The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date





















































Magnetism (1)

Magnetism (2)



Magnetism (1)

The subject of magnetism as interesting as it is from a scientific point of view, so interesting, or still more interesting, it is from a mystical point of view. For in the first place a magnet and something which is attracted to the magnet have a relation. The magnet represents the essence, a part of which that object which is attracted holds. Very often one does not find the 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, because its blood relationship is an influence of that recognized by them.

In the East this blood relationship was always signified by the magnetism which exists between two persons who have the same blood. And a deeper study of this fact will certainly prove that there is an unknown attraction between two people having a blood relationship between them. An incident that occurred lately was an experience of it.

A person from Stockholm was visiting London, where he thought he had no relations, or that if there were any relations, they were perhaps a century ago. And while walking in a part of London he met someone who called him by his name. When he turned back, this person excused himself saying, "I am sorry, I have made a mistake." But this man asked, "How did you know my name? The name you said is mine." And when they spoke together they found that they were cousins, but cousins only if they studied genealogy.

We do not give much attention to this subject. But the more we give attention to it, the more proof we can find of this element which is drawn to its similar element. And Sa'adi, the great poet of Persia, says, "Element attracts element, as a dove is attracted to a dove, 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, by the help of Providence - one does not know how - attracts another gambler very soon.

A person who does not know what "thief" means, perhaps does not know of a thief; but a person who is a thief, it will not take him any time to find another thief in a country where he arrives. It is not only that when two persons of the similar element see one another 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, naturally attracts a miserable one to join together with him; the one with joy, with happiness, naturally attracts happiness. And in this way magnetism is working through the whole creation; and in all aspects you will see the phenomena of magnetism, in the physical world as well as in the mental spheres.

No doubt one cannot always say that it is an element which attracts the same element; but also the element attracts what it is lacking, what is opposite to it. And when we think of friendship, we see that with some we feel inclined to be friends and others we feel inclined to keep away from. And the most interesting part is that those whom we feel disinclined to be friends with, they have also some who are drawn towards them in friendship. This takes us to find the truth which lies in musical harmony, how two notes have a relation with one another and their combination brings about a harmony.

Now coming to the question of the practical use of magnetism, whether you are in business or in industry, whether you are in domestic work or in the political work of the State, in whatever condition, you will always find that magnetism is the secret of your progress in life; and as to qualification, to which we give such a great importance, you will find that numberless most qualified people do not make a way through life because of the lack of magnetism. Very often there may be a most qualified man, but before he speaks of his qualification the person to whom he has gone, has enough of him.

And personality takes such an important place in life that even the absence of qualification is tolerated when the personality has magnetism. Especially in these times, when materialism is on such an increase that personality is given much less importance in society and at such a time when heroism has no place in life, automatically magnetism works and proves to be the most essential thing even now, and will always prove to be so. Only when there comes the question of magnetism a person does not go deeper into the subject and he only recognizes a personal magnetism by the attraction that he feels.

But when we think of the personal magnetism, we divide it into four different classes. The one kind, the ordinary kind of magnetism, is what is concerned with the physical plane, and this magnetism has to do with nourishment, with hygiene, with regular living and with right breathing; also this magnetism depends upon the regularity of action and repose; besides, this magnetism works with the age, as the ascending and descending of notes in an octave. This magnetism may be likened to the season of spring, which comes and which goes; and at the same time this magnetism is dependent upon all things of this physical world, since this is a physical magnetism.

Now we come to the magnetism which is called mental. Naturally a person with a sparkling intelligence becomes the center of his society. The man who perceives well, who conceives well, it is that man who is liked by everyone. The person who has wit, who can express freely, who can understand quickly, that is the person who always attracts others around him. The person who has knowledge of human nature, who knows of things and conditions, it is that person who naturally draws people towards him. And in reality this is qualification, if there is any qualification; and without this qualification no other qualification can be of very great use.

But this sparkling condition of intelligence is born with a person. It is this person who becomes a genius, and it is this person who accomplishes something, if ever anyone accomplishes; and it is this person 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, and it is this person who leads, and without him many are lost.

