The Master Key System
Charles Haanel distributed The Master Key System as weekly lessons.
Reportedly the lessons were first published in book format in 1917
Letter of Transmittal
In the part which I have the honor to transmit herewith, you will find that money weaves itself into the entire fabric of our very existence; that the law of success is service; that we get what we give, and for this reason we should consider it a great privilege to be able to give.
We have found that thought is the creative activity behind every constructive enterprise. We can therefore give nothing of more practical value than our thought.
Creative thought requires attention, and the power of attention is, as we have found, the weapon of the Super-person. Attention develops concentration, and concentration develops Spiritual Power, and Spiritual Power is the mightiest force in existence.
This is the science which embraces all sciences. It is the art which, above all arts, is relevant to human life. In the mastery of this science and this art there is opportunity for unending progression. Perfection in this is not acquired in six days, nor in six weeks, nor in six months. It is the labor of a life. Not to go forward is to go backward.
It is inevitable that the entertainment of positive, constructive and unselfish thoughts should have a far-reaching effect for good. Compensation is the key-note of the universe. Nature is constantly seeking to strike an equilibrium. Where something is sent out something must be received; else there should be a vacuum formed. By observance of this rule you cannot fail to profit in such measure as to amply justify your effort along this line.
1. The money consciousness is an attitude of mind. It is the open door to the arteries of commerce. It is the receptive attitude. Desire is the attractive force which sets the current in motion. And fear is the great obstacle by which the current is stopped or completely reversed, turned away from us.
2. Fear is just the opposite from money consciousness. It is poverty consciousness, and as the law is unchangeable we get exactly what we give; if we fear, we get what we feared. Money weaves itself into the entire fabric of our very existence; it engages the best thought of the best minds.
3. We make money by making friends, and we enlarge our circle of friends by making money for them, by helping them, by being of service to them. The first law of success then is service, and this in turn is built on integrity and justice. The person who at least is not fair in their intention is simply ignorant; has missed the fundamental law of all exchange; thus will lose surely and certainly. He or she may not know it and may think winning is ahead, but is doomed to certain defeat. We cannot cheat the Infinite. The law of compensation will demand justice, what is referred to in the Bible as "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
4. The forces of life are volatile; they are composed of our thoughts and ideals and these in turn are molded into form. Our objective is to keep an open mind, to constantly reach out for the new, to recognize opportunity, to be interested in the race rather than the goal, for the pleasure is in the pursuit rather than the possession.
5. You can make a money magnet of yourself, but to do so you must first consider how you can make money for other people. If you have the necessary insight to perceive and utilize opportunities and propitious (favorable) conditions and recognize values. You can put yourself in position to take advantage of them, but your greatest success will come as you are enabled to assist others. What benefits one must benefit all.
6. A generous thought is filled with strength and vitality, a selfish thought contains the germs of dissolution; it will disintegrate and pass away. Great financiers like Morgan and others are simply channels for the distribution of wealth; enormous amounts come and go, but it would be as dangerous to stop the outgo as the income; both ends must remain open. And so our greatest success will come as we recognize that it is just as essential to give as to get.
7. If we recognize the Omnipotent power that is the source of all supply, we will adjust our consciousness to this supply in such a way that it will constantly attract all that is necessary to itself, and we shall find that the more we give the more we get. Giving in this sense implies service. The banker gives his money, the merchant gives his goods, the author gives his thought, the workman gives his skill; all have something to give. But the more they can give, the more they get, and the more they get the more they are enabled to give.
8. The financier gets much because he gives much; he thinks; he is seldom a man that lets anyone else do his thinking for him; he wants to know how results are to be secured; you must show him; when you can do this he will furnish the means by which hundreds or thousands may profit, and in proportion as they are successful will he be successful. Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie and others did not get rich because they lost money for other people; on the contrary, it is because they made money for other people that they became the wealthiest men in the wealthiest country on the globe.
9. The average person is entirely innocent of any deep thinking; he accepts the ideas of others, and repeats them in very much the same way as a parrot; this is readily seen when we understand the method which is used to form public opinion, and this docile attitude on the part of a large majority who seem perfectly willing to let a few persons do all their thinking for them is what enables a few men in a great many countries to usurp all the avenues of power and hold the millions in subjection. Creative thinking requires attention.
10. The power of attention is called concentration; this power is directed by the will; for this reason we must refuse to concentrate or think of anything except the things we desire. Many are constantly concentrating upon sorrow, loss and discord of every kind; as thought is creative it necessarily follows that this concentration inevitable leads to more loss, more sorrow and more discord. How could it be otherwise? On the other hand, when we meet with success, gain, or any other desirable condition, we naturally concentrate upon the effects of these things and thereby create more, and so it follows that: "Much leads to more".
11. How an understanding of this principle can be utilized in the business world is well told by Mr. Atkinson in "Advanced Thought". He says:
12. "Spirit, whatever else it may or may not be, must be considered as the Essence of Consciousness, the Substance of Mind, the reality underlying Thought. And as all ideas are phases of the activity of Consciousness, Mind or Thought, it follows that in Spirit, and in it alone, is to be found the Ultimate Fact, the Real Thing, or Idea."
13. This being admitted, does it not seem reasonable to hold that a true understanding of Spirit, and its laws of manifestation, would be about the most "practical" thing that a "practical" person can hope to find? Does it not seem certain that if the "practical" people of the world could but realize this fact, they would "fall all over themselves" in getting to the place in which they might obtain such knowledge of spiritual things and laws? These people are not fools; they need only to grasp this fundamental fact in order to move in the direction of that which is the essence of all achievement.
