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The Master Key System - Charles F. Haanel


Abmin9
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I have no desire or intent for seeking a "higher power" or "intelligent force." In other words, a god.

BUT, I would like leverage the wisdom of intelligent humans who have written ways to live a better life. By that, I mean sticking to things I start, helping others, being healthier, a better father and husband, and other life qualities that make you a better human.

A friend who is also anti-religion told me he's been reading The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel and swears that it has been changing his life since day one. He's lost 45 lbs, gone back to school for addiction therapy, visits recovering addicts at hospitals, and is dating the girl of his dreams.

He told me to simply read the introduction to the book and the first chapter which I promised him I would. As soon as I came across the words "cosmic intelligence," I was instantly turned off. My friend assured me the book is very general about the identity of this power and says it's what he guesses some call God, but definitely not the Abrahamic God.

 

So, have any of you read this book and willing to share your thoughts on it?

 

If I'm not seeking a higher power, did I post in the wrong forum?

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I think you've come to the right place because you're asking a question about spirituality, which actually has little to nothing to do with theism or deism -- even though some people mix the two. One can find purposes larger than oneself without believing in morontheist omnibenevolences.

 

I recall reading the book you mention some years ago and frankly don't remember much about it, so I suppose it didn't make a great impression upon me at the time. For better or worse, I have it mentally filed under the Dale Carnegie / Ernest Nightengale style positive thinking ideation. My thought on such things is that everyone has to do whatever they have to do to be motivated and feel good about themselves and their lives, and if something like the "master key system" floats your boat, have at it and more power to you.

 

Personally I only see a weak, flaky connection between effort and outcomes in life, so the idea that reducing one's approach to life to a system that you work for predictable results had never really caught on with me. Of course, so long as it doesn't require you to spend a lot of money or take stupid risks, such a system is easy enough to prove or disprove, just live it for a few weeks and you'll soon enough see if it's got any validity.

 

Where I think stuff like this helps certain people is if they have lacked purpose / direction / focus, buying into it can bring that to bear in their lives in ways it never has before, and there can be some pretty cool outcomes from that, with even modest luck.

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Thanks DesertBob! You make a very straightforward point and expressed what I guess I already knew was obvious. I appreciate your thoughts.

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Just at a glance with it I agree with Bob it's one of those power of positive thought books. This was popular in the early 1900's, and my own grandmother had books of Walter Stevens. The problem I have with sort of 'spirituality' is for the same sorts of reasons I find the pursuit of meditation for good sex to be missing the point. It is not about making you wealthy and full of money, or having really wild orgasms with your lover. Such a goal is a set up for fulfillment for only a few who have greed as their god. The rest will see themselves as failing when the reality of life wears down all these external symbols of success. To prove my point, here's what one reviewer on Amazon said to that very point!

 

"Does it work? Yes it does. Why do some people fail? Well, they just read this book but don't put in use its truths."

 

How much like the schlock that the Christian faith healer says when God failed to answer their prayers, "You have doubt in you", it's your fault.

 

The whole problem with this sort of approach is that the focus is squarely on your own ego - me want riches! As far as higher powers go, the way this is being used here smacks of external forces. A spiritual life is one that rides both sucesses and failures with a grounded clarity and calm. The focus is on life and its living in peace, not on status and wealth. Poo, I say. ;)

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