Week 8 of The Master Key System: The Battleship
Week 8 of The Master Key System: The Battleship

Week 8 of The Master Key System: Imagination, Insight, Perception, and Sagacity

We feed our constructive imagination with knowledge.

We must be continually growing and learning.

This is important because

Keen analytical observation leads to the development of imagination, insight, perception, and sagacity.

“Keen analytical observation” is looking at things logically, soundly, and with an eye to learning from them.

This is what the exercise for Week Eight of The Master Key System is about. Here is the exercise in full:

Last week you created a mental image—you brought it from the invisible into the visible. This week I want you to take an object and follow it back to its origination, see of what it really consists. If you do this you will develop imagination, insight, perception, and sagacity. These come not by the superficial observation of the multitude, but by a keen analytical observation which sees below the surface.

Take the same position as heretofore and visualize a Battleship. See the grim monster floating on the surface of the water; there appears to be no life anywhere about; all is silence; you know that by far the largest part of the vessel is under water; out of sight; you know that the ship is as large and as heavy as a twenty-story skyscraper; you know that there are hundreds of men ready to spring to their appointed task instantly; you know that every department is in charge of able, trained, skilled officials who have proven themselves competent to take charge of this marvelous piece of mechanism; you know that although it lies apparently oblivious to everything else, it has eyes which see everything for miles around, and nothing is permitted to escape its watchful vision; you know that while it appears quiet, submissive and innocent, it is prepared to hurl a steel projectile weighing thousands of pounds at an enemy many miles away; this and much more you can bring to mind with comparatively no effort whatever. But how did the battleship come to be where it is; how did it come into existence in the first place? All of this you want to know if you are a careful observer.

Follow the great steel plates through the foundries and see the thousands of men employed in their production. Go still further back and see the ore as it comes from the mine, see it loaded on barges or cars, see it melted and properly treated. Go back still further and see the architect and engineers who planned the vessel; let the thought carry you back still further in order to determine why they planned the vessel; you will see that you are now so far back that the vessel is something intangible, it no longer exists, it is now only a thought existing in the brain of the architect; but from where did the order come to plan the vessel? Probably from the Secretary of War; but probably this vessel was planned long before the war was thought of, and that Congress had to pass a bill appropriating the money; possibly there was opposition, and speeches for or against the bill. Whom do these Congressmen represent? They represent you and me, so that our line of thought begins with the Battleship and ends with ourselves, and we find in the last analysis that our own thought is responsible for this and many other things, of which we seldom think, and a little further reflection will develop the most important fact of all and that is, if someone had not discovered the law by which this tremendous mass of steel and iron could be made to float upon the water, instead of immediately going to the bottom, the battleship could not have come into existence at all.

This law is that, “the specific gravity of any substance is the weight of any volume of it, compared with an equal volume of water.” The discovery of this law revolutionized every kind of ocean travel, commerce, and warfare, and made the existence of the battleship possible.

You will find exercises of this kind invaluable. When the thought has been trained to look below the surface everything takes on a different appearance, the insignificant becomes significant, the uninteresting interesting; the things which we supposed to be of no importance are seen to be the only really vital things in existence.

Walking in Charles F. Haanel's Path
Walking in Charles F. Haanel’s Path

Do you see what Charles F. Haanel is doing here?

Do you understand the significance?

Do you see how powerful this exercise can be in your daily life?

Do you see how it will open the doors of knowledge and understanding?

Do you see how when done thoroughly and properly you will be able to see the world as it really is rather than seeing its shadow?

You can — and should! — use this exercise on everything that you see. Imagine the process by which your computer came into existence. How about your car? A book on your shelf? The pen you may be holding?

When you do this exercise, you are exploring the process of creation: from one person’s thought to taking physical form.

You can even do this on intangible things such as ideas and philosophies.

This exercise is the reason why you should read more history books and biographies. When you read them, you go beyond the personas and rumors and see the actual mechanisms and methods that brought the people, things, and events of history into existence.

Master the exercise in Week Eight. You will gain knowledge from doing this exercise — real knowledge that you can put to work for you. Then, instead of walking through life relying on chance and happenstance, you’ll have “imagination, insight, perception, and sagacity.”

And those are powerful allies indeed.