Before we discuss Week Ten of The Master Key System — “A Certain Definite Cause” — let’s return for a few moments to Week Nine and have a closer look at affirmations.
If you’ve been into self-help and personal development for a while — and perhaps even if this is your first foray — you probably know what affirmations are. Not only are they a staple of personal development, they are something that even the most casual person will do once in a while.
Whatever the case, let’s define what an affirmation is.
An affirmation is a form of self-talk in which you use your conscience mind to influence and change your subconscious mind. We can look at this as a way of “re-programming” ourselves by changing our negative or debilitating subconscious thoughts.
A classic example of an affirmation is the one Haanel provides for us.
I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.
The person who wrote this used it to overcome what could have been a most debilitating ailment.
22. But at last the victory came, and I have grown from a little, crooked, twisted, cripple, going about on my hands and knees, to a strong, straight, well formed male.
23. Now, I know you want the formula, and I will give it to you as briefly and quickly as I can.
24. I built up an affirmation for myself, taking the qualities I most needed, and affirming for myself over and over again, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.” I kept up this affirmation, always the same, never varying, till I could wake up in the night and find myself repeating, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, lov- ing, harmonious, and happy.” It was the last thing on my lips at night and the first thing in the morning.
25. Not only did I affirm it for myself, but for others that I knew needed it. I want to emphasize this point. Whatever you desire for yourself, affirm it for others and it will help you both. We reap what we sow. If we send out thoughts of love and health, they return to us like bread cast upon the waters; but if we send out thoughts of fear, worry, jealousy, anger, hate, etc., we will reap the results in our own lives.
By repeating the affirmation in a mantra-like fashion, this man, Frederick Elias Andrews, overcame his sickness.
So, this begs the question, do affirmations work?
Depending on what you mean by “work,” I would say that yes they can. At the very least, they won’t hurt and they can help.
Let’s be clear, one will not have a million dollars appear from nowhere simply through the repetition to oneself of an affirmation. Affirmations are there to correct “bad habits” and unproductive — what I would call “anti-working” — thoughts. They can soothe and relax a person and if done properly, they can impregnate a person with enough spirit and force of will so that he can overcome sickness.
They are not magic spells, though. Let’s just be clear about that.
The best way to utilize affirmations is to use them when one is relaxed and when one is open to “suggestion.” When one begins “chanting” an affirmation from a point of fear in a reactionary manner, one runs the risk of reinforcing the bad habit or thought rather than vanquishing it. That’s why the very first exercises in The Master Key System were geared toward helping you top relax. This is very important!
When you’re using your affirmation, first relax, clear your mind, cast away your thoughts of fear. Then proceed to recite your affirmation to yourself.
You’ll notice I wrote when you’re using “your affirmation.” Yes, of course, you can devise your own. While the one Haanel provides for us is great and useful, we can make our own to correct the thoughts and habits that we have that we wish to change. In The Master Key Workbook I provided a good way to create your own affirmations.
A quick word or two about something I wrote in the Workbook: When writing about affirmations, I wrote about a study that was done of people who had written goals. Some refer to this as the “Harvard study,” others refer to it as the “Yale study.” Whichever the case, I discovered that this study never happened. It’s not true. A fellow named Sid Savara researched it and provided enough proof to me to show that it wasn’t true.
That being said, he provides proof of other research that does indeed show that setting goals and using affirmations works. Have a look at Mr. Savara’s web site and come to your own conclusion.
Got it? Good! Let’s move on to Week Ten …
The Letter of Transmittal to Week Ten is very interesting. Haanel wrote that
…the man who understands that there is no effect without an adequate cause thinks impersonally. He gets down to bedrock facts regardless of consequences. He is free to follow the trail of truth wherever it may lead.
We must be truthful. More to the point, as we embark on this journey of self-improvement, we must be truthful about ourselves. In The Master Key Workbook, I wrote
The great philosopher, Socrates, learned from the oracle at Delphi the motto, “Know thyself.” It means that instead of relying merely on outward appearances, one should know himself in order to know the true good.
