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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter V
The next step was for us to furnish the house which Mr. Suffern purchased for us in Ridgefield Park, N. J., and then for Foster to go West and fetch the children. I stayed behind to get things ready, make the curtains, stock the house with necessities - most of which Mr. Suffern provided - and await anxiously for the return of my husband with the three girls. Craigie did not come with them; she followed later.

Never shall I forget their arrival at the Grand Central Terminal. Never did I see a more weary, worn out man than Foster Bailey. The four of them appeared up the ramp, Foster with Ellie in his arms and Dorothy and Mildred hanging on to his coat tails and how glad we all were to settle down in the new home. It was the first time the children had ever been East. They had never seen snow and had seldom worn shoes and it was for them like an entirely new civilized experiment. How he ever managed I do not know and I think this is a good place in which to point out what a marvelous stepfather he was to the children. He never allowed them whilst they were children to realize they were not his own and their indebtedness to him is very great. I think they are devoted to him and well they should be.

This entirely new cycle of living meant the adjustment of all of us to many changes. For the first time there was not only the intense pressure of the work to be done for people and for the Masters but it had to be combined with family cares, with the running of a household, with the education of the children and - which I found the most difficult - with the growing publicity. I have never been a lover of publicity. I've never liked the inquisitiveness of [182] the general public or their feeling that because you write books and lecture on the public platform that necessarily you have no private life. They seem to feel that anything you do is their business and that you must say the things they want said and portray yourself to them as they think you should be.

I shall never forget telling an audience of around 800 people, one day in New York, that all of them could attain a certain measure of spiritual realization if they cared enough to do so, but that it would entail sacrifice as it had in my own life. I told them that I had learned to iron the childrens clothes, etc., whilst reading a book on spiritual or occult matters and that it did not mean I burnt the clothes. I told them that they could regulate their thinking and learn mental concentration and spiritual orientation whilst peeling potatoes and shelling peas because that was what I had had to do, for I was no believer in sacrificing your family and their welfare to your own spiritual urges. At the close of the lecture a woman got up in the audience and publicly berated me for giving myself away to so many people on such trivial matters. I replied to her by telling her that I did not believe that the comfort of one's family was a trivial matter and that I had always had in my mind the work of a certain woman who was a well known lecturer and teacher but whose family of six children never saw her and the responsibility for their care was left to anybody who cared to be interested enough.

Personally I have no appreciation at all of the person who furthers a spiritual realization at the expense of their family or friends. There is far too much of this in various occult groups. When people come to me and tell me that their families are not sympathetic in their spiritual aspiration I ask them the following questions, - "Do you leave your occult books lying around to annoy everybody? Do [183] you demand complete silence in the house whilst you do your morning meditation? Do you make them get their own supper whilst you attend a meeting?" It is here that occult students make such fools of themselves and bring the whole question of occultism into disrepute. The spiritual life is not lived at the expense of others, and if people are suffering because you want to go to Heaven it is just too bad.

If there is one person in the world who makes me weary, tired and sick it is the academic, technical occultist. The second group that makes me tired are the nincompoops who think they are in touch with the Masters and who talk mysteriously of the communications they have received from the Masters. My attitude about all such communications is: "I believe this is what the Master says; I believe this is the teaching; but use your intuition; maybe it isn't." I may be considered by some as elusive as an eel but I do leave people free.

It was this contact with the general public that slowly began to start in 1921 and inaugurated a very difficult period in my life. I have always felt that I should astrologically have Cancer rising because I like to hide and not be seen and the verse in the Bible that has always seemed to me to be so important refers to "the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land."

Many of the leading astrologers have amused themselves by attempting to cast my horoscope. Most of them have given me Leo rising because they regard me as so individual. Only one of them has ever given me Cancer rising and he had insight and sympathy with my problem of publicity, and I think that inclined him to make Cancer my rising sign. However, I believe that my rising sign is Pisces. I have a Pisces husband and a Pisces daughter and Pisces is the sign of the medium or the mediator. I am not [184] a medium but I have been a kind of "middleman" between the Hierarchy and the general public. I would have you note that I say the general public and not occult groups. I know and believe that the general public is more ready for a sane knowledge of the Masters and more prepared for a normal and sensible interpretation of occult truth than are the members of the average occult group.

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