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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter VI
Chapter VI

The year 1930 marks the last year of what I call normal living. From that time on I became absorbed in work both in Europe and Great Britain as well as in the U.S. and also in the girls' engagements and marriages, which, curiously enough, took a good deal out of me emotionally. The somewhat normal rhythm of my life from 1924 to 1930 was definitely disrupted in 1931.

These six years were in many ways years of monotonous rhythm and routine - getting up in the morning, working for the Tibetan, seeing that the girls were up and ready for school, breakfast, ordering the groceries, catching the train for New York in order to be in my office by ten and then the monotony of constant appointments, handling my mail, dictating letters, making decisions in relation to the work of the school, discussing problems with Foster and going out to lunch. Often in the late afternoon there were classes and I look back to those times in which I taught the fundamentals of the Secret Doctrine as some of the most profitable and satisfactory times in my life.

In many ways today H.P.B.'s book The Secret Doctrine is out of date and its approach to the Ageless Wisdom has little or no appeal to the modern generation. But those of us who really studied it and arrived at some understanding of its inner significance have a basic appreciation of the truth that no other book seems to supply. H.P.B. said that the next interpretation of the Ageless Wisdom would be a psychological approach, and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which I published in 1925, is the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine. None of my books would have been possible [215] had I not at one time made a very close study of The Secret Doctrine.

Looking back over the years of my own girlhood and those of my daughters, I know now what a difficult time adolescence is. I had a much worse time than my girls did because nobody told me anything. They had a difficult enough time but God knows I had worse. I had to stand by and see them chased and hope they would not be taken in; sometimes they were. I had to suffer at their hands by being temporarily regarded as an out-of-date parent. I had to submit to having my views regarded as obsolete and try to remember my own days of revolt. I had seen so much and knew so much of the evils in the world that I suffered agonies of terror over them, all of which proved totally unnecessary but which were bad enough at the time. I had to submit to their youthful belief that I knew nothing about sex, that I did not know how to handle men, that nobody had ever been in love with me except the two men I had married. My experience, of course, was that of every parent who launches young people on to the world, particularly if they are launching daughters. Sons free themselves earlier and keep their mouths shut, and the average mother knows nothing about her son's affairs. The next seven or eight years were, therefore, difficult ones for me and I am not at all sure that I handled them wisely. Anyway, I have apparently done no great harm and I rest back upon that.

In the fall of 1930 it was apparent that the work of the school was growing in Europe and Great Britain. The books that we had published were finding their way all over the world and through them we were coming into touch with people in every country. Many of these people would join the Arcane School, and the majority of them spoke English. At this time we had none of our work in foreign languages nor had we any foreign-speaking secretaries. The knowledge [216] of what we were doing and standing for spread all over the world mainly through the books and through people who wrote in to us about meditation or in connection with some problem or other.

Members of the Theosophical Society who were discontented with the narrowness of the presentation also got in touch with us and many of them joined the Arcane School. When they made application to do so I always pointed out to them that we personally had no objection to their affiliating with us but that the heads of the E.S. of that society most definitely objected. Rightly or wrongly I always pointed out to them that their souls were their own and that they should accept dictation from no one, either from me or the heads of the E.S. The result of this has been that we have in the Arcane School today many of the oldest and best of the E.S. members who find nothing contradictory in the two lines of approach.

The ridiculous theory, promulgated by the E.S. that it is dangerous to follow two lines of meditation at once, has not only amused me but has always proven wrong. For one thing, the same quality and vibration runs through the two approaches and, for another, the meditation work assigned in the E.S. is so elementary that it has little if any effect on the centers. It is, however, exceedingly good for those on the Path of Probation.

The Arcane School was, therefore, growing quite steadily but was still relatively small. We had moved from one location to another according to the vicissitudes of renting in New York City and it was in April 1928 that we first moved into our present headquarters at 11 West 42nd Street. We were among the first to move into this new building and to occupy the top floor, the 32nd. Today we occupy the 31st floor also but our quarters are much too [217] cramped and we shall have to expand in some way before long.

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