A classic, with all the cliches

“The Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel

It’s holiday time during the pandemic, which means relaxing at home. And I want to read a light book that has little narrative to follow. It should be short and direct, broken down into short chapters and even written one paragraph at a time in a quotation-like sentence if possible, to make it a lighter bite. It should cover topics that are soothing for the soul but stimulating enough for the mind, a book that I can still learn from but with oh so minimum effort (hey, it’s a holiday mood).

Is there such a book, my dear Coesus? As it turns out, there is. It’s Terry Crews’ favourite book (didn’t see that coming, did you?). And this book nailed it. Sort of. Well not really. Ok fine, let’s just say it’s not my cup of tea.

There’s some weird stuff going on with most of the ideas in the book, such as the believe that our minds can somehow connect to the universe (the Cosmic Mind), that everything is originated in the Universal Mind, that you can get what you want if you mentally concentrate on the object of your desire (without work? The author, Charles F. Haanel, didn’t say anything about work to get it) complete with the morning mantras in front of the mirror, while he’s also selling the concept and usage of solar plexus a little too much.

Moreover, apparently if we’re in debt it’s wrong to worry and think about the debt. Instead, we should focus on the opposite: abundance (yes, Edwin. Concentrate on what you want). The book also claims to have the secret solution to every problem known to mankind: to apply spiritual Truth on it. So, bone marrow cancer? The spiritual Truth. Solution to Israel vs Palestine conflict? The spiritual Truth. Where will Doge Coin move next? The spiritual Truth.

All in all, the book has this overall feel of being at a presentation of an MLM product that makes you borderline questioning its legitimacy. Because nearly nothing tangible come out from the ideas. And instead, just BELIEVE hard enough with no clear cause-and-effect steps on how to achieve them (AKA, the law of attraction).

But perhaps I should cut the book some slack, because it was afterall written in 1912, from the simpler times. It was even before World War 1. So it’s understandable that the concept of the book isn’t really that applicable for our modern era. But then again, Aristotle was from the 4th century BC and Isaac Newton lived in the 17-18th century, and their ideas are phenomenal. And furthermore, this book is also featured in the modern-day book “The Secret” (which mystifies the psychological concept of “confirmation bias” into practically a magic show). So maybe, just maybe, it has always been wacky even for its days.