This is an excerpt from the book A Book About You by Charles F. Haanel, edited by Anthony R. Michalski, and is part of The Complete Master Key Course -- http://www.thecompletemasterkeycourse.com
Energy reveals itself in manifold phases according to the media through which it manifests. The energy is one and identical, but it becomes diversified as it penetrates different substances or organisms. Infinite energy is ether in motion, or rhythmic vibration. Consciousness, then, is the registration of the Universal Energy within a vital organism.
When the Earth is turned toward the Sun, the direct rays agitate the nerve cells of the body. This agitation or vibration results in what we term consciousness.
All nerve cells possess dendrites which touch each other and by means of which nerve currents are transmitted from one cell to another. These currents are necessary for consciousness and when the dendrites no longer contact these direct rays or currents, they spontaneously grow shorter so that they no longer come in contact with one another and sleep results. The neurons simply draw in their processes at night. To use a popular phrase, they “hang up the receiver.”
The sensory stimuli that reach us during sleep are not of a nature or an intensity to arouse conscious vibrations, but they often give rise to dreams. Dreams of this type are illusions pure and simple, such as are not unusual in normal life and which are so common in many of the neuroses. They are simply the erroneous interpretation of actual stimuli.
The universe is regarded as composed of several regions or planes, of which our visible physical plane is one. The Earth and everything in it—with the Sun, Moon, and planets—are situated on the physical plane. The other planes are not distant globes removed from us by space, but are situated in the “within” of space, everywhere surrounding and interpenetrating the planes we know.
To distinguish these interior planes, the expedient seems to have been accepted from the very ancient times of naming them after the states of matter with which we are familiar: earth, water or air.
These three forms of consciousness correspond to the three relative rates of motion: the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. The Earth turns upon its axis in one day. During this time it contacts all twelve of the great constellations, remaining in each one for a period of two hours. We thus receive every celestial vibration and consequential state of consciousness.
Every human being is essentially a spark of the “Divine Light”, the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, the Divine spark that can reach the matrix of matter only by coming into contact with the physical plane or denser region of the material world. The unit of consciousness is a seed placed in the material world that is constantly turning and in a day of twenty four hours comes under the influence of all the constellations. In Taurus, the sense of smell is developed. In Gemini, the sense of touch is developed. In Cancer, the sense of taste is developed. In Leo, the sense of sight is developed. In Virgo and Libra, the internal organs of the brain are developed. In Scorpio, the generative forces are quickened.
Having now acquired all of his physical sense, man turns to Sagittarius where he is imbued with the qualities of love and devotion. He is then carried to Capricorn, the symbol of action and service. Next comes Aquarius from which he receives reason and intuition, and finally he is placed under the influence of Pisces where he is given wisdom and understanding.
Mind is a phase of transformed energy in every form of organic matter. It is in the molecule as well as in the cell. This energy, impinging on the elements that compose the substances of the earth, is transformed into the molecular energy that maintains and organizes physical substances, namely adhesion and cohesion. This is mind in germinal form, for the office of molecular energy is creative and to that extent implies a reaction in the molecule that is the basis of thought and feeling.
The evolution of life from organic materials is only one state more mysterious than the evolution of any from of matter from another, for in fact it is of that type and the new changes are little more startling than those that occur at other levels in the chain of creation.
Every human being is a microcosmos within himself. He is a universe of cells, each with its individual intelligence. Within his universe, these cells, countless in number, are dying by millions almost momentarily. The cast off physical bodies of the cells are thrown out of the human system in waste. The life spark in each cell immediately reincarnates and does so over and over again as long as the human system lasts. The intelligence of all the cells makes up the sum total of the intelligence of the human system.
Man has been deficient in understanding because his brain receiver did not vibrate to certain subtle influences; the dynamic cell in gray matter of nerve was not finely attuned and did not respond.
The situation may be illustrated by a tuning fork, which may be taken to represent individual or personal consciousness. The fork is in tune B flat. Place it on the piano and run the scales up and down without sounding B flat and the tuning fork is unresponsive. Let the B flat be sounded, to which the tuning fork is in harmony and immediately the fork vibrates. All the notes on the piano are non-existent to the tuning fork except the one with which it is in accord.
Call the tones sounded by the piano suggestions. The only suggestion that has any influence over the tuning fork in the one with which its own pitch is in accord. It is not the piano, but the pitch of the tuning fork, which determines whether or not the tuning fork shall vibrate. Nor does the tuning fork vibrate because it happens to be near some particular piano and is affected by that piano’s peculiarities. Let the B flat be sounded on a violin, or on a tin pan for that matter, and the tuning fork will vibrate just as readily. The power given to the suggestion is not in the instru-ment, but in the pitch of the tuning fork.
