The Master Key

by Charles F Haanel

Part Four

Contents List:

Who Are You?
Point by Point
Questions and Answers

Return to:

Title Page
Ardue Library
Ardue Site Plan

See also:

The Body
The Universal Spirit


Fully to understand grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it. — JOUBERT

If you wish to enjoy the utmost practical benefit from The Master Key — go slowly.

Transfuse into your mind the contents of one part only, each week for twenty-four weeks.

Realize the meaning of every phrase. The Glossary is there to help you.

Consult The Master Key constantly, as your perpetual help and stimulus.

Each time you read the work you will get a better understanding of the eternal cosmic principles.

Tell others of The Master Key so that more and more people may reciprocate with you, as conscious adepts in harmony.

The Publishers

Addendum: In the context of the Ardue Web Site, I strongly advise readers to make the most of their opportunity to acquire the wisdom contained in this book by referring also to the materials listed under "See also:".

The Ardue Editor


This Part tells what controls that which you call yourself. "You" are not your body; the body is simply the physical instrument which the ego uses to carry out its purpose. "You" are not your mind; this is simply another instrument which the ego uses to think, reason, and plan. When you say " 'I' go", you tell the body where to go; when you say " 'I' think", you tell the mind what to think. When you come into a realization of the true nature of the 'I', you will enjoy a sense of power which nothing else can give because you will come to know what you are, who you are, what you want, and how to get it.

Who Are You?

This Part will show you why what you think, or do, or feel is an indication of what you are.

Thought is an application of energy, and applied energy is power. It is because all the old religions, sciences, and philosophies have heretofore concerned themselves with the manifestations of this energy instead of the energy itself that their views of the world have been limited to effects while causes have been ignored or misunderstood.

For this reason we have God and the Devil in religion, positive and negative in science, good and bad in philosophy.

The Master Key reverses the process; it is interested only in cause, and the letters received from readers tell a marvellous story. They indicate conclusively that adepts are finding the cause whereby they may secure for themselves health, harmony, abundance, and whatever else may be necessary for their welfare and happiness.

Life is expressive; and it is our business to express ourselves harmoniously and constructively. Sorrow, misery, unhappiness, disease, and poverty are not necessities and we should be constantly eliminating them. This process of elimination consists in rising above and beyond limitation of any kind. He who has strengthened and purified his thought need not concern himself about microbes, and he who has come into an understanding of the law of abundance will go at once to the source of supply.

It is thus that fate, fortune, and destiny will be controlled as readily as a captain controls his ship or an engine-driver his train.

