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The Master Key System, by Charles F. Haanel, [1919], at

p. 334 p. 335


Some Questions asked by Correspondents,
with the Answers given by
Mr. Charles F. Haanel
Author and Exponent

p. 336 p. 337


1. In referring to the sub-conscious and conscious minds, or the objective and subjective, which is the technically correct expression, "We have two minds which, although related, are distinct," or, "We have one mind with two distinct functions?"

The correct expression is, "We have one mind with two distinct functions." There are not two minds.

2. Are the Devil in religion, the Negative in Science, and the Bad in Philosophy merely imaginary manifestations of thought energy, or shall we class them as wrong yet real manifestations? If all that we have and are, all of our powers come from one eternal source, to what must we attribute these imaginary entities?

These are not imaginary entities. They are simply perversions. If you use electricity for light, you call it good. If you grasp a wire which has not been properly insulated and it kills you, it is not for that reason bad or evil. You were simply careless or ignorant of the laws governing electricity. For the same reason, the one Infinite Power, which is the source of all Power, manifests in your life either as good or as evil, as you make use of it constructively or destructively.

3. Is not the Master Key Idea of "God" Pantheistic?

This depends entirely upon your idea of

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[paragraph continues] Pantheism. Pantheism is a loose term and may be interpreted in various ways, for instance, Pantheism conceives the Universe to be one eternal, involuntary evolution of an Infinite Being, as contrasted with Atheism, which is a positive denial of the Divine Immanence, and Agnosticism, which is a dogmatic doubt of the existence of God.

4. Is this right? Truth is absolute, but conception of truth varies with the individual consciousness. Therefore, no one can say when the ultimate truth has been reached, because no one can say when the individual consciousness has been developed to the point where further development is impossible.

Yes, truth is absolute, but the conception of truth varies with the individual consciousness. On the other hand, truth is not a matter of belief. It is a matter of demonstration. It is not a question of authority, but a question of perception.

5. Since the real "I" is spiritual and there-tore perfect, and since it "controls and directs both the body and mind," how is it that we see such imperfect results?

We see no imperfect results. We see nothing but perfection. Perfection means that the Law operates with immutable precision. Spiritual law always operates perfectly. If the individual thinks constructively, results are constructive, harmonious. If he thinks destructively, he

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reaps exactly what he sows. The Law works perfectly. We see no imperfect results whatever. We may freely choose what we think, but the result of our thought is governed by an immutable law.

6. "What is Life?"

Life is that quality or principle of the Universal Energy which manifests in so-called organic objects as growth and voluntary activity, and which is usually co-existent in some degree, with some manifestation of that same Universal Energy as the quality or principle termed intelligence. You must understand that there is only one Supreme Principle, evading all comprehension of its essential nature. It is the Absolute. Man can think only in terms of the relative. Therefore, he sometimes defines It as the Universal Intelligence, the Universal Substance, as Ether, Life, Mind, Spirit, Energy, Truth, Love, etc. His particular definition at any moment is governed by the particular relationship of the phenomena of Being in which he thinks of this Principle at that moment.

7. How is the law governing success or prosperity placed in operation?

The human brain is the finest and most vibrant mechanism in existence. Every time you think you send a message into the formless energy from which and by which all things are created. This starts a train of causation which relates with the things that correspond with

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the image of your thought. If your thought is sufficiently refined and concentrated you will be placed in harmony with the object of your thought quickly; if not, more time will be required. Most persons are busily engaged in concentrating upon lack, limitation, loss and inharmony of every kind, and they are therefore attracting these conditions, a few are busily engaged in concentrating upon success, prosperity and harmonious conditions generally, and find that their environment reflects the quality of their thought.

8. How is prayer answered?

The Universal Mind, the Omnipotent Power, the Supreme Being, does not change the modus operandi of the Universe, in order to comply with our requests, nor does it make exception, but it does act through well-known laws, and these laws can be placed into operation, consciously or unconsciously, by accident or design. It is the operation of this marvellous law of attraction which has caused men in all ages and in all times to believe that there must be a personal Being who responded to their petitions and manipulated events in order to meet their demands.

