THE MASTER KEY SYSTEM
BY Charles F. Haanel
Nature compels us all to move through life. We could not remain stationary however
much we wished. Every right-thinking person wants not merely to move through life
like a sound-producing, perambulating plant, but to develop – to improve – and to
continue the development mentally to the close of physical life.
This development can occur only through the improvement of the quality of
individual thought and the ideals, actions and conditions that arise as a
consequence. Hence a study of the creative processes of thought and how to apply
them is of supreme importance to each one of us. This knowledge is the means
whereby the evolution of human life on earth may be hastened and uplifted in the
Humanity ardently seeks “The Truth” and explores every avenue to it. In this
process it has produced a special literature, which ranges the whole gamut of
thought from the trivial to the sublime – up from Divination, through all the
Philosophies, to the final lofty Truth of “The Master Key”.
The “Master Key” is here given to the world as a means of tapping the great Cosmic
Intelligence and attracting from it that which corresponds to the ambitions, and
aspirations of each reader.
Every thing and institution we see around us, created by human agency, had first to
exist as a thought in some human mind. Thought therefore is constructive. Human
thought is the spiritual power of the cosmos operating through its creature man.
“The Master Key” instructs the reader how to use that power, and use it both
constructively and creatively. The things and conditions we desire to become
realities we must first create in thought. “The Master Key” explains and guides the
“The Master Key” teaching has hitherto been published in the form of a
Correspondence Course of 24 lessons, delivered to students one per week for 24
weeks. The reader, who now receives the whole 24 parts at one time, is warned not
to attempt to read the book like a novel, but to treat it as a course of study and
conscientiously to imbibe the meaning of each part – reading and re-reading one
part only per week before proceeding to the next. Otherwise the later parts will
tend to be misunderstood and the reader’s time and money will be wasted.
Used as thus instructed “The Master Key” will make of the reader a greater, better
personality, and equipped with a new power to achieve any worthy personal purpose
and a new ability to enjoy life’s beauty and wonder.
Some men seem to attract success, power, wealth, attainment, with very little
conscious effort; others conquer with great difficulty; still others fail
altogether to reach their ambitions, desires and ideals. Why is this so? Why should
some men realize their ambitions easily, others with difficulty, and still others
not at all? The cause cannot be physical, else the most perfect men, physically,
would be the most successful. The difference, therefore, must be mental – must be
in the mind; hence mind must be the creative force, must constitute the sole
difference between men. It is mind, therefore, which overcomes environment and
every other obstacle in the path of men.
When the creative power of thought is fully understood, its effect will be seen to
be marvelous. But such results cannot be secured without proper application,
diligence, and concentration. The student will find that the laws governing in the
mental and spiritual world are as fixed and infallible as in the material world. To
secure the desired results, then, it is necessary to know the law and to comply
with it. A proper compliance with the law will be found to produce the desired
result with invariable exactitude. The student who learns that power comes from
within, that he is weak only because he has depended on help from outside, and who
unhesitatingly throws himself on his own thought, instantly rights himself, stands
erect, assumes a dominant attitude, and works miracles.
It is evident, therefore, that he who fails to fully investigate and take advantage
of the wonderful progress which is being made in this last and greatest science,
will soon be as far behind as the man who would refuse to acknowledge and accept
the benefits which have accrued to mankind through an understanding of the laws of
Of course, mind creates negative conditions just as readily as favorable
conditions, and when we consciously or unconsciously visualize every kind of lack,
limitation and discord, we create these conditions; this is what many are
unconsciously doing all the time.
This law as well as every other law is no respecter of persons, but is in constant
operation and is relentlessly bringing to each individual exactly what he has
created; in other words, “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”
Abundance, therefore, depends upon a recognition of the laws of Abundance, and the
fact that Mind is not only the creator, but the only creator of all there is.
Certainly nothing can be created, before we know that it can be created and then
make the proper effort. There is no more Electricity in the world today than there
was fifty years ago, but until someone recognized the law by which it could be made
of service, we received no benefit; now that the law is understood, practically the
whole world is lit by it. So with the law of Abundance; it is only those who
recognize the law and place themselves in harmony with it, who share in its
The scientific spirit now dominates every field of effort, relations of cause and
effect are no longer ignored.
