The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

        (How to create a bookmark)



Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



History of the Sufis


The Sufi's Aim

The Different Stages of Spiritual Development

The Prophetic Tendency



Physical Control




Struggle and Resignation


The Difference Between Will, Wish, and Desire

The Law of Attraction

Pairs of Opposites

Resist Not Evil


The Privilege of Being Human

Our God Part and Our Man Part

Man, the Seed of God


Spiritual Circulation Through the Veins of Nature

Destiny and Free Will

Divine Impulse

The Law of Life

Manifestation, Gravitation, Assimilation, and Perfection

Karma And Reincarnation

Life in the Hereafter

The Mystical Meaning of the Resurrection

The Symbol of the Cross


The Mystery of Sleep



The Gift of Eloquence

The Power of Silence


The Ego

The Birth of the New Era

The Deeper Side of Life

Life's Mechanism

The Smiling Forehead

The Spell of Life


The Conservative Spirit


Respect and Consideration




Optimism and Pessimism


Vaccination and Inoculation



The Heart

The Heart Quality

The Tuning of the Heart (1)

The Tuning of the Heart (2)

The Soul, Its Origin and Unfoldment

The Unfoldment of the Soul

The Soul's Desire

The Awakening of the Soul (1)

The Awakening of the Soul (2)

The Awakening of the Soul (3)

The Maturity of the Soul

The Dance of the Soul



Attraction of Likes

Attraction of Opposites

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

The Law of Attraction

Attraction of Opposites

Besides the attraction of like to like there is the attraction of each to its opposite. There are the two great forces in nature, the creative force and the force that answers it, the receptive force; one can also call them the active and the passive forces, or Jalal and Jamal.

This can be understood by the law of rhythm. In every rhythm there is the stronger beat and the weaker beat. In two-four time, for instance, we count one-two, one-two, the strong beat and the beat that only has just enough force to counterbalance the other. We see the same in form, where convexity counterbalances concavity.

The representatives of these two forces in nature are the male and the female. But while in every man some qualities are male and some are female, and in every woman some of the qualities are female and some male, yet everywhere it is the strength, the creative power that rules, and it is the responsive power that is ruled. Man has the creative power, and when we observe woman we see that in all aspects of life she is responsive. Occasionally a woman may be so creative that the man becomes responsive, and this makes him her slave; but normally it is the man who has the creative power, and this makes him dominate her.

One may say that this is not just; but all the same it is man who has many more magnetic qualities who should rule, while woman who has the responsive qualities should be ruled. This is the philosophical aspect of this question; as to the moral aspect, one should realize that what is responsive needs far greater care, and that the creative power should pay much more attention to it. Until more attention is paid to a woman's life we cannot say that we are really civilized. And as to the social aspect, I have heard many complaints coming from all sides in the West; but the East too has a great deal to learn in the treatment of women.

We know that the ears are the receivers of sound; they do not create. The eyes are creative. The nose perceives the odor; it cannot create. The lips and the mouth create, and they are attracted to each other. When the ears hear a sound the eyes at once want to see what it is and from whence it comes. The nose can tell us the flavor of something much sooner and more exactly than the palate. The nose at once wants to interfere with what the mouth does. It says, 'Do not chew that any longer; I don't want it. ' Or it says, 'Do justice to that; I like it. ' We also find that when our right hand takes hold of something the left hand wants to help it; when our right foot comes forward the left foot at once wishes to join it; when we fold one arm the other arm wants to be folded too. One leg is inclined to cross the other, even in spite of the superstition which exists in India that it brings bad luck to sleep with the legs crossed. Everyone knows it, but it is most difficult for anyone to get out of this habit because it is so natural.

Often a person would rather be with his opposite than with one who is nearer his own level. When two who are nearly of equal strength meet, they do not readily harmonize. Students of breath will easily understand this. They know that there is a more active breath and a less active breath, and that when they both become equally active there is a clash. If one person is a great singer and another is teaching voice-production they can agree together; there is no competition between them. The one wants to be heard, the other does not. But if two great opera-singers come together they will rarely agree; there will be a rivalry between them.

A wise man would rather have a foolish servant than a half-wise one who will question his orders. There is a story of a servant who when he was sent to fetch the doctor went first to the undertaker. If a wise person cannot be among the wise he would rather be among the foolish than among the half-wise.

I have often seen that those with simple faith can be inspired and become illuminated, while the intellectual is always reasoning and does not advance one step. This is why scientists and mystics are hardly ever in harmony. The scientists will always say, 'If you know something, I know something too. If you are something, I am something too. '

It sometimes happens that there is repulsion between two people at first sight which later turns into a fast friendship; but it is not often so. Those who are to be friends are generally friends at first sight. In the former case there may be something which has a repellent influence, but after some time, when one has got over it and has become accustomed to it, one can bear it more easily; then one may find something interesting in the other person, and may even become friends. It is like becoming accustomed to poison.

There will always be some society, some association that we like, and some that we do not like; and always some that do not like us and some that appreciate us; for we always prefer our own element. There is nothing surprising in this and nothing to blame; it is simply the law of attraction. But the Sufi makes himself harmonious with all; he makes himself the element of all. He creates the element that is active within, and that element is love. We can learn this from the Bible which says that God is love. This is the only way in which the union of mankind, universal brotherhood, can be brought about. The differences and distinctions are external, but man is so trained from the beginning to see differences that he does not see the underlying unity.

People have said that by strong rule they would unite the world. What a mistake! What happens when we try to rule our family with a strong hand? It will never be united. It is love alone that can unite the world.

People have said, 'We are of this race, we are superior and you are inferior; our religion is superior, yours is inferior; our nation is great, yours is less.' The cause of the First World War was that the nations of Europe had all reached the same level. If one of them made a good aircraft or a good submarine another made a better still. One was strong, but the other wanted to be still stronger.