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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Appendix - The Arcane School - Its Esoteric Origins and Purposes
The Arcane School was projected by A.A.B. as an effort to help fulfil certain definite needs in the esoteric field. First, there was a real need for an increased number of working disciples in the world who would be available to carry forward the Hierarchical Plans. An esoteric school could find the people and give the preliminary training which would help in this problem of ashramic personnel. Secondly, [301] there was a need for an esoteric experiment along second ray teaching lines, which could attempt to carry a little of the increasing Aquarian quality. This required a new emphasis on group responsibility and world service as the essential of all true discipleship in the days to come. A.A.B. has succeeded to a marked degree in impregnating her School with the needed qualities and, therefore, in meeting this requirement. It is this factor that has given to our organized work in the world its pioneering aspect and has made us ever conscious that to a considerable degree the whole thing was in the nature of an experiment.

Another real need in the esoteric field was a type of discipleship teaching and action which would help to offset the crystallizations of the esoteric schools that had been produced in the Piscean era, which is now closing. These errors and unfortunate aspects were in a certain sense inevitable and do not justify criticism of any other esoteric group or work. They nevertheless existed and were proving a stumbling block and were shutting off the reception of the newer forms of spiritual expression. A.A.B. saw this dearly and has always persistently worked with this in mind. Among other things this effort is exemplified by her insistence on the achieving of a relationship of cooperation with the work of the Hierarchy as compared to the position of the devotee who operates on the principle of obedience, in a more childlike way. She insisted that a life of selfless service was the most important factor and that physical plane disciplines particularly as to diet and the often fanatical allegiance given to the tidbits of Hatha and Laya Yoga that had found their way into the Western world, and are so prevalent among esotericists, were largely outmoded and were, therefore, generally limiting sidetracks.

She insisted on mental freedom, mental polarization and the acquiring of a trained mind well equipped to deal intelligently and in a common sense manner with world conditions. This she knew must succeed the mystical, and all too often impractical idealism of the earlier stages of spiritual training which was basically more emotional and often leads to separateness and spiritual selfishness. This position is well known to us all and in the case of our own group life, originated in the wisdom of A.A.B. in her efforts to meet this third need.

The above suggests only some of the useful factors in the project as she originally conceived it. One other consideration, which has affected the whole operation, has been the rule that the life work [302] of every senior disciple must not only be useful objectively to the Hierarchy and to the ashram, and be practical in its effect in the world, but must also have in it adequate opportunity for the gaining of that experience, which the individual disciple must have if he is to play his proper part in the planned teamwork of the incarnation next succeeding the present one. The founding and perfecting and carrying forward of the Arcane School was in fact a part of the training of A.A.B. for the job for which she has just now been liberated. This fact carries no implication of any lessening interest in, or support of, the work which she inaugurated in this life and which she is as deeply concerned with now as she ever has been.

There is no doubt that Mrs. Bailey is subjectively and telepathically in rapport, at the present time, with a great many of her friends and students. Those who are sensitive sometimes register impressions. She is not, however, occupying herself with running around to individuals, telling them what they ought to do or what she wants them to do about anything. Both A.A.B. and the Tibetan have definitely stated that after she died He would not continue to function through any other channel as he did with her, and she is not attempting to control the Arcane School or direct its affairs, nor any of the service activities by means of any messages of any sort or kind.

Humanity is passing through the greatest spiritual crisis of its long history on this planet. The implications are too deep for our understanding. The choices that humanity has been making in recent years and still has to make in the short years just ahead, are of more profound significance than our imagination can picture. We have been taught and indeed of necessity it must be true that the Hierarchy of Masters is not all powerful, else there would be little left of human freedom, and we would all be destined to become spiritual robots. What they can do depends on how we respond to spiritual stimuli in the hour of crisis. It is abundantly clear that God's Plan for man is for humanity to achieve its own destiny in the light of its own soul, by the power of its own developing intellectual capacity, and by its deepening awareness and consecration to the fulfiling of its divine destiny.

It is in this light that we can understand how it is that from the position of greater knowledge and wisdom of the Hierarchy certain things are known to be inevitable for the human family and certain other things are subject to our responses to developing events. What we call the second world war was not in fact karmically necessary [303] and military warfare on the physical plane might have been avoided had certain achievements been attained. The working out of the Plan by the Hierarchy during the past twelve years had to include action which became impossible when humanity chose to precipitate the second phase of the great world conflict on to the physical plane in actual military warfare.

This explains many things. It meant that the effective work of many members of the New Group of World Servers was greatly delayed. The possibility of effective work in the field of Goodwill was for a cycle almost completely destroyed. At least until the outer physical plane fighting was stopped, the reaching of the disciples, who were in contact with the Arcane School and of the students scattered throughout the world who might otherwise have joined our ranks, was stopped. The pushing forward of the program of solving the problem of the right relation of money to Hierarchical work ceased altogether. The building of the Network of Light and Goodwill by establishing the Triangle movement was almost completely frustrated. The possibility of carrying the Great Invocation to the entire world, as we are now doing, could not take place.

In the dark days of 1939, when it seemed that so much was crumbling and that the heroic efforts of many disciples to do everything that they could do, that might help to avert war, were useless, it was hard to see how the work could be picked up again and reorganized and refinanced and again be effectively set into motion. At that time out of the kindness of his heart and for my encouragement the Tibetan gave me the assurance that when the holocaust was over I would discover that the foundations, which had been so well and truly laid for all our work, would be not only intact but entirely adequate for the building of the structure thereon which is necessary for the future work. This, at the time, I found hard to believe, for I was too deeply aware of the appalling consequences of the second war, but the statement then made has been proved abundantly true and we today are in a stronger position and are actually more efficiently working and serving than the ordinary finite mind could at that time have possibly reasonably expected.

Today our group is filled with light and love and power. Today this group, the Arcane School, of which we are a part, is functioning as a great station of light in the body of the New Group of World Servers. We are a magnetic focal point in that body bringing potency to it and aiding in making its work successful. This is our achieved [304] position and for us the most significant fact of the present hour. We do not stand alone. Our efforts are justified by our relationship to all working disciples everywhere who, consciously and unconsciously, are a part of that worldwide group of servers brought into existence by the Hierarchy itself as a part of the great adventure of the new Aquarian techniques. The New Group of World Servers is in fact a synthesizing project of combined field operations in the plans of the Hierarchy, involving a new type of world discipleship in group action. Our true place in the scheme of things can only be understood in terms of our participating in this larger group life.

(Talk to the Students at the Annual Conference Banquet of the Arcane School, New York, May 1950.)

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