The discovery of a region of law marked an epoch in human progress. It eliminated
the element of uncertainty and caprice in men’s lives, and substituted law, reason
Men now understand that for every result there is an adequate and definite cause,
so that when a given result is desired, they seek the condition by which alone this
result may be attained.
The basis upon which all law rests was discovered by inductive reasoning which
consists of comparing a number of separate instances with one another until the
common factor which gives rise to them all is seen.
It is this method of study to which the civilized nations owe the greater part of
their prosperity and the more valuable part of their knowledge; it has lengthened
life, it has mitigated pain, it has spanned rivers, it has brightened the night
with the splendor of day, extended the range of vision, accelerated motion,
annihilated distance, facilitated intercourse, and enabled men to descend into the
sea, and into the air. What wonder then that men soon endeavored to extend the
blessings of this system of study to their method of thinking, so that when it
became plainly evident that certain results followed a particular method of
thinking it only remained to classify these results.
This method is scientific, and it is the only method by which we shall be permitted
to retain that degree of liberty and freedom which we have been accustomed to look
upon as an inalienable right, because a people is safe at home and in the world
only if national preparedness mean such things as growing surplus of health,
accumulated efficiency in public and private business of whatever sort, continuous
advance in the science and art of acting together, and the increasingly dominant
endeavor to make all of these and all other aspects of national development center
and revolve about ascending life, single and collective, for which science, art and
ethics furnish guidance and controlling motives.
The Master Key is based on absolute scientific truth and will unfold the
possibilities that lie dormant in the individual, and teach how they may be brought
into powerful action, to increase the person’s effective capacity, bringing added
energy, discernment, vigor and mental elasticity. The student who gains an
understanding of the mental laws which are unfolded will come into the possession
of an ability to secure results hitherto undreamed of, and which has rewards hardly
to be expressed in words.
It explains the correct use of both the receptive and active elements of the mental
nature, and instructs the student in the recognition of opportunity; it strengthens
the will and reasoning powers, and teaches the cultivation and best uses of
imagination, desire, the emotions and the intuitional faculty. It gives initiative,
tenacity of purpose, wisdom of choice, intelligent sympathy and a thorough
enjoyment of life on its higher planes.
The Master Key teaches the use of Mind Power, true Mind Power, not any of the
substitutes and perversions; it has nothing to do with Hypnotism, Magic or any of
the more or less fascinating deceptions by which many are led to think that
something can be had for nothing.
The Master Key cultivates and develops the understanding which will enable you to
control the body and thereby the health. It improves and strengthens the Memory. It
develops Insight, the kind of Insight which is so rare, the kind which is the
distinguishing characteristic of every successful business man, the kind which
enables men to see the possibilities as well as the difficulties in every
situation, the kind which enables men to discern opportunity close at hand, for
thousands fail to see opportunities almost within their grasp while they are
industriously working with situations which under no possibility can be made to
realize any substantial return.
The Master Key develops Mental Power which means that others instinctively
recognize that you are a person of force, of character – that they want to do what
you want them to do; it means that you attract men and things to you; that you are
what some people call “lucky”, “that things come you way” that you have come into
an understanding of the fundamental laws of Nature, and have put yourself in
harmony with them; that you are in tune with Infinite; that you understand the law
of attraction, the Natural laws of growth, and the Psychological laws on which all
advantages in the social and business world rest.
Mental Power is creative power, it gives you the ability to create for yourself; it
does not mean the ability to take something away from someone else. Nature never
does things that way. Nature makes two blades for grass grow where one grew before,
and Mind Power enables men to do the same thing.
The Master Key develops insight and sagacity, increased independence, the ability
and disposition to be helpful. It destroys distrust, depression, fear, melancholia,
and every form of lack limitation and weakness, including pain and disease; it
awakens buried talents, supplies initiative, force, energy, vitality – it awakens
an appreciation of the beautiful in Art, Literature and Science.
It has changed the lives of thousands of men and women, by substituting definite
principles for uncertain and hazy methods – and principles for the foundation upon
which every system of efficiency must rest.
