Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949) was a writer of more than twenty-four books on theosophical subjects, and was one of the first writers to use the term New Age. Bailey was born as Alice La Trobe-Bateman, in Manchester, England.
She moved to the United States in 1907, where she spent most of her life as a writer and teacher.
Bailey's works, written between 1919 and 1949, describe a wide-ranging system of esoteric thought covering such topics as how spirituality relates to the Solar System, meditation, healing, spiritual psychology, the destiny of nations, and prescriptions for society in general.
She described the majority of her work as having been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom, initially referred to only as "the Tibetan" or by the initials "D.K.", later identified as Djwal Khul.
Her writings bore some similarity to those of Madame Blavatsky and are among the teachings often referred to as the "Ageless Wisdom". Though Bailey's writings differ in some respects to the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky, they have much in common with it. She wrote on religious themes, including Christianity, though her writings are fundamentally different from many aspects of Christianity or other orthodox religions.
Her vision of a unified society included a global "spirit of religion" different from traditional religious forms and including the concept of the Age of Aquarius.
Groups founded by Bailey or her followers
The Arcane School, founded by Alice and Foster Bailey to disseminate spiritual teachings, organizes a worldwide "Triangles" program to bring people together in groups of three, for daily meditation and study. Their belief is that they receive divine energy through meditation and that this energy is transmitted to humanity, so raising spiritual awareness. John Michael Greer's New Encyclopedia of the Occult states that the school "seeks to develop a New Group of World Servers to accomplish the work of the Hierarchy of Masters, under the guidance of its head, the Christ."
Influence on the New Age movement
Bailey made extensive use of the term "New Age" in her books and some writers have described her as the founder of the New Age movement, although The New Age was used as the title of a Journal of Christian liberalism and Socialism, published as early as 1894, predating Bailey's use of the term. James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton, in Perspectives on the New Age wrote,
"The most important—though certainly not the only—source of this transformative metaphor, as well as the term "New Age", was Theosophy, particularly as the Theosophical perspective was mediated to the movement by the works of Alice Bailey."
Sir John Sinclair, in his book The Alice Bailey Inheritance, commented on the seminal influence of Alice Bailey, which, he said, underlies the consciousness growth movement in the 20th century. Influence on neopaganism. Several writers have mentioned the affinity of some of Bailey's concepts with modern expressions of paganism. During the 1960s and 1970s, the neopagan author and ceremonial magic ritualist Caroll Poke Runyon published a magazine called The Seventh Ray, its name taken from the writings of Alice Bailey.
In the 1990s, two volumes of collected articles from the magazine were published as The Seventh Ray Book I, The Blue Ray and The Seventh Ray Book II, the Red Ray.
Influence on women in religion
Author Catherine Wessinger wrote that Bailey was a liberated woman "... sixty years before it became popular" and that Bailey's books expressed a similar "millennial view" to the works of Annie Besant. Wessinger stated that they were "an important source of the contemporary New Age movement According to the Encyclopedia of Women And Religion in North America, several leaders of New Age philosophy have further developed Bailey's teachings, including the well-known personalities
JZ Knight (who channels the entity known by the name Ramtha),
Helen Schucman (author of A Course in Miracles through the process of telepathic dictation she called "scribing"),
Influence on psychotherapy and healing
Roberto Assagioli, founder of Psychosynthesis, was a lecturer at School of Spiritual Research. He continued a close association with Bailey during the 1930s; some of his writings were published in Bailey's magazine The Beacon; and he was a trustee of Bailey's organization, the Lucis Trust.
He had developed his approach to psychology, called Psychosynthesis, beginning in 1910; his methods were later influenced by some elements of Bailey's work.
However, authors John Firman and Ann Gila write that Assagioli kept what he referred to as a "wall of silence" between the areas of psychosynthesis and religion or metaphysics, insisting that they not be confused with each other.
Roger J. Woolger said, in a paper presented to the "Beyond the Brain" Conference held at Cambridge University in 1999,
"In Tansley as in Brennan you will find descriptions of a hierarchy of subtle bodies called the etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual that surround the physical body"
Tansley attributed the source of his model to Alice Bailey's theosophical commentary on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the locus classicus of Hindu teaching.)