Navigate the Chapters of this Book

CHAPTER V - Part 2

I remember so well in this connection wishing to attend a communion service in the early mornings at a little church at Tunbridge Wells which was close to our headquarters in that town.  I went to the rector and asked permission because England is a very small country and my people are very well known.  The rector said he would have to get permission of the Bishop and this permission was refused and the rector came and told me I could not go to communion.  I looked at the rector for a few minutes and then I said, "I could have come to this town from America and be the cocktail drinking, card-playing woman, fast and with half a dozen lovers and I could have gone to communion because I had had no divorce.  Twenty years ago I got a divorce with the full approval of the Bishop and clergy in the diocese because they knew the facts, but I cannot attend communion—I, who have sought to serve the Christ since I was fifteen."  There is something fundamentally wrong with the Church of England.  There is something equally wrong with the Episcopal Church here because a bishop of this [202] church said to me once, "Don't ever tell me that a person is divorced because what I do not know hurts nobody, but if I know then I shall have to refuse communion."  No comment.

We are on our way towards the solution of the sex problem.  What it will be I do not know, but I trust in the inherent soundness of humanity and the unfolding purpose of God.  Maybe the solution will come through right education in our schools and the right attitude of the parents in the world towards their adolescent boys and girls.  The present attitude is based on fear, ignorance and reticence.  The time must come when educators and parents talk out the facts of life and the regulation of the sexes openly and directly with the young people, and I see that time most rapidly approaching.  The young people are very sound but their ignorance frequently gets them into difficulties.   If they know the facts—the brutal, unadorned facts—they will know what to do.  All this silly talk about little flowers and seed-pods and babies coming via the stork and similar approaches to the sex problem, and they are many, are an insult to the human intelligence and our young people are most highly intelligent.

Personally, I would like to see every boy and girl at the age of adolescence taken to an understanding physician and told the bald facts.  I would like to have engendered in the younger generation a respect for their function as the coming parents for the next generation and I would like to have the mother and father of today (and here I am generalising) leave the young people more free to work out their own problems.  My experience has been that they can be trusted when they know.  The average boy and girl are not naturally degenerate and are not going to take risks when they know the risks exist.  I would like to have the sex problem approached by the physician as he talks to the boys and [203] girls as they are brought to him from the angle of parenthood, from the point of view of the dangers of promiscuity plus a warning as to homosexuality, which is one of the greatest menaces confronting the boys and girls today.  Given the facts and given a clear picture, as a general rule we can trust our young people but, candidly, I do not trust the parents largely because they are full of fear and do not trust their children.

All this is in the nature of a preliminary canter because during the next few years I naturally had to face the boy and girl problem.  I have three most attractive daughters and the boys began to gather around so that it was not only people, people, people all the time in my office but it was boy, boy, boy all the time in my home and it was there I learned to understand and like both groups.  I respect, like and trust the younger generation.

About this time we moved from Ridgefield Park to Stamford, Conn. A friend of ours, Mr. Graham Phelps-Stokes, had a vacant house on Long Island Sound and he let us have it rent free for several years.  It was a much larger and nicer house than the one in Ridgefield Park and personally I loved it.  I shall always remember the mornings there.  Upstairs there was a wing of the house which consisted of one large room over the maid's quarters downstairs.   There were windows on three sides of this room and there I lived and worked.  Craigie was with us and although there was an awful lot of housework to be done the girls were getting older and were much more helpful in the house.  Foster and I used to commute to New York most days of the week as Craigie was there to look after the girls.  They were all in their 'teens and extraordinarily good looking and we found it quite impossible to put them into a public school.  The population of Stamford at that time was largely foreign and three beautiful blond girls were [204] almost irresistible to the Italian boy so they were followed everywhere.  I laid the problem before a rich friend of mine and she paid for their tuition in the Low Hayward School.  This was a very high class girls' private school, and they attended there every day until we left Stamford.

I cannot remember all the different boys that gathered around.  Two of them are still our friends and visit us at times though they are both married and have their families.  They drop in now at intervals and somehow there is always that happy, deeply rooted situation which eliminates all strain and enables us to pick up the threads of a close friendship no matter how long it has been since we last saw them.  The others I forget.  They came and they went.  An outstanding recollection is sitting up nights in my room with three sides of glass, watching for the lights of the car that would indicate that a boy was returning a girl to her home.  This used to annoy my daughters extremely but I have always felt that the psychology was good.  Mother was always aware where her girls were, who they were with and when they got home and I have never regretted my stubbornness on this point.  But I often regretted my lost hours of sleep.  The three girls never gave me any real anxiety and never gave me any cause to distrust them, but I like to take this opportunity, now they are all married and living their own lives, to say how nice they were, how sound, how sensible and how downright decent.

