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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Introduction

What finally decided me to write about my life was a letter I had in 1941 from a friend in Scotland who said that he felt that I would really render a service if I could show people how I became what I am from what I was. It might be useful to know how a rabid, orthodox Christian worker could become a well-known occult teacher. People might learn much by discovering how a theologically minded Bible student could come to the firm conviction that the teachings of the East and of the West must be fused and blended before the true and universal religion - for which the world waits - could appear on earth. There is value in knowing that the love of God antedates Christianity and recognizes no boundaries. This was the first and most difficult lesson I had to learn and it took me a long time. It takes all fundamentalists much time to learn that God is love. They assert it but do not believe it in practice, God's practice I mean.

I would like, among other things, to show how the world of human beings opened up to a very class-conscious English woman and how the world of spiritual values with its direct, inner, spiritual government became a proven fact to an exceedingly narrow-minded Christian. I glory in the name of Christian but I now belong to the inclusive kind and not the exclusive.

One of the things that I seek to bring out in this story is the fact of this inner direction of world affairs and to familiarize more people with the paralleling fact of the existence of Those Who are responsible (behind the scenes) for the spiritual guidance of humanity, and for the task of leading mankind out of darkness into Light, from the unreal to the Real and from death to Immortality. [2]

I want to make the Disciples of the Christ who are the Masters of the Wisdom, real to people, as real as They are to me and many thousands in the world. I do not mean a hypothetical reality (if we may use such a phrase) or as a subject of faith and belief. I want to show Them as They are - Disciples of the Christ, living men, and ever present factors in human affairs. Those are the things which are of moment and not the earthly experiences, the happenings and events in the life of one of Their workers.

I have lived many incarnations in one. I have moved forward steadily but with exceeding difficulty (psychological and material) into an ever widening field of usefulness. I want to show that in each cycle of experience, I did sincerely try to follow a leading, coming from within, and that when I did, it always meant a step forward in understanding and a greater ability, therefore, to help. The result of this apparently blind moving forward (as when I married and came to the U.S.A.) was extended opportunity. I have played many parts in my life. I was an unhappy, exceedingly disagreeable, little girl, a society girl in the gay nineties (which I didn't find so gay) and then an evangelist of the "Billy Sunday" type and a social worker. Again - not so gay, except that I was young and tremendously interested in everything. Later, I married Walter Evans and found myself functioning as the wife of a rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church in California and the mother of three girls.

This varied experience of living and working in Great Britain, Europe, Asia and America led to basic changes in my attitudes to life and people. To remain static in a point of view strikes me as unintelligent. It means that there comes a point in one's development when one ceases to learn, when one fails to extract the meaning out of events, schools of thought and circumstance, and when one remains [3] mentally quiescent in the face of life. That is disaster. That is evil. That, surely, is what hell must mean. The awfulness of hell (in which I do not believe from the orthodox point of view) must lie in "everlasting" sameness, in a forced inability to change conditions.

I became next an occult student, a writer of books which have had a wide and constant circulation and which have been translated into many languages. I found myself the head of an esoteric school - all unwittingly and without any planned intention - and the organizer, with Foster Bailey, of an International Goodwill Movement (not a peace movement) which proved so successful that we had centers in nineteen countries when the war broke out in 1939.

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