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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter II
But beyond this one unalterable fact, the whole mental [87] fabric of my life and my attitude towards the trite theology of my co-workers was shaken to the very foundation. It remained thus shaken until 1915. Unfortunately for me and giving the third reason for my physical breakdown, I fell in love, for the first time, with a gentleman ranker (as they are called) a private in an Hussar regiment. I had imagined myself in love many times. I can well remember a major in a certain regiment (now a famous general) wanting to marry me. That was a funny time. I had developed measles while at a certain Indian station and had turned up among the out-patients in a native hospital run by English doctors. Measles was diagnosed and they quarantined me in a cottage in the compound - with my bearer who slept at night across the door. I could not have had a more impeccable chaperone. Three doctors and this major spent the evening with me and I can see us now sitting around a table with an oil lamp, for it was winter time, and Dr. X with his feet on the mantelpiece reading the paper and the other doctor and major playing chess and me, in a very spotty condition, sewing diligently. The major was eventually stolen from me by a little governess which was not flattering, and one of the doctors cherished a hopeless love for me for several years. He even chased me home from India to Scotland to my horror and dismay and to the surprise of the family who could not make out why on earth he could be so devoted. There had been other interested men but never once had I been intrigued until I met Walter Evans.

He was exceedingly good looking. He had a brilliant mind and was highly educated and got soundly converted through my ministrations. Had I not been doing the work which I was doing, there would have been no problem except the financial one, but the difficulty with which I was faced was that the ladies who were working in the Sandes Soldiers [88] Home were supposed to be of such aristocratic connections (and they really were) that the possibility or the probability of marriage between them and the soldiers was simply out of the question. The well defined caste system in Great Britain aided this position. They must not and they could not and usually they would not fall in love with a man in the ranks. I was, therefore, faced not only with my own personal problem, for Walter Evans was not socially of the same standing as myself, but I was also letting down the work and making things almost impossibly difficult for my fellow workers. I was utterly frantic. I felt a traitor. My heart was pulling me in one direction and my head was saying most emphatically "No" and I was so sick and ill I found it impossible to think clearly.

How I do detest having to talk about this period in my life and how I hate raking in the dust of the next few years. I had been trained in a dignified reticence; my work in the Sandes Soldiers Homes had taught me not to talk about myself. In any case, I do not like discussing myself, particularly such happenings as my life in relation to Walter Evans. So much of my time during the past twenty years has been spent in listening to the confidences of worried and tried people. I have sat amazed at the intimate details that they have brought to me, seemingly with much enjoyment. I have never understood this relaxing of the rules of personal information - hence the difficulty I am encountering in writing this autobiography.

One hot night in Lucknow I could not sleep. I walked up and down my room and felt entirely desolate. I went out on to the broad verandah shrouded in flowering bougainvillaea but found nothing there but mosquitoes. I returned to my room and stood by my dressing table for a minute. Suddenly a broad shaft of brilliant light struck my room and the voice of the Master Who had come to me when I [89] was fifteen spoke to me. I did not see Him this time but I stood in the middle of the room and listened to what He had to say. He told me not to be unduly troubled; that I had been under observation and was doing what He wanted me to do. He told me that things were planned and that the life work which He had earlier outlined to me would start, but in a way which I would not recognize. He offered me no solution for any of my problems and He did not tell me what to do. The Masters never do. They never tell a disciple what to do or where to go, or how to handle a situation, in spite of all the bunk talked by nice, well meaning devotees. The Master is a busy executive and His job is world direction. He never runs around talking sweet platitudes to perfectly mediocre people whose influence is nil and whose power to serve is undeveloped. I mention this because this is one of the things which need debunking and which has misled a lot of very good people. We learn to be Masters by mastering our own problems, by putting right our own mistakes, by lifting some of humanity's burdens and by forgetting ourselves. The Master did not comfort me that night, He offered me no compliments or nice platitudes. He said, in effect, the work must go on. Don't forget. Be prepared to work. Don't be deceived by circumstances.

To give him his due, Walter Evans behaved exceedingly well. He appreciated the situation and did his best to keep himself in the background and make things as easy for me as he could. When the hot weather came I went up to Rhanikhet with Miss Schofield and there the whole matter between me and Walter Evans came to a show-down. It had been a hard summer there. We had opened the new Home and I had been far from well all the time. Walter Evans had come up with his regiment and (as it was a cavalry regiment) he and some other of the men undertook [90] to teach me to ride better than I did. Miss Schofield had seen what was happening. She and I were very close to each other and I was fortunate to have her for a friend at that time. She knew me well and trusted me completely. One day towards the end of the season and when the monsoons were over she told me that the Home was going to be closed in a week's time and that she was leaving me alone there to close up and this in spite of the fact that she knew Walter Evans was in the place and that I would be quite alone in the house. The day before I was to leave Ranikhet, I sent for Walter Evans and told him the whole thing was impossible, that I would never see him again and that it was good bye for once and all. He accepted my decision and I returned to the plains.

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