We’re at Week 22 of The Master Key System — and many people cannot believe it! Through the past twenty-six weeks, we’ve discussed what Haanel wrote and how we can apply it to our lives. As many discovered, it’s not that difficult. It just takes some practice, a dash or perseverance, and just a tad of honing the ideas.
The practice part is obvious. Not only did Haanel provide us with exercises, but we have to practice applying them properly. Review all the articles I wrote. Listen again to the recordings of the Teleseminars. Many of the answers are there. If not, there’s always Master Key Coaching.
Perseverance is something that gets down-played. It shouldn’t. It’s the glue that ties all this “stuff” together.
Please realize that changes will not happen over-night. Quite frankly, they might not happen in a week or a month or even a year. It takes persistent effort — “persistent” being the key word there — to make positive changes.
They will come, though. Sometimes suddenly. Sometimes gradually. It doesn’t matter. The fact that they comes does matter.
Finally, we have to hone the ideas to fit our problems and to fit our situations. As I probably have said too many times to count, this stuff — this Master Key System and any personal development in general — is philosophy, not dogma. It’s meant to be shaped and molded, to be discussed and argued.
Along with that, it’s meant to be picked for nuance. Instead of blanket statements and over-generalized bromides, we’re supposed to take this philosophy and apply it properly to different aspects of our lives. Just as we wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to drive a carpenter’s nail into a delicate piece of wood, so we shouldn’t take a general statement from The Master Key System and apply it to every aspect of our lives.
The right tool for the right job.
That brings me to a little bit of a flashback. I want to return to something we discussed way back in Episode #2 of these Teleseminars in order to hone it and help to make better sense of it.
All set? Let’s go…
I Don’t Want to Be All Negative Again, But…
In the second episode of these Teleseminars, someone asked a question about negative people and how we should distance ourselves from them, especially if they are family or close friends.
I answered that pushing away those close to us is generally a bad idea. Not only is it not nice, but it can cause some real damage. I suggested that we should work in silence and let the results speak for themselves rather than looking for encouragement from anyone except those who can really help us or move us toward our goals.
A few people emailed me questions about this topic and one person left a very intelligent comment about it. I hope what I write here will answer those questions and those questions that are unasked about negative people.
First, let’s talk about family members or close friends whom we might consider to be negative. Should we just chuck them from our lives?
The answer to that is a resounding no.
There are far too many stories of families becoming broken when one of the members takes the “get rid of negative people” mantra to far or too literally. Steve Salerno, the author of SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, has written on his blog — the SHAMblog — many articles about families torn asunder all because one person found the environment “too negative” or “too stifling.”
The question to ask is, Were the families negative? I mean were they really negative?
And that’s the question we have to ask ourselves if we start to get those feelings.
You see, if people — be they family or friends — are abusive to us (physically or mentally) or actively sabotaging us, then yes we should distance ourselves from them.
Chances are likely, though, that that is rarely the case. More likely, the “negativity” mainly consists of general “down-ness” and perhaps a few unkind remarks or slights. Especially if we just regaled them with stories of our goals and dreams and how great we’re going to be one day.
That’s why I say to work in silence; let the results speak.
If someone we know is too negative for our tastes — someone we may refer to as a “friend,” but they’re not really a friend, they’re more like an acquaintance or just someone we know — then it’s OK for us to keep our distance. We don’t have to invite them for drinks or return their calls.
Is that making sense to you?
I think many people who want to improve their lives look at the people around them as “negative” because they want — perhaps need — a crutch.
You see, as we study this stuff and as we learn about the people who “made it,” we are apt to use the people we know as excuses for why we didn’t or aren’t making it. It’s an ego-defense. It’s our brains talking to us and saying “We can’t be at fault for us not being all that we can be. It’s because we’re surrounded by so much negativity!”
It’s a crutch we lean on — and if we lean too much, it runs the risk of breaking and hurting us and the people around us.
I wrote this in The Master Key Workbook.
For no longer can you place the blame on anything or anyone else. It is now the time to look where you stand and take the reigns. That power is available for all and it does not have to be found or obtained. You already have it and it is within you. Claim it!
Part of the lessons in The Master Key System are about steeling our minds: staying focused on our goal, working hard at it and not letting anything — anything! — distract us. As we do that and as we grow into our power — our confidence, our knowledge, our skill — we will grow to handle better the people close to us.
