The Theosophical Forum – September 1941


"Physician heal thyself" is a great saying and it is very closely allied to the ancient wisdom-teaching, "Know thyself."

It is a duty every man owes to himself and should therefore never be lost sight of. It is also his duty to All Life, the complete and perfect Unity of which man is a united part, to the Allness which is ever present to heal according to the choice, desire and capacity of the individual center.

By capacity is meant understanding, that which stands under his individuality, that upon which he rests, for which he stands and which can be increased. "Above all get understanding" is in perfect harmony with "Physician heal thyself."

The more a man is able to heal himself both mentally and physically, the greater will be the good he will be able to do for others and for himself and therefore the greater will be his joy in life. This is his duty; but also he gains great help in uplifting his individuality by helping and healing others as he travels through life. It is the Way, for by the practice of helping others he will secure both experience and strength by which he will be able to heal himself.

The danger of carrying the practice of helping others too far is that the needs of others shuts out the needs of your own self. But no man is justified in saying to another: "Physician heal thyself" insinuating thereby a limitation of ability to heal. For the fact that he has chosen to heal others first instead of himself, does not change the unchangeable truth, that all the power and wisdom there is, is ever present ready to fill the desires and choice of all individual centers.

An outstanding example of an insinuation of limitation is found in the life of Jesus where the chief priest declared "He saved others, himself he cannot save." This priest would have glorified himself if he could have stated the truth of the situation — "He saved others, himself he had no desire to save."

However, any man is justified in saying to another: "Physician heal thyself," meaning that it is his duty to himself and to All Life that he does so. And further not only is any man so justified, but when an individual tries and persists in trying to heal with a degree of power and wisdom that is not sufficient to heal, then it becomes the duty of others to say "Physician heal thyself," meaning first he should strive to increase his understanding before he attempts to heal, or can heal, that upon which he is working.

A good example of such a case is presented in I sis Unveiled, Volume I, page 117, where H. P. Blavatsky recommends this "sensible bit of advice" to certain individual centers.

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