Lesson 1: Magnetism
One of the aspects of personal magnetism is physical magnetism, which has three kinds of attraction. One kind comes because the mechanism of the body is working properly, regularly, when the circulation of the blood is right and when proper care is taken of the body; the next depends on the attractiveness of the form and features with which a person is born; and the third is caused by harmonious movement. The person who lacks any of these three things will naturally lack magnetism. As there is the blossoming of the trees, so there is the time in a person's life when he blossoms, a time which is called youth, when this magnetism expresses itself in its fullness. It comes as a season and it goes as a season.
The second aspect of magnetism is the magnetism of mind. A person of thought and wit, one who is quick to grasp something and apt in expressing his ideas to others, naturally has magnetic power.This magnetism of thought can also be divided into three kinds. One is thoughtfulness. A thoughtful person may not perhaps speak one word, nor do anything, but the very fact that he is thoughtful will attract others to him. The next way in which the magnetism of mind manifests is in the form of speech, of wit, of expression. Those who are in the presence of a man who has a living mind are immediately won by his magnetism. And the third kind of magnetism of the mind is the power of perception and conception. There are people to whom we at once feel attracted, to whom we feel close, who understand us and what we say and what we mean. Such a person need not speak or explain anything in order to show his magnetic power. He may sit before us and listen to us, and while we are talking to him we feel at one with him.
The third aspect of magnetism is the magnetism of heart. It is more powerful than the magnetism of mind, for the latter touches the surface whereas the magnetism of heart touches the depths of a person. The heart can be best described as a glowing fire if it is living, but when it is dead it is like frozen snow. Magnetism of heart needs no expression, for a person with a loving heart is indubitably magnetic. Therefore no one should profess to love, for love speaks for itself; it needs no words. Thefire does not cry out, "I am burning!" The heat of the glow is felt without words.
The magnetism of the heart can also be divided into three kinds. One is the heart that receives love. It has the magnetism of the moon; the cooling effect of the moon is seen in the beloved soul. Then there is the heart that loves, and this has a more powerful magnetism, a magnetism which can be likened to the sun, which is powerful and which shines. And the third kind of love is greater, finer, and more subtle than the two mentioned above: it is developed when the love becomes a continually springing fountain, which rises as a stream and falls as many drops. It is the love of souls who cannot help but love, the love of souls who only know love, not hate; the love of souls who are no longer the possessors of love but who have become love itself. Their magnetism spreads in a wider horizon and lasts longer than one could ever imagine.
The fourth and highest aspect of magnetism is the magnetism of the soul. The soul that is born again, the soul that has begun to live, the soul that has opened its eyes to the world, that soul not only attracts the wise and the virtuous, but also those who are devoid of wisdom and who lack virtue. The presence of souls who have awakened is itself a magnetism; it draws people walking on the earth and it draws souls that are not seen on the earth. It not only draws the living beings, the
lower creation, but also the trees and plants are drawn to it. The atmosphere that an awakened soul produces lives for centuries in this world, unbroken and unpolluted. The sky takes care of it and preserves it for generations, in order to experience and enjoy this atmosphere produced by the illuminated souls. And the third way in which the illuminated soul shows its magnetism is in words and acts, so that every word becomes dynamic, in Biblical terms a tongue of flame; and everything this soul gives to the world remains; it lives and never dies.
Lesson 2: Physical Magnetism
There is not much difference between magnetism and vibration, but at the same time we use the word vibration for that which we can feel in some form or other, which we can perceive, which is more intelligible; whereas we are not always conscious of magnetism and it is not always intelligible although it has an effect on us. Sometimes magnetism may work for a long, long time before we are even conscious of it. Nevertheless, these are one and the same thing; in the aspect where it is intelligible we call it vibration because we feel the movement, whereas in the aspect of magnetism we may not feel it until its effect manifests to our view.
It is not always that one is attracted or feels repulsion on meeting a person, though it may happen that one is attracted or repulsed by merely seeing a person. Attraction or repulsion is something which takes place in less than a moment. The finer a man is the more he is awakened to this sense of attraction or repulsion, and as soon as he casts his glance over a person he either feels attracted or repelled. The only difference is that the wise see all and rise above it, whereas people of little sense react instantly. Nevertheless, every person gives an impression in an instant which calls out either attraction or repulsion.
Treating this subject from a physical point of view only, the first important thing which works automatically on another person is form and feature. The reason is that every individual is partly, even if not wholly, responsible for his form and features. Form and features do not represent only a family resemblance, but they tell us something about the person’s mentality, his attitude of mind, his outlook on life, his condition. The first principle in regard to feature and form, besides the right formation, is the right proportion. Upon this depend attraction and repulsion. No doubt everyone sees it differently, because the sense of proportion is different in everyone, and therefore the impression is also different. And when we look at it from the artistic point of view, we find that there is a sense which is more developed in some and less in others, a sense which is awakened and which is touched by line and color.
