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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Appendix - The Arcane School - Its Esoteric Origins and Purposes
The Arcane School - Its Esoteric Origins and Purposes

By Foster Bailey

This is an appropriate time for us to consider the relationship of the Arcane School to some of the immediate aspects of the plans of the Hierarchy. We realize that we have a very limited knowledge of these plans but we also realize that as a result of the 30 years' work of the Tibetan, in collaboration with Alice A. Bailey (increasingly coming to be referred to as A.A.B.) we have had available, particularly during the last eighteen years, information which has never yet reached the majority of the sincere and earnest aspirants and disciples in the world. Our knowledge carries responsibility. Our favored position brings us extraordinary opportunity. At present, the condition of the human family confronts us with a worldwide need more critical than most of us have been quite able to comprehend.

The Arcane School was started by Mrs. Bailey in 1923. Twenty-eight years have come and gone and we are today a well-organized group of servers carrying forward certain spiritual projects for which we have accepted responsibility. Our position therefore is ascertainable with some degree of accuracy and the recognition by us all, that we are facing a new cycle in the life of the group, justifies our attempting an appraisal of our esoteric origins and purposes.

We are an Aquarian esoteric group, which is to say that we are a group of disciples and aspirants to discipleship, who are attempting to aid humanity in conscious relationship to the highest that we know about Hierarchical work. We therefore seek to deal with causes rather than to occupy ourselves with attempting to neutralize unfortunate effects. We seek to understand the deeper spiritual meanings which lie behind world events and strive to so live as to increasingly exemplify essential spiritual qualities.

The circumstance of our factual relation to the Hierarchy, not only accounts for our very existence as a spiritual group in the world, but is the essential factor in all our future undertakings. Without this Hierarchical relationship consciously recognized and constantly maintained we will be in the coming days less worthy than the host of world welfare movements and activities that are arising spontaneously [298] on all sides of us, which do not have this spiritual link consciously achieved.

All through her life A.A.B. shunned any statement or action which might be interpreted as claim making, as to her own personal spiritual status. This we well know. The powerful and amazingly effective and fruitful work that she did, brought, however, an inevitable recognition that she was in fact a hard-working disciple of the Great Ones with achieved status sufficient to her task and that through her the direct impact of spiritual force as wielded by the Hierarchy became available to us.

Let us go back to a time prior to the existence of our group in outward manifestation on the physical plane, to the early days of Mrs. Bailey's childhood. As a young girl in her teens, then functioning in a setting of aristocratic culture and very considerable wealth, fulfiling the round of social activities and obligations, as was the lot of such young ladies, her Master came to her. Her setting was of the most extreme conservative pattern, her understanding of religion and her allegiance to the Church of England was set, rigid and dogmatic. Her knowledge of the world outside her small circle of experience was startlingly negligible.

This visit of the Master was for the purpose of implanting in her physical brain consciousness the essentials of the pattern of her life as it was to unfold. She was strong enough to have knowledge of the program of service to which on the inner plane she was already pledged and consecrated and the essentials of which were the chosen program of her own soul.

She was at this time a senior disciple in the ashram of the Master K.H. (An ashram may be thought of as a center of living spiritual energy in the group life of the Hierarchy.) As the years have slipped by and I have learned to profit by the teaching I have personally received from her, I have come to understand better what a senior position in an ashram necessarily involves. This position is the key to all the work that she did. There are many factors involved, some of which we can speak of now. Through the teachings of the Tibetan many have learned much about these things and others share with me the knowledge of certain essentials that constitute our esoteric background as a group.

We know that He whom we are accustomed to refer to as the Tibetan is in fact one of the Masters of the Wisdom known by certain [299] of his associates as the Master Djwhal Khul. It was D.K., partly because he had specialized in occult philosophy and cosmic law, who was given the task of providing that bridging teaching necessary to the guidance of the hard-pressed disciples of the Great Ones in our present era; more especially also to provide the necessary expanding knowledge of spiritual realities which had to become available to humanity during that critical period of our present world history, when we are transiting out of the Piscean era into the Aquarian Age. D.K worked with the great disciple whom we know as H.P.B. Her writings, and especially The Secret Doctrine, were a courageous pioneering effort which broke through in the earlier days and made all that we now can do far more possible than it otherwise could have been. The time had come for the next expanded teaching to be given out. D.K. stood next to K.H. whose disciple he had been for a very long time. It seems natural that he should have looked for and found the necessary collaborator among that group of disciples who were in the same ashram with him.

Not only had D.K. to find some consecrated and daring disciple, available on the physical plane, to do this work but he, of course, had other activities and responsibilities that we know little about. Also the time had come when in the planned expansion and the reorganization of the Hierarchy, additional ashrams should be formed and the personnel for them found and trained. This arduous undertaking in many ways is as difficult a task as one might well imagine and for this the Arcane School has helped to provide usable material. The Tibetan, therefore, has been occupied, in part, by the founding of his own ashram which is now rapidly consolidating and expanding, in the giving out of the teachings which are now contained in some eighteen volumes, and in inaugurating certain spiritual activities in the world which conform to the plan of operations of the Hierarchy, as worked out by them in their effort to hasten the reappearance of the Christ. It is only in these later years that we have come to understand how this return of the Christ has, in fact, been the keynote and climaxing objective of all that has been done.

It is characteristic of truly spiritual and constructive forces that their active expression always results in several definite benefits. Such is the potency of spiritual force. The work which the Tibetan has done in the last thirty years already shows this tremendously [300] significant and encouraging quality. The same thing holds true in the life of every disciple in proportion to the importance of his status and the amount of spiritual force therefore carried.

It is the privilege, and the inevitable program of every senior disciple, to initiate some activity in each incarnation which serves the Hierarchical Plan and which more especially aids in that part of the Plan for which his own ashram has accepted responsibility. It was for this reason that at the appropriate time, before her last physical incarnation, A.A.B. proposed the project of establishing an esoteric school. When a disciple presents a proposed line of action it is approved if it actually does aid in the ashramic work and if the circumstances make it seem possible of reasonable fulfilment. But in any event the disciple is free to try and so long as it is constructive and useful and truly aids the Plan it has available for its purpose all of the ashramic energy that the individual disciple is able to carry. Should it fall away from its spiritual destiny these forces become unavailable. The attempt in this event withers away and dies in most cases before the disciple departs but inevitably not very long thereafter. Those movements in the world of spiritual nature that survive the rigours and confusions of the second generation are rare and that survival is a true hallmark of their genuine spiritual origin.

We today are confronted with the opportunity of so utilizing the spiritual forces available in the Arcane School, as a result of the past thirty years' work, that the fruitage already achieved, which is greater than we know, will be only the smaller part of the ultimate beneficial results. This rich prize has been given to us by A.A.B. and has been carried forward by those of us who have been so fortunate as to be able to join with her through the years in bringing it into living usefulness and keeping it true to the vision. Indeed her success in creating group consciousness and group action produced in the end a sense of joint responsibility and an established and recognized interdependence which has made the group achievement ours as well as hers. This achieved group consciousness is our greatest guarantee of successful operation in the days to come.

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