9. You correctly state that "Possession depends on use." How can this fact be best explained to show that this is the only way in which to acquire a "reservoir of power, possession, etc.," to draw on in time of emergency, etc.?

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By illustration: A man desires to strengthen his ann. He wishes it to become powerful. He does not conserve what strength he has in the arm by binding it to his side. If he did this, he would soon lose what strength he already had. On the contrary, he begins to use it, he begins to exercise it, and he finds that the more he uses it, the more strength is secured. The more he gives of his strength, the more he gets. The same rule applies in regard to mental and spiritual strength.

10. "Unless we are willing to think we shall have to work, and the less we think the more we shall work, and the less we shall get for our work." Is it possible to conceive of a world in which there are no "hewers of wood"?

Thought has taken much drudgery out of work, but much so-called "scientific management" and "efficiency and engineering systems" look upon millions of human beings as mere machines capable of making so many motions less or more per hour.

To labour is to serve and all service is honourable. But a "hewer of wood" contemplates blind service instead of intelligent service. Labour is the creative instinct in manifestation. Owing to the changes which have taken place in the industrial world, the creative instinct no longer finds expression. A man cannot build his own house, he cannot even make his own garden, he can by no means direct his own labour; he is, therefore, deprived of the greatest

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joy which can come to man, the joy of achieving, of creating, of accomplishing, and so this great power is perverted and turned into destructive channels. He can construct nothing for himself, so he begins to destroy the works of his more fortunate fellows. Labour is, however, finding that the Universe is not a chaos but a cosmos, that it is governed by immutable laws, that every condition is the result of a cause and that the same cause invariably produces the same effect. It is finding that these causes are mental, that thought predetermines action. It is finding that constructive thought brings about constructive conditions, and destructive thought brings about destructive conditions.

11. You say that "Life is an unfoldment, not accretion; what comes to us in the world without is what we already possess in the world within." Do you not take into consideration knowledge a person acquires from books, experiences, etc.?

You can derive absolutely no benefit from books, experiences, environment or anything else until you have created brain cells capable of receiving the thought. Your world within is an exact correspondence of your world without. Suppose for the moment that you are unfamiliar with the Hebrew language. A book might be given to you with the most beautiful thoughts written in the most wonderful language, but it would mean nothing to you until you had made yourself acquainted with the Hebrew language,

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and so with everything else. No thought, no idea, no experience has any value for us until we are capable of receiving it. For this reason the same thought would make absolutely no impression upon one man, while it would be received with amazement and delight by another. The first man has formed no brain cells capable of receiving it. The second man is ready for it. He understands the beauties contained in the idea.

12. Is it correct to say that true religion and true science are "twins" and that the death of one death the means the death of the other? Why?

True science and true religion are certainly twins. There can be no death for either, because what is true cannot die. "The essential characteristic of truth is steadfast fidelity to order and Law. The mind takes offence at every phenomenon of both inner and outer experience which appears to contradict that steadiness and constancy which it regards as the very essence of truth." You will see that this applies to both science and religion. What is true in science must be true in religion. There cannot be a scientific truth and a religious truth, all truth is one and indivisible.

13. How do Materialism and Spiritualism find harmony in the Master Key System?

The Master Key System teaches that there is but one Principle—One Power. That everything which exists is a materialization of this

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[paragraph continues] One Power. The power itself is Spiritual, but the manifestation of the Power is material. One is subjective and the other objective. Two phases of one being. We find this everywhere in Nature, Man is a spiritual being, but he also has a material body. Spirit must manifest upon the objective plane in an objective manner. The Spiritual in this sense has nothing whatever to do with what are usually considered spiritualistic phenomena.

14. What explanation is to be given of the fact that although a great majority of the people not only throughout Europe but in the United States are sick of war and want only peace and a return to prosperous normal conditions, that the return of the desired normal prosperous conditions is such a slow hard process?

There is, of course, as you say, no desire on the part of anyone for more war, just as there is no desire for poverty, crime or for any other destructive condition, but there is, on the other hand, a conscious and a sub-conscious desire for the things which bring about war, destruction, poverty and crime, and this lust of power or separation is the old question of "who is to be the greatest in the kingdom?"

The law is not a respecter of persons. This is true concerning nations as well as individuals. Nations as well as individuals will eventually learn that force can always be met with equal if not superior force, and for this reason can never be the determining factor of any situation.

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Objective harmony can come only as a result of subjective harmony, and subjective harmony can come only as a result of vision, understanding and perception.

15. In the "Acme of Achievement" aimed at by The Master Key, how is it possible to ignore Theology?

A few centuries ago it was thought that we must choose between the Bible and Galileo. Fifty years ago it was thought that we must choose between the Bible and Darwin, but as Dean Inge, of St. Paul's Cathedral, says: "Every educated man knows that the main facts of organic evolution are firmly established, and that they are quite different from the legends borrowed by the ancient Hebrews from the Babylonians. We are not required to do violence to our reason by rejecting the assured results of modern research. Traditional Christianity must be simplified and spiritualized. It is at present encumbered by bad science and caricatured by bad economics and the more convinced we are of this, the less disposed we shall be to stake the existence of our faith on superstitions which are the religion of the irreligious and the science of the unscientific."

16. What is the meaning of the statement, "Only five per cent. have the vision to annex the strategic position, to see and feel a thing before it happens?"

Ninety-five per cent. of the people are busy

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attempting to change effects. Something happens which they do not like and they try to change the situation. They soon find that they are simply changing one form of distress for another. The other five per cent. are busily engaged with causes. They know that in order to make any permanent change it is the cause which they must seek. They soon find that the cause is within their control. It is the five per cent. who do the thinking, and the ninety-five per cent. who merely accept the thought of others. It is those only who think who can see and feel a thing before it happens.

17. What, more explicitly, is to be understood by the term "polarity" as applied to the mental process?

Polarity is the tendency or inclination of a thought or feeling in a particular direction. When we think along certain lines continuously the thought becomes polarized, we can see other and different points of view with difficulty or not at all.

18. What is Truth?

Truth is the imperative condition of all wellbeing. To be sure, to know the truth and to stand confidently on it is a satisfaction beside which no other is comparable. Truth is the underlying verity, the condition precedent to every business or social relation. Truth is the only solid ground in a world of conflict and doubt and danger.

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Every act not in harmony with Truth, whether through ignorance or design, cuts the ground from under our feet, leads to discord, inevitable loss and confusion, for while the humblest mind can accurately foretell the result of every correct action, the greatest, most profound and penetrating mind loses its way hopelessly and can form no conception of the results due to a departure from correct principles.

19. How are Germs created?

Creation consists in the art of combining forces which have an affinity for each other, in the proper proportion. Thus oxygen and hydrogen combined in the proper proportions produce water. Oxygen and hydrogen are both invisible gases, but water is visible.

Germs, however, have life; they must therefore be the product of something which has life or intelligence. Spirit is the only Creative Principle in the Universe, and Thought is the only activity which spirit possesses. Therefore, germs must be the result of a mental process.

A thought goes forth from the thinker, it meets other thoughts for which it has an affinity, they coalesce and form a nucleus for other similar thoughts: this nucleus sends out calls into the formless energy, wherein all thoughts and all things are held in solution, and soon the thought is closed in a form in accordance with the character given to it by the thinker.

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A million men in the agony of death and torture on the battlefield send out thoughts of hatred and distress; soon another million men die from the effect of a germ called "influenza." None but the experienced metaphysician knows when and how the deadly germ came into existence.

As there are an infinite variety of thoughts, so there are an infinite variety of germs, constructive as well as destructive, but neither the constructive nor the destructive germ will germinate and flourish until it finds congenial soil in which to take root.

