The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan
Vol. 11, Psychology
13. The Magnetism of the Soul
Vol. 11, Psychology
13. The Magnetism of the Soul
The soul has the greatest magnetism compared with the power of mind and the physical magnetism. The word soul is so little understood that it is difficult for most people to perceive and to distinguish soul qualities. There are, however, soul qualities, distinct and different from the qualities of mind and body. They are greater than what one calls virtue, and they can attract more than any other quality. One might call them angelic qualities, but since we have to do with human beings and we have little to do with angels, it is better to call them soul qualities.
The principal soul quality is innocence. There is a great difference between innocence and ignorance. The ignorant one does not know; the innocent one both knows and does not know. It is its innocence that attracts us in a child, and the magnetism that we feel in the expression of an infant has a heavenly character. The child does not know and therefore it is innocent, but when the soul has reached a point where it knows and yet is innocent, then it is divine. Very often people mistake an innocent soul for a simple soul. Indeed, that soul is simple, but not in the way people think.
When one sees generosity in someone who is poor and humility in someone who is honored, when one notices simplicity in a great soul and fineness in a strong personality, when one discerns an unassuming quality in a brave man and a desire to learn in a man who knows and understands, then one may realize that all these are qualities which belong to the soul, and they win the heart of man more than anything in the world. People are unconsciously attracted; souls without realizing it will surrender to the soul that shows its original qualities.
Every infant brings with it to the earth soul qualities, but as it grows it forgets them and learns the qualities of the earth. And when these earth qualities have matured and developed after a person has learnt the practical side of life, after he has learnt to distinguish between good and bad, between right and wrong, then if the soul unfolds itself it will begin to show the soul qualities as a sign of its unfoldment. It is not possible to keep the innocence of childhood for ever; even if one wanted to preserve it one could not do so, for life on earth sweeps it away. And as a child grows up it becomes more and more clever, and that gives it satisfaction. People will call it common sense, they will call it practicality, or whatever name they may choose; they will even call it wisdom. But the time of the soul's maturity eventually comes; and when once the soul has matured a new outlook on life arises. All the knowledge gained through experiences, through cleverness, practicality, common sense, or wisdom, drops its hard shell and remains only in the form of essence; and innocence manifests as its natural outcome. It is not that innocent people are not wise, though they may not seem wise from our point of view; those who are really innocent know the essence of wisdom while yet perhaps appearing to be simple.
No doubt a person with soul qualities is not always understood. His language is different. But at the same time it is the one with soul qualities who will penetrate and who will have power in the form of influence. When we read in the lives of the saints of the simplicity with which they talked with birds and trees and flowers, then we can understand, if we try, that it was not the condition of a simple mind that they showed; it was a mind full of wisdom only it worked in a different way. It does not take long for someone with soul quality to make friends; he can make friends with the wise, with the foolish, with the virtuous, with the sinner; for nothing can stand as a barrier between two souls. His soul will reach the soul of the other, and the deeper he is, the deeper will he penetrate into the other.
Another soul quality is harmony. It is a natural inclination of an illuminated soul to create harmony, for it is in harmony that an illuminated soul finds peace; the one who is without illumination finds his satisfaction in struggle. Fearlessness is also a soul quality. It is the light of the soul, falling on problems that trouble us, which makes us see life more clearly and which gives us the power to surmount our difficulties. Soul quality gives bravery, courage, as we see in the image of Shiva, the Lord of the Yogis, who has a snake round his neck, which means that he is not afraid of keeping the enemy he has conquered curled round him. That is bravery.
All the manners one learns in order to become refined are the natural outcome of the soul quality. Once the soul is awakened one need not learn manners; manners come of themselves. For all beautiful manners belong to the soul; they are the qualities of an illuminated soul. One tries to build a personality, but once the soul has awakened the personality is built like a magic palace. It is built without building.
In point of fact all virtues are soul qualities. But virtues are also preached from the pulpit, and a person who has learned to be good and nice and kind because the preacher has told him to may possess virtues, and yet these virtues do not belong to him. They are like something he has borrowed from somewhere, and he will have to give it back some day. But that which comes out of the heart as a natural spring is real virtue, for it will all remain, and that gives one the greatest satisfaction. It is very sad for a person to be good only because goodness has been urged upon him and he cannot escape, and so he has to be good. This kind of goodness is really worse than badness.
Soul quality also expresses itself through art, through music, through poetry. And in whatever way one may wish to give expression to the soul, the soul quality manifests in the form of love, harmony, and beauty.