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
The more attention we give to this subject, the more proof
we can find of one element being drawn to its similar element.
Sadi 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 know 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 liked
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 magnetisms 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
worthwhile, 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
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
worthwhile, 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 worthwhile
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 heals 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.