Week Nineteen of The Master Key System was a good way to end 2010 and welcome the New Year. It supplies us with a reminder of our power, the knowledge of what we must do, and the goals for which we should aim.
This is definitely a part of The Master Key System that should be read a few times in order to truly understand the points that Haanel is impressing upon us. I cover three main points here.
- The Vital Force
As we comprehend these points, we are better able to navigate the world in which we live and create what we want. We do this by attaining what Haanel refers to as “the distinguishing mark of genius.”
The Vital Force
Haanel opens Week Nineteen by discussing fear. He describes how to overcome fear in the second paragraph of the Letter of Transmittal.
Of course, the way to overcome fear is to become conscious of power. What is this mysterious vital force which we call power? We do not know; neither do we know what electricity is. But we do know that by conforming to the requirements of the law by which electricity is governed, it will be our obedient servant; that it will light our homes, our cities, run our machinery, and serve us in many useful capacities.
We all possess this “vital force.” Haanel admits that he does not know what it is, but that it is a “primary force which manifests through living bodies.”
It’s life force. Energy.
Perhaps it’s that which makes us want to live, to not only survive but to thrive.
This week is about developing that force within us.
The lesson which I enclose herewith tells of a very simple way of developing this vital force. If you put into practice the information outlined in this lesson you will soon develop the sense of power which has ever been the distinguishing mark of genius.
That “sense of power” is confidence and courage. As we understand this lesson and develop this force within us, we will overcome those feelings of doubt we have. We will become bolder, more willing to push forward, even when the times are trying.
Those are facets of genius.
A genius is only ever known by what he does — what he provides and showcases. If we have not this sense of power, then we will more than likely hide our ideas and thoughts underneath a bushel, allowing only very few — or no one at all — to see.
In order to get what we want, in order to effect changes in the world, we need to let our light to shine. We must be willing to take the criticism. More importantly, we must be willing to be wrong.
Remember, it’s not a big deal to be wrong. As Haanel stated, if we are wrong, then we merely have to try again.
We’ll never know if we are wrong, though, if we don’t try, if we don’t share our ideas.
We will increase our chances of succeeding, though, by following what Haanel relates in this chapter. We’ll get to that in the exercise for this week.
Black and White; Up and Down; Light and Dark: Extremes
In points #5 to #9 we see Haanel waxing philosophical.
5. In the physical world there are innumerable contrasts and these may, for convenience sake, be designated by distinctive names. There are sizes, colors, shades, or ends to all things. There is a North Pole and a South Pole, an inside and an outside, a seen and an unseen, but these expressions merely serve to place extremes in contrast.
6. They are names given to two different parts of one quantity. The two extremes are relative; they are not separate entities, but are two parts or aspects of the whole.
You should notice something particular about Haanel’s writing here.
Notice that Haanel does not use the word “opposites.” Rather, he uses the word “extremes.”
Why is that?
Haanel is making the point here that while extremes exist, they are referent to the whole, to one thing. They aren’t two things fighting in opposition; they are two aspect of the same thing.
Keep that in mind as we read the following points.
7. In the mental world we find the same law; we speak of knowledge and ignorance, but ignorance is but a lack of knowledge and is therefore found to be simply a word to express the absence of knowledge; it has no principle in itself.
Notice that ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge. Nothing more, nothing less. It has no real principle by which we can define it. Whereas we can define knowledge and even someone who possesses knowledge, we can’t really do that for someone who does not, except by saying that they do not possess knowledge.
8. In the Moral World we again find the same law; we speak of good and evil, but Good is a reality, something tangible, while Evil is found to be simply a negative condition, the absence of Good. Evil is sometimes thought to be a very real condition, but it has no principle, no vitality, no life. We know this because it can always be destroyed by Good; just as Truth destroys Error and light destroys darkness, so Evil vanishes when Good appears. There is therefore but one principle in the Moral World.
Like ignorance, Evil has no real principle either. It is simply a term that refers to a lack of Good, of Order.
9. We find exactly the same law obtaining in the Spiritual world; we speak of Mind and Matter as two separate entities, but clearer insight makes it evident that there is but one operative principle and that is Mind.
Finally, we find that Mind and Matter are not separate either. We find that Mind and Matter are tied.
We also find that it is Mind that is the “operative principle.”
What does that mean? Why is that so?
It is because Mind gives Matter meaning.
