Excerpts from

Mental Chemistry

by Charles F. Haanel


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Book Description
1922. Mental chemistry is the science which treats of the changes which material conditions undergo through the operations of the mind, verified by exact observation and correct thinking. As the transformations which are brought about in applied chemistry are the result of the orderly combination of materials, it follows that mental chemistry brings about results in a like manner.


Chemistry is the science which treats of the intra-atomic or the intra-molecular changes which material things undergo under various influences.

Mental is defined as “of or appertaining to the mind, including intellect, feeling, and will, or the entire rational nature.”

Science is knowledge gained and verified by exact observation and correct thinking.

Mental chemistry is, therefore, the science which treats of the changes which material conditions undergo through the operations of the mind, verified by exact observation and correct thinking.

As the transformations which are brought about in applied chemistry are the result of the orderly combination of materials, it follows that mental chemistry brings about results in a like manner.

Any conceivable number may be formed with the Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0.

Any conceivable thought may be expressed with the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Any conceivable thing can be organized with the 14 elements and always and only by the proper grouping of electrons into molecules.

When two or more molecules are grouped a new individuality is created, and this individuality which has been called into being possesses characteristics which are not possessed by either of the elements which gave it being.

Thus one atom of sodium and one of chlorine give us salt, and this combination alone can give us salt, and no other combination of elements can give us salt, and salt is something very different from either of the elements of which it is composed.

What is true in the inorganic world is likewise true in the organic--certain conscious processes will produce certain effects, and the result will invariably be the same. The same thought will always be followed by the same consequence, and no other thought will serve the purpose.

This must necessarily be true because the principle must exist independently of the organs through which they function. Light must exist--otherwise there could be no eye. Sound must exist--otherwise there could be no ear. Mind must exist--otherwise there could be no brain.

Mental action is therefore the interaction of the individual upon the Universal Mind, and as the Universal Mind is the intelligence which pervades all space and animates all living things, this mental action and reaction is the law of causation.

It is the Universal Chemist, but the principle of causation does not obtain in the individual mind but in the Universal Mind. It is not an objective faculty but a subjective process.

The individual may, however, bring the power into manifestation and as the possible combinations of thought are infinite, the results are seen in an infinite variety of conditions and experiences.

Primordial man, naked and bestial, squatting in gloomy caverns, gnawing bones, was born, lived, and died in a hostile world. His hostility and his wretchedness arose from his ignorance. His handmaidens were Hate and Fear. His sole reliance was his club. He saw in the beasts, forests, torrents, seas, clouds, and even in his fellow man, only enemies. He recognized no ties binding them one to another or to himself.

Modern man is born to comparative luxury. Love rocks his cradle and shields his youth. When he goes forth to struggle he wields a pencil, not a club. He relies upon his brain, now his brawn. He knows the physical as neither master nor equal, but as a useful servant. His fellow men and the forces of Nature are his friends--not his enemies.

These tremendous changes, from hate to love, from fear to confidence, from material strife to mental control, have been wrought by the slow dawn of Understanding. In direct proportion as he understands Cosmic Law is man’s lot enviable or the reverse.

Thought builds organic structures in animals and men. The protoplasmic cell desires the light and sends forth its impulse; this impulse gradually builds an eye. A species of deer feed in a country where the leaves grow on high branches, and the constant reaching for their favorite food builds cell by cell the neck of the giraffe. The amphibian reptiles desire to fly in the open air above the water; they develop wings and become birds.

Experiments with parasites found on plants indicate that even the lowest order of life makes use of mental chemistry. Jacques Loeb, M. D., Ph. D., a member of the Rockefeller Institute made the following experiment: “In order to obtain the material, potted rose bushes are brought into a room and placed in front of a closed window. If the plants are allowed to dry out, the aphides (parasites), previously wingless, change to winged insects. After the metamorphosis, the insects leave the plants, fly to the window and then creep upward on the glass.”

It is evident that these tiny insects found that the plants on which they had been thriving were dead, and that they could therefore secure nothing more to eat and drink from this source. The only method by which they could save themselves from starvation was to grow temporary wings and fly, which they did.

That the brain cells are directly affected by mental pictures, and that the brain cells in their turn can affect the entire being, was proven by Prof. Elmer Gates of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. Guinea pigs were kept in enclosures with certain colors dominant; dissection showed their brains to be larger in the color area than those of the same class of guinea pigs kept in other enclosures. The perspiration of men in various mental moods was analyzed, and the resultant salts experimented with. Those of a man in an angry state were of an unusual color; a small portion put on the tongue of a dog produced evidences of poisoning.

Experiments at Harvard College with students on the weighing board proved that the mind moves the blood. When the student was told to imagine that he was running a foot race, the board sank down at the foot, and when a problem in mathematics was being worked the balanced board sank down at the head.

This shows that thought not only flashes constantly between mind and mind, with an intensity and swiftness far transcending electricity, but that it also builds the structures through which it operates.

Through the conscious mind we know ourselves as individuals, and take cognizance of the world about us. The subconscious mind is the storehouse of past thoughts.

We can understand the action of the conscious and subconscious minds by observing the process by which the child learns to play the piano. He is taught how to hold his hands and strike the keys, but at first he finds it somewhat difficult to control the movement of his fingers. He must practice daily, must concentrate his thoughts upon his fingers, consciously making the right movements. These thoughts, in time, become subconscious, and the fingers are directed and controlled in the playing by the subconsciousness. In his first months, and possibly first years of practice, the pupil can perform only by keeping his conscious mind centered upon the work; but later he can play with ease and at the same time carry on a conversation with those about him, because the subconscious has become so thoroughly imbued with the idea of right movements that it can direct them without demanding the attention of the conscious mind.

The subconscious cannot take the initiative. It carried out only what is suggested by the conscious mind. But these suggestions it carries out faithfully, and it is this close relation between the conscious and subconscious which makes the conscious thinking so important.

Man’s organism is controlled by the subconscious thought; circulation, breathing, digestion, and assimilation are all activities controlled by the subconscious. The subconscious is continually getting its impulses from the conscious, and we have only to change our conscious thought to get a corresponding change in the subconscious.

We live in a fathomless sea of plastic mind substance. This substance is ever alive and active. It is sensitive to the highest degree. It takes form according to the mental demand. Thought forms the mould or matrix from which the substance expresses. Our ideal is the mould from which our future will emerge.

The Universe is alive. In order to express life there must be mind; nothing can exist without mind. Everything which exists is some manifestation of this one basic substance from which and by which all things have been created and are continually being recreated. It is man’s capacity to think that makes him a creator instead of a creature.

All things are the result of the thought process. Man has accomplished the seemingly impossible because he has refused to consider it impossible. By concentration men have made the connection between the finite and the Infinite, the limited and the Unlimited, the visible and the Invisible, the personal and the Impersonal.

Great musicians have succeeded in thrilling the world by the creation of divine rhapsodies. Great inventors have made the connection and startled the world by their wonderful creations. Great authors, great philosophers, great scientists have secured this harmony to such an extent that though their writings were created hundreds of years ago, we are just beginning to realize their truth. Love of music, love of business, love of creation caused these people to concentrate, and the ways and means of materializing their ideals slowly but surely developed.

Throughout the entire Universe the law of cause and effect is ever at work. This law is supreme; here a cause, there an effect. They can never operate independently. One is supplementary to the other. Nature at all times is endeavoring to establish a perfect equilibrium. This is the law of the Universe and is ever active. Universal harmony is the goal for which all nature strives. The entire cosmos moves under this law. The sun, the moon, the starts are all held in their respective positions because of harmony. They travel their orbits, they appear at certain times in certain places, and because of the precision of this law, astronomers are able to tell us where various stars will appear in a thousand years. The scientist bases his entire hypothesis on this law of cause and effect. nowhere is it held in dispute except in the domain of man. Here we find people speaking of luck, chance, accident, and mishap; but is any one of these possible? Is the Universe a unit? If so, and there is law and order in one part, it must extend throughout all parts. This is a scientific deduction.

Like begets like on every plane of existence, and while people believe this more or less vaguely, they refuse to give it any consideration where they are concerned. This is due to the fact that heretofore man could never realize how he set certain causes in motion which related him with his various experiences.

It is only in the past few years that a working hypothesis could be formulated to apply this law to man--the goal of the Universe is harmony. This means a perfect balance between all things.

Ether fills all interplanetary space. This more or less metaphysical substance is the elementary basis of all matter. it is upon this substance that the messages of the wireless are transmitted through space.

Thought dropped into this substance causes vibrations which in turn unite with similar vibrations and react upon the thinker. All manifestations are the result of thought--but the thinking is on different planes.

We have one plane of thought constituting the animal plane. Here are actions and interactions which animals respond to, yet men know nothing of. Then we have the conscious thought plane. Here are almost limitless planes of thought to which man may be responsive. It is strictly the nature of our thinking that determines to which plane we shall respond. On this plane, we have the thoughts of the ignorant, the wise, the poor, the wealthy, the sick, the healthy, the very poor, the very rich, and so on. The number of thought planes is infinite, but the point is that when we think on a definite plane, we are responsive to thoughts on that plane, and the effect of the reaction is apparent in our environment.

Take for example one who is thinking on the thought plane of wealth. He is inspired with an idea, and the result is success. It could not be otherwise. He is thinking on the success plane, and as like attracts like, his thoughts attract other similar thoughts, all of which contribute to his success. His receiver is attuned for success thoughts only, all other messages fail to reach his consciousness, hence, he knows nothing of them; his antennae, as it were, reach into the Universal Ether and connect with the ideas by which his plans and ambitions may be realized.

