The Master Key

by Charles F Haanel

Part Nineteen

Contents List:

Vital Force
Point by Point
Questions and Answers

Return to:

Title Page
Ardue Library
Ardue Site Plan

See also:

Reciprocal Action of Universal and Individual Minds
From Accident to School


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 of the search for truth, which is another name for ultimate cause. If we can find the truth, we shall have found the cause for every effect; having found the cause, we shall be in a position to control the effect. It explains that all things are finally resolvable into one thing; and that as they are thus translatable, they must ever be in accord and can never be in opposition to one another. It explains that knowledge of this primary substance is power; that knowledge of cause and effect is power; that wealth is the offspring of power; that events and conditions are significant only as they affect power; and finally that all things represent certain forms and degrees of power. It tells of a certain form of power which can control every other power and explains how we may make use of it.

Vital Force

Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyses the nerve centres, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyses the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being — body, brain, and nerve.

The way to overcome fear is to become conscious of power. What is this mysterious vital force which we call power? We do not know. Neither do we know what electricity is. But we do know that by conforming to the requirements of the law by which electricity is governed, it will become our obedient servant: it will light our homes and cities, run our machinery, and serve us in many useful ways.

So it is with vital force. Although we do not, and possibly may never, know what it is, we do know that it is a primary force which manifests through living bodies and that, by complying with the laws and principles by which it is governed, we can open ourselves to a more abundant inflow of this vital energy, and thus express the highest possible degree of mental, moral, and spiritual efficiency.

Part Nineteen tells of a very simple way of developing this vital force. If you put into practice the information outlined in this Part, you will soon develop the sense of power which has ever been the distinguishing mark of genius.

