If you are looking for a clear plan to develop your potential, to become what you want to be and do and have what you want to do and have, I greatly recommend you enter on the path of The Master Key System. It will change your life, guaranteed.
This is a summary and review of my experience reading and applying the 7th & 8th chapters of Charles Haanel’s The Master Key System (free pdf download). This book was originally intended to be a weekly correspondence course, with each chapter being the focus of one week. I am following this original intention of the author. You can read the summary of each chapter and my reflections here.
Chapter seven begins with the statement that we have a choice in what guides us through life. We can choose to base all of our decisions on that which we are conscious of (“to see is to believe”, if you will), or we can connect with the subconscious mind, the Infinite, the source of all life.
If we do not explore the world within us, we are left to rely on ourselves alone, on what we are conscious of. This leads to a feeling of being alone, having to take on the world by ourselves, adrift in an ocean of difficulty with everything on our shoulders. We are cut off from the power of the universe; we are disconnected.
However, by turning our attention within and exploring the immensity we find there, we are able to come in to contact with our subconscious mind. We begin to use it and interact with it. In doing so, we connect with a power far greater than we can conceive. And this integration of our conscious and subconscious minds allows us to influence and direct our lives with power mightier than we ever imagined existed.
One method, Haanel tells us, of consciously utilizing this power with is the process of visualization, in making mental images which serve as a model from which our future will emerge.
The clearer you can build up an image in your mind, the greater potency and power it has. Creating an image in our minds is nothing less than creating what we wish our future to be. Holding an image consistently in our minds is the equivalent of continuously banging on the door of God, until he grants our wish.
Any building or bridge was once only an idea in someone’s mind. Had they let the idea pass and die away, the building or bridge would never have come to be. Yet they built up the image in their minds and held it there. They developed it to the point that it could be articulated and drawn out by an architect and communicated to those constructing it. If you trace anything back far enough, you find it was once only an idea in the mind.
Your mind is a mechanism which sets in motion causes. What you focus on is what manifests in your life. If you focus only on debt and needing money, you create further debt.
So, how can we avoid creating negative circumstances? Focus on what you love, what you want and do not give your attention to what you dislike, what you don’t want. Fear, worry, anger will cause you to act in ways which will hurt you and those around you. Love, gratitude and faith will bring about actions which beautify your world.
For the exercise this week, Haanel has us further hone our visualizing skills. Here is the exercise:
“Visualize your friend, see him exactly as you last saw him, see the room, the furtniture, recall the conversation, now see his face, see it distinctly, now talk to him about some subject of mutual interest; see his expression change, watch him smile…then arouse his interest, tell him a story of adventure, see his eyes light up with the spirit of fun or excitement.”
As I wrote about in weeks 5 & 6, I have never been much of a visual person. My dreams rarely have any visual aspect to them and I am often not even noticing what is right in front of my eyes.
This was a real challenge for me and I had to spend much more time in meditation working on this. However, on the 4th day of the week, something almost magical happened. Suddenly, for perhaps the first time in my life, an actual visual picture popped in front of my eyes. It was clear as day.
Since most people are visual, this may seem to be no big deal to you. However, it was a revelation to me and proof that I am making progress.
This image vanished almost as suddenly as it appeared. I struggled to bring it back, as it flickered in and out of my imagination the rest of the week. Slow, but steady progress. But I must say, it was thrilling.
Chapter 8 continues with discussing the imagination and visualization. Haanel reminds us that the world is governed by laws. There is such consistency that we can often predict what will happen. For example, we know that a banana tree will not come from sunflower seed. The laws of the universe are precise enough that we could figure out how to land on the moon without ever being there before.
You may freely choose what you think, but the effect of your thought is ruled by the laws of the universe. Therefore, if we study the effect of our thoughts we come to understand what we should and should not do. If we act in a certain way, it produces good results, other ways cause suffering.
In this way, we can harmonize ourselves with the laws of the universe. By adjusting ourselves so that we think and act according to the principles of the universe, we create the conditions which will bring about abundance, love and happiness.
Therefore, by forming the habit of analyzing our thoughts we can begin to see how we should think. Then we can train ourselves to think constructively, not destructively.
Imagination is of great assistance to us here. By building up our ideal in our mind, by creating an image of what we want, we cultivate the image out of which our future will emerge.
Haanel warns us to not mistake this process of visualization with letting the mind wander, or daydreaming. Constructive visualization requires effort and focus, just like all great things in life.
The imagination is your mental workshop, out of which you can create your future and your destiny, but you must take up the tools of the workshop and set about getting to work. The beginning will be the most difficult, like any new habit, but it will become progressively easier and fun.
The exercise this week is to take an image and follow it back as far as possible, from the visible to the invisible, taking each piece and watching it step-by-step as it goes back in time. You essentially rewind an object until it no longer exists:
Take the same position as heretofore and visualize a Battleship; see the grim monster floating on the surface of the water; there appears to be no life anywhere about; all is silence; you know that by far the largest part of the vessel is under water; out of sight; you know that the ship is as large and as heavy as a twenty-story skyscraper; you know that there are hundreds of men ready to spring to their appointed task instantly; you know that every department is in charge of able, trained, skilled officials who have proven themselves competent to take charge of this marvelous piece of mechanism; you know that although it lies apparently oblivious to everything else, it has eyes which see everything for miles around, and nothing is permitted to escape its watchful vision; you know that while it appears quiet, submissive and innocent, it is prepared to hurl a steel projectile weighing thousands of pounds at an enemy many miles away; this and much more you can bring to mind with comparatively no effort whatever. But how did the battleship come to be where it is; how did it come into existence in the first place? All of this you want to know if you are a careful observer.
Follow the great steel plates through the foundries, see the thousands of men employed in their production; go still further back, and see the ore as it comes from the mine, see it loaded on barges or cars, see it melted and properly treated; go back still further and see the architect and engineers who planned the vessel; let the thought carry you back still further in order to determine why they planned the vessel; you will see that you are now so far back that the vessel is something intangible, it no longer exists, it is now only a thought existing in the brain of the architect; but from where did the order come to plan the vessel? Probably from the Secretary of Defense; but probably this vessel was planned long before the war was thought of, and that Congress had to pass a bill appropriating the money; possibly there was opposition, and speeches for or against the bill. Whom do these Congressmen represent? They represent you and me, so that our line of thought begins with the Battleship and ends with ourselves, and we find in the last analysis that our own thought is responsible for this and many other things, of which we seldom think, and a little further reflection will develop the most important fact of all and that is, if someone had not discovered the law by which this tremendous mass of steel and iron could be made to float upon the water, instead of immediately going to the bottom, the battleship could not have come into existence at all.
This law is that, “the specific gravity of any substance is the weight of any volume of it, compared with an equal volume of water.” The discovery of this law revolutionized every kind of ocean travel, commerce and warfare, and made the existence of the battleship, aircraft carriers, and cruise ships possible.
This exercise was not nearly as difficult for me as the previous week. This practice is something which I have always been interested in. I have always been curious about where things come from, so I found this meditation to be enjoyable and relatively easy.
When emerging from this imagining, I would look around me and see everything very differently. Every object had a long and detailed history behind it. I could clearly see everything as an effect, as a result. Opening your eyes after such a practice is as if the curtains of the universe have become thinner and more transparent. It feels as if you can see behind the scenes of the universe.