Now coming to the question: 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 without knowing 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 reserved 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 will decrease every day. And whenever you will find a most intelligent man becoming every day more dull, that always proves that the amount of energy that has been there has been spent.

It is, therefore, when one knows how to reserve one's energies by repose, and when one knows how to concentrate and sharpen one's intellect, that this magnetism remains in a right condition. What generally happens is that it is the intelligent person on whom a great responsibility falls. Much more is asked of him than of others who lack intelligence. If he does not give a rest to his mind by knowing the manner of repose, and if he does not concentrate and by it sharpen his intellect, naturally, just like a knife which is always used, it will become blunted; naturally the continual use of intellect will make him short of funds.

Now coming to the third aspect of magnetism. Perhaps this aspect of magnetism may be called a higher kind than the two which have been explained before, for this magnetism is more profound and it touches another person more deeply. This is the magnetism of love, of sympathy, of friendliness. A person who by nature is sympathetic, a person who tolerates, who forgets, who forgives, a person who does not keep bitterness in his mind, nor malice in his mind against anyone, a person who admires beauty, who appreciates beauty, who loves it, who loves it in art, in nature, in all its forms, and who goes out to his friend and foe, to the acquaintance, to the stranger, to all, the person who can endure and who can suffer, and who has the power to have patience through all conditions of life, who feels the pain of another in his heart and who is always willing to become a friend, it is that person whose magnetism is greater than all different magnetisms that we know of.

We do not need to go far to see this. If only we look for good things in persons, we shall find this. Among our surroundings we can find many people in whom we can appreciate that quality.

One day a man, who had travelled very much, saw an Indian mystic, and he said, "We heard so much and we have read so much about the saints and sages and mahatmas and Masters that lived in India. But after having gone there I found no one;" and the mystic told him, "You need not have gone so far. The souls who are worthwhile, the souls who love one another, are to be found everywhere. What do we seek saints and sages for? They are to be found everywhere." This Indian mystic said, "I am here, away from home all this time. Do I not find them? I find them everywhere."

If we can appreciate, we can find them; but if we cannot appreciate, if an angel came, we could not find these qualities in him. Nevertheless, call him a saint or a sage, call him a prophet or a mahatma, if there is anything that draws man towards man, it is the love element that he pours out.

Now the question is how can one develop this quality? And the answer will be: by one thing. By studying, by knowing, by practicing and by living the life of a friend. By contemplating this thought from morning till evening: 'toward everyone I meet, toward those who love me and those who hate me, do I practice in my life that thought of friendliness, that outgoing, that pouring out of sympathy and love. If I do it, that is quite enough.' And besides this, apart from the magnetism that one gets from it, when we consider life as it is, with all its limitation, with all the pain and troubles and responsibilities that it gives us, if there seems to be anything worth while, it is only one thing, and that is the thought and impression that we have done our best to be gentle, to be tender to those whom we meet in our everyday life. If there is any prayer, if there is any worship, if there is any religion, it is this. For there is no one there to please; if there is anyone to be pleased and whose pleasure it is worth while to earn, it is here, it is man; and it is in the pleasure of man, if one understands it, that there is the pleasure of God.

And now we come to the fourth aspect of magnetism; and this aspect is magnetism itself. The lack of magnetism means that this aspect is hidden. And that magnetism is the soul of man. To define what the soul is, it may be said: the soul is the self of man. But which self? That self of which he does not know.

As there is a humorous Indian story that some peasants were travelling, but it was the first time in their life that they went to travel, and, being worried about one another, they thought that next morning they must count if all the peasants were there. They were very disappointed after having counted, for they counted nineteen, and it was understood that twenty peasants had left home.

And so each peasant counted and each said, "There are nineteen", and they could not find who was missing, for everyone was there. In the end they found that the one who counted forgot to count himself.

That is the condition of the soul. It sees all selves, but it does not see itself. And the day when the soul realizes itself, that day begins a new life, a new birth. It is the self-realized soul which grows, which expands. So long as the soul has not realized itself it does not develop, it does not grow. Therefore it is at the moment when the soul begins to realize itself, that man really begins to live in the world.

