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by Charles F. Haanel

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Book Description
An interesting read from Haanel, the founder of the Master Key System, explaining his theory of how all form is a vibratory activity. Contents: Planetary Vibrations; Solar Vibrations; Mental Vibrations; Electrical Vibrations; Celestial Vibrations; Cosmic Vibrations; Light Vibrations; Sound Vibrations; Color Vibrations; Heat Vibrations; Periodicity; The Source of Life; The Emotions; Magnetism; The Imagination; and Destiny.


Matter in motion and ether under strain constitute the fundamental principles with which we have to do in physics. These are both vibratory activities.

We speak of them as if there were two principles; there is, however, but one principle with a dual manifestation: it is cause and effect. Matter in motion puts ether under strain, ether under strain puts matter into motion.

All phenomena in the Universe are the result of the operation of this basic principle. Let us check up on those with which we are most familiar.


Force, all power, energy—call it what you will—resolves itself into two divisions: kinetic and potential. Kinetic is actual power and is invariably associated with motion. There can be no motion without something to move. Kinetic power is, therefore, matter is motion. Potential power is power at rest, reserve power, power distributed through all space, or ether under strain.

All force, all power, all energy is then a vibratory activity.


The Earth is one of the major bodies of our solar system. As it pushes its way around the Sun with the speed of a cannon ball, it puts the ether under strain, and in doing so causes the atmosphere which consists of atoms of hydrogen and nitrogen to become incandescent; we thus have the phenomena of light.

Light is then a vibratory activity.


But the Earth not only moves through space which is filled with ether with the speed of a cannon ball, but it rotates upon its axis at the rate of two thousand miles an hour at its greatest circumference, with a gradually decreasing rate of motion until we reach the poles, where there is little or no motion.

This revolution of the Earth constitutes matter in motion as a cause and ether under strain as an effect; but this time the result is heat, the greatest amount of heat being found at the equator where strain upon the ether is greatest, with continually diminishing amount of heat until we reach the poles where there is no motion and consequently no heat.

Heat, then, is a vibratory activity.


Sound is the sensation produced as a result of matter in motion, which results in ether under strain. A word spoken in any part of the world changes the relative positions of the atoms of which the atmosphere is composed. This change is registered in the ether, which is so inconceivably subtle and vibrant, that even tone, every letter, every syllable is transmitted to every part of the world, and possibly to any other world; for this reason a man may make an address or sing a song in New York and millions of persons may sit in their own homes and listen to every word.

The sound is originally caused by matter in motion, but it is carried upon the wings of the ether, the most volatile and active substance of which we can have any conception.

Sound is then a vibratory activity.


Color is the result of the vibratory activity of atoms of matter or matter in motion. As the frequency increases, the vibrations become shorter and more rapid, the color changes, each change in color being due to a change in the rate of vibration.


Consciousness is the inner and thought the outward expression of Mind. Even human being and most animals have innumerable aerials, all reaching out into space ready to contact even thought, even inspiration, even indication of danger that their immediate environment may contain. These minute aerials or hairs, one of which is attached to every pore of the body, are stirred into activity by the vibrations from the Sun. When the Sun sinks behind the horizon, they, like the Arabs, "Fold their tents and silently steal away." We are then no longer conscious, we go to sleep. Consciousness then is a vibratory activity and is due to the vibrations which reach us from the Sun.

All space is the store room of energy, which emanates from the Sun, and consciousness is caused by the contact of the human brain with the electro-magnetic vibrations of which the luminiferous ether is composed and which have their source in the Sun. Each of the planets is passing through this electro-magnetic field of force, forming an electro-magnetic field of its own.

These vibrations are being constantly impressed upon the ether and are received by each individual in accordance with his ability to receive, for the brain is a receiving instrument and must be in tune with the vibration, otherwise, it does not register.
Mind or consciousness is then a vibratory activity.


The personal constituents of a mob might be exactly the same as those of an army, the difference is that one is organized and one is not. A single atom is not material, it is simply a definite amount of energy, and by itself would be absolutely immaterial, but when these atoms are combined and organized, they assume the characteristics of the whole, of which they are apart. Apart cannot be equal to the whole. On the other hand, the whole cannot be greater than all of its parts collectively and organically. Each part is as essential to the whole as the whole is to the part.

If, then, an organism is conscious and intelligent, the atoms of which that organism is composed must be conscious and intelligent, just as a single soldier might have a very small amount of power, but if combined with a hundred thousand other similar soldiers and thoroughly drilled and organized, a very considerable amount of power would be developed.

The atom, of which all organic or inorganic substance is created, is immaterial, conscious, and intelligent. The degree of consciousness and intelligence that is manifested in an organic body will then depend upon whether the mob spirit or the spirit of efficiency and service prevails.

