Sometimes I think Haanel shares more than he has too and then repetition is the mother of all learning. This lesson says, we can convert every seeming difficulty into a blessing.
1. Wealth is a product of labor. Capital is an effect, not a cause; a servant, not a master; a means, not an end.
Another way to say it, the mountain called wealth has no top, nor does capital. The higher you go the more there is to go.
5. Wealth should then never be desired as an end, but simply as a means of accomplishing an end. Success is contingent upon a higher ideal than the mere accumulation of riches, and he who aspires to such success must formulate an ideal for which he is willing to strive.
Wealth, success and happiness are alike in this. The ideal goal will produce all three in abundance! The definition of a goal, the one I like is, an object or event towards which play is directed in order to score. The score, i.e. wealth, success and happiness, if collapsed onto a goal eliminates the very play required for any goal worth playing for to happen. The score stops at the same time!
8. The power to create depends entirely upon spiritual power; there are three steps, idealization, visualization and materialization. …
These three stages reminded me immediately of be, do and have. If you put them in the wrong order and especially start at the ‘end’, materialization and have, nothing useful comes of it, unless frustration is your goal. Notice the amount of time you keep score on frustration too!
13. Premature wealth is but the forerunner of humiliation and disaster, because we cannot permanently retain anything which we do not merit or which we have not earned.
Earl Nightingale said we have exactly what we deserve. Is it possible that winning the lottery and the associated disasters that follow, especially if you do not merit the award, is exactly what one deserves? Is the lesson learnable? Perhaps someone has to go through loss to experience it. When you find yourself in a hole, the suggestion goes to stop digging. Perhaps when it comes to what one deserves digging a bigger hole is exactly the correct course of action. The bigger and deeper the hole the higher the skyscraper.
16. It is by the exercise of this power [we can form our own mental images] that we take our fate out of the hands of chance, and consciously make for ourselves the experiences which we desire, because when we consciously realize a condition, that condition will eventually manifest in our lives; it is therefore evident that in the last analysis thinking is the one great cause in life.
Haanel doesn’t make the distinction but it is clear in his writing it would be obvious to him. Thinking is not having thoughts. We are immersed in the stuff called thought and we have an ability to attract the specific thoughts that will help us along the way. Having thoughts is not however thinking. Thoughts are like a pile of Tinker Toy or Lego pieces. Thinking is making something out of them, initially in your minds ‘idea’ area before building with them in your mind’s image factory. The better, the more detailed your ability to imagine and visualize the more likely the finished product will appear in the now.
17. Therefore, to control thought is to control circumstances, conditions, environment, and destiny.
A very sweeping and all-powerful idea but can you control yours. Not the stuff you are immersed in except to attract some of it or choose what to play with. Will you at least pick and choose which of it you ‘think’ about. Can you attract what builds your destination or do you fiddle with knots and this is not it? Can you even choose your destination or is that something, someone else’s ‘thoughts’?
18. How then are we to control thought; what is the process? …
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are the oldest on record of offering ‘a way’. Is there THE way? Or must each of us must find our own way. Maybe it too cannot be taught but only caught. It is spending enough time in both places, in our mind, with the silence and just as completely in the world, now. The two are different and I suspect have different sets of rules that work to impact where we ‘are’. Observing one from the other may be of little or no benefit either.
28. If you desire to visualize a different environment, the process is simply to hold the ideal in mind, until your vision has been made real; give no thought to persons, places or things; these have no place in the absolute; the environment you desire will contain everything necessary; the right persons, and the right things will come at the right time and in the right place.
Providing your ‘ideal’ is detailed and clear enough, the things, place, and people will all arrive ‘on time’ providing you do not give up or quit.
30. You will readily see that what we think determines the quality of mind, and that the quality of mind in turn determines our ability and mental capacity, and you can readily understand that the improvement in our ability will naturally be followed by increase in attainment and a greater control of circumstances.
Prayer and meditation are the oldest methods and naturally, mind-altering substances have been tried and used just as long. Over the last 100 years or so many have sought to expand the capacity of their mind with all kinds of technology and most are suspect. There are methods that will increase ones capacity to tolerate stress and access the recorder we are. Dozens of authors that I have read and perhaps thousands have found a path. The ability to describe ‘capturing balance’ in words is possible perhaps as is a description of lion that jumps out of the page. I haven’t found it yet. I have found balance, risking falling. I have found relaxing, accepting tension. I have found peace, accepting anger as what’s so and noticing it also as so what. This all appears as mountains with no top and ladders that never end.
33. We can only see what already exists in the objective world, but what we visualize, already exists in the spiritual world, and this visualization is a substantial token of what will one day appear in the objective world, if we are faithful to our ideal. The reason for this is not difficult; visualization is a form of imagination; this process of thinking forms impressions on the mind, and these impressions in turn form concepts and ideals, and they in turn are the plans from which the Master architect will weave the future.
There may be much more in the objective world that we do not see for lack of belief. Then there is another experience. Looking for something in a drawer, more than once, even taking everything out and putting it back…only to have someone else find it in the exact drawer or you find it on the fourth or fifth look is what kind of blindness! We “MAY” see what already exists. Does our ‘belief’ cloud or color or blind our vision? What if our ability to visualize what already exists in the spiritual world is just as blind? The Master architect is waiting on our ability to see.