"...remember your hippopotamus oath!"

Here's the full text, the ancient and the modern side by side.

One of the little quips I have about myself is that I'm a hospital.

But I'm not the doctor. I just make room, I make a room and if somebody shows up needing to be healed, all I do is make a place where it can happen, then get out of the way while the real Doctor shows up and does the impossible. Even for me.

A "room" can be anything: any form, from a poetic stanza to the shape of a conversation to a moment pooled out of a season of time. Christ said, "in my Father's house there are many rooms," but heaven isn't a building made of steel and brick. It's the place where the war is over, and everybody won. My favorite definition of magic is still Gareth Knight's, "the creation of forms for spiritual forces to indwell." There's one spiritual force who trumps all others, one name through which all other names may be drawn and the poison purged out of them. I don't have to quarantine myself away from my own life anymore because there's not a fountain of plague at the center of my soul.

It doesn't make sense and I can't explain it, but it's still true. I'm free. And the best way to celebrate that is to seize every opportunity to pass it on.

"WITH PURITY, HOLINESS AND BENEFICENCE I will pass my life and practice my art. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither treat any patient nor carry out any research on any human being without the valid informed consent of the subject or the appropriate legal protector thereof, understanding that research must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and further from the seduction of any patient.

WHATEVER IN CONNECTION with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear in the lives of my patients which ought not be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, reckoning that all such should be kept secret.

WHILE I CONTINUE to keep this Oath unviolated may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse by my lot."