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Volume XI - Philosophy, Psychology and Mysticism

Part II: Psychology

Chapter X

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 right formation is 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. 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.

checked 03-Sep-2006