The Master Key

by Charles F Haanel

Part Six

Contents List:

Harnessing Thought Power
Point by Point
Questions and Answers

Return to:

Title Page
Ardue Library
Ardue Site Plan

See also:

The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science
Mind, Life, and Body


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


Tells of the unlimited possibilities of the Universal Mind, which is the life principle of every atom in existence. It explains how this Mind is differentiated in form. It tells of the most marvellous piece of mechanism which has ever been constructed and how the effect which the Mind produces depends entirely upon the "mechanism to which it is attached". It tells why we should all become familiar with the mechanism so as to secure the effects which we desire. The power to which it can be attached is unlimited, and we can accordingly secure any effect we desire when we become familiar with the mechanism and understand how to make the proper connections. An understanding of this part will enable you to plan courageously and execute fearlessly, because you will have come into a knowledge of the source of all power. This will determine your course in life, bringing you into contact with all that is strongest, best, and most desirable.

Harnessing Thought Power

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. Necessities are demands, demands create actions, and actions produce results. The process of evolution is constantly building our tomorrows out of our todays. Individual development, like Universal development, must be gradual — but always in the direction of ever-increasing capacity and volume.

We must know that if we infringe the rights of others we become moral thorns and find ourselves entangled at every turn of the road. This knowledge should be an indication that success is contingent upon the highest moral ideal which is "the greatest good for the greatest number".

Aspiration, desire, and harmonious relations constantly and persistently maintained will accomplish results. The greatest hindrance is erroneous and fixed ideas. [My emphasis. — Ed.]

To be in tune with eternal truth, we must possess poise and harmony within. In order to receive intelligence, the receiver must be in tune with the transmitter.

Thought is a product of Mind, and Mind is creative. This does not mean that the Universal will change its modus operandi to suit us or our ideas. It does mean that we can come into harmonious relationship with the Universal. When we have accomplished this, we may ask for anything to which we have become entitled, and the way will be made plain.

