Having discussed physical and mental magnetism in the previous post of this series, Hazrat Inayat Khan now speaks of the magnetism of love, and the essence of magnetism itself.
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 traveled 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 worthwhile, 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 [i.e. perhaps, ‘in heaven’] to please; if there is anyone to be pleased and whose pleasure it is worthwhile 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 traveling, 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.
To be continued…