Forum August

The Secret of a Friend - Magnetism (1)

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Healing Papers - Mental Purification

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There is no great difference between magnetism and an electrical current. Scientists have never been able to give an answer to the question of what electricity really is; but we can say that to a certain extent electricity is magnetism and magnetism is electricity. Power of attraction is magnetism, power that gives force and energy is electricity; it is essentially the same power. But interesting as the subject of magnetism is from a scientific point of view, as interesting, or even more so, is it from a mystical point of view.

An Element Attracts Its Like

A magnet and something which is attracted to the magnet have a relationship. The magnet represents the essence, part of which is held by the object which is attracted. Very often we do not find a trace of that essence in the object that the magnet attracts, but at the same time the essence is there, and that is the logical reason why it is attracted. The ancients used to recognize that the relationship between two persons of the same blood was influenced by that magnetism, and a deep study of this fact will certainly prove that there are relations.

An incident that occurred lately is an example of this. A man from Stockholm was visiting London, where he thought he had no relations or, if any, they dated from perhaps a century ago. In the street one day someone called him by name. When he turned around, the man who had called him excused himself, saying, ‘I am sorry, I have made a mistake.’ But he asked: ‘How did you know my name? The name you said is mine!’ And when they spoke together they found that they were cousins, although very distant ones.

The more attention we give to this subject, the more proof we can find of one element being drawn to its similar element.

Sa'adi says, ‘Element attracts element, as a dove is attracted to a dove and an eagle is attracted to an eagle.’

But do we not find the same thing in life every day? A gambler when he goes to another country, we do not know how, attracts another gambler very soon. And it is not only that when two persons of a similar element meet they are attracted to one another, but even conditions, life itself, brings about their meeting; life itself draws them together. And therefore, it is natural that a person who is very sad attracts a miserable one to join him; the one with joy, with happiness, naturally attracts happiness. And in this way magnetism is working through the whole of creation; and in all aspects, you will see the phenomena of magnetism, in the physical world as well as in the mental spheres.

An Element Attracts Its Opposite

Of course, we cannot say that an element always attracts the same element, for the element also attracts what it lacks, what is opposite to it. When we think of friendship, we see that with some we feel inclined to be friends and from others we feel inclined to keep away. And the most interesting part is that those whom we feel disinclined to be friends with, have also some who are drawn towards them in friendship. This leads us to the truth which lies in musical harmony: how two notes have a relation to one another and their combination brings about a harmony.

Use of Magnetism

Now coming to the question of the practical use of magnetism, whether you are in business or in industry, whether you are in domestic or in political work, in whatever situation, you will always find that magnetism is the secret of your progress in life.

As to qualifications, to which we give such great importance, you will find that numberless people who are most highly qualified do not make their way through life because of lack of magnetism. Very often there may be a highly qualified human being, but before he speaks of his qualification the person to whom he has gone has already had enough of him.

Personality takes such an important place in life that even the absence of qualifications is tolerated when the personality has magnetism. In these times, when materialism is so much on the increase that personality is given much less importance in society, and when heroism has no place in life, magnetism works automatically and proves to be the most essential thing even now, and it will always prove so.

But people generally do not go deeply into the subject of magnetism and only recognize personal magnetism by the attraction that they feel.

When we consider personal magnetism, we may divide it into four different classes.

Physical Magnetism

One kind, the ordinary kind of magnetism, is concerned with the physical plane; and this magnetism has to do with nourishment, with hygiene, with regular living, with right breathing and the regulation of activity and repose. This magnetism also depends on the age, like the ascending and descending notes in an octave. It may be likened to the season of spring, which comes and goes; and at the same time this magnetism is dependent upon everything belonging to the physical world, since it is a physical magnetism.

Mental Magnetism

Then there is the magnetism which may be called mental. A person with a sparkling intelligence naturally becomes the centre of his society. The person who has wit and a keen perception, who can express himself well, who understands quickly, that is the person who always attracts others around him and is liked by everyone.

The person who has knowledge of human nature, who knows about things and conditions, naturally draws people towards him. If there is any qualification it is this; and without this qualification no other qualification can be of very great use.

But a human being who is born with this sparkling kind of intelligence, it is he who becomes a genius, it is he who accomplishes things, and it is he who helps others to accomplish something, for on his mind others depend.

It is this person who can guide himself and direct others. And with all our thought of equality in which we are so much absorbed, we shall find that it is this person who will win the battle in life, and it is this person who stands above the masses, who leads, and without whom many are lost.

The question is, how can this magnetism be developed? This magnetism is developed by study, by concentration, by a keen observation of life, and by the knowledge of repose. Very many intelligent persons, because they do not know how to concentrate and how to take repose in their lives, in time blunt their intelligence; because there is a certain fund of energy which is preserved and which is limited, and when there is too much pressure put upon that limited energy in the end, what happens? A person becomes less and less intelligent, and his power of mind diminishes every day. Whenever you find a very intelligent human being becoming duller every day, it always proves that the amount of energy that was there has been spent. It is, therefore, by knowing how to preserve our intellect, that this magnetism remains in a right condition.

What generally happens is that great responsibility falls on the intelligent person. Much more is asked of him than of others who lack intelligence. If he does not give his mind a rest by knowing how to repose, and if he does not concentrate and thus sharpen his intellect naturally - just like a knife which is continually used, it will become blunted naturally - the continual use of intellect will make him short of words.

The secret of a friend we should keep as our own secret;

the fault of a friend we should hide as our own fault.


Hazrat Inayat Khan: Bowl of Saki

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