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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter II
To return to Belfast. It was discovered by my superiors that I had quite a flair for saving souls and I made such a good record that Miss Sandes sent for me to join her at the Artillery Practice Camp in central Ireland and there get some real training. It was lovely green country and I shall never forget the day I arrived there. In spite, however, of the beauty, my major impression was eggs. Nothing but eggs everywhere. There were eggs in the bath tub; there were eggs in every pan; there were eggs in the drawers of my dressing table; there were eggs in boxes under my bed. If I remember rightly, there were one hundred thousand eggs in the house and they had to be in some kind of container. I discovered that we used seventy-two dozen eggs in the coffee shop of the Soldiers Home every night and as there were three homes in that district serviced by us, we used innumerable eggs. Therefore, eggs had precedence over everything - except the Gospel.

My first job each morning, after a quiet hour under a tree in the fields with my Bible, was to bake buns - hundreds of buns - often later in the day to load them into a pony cart (only the pony was a donkey) and take them over to the huts where were gathered the men at night. One day that donkey greatly humiliated me. I was proceeding gaily along a country lane, loaded up with buns, when I heard a battery of artillery galloping down the road towards me. Hurriedly I tried to move to the side of the road but that darned donkey simply planked his four feet firmly on the ground and refused to budge. Coaxing and whipping were useless. The battery halted a few feet away. The officers yelled at me to move. I could not. So finally a detail of men advanced and picked up me, the cart and the donkey and [59] dumped us in the ditch and then the battery proceeded on its way. I never heard the end of that episode from the artillery men. They spread the report that my buns were so heavy the poor donkey could not move and they would come limping into the hut and tell me that a crumb of one of my buns had dropped on a foot. I grew accustomed to the noise of the great guns and to the fact that the men were deaf the evenings that their batteries had been firing. I grew accustomed to drunkenness and learnt not to mind a drunken man and I learnt, also, how to handle him, but I never got accustomed to fried eggs, particularly when accompanied by cocoa. I suppose I have sold more cocoa, eggs and cigarettes than most people.

Those were happy, busy days. I adored Miss Sandes, as who did not? I loved her for her beauty, for her mental strength, for her knowledge of the Bible, for her understanding of humanity and also for her rippling sense of humor. I loved her most, I believe, because I discovered that she really loved me. I shared her bedroom in the funny little house in which we lived, and I can this minute see her lying asleep in the early morning light with a black stocking tied over her eyes to keep the light out. She was so much bigger and broader in her views than were her workers. I can remember her twinkling at them and saying nothing. We all worked so hard to save souls and she looked on and wished us success and often said the word that was needed; but I do know that often she looked on with the greatest amusement as we struggled and strove.

Once she gave me a real shock and started, I really believe, the cycle of interior questioning which later led me out of my theological morass. For three weeks I had been wrestling to save the soul of a perfectly wretched, dirty little soldier. He was what in England is called "a nasty piece of work" - a bad soldier and a bad man. I played [60] checkers with him night after night (which he liked) and I coaxed him into the Gospel meetings - which he tolerated. I begged him to be saved which had no effect. Elise Sandes looked on with amusement until apparently she decided it had gone on long enough. So one night she called me over to where she was standing by the piano in a hut packed with men, and the following conversation took place:

"Alice, you see that man over there?"
pointing out my problem to me.

"Yes," I said, "you mean the man I have been playing checkers with?"

"Well, my dear, would you mind looking at his forehead?"

I looked and remarked that it seemed very low. She nodded assent.

"Now look at his eyes. What is wrong with them?"

"They seem rather too close together," I replied.

"Exactly. And what about his chin and the shape of his head?"

"But he hasn't any chin and his head is very small and perfectly round," I said, completely puzzled.

"Well, then, Alice dear, why not leave him to God?"

With that she walked off. I have left many people to God since then.

Now right here let me go on record and say that I believed in conversion at that time and I believe in conversion today. I believed in the power of Christ to save then and I believe in it a thousandfold more today. I know that people can turn from the error of their ways and I have seen them again and again find that reality in themselves which St. Paul calls "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Upon that knowledge I stake my eternal salvation and the salvation of all mankind. I know that Christ lives and that we live in Him and I know that God is our Father and that, under God's great Plan, all souls eventually find their way back to [61] Him. I know that the Christ life in the human heart can lead all men from death to immortality. I know that because Christ lives we shall live also and that we are saved by His life. But I question our human techniques very often and I believe that God's way is often the best and that He  often leaves us to find our own way home, knowing that in all of us there is something of Himself which is divine, which never dies, and which comes to knowledge. I know that nothing in Heaven or hell can come between the love of God and His children. I know that He stays on guard watching "until the last weary pilgrim has found his way home." I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and this means that we do not love some far off, abstract Deity but that we love our fellowmen. Loving our fellowmen is evidence - undefined, maybe, but just as sure - that we love God. Elise Sandes taught me that by her life and her love, her wit and her understanding.

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