Alice A. Bailey: Her Work
By Bea Ajero
The books of Alice A. Bailey are based on the Ageless Wisdom. They were written over a period of 30 years (1919 – 1949) by AAB in close collaboration with the Master Djwhal Khul (The Tibetan) through the use of a high form of mental telepathy. There are 19 books. The first book published entitled Initiation, Human and Solar was the result of her first effort to do this kind of work and laid the foundation of all the succeeding books. This book was intended to bring the fact of the Hierarchy to public attention and inevitably also brought attention to the Masters comprising the Hierarchy. The book Letters on Occult Meditation followed next. This book initiated a somewhat new approach to meditation based not on devotion to the Masters but on recognition of the soul in each person. This book was succeeded by A Treatise on Cosmic Fire which was an expansion of the teaching given in The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, on the three fires – electric fire, solar fire and fire by friction. It presented the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine and was intended to offer study to disciples and initiates at the close of the last century and the beginning of this one up until 2025. Another treatise in 5 volumes, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, dealt with the 7 Rays and their psychological types and thus laid the foundation for the new psychology for which modern psychology, materialistic as it may be, has laid a sound basis. AAB herself wrote 5 books other than the 19 mentioned above, one of which is The Light of the Soul in which the Master gave the English paraphrase of the Sanskrit sutras of Patanjali to which she then contributed to the commentary referring to Master DK occasionally for reassurance as to meaning.
All the books have a wide distribution in English throughout the world and are being translated and published in a growing number of other languages as well.
Alice A. Bailey was born Alice La Trobe-Bateman on June 16, 1880 in Manchester, England into a family of aristocratic culture and considerable wealth. She was raised in the best tradition of her time and along orthodox Christian teaching. She was well traveled early in life and moved among interesting and distinguished people and even among those of nobility. Thus until age 22 she never knew what it was to want anything having been brought up in the usual luxury of her day and of her class. Yet within herself, she hated it all. She stated the following, taken from her book The Unfinished Autobiography: “I was, therefore, born under the sign of Gemini. This always means a conflict between the opposites—poverty and riches, the height of happiness and the depths of sorrow, the pull between the soul and personality or between the higher self and the lower nature. The United States and London are ruled by Gemini and therefore it is in that country and Great Britain that the greatest conflict between capital and labour will be solved; two groups which involve the interests of the very rich and the very poor.”
While serving voluntarily at a Sandes Soldiers Home in India, AAb met and fell in love with Walter Evans, a soldier in the British Army. Returning to England, Evans went into the ministry. They eventually married and moved to a small community in California, USA, where he started his duties in the Episcopal Church and AAB experienced a life far different than that she was used to. It was a working class community and AAB came to find much goodness in simple people. She performed the duties expected of a clergyman’s wife and kept up their modest home on a minister’s small salary. The marriage did not go well, however Evans had a temper that grew more uncontrollable so that it became dangerous to be in the same house with him. Eventually they separated in 1915 (and later divorced), Evans leaving AAB with their 3 small daughters. She struggled to raise and provide for their children the best she could on her small wages working in a sardine cannery nearby. Again, she was grateful to people who showed her much kindness during those difficult times.
About this time, she became involved in the Theosophical Society at Krotona and there met Foster Bailey. Both were quite dedicated to the work Then F.Bailey was offered and accepted a position in New York in connection with the T.S. in that city. In 1920, AAB joined him and shortly after, they were married and remained a close family ever since.
Always, they worked in line with the Plan of the Masters. They formed meditation groups and gave lectures.
It was in November 1919 when AAB made the first contact with the Master DK. She heard a voice within which said, “There are some books which it is desired should be written for the public. You can write them. Will you do so?” To this she immediately answered, “Certainly not. I’m not a darned psychic and I don’t want to be drawn into anything like that.” He would not take her answer then and said he would come back in 3 weeks which he did and it was decided she would try it for a couple of weeks. She got out the first chapters of Initiation, Human and Solar and the rest we already know.
Besides working as author and accomplished lecturer, AAB established in 1923 the Arcane School, an esoteric school to assist those at the end of the probationary path to move forward on to the path of discipleship, and to assist those already on the path to move on more quickly and to achieve greater effectiveness in service. She wrote, “A disciple is one who above all else, is pledged to do three things: (a) To serve humanity, (b) To cooperate with the Plan of the Hierarchy as he sees it and as best he may, (c) To develop the powers of the soul, to expand his consciousness and to follow the guidance of the higher self and not the dictates of his threefold lower self.”
The training given in the Arcane School is based on three fundamental requirements—occult meditation, study and service to humanity. The School is non-sectarian. It’s work is carried forward entirely by correspondence. There are presently 3 headquarters—New York, London and Geneva—serving students all over the world.
One of the service activities of the School is Triangles, the function of which is the building and maintenance of a planetary Network of Light and Goodwill, by units of three people. Another project is called World Goodwill, wherein groups of men and women of goodwill provide the inlets into human consciousness for the energy of goodwill.
In the early 1940s AAB discovered 3 basic ideas in her spiritual search which are best stated in her own words taken from her autobiography as follows: “I discovered, first of all, that there is a great and divine Plan. I found that this universe of ours is not a “fortuitous concurrence of atoms” but that it is the working out of a great design or pattern which will be all to the glory of God. I found that race after race of human beings had appeared and disappeared upon our planet and that each civilization and culture had seen humanity step forward a little further upon the path of return to God. I discovered for the second thing, that there are Those Who are responsible for the working out of that Plan and Who, step by step and stage by stage, have led mankind on down the centuries. I made the amazing discovery, amazing to me because I knew so little, that the teaching about the Path or the Plan was uniform, whether it was presented in the Occident or in the Orient, or whether it had emerged prior to the coming of Christ or afterwards. I found that the Head of this Hierarchy of spiritual Leaders was the Christ and when this dawned on me, I felt that He had been given back to me in a nearer and more intimate way. I found that He was ‘the Master of all the Masters and the Teacher alike of angels and of men.’, I found that the Masters of the Wisdom were His pupils and disciples, just as people like myself were pupils of some Master. I learnt that when I, in my orthodox days, talked about Christ and His Church, I was really speaking of Christ and the planetary Hierarchy. I found that the esoteric presentation of truth in no way belittled Christ. He was, indeed, the Son of God, the First Born in a great family of brothers, as St. Paul has told us, and a guarantee to us of our own divinity. The third teaching which I came across and which pulled me up short for a long time was the dual belief in the law of re-birth and the law of cause and effect…”
AAB worked to the limit of physical capacity regardless of fatigue or pain. She consulted, received visitors, and wrote letters during her last days. She was released, peacefully and happily Dec. 15, 1949—within 30 days after the planned thirty years work.
REFERENCE: A.A. Bailey, The Unfinished Autobiography