Matter is malleable not only in the sense that Haanel writes about, that is is forever changing, growing and decaying, here and then gone. It is also malleable because our ideas of it — our perceptions, our uses — can change something from one thing to another in the blink of an eye.
As we finished playing the game, I realized that a screw was loose in the chair I was sitting in. I asked Zachary if he had a screwdriver I could use to fix the chair. He said he didn’t. I asked him if he was sure. He assured me he didn’t. I promptly reached across the table, picked up the dime and used it to tighten the loose screw. He sat with a stunned look on his face.
“Why didn’t I see that,” he asked me.
“Because you knew that a dime wasn’t a screwdriver and your knowing became your reality.”
(Just a note: The No Nonsense Guide to Enlightenment is only available as an e-book as part of the Complete Master Key Course. Click the link and get the books … You’ll be glad that you did!)
As you see in that example, a dime — a unit of American currency — was changed by Blair’s mind and use into a screwdriver — a tool that allows a person to turn a screw that fastens things together.
Countless examples of that abound in our lives. How many times have you used a “chair” as a “stepladder” in order to change a lightbulb? Perhaps you’ve used a “drink coaster” as a “shim” to fix a wobbly table?
Let’s look at what Mr. Warren writes about a paper clip.
On the table beside me is a large paper clip. Until this moment, it wasn’t there. My awareness of it brought it into reality. Not actual reality of course. It surely existed prior to my noticing it, but it didn’t exist to me. So now I sit typing at my computer with a paper clip beside me. If I stop here, soon the paper clip will recede from my awareness and cease to exist. My temptation is to do just that. Ignore the paper clip and move on in search of more exciting things. But I don’t. Not this time. I pick up the paper clip and ask, what’s this? It is a thin, twisted piece of metal. Again. What’s this? It’s a money clip. Again. If I straighten it out, it is a lock pick. It is a small back scratcher. It is a fingernail cleaner. It is all this and more. But only if I recognize this as so. As long as I see it as only a paper clip, that is all it will ever be.
Whatever the case, your mind changed reality. You took one thing and your perceptions and your use of the item caused it to become something else.
Matter was made malleable by your Mind.
We see this happening on ever larger scales today.
When the idea of personal computers was first pitched by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to the executives at Hewlett-Packard, they were rebuffed. “What will the average person need a computer for?” they asked.
What indeed? Because they were looking at computers from their limited point of view, they missed being the first company to make a personal computer. The two Steves took the idea and ran with — and Apple Computers was born.
Your Exercise Is to Concentrate
The exercise for Week Nineteen is somewhat similar to a previous exercise — the exercise in Week Seventeen.
27. For your exercise this week, concentrate, and when I use the word concentrate, I mean all that the word implies: Become so absorbed in the object of your thought that you are conscious of nothing else, and do this a few minutes every day. You take the necessary time to eat in order that the body may be nourished, why not take the time to assimilate your mental food?
28. Let the thought rest on the fact that appearances are deceptive. The earth is not flat, neither is it stationary; the sky is not a dome; the sun does not move; the stars are not small specks of light; and matter which was once supposed to be fixed has been found to be in a state of perpetual flux.
29. Try to realize that the day is fast approaching — its dawn is now at hand — when modes of thought and action must be adjusted to rapidly increasing knowledge of the operation of eternal principles.
As you well know by now, one of the main things we should be taking from The Master Key System is the ability to concentrate. This is one of the activities that is of paramount importance in this philosophy — and this life.
Concentration is the “distinguishing mark of genius.”
The ability — the skill? — to completely immerse yourself into the subject of your study is of paramount importance to your growth, your success, attaining your goals, and much more. It may difficult at first, especially if you’re not used to “hard mental labor,” but it can be instilled within you by practicing.
That’s why the exercises in this book are so important. They all lead to building skills like these within us. These important skills that were it not for this book, we would not even be learning them unless chance intervened.
As we discussed earlier in this essay, “appearances are deceptive.” To fully appreciate this world and this life and to grow and succeed in it, we must train ourselves to look beyond what is in front of us. An object may appear as one thing, but it actually is — or can be! — another.
When we see something, we should look for its relationships to other things.
We should look under the surface.
We should look beyond what is before us.
As we learn to do that and as we practice that, we will discover that we don’t need to travel to distant stars to find new worlds.
New worlds are all around us awaiting to be explored.
I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year and a most prosperous and bigger, better, badder, bolder 2011!
Remember, in 2011, we go to 11!
Enjoy and get for yourself the best of everything!