The individual atom has no density. Density is an attribute of matter, and one atom has no material attributes; it is only when millions of them are organized into form that they assume material attributes.

The atom is the unit and man is an organization of these units. As Mr. Edison says, "I believe that our bodies are made up of myriads of units of life, we have assumed that the unit is man, which we can see, and have ignored the existence of the real life units, which are those we cannot see."

The aggregate of these life units is the ether, which embodies the ultimate spiritual principle and represents the unity of the forces and energies from which spring all the phenomena known to man, whether physical, mental, or spiritual.

Such vibrations are, however, not the result of motion in one direction.

The planets, which are gigantic dynamos, not only push their way through the ether at an incredible speed, but they revolve upon their axis and thus twist the ether into spiral form, the lines of force which reach us from the various planets consist therefore of vibrations in spiral form.

When these lines of force are crossed by a second or a third planet, the electrons necessarily revolve around each other, and the first step in organization takes place. The electron is then no longer a point mass, but a mass having an axis of rotation, an arc orbit. The rapidity of motion, the size and shape of electrons involved, determine the nature of the atom which is eventually evolved.

As long as the electrons continue to move indefinitely, they remain electrons. But when they are grouped in a definite system, revolving about a central nucleus like a miniature solar system, they then constitute an atom of matter.

These units, aggregated into different systems, form the elements. From the elements, in more complex combination, the chemical substances are made. The inorganic substances are relatively simple combinations of bases and acids. The organic substances are more complexly compounded, and these substances, or some of them when arranged in a mechanism called a cell, are capable of certain processes: assimilation, excretion, growth, sensation, reproduction.

When an organism works in a self-sustaining system, we say that it is alive.


Form is the result of the concentration of matter, and the concentration of matter implies the dissipation of motion. Wherever there is an aggregation of matter, there must be an equal absorption of motion.

Involution and evolution alternate indefinitely. Both processes are going on every instant, the ebb and flow of the forces of nature are ceaseless.

All form, organic or inorganic, is the result of the combination of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and each of these in turn are derived directly or indirectly from the Sun. Without the energizing rays from the Sun, there could be no possible motion.

The Solar fluid is the Ether, which holds in the solution every possible form of matter. This ether in a state of high vibration is the breath of life, in its lower vibration it is inorganic form, or matter.

All form is then a vibratory activity.

Chapter 1


At birth you received a certain vibration consisting of the combination of ethereal vibrations existing at the moment. This vibration was impressed upon you very much as a note from an orchestra may be transmitted by the stylus of a phonograph to the sensitive wax receiver with every single note and every shade of tone intact.

Thus the time of birth determined the nature and intensity of the vibrations which are apparent in your mental, moral, spiritual, and physical characteristics, and these in turn indicate the character, environment, and opportunities which will come to you.

This does not mean that you are to flounder in a morass of destructive fatalism. On the contrary, it is simply indicative of the opportunities which will be presented or the temptations which will come; there is no denial of the self-determination or free will. You may use the characteristics given to you at birth, or change them as you will.

The particular nature of the vibrations which you receive at birth are but the tools of the workman, and the one who becomes the "ruler of his stars" is the one who does not complain because he was given a violin rather than a harp, for each piece is necessary in the grand symphony of life.

But because there is that within you by which you may transcend environment and heredity, is this any reason for withholding from you the nature of the implements upon which you must depend? Would you rather have the most complete information possible concerning the tools with which you must carve out the destiny which is yours? Will the one who knows nothing of the dangers and pitfalls which lie before him have a better opportunity than the one who has a map with each of these dangers carefully charted?

It requires superior wisdom to be the custodian of wisdom, and your ability to obtain is conditioned upon your ability to attain. Fear becomes the parent of superstition, the insurmountable barrier to realization.

When the Sun is in major aspect with any planet, the individual nature and quality of such planet is conjoined with the terrestrial magnetism, hence the Zodiac, the space in which the various planets move, holds in solution every element of which your body is composed.

The Sun is the distributor of all life; it therefore contains the essence of which all the planets are composed, each of which expresses one of the factors evolved from the cosmic system.

As the vibrations from the Sun reach the planets, each one appropriates and embodies one dominant ray, and while the particular ray which is differentiated by each planet is again sent out to all of the signs of the Zodiac, it is focused in the particular sign over which the planet rules.

Then each planet acts as a reflector for one of the seven dominant rays of the Sun. After their cycle of differentiation and accomplishment has been completed, they are again gathered up and united in the one great white light.

The Sun is the creative center, it contains the primal germ of mind, it is the unmanifest, during time inconceivable this unmanifest has been manifesting, and that which has become manifest is the planetary system of Divine Creation.

The Sun, therefore, contains within itself the essence of all the planets and they themselves are but the medium through which and by which the forces of the Sun are differentiated.

