Shakespeare offered wisdom for all dimensions of the human experience. For example, here he offered insight into maladies of the soul still relevant to modern times:
MACBETH Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
PHYSICIAN Therein must the patient minister unto herself.
Shakespeare was one of the greatest spiritual teachers we have ever had. He certainly realized the value of “the healer’s art” I’m sure but he knew that ultimately each individual is alone, left with the responsibility of “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” Others may assist us, and should, but ultimately we have to muster up the courage to confront the demons that haunt us in our inner most depths.
In religion and in the mental health profession, the quick cure is always fashionable. These two enterprises often proffer only fads and fashions designed only as a band-aid that can only temporarily cover an existential crisis that needs to be “lived” through. As someone put it, matters have the heart cannot be resolved by “thinking” through them but only by “feeling” through them.
Here I include a modern translation of the above Shakespearean quote:
In a modern translation, this part of the scene would say “Cure her of that. Can’t you treat a diseased mind? Take away her memory of sorrow? Use some drug to erase the troubling thoughts from her brain and ease her heart?” This is describing how Macbeth is pleading for his wife’s health. He feels compelled to treat her and is saddened when he hears from the doctor that one cannot mend the emotionally ill. This leads Macbeth into a rant that almost accuses the doctor of not being a doctor at all because he’s not able to cure someone emotionally sick. Macbeth is needing the doctor to be able to do something, use some drug that can help her in any way