Here is a funny quote from Week Nine of The Master Key System. Not funny as in “ha-ha,” but funny as in peculiar and something that causes many people much puzzlement. Here’s what Charles F. Haanel wrote:
To know the Truth is the underlying condition necessary in every business transaction or social relation.
The “Truth” to which Haanel is referring (and please note that “Truth” is spelled with a capital “T”) is the intrinsic meaning or value of something or what we’re doing. If we embark on something without the knowledge of what it is we’re really doing — or why we’re doing it — then we are more apt to make mistakes or overlook opportunities.
This quest for seeing the thing as it really is — for seeing the “soul” of something, for lack of a better word — is what all of the exercises in The Master Key System are building within you. Instead of seeing or being fooled by appearances or ornament, you are seeing the thing (or event or experience) as it really is.
Refer back to the exercise in Week Eight (the one with the battleship) to see it in action. You’re not just disassembling the ship, you are taking it back to its root cause — its core, its soul. As you do that with everything that you experience, you gain a greater understanding of what something is.
It’s a very powerful tool and holds the potential to open many doors for you.
The process of breaking something down to its core can be called “distillation.” It is exactly like taking water and converting it to steam to rid it of impurities. It is the same thing you are doing with the exercises. You are “distilling” reality to see past the shibboleths of your mind and to see reality free of preconception, ornament, and impurities.
For example, many people are befuddled by business. Each and every business can be reduced (“distilled”) to merely the buying and selling of a good or service. You have something people want and you sell it to them at a price that is greater than what it cost you to produce or provide it. Most of the things over and above that are just ornament: a clown as your mascot to help you sell hamburgers; the beautiful design of your computer that “just works”; the uniforms of the junk haulers.
Below the surface of what we see is the root of what is actually happening.
It is an idea come to life.
It is the flower sprouting petals and the bird spreading its wings.