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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Introduction
In the long range of human history and placed along with the world's great Figures, who is Alice Ann Bailey? [6] A quite unimportant woman who was forced (usually against her will) by circumstances, by an actively intruding conscience, and by a knowledge of what her Master wanted done, to undertake certain tasks. A woman who was always scared of life (perhaps partly due to an over-sheltered childhood) ; who is naturally so shy that even today, if she has to go to a luncheon party, has to muster the courage to ring the bell; who is very domestic and loves to cook and wash (and God knows has done her full share of it) and who hates publicity. I have never been robust but have enormous vitality. All through my life I have been forced to spend weeks and sometimes months in bed. For the last eight years I have been kept alive by medical science, but - and this is one thing about which I could say I am proud - I have kept going on, in spite of it all. I have found life very, very good even when having what most people regarded as the worst possible time. There has always been so much to do, so many people to know. I have only one basic grumble and that is that I have always been so tired. In an old churchyard in England there is a tombstone which has on it words which I can fully understand.

Here lies a poor woman who always were tired.
She lived in a world where too much were required.
Weep not for me, friends; the land where I am going
There'll be no more dusting or sweeping or sewing.
Weep not for me, friends, though death us may sever.
I am going to do nothing for ever and ever.

Now that really would be hell and I don't want to go there. I want to take a new and more adequate body and come back to gather up the old threads, find the same group of workers and go on with the job. If the story of my life encourages another ordinary person to push forward, this book will be worth while; if it leads some person with aspiration [7] to launch out in obedience to spiritual impulse, something will have been gained and if I can give strength and courage and a sense of reality to other workers and disciples that will be good.

You can see, therefore, that as a life story mine does not matter much. As a means, however, of proving certain facts which I know to be essential to the future happiness and progress of humanity - the fact of the Masters, the unfolding future for which the world war (just ended) is but a preparatory stage, and the possibility of telepathic and direct spiritual contacts and knowledge - what I say may prove to be of service. Many isolated mystics, disciples and aspiring men and women down the ages have known all these things. The time has now come when the masses of men everywhere must know them too.

So here goes for the story of my life. Do not be misled. It is not going to be a deeply religious effusion. I am a flippant and humorous person and almost painfully ready to see the funny side of things. Between you and me, people's profound interest in themselves and in their souls and all the intricacies of related experiences almost staggers me. I want to shake them and say, "Come outside and find your soul in other people and so discover your own." What is going on in people's minds and hearts and what is happening in the world of men is the fundamental interest. The broad sweeps of human progress from the primeval age to the dawn of the impending new civilization is of interest and all of spiritual import. The self-disclosures of the mystic of medieval times have their place but it lies in the past; the achievements of modern science (though not man's use of these revelations) are a major modern spiritual factor; the struggle that is going on between political ideologies, between capital and labor and the breakdown of our past educational systems are all indicative of a divine and spiritual [8] ferment which is leavening humanity. And yet the mystic way of introspection and of divine union must precede the occult way of intellectual realization and divine perception. It always has in the life of the individual and of humanity as a whole. The mystic and the occult way, the way of the heart and the head, must fuse and blend and then humanity will know God and not just "feel after Him if haply they may find Him."

This personal knowledge of God will, however, come by living normally and as beautifully as possible, by serving and by being interested in others and thus being decentralized. It will come by recognizing the good life and the good in all peoples, by happiness and an intelligent appreciation of opportunity - one's own as well as other people's. It comes through full and complete living. In the English graveyard where my parents are buried there was a tombstone (the first that caught one's eye on going through the gates) and on it the words, "She hath done what she could." To me it always seemed so doleful - the epitaph of a failure. I regret I have not done all I could, but I always did my best as I saw it at the time. I worked. I made mistakes. I agonized and I rejoiced. I had a grand time living and I am not going to have a bad time dying! [9]

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