The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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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



1,1: Magnetism

1,4: Insight

1,5: Spirit

1,6: Purity

2,1: Breath

2,2: the Spirit In the Flesh



1: Magnetism

2: Physical Magnetism

3: The Magnetism Of The Mind

4: Magnetism of the Heart

5: The Magnetism of the Soul

6: Mental Purification

7: The Magnetism of Beings and Objects

8: Personal Magnetism, Part I

9: Personal Magnetism, Part II

10: Our God Part And Our Human Part

Magnetism, by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Magnetism of the Spirit by Pir Vilayat

The Healing Papers

1,1: Magnetism

4: Magnetism of the Heart

The living heart has the same quality as the primal being of God, and it is because of this that the heart of man is the greatest magnet there is. The primal aspect of the divine Being, as it is said in the Bible, is love; the manifestation of the same principle in its fullness is to be found in the heart of man, and thus the awakening of the heart is in fact the awakening of God. In the person whose heart is not awakened, God is not yet awakened.

There is nothing in the world that draws people closer together than sympathy. A simple answer to the question as to what attracts and what repulses, will be that sympathy attracts and that antipathy gives a feeling of repulsion. Some people have sympathy for one person and antipathy for another, but when they feel antipathy for somebody this eats up the magnetism which is created in their hearts by sympathy, and therefore they will always lack magnetism. What is created on one side is used up on the other side.

Heart quality is that which attracts not only mankind but even animals and birds. When traveling abroad we very often meet a person who does not know one word of our language, and yet we feel a silent friendship with him. He may not speak, but his heart speaks and our heart hears it. The living heart is such a phenomenon that it needs no pleading. A sympathetic person need not say, "I like you very much." Sympathy speaks for itself. The voice of the heart reaches us before a word is uttered. The voice of the heart is louder, the words that the heart speaks are clearer than the words of any language. No barrier remains when the heart draws a person, neither land nor water, for the heart is a phenomenon in itself. If there is anything in man that can be called living it is the heart, not heart in the physical sense but in the mystical sense.

There are three reasons why a person may be attracted to another:

  1. in one case the heart quality of the one is the same as that of the other with only very little difference; then they are attracted.
  2. The second reason is that the heart quality of the one is quite opposite to that of the other.
  3. And the third reason is that in the one there is a heart and in the other there is a stone.

The explanation

  1. of the first of these three rules is that like attracts like; a sympathetic person is naturally drawn towards a loving person.
  2. The explanation of the second rule is that the one has certain heart qualities and the other has other heart qualities; the qualities of the one supplement those of the other; together, therefore, they make a complete heart; that is why they are drawn together. One will often see two people of quite different qualities who are yet great friends.
  3. And the explanation of the third rule is that what is most fine seeks for what is most dense in order to express itself. Are not souls attracted to the dense earth in order to be born as mortal beings? Are not souls living in the angelic world attracted to a human body, donning it in order to be walking under the sun? If heaven can be attracted to the earth, then a most spiritual person can be attracted to a most material one. What is fine cannot exist without what is dense, and what is dense cannot exist without what is fine; therefore two opposite poles, meeting together, form a perfect whole.

The other law is the law of repulsion.

  1. It is possible for a sympathetic person to become friends with a quite unsympathetic one, but there is often repulsion between a sympathetic person and one who is half-sympathetic, as there is between the wise and the half-wise. They cannot get along together. The wise can get along better with the foolish than with someone who is half-wise. The latter makes life very difficult for the wise man.
  2. Another reason for repulsion is the inharmonious grouping of the qualities of two people; in other words the qualities of the one do not blend with those of the other. Both may have lovable qualities, but they may be so different that they cannot blend, and then there comes repulsion.
  3. The third reason for repulsion is that there is no echo of sympathy to be found in the other. Even in what we call a heartless person one expects to find an echo of one's own sympathy, but when one does not find that echo, then it is like standing before an iron wall; it is then that repulsion comes.

We read in ancient legends that the saints, the illuminated souls, spoke with birds and animals. What language did they speak?, It was the language of the heart. We read in the Bible of the Twelve Apostles understanding all languages. What was it? It was the awakening of the heart. Once the heart is awakened we begin to understand another's language before a word is spoken. Birds and beasts apart, sympathy has an influence even on trees and plants. A sympathetic person creates an atmosphere which naturally attracts another; worthy or unworthy, both are drawn by sympathy.

There are some who are capable of sympathy, and there are others who are not capable of it; nevertheless everyone possesses a heart. Either it is living or it is dead, and if it is living it has magnetism. The more living it is, the more magnetism it has; without magnetism the heart is dead, or one should rather say that it is not yet awakened, that it is asleep.

It is the greatest pity when the heart awakens and then goes to sleep again; this is worse than not awakening. If it is awakened and keeps awake, its magnetism becomes stronger and stronger because the power of the heart becomes greater and greater, and what it can attract is beyond words to explain. Souls who have the power of wonder-working, of performing miracles, do this through the power of the heart. And the power of the heart is the power of God. In Sufi terms an awakened heart is called Sahib-e Dil, which means master-mind. If anyone has ever heard the word within, it is he whose heart is awakened; for the Speaker speaks all the time while the heart is mostly asleep. If the heart is awakened it can hear the whisper which comes from within.

When disagreement arises between friends, when sympathy turns into antipathy, when sweet turns into bitter, and when one asks them why it is so, what do they say? "The other one does not understand." Probably they will both say the same. Very few will say, "I did not understand the other." Most people will say, "The other does not understand me." But why must there be this lack of understanding? What causes it? It is lack of sympathy. No words can ever make a person understand; it is the heart alone which can convey its full meaning to the other heart, for there are subtle waves of sympathy, there are delicate perceptions of feelings such as gratefulness, admiration, kindness, which cannot be put into words. Words are too inadequate to explain the finer feelings, it is the heart quality which can express itself fully, and again it is the heart quality which can understand fully. Would it therefore be an exaggeration to say that as long as the heart is not awakened a man is as though dead: it is after the awakening of the heart that a man begins to live.

Then there is the question of how to develop this magnetism which is more powerful than all the other influences and qualities of man. The answer is that one should not try to develop the power of this magnetism; this in itself would be an error. To develop a quality in order to draw others? For that reason? It is a selfish reason, and selfishness stands in the way of magnetism. Magnetism comes from having no desire for any such powers, but allowing this quality of the heart to develop naturally; for love is the plant of God, and it needs no water to grow. It is life itself, it has power in itself to grow and to expand, if only we do not close our heart. What is necessary on the part of man is not to keep it from developing. And in cases where we find lack of sympathy in people, it is not that their heart did not have sympathy, but only that it is closed, either intentionally or unintentionally. To say that someone is loveless is like saying that there is no water beneath a certain piece of land. There is no land which has no water in its depths, and if one has the patience to dig deep enough there is no heart that will seem to be without sympathy.

All the beauty of life manifests to the view of him whose heart is awakened. To the extent to which a heart is opened, to that extent the horizon of beauty manifests to his view. It is not only that the awakened heart draws man nearer, but a living heart also draws God closer.

It is as in the story of a Persian king, to whom his Grand Vizier said, "All day long you give your time to the work of the state and at night you are occupied in devotion to God. Why is this?" The king answered, "At night I pursue God, so that during the day God will follow me!"

People talk about magic; can there be greater magic than the quality of heart? The most melodious song, the most beautiful poetry, is the fine feeling of a living heart.