The next aspect of physical magnetism can be seen in the regularity of the working of the physical body, in the rhythm of the heart and the pulse and in the circulation of the blood; also in the purity of the body, within and without. This magnetism is sustained by a regular life, by taking care of one's health and vigor, and by maintaining a regular rhythm of life. A man, absorbed as he is in his daily affairs, often neglects his body which is a vehicle to express the spiritual ideal. His neglect is sometimes due to his absorption in his daily work, sometimes to thoughtlessness, and sometimes because he does not trouble to think about it.
Another aspect of physical magnetism can be observed in the movements. By this is not meant dancing movements, but movements in ordinary life: walking, sitting, eating, drinking. Every moment one shows the bent of one’s mind with every turn one takes. We can see from a man's movements what his weakness is and what his strength is; his movements can tell us of his
wretchedness and of his joy. A person with awkward movements will always have an awkward mentality, a person with crude movements will naturally be coarse. This does not mean that one should develop artificial movements in one's everyday life in order to make one's movements more beautiful and appealing; that would be still worse, Nothing that is artificial has any power; that which attracts is an innocent movement. It manifests naturally; one cannot help moving in a certain way. Control over one’s actions, over one’s movements, gives a person magnetism; and the one who moves automatically loses that magnetism, whereas the one who gains control over his movements develops a power of magnetism which manifests in different forms. Is it not clear that a person who walks stamping on the floor with his feet has something hard in his mentality? A person may show his animal tendencies in the way he eats; also the way he sits, the way he looks, the way he speaks, and the way he acts in every capacity of life, are expressive of the condition of his mind.
Many do not observe all this, and yet they are affected by it just the same. Either they are attracted to someone or they are repulsed by him without his having said one word. Very often a person goes to look for work in an office, in a shop or elsewhere, and the man who appoints him, before he asks him any question has gained a first impression of him without even knowing it himself; and it is this impression which directs the whole conversation that he has with that person. He may ask him a hundred questions or only two questions, but they are dictated by the first impression he received in one instant. Naturally an ordinary person is not awakened to the higher aspects of magnetism, but everyone in a greater or lesser degree possesses a sense to feel and to be affected by physical magnetism.
Lesson 3: The Magnetism Of The Mind
In many cases the magnetism of the mind proves to be more powerful than physical magnetism. It can be divided into five aspects.
The man who has a keen perception can win the hearts of both the foolish and the wise, because he understands them both. The wise man looks for someone who will understand his wisdom, but the foolish man is also longing to meet someone who will listen to his story and who will understand him. For the foolish person is always rejected; everybody gets tired of listening to his stories and tries to avoid him. The wise man, with his rare thoughts of wisdom, is always disappointed in people, and when he meets someone who can perceive his ideas this gives him a joy beyond words. It is because of this that a perceptive faculty in a person makes him loved by all.
The next aspect of mind is creative. It may manifest in the form of an invention or in a work of art; it may manifest in the form of composing music, writing poetry, and in many other forms. This aspect shows a most wonderful quality of God, namely creation. The creative genius has always the sword of victory in his hand, and all he does will bring him success and give his personality that magnetism which attracts everyone who understands his merit.
The third aspect of the mind is reasoning, judging. The man who has the faculty of reasoning and of justice is sought by everyone. He is the one to depend upon and to accept advice from. This faculty will show in all he says and does, and it will win for him many who are attracted by it.
The fourth aspect of the mind is memory. A man who can remember verses, songs, words, or ideas collects knowledge within himself. It is he who may be called learned, who has within him a storehouse of all he has studied, experienced and seen, and this gives him a magnetic influence which attracts those who value learning.
Sometimes people, wishing to improve a weak memory, attempt to memorize more and more, but
[. . . text missing; suggest: "it is not through artificial exercise of the memory"] faculty that the faculty develops. Very often we remember things which are useless. There are many things which it is not necessary to remember, and in trying to do so we make our memory tired with those thoughts; consequently, it is not free to remember other, more important things. It is no longer open; it becomes limited; it closes itself with the thoughts it has in it, and this may even develop insanity. The best advice in regard to memory is to forget all the disagreeable things of the past, and only to remember the most beautiful ones.
The fifth aspect of the mind is feeling. The mind that has a touch of feeling is brilliant like a diamond. It has a liquid quality, for the warmth of feeling liquefies the crystal-like mind. A man with such a mind shows this quality in what we call wit, and also in tact. Wit is a play of delicate feelings, of humor or joy, and the thought which it forms manifests in speech or action. It has a cunning way of winning those who have subtle perception. When three or four people are sitting together, and a serious person comes and sits down among them like a rock, hard and stiff and devoid of any sense of humor, he kills even the atmosphere of the place; but when someone, even if he is a stranger, joins them and shows that he possesses the quality of wit, he wins them all in a few moments. The mentality of the witty person can be called a dancing mind, and to have a witty mind is a wonderful manifestation of nature; it is a great quality. A witty person can make words dance; his phrases can give us the joy of a symphony.
