There is a change in the thought of the world. This change is silently transpiring in our midst, and is more important than any which the world has undergone since the downfall of Paganism.

The present revolution in the opinions of all classes of men, the highest and most cultured of men as well as those of the labouring class, stands unparalleled in the history of the world.

Science has of late made such vast discoveries, has revealed such an infinity of resources, has unveiled such enormous possibilities and such unsuspected forces, that scientific men increasingly hesitate to affirm certain theories as established and indubitable or to deny certain other theories as absurd or impossible. Thus a new civilization is being born; customs, creeds and cruelty are passing; vision, faith and service are taking their place. The fetters of tradition are being melted off from humanity, and as the dross of materialism is being consumed, thought is being liberated and truth is rising full orbed before an astonished multitude. [I think that if Mr Haanel were still extant, he might find it advisable to stress that his expectations are still a long way from being fully realised because too few individuals have yet afforded the time and trouble to take advantage of his Master Key. — Ed.]

The whole world is on the eve of a new consciousness, a new power, and a new realization of the resources within the self. The last century saw the most magnificent material progress in history. The present century will produce the greatest progress in mental and spiritual power. [We are now in yet another century; science has advanced even further; but much spiritual work still remains to be done. — Ed.]

Physical Science has resolved matter into molecules, molecules into atoms, atoms into energy, and it has remained for Sir Ambrose Fleming, in an address before the Royal Institution, to resolve this energy into mind. He says: "In its ultimate essence, energy may be incomprehensible by us except as an exhibition of the direct operation of that which we call Mind or Will".

Manifesting Spirit

Let us see what are the most powerful forces in Nature. In the mineral world everything is solid and fixed. In the animal and vegetable kingdom it is in a state of flux, for ever changing, always being created and recreated. In the atmosphere we find heat, light, and energy. Each realm becomes finer and more spiritual as we pass from the visible to the invisible, from the coarse to the fine, from the low potentiality to high potentiality. When we reach the invisible, we find energy in its purest and most volatile state.

As the most powerful forces of Nature are the invisible forces, so we find that the most powerful forces of man are his invisible forces, his spiritual force, and the only way in which spiritual force can manifest is through the process of thinking. Thinking is the only activity which the spirit possesses, and thought is the only product of thinking.

Addition and subtraction are therefore spiritual transactions; reasoning is a spiritual process; ideas are spiritual conceptions; questions are spiritual searchlights; and logic, argument, and philosophy are spiritual machinery. [My emphasis. — Ed.]

Every thought brings into action certain physical tissue parts of the brain, nerve, or muscle. This produces an actual physical change in the construction of the tissue. Therefore it is only necessary to have a certain number of thoughts on a given subject in order to bring about a complete change in the physical organization of a man.

This is the process by which failure is changed to success. Thoughts of courage, power, inspiration, harmony are substituted for thoughts of failure, despair, lack, limitation, and discord; and as these thoughts take root, the physical tissue is changed and the individual sees life in a new light. Old things have actually passed away, all things have become new. He is born again, this time born of the spirit; life has a new meaning for him; he is reconstructed and is filled with joy, confidence, hope, and energy. He sees opportunities for success to which he was heretofore blind. He recognizes possibilities which before had no meaning for him. The thoughts of success with which he has been impregnated are radiated to those around him, and they in turn help him onward and upward. He attracts to himself new and successful associates. This in turn changes his environment, so that by this simple exercise of thought, a man changes not only himself, but his environment, circumstances, and conditions.

You will see, you must see, that we are at the dawn of a new day; that the possibilities are so wonderful, so fascinating, so limitless as to be almost bewildering. A century ago, any man with an aeroplane or even a machine-gun could have annihilated a whole army equipped with the implements of warfare then in use. So it is at present. Any man with a knowledge of the possibilities contained in the Master Key has an inconceivable advantage over the multitude. [What is the non-destructive mental equivalent of the machine-gun? — Ed.]