But it must be understood that the magnetism of the self-realized soul is greater than any magnetism one could ever imagine. It is power, it is wisdom, it is peace, it is intelligence, it is all. It is this magnetism that heals, heals bodies and heals minds; and it is this magnetism that raises those fallen into difficulties, in pains and sorrows.

  • It is this magnetism that takes out those in confusion in darkness.
  • It is by this magnetism that the illuminated souls spread out their love, attracting thereby all beings.
  • It is of this magnetism that Christ said to the fishermen, "come hither, I will make you the fishers of men."
  • It is with this magnetism that the great ones, such as Buddha, such as Moses, Muhammad, Christ, came and attracted humanity. And humanity for ages has forgotten.
  • It is that magnetism that, after their having gone to the other side, has held millions and millions of people in one bond, of brotherhood, of sympathy, of friendship.

The immense power that the soul-magnetism gives represents a divine magnetism. It is a proof of something behind the seen world.

Magnetism (2)

Magnetism can be explained as affinity, which has power of attraction, it attracts its own element. This affinity may manifest in any aspect in the world of things and beings. It is the power of this affinity which has held the whole universe together. The atoms of water held together make the sea and the atoms of earth held together form the land. So it is with each element and every being. Had it not been for this affinity, the whole universe would have broken to pieces. The stronger part attracts the weaker, and that is why God, the One and Only Power of this affinity, is considered as the Beloved because He attracts all to Himself.

Some call Him the Lover, for He loves His manifestation. But in reality this affinity itself becomes Love, Lover and Beloved, and is idealized by the wise as God, the Only Being. The subject of Love, Lover and Beloved which is most found in the Sufi literature, only reveals the above mentioned fact. That is why the Sufis have worshipped the beauty in nature, the full moon, the rising sun, the rose gardens, the fragrance of the flower and the color of the leaf, and the wine of love, youth, beauty and the Beloved. That, which the ascetics have rejected by self-renunciation, afraid of being tempted or deluded, the Sufi has embraced, recognizing all beauty, from the unseen to the seen, from spirit to matter, all names and forms are nothing but the symbol of God, and thus he worships them in all aspects, high and low, good and bad.

The reason why the magnet attracts the steel is because it has the element of steel within it, as well as more energy. If the steel had more energy, it would have attracted the magnet. Such is the case with everything. The tree attracts the rain, and in the desert there is hardly a shower. This shows that trees have in them the element of water which attracts water and the desert has not this quality.

The same is the case with a person who may attract many, and may be attracted by someone. In another case a person may become an object of attraction to some and a subject hate to others. In both these cases it should be understood that the person who has attracted many, has done so by that attribute which he possesses in a stronger degree than others, and in the other case where he is attracted he may be weaker in that aspect of energy.

In other words a singer who may win the applause of thousands may be carried away by the verse of a poet. The attraction between things and beings, as the fondness for diamond, ruby, fruit and flower, dog and cat etc., as well as the attraction of the sexes, this is all based upon the law of attraction. This explains the mystery why independence or exclusiveness has so great a power of attraction, because it represents strength. God is the center of attraction for the whole world, and its proof is no other than His independence and remoteness. Abstinence, seclusion, silence, concentration, perseverance, perfection, dignity, self-respect, modesty, thoughtfulness, gentleness, mildness, meekness, and cheerfulness, all these help personal magnetism.

The law of attraction has much to do with the principle of harmony. No matter how unattractive people may be, yet a group where they are all of the same element, they attract each other. Seeing this the Sufi attunes himself to the same key in which another person, with whom he may come in contact, may be.

Magnetism is either inherited or developed. In both cases it is energy, from which magnetism is created by balanced development. If a person has magnetism as an inborn attribute, it is a great assistance to him in his spiritual progress; if it is not innate it takes much effort to cultivate it. Yet everybody has power of magnetism to a greater or lesser degree.

There are five aspects of magnetism, which manifest through the various planes of existence.

