This is an excerpt from the book "Mental Chemistry" by Charles Haanel, edited by Anthony R. Michalski, and is part of The Complete Master Key Course -- available through Kallisti Publishing.

We easily recognize three phases of consciousness, between each of which there are enormous differences.

1. Simple consciousness, which all animals possess in common. It is the sense of existence by which we recognize that “we are,” and “that we are where we are,” and by which we perceive the various objects and varied scenes and conditions.

2. Self consciousness, possessed by all mankind, except infants and the mentally deficient. This gives us the power of self-contemplation, i.e., the effect of the world without upon our world within. “Self contemplates self.” Amongst many other results, language has thus come into existence, each word being a symbol for a thought or an idea.

3. Cosmic consciousness, this form of consciousness is as much above self-consciousness as self-consciousness is above simple consciousness. It is as different from either as sight is different from hearing or touch. A blind man can get no true notion of color, however keen his hearing or sensitive his touch.

Neither by simple consciousness nor by self consciousness can one get any notion of cosmic consciousness. It is not like either of them any more than sight is like hearing. A deaf man can never learn of the value of music by means of his senses of sight or of touch.

Cosmic consciousness is all forms of consciousness. It over-rides time and space, for apart from the body and the world of matter, these do not exist.

The immutable law of consciousness is that in the degree that the consciousness is developed, so is the development of power in the subjective and its consequent manifestation in the objective.

Cosmic consciousness is the result of the creation of the necessary conditions, so that the Universal Mind may function in the direction desired. All vibrations in harmony with the Ego’s well-being are caught and used.

When the truth is directly apprehended, or becomes a part of consciousness, without the usual process of reasoning or observation, it is intuition. By intuition, the mind instantly perceives the agreement or the disagreement between two ideas. The Ego always so recognizes truth.

By intuition the mind transforms knowledge into wisdom, experience into success, and takes into the world within the things that have been waiting for us in the world without. Intuition, then, is another phase of the Universal Mind that presents truth as facts of consciousness.

Author's Bio: 

Charles F. Haanel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 22, 1866. He received many degrees, including hon. Ph.D., College National Electronic Institute; Metaphysics, Psy. D., College of Divine Metaphysics; and M.D., Universal College of Dupleix, India. He is the ex-President of the Continental Commercial Company and the ex-President of the Sacramento Valley Improvement Company.

He is the author of works on philosophy, psychology, causation, science of living, personality, and science of mind, synthesized in The Master Key System, a system of philosophy for application to the affairs of everyday life.

Mr. Haanel was affiliated with many groups, including Fellow London College of Psychotherapy; member Authors’ League of America; American Society of Psychical Research; member of the Society of Rosicrucians; the American Suggestive Therapeutical Association; Science League of America; Pi Gamma Mu Fraternity; Master Mason, Keystone Lodge No. 243, A.F. & A.M.; created a Noble in Moolah Temple.

Mr. Haanel died on November 27, 1949 at the age of 83. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis.