Being whole, and being healed or well — in other words, being whole and in health, or "wholth" — mean the same thing; the two words, health and wholeness, come from the same root.
"Thy knowledge hath made thee whole." Pistis, πίστίς, translated "faith" — a word which has been so badly understood: it means the inner conviction of cosmic verities, knowledge of things unseen; and when a man knows, he needs no further proof. Proof is the bringing of conviction to the mind. When you have it, you look upon proof as superfluous.
When a man is whole, he is well, he is healed; and this more than anything else is the work of the Theosophical Society, spiritually, morally, and intellectually speaking: to make men whole, to make every one of the seven principles in the constitution of the normal human being active, so that there shall be a divine fire running through the man, through the spiritual and intellectual and psychical and astral and physical — and best of all for us humans, the moral, the child of the spiritual. Then we are whole, we are in health, for our whole being is in harmony.
Now then, is it not true that the work of the Theosophical Society is so to change the hearts and minds of men that their lives shall be changed, and therefore the lives of the peoples of the earth? What is this but healing at its roots instead of healing the symptoms? The god-wisdom goes to the very root of the disease, and cuts it; and the successful Theosophist is not he who can preach the most and say the most in the most fascinating way, but he who lives his Theosophy. "Theosophist is who Theosophy does."
You remember — I speak of the Christian New Testament because it is so familiar to all Westerners — you remember the accounts therein given of acts of healing done by the Avatara Jesus. You will find exactly similar tales in all the different religions or philosophies of the world, ancient and modern. Why, even among the Pagans in the Temples of Aesculapius there were patients who came and slept there for a night, and were healed, healed in the morning. The common report said: "healed by the God." The actual truth was: "healed by the conversion within," not the conversion of the brain-mind thoughts but the conversion of a life: a life turned upwards instead of turned downwards. And the grateful sufferers now healed of their troubles put up ex voto offerings on the walls of the temples of Aesculapius, with carven or engraven images of the part or parts cured: a head, a leg, an arm, a liver, a heart, or what not — an eye, an ear, a nose or mouth, as mute witnesses or testimonials: "I am healed." Why, of course, such things happen, have always happened, and everywhere. But this is the case of those who heal themselves by becoming whole — this one thing.
When we speak of the work of healers working upon others, that is different; and that healing which is done by the transference of vitality from a healthy clean body, from a man or woman with a healthy, clean mind, is good and right, and there is no harm in it. As the Christian New Testament has it, the Master Jesus said: "Virtue (the Greek word means strength or power) hath gone out of me." Virtue — the Greek word here is dynamis, δυναμίς, and the word of the English translators, "virtue," while etymologically fairly correct as giving the same sense, in its modern connotation utterly fails to convey the notion of strength or power leaving Jesus, i. e., life-force, vitality. From this Greek word dynamis, we have the many words in modern European tongues, like "dynamic," "dynamo/ "dynamite." "Virtue hath gone out of me" — the vitality, the sympathy, passed over, and the teacher felt the loss. A healer can only heal by giving of himself; and see how wonderfully the old truth applies even here: by giving of yourself to others.
Then another thought — and I speak of it because it is rather important in this connexion. I have heard it said by those whose hearts are harder than their heads: "Lo, behold, a Theosophist and ill, sick, ailing, wretched, cannot even do a full man's work in the world. His karman, let him work it out!" Of course, but you are not the person to tell any other person when the karman is worked out. Your duty is to help, and leave to nature the healing processes, and it is an awful cruelty to say of any other — Theosophist or not — that because he is ill and suffering, his sin has found him out. True, but it is not for us to sit in judgment. Let us again remember the words of the Master Jesus, after healing by transferring abundant spiritual vitality: Go thou and sin no more. For thy sin wrought thy disease upon thee.
Yes, and because we suffer now is no proof that in this life we have done the sin that has brought it upon us. It may have been ages in the past, and only in this life when the man or woman needs more than ever before the vitality and the strength and the health to go forwards, his sin hath found him out, and taken this form. Learn the moral in this, for your sin will find you out in this or in some later life; and better to have the disease out at once than to dam it back to come out in some future life when you would wish then that you had suffered from, had got rid of, the poison in the former life, and had done with it.
Yes, I for one — I speak for myself — but I for one had liefer die when the disease is coming out, if it cannot be healed, than to dam it back by black magic and store it up for some future day when I shall need every ounce of my power and strength and health to achieve. It is not for us to judge another, and to say his sin hath found him out. We know it, but that is no way to help him. It is not encouraging, it is not kindly, it is not generous, and for all we know from our viewpoint it may not be true. Abstractly it is.
A chela does not become a chela because of his body. He becomes a chela because of the rapidly evolving inner man, the emotional, mental, and spiritual parts of him. The genius, an ordinary genius in human life, is not a genius because his body is spiritually evolved, a relatively perfect physical frame. As a matter of fact, look at the annals of history, and you will find the almost astounding fact that the majority of geniuses have been born in enfeebled bodies, often sickly ones, sometimes actually decrepit, cripples and what not. But the flaming fire of genius within, aye! — it was that which actually crippled the body, deprived it of the life-forces which would have builded it up, which were gathered up into the soul to feed the soul. Sometimes gross, robust physical health is actually a deterrent to inner growth because the physical forces of life are so strong, they act as a heavy veil around the soul.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE