The Master Key

by Charles F Haanel

Part Five

Contents List:

Mental Action
Point by Point
Questions and Answers

Return to:

Title Page
Ardue Library
Ardue Site Plan

See also:

Consciousness, Laws, and Influences


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 how the subconscious processes are continually at work, and it tells how we may consciously direct this work instead of being mere passive recipients of its activity. It tells how we may have a vision of the destination to be reached, the dangers and pitfalls to be avoided. It tells how "the word has become flesh", how we are constantly creating and re-creating ourselves. It tells of a mental home which each of us is building for himself, the importance of this home, where the material is secured, the character of the furnishing, how and why many of us need a mental house-cleaning if we wish to realize our ideas. It tells of the condition by which we may come into an inheritance of health, harmony, and prosperity, and the condition is one which demands no sacrifice except the loss of our limitations, servitudes, and weaknesses — and which costs only the labour of harvesting its great resources.

Mental Action

After studying this Part carefully, you will see that every conceivable force or object or fact is the result of mind in action.

Mind in action is thought, and thought is creative. Men are thinking now as they have never thought before. Therefore, this is a creative age, and the world is awarding its richest prizes to the thinkers.

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.

But thought works no magic transformations; it obeys natural laws; it sets natural forces in motion; it releases natural energies; it manifests in your conduct and actions and these, in turn, react upon your friends and acquaintances and eventually upon the whole of your environment.

You can originate thought and, since thoughts are creative, you can create for yourselves the things you desire.