Point by Point

  1. Your 'I' is not your physical body; that is simply an instrument which the 'I' uses to carry out its purposes. The 'I' cannot be the Mind, for the mind is simply another instrument which the 'I' uses with which to think, reason, and plan.
  2. The 'I' must be something which controls and directs both the body and the mind; something which determines what they shall do and how. When you come into a realization of the true nature of this 'I', you will enjoy a sense of power which you have never before known.
  3. Your personality is made up of countless individual characteristics, peculiarities, habits, and traits of character. These are the result of your former method of thinking, but they have nothing to do with the real 'I'.
  4. When you say "'I' think", the 'I' tells the mind what it shall think; when you say "'I' go", the 'I' tells the physical body where it shall go. The real nature of this 'I' is spiritual, and is the source of the real power which comes to men and women when they come into a realization of their true nature.
  5. The greatest and most marvellous power which this 'I' has been given is the power to think, but few people know how to think constructively or correctly; consequently they achieve only indifferent results. Most people allow their thoughts to dwell on selfish purposes, and this is the mark of an infantile mind. When a mind becomes mature, it understands that the germ of defeat is in every selfish thought.
  6. The trained mind knows that every transaction must benefit every person who is in any way connected with the transaction, and any attempt to profit by the weakness, ignorance, or necessity of another will inevitably operate to one's disadvantage.
  7. This is because the individual is a part of the Universal, and a part cannot antagonize any other part. On the contrary, the welfare of each part depends upon recognition of the interests of the whole.
  8. Those who recognize this principle have a great advantage in the affairs of life. They do not wear themselves out. They can eliminate vagrant thoughts with facility. They can readily concentrate to the highest possible degree on any subject. They do not waste time or money upon objects which can be of no possible benefit to them.
  9. If you cannot do these things, it is because you have thus far not made the necessary effort. Now is the time to make the effort. The result will be exactly in proportion to the effort expended.
  10. One of the strongest affirmations which you can use for the purpose of strengthening the will and realizing your power to accomplish is "I can be what I will to be".
  11. Every time you repeat it, realize who and what this 'I' is; try to come into a thorough understanding of the true nature of the 'I'. If you succeed, then provided that your objects and purposes are constructive and are therefore in harmony with the creative principle of the Universe, you will become invincible.
  12. If you make use of this affirmation, use it continuously — night and morning, and as often during the day as you think of it. Continue to do so until it becomes a part of you; form the habit.
  13. Unless you do this, you had better not start at all, because modern Psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of ignominious failure. If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start; if you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall. If you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one, interfere. The 'I' in you has determined, the thing is settled; the die is cast; there is no longer any argument.
  14. Begin with small things which you know you can control and gradually increase the effort, but never in any circumstances allow your 'I' to be overruled. You will then find that you can eventually control yourself, and many men and women have found to their sorrow that it is easier to control a kingdom than to control themselves.
  15. When you have learned to control yourself, you will have found the "World Within" which controls the world without; you will have become irresistible; men and things will respond to your every wish without any apparent effort on your part.
  16. This is not so strange or impossible as it may appear when you remember that the "World Within" is controlled by the 'I' and that this 'I' is a part of, or one with, the Infinite 'I' which is the Universal Energy or Spirit usually called "God".
  17. This is not a mere statement or theory made for the purpose of confirming or establishing an idea, but it is a fact which has been accepted by the best religious and scientific thought.
  18. Herbert Spencer says : "Amid all the mysteries by which we are surrounded, nothing is more certain than that we are ever in the presence of an Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed."
  19. Lyman Abbott, in an address delivered before the Alumni of Bangor Theological Seminary, said: "We are coming to think of God as dwelling in man rather than as operating on men from without".
  20. Science goes a little way in its search and stops. Science finds the ever-present Eternal Energy, whereas Religion finds the Power behind this energy and locates it within man. This is by no means a new discovery. The Bible says exactly the same thing, and the language is just as plain and convincing: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God?" Here, then, is the secret of the wonderful creative power of the "World Within".
  21. Here is the secret of power, of mastery. To overcome does not mean to go without things. Self-denial is not success. We cannot give unless we get; we cannot be helpful unless we are strong. The Infinite is not a bankrupt and we who are the representatives of Infinite power should not be bankrupts either. If we wish to be of service to others, we must have power and more power; but to get it we must give it: we must be of service.
  22. The more we give the more we shall get. We must become a channel whereby the Universal can express activity. The Universal is constantly seeking to express itself, to be of service, and it seeks the channel whereby it can find the greatest activity, where it can do the most good, where it can be of greatest service to mankind.
  23. The Universal cannot express through you as long as you are busy with your own plans, your own purposes. Quieten the senses, seek inspiration, focus the mental activity on the within, dwell in the consciousness of your unity with Omnipotence. "Still waters run deep". Contemplate the multitudinous opportunities to which you have spiritual access by the Omnipresence of power.
  24. Visualize the events, circumstances, and conditions which these spiritual connections may assist in manifesting. Realize the fact that the essence and soul of all things is spiritual and that the spiritual is the real because it is the life of all there is. When the spirit is gone, the life is gone; it is dead; it has ceased to exist.
  25. These mental activities pertain to the world within, to the world of cause; the conditions and circumstances which result are the effect. It is thus that you become a creator. This is important work, and the higher, loftier, grander, and more noble the ideals which you can conceive, the more important your work will become.
  26. Over-work or over-play or bodily over-activity of any kind produces conditions of mental apathy and stagnation which make it impossible to do the more important work which results in a realization of conscious power. We should, therefore, seek the Silence frequently. Power comes through repose; it is in the Silence that we can be still. When we are still we can think, and thought is the secret of all attainment.
  27. Thought is a mode of motion and is carried by the law of vibration in the same way as light or electricity. It is given vitality by the emotions through the law of love; it takes form and expression by the law of growth. It is a product of the spiritual 'I': hence it is Divine, spiritual, and creative by nature.
  28. From this it is evident that in order to express power to achieve abundance or any other constructive purpose, the emotions must be called upon to give feeling to the thought so that it will take form. The vital point is how we may develop the faith, the courage, the feeling, which will result in the accomplishment. How may this purpose be accomplished?
  29. The reply is: by exercise. Mental strength is secured in exactly the same way that physical strength is secured — by exercise. We think something, perhaps with difficulty the first time; we think the same thing again, and it becomes easier; we think it again, and again; it then becomes a mental habit. We continue to think the same thing; finally it becomes automatic; we can no longer help thinking this thing. We are now positive of what we think; there is no longer any doubt about it. We are sure; we know.
  30. In Part Three, I asked you to relax, to let go physically. Now I am going to ask you to let go mentally. If you practised the previous exercise fifteen or twenty minutes a day in accordance with the instructions, you can no doubt relax physically. Anyone who cannot consciously do this quickly and completely is not a master of himself. He has not attained freedom; he is still a slave to conditions. But I shall assume that you have mastered the exercise and are ready to take the next step which is mental freedom.
  31. Now after taking your usual position, remove all tension by completely relaxing. Mentally let go of all adverse conditions such as hatred, anger, worry, jealousy, envy, sorrow, trouble, or disappointment of any kind.
  32. You may say that you cannot "let go" of these things, but you can; you can do so by mentally determining to do so, by voluntary intention and persistence.
  33. The reason why some cannot do this is that they allow themselves to be controlled by the emotions instead of by the intellect. But the will guided by the intellect will gain the victory. You will not succeed the first time you try, but practice makes perfect in this as in everything else, and you must succeed in dismissing, eliminating, and completely destroying these negative and destructive thoughts because they are the seed which is constantly germinating into discordant conditions of every conceivable kind and description.

Questions and Answers

31. What is thought?
A. Thought is spiritual energy.

32. How is it carried?
A. By the law of vibration.

33. How is it given vitality?
A. By the law of love.

34. How does it take form?
A. By the law of growth.

33. What is the secret of its creative power?
A. It is a spiritual activity.

36. How may we develop the faith, courage and enthusiasm which will result in accomplishment?
A. By a recognition of our spiritual nature.

37. What is the secret of Power?
A. Service.

38. Why is this so?
A. Because we get what we give.

39. What is the Silence?
A. A physical stillness.

40 Of what value is it?
A. It is the first step to self-control, self-mastery.


"There is nothing truer than that the quality of thought which we entertain correlates certain externals in the outside world. This is the Law from which there is no escape. And it is this Law, this correlative of the thought with its object, that from time immemorial has led the people to believe in special providence." —WILMANS.