The serious manifestation of this quality is tact. It is essentially the same as wit; when wit is developed and centralized it becomes tact. Everyone can feel, think, speak, and act, but not everyone is always tactful. It takes lifelong study and practice to be tactful, and even if a person becomes tactful at the last moment of his life it is worthwhile. The magnetism of a tactful person is beyond words. Every word and movement, every action of his, will have an influence on those whom he meets, for he is not only a considerate person; he is consideration itself. It is not that all sympathetic people are always tactful. There are people who are most loving and yet tactless; the more they want to please their friends, the more they displease them. Their loving words can become stones instead of flowers. This does not mean that they have no love, that they have no sympathy; it only means that they do not possess this great wealth of mind which is tact.
There are three degrees of the rhythm of mind. There is a mind which creates slowly and perceives slowly, there is a mind which creates gently and perceives gently, and the third degree is the mind which perceives quickly and creates thoughts quickly. There is a particular phenomenon that manifests from these three rhythms of the mind, each of which has its particular influence. The three
qualities of the mind ñ slow, gentle, and quick ñ are the outcome of the three Gunas, as they are called in Sanskrit: Satva, Rajas and Tamas. There is one person to whom we may say something and he answers, "Will you give me time to think it over? May I tell you about it tomorrow?" The answer that he will give us will surely be of some worth. There is another person who has heard us say something and he says, "And then, what then?"; and then we go on speaking, and while we are saying something else he is thinking about what has struck his mind. By the time we have finished our conversation he has found a proper answer to what we said first. And there is a third man who answers us even before we have finished our sentence; far from thinking about what we have said, he has not even heard it. He has at once formed an opinion on it and promptly gives an answer. Such a man may easily make a mistake.
In conclusion we might say that there are two principal mentalities, of which one may be called a living mind and the other a dead mind. A living mind will show its life by its creative and perceptive quality. The pleasure that a man derives from a clear mind and a living mentality is a pleasure that
cannot be compared with the pleasures that belong to this earth. A brilliant intellectuality imparts the pleasure of flying in the air, it lifts one above the earth. The thinker is like a bird that flies in the air compared with the man who is like an animal that stands on its four legs; and the joy of the bird that flies in the air is beyond comparison with the pleasure of the animal that walks on the earth.
Lesson 4: Magnetism of the Heart
The living heart has the same quality as the primal being of God, and it is because of this that the heart of man is the greatest magnet there is. The primal aspect of the divine Being, as it is said in the Bible, is love; the manifestation of the same principle in its fullness is to be found in the heart of man, and thus the awakening of the heart is in fact the awakening of God. In the person whose heart is not awakened, God is not yet awakened.
There is nothing in the world that draws people closer together than sympathy. A simple answer to the question as to what attracts and what repulses, will be that sympathy attracts and that antipathy gives a feeling of repulsion. Some people have sympathy for one person and antipathy for another, but when they feel antipathy for somebody this eats up the magnetism which is created in their hearts by sympathy, and therefore they will always lack magnetism. What is created on one side is used up on the other side.
Heart quality is that which attracts not only mankind but even animals and birds. When traveling abroad we very often meet a person who does not know one word of our language, and yet we feel a silent friendship with him. He may not speak, but his heart speaks and our heart hears it. The living heart is such a phenomenon that it needs no pleading. A sympathetic person need not say, "I like you very much." Sympathy speaks for itself. The voice of the heart reaches us before a word is uttered. The voice of the heart is louder, the words that the heart speaks are clearer than the words of any language. No barrier remains when the heart draws a person, neither land nor water, for the heart is a phenomenon in itself. If there is anything in man that can be called living it is the heart, not heart in the physical sense but in the mystical sense.
There are three reasons why a person may be attracted to another: in one case the heart quality of the one is the same as that of the other with only very little difference; then they are attracted. The second reason is that the heart quality of the one is quite opposite to that of the other. And the third reason is that in the one there is a heart and in the other there is a stone.
The explanation of the first of these three rules is that like attracts like; a sympathetic person is naturally drawn towards a loving person. The explanation of the second rule is that the one has certain heart qualities and the other has other heart qualities; the qualities of the one supplement those of the other; together, therefore, they make a complete heart; that is why they are drawn together. One will often see two people of quite different qualities who are yet great friends.
