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THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ARCANE SCHOOL

[280]

THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ARCANE SCHOOL

By ALICE A.  BAILEY

As you enter the Arcane School and become an active part of this group, there are certain fundamental ideas or governing principles which we would like to put before you.  Upon these, the success of the work depends, both yours and ours.  You are undertaking a task for which your life and all previous lives (if you accept the Law of Rebirth and of fresh opportunity) have prepared you.  The enterprise upon which you are entering is a tremendous one; it involves a re-orientation of your life and life methods, in all probability; it means the learning of the rules which govern the transfer of your life effort out of the fourth or human kingdom into the fifth kingdom.  This kingdom is as much one of the kingdoms of nature as are the human or animal kingdoms; it is sometimes called the Kingdom of God and sometimes the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet.  It leads also to a preparation for those great expansions of consciousness which will transform your consciousness and make you constantly aware of the universal WHOLE, instead of identifying yourself with a tiny fraction of that Whole; it will enable you to substitute synthesis for that isolated separateness which is distinctive of the average human being.

As you face this new life of training and of growth into a new and spiritual livingness, there are certain essential propositions and esoteric conditions which when once grasped will simplify your approach to that kingdom and to the truth, and which will help you to recognise the sure foundation upon which you stand.  We feel it right that you should ask and we should answer certain important questions, such as:-

What is the purpose of the Arcane School?

What is the nature of its teaching?

What are the principles governing the training and the help given?

To what am I committed when I join the Arcane School?

What are the hall marks of the true esoteric school, and does the Arcane School conform to them?

By what basic concepts and ideas is the Arcane School governed?

[281] There are seven principles or governing objectives to which all the Arcane School workers and students are asked to conform.  A study of these will greatly facilitate all future work, disposing of questions and clearing the way for an understanding progress.  These principles are unchanging and will near be altered; if they are altered, then the Arcane School will no longer serve its originating purpose.

Methods and techniques may change; dogmas and doctrines appear and disappear as the Ageless Wisdom presents itself, generation after generation, and the continuity of revelation unfolds as the need of humanity demands it; but the underlying objective of all esoteric schools (including, therefore, the Arcane School) remains ever the same.  That objective is the revelation of divinity in man and in the universe, and this leads inevitably to the acknowledgment of God Transcendent, and of God Immanent.  It is right that the terminologies and the presentations of the One Truth should change with the changing times, thus meeting the need of the varied peoples of the world, but that which they seek to express remains forever unalterable.  It is to be hoped that—decade by decade—the techniques and the methods of training offered by the Arcane School will change in response to the demanding needs of aspirants, to the unfoldment of the human mind, and the development, consequently, of human culture and civilisation.  These changes, however, must never be at the expense of truth or lead to a distortion of the esoteric teaching; neither must they assume undue importance or too great a proportion, thus obliterating Reality or veiling the Vision.

The seven principles or essential propositions are as follows:—

1. The Arcane School is a training school for disciples.  It is not a school for probationary disciples or for devotional aspirants.

2. The Arcane School trains adult men and women so that they may take their next step upon the path of evolution.

3. The Arcane School recognises the fact of the Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet and gives instruction in the mode whereby that Hierarchy may be approached and entered.

4. The Arcane School teaches the practical belief that the "souls of men are one."

5. The Arcane School emphasises the necessity to live the spiritual life and rejects all claims to spiritual status.

6. The Arcane School is non-sectarian, non-political, and international in its scope.

[282] 7. The Arcane School emphasises no theological dogmas, but simply teaches the Ageless Wisdom, as recognised in all lands down through the ages.

Let us take each one of these foundational principles and see what they mean and how they are expressed through the Arcane School methods and mode of working.

I. The Arcane School is a training school for disciples.

At the close of the world war (1914-1945) the Arcane School had been in existence for nearly 25 years and had, in that time, serviced over 20,000 people.  Its curriculum is progressive; step by step the studies deepen and the meditation work becomes more intensive as the student passes from one degree to another.

No teaching is given at any time in the development of the psychic powers; people are not taught to be clairvoyant or clairaudient; no training is given in magic or in the use of magical rituals, and nothing is taught at any stage on sex magic.  Our whole emphasis is laid upon spiritual living, upon the mental grasp of the occult teaching and upon those rules and processes which will bring about right relations to one's fellowmen, right relation to one's own soul, right relation to the Spiritual Hierarchy (of which the Christ is the Supreme Head), and right relation to a Master and His ashram, or group.

Because the Arcane School is designed solely to train people to be conscious, working disciples, its curriculum is definitely eliminative.  The work you are asked to do is not easy, nor is it intended to be easy.  The standard maintained and desired is high and the work is planned in such a way that those whose mental equipment and spiritual aspiration are inadequate to the requirements automatically drop out; they find, for themselves, that they cannot cope with the work.  We never encourage people to stay in the work unless they show fitness, for they only get discouraged and labour under a sense of failure and this is bad for all concerned.

Discipleship entails a loving heart and a keen, alert mind.  The loving heart has always been emphasised, plus devotion, by the churches and the esoteric groups.  This is a basic truth and necessity, but a keen, alert and trained mind is of equal importance.  The Masters reach the world of men through their disciples; that is the way They choose to work.  They are seeking, therefore, intelligent, [283] self-controlled men and women—with vision and with a self-imposed, spiritual discipline—through whom that work can be carried forward.  Intentionally, therefore, we make the work difficult and keep the standard of requirements high because we, too, are looking for people who can use their minds or who show at least a willingness to develop and use their mental processes.  The need of the more emotional and aspirational types and of the devotees can well be met in other groups and esoteric schools, and is thus being met.

Running through all the work of the Arcane School is the theme of service.  Service to one's fellowmen is the hallmark of a disciple and the key also which opens for him the door of initiation.  Therefore, all who enter the School and face the new cycle of training find us saying to them: Study, think and prove to yourself and to us that you have grasped the teaching by writing your study papers; learn to meditate and so make a contact with your true spiritual Self, the soul, and make service the expression of what you know.  These three things should be your main spiritual pre-occupation during the time spent in the earlier degrees.  You will find that, as each year slips away, your grasp of the way into the Hierarchy grows steadily and your entire life will be taking on fuller and richer meaning.  It is the world of meaning that we are trying to penetrate.  You will then find that the succeeding degrees will open their doors to you, for you will be found to have covered the necessary preliminary work, to have assimilated a certain measure of technical and academic knowledge, to have certain spiritual contacts and arrived at certain great recognitions.

II. The Arcane School trains adult men and women for their next step on the Path of Evolution.

When you enter the Arcane School you are taking part in a new experiment in adult education.  This experiment is based on three major expectations:

These are as follows:—

1. Each student is pledged to occult obedience.

2. Each student is entirely free to profit or not by the school curriculum.

3. Each student can, if he chooses, become a worker in the Arcane School.

What actually is an adult person?  He is—from our point of view—a man or woman who has achieved a certain basic integration or integrations, or is consciously attempting to attain them.  To be an adult has, in fact, nothing to do with the age of the person.  We hold (as does modern psychology) that a human being is a synthesis of the physical nature, vital activity, the sumtotal of emotional states and feeling, and the mind.  These various aspects are often unrelated to each other and in the majority of cases the emotional nature dominates all the others, the mind having little opportunity to make its presence felt.  When, however, a measure of balance or equilibrium is attained, when the mind, the emotional nature and the vital, physical person constitute one functioning unity, then the man is an adult being.  He warrants the name of "personality" and has brought about within himself (as a result of the evolutionary process) a series of integrations.

Many of the students in the Arcane School are working at the problem of personality integration or at the task of developing the mind so that it may effectively control the emotional nature and direct the activities of the man upon the physical plane.  Others have attained a fair measure of this personality integration and are now working at a still higher synthesis, i.e., that of the soul with the personality or of the higher Self with the lower self.  When this latter integration has been achieved, then the man can be regarded as a "soul-infused personality."  At this point, or when it is in process of accomplishment, he can become an accepted disciple—technically understood.

The occult obedience referred to is the obedience rendered by man, the personality, to his own soul.  It does not refer to obedience to any teacher or body of doctrines.  In the Arcane School, no pledges or vows to obey are exacted from any student, at any stage.  As the students have voluntarily entered the school, we assume that they will (still voluntarily) attempt to carry out the requirements.  This expectation has, however, nothing to do with occult obedience, but is simply commonsense.  Occult obedience is a spontaneous reaction of the mind to the imposition of the desires or will of the soul.  It means that the aspirant to discipleship is training himself to become sensitive to impressions coming from his soul and then hastens to obey.  The goal of meditation is, first of all, to bring about this sensitivity and enable the student, therefore, to work in the light of soul guidance.  [285] The personality becomes increasingly sensitive to soul impression by this means and by following the path of true occult obedience.

The school workers and secretaries—both at Headquarters and in the field—never seek to interfere in the spiritual life and efforts of the student.  The help given in the meditation work and the suggestions made concerning the spiritual life are freely offered.  The requirements cannot be imposed.  If the student profits by the work and by the help given, we are glad but (in the last analysis) it is his business what he does with them; if he does not avail himself of the opportunities presented, that again is his business.

To leave the student completely free is a fundamental aim of the Arcane School.  This is necessary if he is ever to learn to handle himself intelligently and to grow spiritually.  The student can work or not, as he chooses; he is free to leave, when he so desires.  Necessarily, if the student never works, never studies, and never sends in his meditation reports, we are forced eventually to conclude that he is not interested and then we drop his name from our active list.  We naturally reserve to ourselves the right to drop a student from our list if we feel he is not profiting from what we are seeking to give him.

It is also our policy to leave the student entirely free as regards his private life.  The Arcane School imposes no physical disciplines upon the students; we do not require that a man should be a vegetarian, that he should not smoke or touch alcohol, as is frequently the case in occult schools.  We regard these matters as entirely his own affair and concern, and we feel that, given the right teaching, he will make his own adjustments in these matters.  We know that the soul imposes its own disciplines upon its agent, the personality.  It is our task to train him to know his own soul and to be obedient to the requirements of that soul.  We therefore set no standard of living for the students, nor do we interfere in their private affairs; the soul will set its own standard as time goes on, if the student is sincere and earnest.  We ask no questions and listen to no gossip.  We realise that all of us have to learn to be Masters by achieving mastery, so that the One Master in the heart can assume control.  It is our aim to help the student to bring in that control by teaching him the ancient rules governing the Path of Discipleship, adapting them to modern conditions and to the more advanced mental comprehension of the modern aspirant.

[286] We also leave our students free to serve as they like and where they like.  We do not demand that they join this, that or the other activity, as do some of the esoteric groups.  We—as an organisation—exact no service from them; we have no lodges, centres or meetings which we expect them to attend; we leave them free to work in any group, church, organisation or social and welfare activity which may appeal to them.  Our belief is that if we have given them anything of spiritual value, then they should take it and use it in the environment (no matter what it is) which evokes their interest or which demands their loyalty.  This complete freedom to work and serve outside the Arcane School is the reason why we have students with so many loyalties actively associated with us as students, but at the same time as actively working in other groups.  You will find several kinds of Theosophists and Rosicrucians working in the Arcane School as well as Christian Scientists, churchmen of every denomination—Protestant and Catholic—and men and women of every type of religious and political persuasion.  They feel free and they are free.

Again, Arcane School students can form their own groups and give expression to their own ideas and modes of service without interference from us.  This they frequently do.  However, we take absolutely no responsibility for such groups and they are not regarded as part of the Arcane School or as in any way affiliated with us; they are never sponsored by us.  We take no responsibility for them or for what they teach; we do however welcome the effort as providing a field of service for the student and we approve of the attempt to spread the teaching of the Ancient Wisdom.  We regard it as a healthy sign when a student tries to work this way, for the need of the world for this teaching is very great and many hundreds can be reached in this manner.

Finally, this experiment in adult education is unique in that the senior students can become school workers, teachers, and as secretaries supervise the work of the younger students.  This they can do if they show a grasp of the teaching, are intelligent and love their fellowmen.  In 1947 we had about 140 school secretaries but their numbers increase naturally as the school grows, and it is growing very fast.  These secretaries are of every nationality.  The work of the students in the most advanced degrees is handled by two groups at the Headquarters in New York.

[287] III. The Arcane School recognises the fact of the Spiritual Hierarchy.