20. What has given rise to the idea of Reincarnation?

The germ plasma in each generation always contains the sum of all that has passed before it. The nucleus of every cell contains the chromosomes and these reproduce the species of nature and condition according to definite law. Each chromosome, microscopically small as it is, contains the elements of every other cell in a matured body, plus characteristics of species, plus characteristics of form and appearance, plus family resemblance, plus nature, plus mind, plus matured tendencies, plus everything that makes personality and individuality. We are then physically exactly what our forefathers were, plus environment and education. It is this persistency of the identity of the individual chromosome from generation to generation which has given rise to the idea of reincarnation.

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21. What is Black Magic?

The idea that there is a phenomenon called Black Magic is attributable to credulity, superstition and a lack of understanding of the laws governing in the mental world. All thoughts and all things are held in solution in the Universal Mind. The individual may open his mental gates and thereby become receptive to thoughts of any kind or description. If he thinks that there are magicians, witches or wizards who are desirous of injuring him, he is thereby opening the door for the entrance of such thoughts, and he will be able to say with Job, "The things I feared have come upon me." If, on the contrary, he thinks that there are those who are desirous of helping him, he thereby opens the door for such help, and he will find that "as thy faith is, so be it unto thee" is as true to-day as it was two thousand years ago.

22. I do not seem to grasp fully the application of the law of vibration to the thought world. How, for instance, are we to change the rate of vibration here? In what direction shall it be changed to produce best results?

Every thought changes the rate of vibration. As you are enabled to think greater, deeper, higher and more forceful thoughts, the brain cells are refined, they become more powerful, and they are enabled to receive finer vibrations.

This is not only true in the mental and

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spiritual world, but in the physical world. As the ear becomes trained in music, it is enabled to receive finer vibrations, until the trained musician can hear harmonies of sound of which the ordinary person is entirely unaware.

23. Amid the seeming chaos of present day conditions is it not easy to discern the coming of that dawn which all the great ones of earth have foretold, the second coming of the Millennium?

One of the characteristic signs of a general awakening is the optimism shining through the mist of doubt and unrest, this optimism is taking the form of illumination, and as the illumination becomes general, fear, anger, doubt, selfishness and greed pass away. We are not looking for the Christ child, but the Christ consciousness. We are anticipating a more general realization of the Truth which is to make men free. That there may be one man or one woman who shall first realize this Truth in the new era is barely possible, but the preponderance of evidence points to a more general awakening to the Light of Illumination.

24. You speak about the originating mind that forms, upholds, sustains and creates all there is. Does this explain the source from which comes man's ability to think lack, to think war and crime, etc.?

Yes, this includes man's ability to think lack, war and crime. If he can think constructive

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thought he can also think destructive thought; but as soon as man learns that thinking is a creative process, that we are creators, not creatures, he will discontinue the process of thinking destruction for himself and his fellows.

25. You are, without doubt, correct in stating that Carlyle's attitude of hatred of the bad was not conducive toward his own best development; on the other hand, what should be the attitude toward the giant evils of the day, such as war, corruption, murder, vice, theft and the like? Is it not often true that a tearing down, a clearing away of the brushwood, so to speak, must precede constructive work?

No, it is not true, the tearing down process is not at all necessary. We do not need to laboriously shovel the darkness out of a room before letting in the light; on the contrary, all that is necessary is to turn on the light and the darkness vanishes; likewise, if but one-tenth of one per cent. of the money and effort were spent in constructive work that is now being spent in destructive work, the giant evils of the day to which you refer would disappear as if by magic.

The unit of the Nation is the individual. The Government represents only the average intelligence of the units comprising the Nation. Therefore, our work is with the unit. When the thought of the individual has been changed the collective thought will take care of itself,

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but we try to reverse the process. We try to change governments instead of individuals, which cannot be done. But with a little intelligent organized effort the present destructive thought could be readily changed into constructive thought.




Temples have their sacred images, and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind; but in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them; and to these they all pay universally a ready submission.—Jonathan Edwards.

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