14. Let me give you a concrete example. I know a man in Chicago whom I had always considered to be quite materialistic. He had made several successes in life; and also several failures. The last time I had a talk with him he was practically "down and out," as compared with his former business condition. It looked as if he had indeed reached "the end of his rope," for he was well advanced into the stage of middle-age, and new ideas came more slowly, and less frequently to him than in former years.
15. He said to me, in substance: "I know that all things that 'work out' in business are the result of Thought; any fool knows that. Just now, I seem to be short on thoughts and good ideas. But, if this 'All-Mind' teaching is correct, it should be possible for the individual to attain a 'direct connection' with Infinite Mind; and in Infinite Mind there must be the possibility of all kinds of good ideas which a man of my courage and experience could put to practical use in the business world, and make a big success thereof. It looks good to me; and I am going to look into it."
16. This was several years ago. The other day I heard of this man again. Talking to a friend, I said: "What has come of our old friend X? Has he ever gotten on his feet again?" The friend looked at me in amazement. "Why," said he, "don't you know about X's great success? He is the Big Man in the '_________ Company' (naming a concern which has made a phenomenal success during the last eighteen months and is now well known by reason of its advertisements, from one end of the country to another, and also abroad). He is the man who supplied the BIG IDEA for that concern. Why, he is about a half-million to the good, and is moving rapidly toward the million mark; all in the space of eighteen months." I had not connected this man with the enterprise mentioned; although I knew of the wonderful success of the company in question. Investigation has shown that the story is true, and that the above stated facts are not exaggerated in the slightest.
17. Now, what do you think of that? To me, it means that this man actually made the "direct connection" with Infinite Mind -- Spirit -- and, having found it, he set it to work for him. He "used it in his business."
18. Does this sound sacrilegious or blasphemous? I hope not; I do not mean it to be so. Take away the implication of Personality, or Magnified Human Nature, from the conception of the "The Infinite," and you have left the conception of an Infinite Presence-Power, the Quintessence of which is Consciousness -- in fact, at the last, Spirit. As this man, also, at the last, must be considered as a manifestation of Spirit; there is nothing sacrilegious in the idea that he, being Spirit, should so harmonize himself with his Origin and Source that he would be able to manifest at least a minor degree of its Power. All of us do this, more or less, when we use our minds in the direction of Creative Thought. This man did more, he went about it in an intensely "practical" manner.
19. I have not consulted him about his method of procedure, though I intend doing so at the first opportunity, but, he not only drew upon the Infinite Supply for the ideas which he needed (and which formed the seed of his success), but that he also used the Creative Power of Thought in building up for himself an Idealistic Pattern of that which he hoped to manifest in material form, adding thereto, changing, improving its detail, from time to time -- proceeding from the general outline to the finished detail. I judge this to be the facts of the case, not alone from my recollection of the conversation a few years ago, but also because I have found the same thing to be true in the cases of other prominent men who have made similar manifestation of Creative Thought.
20. Those who may shrink from this idea of employing the Infinite Power to aid one in his work in the material world, should remember that if the Infinite objected in the least to such a procedure, the thing could never happen. The Infinite is quite able to take care of Itself.
21. "Spirituality" is quite "practical," very "practical," intensely "practical." It teaches that Spirit is the Real Thing, the Whole Thing, and that Matter is but plastic stuff, which Spirit is able to create, mould, manipulate, and fashion to its will. Spirituality is the most "practical" thing in the world -- the only really and absolutely "practical" thing that there is!
22. This week concentrate on the fact that a human being is not a body with a spirit, but a spirit with a body, and that it is for this reason that desires are incapable of any permanent satisfaction in anything not spiritual. Money is therefore of no value except to bring about the conditions which we desire, and these conditions are necessarily harmonious. Harmonious conditions necessitate sufficient supply, so that if there appears to be any lack, we should realize that the idea or soul of money is service, and as this thought takes form, channels of supply will be opened, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that spiritual methods are entirely practical.
221. What is the first law of success?
222. How may we be of the most service?
Have an open mind; be interested in the race rather than the goal, in the pursuit rather than possession.
223. What is the result of a selfish thought?
It contains the germs of dissolution.
224. How will our greatest success be achieved?
By a recognition of the fact that it is just as essential to give as to receive.
225. Why do financiers frequently meet with great success?
Because they do their own thinking.
226. Why do the great majority in every country remain the docile and apparently willing tools of the few?
Because they let the few do all their thinking for them.
227. What is the effect of concentrating upon sorrow and loss?
More sorrow and more loss.
228. What is the effect of concentrating upon gain?
229. Is this principle used in the business world?
It is the only principle which is ever used, or ever can be used; there is no other principle. The fact that it may be used unconsciously does not alter the situation.
230. What is the practical application of this principle?
The fact that success is an effect, not a cause, and if we wish to secure the effect we must ascertain the cause, or idea or thought by which the effect is created.
Summary of each of the 24 lessons
Impact Overview of The Master Key System
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Also available at the above link to Kallisti Publishing is "The Master Key Arcana" and "Mental Chemistry" by Charles F. Haanel along with others Sundry writings about The Master Key System; writings that influenced Haanel, such as Judge Thomas Troward and Henry Drummond; and the rare and never-before published "lost" parts of The Master Key System!
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