The school is kept rigidly free from dogmas and doctrines.  No one is expected to accept this, that or the other truth; and if they reject what some of us believe and accept, we feel that that is their own business and none of ours.  It makes no difference whatsoever in the attitude of the workers at Headquarters if a student rejects the doctrine of reincarnation and refuses to believe in the Hierarchy and the Masters of the Wisdom.  All we ask is that he investigate the reasons for and against such beliefs and then abide by what he feels to be right.  Certain beliefs are, however, of such ancient origin that they are generally accepted, either as recognised truths, as basic premises or as interesting hypotheses.  This attitude or approach to truth we ask the student to hold because we feel that he should regard these presented truths as providing a fair field for honest investigation.  This holds true as regards the belief in the factual nature of the Spiritual Hierarchy; this truth is approached in our presentation from the angle of evolutionary development; the graded order of Beings Who constitute the Hierarchy are regarded by us as constituting the fifth kingdom in nature, a necessary product of the experience of life in the fourth kingdom, the human.  It is the Spiritual Hierarchy to which the Christian teaching of the Kingdom of God surely refers.  If this premise is true, then the existence of this kingdom can be scientifically considered as an integral part of the great evolutionary process with its order of living beings, moving onward in ordered progression from the tiniest atom up to God Himself.  Little of this is taught in the earlier work of the Arcane School, except in so far that the existence of the divine Plan and the fact of the unfolding consciousness in man and in all forms is considered and inter-related.  Later the attention of the student is directed towards Those Who bring inspiration and truth to humanity, and this is referred to in the meditation work; if, however, this has no appeal to him, he is provided with an alternative meditation which omits all reference to the Spiritual Hierarchy.  In the higher degrees (which ate entered by direct invitation) belief in the Masters of the Wisdom is assumed to exist and the elementary training for discipleship is begun.  By that time, necessarily, the sifting work of the previous degrees has been carried forward and those who remain fall into two categories:—

[288] 1. Those who do not question the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy (of which Christ is the Head).

2. Those who still question, but who accept the teaching as a working hypothesis.

Both groups are then instructed in the rules governing the Path of Discipleship; these, when consistently accepted and followed, have led countless thousands from "darkness to light" and out of the fourth kingdom of nature into the fifth.  The laws and rules of a Master's Ashram are taught.  An Ashram is that centre of spiritual light and power into which a Master gathers His disciples for instruction in the Plan, of which they then become the agents.

Discipleship is a technical phrase indicating aptitude for teaching, a willingness to implement the Plan for humanity and a deep love for one's fellowmen.  The student who learns to apply these ancient rules to his daily life will eventually arrive at a personal knowledge of the Hierarchy and the Plan of which It is Custodian.  This Plan, God Transcendent, is working out through the processes of evolution; these processes eventually reveal the fact of God Immanent.

Students are under no compulsion to apply these rules or to tread the Path of Discipleship; our experience, however, has been that when confronted with the opportunity offered, they either accept the training or drop out of the life of the Arcane School, at least temporarily.

In the higher degrees, the Arcane School emphasises the nature of the Plan, the new evolutionary cycle into which humanity is at this time entering and the immediacy of the return of the Christ—as taught in all the world religions.  The Christian looks forward to the advent of Christ, the Jew is still expectant of the coming of the Messiah, the Buddhist is waiting for the coming of the Boddhisattva, the Hindu for the coming Avatar and the Mohammedan for the appearance of the Imam Mahdi.  The universality of this teaching, plus the general expectancy is a major argument for the factual nature of the truth involved.  The widespread acceptance of any truth down the ages and in every civilisation and culture is indicative of a divinely presented spiritual fact.  Today, the appeal of these truths must be mental and scientifically based and not simply emotional and mystical as has hitherto been generally the case.

[289] IV. The Arcane School teaches that the "souls of men are ONE.

This truth grows normally out of any consideration of the Plan of Evolution and proves to be a developing realisation of all who attempt to practise the rules of the spiritual life and so bring themselves under the laws which govern the Kingdom of God.  Much teaching has gone out during the past three hundred years about brotherhood and fraternal relationship between men.  In the Arcane School, we study the basis of this belief and the inclusiveness of the divine Life, informing as it does all the subhuman kingdoms, the human family and the superhuman lives which stretch beyond the strictly human into the very light of eternity itself.