MiMi Paris in her book, Size Matters!, says the same thing. She says that we continually lie to ourselves about things so as to remove the responsibility of our actions from our shoulders. Rather than look into the mirror and see the truth, we would rather lie and feel “good” about ourselves. Rather than see a deficiency as an opportunity for improvement, we use a deficiency as a crutch or an appeal to someone’s pity.
Apart from “knowing ourselves,” Haanel uses the curious word “impersonally” to describe the way we approach the quest. I often use the word “dispassionately” to describe this. A listener to these Teleseminars suggested the word “scientific.”
Whatever word you choose to use, the point is the same: we are to look at ourselves and the world around us in as rational a manner as possible, free of judgement and emotional reaction. We’re not to shy away from the things that we don’t necessarily want to see. If we truly wish to change things, then we must above all be truthful and acknowledge both the good and the bad; when we do that, we can better accentuate the good and change the bad.
In Point #2 of this Week, Haanel address something that 99% of the people who email me and speak with me ask about: wealth. Haanel wrote
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.
This is interesting because it points to us the idea that power, wealth, and possessions are in many ways inter-related. Haanel makes this point because in Point #1 he wrote that “Abundance is a natural law of the Universe” and “that mind is the active principle whereby we are related to the things we desire.”
As we think of our goals, as we plan for our goals, as we work toward our goals, Haanel insists that “the law of growth begins to take effect and we find that conditions and environment are but the objective form of our thought.”
Quoting from the Bible, Haanel wrote in Point #11, “With an understanding of this law you may ‘decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee.'” (Job 22:28)
There are different translations of that verse and of course different interpretations about what it means. For some it will sound “Secret-ish” in the sense that we can “manifest” what we want. A more modern translation of the verse reveals, though, not quite that; it means that whatever it is that we decide on doing — whatever our goal is — we can do and it will be done.
I believe Haanel agrees more with the latter because in Point #23, he wrote
Knowledge will not apply itself. You must make the application. Abundance will not come to you out of the sky, neither will it drop into your lap, but a conscious realization of the law of attraction and the intention to bring it into operation for a certain, definite, and specific purpose and the will to carry out this purpose will bring about the materialization of your desire by a natural law of transference. If you are in business, it will increase and develop along regular channels. Possibly new or unusual channels of distribution will be opened and when the law becomes fully operative you will find that the things you seek are seeking you.
Powerful words! “Abundance will not come to you out of the sky, neither will it drop into your lap.” It’s what we’ve been saying all along in these Teleseminars. Make note of it!
I’ll leave you this week with a brief description of the Exercise for Week Ten and my one and only suggestion for mastering it.
24. This week select a blank space on the wall, or any other convenient spot, from where you usually sit. Mentally draw a black horizontal line about six inches long, try to see the line as plainly as though it were painted on the wall. Now mentally draw two vertical lines connecting with this horizontal line at either end. Now draw another horizontal line connecting with the two vertical lines. Now you have a square. Try to see the square perfectly. When you can do so, draw a circle within the square. Now place a point in the center of the circle. Now draw the point toward you about 10 inches. Now you have a cone on a square base. You will remember that your work was all in black. Change it to white, to red, to yellow.
This is a very tough exercise and has been a bugger for a lot of people according to the number of emails I receive about it.
Is there an easy way to master it?
25. If you can do this, you are making excellent progress and will soon be enabled to concentrate on any problem you may have in mind.
You’re building your mental muscles with this exercise. You’re mastering your own mind. You’re mastering the arts of focusing, concentrating, and truly thinking.
As we’ve discussed, when you master these skills, you will stand head and shoulders above the masses. The world becomes your oyster.
Do your best with this exercise.
Until next week, my friends, when we delve into Week Eleven … Get for yourself the best of everything.