The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel – Book Review

Nancy B. Alston

Synopsis of Content:

This is a classic self improvement book first published by Charles F. Haanel as a correspondence course in 1912 and then as a single book in 1917. This book was a key source for much of the material in the recent book and video entitled The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

In this book Haanel uses new age psychology concepts to describe how people can use thought in complex ways to be successful. Built on the earlier works by William James and other 19th century writers it focuses on the mind’s ability to create reality. While this sounds fanciful it is not. Haanel was a serious and successful businessman who truly believed that the way we think and the way we use our minds is the largest influence on the reality we build for ourselves. This is not about magic rather it is about how to use your mind both to build your own self disciplines which empower you to accomplish more and also builds on the relationship between thought and matter.

The skeptic need only look at modern theoretical physics to find verification of the basic theories that Haanel wrote about a century before science had discovered the basis for his theories.

For anyone serious about exploring the potential of disciplining the mind and using it to influence your outcomes this book provides valuable insights. It was far ahead of its time.

Each chapter is followed by study questions and exercises for the reader to implement the lessons taught.

Readability/Writing Quality:

This book is written in the typical prose style of similar books a century ago. For modern readers who are accustomed to outlined materials with clear chapter headings and bulleted lists this will be more difficult to follow. The book is written in the style of numbered paragraphs. Each set of concepts builds on the preceding ones. It requires a bit more concentration then many modern books do.

Notes on Author:

Haanel was an author and businessman in St. Louis at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. He was born in 1866 and died in 1949. His books were well read during his life. He also wrote Mental Chemistry and The New Psychology.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. The universal or cosmic mind is a representation of how all thought in the universe is connected. The more one develops the ability to become aware of this universal mind the more effective one’s own thinking can be.

2. Our reality, both in terms of matter and energy, is influence by the way we think. We can achieve more by harnessing this power or can fail by our inability to understand it.

3. A practice of focused and directed mediations and thought experiments can elevate your power of thought in ways that lead to greater understanding and achievement. It takes time and effort but the author has demonstrated its efficacy as have others.

Publication Information:

The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel is no longer protected by the author’s copyright. However a copyrighted version was published by Jeremy RP. Tarcher for Penguin Books in 2007.

Rating for this Book

Over all Rating for Book: Good

Writing Style: Somewhat difficult.

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