The practical acceptance of this is being developed through the international aspect of the Arcane School.  Students belong to every nation and every religion.  The school lessons and papers are available in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish and are now being translated into Polish, Greek, Roumanian and Armenian.  Much progress has been made along these lines.  The school secretaries belong to every nationality and the students are assigned frequently to the supervision of a secretary of a different nationality to their own; this is part of the effort to fuse and blend men into a great spiritual brotherhood which knows no distinction of race, nation or religion.  The new Invocation which is used by all the students daily has been translated into sixteen different languages. [iv]*

In the Arcane School, we make a definite effort to counter the "great heresy of separateness" which is so distinctive of modern thinking and thus lay the foundation for that new world in which there will emerge a civilisation based upon the belief that the "souls of men are One."  Isolationism, insularity and individualism are all expressions of the deep-seated separativeness which has been so unhappily distinctive of humanity; it is this which lies at the bottom of all our religious, political and ideological differences and which is the fruitful source of all wars.  The solution of this world problem lies in the emergence of a spiritual group (gathered out of all races and nations) which is banded together to tread the Path of Discipleship, to bring into manifestation the Kingdom of God and to demonstrate right human relations.  Such a group will recognise similarity [290] of idealism, origin and goal in all other groups and will express a fundamental spiritual unity.  They will lay the emphasis upon the points of contact and not upon the points of difference; they will endeavour to cooperate with all groups which have a sane spiritual vision and objective without losing, at the same time, their individuality and integrity.

It is for this reason that the Arcane School does not start groups, lodges or organised meetings in the many cities in the world where students are to be found.  It has no desire to be a competitive organisation with related loyalties to local lodges, local meetings and local leaders.  As we said above, our students are free to work in other organisations and are not expected to owe allegiance to anyone in the Arcane School.  Its students are taught to realise that the souls of men are one and to try and live in the power and application of this fundamental truth.  The attitude which the Arcane School student is encouraged to develop is best summed up in the following lines which constitute the blueprint upon which he is asked to pattern his life:—

"The souls of men are one and I am one with them.

I seek to love, not hate;

I seek to serve and not exact due service;

I seek to heal, not hurt.

Let pain bring due reward of light and love.

Let the soul control the outer form

And life and all events,

And bring to light the Love

That underlies the happenings of the time.

Let vision come and insight.

Let the future stand revealed.

Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.

Let love prevail.  Let all men love."

V. In the Arcane School, no claims are made of place, power or spiritual status.

The world today is full of self-proclaimed disciples, initiates and Masters; loud voices are everywhere to be heard demanding attention to themselves; personal claims delude many people.  False Masters are to be found in many countries, deceiving the people and prostituting [291] the divine science of the initiates before the eyes of the public; spurious initiates and imposters are lecturing up and down the earth and false Christs are arising in both hemispheres, thereby proving the accuracy of the prophecies of Christ to be found in St. Matthew XXIV.  People are very easily deceived—largely through their longing to be helped and through an instinctive recognition of the factual existence of many grades in the spiritual development of mankind.  The masses of men everywhere have an inherent belief in the Spiritual Hierarchy; it is this belief that these false prophets are deliberately exploiting.

Our students are taught the truth (as given by Christ) that "by their fruits ye shall know them"; the fact is emphasised that the existence of claim-making is a guarantee of imposture.  No true initiate or Master ever proclaims himself or calls attention to himself.  He is, instead, intensely pre-occupied with the "things of the Kingdom of God" and has no time to spare for the imposition of himself upon the consciousness of men.

The Masters are men who have achieved liberation from the control of the personality or lower self; they are, therefore, free from all desire to make personal claims or to demand personal recognition. They prefer to work quietly, silently and behind the scenes, dealing with truths and with human need and galvanising men to seek the one Master in their own hearts.

The workers in the Arcane School are there because of spiritual inclination and not because they are seeking recognition as initiates.  Their only claim is that they are seeking to tread the Path of Discipleship.  This is the only legitimate claim that anyone can safely make; and the claiming that one is an initiate or a Master immediately indicates deception or gross ignorance.  No one in the Arcane School (and this includes Mr. and Mrs. Bailey and the Headquarters Staff) makes any claim to high spiritual status; any worker making such a claim would cease automatically to be a worker in the Arcane School.  He may claim to be a disciple; he may not claim to be a high initiate or a Master.

