Week Nineteen: Your Mental Food

Charles F. Haanel's Complete Master Key Course

Letter of Transmittal

Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being — body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, and muscular.

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.

And so it is with vital force. Although we do not know what it is, and possibly may never know, we do know that it is a primary force which manifests through living bodies, and that by complying with the laws and principles by which it is governed we can open ourselves to a more abundant inflow of this vital energy, and thus express the highest possible degree of mental, moral and spiritual efficiency.

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.

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Week Nineteen: Your Mental Food

  1. The search for truth is no longer a haphazard adventure, but it is a systematic process and is logical in its operation. Every kind of experience is given a voice in shaping its decision.
  2. In seeking the truth we are seeking ultimate cause. We know that every human experience is an effect; then if we may ascertain the cause, and if we shall find that this cause is one which we can consciously control, the effect or the experience will be within our control also.
  3. Human experience will then no longer be the football of fate; a man will not be the child of fortune, but destiny, fate, and fortune will be controlled as readily as a captain controls his vessel or an engineer his train.
  4. All things are finally resolvable into the same element and as they are thus translatable, one into the other. They must ever be in relation and may never be in opposition to one another.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  10. Mind is the real and the eternal. Matter is forever changing. We know that in the eons of time a hundred years is but as a day. If we stand in any large city and let the eye rest on the innumerable large and magnificent buildings, the railroads, the electric cars, the telephones, the electric lights, and all the other conveniences of modern civilization, we may remember that not one of them was there 100 years ago, and if we could stand on the same spot in a hundred years from now, in all probability we should find that but few of them remained.
  11. In the animal kingdom we find the same law of change. The millions and millions of animals come and go, a few years constituting their span of life. In the plant world the change is still more rapid. Many plants and nearly all grasses come and go in a single year. When we pass to the inorganic, we expect to find something more substantial, but as we gaze on the apparently solid continent, we are told that it arose from the ocean; we see the giant mountain and are told that the place where it now stands was once a lake; and as we stand in awe before the great cliffs in the Yosemite Valley we can easily trace the path of the glaciers which carried all before them.
  12. We are in the presence of continual change and we know that this change is but the evolution of the Universal Mind, the grand process whereby all things are continually being created anew, and we come to know that matter is but a form which Mind takes and is therefore simply a condition. Matter has no principle; Mind is the only principle.
  13. We have then come to know that Mind is the only principle which is operative in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual world.
  14. We also know that this mind is static — mind at rest. We also know that the ability of the individual to think is his ability to act upon the Universal Mind and convert it into dynamic mind, or mind in motion.
  15. In order to do this fuel must be applied in the form of food, for man cannot think without eating, and so we find that even a spiritual activity such as thinking cannot be converted into sources of pleasure and profit except by making use of material means.
  16. It requires energy of some kind to collect electricity and convert it into a dynamic power, it requires the rays of the sun to give the necessary energy to sustain plant life, so it also requires energy in the form of food to enable the individual to think and thereby act upon the Universal Mind.
  17. You may know that thought constantly — eternally — is taking form, is forever seeking expression, or you may not, but the fact remains that if your thought is powerful, constructive, and positive, this will be plainly evident in the state of your health, your business, and your environment. If your thought is weak, critical, destructive, and negative generally, it will manifest in your body as fear, worry, and nervousness; in your finance as lack and limitation; and in discordant conditions in your environment.
  18. 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.
  19. A knowledge of cause and effect as shown by the laws governing steam, electricity, chemical affinity, and gravitation enables men to plan courageously and to execute fearlessly. These laws are called Natural Laws, because they govern the physical world, but all power is not physical power; there is also mental power, and there is moral and spiritual power.
  20. What are our schools, our universities, but mental powerhouses — places where mental power is being developed?
  21. As there are many mighty powerhouses for the application of power to ponderous machinery, whereby raw material is collected and converted into the necessities and comforts of life, so the mental powerhouses collect the raw material and cultivate and develop it into a power which is infinitely superior to all the forces of Nature, marvelous though they be.
  22. What is this raw material which is being collected in these thousands of mental powerhouses all over the world and developed into a power which is evidently controlling every other power? In its static form it is Mind, in its dynamic form it is Thought.
  23. This power is superior because it exists on a higher plane, because it has enabled man to discover the law by which these wonderful forces of Nature could be harnessed and made to do the work of hundreds and thousands of men. It has enabled man to discover laws whereby time and space have been annihilated, and now apparently the law of gravitation is to be overcome.
  24. Thought is the vital force or energy which is being developed and which has produced such startling results in the last half century as to bring about a world which would be absolutely inconceivable to a man existing only fifty or even twenty-five years ago. If such results have been secured by organizing these mental powerhouses in fifty years, what may not be expected in another fifty years?
  25. The substance from which all things are created is infinite in quantity. We know that light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, and we know that there are stars so remote that it takes light 2,000 years to reach us, and we know that such stars exist in all parts of the heaven. We know, too, that this light comes in waves, so that if the ether on which these waves travel was not continuous the light would fail to reach us. We can then only come to the conclusion that this substance, or ether, or raw material, is universally present.
  26. How, then, does it manifest in form? In electrical science a battery is formed by connecting the opposite poles of zinc and copper, which causes a current to flow from one to the other and so provides energy. This same process is repeated in respect to every polarity, and as all form simply depends upon the rate of vibration and consequent relations of atoms to each other, if we wish to change the form of manifestation we must change the polarity. This is the principle of causation.
  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.

Silent thought, is, after all, the mightiest agent in human affairs. — Channing

Questions & Answers for Week Nineteen

How are extremes placed in contrast?

They are designated by distinctive names, such as inside and outside, top and bottom, light and dark, good and bad.

Are these separate entities?

No, they are parts or aspects of one Whole.

What is the one creative Principle in the physical, mental, and spiritual world?

The Universal Mind, or the Eternal Energy, from which all things proceed.

How are we related to this creative Principle?

By our ability to think.

How does this creative Principle become operative?

Thought is the seed, which results in action and action results in form.

Upon what does form depend?

Upon the rate of vibration.

How may the rate of vibration be changed?

By mental action. 

Upon what does mental action depend?

Upon polarity, action and reaction, between the individual and the Universal.

Does the creative energy originate in the individual or the Universal?

In the Universal, but the Universal can manifest only through the individual.

Why is the individual necessary?

Because the Universal is static and requires energy to start it in motion. This is furnished by food, which is converted into energy, which in turn enables the individual to think. When the individual stops eating he stops thinking; then he no longer acts upon the Universal; there is consequently no longer any action or reaction; the Universal is then only pure mind in static form — mind at rest.

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