The Master Key
by Charles F Haanel
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 PublishersAddendum: 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 explains the Law of Growth and why we cannot obtain if we tenaciously cling to what we have. Difficulties, disharmonies, and obstacles indicate that we are either refusing to give up what we no longer need or refusing to accept what we require. We are holding on to worn-out and useless material or we are allowing a deficiency to exist and are not obtaining the material necessary for our growth. It explains how the ability to appropriate what we require for our growth is secured. It explains how vitality is important to thought, and what determines the importance of words, the vessels in which thought is carried; how abundance may be secured; and why we must be prepared to assume the responsibility for every thought and action. It explains the necessity of Insight, its value in examining facts and conditions at long range, and in turning our attention to profitable channels instead of working with problems which contain no possibility of any kind.
The Law of Growth
Experiments with parasites found on plants indicate that even the lowest order of life is enabled to take advantage of natural law.
This experiment was made by Jaques Loeb, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Rockefeller Institute:
"In order to obtain the material, potted rose bushes are brought into a room and placed in front of a closed window. If the plants are allowed to dry out, the aphides (parasites), previously wingless, change to winged insects. After the metamorphosis, the animals leave the plants, fly to the window and then creep upward on the glass."
It is evident that these tiny insects found that the plants on which they had been thriving were dead and that they could therefore secure nothing more to eat and drink from this source. The only method by which they could save themselves from starvation was to grow temporary wings and fly which they did.
Experiments such as these indicate that Omniscience as well as Omnipotence is omnipresent and that the tiniest living thing can take advantage of it in an emergency.
Part Fifteen will tell you more about the laws under which we live. It will explain that these laws operate to our advantage; that all conditions and experiences that come to us are for our benefit; that we gain strength in proportion to the effort expended; and that our happiness is best attained through a conscious co-operation with natural laws.
Point by Point
- The laws under which we live are designed solely for our advantage. These laws are immutable and we cannot escape from their operation.
- All the great eternal forces act in solemn silence, but it is in our power to place ourselves in harmony with them and thus express a life of comparative peace and happiness.
- Difficulties, disharmonies, and obstacles indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need or refusing to accept what we require.
- Growth is attained through an exchange of the old for the new, of the good for the better; it is a conditional or reciprocal action, for each of us is a complete thought entity and this completeness makes it possible for us to receive only as we give.
- We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have. We are able consciously to control our conditions as we come to sense the purpose of what we attract, and are able to extract from each experience only what we require for our further growth. Our ability to do this determines the degree of harmony or happiness we attain.
- The ability to appropriate what we require for our growth continually increases as we reach higher planes and broader visions; the greater our ability to know what we require, the more certain we shall be to discern its presence, to attract it, and to absorb it. Nothing may reach us except what is necessary for our growth.
- All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.
- That we reap what we sow is mathematically exact. We gain permanent strength exactly to the extent of the effort required to overcome difficulties.
- The inexorable requirements of growth demand that we exert the greatest degree of attraction for what is perfectly in accord with us. Our highest happiness will be best attained through our understanding of, and conscious co-operation with, natural laws.
- In order to possess vitality, thought must be impregnated with love. Love is a product of the emotions. It is therefore essential that the emotions be controlled and guided by the intellect and reason.
- It is love which imparts vitality to thought and thus enables it to germinate. The law of attraction (or the law of love, for they are one and the same) will bring to it the necessary material for its growth and maturity.
- The first form which thought will find is language, or words. This determines the importance of words: they are the first manifestation of thought, the vessels in which thought is carried. They take hold of the ether and, by setting it in motion, reproduce the thought to others in the form of sound.
- Thought may lead to action of any kind; but whatever the action, it is simply the thought attempting to express itself in visible form. It is evident, therefore, that if we wish desirable conditions, we can afford to entertain only desirable thoughts.
- This leads to the inevitable conclusion that if we wish to express abundance in our lives, we can afford to think abundance only; and as words are only thoughts taking form, we must be especially careful to use nothing but constructive and harmonious language which, when finally crystallized into objective forms, will prove to our advantage.
- We cannot escape from the pictures we incessantly photograph on the mind, and this photography of erroneous conceptions is exactly what is being done by the use of words when we use any form of language which is not identified with our welfare.
- We manifest more and more life as our thought becomes clarified and takes higher planes. This is obtained with greater facility as we use word pictures that are clearly defined and relieved of the conceptions attached to them on lower planes of thought.
- It is with words that we must express our thoughts; and if we are to make use of higher forms of truth, we may use only such material as has been carefully and intelligently selected with this purpose in view.
- This wonderful power of clothing thoughts in the form of words is what differentiates man from the rest of the animal kingdom. By the use of the written word, man has been enabled to look back over the centuries and see the stirring scenes by which he has come into his present inheritance.
- He has been enabled to come into communion with the greatest writers and thinkers of all time, and the combined record which we possess to-day is therefore the expression of Universal Thought as it has been seeking to take form in the mind of Man.