VI. The Arcane School is non-sectarian non-political and international.

The Arcane School stands ready to help any man or woman, no matter what their religious views, their political party, ideology or [292] their national allegiances.  If it is true (and we undeviatingly believe it to be so) that the "souls of men are ONE," then we hold that the concepts and acceptances of the conscious mind of the student do not, in reality, interfere with his ability to grasp this spiritual fact, nor can they prevent his contacting his soul.  We only ask that he keep an open mind and cultivate a willingness to see life and world events as a whole; we ask him to regard world affairs—whether political, religious, sociological or economic—as a vast method or field of experience whereby and wherein divine purpose is slowly being worked out; we ask him to investigate how his particular belief fits into that world programme, and also whether he is exclusive or inclusive in his approach.

Because of this attitude in the Arcane School, our students today express every kind of political belief and are of every kind of religious persuasion.  They should have no barriers or separating wall between themselves and others.  How could there be in reality!  A man's religious background and his political ideology are usually determined by his place of birth and his national background and tradition.  Churchmen of all denominations and spiritual people who own no ecclesiastical allegiances are working with us; members of all political parties and ideologies are also represented.  We work together without interfering with each other's views or entering into controversial discussions.  Our secretaries are not permitted to enter into political or religious arguments with the students they supervise.  We seek only to indicate the common goal, the universal field of service and the ancient methods whereby human beings can pass from the unreal to the Real.

It is true that during the war (1914-1945) the Arcane School officially aligned itself with the purpose of the Allied Nations and took a firm stand against the nations who were fighting the Forces of Light; that was in no way a political move but was based upon the spiritual conviction that the purpose of the Axis powers was contrary to the Plan of God, that it was in opposition to the Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet and the general good and welfare of humanity.  The Axis policy was based on the wickedness of separation and hate.  This decision on our part not to hold a neutral position was according to the will of the majority of the students.  There are esotericists, however, who hold that to be an esotericist means that one holds oneself aloof from mundane affairs and that esoteric students should [293] take no part in the affairs of humanity as a whole; they should be active in spiritual and mental realms.  If the physical plane and its affairs lie outside the sphere of influence of spiritual livingness, then there is something basically wrong with our interpretation of truth; if the goal of the spiritual effort is to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, then all physical plane events become the concern of all spiritual people everywhere.  May it not be true that, because of this ancient cleavage between spiritual life and material action, politics, the Church in all countries, and the economic life of the world have degenerated into the terrible condition which twentieth century humanity has had to face.

The students of the Arcane School are encouraged to carry their spiritual knowledge, energy and understanding into the affairs of humanity and to do this upon the physical level of existence.  We ask our students in every nation to study the effective implementation of the spiritual plan and purpose in every phase of human activity, thus relating the word "spiritual" to all our daily activities and not only (as is too often the case) to existing religious groups, to aspiration, to the processes of meditation and of occult study.

The man whose fixed mental belief is that "the souls of men are ONE will find himself forced to carry that concept into practice in his everyday life; if he does not do so, he is nothing but a theorist, an idealist and an impractical mystic.  It is this daily application of spiritual and esoteric truth which makes the work of the  School practical, useful and interesting.

It is this belief which makes the factor of money of so much importance.  Money dominates every phase of our physical plane life; it is the outstanding, controlling factor in our present civilisation.  So little has hitherto been done in the world to apply money to truly spiritual uses.  Much has been done to apply money to philanthropic and humanitarian purposes; much of it lies in the hands of the theologians of the various churches, but the contributing of the funds deliberately and with intention to the work of the Masters and to the helping of the plans of the Spiritual Hierarchy is practically unknown.  The inclusive concepts of the Ageless Wisdom and the knowledge of the divine Plan require money in order to reach the masses and it is for this that today humanity waits.  This is largely the fault of the mystics, the esotericists and the professional "spiritual people" of the world who regard money as something evil [294] and as something with which they must have no alliance.  Much harm has been done by those schools of thought who regard the desire for money (even if it is for the implementing of the Masters' work) as harmful, evil and wrong; they state, therefore, that the true spiritual man must not ask or pray for money.