Suppose that someone should desire to destroy the susceptibility of the tuning fork to the pitch of B flat, seeing that the tuning fork vibrates when B flat is struck on the piano—what would be more natural than for him to conclude that the piano alone is responsible for the behavior of the tuning fork, and from this premise to reason that by taking away the piano or removing the tun-ing fork from the sphere of the piano’s influence, the desired end will be accomplished and the tuning fork will no longer be affected by B flat. Nothing would be accomplished by such procedures, for the reasoning is from the erroneous premise. The susceptibility of the tuning fork to B flat has nothing to do with the environment, and no manipulation of the environment can have any effect. There is just one way to make the tuning fork unresponsive to B flat, and that is to change its pitch.
Personal consciousness is like the tuning fork. It has a certain pitch. This pitch is given at the moment of birth and the elements that go to make up its peculiar nature determine its points of susceptibility to suggestion. The great range of possible suggestions under the classifications of heredity and environment, personality, or race will mean nothing to the personal consciousness unless the elements or qualities are presented which appeal to this particular consciousness as real. Then personal sense will respond by accepting the suggestion and manifesting the characteristics of the suggestion.
There is a plane of thought constituting the animal plane. Here are the actions and interactions that animals respond to, yet men know nothing of. Then we have the conscious thought plane. Here are almost limitless planes of thought to which we may be responsive. It is strictly the nature of our thinking that determine to which plane we shall respond. On this plane, we have the thoughts of the ignorant, the wise, the poor, and so on. The number of thought planes is infinite, but the point is that when we think on a definite plane, we are responsive to thoughts on that plane and the effect of the reaction on that plane in our environment.
Consciousness is positive, active, changeful, and outgoing; and activity, will in action, volition, and conation are terms applicable to it. In many cases it is only a reaction on the part of the environment; for instance food is part of the environment, and its rejection is a reaction against the environment. This is sometimes called will, but it is not the same as the metaphysical will, which is controlled from within, influenced by attractions and repulsions in the environment.
Relation, therefore, is the essence of this aspect of consciousness; and just as action may be of two kinds—to separate and to bring together—and just as feelings may be of two kinds—agreeable and disagreeable—so there may be two kinds of relation, those of similarity and dissimilarity.
It is evident that the actions that separate, feelings that are disagreeable, and relations of dissimilarity are all obviously separative, individualizing, and correspond to the downward arc; while actions that unite, feelings that are agreeable, and relations that are of similarity are integrative and upbuilding.
Around you, as the center of it, the world without revolves. Organized life, people, thoughts, sounds, light, the universe itself with its numberless millions of phenomena are sending out vibrations toward you: vibrations of love, of hate, thoughts good and bad, wise and unwise, true and untrue.
These vibrations are directed toward you—by the smallest as well as by the greatest, the farthest and the nearest. A few of them reach you but the rest pass by, and as far as you are concerned lost.
Some of these vibrations are essential to your health, your power, your success, your happiness. How is it that they pass you?
Luther Burbank said: “We are just beginning to realize what a wonderful machine is the human brain. We are at the threshold of knowledge, but until yesterday we were outside. The human race has been broadcasting and receiving, perhaps millions of years without knowing, but suffering all the while from bad thoughts sent. The radio, while but a very simple instrument as compared to the brain, is helping us to understand what the brain has always been doing.
“Those who are familiar with the radio know what jamming means—the crowding into a narrow wave-belt of a great many sending stations, all operating at once. Since we are all transmitting every time we think, it is obvious that the jamming in wave-length belts used by radio transmitters is as nothing compared with the din made by a billion and a half human brains. Din may seem to be a strange word to use in connection with the ether over a quiet meadow, for instance, but those who know how to operate radio receiving sets will understand. No matter how much jamming is going on, a radio receiving set is as the grave until it is adjusted and made resonant by establishing harmony within it. The silence may then change into what may seem to be almost screaming.
“With everybody broadcasting at once it follows that the ether must be the sounding chamber into which is crowded every kind of human thought. As we do not broadcast with the same intensity, it follows that the weaker vibrations must be drowned out by the stronger ones. Weak thoughts must soon fall flat, while strong ones may go to the ends of the earth. But it seems logical to believe that thoughts, held in common by millions, may, because of their identical nature, swell into a tremendous chorus, even though the human transmitters may not individually be very strong senders.”
We easily recognize three phases of consciousness between each of which there are enormous differences.
1. Simple Consciousness, which all animals possess in common. It is the sense of existence, by which we recognize that “we are” and “that we are where we are” and by which we perceive the various objects and varied scenes and conditions.
2. Self Consciousness, possessed by all mankind, except infants and the mentally deficient. This gives the power of self contemplation, the effect of the world without upon our world within. “Self contemplates self.” Amongst many other results, language has thus come into existence, each word being a symbol for a thought or an idea.
3. Cosmic Consciousness. This form of consciousness is as much above self-consciousness as self-consciousness is above the simple consciousness. It is as different from either as sight is different from hearing or touch.