- We know that the Universal Thought has for its goal the creation of form. We know that the individual thought is likewise for ever attempting to express itself in form. We know that the word is a thought form and that a sentence is a combination of thought forms. Therefore, if we wish our ideal to be beautiful or strong, we must see that the words out of which this temple will eventually be created are exact and that they are put together carefully. Accuracy in building words and sentences is the highest form of architecture in civilization and is a passport to success.
- Words are thoughts and are therefore an invisible and invincible power which will finally objectify themselves in the form they are given.
- Words may become mental palaces that will live for ever, or they may become shanties which the first breeze will carry away. Words may delight the eye as well as the ear; they may contain all knowledge; in them we find the history of the past as well as the hope of the future; they are living messengers from which every human and superhuman activity is born.
- The beauty of the word consists in the beauty of the thought, the power of the word consists in the power of the thought, and the power of the thought consists in its vitality. How shall we identify a vital thought? What are its distinguishing characteristics? Thought must be guided by principle. How shall we identify principle?
- There is a principle of Mathematics, but none of error. There is a principle of Health, but none of disease. There is a principle of Truth, but none of dishonesty. There is a principle of Light, but none of darkness. There is a principle of Abundance, but none of poverty.
- How shall we know that this is true? Because if we apply the principle of Mathematics correctly, we shall be certain of our results. Where there is Health there will be no disease. If we know the Truth we cannot be deceived by error. If we let in Light there can be no darkness. Where there is Abundance, there can be no poverty.
- These are self-evident facts which are too often overlooked. The all-important truth is that a thought inspired by principle is vital, contains life, and displaces negative thoughts which by their very nature can contain no vitality.
- This is a fact which will enable you to destroy every manner of discord, lack, and limitation.
- There can be no question but that he who "is wise enough to understand" will readily recognize that the creative power of thought places an invincible weapon in his hands and makes him a master of destiny.
- In the physical world, there is a law of compensation which is that "the appearance of a given amount of energy anywhere means the disappearance of the same amount aomewhere else"; and so we find that we can get only what we give. If we pledge ourselves to a certain action, we must be prepared to assume the responsibility for the development of that action. The subconscious cannot reason: it takes us at our word. We have asked for something; we are now to receive it. We have made our bed; we are now to lie on it. The die has been cast; the threads will weave the pattern we have made.
- For this reason, Insight must be exercised so that the thought which we entertain contains no mental, moral, or physical germ which we do not wish to be objectified in our lives.
- Insight is a faculty of the mind whereby we are enabled to examine facts and conditions at long range. It is a kind of human telescope which enables us to understand the difficulties as well as the possibilities in any undertaking.
- Insight enables us to be prepared for the obstacles which we shall meet so that we can overcome them before they have any opportunity of causing obstruction.
- Insight enables us to plan to advantage, turning our thought and attention in the right direction instead of diverting us into channels which can yield no possible return.
- Insight is therefore absolutely essential for the development of any great achievement. With Insight, we may enter, explore, and possess any mental field.
- Insight is a product of the world within and is developed in the Silence, by concentration.
- For your next exercise, concentrate on Insight. Take your accustomed position and focus your thought on the fact that to have a knowledge of the creative power of thought does not mean to possess the art of thinking. Let your thought dwell on the fact that knowledge does not apply itself; that our actions are too often governed not by knowledge, but by custom, precedent, and habit; that the only way we can get ourselves to apply knowledge is by a determined conscious effort. Call to mind the fact that unused knowledge leaks away from the mind and that the value of information is in the practical application of a principle. Continue this line of thought until you gain sufficient insight to formulate a definite programme for applying the appropriate principle to your own particular problem.
Think truly, and thy thoughts
Shall the world's famine feed;
Speak truly, and each word of thine
Shall be a fruitful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed.
Questions and Answers
141. What determines the degree of harmony which we attain?
A. Our ability to appropriate from each experience what we require for our growth.
142. What do difficulties and obstacles indicate?
A. That they are necessary for our wisdom and spiritual growth.
143. How may these difficulties be avoided?
A. By a conscious understanding of, and co-operation with, Natural laws.
144. What is the principle by which thought manifests itself in form?
A. The Law of Attraction.
145. How is the necessary material secured by which the growth, development, and maturity of the idea take form?
A. The law of love, which is the creative principle of the Universe, imparts vitality to the thought, and the law of attraction brings the necessary substance by the law of growth.
146. How are desirable conditions secured?
A. By entertaining desirable thoughts only.
147. How are undesirable conditions brought about?
A. By thinking, discussing, and visualizing conditions of lack, limitation, disease, disharmony, and discord of every kind. This mental photography of erroneous conceptions is taken up by the subconscious, and the law of attraction will inevitably crystallize it into objective form. That we reap what we sow is scientifically exact.
148. How can we overcome every kind of fear, lack, limitation, poverty, and discord?
A. By substituting principle for error.
149. How may we recognize principle?
A. By a conscious realization of the fact that Truth invariably destroys error. We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light. The same principle applies to every form of negative thought.
150. What is the value of Insight?
A. It enables us to understand the value of making application of the knowledge which we gain. Many seem to think that knowledge will automatically apply itself, which is by no means true.