“Adam,” “Eve,” “Christ,” and “Mary” and the Rest – Denote the Various Spiritual
Elements Constituting the Individual
Anna Kingsford “Apologia”; or, a Brief Presentation of Her
Appealing to the
Intellectual as well as to the Devotional Side
“Much as she suffered through this course of experience [the experience of having a nun-nurse], she declared to me that it was most valuable to her, and she would not have missed it on any account. For she had before no conception of the awful results of the conventual system in crushing the minds and darkening the souls of its victims, and if allowed to recover – which she now more than ever desired for the purpose – she would make the exposure of it a leading part of her work. Such systematic suppression of the faculties divinely given us in order to be unfolded, and such refusal of the experiences calculated to unfold them, was nothing short of rank blasphemy against both God and man. No wonder the priesthood condemns and turns away from all that is Hermetic. It knows that, as the Spirit of Understanding, Hermes and their system cannot exist together.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 357]
Mysteries Are the Immediate Source and Pattern of
the Mysteries of the Catholic Christian Church
• Baron Spedalieri on “The
and Christianity Are Not Antagonistic or Rival
Is in No Radical Respect Different from Pure
Religion Existed Among the Ancients (St. Augustine)
Christianity: Materials for Revising the Theology of
• Church’s Dogmas Have No Physical
Church’s Toleration of Vivisection – Earth Has Become a Hell
In Catholic Christendom the Creatures Endure Every
Species of Torment
Conditions [of Health] under which her Work was
the Material, Idolatrous, Interpretation of Ancestral
Doctrine into a Spiritual One
Christianity (Position in Regard to the)
• Divine Order of Chivalry Is the Order of the Christ
“My Genius says that we are, above all things, to teach the doctrine of Caste. The Christians made a serious mistake in requiring the same rule of all persons. Castes are as ladders whereby to ascend from the lower to the higher. They are properly spiritual grades, and have no relation to the outward condition of life. Like all other doctrines, that of Caste has been materialised. The Castes are four in number, and correspond to the fourfold nature of man.” (Vol. II, p. 5) [Anna Kingsford – Her Life, Letters, Diary and Work. Two volumes. 3rd Edition, edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. John M. Watkins, London, 1913. Vol. I, 442 pp.; Vol. II, 466 pp.]
“Nevertheless, the symbols we have loved need not be cast aside, but may still remain as forms to enclose the living spirit, if only we are careful to remember that they are but forms. For, remembering this, and cherishing them only as forms, they will be so transmuted as to permit the indwelling reality to shine forth from within them, and will, therefore, be no longer as cerements of the historical and dead, but as robes of the ever-living garments of God, transmitting, even while veiling, the brightness of the divine glory.
And if to some the proposed task appear as a vain attempt to resuscitate the dead and decayed, we would point, in answer, to the apologue of Ezekiel as at once an encouragement and, possibly, an anticipation. Here are the prophet’s words. Let
us suppose the creeds and other symbols of the Churches to be the dry bones: –
‘The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones. (...) and, lo, they were very dry.
‘ And he said unto me, Son of Man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest.
‘ And again he said unto me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
‘Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
‘And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. (...)
‘So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.’” (Ezekiel XXXVII, 1-10.)
SAMUEL HOPGOOD HART.
CROYDON, October 1916.”
[The Credo of Christendom: and Other Addresses and Essays on Esoteric Christianity. Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland. Edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. John M. Watkins, London, 1916. 256 pp. Biographical Preface by Samuel H. Hart, pp. 92-93]
Maitland: Testimony by Samuel Hopgood Hart
Christianity and Esoteric Buddhism Are Complementary
of Knowing Intuitively Possessed by Anna Kingsford
• Faith That Is
Without Understanding Is Credulity
Fast to the Truth as Your Lamp – Gautama Buddha
I Thought to Have Helped in the Overthrow of the Idolatrous
Immaculate Conception and the Assumption Have no Physical Reference
• Interpretation of the Passage (Parable) of the
Multitude of Fishes
Interpretation of Your Bibles
Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who is Conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born
of the Virgin Mary
Knowledge Is the Prime Minister of Faith
of Anna Kingsford”: the Great Biography by Edward
Anna Kingsford”: Testimony by Madame Isabel de
Function is Knowledge
• Masonic System against the
the Poet, the Soul and the Knowledge of the Divine
• Message Will
Become the Religion of Great Nations
• Mystical Sense, and Not the Literal Sense
• Mystics, Mysticism and the
of the Faculty Possessed by Anna Kingsford
“For – as already
stated – that whereby the man attains to manhood is
woman. It is his power to recognise, appreciate and
appropriate her, that stamps him, physically, man.
