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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter IV
My fellow worker had been very ill of typhoid. I had nursed her through the crisis and then she had been moved to a hospital, so that I was left alone in the enormous Soldiers Home and, being very young and very proper, I would not permit the two English managers of the home (ex-soldiers) to sleep in the building with me because I thought it might occasion talk and gossip. So each night when the soldiers had left, one of them would take me to my room, around 11:30 p.m., look in my bathroom and cupboards, peek under the bed and then lock all the doors into my bedroom. I could then hear him going through the rest of the rooms. There were four doors in my room, one on to the verandah, another into the sitting-room and still another into my fellow-worker's bedroom and then my bathroom door. I was never the least nervous and the search of my quarters was a precaution on the man's part and the bed stood in the exact center of the room with its legs in deep saucers because of insects. At that time in India, we always slept with a lamp alight in the room.

I awoke around two o'clock in the morning to hear a noise in the sitting-room and to see the handle of the door being turned and twisted. It was fortunately locked. I knew it could not be one of the managers and I could not hear or see the watchman, so I guessed it was some hill [149] man or thief trying to get into the safe in the sitting-room. Many hundreds of rupees were deposited in that safe each night. It was the time of the year in which members of the hill tribes were allowed down into the cantonment. All guards were doubled and every care taken to keep them under surveillance, for those were stormy days on the frontier. I knew that if they succeeded in getting into my room it would be the end of me because it was a great virtue to kill a white woman. It would mean a knife in my heart. For forty-five minutes I sat on my bed watching them trying to break down those very strong doors. They did not dare go to the verandah door for fear of being seen and to get to me via my bathroom or the other bedroom meant breaking down two doors in each case and the risk of noise was too great. I discovered then that there comes a point in fear when you are so desperate that you will take any chance. I walked across my room and opened the door only to find the two managers on the other side, wondering whether I was alive or dead and consulting with each other whether they should knock on the door and awaken me. They had been sleeping in the garden in tents and bad caught the two hill men but most stupidly had not had the sense to hammer loudly on my door and call out, in which case I would not have been frightened. For the time being, after that, my bearer, old Bugaloo, slept outside on the verandah and I could easily call him.

Two or three months after that I went back to the old country and spent some weeks stopping in an old Scotch house where I had stopped year after year as a child. There was a large house-party, about eighteen people, stopping in the house at the time and by mistake (as his room was next to mine) the very nicest man in the house walked into my room one night. He had been reading late, down stairs, and the wind had blown out his candle as he came up and [150] at the same time had blown open my door. He hoped to find his door easily by passing his hand along the wall as his door was next to mine. Finding an open door he naturally thought it was his dressing room. In the meantime, the wind had awakened me and I jumped out of bed to shut the window and bumped into him. This, coming on top of my experience a few months earlier, did not help and laid the foundation for a state of fear which I have never succeeded in overcoming.

I have had two other very bad frights in my life when alone in a house and cannot claim to have any courage, except that I have not permitted it to condition my actions and I stay alone when I have to. I'm terrified of things happening to the girls and as my imagination always works overtime I know that I have spent a great deal of my life worrying over things that never happened.

Fear is a basic characteristic of humanity. Everybody is afraid and everybody has his pet fear. If people tell me that they are never afraid, I know that they are liars. They have some fear somewhere of some thing. Fear is nothing to be ashamed of and very frequently the more highly developed you are and the more sensitive you are, the more fears to which you may react. Apart from one's pet phobias and fears, sensitive people are prone to tune in on the fears of other people, on their depressions and on their terrors. They are, therefore, assimilating fears which do not belong to them but which they are unable to distinguish from their own innate fears. This is very terribly true today. Fear and horror rule the world and it is easy for people to be overcome with fear. War breeds fear and Germany, with her terror tactics traded on that and did everything possible to enhance world terror. It will take us a long time to eradicate fear, but we are making one step towards it when we talk or work for security. [151]

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