So the years slipped away.  From 1925 to 1930 were years of adjustments, of difficulties, of joys and of growth.  There is little to relate.  They were just ordinary years—years of work, establishing and stabilising the Arcane School, of publishing the Tibetan's books and of gathering around us a group of men and women who were not only our staunch friends, working with us from then to now, but were also loyally dedicated to the service of humanity.

[205] We seldom went away in the summer as this house was on the Sound and had its own beach and the girls had all the swimming and clamming they needed.  I'm really a great hand at clam chowder.  Thanks to the kindness of a friend, we had a car and could drive to New York or anywhere we chose.  Every Sunday, practically, we were at home to friends and guests and frequently had 20 or 30 people at the house.  We mixed them all up higgledy-piggledy, young and old, people of good social position or of no position, and I believe a good time was had by all.  We served cake and punch, tea and coffee, and no matter who they were everybody had to "muck in" and wash dishes and tidy up the sitting room when the day was over.

We had a cat and a dog who were exceedingly individual.  The dog was a police dog, grandson of Rin Tin Tin and most valuable.  He was supposed to be a protection to us and to scare tramps and bums away but he was no protection whatsoever.   He loved everybody and welcomed every bum to the house.  He was overbred, far too sensitive and highly strung and had to have bromides constantly to keep his nerves in order.  There was not a streak of viciousness in him and we all adored him.  The cat nobody adored because it adored only me.  It was a huge and quite magnificent Tom cat that we picked up as a stray when it was a wee kitten.  It would speak to nobody but me.  It would accept food from nobody but me.  It refused to enter the house if I were not downstairs so at last Foster built it a ladder from the garden to my bedroom window and cut a hole in the screen so that he could get into my room and from that moment it was entirely happy, never using any door, but always shooting up the ladder on to my bed.

The work was growing apace during these years.  My husband had started the magazine, The Beacon, and it was meeting a real need as it does today.  I usually put on 6 or 8 [206] public lectures a year and as long as no paid admissions were asked I could easily get out an audience of 1,000.  In time, however, we decided that a lot of these people who occupied chairs in my audiences were what is called in New York simply floaters.  They drifted in and out of every free lecture, no matter what the subject was, and never really benefited from anything they heard.  The time, therefore, came when we decided to charge admission to my lectures even if it was only 25 cents.  The audiences immediately dropped about half and this pleased us greatly.  Those who came did so because they wanted to hear and learn and it was worth while talking to them.

I have always liked lecturing and for the last twenty years have never known what it is to feel nervous on the platform.  I like people and trust them and an audience is simply a nice person.  I suppose lecturing is the thing I enjoy the most in the world and today, because prevented by my health, it is one of the greatest deprivations.  My doctor does not really sanction it and my husband worries dreadfully so I only lecture now at the yearly conference.

It was early in this period that I established a friendship which has meant to me more than anything else in the world except my marriage to Foster Bailey.  This friend was simplicity and sweetness and selflessness combined, and she brought a richness and a beauty into my life of which I had never dreamed.  Seventeen long years we walked the spiritual way together.  I gave her all the spare time I could and was constantly at her home.  The same things amused us; the same qualities and ideas interested us.  We had no secrets from each other and I knew all that she felt about people and circumstances and her environment.  I like to think that in the last seventeen years of her lonely life she was not entirely alone.  To understand her, to stand by her, to let her talk to me freely and to feel safe in so doing [207] was the only compensation I could make to her for her endless goodness to me.  For seventeen years she dressed me and until her death in 1940 I never bought an article of clothing for myself.  I'm still wearing the clothes she gave me.  All the jewelry I have she gave me.  I brought beautiful lace and jewelry to this country when I came but it all had to be sold to pay the grocer's bills and she saw to it that some of it was replaced.  She put the girls through school and always paid our passages to Europe and Great Britain and back.  We were so close that if I was ill she knew it automatically.  I remember once being ill in England some years ago and within a few hours she cabled me £500 as she knew I was ill and might need it.