Elbert Gary, the chairman of the United States Steel Corporation, said “The
services of advisors, instructors, efficiency experts in successful management are
indispensable to most business enterprises of magnitude, but I deem the recognition
and adoption of right principles vastly more importance.”
The Master Key teaches right principles, and suggests methods for making a
practical application of the principles; in that it differs from every other course
of study. It teaches that the only possible value which can attach to any principle
is in its application. Many read books, take home study courses, attend lectures
all their lives without ever making any progress in demonstrating the value of the
principles involved. The Master Key suggests methods by which the value of the
principles taught may be demonstrated and put in actual practice in the daily
There is a change in the thought of the world. This change is silently transpiring
in our midst, and is more important than any which the world has undergone since
the downfall of Paganism.
The present revolution in the opinions of all classes of men, the highest and most
cultured of men as well as those of the laboring class, stands unparalleled in the
history of the world.
Science has of late made such vast discoveries, has revealed such an infinity of
resources, has unveiled such enormous possibilities and such unsuspected forces,
that scientific men more and more hesitate to affirm certain theories as
established and indubitable or to deny certain other theories as absurd or
impossible, and so a new civilization is being born; customs, creeds, and cruelty
are passing; vision, faith and service are taking their place. The fetters of
tradition are being melted off from humanity, and as the dross of materialism is
being consumed, thought is being liberated and truth is rising full orbed before an
The whole world is on the eve of a new consciousness, a new power and a new
consciousness, a new power and a new realization of the resources within the self.
The last century saw the most magnificent material progress in history. The present
century will produce the greatest progress in mental and spiritual power.
Physical Science has resolved matter into molecules, molecules into atoms, atoms
into energy, and it has remained for Sir Ambrose Fleming, in an address before the
Royal Institution, to resolve this energy into mind. He says: “In its ultimate
essence, energy may be incomprehensible by us except as an exhibition of the direct
operation of that which we call Mind or Will.”
Let us see what are the most powerful forces in Nature. In the mineral world
everything is solid and fixed. In the animal and vegetable kingdom it is in a state
of flux, forever changing, always being created and recreated. In the atmosphere we
find heat, light and energy. Each realm becomes finer and more spiritual as we pass
from the visible to the invisible, from the coarse to the fine, from the low
potentiality to high potentiality. When we reach the invisible we find energy in
its purest and most volatile state.
And as the most powerful forces of Nature are the invisible forces, so we find that
the most powerful forces of man are his invisible forces, his spiritual force, and
the only way in which the spiritual force can manifest is through the process of
thinking. Thinking is the only activity which the spirit possesses, and thought is
the only product of thinking.
Addition and subtraction are therefore spiritual transactions; reasoning is a
spiritual process; ideas are spiritual conceptions; questions are spiritual
searchlights and logic, argument and philosophy is spiritual machinery.
Every thought brings into action certain physical tissue, parts of the brain, nerve
or muscle. This produces an actual physical change in the construction of the
tissue. Therefore it is only necessary to have a certain number of thoughts on a
given subject in order to bring about a complete change in the physical
organization of a man.
This is the process by which failure is changed to success. Thoughts of courage,
power, inspiration, harmony, are substituted for thoughts of failure, despair,
lack, limitation and discord, and as these thoughts take root, the physical tissue
is changed and the individual sees life in a new light, old things have actually
passed away, all things have become new, he is born again, this time born of the
spirit, life has a new meaning for him, he is reconstructed and is filled with joy,
confidence, hope, energy. He sees opportunities for success to which he was
heretofore blind. He recognizes possibilities which before had no meaning for him.
The thoughts of success with which he has been impregnated are radiated to those
around him, and they in turn help him onward and upward; he attract to him new and
successful associates, and this in turn changes his environment; so that by this
simple exercise of thought, a man changes not only himself, but his environment,
circumstances and conditions.
You will see, you must see, that we are at the dawn of a new day; that the
possibilities are so wonderful, so fascinating, so limitless as to be almost
bewildering. A century ago any man with a Gatling Gun could have annihilated a
whole army equipped with the implements of warfare then in use. So it is at
present. Any man with a knowledge of the possibilities contained in the Master Key
has an inconceivable advantage over the multitude.