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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Appendix - The Principles of the Arcane School
The Principles of the Arcane School

By Alice A. Bailey

As you enter the Arcane School and become an active part of this group, there are certain fundamental ideas or governing principles which we would like to put before you. Upon these, the success of the work depends, both yours and ours. You are undertaking a task for which your life and all previous lives (if you accept the Law of Rebirth and of fresh opportunity) have prepared you. The enterprise upon which you are entering is a tremendous one; it involves a reorientation of your life and life methods, in all probability; it means the learning of the rules which govern the transfer of your life effort out of the fourth or human kingdom into the fifth kingdom. This kingdom is as much one of the kingdoms of nature as are the human or animal kingdoms; it is sometimes called the Kingdom of God and sometimes the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. It leads also to a preparation for those great expansions of consciousness which will transform your consciousness and make you constantly aware of the universal Whole, instead of identifying yourself with a tiny fraction of that Whole; it will enable you to substitute synthesis for that isolated separateness which is distinctive of the average human being.

As you face this new life of training and of growth into a new and spiritual livingness, there are certain essential propositions and esoteric conditions which when once grasped will simplify your approach to that kingdom and to the truth, and which will help you to recognize the sure foundation upon which you stand. We feel it right that you should ask and we should answer certain important questions, such as:

  • What is the purpose of the Arcane School?
  • What is the nature of its teaching?
  • What are the principles governing the training and the help given?
  • To what am I committed when I join the Arcane School?
  • What are the hall marks of the true esoteric school, and does the Arcane School conform to them?
  • By what basic concepts and ideas is the Arcane School governed? [281]

There are seven principles or governing objectives to which all the Arcane School workers and students are asked to conform. A study of these will greatly facilitate all future work, disposing of questions and clearing the way for an understanding progress. These principles are unchanging and will never be altered; if they are altered, then the Arcane School will no longer serve its originating purpose.

Methods and techniques may change; dogmas and doctrines appear and disappear as the Ageless Wisdom presents itself, generation after generation, and the continuity of revelation unfolds as the need of humanity demands it; but the underlying objective of all esoteric schools (including, therefore, the Arcane School) remains ever the same. That objective is the revelation of divinity in man and in the universe, and this leads inevitably to the acknowledgement of God Transcendent, and of God Immanent. It is right that the terminologies and the presentations of the One Truth should change with the changing times, thus meeting the need of the varied peoples of the world, but that which they seek to express remains forever unalterable. It is to be hoped that - decade by decade - the techniques and the methods of training offered by the Arcane School will change in response to the demanding needs of aspirants, to the unfoldment of the human mind, and the development, consequently, of human culture and civilization. These changes, however, must never be at the expense of truth or lead to a distortion of the esoteric teaching; neither must they assume undue importance or too great a proportion, thus obliterating Reality or veiling the Vision.

The seven principles or essential propositions are as follows:

  1. The Arcane School is a training school for disciples. It is not a school for probationary disciples or for devotional aspirants.
  2. The Arcane School trains adult men and women so that they may take their next step upon the path of evolution.
  3. The Arcane School recognizes the fact of the Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet and gives instruction in the mode whereby that Hierarchy may be approached and entered.
  4. The Arcane School teaches the practical belief that the "souls of men are one."
  5. The Arcane School emphasizes the necessity to live the spiritual life and rejects all claims to spiritual status.
  6. The Arcane School is non-sectarian, non-political, and international in its scope. [282]
  7. The Arcane School emphasizes no theological dogmas, but simply teaches the Ageless Wisdom, as recognized in all lands down through the ages.

Let us take each one of these foundational principles and see what they mean and how they are expressed through the Arcane School methods and mode of working.

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