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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter IV
What was it that I learned that was beginning to satisfy my questioning mind and my disturbed heart? I had been [139] left adrift on a pinnacle of dissatisfaction. I was sure at that time of only two things; the fact of Christ and certain inner contacts which I could not possibly deny and not be untrue to myself, though I could not explain them. Now, to my amazement, light was beginning to dawn. I discovered three new (to me) basic ideas and eventually they all fitted into the general program of my spiritual life and gave me a clue to world affairs. Do not forget that the first phase of the world war ( 1914-1918) had opened; I am writing this at the close of the second phase (1939-1945).

I discovered, first of all, that there is a great and divine Plan. I found that this universe of ours is not a "fortuitous concurrence of atoms" but that it is the working out of a great design or pattern which will be all to the glory of God. I found that race after race of human beings had appeared and disappeared upon our planet and that each civilization and culture had seen humanity step forward a little further upon the path of return to God.

I discovered, for the second thing, that there are Those Who are responsible for the working out of that Plan and Who, step by step and stage by stage, have led mankind on down the centuries. I made the amazing discovery, amazing to me because I knew so little, that the teaching about this Path or this Plan was uniform, whether it was presented in the Occident or in the Orient, or whether it had emerged prior to the coming of Christ or afterwards. I found that the Head of this Hierarchy of spiritual Leaders was the Christ and when this dawned on me, I felt that He had been given back to me in a nearer and more intimate way. I found that He was "the Master of all the Masters and the Teacher alike of angels and of men." I found that the Masters of the Wisdom were His pupils and disciples, just as people like myself were pupils of some Master. I learnt that when I, in my orthodox days, talked about Christ [140] and His Church I was really speaking of Christ and the planetary Hierarchy. I found that the esoteric presentation of truth in no way belittled Christ. He was, indeed, the Son of God, the First Born in a great family of brothers, as St. Paul has told us, and a guarantee to us of our own divinity.

The third teaching which I came across and which pulled me up short for a long time was the dual belief in the law of rebirth and the law of cause and effect, called Karma and Reincarnation by Theosophists who, so often, like to sound learned. Personally, I believe that all this most necessary teaching would have made far more rapid progress if Theosophists had not been so overcome and glamored by the Sanskrit terms. If they had taught about the law of rebirth instead of the doctrine of reincarnation and if they had presented the Law of Cause and Effect instead of the Law of Karma, we might have had a more general recognition of the truth. I say this in no critical spirit, because I succumbed to the same glamor. Looking back now to my early classes and lectures, I laugh with amusement at my ponderous use of technical phrases of Sanskrit words and of the detailed significances of the Ageless Wisdom. I find that I get simpler as I get older and may be a little wiser.

With the discovery that there was a law of rebirth I found many of my problems, personal and individual, were capable of solution. Many who come to a study of the Ageless Wisdom find it difficult at first to accept the fact of the Law of Rebirth. It seems so revolutionary; it is apt to evoke a spirit of weariness and of spiritual fatigue. One life seems hard enough without contemplating many lives, both behind us and before us. Yet, if one studies the alternatives to the theory, it seems possibly the best and the most tenable. There are only two other theories which [141] really warrant attention. One is the "mechanical" alternative, which considers man is purely material, soulless and ephemeral so that (when he dies) he dissolves again into the dust from which he came; thought, under this theory, is simply a secretion of the brain and its activity, just as other organs produce their peculiar phenomenal secretion and there is, therefore, no purpose or reason for man's existence at all. This I could not accept, nor is it widely accepted anywhere.

Then there is the "one creation" theory of the orthodox Christian, which I had held without any speculation as to its truth. This posits an inscrutable God Who sends human souls into incarnation for one life and, according to their actions and their thinking in that one life so will be their eternal future. It endows man with no past, only an important present and an endless future - a future dependent upon the decisions of one life. What governs God's decisions as to a man's place and background and equipment remains unknown. There seems no reason for what He does under this "one creation" plan. I had worried so over the apparent unfairness of God. Why should I have been born in such good circumstances with money, good looks, opportunity, and all the many interesting experiences which life had brought me? Why should there have been people like that wretched little soldier from whom Miss Sandes had rescued me, who was born with no equipment, with obviously no background, with no money and with no capacity in this life for success of any kind? I knew now why I could leave him to God; that both he and I in our separate places would go on climbing the ladder of evolution, life after life, until some day for each of us it would be equally true, "As He is, so are we in this world."

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