Our telepathic relationship has been quite extraordinary and has continued even after her death.  When things were happening in her own family after she had passed over she would discuss them with me telepathically.  Although I had no means of knowing about them, later I would discover what it was all about and I am quite frequently even today in touch with her.  She had a very deep and profound knowledge of the Ageless Wisdom but she was afraid of people; afraid of being misunderstood; afraid that people liked her for her money and basically and deeply afraid of life.  I think I was of service to her along these lines, for she respected my judgment and found it often coincided with hers.  I acted as a safety-valve.  She knew she could tell me anything and that it would go no further.  Even when she was dying she had me on her mind and only a few days before her death I had a letter from her which I could scarcely read, telling me about herself.  The letter was mailed for her by someone.  One of the things that I am looking forward to when I pass over to the other side is to find her waiting for me, for that she has promised to do.  We had good times together whilst she was on earth.  We chuckled [208] and laughed over the same things.  We liked the same colours and I have often wondered what I did in the past to deserve such a friend in the present.

Twice a year she would go to a store and buy me eight or nine dresses, knowing exactly the kind of thing I liked and the colours that suited me and twice a year on receipt of these boxes of beautiful clothes I would go to my cupboard and take out an equivalent number of the dresses of the year before and send them to personal friends who I knew were hard up.  I'm no believer in hoarding things for oneself and I have known what it is to need a certain type of dress or coat and not be able to afford it.  The poverty among the better class of people who have to keep up certain appearances is a far more bitter experience than many other types of poverty.  They do not like to accept charity and they cannot go around and beg but they can be induced to accept what they need from anyone, for instance, who could write and say as I could write and say, 'I've just had a present of a lot of new dresses and I simply can't wear all I have.  I would feel greedy if I held on to all of them, so I am sending you a couple of them and you can help me out by accepting them."  All this happiness, therefore, which nice and correct clothes can bring could every year be traced to this friend and not to me.

I find it difficult to talk as I would like to talk about the people who matter the most to me.  I feel this particularly in this case and, above all, in the case of Foster Bailey, my husband.  He and I have talked this over and decided it would not be possible to put into an autobiography what I would like to say.

Another interesting friendship also came our way and had in it some very significant implications—implications that are more liable to work out in the next life than this.  There is a club in the City of New York that is called the [209] Nobility Club.  One day a member of the club asked me to go down and hear the Grand Duke Alexander speak.  He was a son of one of the Czars of Russia and brother-in-law of the late Czar Nicholas.  I went down more from curiosity than from anything else and found a packed room filled with all the elite of the nobility and royalties gathered in New York at that time.  Presently we all got to our feet when the Grand Duke came in and sat down in an armchair on the platform.  When we were all again seated he looked us all over very seriously and then said, "I wonder if it is possible that for one minute you would forget that I am a Grand Duke, because I want to talk to you about your souls."  I sat up startled and pleased and at the close of his talk I turned to my friend, Baroness —-, and said, "How I would like to put the Grand Duke in touch with people in this country who won't care whether he is a Grand Duke or not but will love him for himself and his message." That was all and I thought no more about it.

The next morning, when in my office, the telephone rang and a voice said, "His Imperial Highness will be glad if Mrs. Bailey will be at the Ritz at 11 o'clock."  So Mrs. Bailey was over at the Ritz at 11.  I was met in the foyer by the Grand Duke's secretary.  He sat me down and looked solemnly at me and said, "What do you want with the Grand Duke, Mrs. Bailey?"  Amazed, I looked at him and said, "Nothing.  I can't imagine why I am here."  "But," said Mr. Roumanoff, "the Grand Duke said you wanted to see him."  I then told him I had taken no steps to see the Grand Duke and that I could not imagine what he wanted me for.  I told him I had been to the Grand Duke's talk the afternoon before and had expressed to a friend of mine the wish that he could meet certain people.  Mr. Roumanoff then took me upstairs to the Grand Duke's suite and after I had made my curtsey and been seated he asked me what [210] he could do for me.  I said, "Nothing."  I then went on to tell him that there were people in America, like Mrs. du Pont Ortiz, who thought as he did, who had beautiful homes, who seldom attended lectures and that I hoped that he might perhaps be willing to meet them.  Whereupon he assured me that he would do anything I asked him and then said, "Let us now talk about the things that matter."  We spent about an hour talking about things spiritual and the need for love in the world.  He had just published a book called "The Religion of Love" and was anxious to have it more widely read.

When I got back to the office I called up Alice Ortiz and told her to come up to New York and put on a luncheon for the Grand Duke at the Hotel Ambassador.  She promptly refused.  I, as promptly, coaxed her into consenting.  She came up and gave a luncheon party.  In the middle of the lunch Mr. Roumanoff turned to me and said, "Who are you, Mrs. Bailey?  We cannot find out anything about you."  I assured him I was not surprised, because I was nobody—just an American citizen with a British background.  He shook his head and seemed quite bewildered, telling me that the Grand Duke had said that he would like to do what I wanted him to do.