Neither by simple consciousness nor by self-consciousness can one get any notion of cosmic-consciousness. It is not like either of them any more than sight is like hearing. A deaf man can never learn of the value of music by means of his sense of sight or touch.
Cosmic consciousness is all forms of consciousness. It overrides time and space, for apart from the body and the world of matter, these do not exist.
The immutable law of consciousness is: That in the degree that the consciousness is developed so is the development of power in the subjective and its consequent manifestation in the objective.
Cosmic consciousness is the result of the creation of the necessary conditions so that the Universal Mind may function in the direction desired.
If you do not seem to grasp the application of the law of vibration in the thought world, if you do not know how to change the rate of vibration, remember that every thought changes the rate of vibration. As you think greater, deeper, higher, and more forceful thoughts, the brain cells are refined, they become more powerful, and they are enabled to receive finer vibrations.
This is true not only in the mental world but in the physical world. As the ear becomes trained in music, it is enabled to receive finer vibrations until the trained musician can hear harmonies of sound of which the ordinary person is entirely unaware.
Planetary vibrations act chiefly upon the nervous system, which is governed by, or responsive to, the planet of Mercury. The nervous system is the messenger of the mind and through the mind is transmitted the intelligent impulses which know how to direct the actions of the various organs of the body so as to bring about appropriate responses in the organs selected and the functions involved.
If you wish to be strong, the subconscious mind acts upon the tendency indicated and you will unconsciously do those things which will manifest strength. Every thought finds expression in the degree of its monopoly, hence, if you very much want and desire strength you must give the thoughts of strength form, purpose, and power—you must give the thought of strength a monopoly.
The general principle by which an idea is preserved is vibratory like all other phenomena of nature. Every thought causes a vibration that will continue to expand and contract in wave circles, like the waves started by a stone dropped in a pool of water. Waves from other thoughts may counteract it, or it may finally succumb of its own inanition.
Subconscious thought is received by any organ of the body affected, and think of the mechanism with which you are provided and which can and does objectify the thought received. First the millions of cell chemists ready and waiting to carry out all instructions received. Next the complete system of communication, consisting of the vast sympathetic nervous system reaching every fibre of the being and ready to respond to the slightest emotion of joy or fear, of hope or despair, of courage or impotence.
Next the complete manufacturing plant consisting of the series of glands wherein are manufactured all the secretions necessary for the use of the chemists in carrying our the instructions which are given.
Then the complete digestive tract wherein food, water, and air are converted into blood, bone, skin, hair, and nails.
Finally, the supply department which constantly sends a supply of oxygen, nitrogen, and ether into every part of the being, and the wonder of it all is that this ether holds in solution everything necessary for the use of the chemist, for the ether holds in pure form—and food, water, and air in secondary form—every element necessary for the production of a perfect individual.
You are also provided with a complete equipment for the elimination of waste and useless material as well as a complete repair department. In a addition to this, you have a complete system of wireless whereby you are connected with every other subconscious entity in existence.
You are not usually conscious of the operation of this wireless, but the same thing is true con-cerning the operation of the Marconi System.
There may be music of every kind in the air, but unless you make use of the amplifier, you receive no message and so with your subconscious wireless. Unless you try to coordinate the conscious and subconscious, you fail to realize that the subconscious is constantly receiving messages of some kind and just as constantly objectifying the message in your life and environment.
Try the following exercise:
Lie down quietly. Relax completely your mind and body. Breathe naturally. If the mind is at all tense or strained, then results cannot be obtained.
The mind must relax for the flow of inspiration.
Sooner or later there will be a warm, magnetic sensation throughout the body. As you progress you will lose the sense of the body altogether. The breathing will grow less in volume. Finally the conscious breath will cease.
You will be in the Silence; you can go where you please and return at will. You may roam in mind through the subjective world of thought.
You will be in tune with the cosmic consciousness.
You will be in tune with the Infinite.
Charles F. Haanel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 22, 1866. He received many de-grees, including hon. Ph.D., College National Electronic Institute; Metaphysics, Psy. D., College of Divine Metaphysics; and M.D., Universal College of Dupleix, India. He is the ex-President of the Continental Commercial Company and the ex-President of the Sacramento Valley Improve-ment Company.
He is the author of works on philosophy, psychology, causation, science of living, personality, and science of mind, synthesized in The Master Key System, a system of philosophy for applica-tion to the affairs of everyday life.
Mr. Haanel was affiliated with many groups, including Fellow London College of Psychother-apy; member Authors’ League of America; American Society of Psychical Research; member of the Society of Rosicrucians; the American Suggestive Therapeutical Association; Science League of America; Pi Gamma Mu Fraternity; Master Mason, Keystone Lodge No. 243, A.F. & A.M.; created a Noble in Moolah Temple.
Mr. Haanel died on November 27, 1949 at the age of 83. He was buried in Bellefontaine Ceme-tery, St. Louis.