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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter I
Yet all the time, something within me, inchoate and indefinable, was reaching out after God Immanent, after a God behind all forms, Who could be met everywhere and touched and really known, Who truly loved all beings - good and bad - and Who understood them and their limitations and difficulties. This God was not, at all the tremendous and awful Deity to which the Christian Church, as I knew it, bowed down. Theologically, however, there was no such person. There was only a God to be appeased; Who was jealous of His rights; Who could murder His only Son in some illogical scheme to save mankind and Who was not as truly kind as the average parent to his offspring. These were the thoughts which I thrust away from me as wicked and untrue, but subtly, behind the scenes, they nagged at me. Yet there was always Christ. I knew Him; He struggled and yearned over humanity; He agonized to save them but seemed quite unable to save them on a large scale and had, therefore, to stand by and see them go to hell. I did not formulate all this clearly to myself at this time; I myself was saved and happy to be saved. I was working hard to save others and it was too bad that God had created hell but, naturally, I assumed that He knew what He was doing and - in any case - no real Christian questioned God: he simply accepted what he was told was God's dictum and that was that.

This was my spiritual background and field of thinking. [43] From the worldly angle things were not so easy. My sister and I had not married in spite of opportunity, a good stage setting and wide personal contacts. I think it was a very real relief to our uncles and aunts when we came of age, passed out of the Courts of Chancery and were definitely on our own. In effect I came of age when my younger sister reached the age of twenty-one.

A new cycle then started for us. We each of us went our own way. It turned out that our interests were totally different and the first cleavage between us appeared. My sister chose to take a medical degree and after some months of coaching went to Edinburgh University where she had a brilliant career. As for me, at the time I did not know exactly what to do. I had an exceedingly good classical education; I spoke fluent French and some Italian; I had enough money to take care of myself most comfortably in those comfortable and relatively inexpensive days. I had a firm belief in Christ, for was I not one of the elect; I believed in a heaven of happiness for those who thought as I did and a hell for those who did not, though I tried not to think too much about them after doing what I could to save their souls. I had a really deep knowledge of the Bible, good taste in clothes, really good looks and a most profound and complete ignorance of the facts of life. I had been told absolutely nothing about living processes and this was the foundation of much disillusionment as life went on and - at this time - I seemed subject to a most curious "protection" in the peculiar and unusual work which I chose to do in my next life cycle, from twenty-one to twenty-eight. I had led an entirely protected life and had gone nowhere unaccompanied by a chaperone, a relative or a maid. I was so innocent that for some reason I was apparently entirely safe. [44]

A peculiar happening when I was about nineteen years old demonstrates this. I had gone to stay at one of the great houses in England, taking my maid with me. Needless to say I cannot specify the name or place. I was the only person in that very large house party without a title. The first night that I was there, I noticed that my maid was preparing to sleep in the little sitting-room off my bedroom and when I expressed surprise she told me that she did not intend to leave me alone, whether I liked it or not. I did not understand anymore than I understood much of the conversation at meals. The many guests were, I am convinced, bored stiff with me; they considered me the complete idiot. The innuendo and the significance of the repartee left me guessing and feeling a fool. The only consolation I had was that I was well-dressed and smart and could dance. After I had been there two days, one morning, after breakfast, a very well-known man - charming, fascinating, good looking but with none too good a reputation - asked to speak to me. We went into what was called the red drawing room and when we were alone he said: "I have told your hostess that you are leaving on the 10:30 train this morning; the dog-cart will be around in time to take you to the station and your maid already has orders to pack your things." I asked him what on earth I bad done. He patted me on the shoulder and replied: "I'll give you two reasons. One is that you are a spoil sport from the point of view of most of the people here, although not from mine, for you always look so puzzled or so shocked. The other is that you do not look shocked sometimes when you should. That is really serious. I decided that you did not know any better and that I had better see that you were taken care of." I left as he had arranged, not knowing whether to be flattered or hurt. The episode, however, indicates not only [45] the stupidity and ignorance of girls of my class in those Victorian days, but also the fact that some very fast men are very nice and have understanding.

With this background and this equipment and with a firm determination that I was going to save lost souls, I set about doing something which I believed would be useful. I meant, however, to be free at any cost. [46]

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