And the explanation of the third rule is that what is most fine seeks for what is most dense in order to express itself. Are not souls attracted to the dense earth in order to be born as mortal beings? Are not souls living in the angelic world attracted to a human body, donning it in order to be walking under the sun? If heaven can be attracted to the earth, then a most spiritual person can be attracted to a most material one. What is fine cannot exist without what is dense, and what is dense cannot exist without what is fine; therefore two opposite poles, meeting together, form a perfect whole.
The other law is the law of repulsion. It is possible for a sympathetic person to become friends with a quite unsympathetic one, but there is often repulsion between a sympathetic person and one who is
half-sympathetic, as there is between the wise and the half-wise. They cannot get along together. The wise can get along better with the foolish than with someone who is half-wise. The latter makes life very difficult for the wise man.
Another reason for repulsion is the inharmonious grouping of the qualities of two people; in other words the qualities of the one do not blend with those of the other. Both may have lovable qualities, but they may be so different that they cannot blend, and then there comes repulsion.
The third reason for repulsion is that there is no echo of sympathy to be found in the other. Even in what we call a heartless person one expects to find an echo of one's own sympathy, but when one does not find that echo, then it is like standing before an iron wall; it is then that repulsion comes. We read in ancient legends that the saints, the illuminated souls, spoke with birds and animals. What language did they speak?, It was the language of the heart. We read in the Bible of the Twelve Apostles understanding all languages. What was it? It was the awakening of the heart. Once the heart is awakened we begin to understand another's language before a word is spoken. Birds and beasts apart, sympathy has an influence even on trees and plants. A sympathetic person creates an atmosphere which naturally attracts another; worthy or unworthy, both are drawn by sympathy.There are some who are capable of sympathy, and there are others who are not capable of it; nevertheless everyone possesses a heart. Either it is living or it is dead, and if it is living it has magnetism. The more living it is, the more magnetism it has; without magnetism the heart is dead, or one should rather say that it is not yet awakened, that it is asleep.
It is the greatest pity when the heart awakens and then goes to sleep again; this is worse than not awakening. If it is awakened and keeps awake, its magnetism becomes stronger and stronger because the power of the heart becomes greater and greater, and what it can attract is beyond words to explain. Souls who have the power of wonder-working, of performing miracles, do this through the power of the heart. And the power of the heart is the power of God. In Sufi terms an awakened heart is called Sahib-e Dil, which means master-mind. If anyone has ever heard the word within, it is he whose heart is awakened; for the Speaker speaks all the time while the heart is mostly asleep. If the heart is awakened it can hear the whisper which comes from within.
When disagreement arises between friends, when sympathy turns into antipathy, when sweet turns into bitter, and when one asks them why it is so, what do they say? "The other one does not understand." Probably they will both say the same. Very few will say, "I did not understand the other." Most people will say, "The other does not understand me." But why must there be this lack of understanding? What causes it? It is lack of sympathy. No words can ever make a person understand; it is the heart alone which can convey its full meaning to the other heart, for there are subtle waves of sympathy, there are delicate perceptions of feelings such as gratefulness, admiration, kindness, which cannot be put into words. Words are too inadequate to explain the finer feelings, it is the heart quality which can express itself fully, and again it is the heart quality which can understand fully. Would it therefore be an exaggeration to say that as long as the heart is not awakened a man is as though dead: it is after the awakening of the heart that a man begins to live.Then there is the question of how to develop this magnetism which is more powerful than all the other influences and qualities of man. The answer is that one should not try to develop the power of this magnetism; this in itself would be an error. To develop a quality in order to draw others? For that reason? It is a selfish reason, and selfishness stands in the way of magnetism. Magnetism comes from having no desire for any such powers, but allowing this quality of the heart to develop naturally; for love is the plant of God, and it needs no water to grow. It is life itself, it has power in itself to grow and to expand, if only we do not close our heart. What is necessary on the part of man is not to keep it from developing. And in cases where we find lack of sympathy in people, it is not
that their heart did not have sympathy, but only that it is closed, either intentionally or unintentionally. To say that someone is loveless is like saying that there is no water beneath a certain piece of land. There is no land which has no water in its depths, and if one has the patience to dig deep enough there is no heart that will seem to be without sympathy.
All the beauty of life manifests to the view of him whose heart is awakened. To the extent to which a heart is opened, to that extent the horizon of beauty manifests to his view. It is not only that the awakened heart draws man nearer, but a living heart also draws God closer. It is as in the story of a Persian king, to whom his Grand Vizier said, "All day long you give your time to the work of the state and at night you are occupied in devotion to God. Why is this?" The king answered, "At night I pursue God, so that during the day God will follow me!" People talk about magic; can there be greater magic than the quality of heart? The most melodious song, the most beautiful poetry, is thefine feeling of a living heart..
Lesson 5: 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 learned 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.
Excerpt from: 'Inner Life' by Hazrat Inayat Khan