Point by Point

  1. The search for truth is no longer a haphazard adventure but a systematic process, logical in its operation. Every kind of experience is given a voice in determining its direction.
  2. In seeking the truth we are seeking ultimate cause. We know that every human experience is an effect. If we may ascertain the cause of the effect and find that this cause is one which we can consciously control, the effect or experience will be within our control also.
  3. Human experience will then no longer be the football of fate. A man will not be the child of fortune; destiny, fate, and fortune will be controlled as readily as a captain controls his vessel or an engine-driver his train.
  4. All things are finally resolvable into the same element. As they are thus translatable, one into the other, they must ever be in relation and may never be in opposition to one another.
  5. In the physical world, there are innumerable contrasts which may for convenience be designated by distinctive names. There are sizes, colours, shades, or ends to all things. There is a North Pole and a South Pole, an inside and an outside, a seen and an unseen; but these expressions merely serve to place extremes in contrast.
  6. Such names are given to two extremes of one and the same quality. The two extremes are relative: they are not separate entities but only two parts or aspects of the whole.
  7. In the mental world we find the same law. We speak of Knowledge and ignorance: but ignorance is only a lack of Knowledge and is therefore found to be simply a word to express the absence of Knowledge; it has no principle in itself.
  8. In the Moral World we again find the same law. We speak of Good and evil, but Good is a reality, something tangible, while evil is found to be simply a negative condition, the absence of Good. Evil is sometimes thought to be a very real condition, but it has no principle, no vitality, no life. We know this because it can always be destroyed by Good. Just as Truth destroys error and Light destroys darkness, so evil vanishes when Good appears. There is therefore but one principle in the Moral World.
  9. We find exactly the same law obtaining in the Spiritual world. We speak of Mind and matter as two separate entities, but clearer insight makes it evident that there is but one operative principle — which is Mind.
  10. Mind is the real and the eternal whereas matter is for ever changing. We know that in the aeons of time, a hundred years is but as a day. If we stand in any large city and let the eye rest on the innumerable large and magnificent buildings, the railways, the road vehicles, the telephones, the electric lights, and all the other conveniences of modern civilization, we may remember that only some of the buildings were there one hundred years ago. If we could stand on the same spot a hundred years hence, we should in all probability find that but few of the buildings remained.
  11. In the animal kingdom we find the same law of change. The millions and millions of animals come and go, a few years constituting their span of life. In the plant world, the change is still more rapid. Many plants and nearly all grasses come and go in a single year. When we pass to the inorganic world, we expect to find something more substantial. Nevertheless, as we gaze on the apparently solid continent, we are told that it arose from the ocean. We see the giant mountain and are told that the place where it now stands was once a lake. As we stand in awe before the great cliffs in the Yosemite Valley, we can easily trace the path of the glaciers which once carried all before them.
  12. We are in the presence of continual change, and we know that this change is but the evolution of the Universal Mind, the grand process whereby all things are continually being created anew. We come to know that matter is but a form which Mind takes and is therefore simply a condition. Matter has no principle; Mind is the only principle.
  13. We have then come to know that Mind is the only principle which is operative in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual worlds.
  14. We also know that this mind is normally static; it is Mind at rest. We know that the ability of the individual to think is his ability to act upon the Universal Mind and convert it into dynamic Mind, or Mind in motion.
  15. In order to do this, fuel must be applied in the form of food — for man cannot think without eating. Thus we find that even a spiritual activity such as thinking cannot be converted into sources of pleasure and profit except by making use of material means.
  16. It requires energy of some kind to collect electricity and convert it into a dynamic power. It requires the rays of the Sun to give the necessary energy to sustain plant life. Similarly, it requires energy in the form of food to enable the individual to think and thereby to act upon the Universal Mind.
  17. Thought is constantly, eternally, seeking expression in form. It is a fact that if your thought is powerful, constructive, and positive, this will be plainly evident in the state of your health, your business, and your environment. If your thought is weak, critical, destructive, and generally negative, it will manifest as fear, worry, and nervousness in your body, as lack and limitation in your finances, and as discordant conditions in your environment.
  18. All wealth is the offspring of power. Possessions are of value only as they confer power. Events are significant only as they affect power. All things represent certain forms and degrees of power.
  19. A knowledge of cause and effect as shown by the laws governing steam, electricity, chemical affinity, and gravitation enables men to plan courageously and to execute fearlessly. These laws are called Natural Laws, because they govern the physical world. However, not all power is physical power; there are also mental, moral, and spiritual powers.
  20. What are our schools and universities but mental power-houses, places where mental power is being developed?
  21. As there are many mighty power-houses for the application of power to ponderous machinery whereby raw material is collected and converted into the necessities and comforts of life, so mental power-houses collect and cultivate raw material and develop it into a power which is infinitely superior to all the forces of Nature, marvellous though these may be.
  22. What is this raw material which is being collected in the world's mental power-houses and developed into a power which is evidently controlling every other power? In its static form it is Mind; in its dynamic form it is Thought.
  23. This power is superior because it exists on a higher plane. It has enabled man to discover the law by which these wonderful forces of Nature could be harnessed and made to do the work of hundreds and thousands of men. It has enabled man to discover laws whereby time and space have been annihilated.
  24. Thought is the vital force or energy which has brought about a world which would have been absolutely inconceivable only fifty years ago. If such results have been secured in fifty years by organizing mental power-houses, what may not be expected in another fifty years?
  25. The substance from which all things are created is infinite in quantity. We know that light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, and we know that there are stars so remote that it takes their light 2000 years to reach us. We know that such stars exist in all parts of the heaven. We are gradually becoming aware that the vast spaces between discernable heavenly bodies are filled with this same Mental substance.
  26. How, then, does it manifest in form? In electrical science, a current flows in a wire when it is used to connect together the opposite poles of a battery. This same process is repeated in respect of every kind of polarity. As all form depends upon the rates of vibration and consequent relations of atoms to each other, if we wish to change the form of manifestation, we must change the polarity. This is the principle of causation.
  27. For your next exercise, really concentrate on the object of your thought: become so absorbed in it that you are conscious of nothing else. Do this for a few minutes every day. You take the time necessary to eat in order that the body may be nourished; why not also take the time required to assimilate your mental food?
  28. Let your thought rest on the fact that appearances are deceptive. The Earth is neither flat nor stationary; the sky is not a dome; the Sun does not move in an orbit around the Earth; the stars are not merely small specks of light; and matter once supposed to be fixed is actually in a state of perpetual flux.
  29. Try to realize that the day is fast approaching when modes of thought and action must be adjusted to rapidly increasing knowledge of the operation of eternal principles.
"Nothing is comparable to the pleasure of an active and prevailing thought: a thought prevailing over the difficulty and obscurity of the object and refreshing the soul with new discoveries and images of things, thereby extending the bounds of apprehension and, as it were, enlarging the territory of reason." — SOUTH.

Questions and Answers

181. How are extremes placed in contrast?
A. They are designated by distinctive names such as inside and outside, top and bottom, light and dark, good and bad.

182. Are these separate entities?
A. No, they are parts or aspects of one Whole.

183. What is the one creative Principle in the physical, mental, and spiritual world?
A. The Universal Mind, or the Eternal Energy from which all things proceed.

184. How are we related to this creative Principle?
A. By our ability to think.

185. How does this creative Principle become operative?
A. Thought is the seed which results in action, and action results in form.

186. Upon what does form depend?
A. Upon combinations of different rates of vibration.

187. How may rates of vibration be changed?
A. By mental action.

188. Upon what does mental action depend?
A. Upon polarity: action and reaction between the individual and the Universal.

189. Does the creative energy originate in the individual or the Universal?
A. In the Universal: but the Universal can manifest only through the individual.

190. Why is the individual necessary?
A. Because the Universal is static, and requires energy to start it into motion. This is furnished by food which is converted into energy and which in turn enables the individual to think. When the individual stops eating he stops thinking; he then no longer acts upon the Universal; there is consequently no longer any action or reaction; the Universal is then only pure Mind in static form — Mind at rest.

"There is no thought in my mind but it quickly tends to convert itself into a power and organizes a huge instrumentality of means." — EMERSON.