This was the beginning of a very real friendship which lasted until the Grand Duke died and after.  He constantly went down with Foster and me to stop at Valmy for a few days.  All of us had long, interesting talks.  One of the things I feel we both deeply realised in that friendship was that under the skin we are all alike, and that whether you are of royal blood or the lowest type of human being socially, we have the same likes and dislikes, the same pains and sorrows, the same sources of happiness and the same urge to go forward spiritually.  The Grand Duke was a convinced spiritualist and we used to have quite entertaining [211] times holding little seances in Alice's huge living-room.

One afternoon Mr. Roumanoff called my husband up, asking if my husband and I were free that evening and if so would we be responsible for taking the Grand Duke to the two places where he had to speak.  We were glad to do so and took him where he had to go and at the close of his talk rescued him from the autograph hunters.  On the way back to the hotel the Grand Duke suddenly turned to me and said, "Mrs. Bailey, if I were to tell you that I also know the Tibetan would it mean anything to you ?"  "Yes, sir," I said, "it would mean a great deal."  "Well, now," replied the Grand Duke, "you understand the triangle, you, Foster and me."  This was, I think, the last time I saw him.  He left shortly after that for the south of France and we left for England.

A couple of years later I was sitting up in bed one morning reading about 6.30, when in walked the Grand Duke, to my amazement, in the dark blue lounging pajamas which he so often wore.  He looked at me, smiled, waved his hand and disappeared.  I went to Foster and told him that the Grand Duke was dead.  And so it was.  I saw the obituary notice in next day's papers.  Before he left America he had given me a photograph of himself, autographed, of course, and after a year or so this disappeared.  It completely vanished and as he was no longer alive I deeply regretted it but was confident that some autograph hunter had stolen it.  Several years later, walking down 43rd St., New York, I suddenly saw the Grand Duke coming towards me.  He smiled and passed on and when I got up to my office I found the lost photograph lying on my desk.  There was evidently quite a close link upon the spiritual level between the Grand Duke, Foster Bailey and myself.  In a later life we shall know the reason for the contact this life and for the friendship and understanding that were established

[212] A life must not be seen as an isolated event but as an episode in a series of lives.  What is working out today, the friends and family we are linked with and the quality, character and temperament which we show indicates simply the sum total of the past.  What we are in our next life results from what we have been and done in this.

These years were very busy years.  The girls were growing up and the boys were coming around.  The School was steadily growing and inside myself I was gaining a sense of assurance and a recognition that I had found the work about which K. H. had spoken to me in 1895.  The doctrines of reincarnation and of the law of cause and effect had solved the problems of my questioning mind.  The Hierarchy was known to me.  I had been given the privilege of contacting K. H. when I chose, for I could now be trusted to keep my personality affairs out of His Ashram and I moved on into greater usefulness in His Ashram and, consequently, in the world.  The recognition of the Tibetan's books throughout the world was steadily growing.  I, myself, had written several books which met with a good reception and I wrote them to prove that one could do so-called psychic work, such as my work with the Tibetan, and still possess one's own set of brains and be an intelligent human being.  Through the books and through the growing membership of the School, Foster and I were coming increasingly in contact with people all over the world.  Letters came pouring in of inquiry, of requests for help, or with a demand that we start a group in some country or other.

I have always held the theory that the deepest and most esoteric truths could be shouted from the housetops to the general public and unless there was an inner mechanism of spiritual recognition no harm could possibly be done.  Therefore pledges to secrecy became meaningless.  There are no secrets.  There is only the presentation of truth and its understanding.  [213] There has been a great deal of confusion in the minds of the general public between esotericism and magic.  Magic is a mode of working on the physical plane relating substance and matter, energy and force in order to create forms through which life can express itself.  This work as it deals with elemental forces is dangerous and even the pure in heart need protection.  Esotericism is in reality the science of the soul.  It concerns the living, spiritual, vital principle found in every form.  It establishes a unity both in time and space.  It motivates and implements the Plan from the angle of the aspirant and is the science of the Path, and it instructs man in the techniques of the coming superman and thus enables him to set his feet upon the Path of the higher evolution.

The curriculum of the School was gradually unfolded.  We kept the work, and still keep it, fluid in an effort to meet the changing needs and we were gradually acquiring a staff of trained men to superintend the work.  Fifteen years ago (in 1928) we moved to our present headquarters and today both the 31st and the 32nd floors constitute the headquarters of the Arcane School, of the Lucis Trust, of the Goodwill Work and of the Lucis Publishing Company.  Beginning with a small handful of students we now have a number of spiritual projects all occupied with the service of humanity and all of them non-profit and world wide, and all made possible by the students in the Arcane School.