  1. Physical magnetism which depends upon the physical system, the circulation of the blood and a balanced development of the muscles together with cleanliness of the body both internally and externally, and the refinement of movements, pose and posture. During childhood the freshness of the body together with innocence has attraction and during youth its development is attractive, during middle age the cultivation of mind has the power of attraction. But in old age, neither freshness nor development of the body remains the same, nor does the power of mind. If then there is any attraction it is only the illumination of the soul which has a great magnetic influence over man's surroundings. If this is absent, then nothing remains for him in life, and he becomes a burden both to himself and others.
  2. Mental magnetism, which depends on the power and harmony of thought. This can be obtained by being fully absorbed in beautiful and harmonious thoughts, and by suppressing all irritable tendencies, such as anger, passion, greed, attachment, jealousy and pride. The reason why an artist, poet, musician and sculptor, or a thinker proves to have a more arresting personality than a politician or a businessman is because his interest keeps his mind absorbed in the thought of beauty, love, and harmony. While several other occupations of life distract the mind from these thoughts. Just like physical culture brings new life to the body, so in the same way thought culture brightens one's personality.
  3. Magnetism of heart is a still greater and more miraculous magnetism. If the heart is tuned properly by kindness and love then magnetism itself gushes out and attracts every being coming in contact.
  4. There is a well-known story of Halim, the most eminent Sufi of the past, who became so well-known that the world began to revere him for his generosity and love. Once the King of Persia became jealous of him, seeing him so adored by everybody, and he promised the chief of the assassins some part of his territory if he would cut off the head of Halim and bring it to him. The assassin left this country with great pleasure expecting the reward. After many days' journey he arrived in the city where Halim lived. Halim, as was his custom, went to see if there were any stranger in the city whom he might in any way assist.

    It chanced that evening that he met the assassin, and seeing him, a stranger, he invited him to stay the night with him as his guest. He brought him to his house. The guest was quite touched with the hospitality and kindness which he received. The next day when morning broke and everybody began to go about on his daily pursuits, Halim very kindly asked his guest if he would stay with him until he had become familiar with the city, and if he could help him in any way with any matter that he wished to accomplish. The guest said, "but you are too kind to be able to help me in my purpose." Halim answered, "but you can tell me and I will try my best to at least advise you."

    The man softly whispered, "I have come here to cut off the head of Halim and take it to my king. For doing so I am promised a large portion of territory and if you will help me in this I will give you also a share." Halim answered, "O, it is very easy, I thought you had something more difficult." He entered the house and fetched his shining sword, giving it into his hand, he said, "Here is the sword and this is the head of Halim." The would-be assassin was so startled to see that such persons are really living on this earth, who are ready to sacrifice their life for others, when he, the most cruel of men, had come to take the life of such a person for a transitory reward. He knelt at the feet of Halim and broke into emotion and said, "I would rather prefer to be thy slave, than to have the territory of the king."

    Such is the magnetism of the heart. When the heart is developed with love, it wins God as well as man.

  5. Spiritual magnetism is produced in man when he, at the command of his own will, becomes absorbed in the abstract, making his senses controlled and inactive, enjoying the undertone of the universe on which all the music of the universe is based. When he views the light of God within himself the forms of this world are nothing but its shadows. Then he becomes that which he sees beyond the body, mind and heart.. Thus he rejoices in ecstasy and feels one with the whole universe, harmonious with friend and foe, tolerant to good and bad alike, innocent towards high and low. This state of ecstasy then attracts just like an electric current all who may come in contact with him either consciously or unconsciously.
  6. Divine magnetism is still greater. It does not only attract man, but both beasts and birds, Peris, Houris, Jinns and Angels. Even things are attracted by it. For the person becomes the center for all attraction. To this thorough perfection a person can only come by renunciation and annihilation of the individual self. The Sufis call this state Kutubiyat. With this are crowned the most chosen ones of God. There are five grades of annihilation and in each grade a new step on the path of perfection is taken, until one arrives at the last grade called Rasul, complete annihilation in God, the Only Being. God bless you.