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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter II
I returned to England three times during my life in India as the long sea voyage of three weeks each way was believed good for my health. I am a first-class sailor and always feel quite at home on the sea. Once I spent three weeks returning to Great Britain and whilst there spent one week in Ireland, one week in Scotland, one week in England and then took the boat back to India. I have spent many days and months, all told, on the ocean. I have lost count of how many times I have crossed the Atlantic.

All this time I was steadily and forcefully preaching the old-time religion. I remained appallingly orthodox or - to use the more modern word - an unthinking Fundamentalist, for no Fundamentalist uses his mind. I had many [81] arguments with liberal minded soldiers and officers but adhered with dogmatic firmness to the doctrinal presentation that no one could possibly be saved and go to Heaven unless he believed that Jesus died for his sins in order to placate any angry God, or unless he became converted, which meant that he confessed his sins and gave up everything that he liked to do. He must no longer drink, play cards, swear, or go to the theatre and, of course he mustn't have anything to do with women. If he would not so change his life inevitably he went to hell at death where he burned forever in the lake of fire and brimstone. Little by little, however, doubts began creeping into my mind and three episodes in my life began to assume engrossing mental proportions. Their implications nagged at me and were largely responsible for an eventual change in attitude toward God and the problem of eternal salvation. Let me relate them and you will then see the sequence of my interior disturbance.

Years ago, when I was in my early 'teens, my aunt in Scotland had a cook called Jessie Duncan. We were very great friends ever since I was a little girl, escaping into her kitchen for a piece of cake which I knew would be there. During the day she was just the upper servant, standing when I went into the kitchen, never sitting in my presence, only speaking when spoken to and completely correct in all relations to me as to everyone else. But in the evenings, after her day's work was done and I had gone to bed, she would come to my room and sit on the edge of my bed and we would talk and talk. She was a very good Christian. She loved me and watched me grow up with much interest. She was my close friend and handled me roughly when she thought the occasion warranted it. If she did not like the way I was behaving, she told me so. If reports reached her in the kitchen about my naughty behavior in the front of the house, I heard about it from her. If she was pleased [82] with my general conduct I also heard about it. I do not think that many people in America realize or appreciate the type of friendship and relationship which can exist between the so-called upper classes and their old servants. It is a state of real friendship and deep affection on both sides.

One evening Jessie came up to see me. I had that afternoon spoken at a Gospel meeting in the little village hall and I thought I had acquitted myself exceedingly well. I was frightfully pleased with myself. Jessie had been there with the rest of the servants and, as I discovered, had listened to me quite critically and with no resultant pleasure. We were discussing the meeting when suddenly she leaned over and took me by the shoulders and shook me gently to emphasize what she had to say:

"Will you ever learn, Miss Alice, that there are twelve gates into the Holy City and everybody in the world will come in by one or other of them. They will all meet in the market-place but not everybody is going in by your gate."

I could not imagine then what she meant and she was wise enough not to say any more. I never forgot her words. She had given me one of my first lessons in breadth of vision and in the immensity of God's love and God's preparation for His people. She little knew at that time that her words would be handed down to thousands of people in my public lectures.

The next phase of the lesson was presented to me in India. I had gone to Umballa to open the Soldiers Home there and had taken with me my old personal bearer, a native called Bugaloo. I expect I have not spelt his name right, but it is of no moment. I believe he really loved me. He was an ancient gentleman with a long, white beard and he never let anyone do anything for me if he were anywhere around; looking after me with the most meticulous care, travelling everywhere with me, caring for my room and bringing me my breakfast every day. [83]

I was standing one day on the verandah of our quarters in Mumballa, looking out on the road in front of the compound and at the countless hordes and throngs of Indians - Hindus, Mohammedans, Pathans, Sikhs, Gurkas, Rajputs and the babus, sweepers, men, women and children who passed ceaselessly along the road. They plodded silently - coming from somewhere, going somewhere, thinking of something, and their name is legion. Suddenly old Bugaloo came up to me and put his hand on my arm (a thing no Indian servant ever does) and gave it a little shake to attract my attention. Then he said in his curious English,

"Missy Baba, listen. Millions of people here. Millions, all the time long before you English came. Same God loves me as loves you."

I have since often wondered who he was and have asked myself whether my Master K.H. had used him to break the shell of formalism in me. This old bearer looked and acted like a saint and probably was a disciple. Again I was faced with the same problem with which Jessie Duncan had confronted me - the problem of the love of God. What had God done about the millions of people down the ages, throughout the entire world, before Christ came? Had they all died unsaved and gone to hell? I knew the trite argument that Christ, during the three days whilst His body was in the tomb went and "preached to the spirits in prison," i.e. in hell, but that didn't seem fair. Why give them only one small chance lasting three days, after thousands of years in hell, because they happened to live before Christ came? You can see, therefore, how little by little these interior questions were thundering in my spiritual ears.

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