It won’t be by just leaving them either. Nor will it be by being dismissive or unkind.
We’ll let our actions and results do the talking.
We’ll truly be “the Man.” (Or “the Woman”!)
The fact is that often we need negative people. (I bet you never thought you’d hear someone say that!)
It’s true, though. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, we need people to say “no” to us every so often.
Think about the celebrities that have risen and fallen. What do many say contributed to their fall?
All the “yes men” that with which they surrounded themselves.
Every so often, we need someone to tell us we’re nuts or we’re crazy. Or just flat out “No.” It keeps us in line. It keeps us grounded. It keep us looking at reality rather than fantasy.
Along with that, sometimes when we get a “negative response” we get spurred into action more!
We’ve all had times where someone will tell us that we can’t do something and then we think, “Oh yeah! Well, I’ll show them!” And then we go and do it. Would we have attained the same result without that little “incentive”?
I was at a concert once. (I won’t name the band so as not to embarrass myself.) After the show, I said to my friends, “I’m going to go backstage.” Of course, they made a point to mention that I did not have a backstage pass and that I didn’t stand a chance of getting there. I just shrugged my shoulders and said that I’d give it a try anyway. (Luckily, I drove, so the transportation home was under my control.)
I went to the backstage entrance, did my “Tony thing,” and two hours later I met my friends by the car where they were waiting for me. They were quite angry for being made to wait so long. I said, “I told you I was going backstage. You should have come.”
Sometimes a little resistance — a little negativity — stirs a resolve in us that makes us like little tanks. It gives us the drive to just make a point, to do the “impossible.” How many inventions and great feats were accomplished all because someone was “negative”? A lot!
So, in summation, don’t use the people around you as “crutches” for your ego. If they’re truly negative — as in abusive — then by all means make a break for it. If they’re just your run-of-the-mill people, then take them with a grain of salt. Better yet, use them to make your point: Let their words spur you to more action and better results. Do something so that you can look at them and say “I told you so.”
Or, as I use as the tagline for The Master Key Workbook, “Stop running from your trouble. Start chasing your dreams.”
Believe me, it’s more fun.
Week 22: “Spiritual Seeds”
This part of The Master Key System is about health. More specifically, it’s about how we can heal ourselves with our mind — how we can find perfect health through right thinking.
This is a tricky topic. It’s controversial. It can be dangerous.
Even Oprah, who after airing her show about The Secret, had another show about the movie so as to dissuade a viewer who thought that she could cure her cancer with her thoughts from stopping her medical treatments.
Maybe it was Oprah’s conscience that made her air that second show. Maybe it was her legal team. Maybe it was both. Whichever the case, I think that illustrates just what murky waters we enter when we discuss a topic like this.
With that in mind, let’s look at the Letter of Transmittal.
In the last paragraph, Haanel wrote that
“Nourishing foods and strengthening tonics” cannot bestow life, because these are but secondary manifestations of life. The primary manifestation of life and how you may get in touch with it is explained in the part which I have the privilege of enclosing herewith.
That illustrates two points.
The first is that “life” doesn’t come from something outside ourselves. Drinking juices and taking mega-vitamins and getting the latest supplement won’t do much for us. Life — health — comes from within.
That’s important to note because that, to one degree or another, jades Haanel’s view on the topic. It’s neither good nor bad; it just is.
Thoughts Do Influence Our Bodies
Haanel wrote this in point #2.
2. If the state of our health is not all that could be desired, let us examine our method of thinking; let us remember that every thought produces an impression on the mind; every impression is a seed which will sink into the subconscious and form a tendency; the tendency will be to attract other similar thoughts and before we know it we shall have a crop which must be harvested.
According to Haanel, to change our health, we must change our thinking. In point #3, Haanel is even more straight-forward.
3. If these thoughts contain disease germs, the harvest will be sickness, decay, weakness, and failure. The question is: What are we thinking, what are we creating, what is the harvest to be?
Is this true? If we think about sickness, will we become sick?
I don’t think that that is the case. (That is my personal opinion.) I don’t think that because someone thought about the flu that they will get the flu. I think that for two reasons.
The first is that diseases are caused by contagions that are often outside our control. If we happen upon a virus that our immune system cannot handle, then we’re going to get sick.
Now, even if that isn’t exactly the case and there is something to what Haanel wrote, I would like to add that just thinking something for a moment or two will not bring that upon us. A fleeting thought is not effective. It’s about the predominant thoughts that we carry with us.