Sit right where you are, place an amplifier to your ear, and you may hear the most beautiful music, or a lecture, or the latest market reports. What does this indicate, in addition to the pleasure derived from he music or the information received from the lecture or market reports?

It indicates first that there must be some substance sufficiently refined to carry these vibrations to every part of the world. Again it indicates that this substance must be sufficiently refined to penetrate every other substance known to man. The vibrations must penetrate wood, brick, stone or steel of any kind. They must go over, through and under rivers, mountains, above the earth, under the earth, everywhere and anywhere. Again it indicates that time and space have been annihilated. The instant a piece of music is broadcasted in Pittsburgh or anywhere else, by putting the proper mechanism to your ear you can get it as clearly and distinctly as though you were in the same room. This indicates that these vibrations proceed in every direction; wherever there is an ear to hear, it may hear.

If then there is a substance so refined that it will take up the human voice, and send it in every direction so that every human being who is equipped with the proper mechanism may receive the message, is it not possible that the same substance will carry a thought just as readily and just as certainly? Most assuredly. How do we know this? By experimentation. This is the only way to be certain of anything. Try it. Make the experiment yourself.

Sit right where you are. Select a subject with which you are fairly familiar. Begin to think. The thoughts will follow each other in rapid succession. One thought will suggest another. You will soon be surprised at some of the thoughts which have made you a channel of their manifestation. You did not know that you knew so much about the subject. You did not know that you could put them into such beautiful language. You marvel at the ease and rapidity with which the thoughts arrive. Where do they come from? From the One Source of all wisdom, all power. and all understanding. You have been to the source of all knowledge, for every thought which has ever been thought is still in existence, ready and waiting for someone to attach the mechanism by which it can find expression. You can therefore think the thoughts of every sage, every artist, every financier, every captain of industry who ever existed, for thoughts never die.

Suppose your experiment is not entirely successful; try again. Few of us are proud of our first effort at anything. We did not even make a very great success in trying to walk the first time we tried. If you try again, remember that the brain is the organ of the objective mind, that it is related to the objective world by the cerebro-spinal or voluntary nervous system; that this system of nerves is connected with the objective world by certain mechanism or senses. These are the organs with which we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Now, a thought is a thing which can neither be seen, nor heard; we cannot taste it, nor can we smell it, nor can we feel it. Evidently the five senses can be of no possible value in trying to receive a thought. They must therefore be stilled, because thought is a spiritual activity and cannot reach us through any material channel. We will then relax both mentally and physically and send out an S. O. S. for help and await the result. The success of our experiment will then depend entirely upon our ability to become receptive.

Scientists like to make use of the word Ether in speaking of the substance “In which we live and move and have our behaving,” which is Omnipresent, which impenetrates everything, and which is the source of all activity. They like to use the word Ether because Ether implies something which can be measured and so far as the materialistic school of scientists is concerned, anything which cannot be measured does not exist; but who can measure an electron? And yet the electron is the basis for all material existence, so far as we know at present.

It would require 500,000,000 atoms placed side by side to measure one linear inch. A number of atoms equal to twenty-five million times the population of earth must be present in the test tube for a chemist to detect them in a chemical trace. About 125 septillions of atoms are in an inch cube of lead. And we cannot come anywhere near even seeing an atom through a microscope!

Yet the atom is as large as our solar system compared to the electrons of which it is composed. All atoms are alike in having one positive central sun of energy around which one or more negative charges of energy revolve. The number of negative electrons each atom contains determines the nature of the so-called “element” of which it is a part.

An atom of hydrogen, for instance, is supposed to have one negative electron as a satellite to its positive center. For this reason chemists accept it as a standard of atomic weight. The atomic weight of hydrogen is placed at 1.

The diameter of an electron is to the diameter of the atom as the diameter of our Earth is to the diameter of the orbit in which it moves around the sun. More specifically, it has been determined that an electron is one-eighteen-thousandth of the mass of a hydrogen atom.

It is clear therefore that matter is capable of a degree of refinement almost beyond the power of the human mind to calculate. We have not as yet been able to analyze this refinement beyond the electron, and even in getting thus far have had to supplement our physical observation of effects with imagination to cover certain gaps.

The building up of Matter from Electrons has been an involuntary process of individualizing intelligent energy.

Food, water and air are usually considered to be the three essential elements necessary to sustain life. This is very true, but there is something still more essential. Every time we breathe we not only fill our lungs with air which has been charged with magnetism by the Solar Orb, but we fill ourselves with Pranic Energy, the breath of life replete with every requirement for mind and spirit. This life giving spirit is far more necessary than air, food, or water, because a man can live for forty days without food, for three days without water, and for a few minutes without air; but he cannot live a single second without Ether. It is the one prime essential of life, and contains all the essentials of life, so that the process of breathing furnishes not only food for body building, but food for mind and spirit as well.

Mental Chemistry

by Charles F. Haanel

Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $6.95 (+ printing charge)

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Charles F. Haanel Biography