Manifestation in the objective proceeds through the operation of the principles of construction and differentiation. Life is the process by which the ethereal substance, which scintillates from the center of the molecule, manifests on form.

The vibrations received from the Sun represent the principle of immortality. They are pure Being or life Itself.

The vibrations received from the Moon represent the mortal or all that comprise the personality, all that is mortal; thus the vibrations from the Sun and Moon manifest as Spirit and Matter, Soul, and Body.

The vibrations from Mercury manifest as the intellect or mind; from Venus as love and emotion; from Mars as energy and force; from Jupiter as sympathy and devotion; from Saturn as perseverance and tenacity; from Uranus as renewal and change; from Neptune as religion and mysticism; and from the Earth as materialism and disintegration.

The ancients knew the Moon as Isis. the Queen of Heaven. It represents the mother of the female principle of life and is essentially feminine. It may be termed the giver of form.

The influence of the Moon upon tides, planting, and upon all unborn life has been known to the world for countless ages. Its peculiar influence upon women is well known, yet seldom connected with the fact. And physicians are beginning to realize that most diseases have certain cycles of periodicity which may be directly attributed to the Moon's motion. That fact was familiar to the wise men of all past ages.

Its rapid transit through the heavens brings to a focus the many aspects—good and bad—found in every person, dormant perhaps until an angle is formed which sets in motion vibrations beyond human control. Thus we have the sudden accidents, the flare of ungoverned temper, and likewise the never-to-be forgotten moments of ecstasy.

The rays of the Sun are differentiated through the spleen. The altered conditions of the Sun's rays become vitality; it is a force downward. In the same way the mind is an elemental essence which is pouring down into manifestation, and as it passes through our brain, we specialize or educate it, molding it by our will into the thought-forms which constitute thought and lead finally to action.

Every body attracts every other body in proportion to its mass, and inversely in accordance with the distance. For this reason the Sun has a greater influence upon Mercury than upon Mars, more influence upon Venus than upon the Earth, more upon Mars than upon Jupiter, and more upon Saturn than upon Uranus.

To meet this situation, the planets which lie nearer the Sun must revolve more rapidly. We therefore find Mercury moving in its orbit at the rate of thirty-five miles per second, the Earth eighteen miles per second, Mars at fourteen miles per second. Jupiter at eight miles. Uranus at four, and Neptune at three.

Light, heat, sound, color, power, electricity, vegetation, health, sickness, all physical phenomena, the tides, wireless, and the radio are but manifestations of vibration and the various planets are immense masses of metal, gases, and chemicals which cause vibrations to which we respond, in much the same way as the loop aerial of the radio picks up the various stations.

As these planets change their relative position from time to time, the ratio of their vibrations changes, and certain vibrations grow stronger while others decrease.

For this reason, with the first breath that you took, every fiber on your being became impregnated with magnetic influences, and that personality is stamped upon you indelibly for all time, subtle vibrations always manifesting in exact accordance with the location of the various planets and the consequent vibrations existing in the ether at the moment of birth.

Thus it is that the scientist, knowing the exact hour of birth, the location, and the date, is able to calculate with an amount of accuracy limited only by his personal knowledge and experience, the exact positions of the planets and give a judgment therefrom.

As all change is the result of motion, there are three movements to be considered.

First, the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. This is completed in one year.

Second, the revolution of the Moon around the Earth. This is completed in one month.

Third, the rotation of the Earth upon its axis. This is completed in one day.

The cycle of the revolution of the Earth around the Sun is its Zodiac. In this cycle then are four seasons as the Earth enters the four Cardinal Signs: Aries about March 21st. Cancer about June 21st, Libra about September 21st, and Capricorn about December 21st.

The four points of sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight are positions of marked change, because they indicate when one influence, or combination of influences, ends and another begins.

Day begins at sunrise, so that the sign or constellation which is on the ascendant or first zone at the commencement of your life, has within it all of the possibilities which can be subsequently manifested, just as the future course of a stone is determined by the amount of energy imparted to it by the hand when it is thrown into the air.

The next critical point is noon. Here the sun has attained its highest position, the energy which began at the sunrise has reached its culmination. This position at birth represents power, achievement, authority, dignity, elevation, publicity, fame, and honor.

The third division is sunset, which represents the polar opposite of sunrise. These two points are a pair of balanced opposites and represent similar conditions.

The fourth point is midnight. It represents seclusion, rest, the time when the psychic and astral influences are strongest.

Astronomically, the mass of the Sun is stated as about 700 times that of all its planets put together.

The Zodiac with all its infinite possibilities is the path of the Sun as seen from our earth; and the planets are specialized centers of that energy of which the Sun is the source and fountain head.

The Solar fluid is the ethereal atmosphere, or the ether, and is limited to the solar system; it is the medium for the transmissions of the potencies distributed by the various planets, and holds in solution the basic elements of all life and thought.

