Life and Its Mysteries, by Frank L. Hammer, , at sacred-texts.com
Affinity is the force which keeps bodies together without any visible bonds and is inherent in all existing things. It is analogous to gravitation and acts on every particle of matter and spirit; hence it is not confined to our planet, but the worlds throughout space are linked together by these bonds of mutual attraction, which, interweaving in every direction, make the universe a whole. We are bound to them and they to us.
Its action is perhaps best understood in the mineral world, for in the study of chemistry you find it absolutely impossible to combine certain chemicals; they simply refuse to be combined. There you encounter its opposing law, the force of repulsion or antipathy, for certain chemicals, like certain individuals, have affinity for one another, while others have only antagonism.
In the human species the manifestation of affinity is chiefly physical, occasionally mental and, in rare instances, spiritual. On the physical plane, its action resembles that of chemical affinity, with this difference however. Chemical affinities in atoms are permanent and changeless. If you separate the atoms,
they still maintain their affinities and, when again placed in the same relations, will manifest the same attractions. For example, the chemical affinity between sulphur and gold will forever be the same. It existed in the beginning; it will exist in the end.
But magnetic affinities, unlike chemical affinities, are not permanent. Their special attribute is change, and their attractions are merely temporary, soon wearing out, and when once exhausted are never renewed. These affinities, or a movement of the material atoms which compose the human body, are brought into the presence of another set of atoms for which they have a powerful affinity, and impress upon their subject that irresistible sense of attraction which is often mistakenly called love.
The affinities which draw two people together almost always end in depolarization; then ensues coldness, neglect, indifference followed by dislike and even loathing. Hence, it is that most affairs that are based on mere physical attraction have ended, and will continue to end, in the intense repulsion which sometimes impels the one to destructive measures to rid himself of the one who no longer attracts. Crimes of passion are so common that rarely a day passes in which they are not committed.
Whence arises the mysterious and inexplicable affinity or antipathy immediately felt at the first meeting of certain individuals? To some people we feel akin as if we had known them before, while others instantly repel us. We have heard people say that the antipathy they felt towards certain persons
was so strong they could not bear to be in their proximity.
Not long ago a man told us that his son irritated him beyond measure. When the youngster was injured, necessitating the father visiting him, it almost made him ill to remain in the room with him for only a few minutes. And he knew the antipathy was mutual. Yet the boy had no obvious reason for hating his father, such as might be engendered by severity of discipline. The mother had charge of that and he idolized her.
When antipathy is immediate and instinctive, it frequently antedates physical birth. In the Mystery of "Birth," we tried to explain that the soul is not new on its arrival, but has lived previously elsewhere. During its anterior existence, relationships and associations were formed, some of which are being continued on earth. The soul, having a language and memory of its own, intuitively remembers and recognizes ancient friends and foes. It is not unusual for old enemies to be born in the same family, thus accounting for the intense hatred often existing between relatives. The intellect is not aware of the reason for the animosity, but the soul is fully cognizant of the cause.
It has often been said that first impressions are lasting and correct. This is true. When we feel intense aversion towards any person, it is wise to avoid him. This does not necessarily signify that such people are evil or unethical; but it does mean that, for us, any association with them would be neither fortunate
nor profitable. Attraction is the soul's polarity and it is beyond the power of the intellect to change it; therefore, we cannot compel ourselves to love people for whom we have no affinity, irrespective of any admirable qualities they may possess.
Just as we established relationships before we came to earth, we now are initiating others, some of which will be renewed in the future life. Hence, the paramount importance of exercising care in forming associations, for, until every vibration of love or hate is exhausted, we will continue to meet these individuals again and again.
That one mind can obtain undue influence over another mind is well known, for such experiences are common enough. Those liberally endowed with animal magnetism often exercise the same hypnotic effect on their victims as a snake on a bird. Confidence men, unscrupulous salesmen and those who prey on the weaknesses of their fellowmen use the power of attraction to gain their ends. There are many unholy alliances where the weaker personality vainly struggles to free himself from his enslaver. In Somerset Maugham's Human Bondage we see such a relationship.
Children, too, have pronounced affinities and antipathies, but unlike their elders do not resort to hypocrisy and deceit. They are honest and sincere in their likes and dislikes, often embarrassingly so.
Likewise, animals never feign affection when they hate each other, and they can tell instantly through smell whether attracted or repelled towards one of
their kind. If repelled, they promptly start to fight or walk away. Some animals in their native state are natural enemies and infallible instinct warns them of their approach and impending danger.
Affinity is the mind's law of attraction, and that we gravitate to where we belong is a truth recognized by proverbs of every country. "Like attracts like," "Birds of a feather flock together," "Water finds its own level," "Show me your company and I'll tell you what you are," all have reference to this universal law, for the mind is a magnet and draws to itself all things of like nature. We cannot attract that for which we have no inner response, no more than the needle of the compass can point in any direction except north.
If one attracts undesirable people or uncongenial conditions, he should give himself a careful analysis and find out why he attracts them. Often the cause will not be visible on the surface; its manifestation may greatly surprise him; but somewhere in the subconscious mind the seed was sown and this must be uprooted before any outer change can occur. Changing positions, localities and environments accomplishes naught so long as the inner response remains the same.
"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me," lamented Job. Of course it did. Nothing in the universe could have prevented it, for through the immutable law of attraction we draw to ourselves whatever we have been thinking. All thoughts eventually assume objective form and we then are
surrounded by our mental creations. We can attract friends, health, wealth, success, happiness; or we can draw to us their opposites. One often hears persons say, when speaking of unfortunate events, "I knew that was going to happen," or "I expected to have bad luck." Their expectant attitude coupled with fear attracted and later materialized the conditions.
Affinity is the cohesive force of all associations, and on the mental plane draws together people with similar ideas, ideals, interests and ambitions. Professional, artistic, literary, musical and scientific people have their clubs and organizations. "Like attracts like" is the law throughout every sphere of life. Honest men are not attracted to dishonest; educated men to uneducated; clean men to unclean, nor pure minds to impure.
People frequently ask: "Are husbands and wives reunited after death?" If they love each other they are, otherwise not. On earth affinity manifests mostly on the emotional plane, but in the spiritual realms it is the law, and no people remain together long unless there is mental and spiritual affinity. Blood relationships sink into insignificance and attraction governs selection. Where there is love, there is no death. It is life that separates souls; death only separates bodies.
On passing to the next sphere of expression people immediately gravitate to the place for which they have prepared themselves by work and service. For contrary to popular fallacies death changes one no
more than travelling to another city or country. It confers no benefits and effects no alteration in character. Therefore, the things for which we have affinity here, we will continue to attract Over There. Material interests and desires will bind us to the earth plane, while spiritual aspirations and inclinations will liberate the soul and enable it to function more freely.
Ultimately the miseries and materialities of this life become burdens. Human association no longer satisfies. The soul longs for its native eternity, for the power of the soul to anticipate realities is so perfect that, on its arrival there, a sense of familiarity steals over the mind, as though it had many times before witnessed the same scenes. And through the universal law of affinity we shall be reunited with those we love.
Man is so constituted that he can enjoy nothing alone.