Point by Point

  1. At least 90 per cent of our mental life is subconscious, so that those who fail to make use of this mental power live within very narrow limits.
  2. The subconscious can and will solve any problem for us if we know how to direct it. The subconscious processes are always at work. Are we to be simply passive recipients of this activity or are we to direct the work consciously? Shall we have a vision of the destination to be reached and the dangers to be avoided, or shall we simply drift?
  3. We have found that mind pervades every part of the physical body and is always capable of being directed or impressed by authority coming from the objective or the more dominant portion of the mind.
  4. 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 itself.
  5. We can consciously use all the desirable characteristics with which we have been provided and we can refuse to allow the undesirable ones to manifest.
  6. 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.
  7. The idea seemed plausible; the consciousness received it and 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 had "become flesh".
  8. This, then, is how we are constantly creating and re-creating ourselves. We are to-day the result of our past thinking, and we shall become what we are thinking to-day. The Law of Attraction is bringing to us not the things we should like nor the things we wish for nor 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.
  9. If either of us were building a home for himself, how careful we should be in regard to the plans! We would study every detail; we would watch the material and select only the best of everything. Yet how careless we are when it comes to building the Mental Home which is infinitely more important than any physical home because everything which can possibly enter into our lives depends upon the character of the material which enters into the construction of our Mental Home.
  10. What is the character of this material? We have seen that it is the result of the impressions which we have accumulated in the past and stored away in our subconscious mentality. If these impressions have been of fear, of worry, of care, of anxiety; if they have been despondent, negative, doubtful; then the texture of the material which we are weaving to-day will be of the same negative material. Instead of being of any value, it will be mildewed and rotten and will bring us only more toil and care and anxiety. We shall be for ever busy trying to patch it up and make it appear at least genteel.
  11. But if we have stored away nothing but courageous thought; if we have been optimistic, positive, and have immediately thrown any kind of negative thought on the scrap-heap, have refused to have anything to do with it, have refused to associate with it or become identified with it in any way, what then is the result? Our mental material is now of the best kind; we can weave any kind of material we want; we can use any colour we wish. We know that the texture is firm, that the material is solid, that it will not fade, and we have no fear or anxiety concerning the future. There is nothing to cover, there are no patches to hide.
  12. These are psychological facts. There is no theory or guess-work about these thinking processes. There is nothing secret about them. They are so plain that everyone can understand them. The thing to do is to have a mental house-cleaning and to have this house-cleaning every day in order to keep the house clean. Mental, moral, and physical cleanliness is absolutely indispensable if we are to make progress of any kind.
  13. When this mental house-cleaning process has been completed, the material which is left will be suitable for making the ideals or mental images which we desire to realize.
  14. There is a fine estate awaiting a claimant. Its broad acres, abundant crops, running water, and fine timber stretch away as far as the eye can see. There is a mansion, spacious and cheerful, with rare pictures, a well-stocked library, rich hangings, and every comfort and luxury. All the heir has to do is assert his heirship, take possession, and use the property. He must use it, he must not let it decay, for use is the condition on which he holds it. To neglect it is to lose possession.
  15. In the domain of mind and spirit, in the domain of practical power, such an estate is yours. You are the heir! You can assert your heirship and possess and use this rich inheritance. Power over circumstances is one of its fruits: health, harmony and prosperity are assets upon its balance sheet. It offers you poise and peace. It costs you only the labour of studying and harvesting its great resources. It demands no sacrifice except the loss of your limitations, your servitudes, your weakness. It clothes you with self-honour, and puts a sceptre in your hands.
  16. To gain this estate, three processes are necessary:
  17. You will admit that those are not burdensome conditions.
  18. You are familiar with the subject of heredity. Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel, and other physical scientists have piled evidence mountain high that heredity is a law attending progressive creation. It is progressive heredity which gives man his erect attitude, his power of motion, the organs of digestion, blood circulation, nerve force, muscular force, bone structure, and a host of other faculties on the physical side. There are even more impressive facts concerning inheritance of mind force. All these constitute what may be called your human heredity.
  19. But there is an heredity which the physical scientists have not encompassed. It lies beneath and antecedent to all their researches. At a point where they throw up their hands in despair saying they cannot account for what they see, this divine heredity is found in full sway.
  20. It is the benignant force which decrees primal creation. It thrills down from the Divine direct into every created being. It originates life — which the unaided physical scientist has neither done nor ever can do. It stands out among all forces: supreme, unapproachable. No human heredity measures up to it.
  21. This Infinite Life flows through you, is you. Its doorways are but the faculties which comprise your consciousness. To keep these doors open is the Secret of Power. Is it not worth while to make the effort?
  22. The great fact is that the source of all life and all power is from within. Persons, circumstances, and events may suggest needs and opportunities, but the insight, strength, and power to answer these needs will be found within.
  23. Avoid counterfeits. Build firm foundations for your consciousness upon forces which flow direct from the Infinite Source, the Universal Mind of which you are the image and likeness.
  24. Those who have come into possession of this inheritance are never quite the same again. They have come into possession of a sense of power hitherto undreamed of. They can never again be timid, weak, vacillating, or fearful. They are indissolubly connected with Omnipotence. Something in them has been aroused: they have suddenly discovered that they possess a tremendous latent ability of which they were heretofore entirely unconscious.
  25. This power is from within: but we cannot receive it unless we give it. Use is the condition upon which we hold this inheritance. We are each of us but the channel through which the Omnipotent Power is being differentiated into form: unless we give it out, the channel is obstructed and we can receive no more. This is true on every plane of existence, in every field of endeavour, and in all walks of life. The more we give, the more we get. The athlete who wishes to get strong must make use of the strength he has, and the more he gives the more he will get. The financier who wishes to make money must make use of the money he has, for only by using it can he get more.
  26. The merchant who does not keep his goods going out will soon have none coming in; the business which fails to give efficient service will soon lack customers; the barrister who fails to get results will soon lack clients; and so it goes everywhere. Power is contingent upon a proper use of the power already in our possession. What is true in every field of endeavour, every experience in life, is true of the power from which every other power known among men is begotten — spiritual power. Take away the spirit and what is left? Nothing.
  27. 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.
  28. All possession is the result of the accumulative attitude of mind, or the money consciousness. This is the magic wand which will enable you to receive the idea and formulate plans for you to execute. You will find as much pleasure in the execution as in the satisfaction of attainment and achievement.
  29. Now, go to your room, take the same seat, the same position as heretofore, and mentally select a place which has pleasant associations. Make a complete mental picture of it: see the buildings, the grounds, the trees, friends, associations, everything complete. At first you will find yourself thinking of everything under the sun except the ideal upon which you desire to concentrate. But do not let that discourage you. Persistence will win, but persistence requires that you practise these exercises every day without fail.

"Relation and connection are not somewhere and some time, but everywhere and always." — EMERSON.

Questions and Answers

41. What proportion of our mental life is subconscious?
A. At least 90 per cent.

42. Is this vast mental storehouse generally utilized?
A. No.

43. Why not?
A. Few understand or appreciate the fact that it is an activity which they may consciously direct.

44. Whence has the conscious mind received its governing tendencies?
A. From heredity — which means that it is the result of all the environments of all past generations.

45. What is the law of attraction bringing to us?
A. Our "Own".

46. What is our "Own"?
A. What we inherently are, and is the result of our past thinking, both conscious and subconscious.

47. Of what is the material with which we construct our mental home composed?
A. The thoughts which we entertain.

48. What is the Secret of Power?
A. Recognition of the omnipresence of omnipotence.

49. Where does it originate?
A. All life and all power are from within.

50. Upon what is the possession of power contingent?
A. Upon a proper use of the power already in our possession.

"The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can be reformed only by showing him a new idea which commands his own." — EMERSON.