This ether is the only possible fluid which is sufficiently subtle to carry the delicate vibrations which are constantly being broadcasted over the radio, and which penetrate iron, wood, steel, and every other barrier, and which are not limited by either time or space.

Thus, we find that not only the Sun, but Venus, Mars, Saturn, the Moon, and all of the other planets radiate their own peculiar characteristics. This influence in turn is reflected in the character of those who come under the influence of these vibrations.

As the nature of the energy that the Sun radiates is in accordance with its intrinsic nature, so the nature of vibrations sent out by the planets are in accordance with their intrinsic natures.

Venus has long been regarded as the God of Love, consequently the characteristics of those coming under her influence are affectionate, sympathetic, refined, and contented. Mars has long been known as the God of War, and his influence is therefore courageous, venturesome, aggressive, and fearless; the influence of the Moon is reflective, receptive, and productive; of Mercury, intellectual, accomplished, skillful, and clever; of Jupiter, generous, philanthropic, moral, charitable, and sincere; of Saturn, prudent, cautious, patient, and reserved; of Uranus, original, ingenious, talented, and intuitive: of Neptune, idealistic, mystical, inspirational, and peculiar.

Each planet has its own rate of vibrations and its influence upon the earth depends upon the angle which it forms, certain angles causing the vibrations to be accelerated or diminished, magnified or retarded.

These angles of planetary influence have been found to produce effects just as certain and definite as the various angles in chemistry.

Thus the seven planets give the seven rays or vibrations or tunes, and the earth is the organ upon which these notes are played, and the harmony or inharmony resulting therefrom is the influence that we call good or evil, as the effect is pleasing or the reverse.

There are seven nerve plexi located at intervals along the spinal cord. The plexi correspond and act as service stations for the Seven Norms. They are:

sacral               —    Saturn
prostatic            —    Jupiter
epigastric or solar  —    Mars
cardiac              —    Sun
pharyngeal           —    Venus
laryngeal            —    Mercury
cavernous            —    Moon

These are the media for the diffusion of the astral essences, from which they are transmitted by the sympathetic nervous system to the various cells of the body for transmutation and assimilation.

A celestial impingement, therefore, never fails to express itself in the mental and physical plane of the ego.

The solar orb is the principle of life. It radiates pure being only. It is therefore Unity. Unity proceeds to diversity by a definite geometrical process.

As the planets revolve around the Sun, they radiate magnetism, the kind and character depending upon the nature of the planet. This magnetism in turn produces chemical and spiritual changes in accordance with the various combinations that are formed as the planets move in their accustomed orbits in the Zodiac.

The combination of zinc and copper does not create electricity, they only bring to a point of individualism that which exists everywhere. Likewise the planets are merely gigantic batteries moving in space.

Therefore, when Jupiter, which represents the principle of tin, comes into aspect with Venus, which represents the principle of copper, the vibrations which are produced in the celestial magnetism will be in accordance with the polarities which these planets possess at the time of such combination; or when Saturn, which represents the principle of lead and is therefore cold and negative, comes into a correlative aspect with the Sun, which represents the principle of Gold and is, therefore, dynamic and hot, there will be a vast disturbance in the vibratory influence and this inharmony will affect the life force of all who come under the influence of either of these heavenly bodies.

All impulses which manifest, and many more which do not manifest, through the senses find their original stimulus and direction in planetary vibrations. Life as we know it, originates, exists, and manifests through vibrations.

As the planets transit along their orbits through the Zodiac they form vibratory aspects to which we respond, each person responding according to his ability.

The planetary vibrations of varying character are continually exerting influence of which we may be entirely unconscious.

We find planetary action giving direction to metabolism, expanding, contracting, and otherwise changing the quality of bodily feelings which induce attitudes of mindthe attitude determining the course or character of our acts, which in turn make up our environment.

It must be remembered that we are not conscious of all our bodily reactions to stimuli; nor is every stimulus transformed into conscious thought. In fact, most of our bodily reactions are performed unconsciously.

There is a direct relation between the mind and matter. The higher branches of thought have their origin in the higher organs of the brain, and these are allied to the planets farthest from the Sun; while the lower branches of thought, as of facts and things, domestic affairs, money matters, etc., have their origin in the base of the brain and these are allied to the planets nearest the Sun.

For the nearer the Sun we get, the more active the planets are, and those persons who are influenced by them are correspondingly more active.

Whether we deal with Venus as a celestial body or as the unifying principle of Love, of Saturn as the essence of form or the sponsor of fear, of Mars as the element of energy or as the dynamic principle of courage, we must recognize the identity of specific conditions and grasp the comprehensive statement that the Universal Mind, though synthetic in essence, is manifested in infinite and complex form.


by Charles F. Haanel

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Charles F. Haanel Biography