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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Appendix - The Principles of the Arcane School
I. The Arcane School is a Training School for Disciples

At the close of the world war (1914-1945) the Arcane School had been in existence for nearly 25 years and had, in that time, serviced over 20,000 people. Its curriculum is progressive; step by step the studies deepen and the meditation work becomes more intensive as the student passes from one degree to another.

No teaching is given at any time in the development of the psychic powers; people are not taught to be clairvoyant or clairaudient; no training is given in magic or in the use of magical rituals, and nothing is taught at any stage on sex magic. Our whole emphasis is laid upon spiritual living, upon the mental grasp of the occult teaching and upon those rules and processes which will bring about right relations to one's fellowmen, right relation to one's own soul, right relation to the Spiritual Hierarchy (of which the Christ is the Supreme Head), and right relation to a Master and His ashram, or group.

Because the Arcane School is designed solely to train people to be conscious, working disciples, its curriculum is definitely eliminative. The work you are asked to do is not easy, nor is it intended to be easy. The standard maintained and desired is high and the work is planned in such a way that those whose mental equipment and spiritual aspiration are inadequate to the requirements automatically drop out; they find, for themselves, that they cannot cope with the work. We never encourage people to stay in the work unless they show fitness, for they only get discouraged and labor under a sense of failure and this is bad for all concerned.

Discipleship entails a loving heart and a keen, alert mind. The loving heart has always been emphasized, plus devotion, by the churches and the esoteric groups. This is a basic truth and necessity, but a keen, alert and trained mind is of equal importance. The Masters reach the world of men through their disciples; that is the way They choose to work. They are seeking, therefore, intelligent, [283] self-controlled men and women - with vision and with a self-imposed, spiritual discipline - through whom that work can be carried forward. Intentionally, therefore, we make the work difficult and keep the standard of requirements high because we, too, are looking for people who can use their minds or who show at least a willingness to develop and use their mental processes. The need of the more emotional and aspirational types and of the devotees can well be met in other groups and esoteric schools, and is thus being met.

Running through all the work of the Arcane School is the theme of service. Service to one's fellowmen is the hallmark of a disciple and the key also which opens for him the door of initiation. Therefore, all who enter the School and face the new cycle of training find us saying to them: Study, think and prove to yourself and to us that you have grasped the teaching by writing your study papers; learn to meditate and so make a contact with your true spiritual Self, the soul, and make service the expression of what you know. These three things should be your main spiritual preoccupation during the time spent in the earlier degrees. You will find that, as each year slips away, your grasp of the way into the Hierarchy grows steadily and your entire life will be taking on fuller and richer meaning. It is the world of meaning that we are trying to penetrate. You will then find that the succeeding degrees will open their doors to you, for you will be found to have covered the necessary preliminary work, to have assimilated a certain measure of technical and academic knowledge, to have certain spiritual contacts and arrived at certain great recognitions.

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