Alice A. Bailey – What is a Law?


What is a law? Alice A. Bailey (AAB) uses the expression “Law of” and “Laws of” over 1,000 times in her writings. Sometimes “Law” is capitalized and sometimes not. It is not obvious that she means “law” in the same sense that most people understand it.

AAB’s usages seems to relate more to “purpose” (of a greater being) than “law,” at least as most understand the word “law.”

AAB talks of her meaning of “law” in these passages in her writing:

… a law is but the spiritual impulse, incentive and life manifestation of that Being in which he lives and moves. A Treatise on White Magic , INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

A law is an expression or manifestation of force applied, under the power of thought, by a thinker or group of thinkers. Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I , SECTION ONE – DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE – Part 2

… a law is in reality the effect of the life of a greater entity as it encloses a lesser within its living processes. Esoteric Healing , Part Three – The Fundamental Laws of Healing

… a law is but the effect of the continued intelligent activity of the Life aspect as it works in conjunction with matter. Esoteric Psychology – Volume I , 5. The Rays in Cyclic Manifestation

A law is only an expression or manifestation of force, applied under the power of thought by a thinker or group of thinkers. Esoteric Psychology – Volume II , II. The Seven Laws of Soul or Group Life – Part 5

A law presupposes a superior being who, gifted with purpose, and aided by intelligence, is so coordinating his forces that a plan is being sequentially and steadily matured. A Treatise on White Magic

Compare that to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition below which is quite different. When reading AAB one also has to keep in mind that her usage of the word “law” is quite different than most people would understand it.

Merriam-Webster Definition of law

  • 1
    (1) :  a binding custom or practice of a community :  a rule of conduct or action prescribed (see prescribe 1a) or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (2) :  the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules The courts exist to uphold, interpret, and apply the law. (3) :  common law
    b (1) :  the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law preserved law and order in the town (2) :  the action of laws considered as a means of redressing wrongs; also:litigation developed the habit of going to law over the slightest provocation — H. A. Overstreet
    (3) :  the agency of or an agent of established law When he saw that the fighting was escalating, he called in the law.c:  a rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe a law of self-preservation
    d:  something compatible with or enforceable by established law The decrees were judged not to be law and were therefore rescinded.
    e:  control, authority The child submits to no law.
  • 2
    often capitalized:  the revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament
    b: capitalized:  the first part of the Jewish scriptures :  pentateuch, torah
  • 3
      a rule of construction or procedure the laws of poetry
  • 4
      the whole body of laws relating to one subject criminal law probate law
  • 5
    :  the legal profession studied for a career in law
    b:  law as a department of knowledge :  jurisprudence
    c:  legal knowledge a man with much history but little law
  • 6
    :  a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions a law of thermodynamics Boyle’s law
    b:  a general relation proved or assumed to hold between mathematical or logical expressions

at law

  • :  under or within the provisions of the law enforceable at law

You are welcome to post your comments. 

See The Laws of Alice A. Bailey


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