During the “Questions & Answers” session of the Teleconference, our friend “John in Orlando” made a most excellent — and most apropos — analogy. He said that negative thoughts like that are like cigarettes. If a person were to have just one cigarette, that’s not going to bring any adverse health problems on them. A person needs to smoke regularly to begin seeing the negative consequences of smoking. It’s the predominant habit that prevails, just like the predominant thoughts.
In point #8, Haanel wrote
8. All that is necessary is to consult our own experience. When our thought has been uplifted, progressive, constructive, courageous, noble, kind, or in any other way desirable, we have set in motion vibrations which brought about certain results. When our thought has been filled with envy, hatred, jealousy, criticism, or any of the other thousand and one forms of discord, certain vibrations were set in motion which brought about certain other results of a different nature, and each of these rates of vibration, if kept up, crystallized in form. In the first case the result was mental, moral, and physical health, and in the second case discord, inharmony, and disease.
I think that we can all testify that our thoughts do have an influence on our bodies. If we are embarrassed, we get flushed. If we’re scared, our heart races. We can worry ourselves sick. Likewise, we can make ourselves feel better with good thoughts.
Like Haanel wrote in point #24.
24. This influence or control over the body by the mind is coming to be more and more generally understood, and many physicians are now giving the matter their earnest attention. Dr. Albert T. Shofield, who has written several important books on the subject, says: “The subject of mental therapeutics is still ignored in medical works generally. In our physiologies no reference is made to the central con- trolling power that rules the body for its good, and the power of the mind over the body is seldom spoken of.”
Keep in mind that this was written c. 1916! (Yes, the New Age movement is not very “new” at all.)
Robert Anton Wilson even had something to say about thinking optimistic thoughts over glum thoughts.
Does this happen because thoughts cause disease?
Or is it because thoughts yield actions that yield results?
I tend toward the latter. I think that if we have a predominant thought pattern, we will do things both consciously and subconsciously that will yield results. In the case of health, if we have “diseased” thoughts, then we will take actions that will yield “diseased” results. We’ll tend to eat unhealthily. We’ll take part in unhealthy activities. We will bring to ourselves “our own.”
In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise L. Hay lists common (and at times not so common) diseases and ailments and their associated probable mental cause. For example, for allergies, she has as the mental ailment, “Who are you allergic to?” She also includes a listing of affirmations that can be used to counteract the negative thought. Here is another example: For nervousness, she has listed as a probable cause “fear, anxiety…not trusting the life process.” For the new thought pattern she would use to counteract it, she writes, “I am on an endless journey through eternity, and there is plenty of time. I communicate with my heart. All is well.”
It’s definitely an interesting take on things.
Is it true?
The answer is simply that I don’t know.
Going further, I don’t think anyone has the definitive answer. Maybe the answer will be found somewhere in the middle.
I noted earlier that one of Haanel’s big influences was the Christian Science movement. Not too long ago, I received an email from a woman who claimed to be a Christian Scientist. She explained that many Christian Scientists accept medical treatment because they view the work of the doctor as coming through the Universal — as being an extension of God’s work.
That makes some sense to me. I hope it does to you as well.
Let’s get to the exercise.
The Exercise for Week 22
28. For your exercise this week concentrate on Tennyson’s beautiful lines.
29. “Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet, Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.”
30. Then try to realize that when you do “Speak to Him” you are in touch with Omnipotence.
Haanel explains in point #31…
31. This realization and recognition of this Omnipresent power will quickly destroy any and every form of sickness or suffering and substitute harmony and perfection.
Personally, I don’t think so. I also don’t think it will hurt, though.
I do know that it will raise our spirits. It will make us feel better — and sometimes that’s the start to healing.
As I wrote at the start of this long essay, this topic of healing with thoughts is a tricky one. There is a lot to be discussed about it. There’s a lot to be said for both the pros and the cons.
Even deeper, what makes it so controversial is that it’s an argument wrapped in beliefs. Two people can argue facts — even opinions — all day long and not have a fight. Once beliefs enter the ring, a fight will break out between friends.
If anything, look at both sides with an open and inquisitive mind. Do your best to separate fact from fiction, proper thinking from wishful thinking. There are a lot of great and wonderful things in this world. There are also some things that suck.
With that in mind, stay optimistic. Stay healthy. I’ll see you next week.
Until then, get for yourself the best of everything!