Mental Purification and Healing
Hazrat Inayat Khan
▼ MENTAL PURIFICATION
The Will •
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 one 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.
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 one does 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 is an unknown attraction between two people who are blood 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’di 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, one does not 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. Of course, one 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.
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. And 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 man, but before he speaks of his qualification the person to whom he has gone has 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.
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.
Then there is the magnetism, which may be called mental. A person with a sparkling intelligence naturally becomes the center 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 likened 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 man 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 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 man 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 one’s energies by repose, and how to concentrate and sharpen one’s 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 third aspect of magnetism is perhaps a higher kind than the two, which have been described above, for this magnetism, is more profound and it affects 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 nor malice in his mind against anyone; a person who admires beauty, who loves it in art, in nature, in all its forms, and who goes out to friend and foe, to the acquaintance, 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 the other magnetism that we know of. We do not need to go far to see this. If only we look for good things in people we shall find this. Among our surroundings we can find many in whom we can appreciate this quality.
One day a man who had traveled very much saw an Indian mystic, and he said, "We have heard so much and we have read so much about the saints and sages and Mahatmas and masters who live in India, but when I went there I found no one." And the mystic told him, "You need not have gone so far. The souls who are worth while, the souls who love one another, the saints and sages, are to be found everywhere."
If we appreciate them, we can find them. But if we cannot appreciate them, even if an angel came we would not be able to 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 only. By studying, by knowing, by practicing, and by living the life of a friend. By contemplation on this thought from morning till evening: "Towards everyone I meet, towards those who love me and those who hate me, will I practice in my life that thought of friendliness, that outgoing, that pouring out of sympathy and love." Apart from the magnetism that one acquires from this, when we consider life as it is, with all its limitations, with all the pain and troubles and responsibilities that it gives us, if there seems to be anything worth while, it is one thing only, 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 in the life hereafter there is no one 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 the pleasure of God resides.
The fourth aspect of magnetism is magnetism itself. Lack of magnetism means that this aspect is hidden. This magnetism is the soul of man. To define what the soul is, it may be said that the soul is the self of man. But which self? That self of which he does not know. There is a humorous Indian story about some peasants who were traveling, but it was the first time in their life that they had done so. Therefore, being worried about each other, they decided the next morning to count if all the peasants were still there. They were very upset 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 all those who had counted had forgotten to count themselves.
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 a new life begins 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 a 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 minds. It raises those who had fallen into difficulties, in pain and sorrows. It brings others out of their confusion, their darkness. It is by this magnetism that the illuminated souls spread out their love, thereby attracting all beings. It is of this magnetism that Christ said to the fishermen, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." It is with this magnetism that the great ones, such as Buddha, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, came and attracted humanity. And humanity during the ages has not forgotten. It is their magnetism, which, after their having left this earth, has held millions and millions of people in one bond of brotherhood, sympathy, and friendship. The immense power that the soul-magnetism gives shows that it is divine magnetism. It is a proof of something behind the seen world.