One of the major needs today is the building up of large funds for the work of the Christ and His disciples and for the task of preparing the minds of men for His coming.  It is essential that the material trend of money be re-directed and money be made available for the Masters' work.  This is one of the new and immediate tasks of the world disciples and spiritual workers, and one which students in the Arcane School are asked to consider; they are urged to think this matter through.  The Arcane School, for instance, makes no charge for its services; the work is carried forward on a voluntary basis.  A yearly statement is sent out and the students know exactly what it costs to finance the School.  When need arises, the students are informed and asked to meet the need if possible, and over the years much generosity has been shown.  The Arcane School has no endowment, and no kind "angel" makes heavy contributions regularly and steadily.  The workers at Headquarters and in Europe work without pay or for the minimum of salary.  This is part of their voluntary contribution to the work.

VII. The Arcane School presents the fundamental doctrines of the Ageless Wisdom.

It simply presents them for consideration and for acceptance or rejection, according to the thinking and wish of the student.  There is, as you well know, no official, theological, dogmatic imposition of truth.

What are the essential doctrines from the angle of the Arcane School!  What are the teachings which they feel it necessary to present?

1. That the Kingdom of God, the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, can and will be materialised on earth.  We believe that it is already present and will later be recognised as the culminating kingdom in nature.

2. That there has been a continuity of revelation down the ages and that from cycle to cycle God has revealed Himself to humanity.

[295] 3. That God Transcendent is equally God Immanent, and that through human beings, who are in truth the sons of God (if the words of Christ and all the world Teachers mean anything) the three divine aspects—knowledge, love and will— can be expressed.

4. That there is only one divine Life, expressing itself through the multiplicity of forms in all the kingdoms of nature, and that the sons of men are, therefore, ONE.

5. That within each human being is a point of light, a spark of the one Flame.  This, we believe, is the soul, the second aspect of divinity and that of which Paul spoke when he referred to "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  It is the demonstration of the divine livingness in each person which is our goal, and discipleship is a step upon the way to that attainment.

6. That an ultimate perfection (though relative in nature) is possible for the individual aspirant and for humanity as a whole through the action of the evolutionary process.  This process we seek to study and to recognise the myriad of developing lives, each with its place within the scheme, from the humblest atom up through the four recognised kingdoms of nature, and on through the fifth kingdom (of which the Christ is the supreme Head) to those exalted spheres where the Lord of the World works out the divine Plan.

7. That there are certain immutable laws governing the universe; man becomes progressively aware of these as he evolves.  These laws are expressions of the will of God.

8. That the basic law of our universe is to be seen in the manifestation of God as Love.

Upon these eight fundamentals all the esoteric teaching rests.  There are necessarily subsidiary factors and other presented teachings which the student is asked to study but which he again accepts or not as he likes.  Such are the teaching on Reincarnation, governed by the Law of Rebirth, the cyclic nature of all manifestation, the nature and aim of the evolutionary process, the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy, the existence of the Masters and Their work, and the nature of consciousness with its various stages of individualised consciousness, [296] self consciousness and spiritual consciousness, demonstrating upon the Path of Evolution and culminating in the Path of Initiation.

The great primary truths are presented for acceptance because they exist as the foundational truths of all the world religions and have evoked universal recognition; man instinctively knows them, either as working hypotheses which he feels have no sane opposition or as facts which he accepts owing to his point in evolution.  The second category of truths are offered simply for consideration and as aspects or details, implementing or growing out of the more fundamental body of truth.  They are more frankly controversial but are held as beliefs by millions of people.

These, therefore, are the seven governing factors in the work of the Arcane School.  Students are asked to study them and accept them as long as they work with us.  They come to us voluntarily and can leave us at any time.  It is not an easy Way.  We shall all have moments of discouragement and we shall none of us see the world as perfect as we hope it some day will be, nor will we see ourselves as perfect as we would like to be.  But we can work for (and see) many great improvements, both in ourselves and in the world.  The vision ever lies on ahead; if it did not there would be nothing to incite us to effort.  It is helpful however to realise that some part at least of our vision can become an attained fact.  It is for this that we work.