the law of attraction and repulsion throughout the creation

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The law of "attraction and repulsion" is a law which holds sway throughout the entire order of creation. From the point of view of the scientific school of today, man is quite sure that not a single atom of the world of existence is outside the governance of general attraction, and none can escape it. From the largest of the world's bodies and masses to the smallest of its atoms, all possess this enigmatic force called the force of attraction, and all are, in some way, influenced by it.

Ancient man did not discover the ~universal general law of attraction~, but he did discover attraction in some bodies, and recognised some things as symbolic of this force, such as the magnet and amber. Even so, he did not know of the relationship of attraction between these things and all other things, as he was only acquainted with a particular relationship: that of the magnet to iron, or amber to straw.

Each one of the atoms on atoms which exist between this earth and the heaven Is, for its own kind, like straw and amber.

Apart from this, there was no talk of the force of attraction with other inanimate bodies; only about the earth was it asked why it was fixed in the middle of the havens. It was believed that the earth was suspended in the middle of space and was attracted on every side, and that since this pull was from all sides, it naturally stayed in the middle and did not incline to any one side. Some people believed that the heavens did not attract the earth, but rather that they repelled it, and that, since the force influencing the earth was equal on all sides, the result was that the earth was fixed in a particular spot and never changed its place.

There was also general belief in the faculty for attraction and repulsion in the case of plants and animals, in the sense that it was recognised that these had three basic faculties: ~the nutritive faculty~, ~the faculty of growth~, and ~the faculty of reproduction~. For the nutritive faculty, they believed there were some subsidiary faculties: attractive, repulsive, digestive and retentive. It was said that there was in the stomach a force of attraction which pulled food towards itself, or, occasionally, when it did not accept the food, excreted or repelled it [Nowadays, however, the structure of, the body is thought to be more like a machine, and the action of excretion is likened to a pump]; and similarly it was said that there was a power of attraction in the liver which drew water towards itself.

The stomach draws in bread to its resting place,
The heat of the liver draws in water.

Attraction and repulsion in the world of man:
The meaning of attraction and repulsion here is not the attractions and repulsions to do with sex, although these too are a particular kind of attraction and repulsion, for they have nothing to do with our discussion and form an independent object of enquiry. Rather the meaning here is the attractions and repulsions which exist among individual human beings in the arena of social life. In human society there are also some forms of cooperation which are based on the sharing of benefits, but these too, of course, are not within the scope of our discussion.

The greatest proportion of friendships and affections, or enmities and hatred are all manifestations of human attraction and repulsion. These attractions and repulsions are based on general resemblance and similarity, or opposition and mutual aversion. [As opposed to what is said concerning electric currents, where two similar poles repel each other, while two unlike ones attract each other.] In fact, the basic cause of attraction and repulsion must be looked for in general ~resemblance~and ~contrariety~(taddad), just as in the discussions of metaphysics it has been proved that general resemblance is the cause of union

Sometimes two human beings attract each other, and their hearts wish for them to be friends and companions one with the other. There is a secret in this, and the secret is nothing other than general resemblance. Unless there is a similarity between these two persons, they cannot attract one another and move towards friendship with each other. In general the nearness of both of them is evidence for a kind of similarity and general resemblance between them.

The story of "Resemblance between raven and strok" by Rumi(Moulavi)
In the ~second book~ of Rumi's ~Mathnavi~ there is a fine story which illustrates this. A wise man saw a raven who had formed an affection for a stork. They perched together and flew together! Two birds of two different species: the raven had no similarity either in shape or in colour with the stork. The wise man was amazed that they were together. He went close and examined them and discovered that both of them had only one leg.

That wise man said: "I saw companionship
Between a raven and a stock.
Amazed I was, and examined their condition
To see what sign of commonality I could find.
So up I crept, and, to and behold!
I saw that both of them were lame. "

This one-leggedness brought fellowship to two species of animal which were alien to each other. Human beings, too, will never become friends and companions with each other without some reason, just as they will never be enemies without a cause.

The relation of neediness and the law of attraction and repulsion

According to some, the root of these attractions and repulsions is need, and the elimination of need. They say that man is a creature who is in need, and that he is created essentially in want. He endeavours by his own relentless activity to fill his emptiness and to supply his necessities, but this is impossible unless he joins with an ally and severs his linking relationship with society, so that he can take advantage from his ally by this means and protect himself from damage from some other group. And we will not find any inclination or aversion in man unless it springs from his instinct for taking advantage. According to this theory, the experiences of life and the structure of his primordial nature have brought man up to be attracted and repelled, so that he is enthusiastic about what he reckons is good in life, and keeps away from himself what does not conform with his aims, but is unresponsive when faced by what is neither of these, is that which neither holds out any benefit for him nor is detrimental. In fact, attraction and repulsion are two fundamental pillars of the life of man, and to whatever degree these are reduced, disorder takes the place of order in his life. In the end the one who has the power to fill up the vacuums attracts others to himself, and the one who not only does not fill up these vacuums but rather adds to the vacuums drives people away from himself, and likewise with those who do neither.


attraction and repulsion of imam Ali p.b.u.h- pages: 17to21


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