Point by Point

  1. The Universal Mind is so wonderful that it is difficult to understand its utilitarian powers and possibilities and its unlimited creative effects.
  2. We have found that this Mind is not only all intelligence but also all substance. How, then, is it to be differentiated in form? How are we to secure the effect which we desire?
  3. Ask any electrician what the effect of electricity will be and he will reply that "electricity is a form of motion and its effect will depend upon the mechanism to which it is attached". Upon this mechanism will depend whether we shall have heat, light, power, music, or any of the other marvellous demonstrations of power to which this vital energy has been harnessed.
  4. What effect can be produced by thought? The reply is that thought is mind in motion (just as wind is air in motion), and its effect will depend entirely on the "mechanism to which it is attached".
  5. Here, then, is the secret of all mental power; it depends entirely on the mechanism which we attach.
  6. What is this mechanism? You know something of the mechanisms invented by Edison, Bell, Marconi, and other electrical wizards, by which place, space, and time have become only figures of speech. But did you ever stop to think that the mechanism which has been given you for transforming the Universal Omnipresent Potential Power was invented by a greater inventor than Edison?
  7. We are accustomed to examining the mechanism of the implements which we use for tilling the soil and we try to get an understanding of the mechanism of the motorcar which we drive; but most of us are content to remain in absolute ignorance of the greatest piece of mechanism which has ever come into existence: the brain of man.
  8. Let us examine the wonders of this mechanism and perhaps we shall thereby get a better understanding of the various effects of which it is the cause.
  9. In the first place, there is the great mental world in which we live and move and have our being. This world is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; it will respond to our desire in direct ratio to our purpose and faith. The purpose must be in accordance with the law of our being: that is, it must be creative or constructive. Our faith must be strong enough to generate a current of sufficient strength to bring our purpose into manifestation. "As thy faith is, so be it unto thee" bears the stamp of scientific truth.
  10. The effects which are produced in the world without are the result of the action and reaction of the individual upon the Universal. That is the process which we call thinking. The brain is the organ through which this process is accomplished. Think of the wonder of it all. Do you love music, flowers, literature, art? Are you inspired by the thought of ancient or modern genius? Remember, every beauty to which you respond must have its corresponding outline in your brain before you can appreciate it.
  11. There is not a single virtue or principle in the storehouse of Nature which the brain cannot express. The brain is an embryonic world, ready to develop at any time as necessity may arise. [My emphasis — Ed.] If you can comprehend that this is a scientific truth and one of the wonderful laws of Nature, it will be easier for you to get an understanding of the mechanism by which these extraordinary results are being accomplished.
  12. The nervous system has been compared to an electric circuit. Its battery are the cells in which force is originated and its white matter are the insulated wires by which the current is conveyed. It is through these channels that every impulse or desire is carried through the mechanism.
  13. The spinal cord is the great motor and sensory pathway by which messages are conveyed to and from the brain. The blood supply plunges through the veins and arteries, renewing the energy and strength of the perfectly arranged structure upon which the entire physical body rests. There is, finally, the delicate and beautiful skin, clothing the entire mechanism in a mantle of beauty.
  14. This is the "Temple of the living God" over which the individual "I" is given control and his performance will depend upon his understanding of the mechanism.
  15. 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 itself perfectly.
  16. This influence of the mind can be exerted upon any part of the body, causing the elimination of any undesirable effect.
  17. A perfect conception and understanding of the laws governing in the mental world cannot fail to be of inestimable value in the transaction of business, because it develops the power of discernment and gives a clearer understanding and appreciation of facts.
  18. The man who looks within instead of without cannot fail to make use of the mighty forces which will eventually determine his course in life and so bring him into vibration with all that is best, strongest, and most desirable.
  19. Attention or concentration is probably the most important essential in the development of mind culture. [My emphasis. — Ed.] The possibilities of attention properly directed are so startling that they would hardly appear credible to the uninitiated. The cultivation of attention is the distinguishing characteristic of every successful man or woman, and is the very highest personal accomplishment which can be acquired.
  20. The power of attention can be more readily understood by comparing it with a glass by which the rays of sunlight are focused. The rays possess no particular strength as long as the glass is moved about and the rays directed from one place to another; but let the glass be held perfectly still and let the rays be focussed on one spot for any length of time, and the effect will become impressively apparent.
  21. So with the power of thought: let power be dissipated by scattering the thought from one object to another, and no result is achieved; but focus this power through attention or concentration on any single purpose for any length of time, and nothing remains impossible.
  22. Some will say that this is a very simplistic remedy for a very complex situation. All right: try it, you who have had no experience in concentrating the thought on a definite purpose or object! 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. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. In order to cultivate the power of attention, bring a photograph of some person with you to the same seat in the same room in the same position as heretofore. Examine it closely for at least ten minutes. Note the expression of the eyes, the form of the features, the clothing, the way the hair is arranged; carefully note every detail shown on the photograph. Now cover it and close your eyes and try to see it mentally. If you can see every detail perfectly and can form a good mental image of the photograph, you are to be congratulated. If not, repeat the process until you can.
  25. This step is simply for the purpose of preparing the soil. In Part Seven, we shall be ready to sow the seed.
  26. It is by such exercises as these that you will finally be able to control your mental moods, your attitude, your consciousness.
  27. Great organizers are learning to withdraw from the multitude more and more, so that they may have more time for planning, thinking, and generating the right mental moods.
  28. Successful business men are constantly demonstrating the fact that it pays to keep in touch with the thought of other successful business men.
  29. A single idea may be worth thousands of pounds, and these ideas can come only to those who are receptive, who are prepared to receive them, who are in a successful frame of mind.
  30. Men are learning to place themselves in harmony with the Universal Mind; they are learning the unity of all things; they are learning the basic methods and principles of thinking, and this is changing conditions and multiplying results.
  31. They are finding that circumstances and environment follow the trend of mental and spiritual progress. They find that growth follows knowledge; action follows inspiration; opportunity follows perception. The spiritual always comes first; possibilities of transformation into infinite and illimitable achievement come later.
  32. As the individual is but the channel for the differentiation of the Universal, these possibilities are necessarily inexhaustible.
  33. 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. As explained in this Book, the method of accomplishing this result by the persistent practice of a few fundamental principles is the Master Key which unlocks the storehouse of Universal Truth.
  34. The two great sources of human suffering at present are bodily disease and mental anxiety. These may be readily traced to the infringement of some Natural Law. This is, no doubt, owing to the fact that knowledge has so far largely remained partial: but the clouds of darkness which have accumulated through long ages are beginning to roll away, and many of the miseries that attend imperfect information disappear with them.
"That a man can change himself, improve himself, recreate himself, control his environment, and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind that is wide awake to the power of right thought in constructive action." — LARSEN.

Questions and Answers

31. What are some of the effects which can be produced by electricity?
A. Heat, light, power, music, pictures, speech.

52. Upon what do these various effects depend?
A. Upon the mechanism to which the electricity is attached.

53. What is the result of the action and interaction of the individual mind upon the Universal?
A. The conditions and experiences with which we meet.

54. How may these conditions be changed?
A. By changing the mechanism by which the Universal is differentiated in form.

55. What is this mechanism?
A. The brain.

56. How may it be changed?
A. By the process we call thinking. Thoughts produce brain cells, and these cells respond to the corresponding thought in the Universal.

57. Of what value is the power of concentration?
A. It is the very highest personal accomplishment which can be acquired, and the distinguishing characteristic of every successful man or woman.

58. How may it be acquired?
A. By faithfully practising the exercises outlined in this System.

59. 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.

60. What is changing conditions and multiplying results in the objective world?
A. Men are learning the basic methods of constructive thinking.

"This above all: To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." — SHAKESPEARE.