She it is who, influencing him through the
affections kindled by her in him, withdraws him from
his outward and aimless course, in which left to
himself, he would sooner or later be dissipated and
lost; and who, gathering him round herself, as
centre, redeems him and makes him into a system
capable of self-perpetuation, supplementing and
complementing meanwhile his masculine qualities as
will, force, and intellect with her feminine
qualities, as endurance, love, and intuition. Thus,
by the addition of herself she makes him Man.
• No Contradiction between Reason and Revelation
Single Ecclesiastical Creed Is Comprehensible by
Not the Crucifixion Eighteen Centuries Ago that Can
of the Hermetic Society
• Our Position in Regard to the Historical Jesus
“The following letter was written by her in reply to some strictures in Light respecting our position in regard to the historical Jesus: –
“l do not think Mr. Roden Noel and the ‘leaders’ of the Hermetic Society are so much in disagreement as Dr. Wyld seems to think.
“The ‘leaders’ of the Hermetic Society have never denied, nor wished to deny, the historic Jesus. They have but pointed out that, not the historic, but the spiritual Christ is the real essential of Christianity and subject of the Gospels.
“I have – speaking for myself – distinctly stated at recent meetings of our Society that I should be grateful to anyone who could reconcile for me the difficulties and discrepancies abounding in the way of belief in the historical Jesus, l should be glad to receive any really logical and scholarly rectification and explanation of the many serious and important misstatements and inconsistencies undoubtedly existing in the Gospels. These difficulties do not concern mere details, but the chief facts of the life itself. I do not doubt the achievements of Napoleon, but then it is a matter of no moment to the souls of the world to-day whether Napoleon achieved anything or not. So neither I nor any other person interested in eternal things cares to verify his history or his acts. As for the miracles, they are no sort of difficulty to me. I am not in the position of the non-Spiritualists. But does not Dr. Wyld see that he proves too much in proving the modern phenomena of Spiritualism to be identical with the ‘mighty works’ of Jesus? What, then, was Jesus no more and no greater than the medium of to-day, but merely a better medium!
“I have said that I should be glad to be able to think the Gospel stories true, because so to think would bring me into closer union and harmony with many friends whose sympathy is dear to me. But, for myself, such a belief would add nothing to my faith in Christ. For I am quite sure that there is, virtually, no such thing as history. The things that are truly done, are not done on the historical plane; nor has any fact in the history of the world ever been truly chronicled. For no man can know any fact, and cannot,
therefore, set it down. The knowledge one man has of any given fact is not the knowledge of another; man is incompetent to know facts, for he has no possible means of knowing them. Only Omniscience can know facts.
“But man can and does know his own spiritual experience, and this is, indeed, the only needful knowledge. Jesus Christ comes in the flesh when He is incarnate in man; and this is the way in which He comes to all mystics – in which only He can come.
“It does not matter to me, therefore, whether the Gospels are true or not on the merely outer plane. They are true, essentially; and, for my soul, my true self, the historical and the physical are not. Nothing done on that outer plane can save my soul; it must all be transmuted into spiritual terms and spiritual application before it can have any true saving value and grace.
“As for the doctrine of rebirths, I do not want to enter into that question again, because already in these columns, in reply to Dr. Wyld, I once undertook a disquisition of some length about it. There are no rebirths any more for the soul that has found Christ Jesus and is one with God. Unto which grace may we all be brought.
“ANNA KINGSFORD, M.D.”[Anna Kingsford. Taken from Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, pp. 228-229]
• Our System Relates to the Living Today, and to the
Ever-Present Testimony of Thought, and of Intuition
“Our system of doctrine does not rest upon a remote past; it is built upon no series of historical events assailable by modern criticism; it deals not with extraneous personalities or with arbitrary statements of dates, facts, and evidence; but it relates, instead, to the living to-day, and to the ever-present testimony of nature, of science, of thought, and of intuition. That which is exoteric and extraneous is the evanescent type, the historical ideal, the symbol, the form; and these are all in all to the unlearned. But that which is esoteric and interior is the permanent verity, the essential meaning, the thing signified; and to apprehend this, the mind must be reasonable and philosophic, and its method must be scientific and eclectic.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 125]
• “Philosopher’s Stone”: Signifies the Pure Spirit (Wine, Blood) and Soul-substance (Bread, Body) of which the Regenerated Selfhood – the “Christ within” – Consists
“The “philosopher’s stone,” it had been explained to us, signifies the pure spirit and soul-substance of which the regenerated selfhood – the “Christ within” – consists, and of which, therefore, the two eucharistic elements, the wine and bread, otherwise called the blood and the water, are symbols. So that when Jesus, speaking as typical man regenerate, says, “This is My body and blood,” He means that those elements represent the constituent principles of the new interior substantial selfhood which is divinely generated within man’s material body of his own soul and spirit, and is identical in nature with them. It was to this wholly reasonable explanation that Mary referred when she said that she knew too much to accept the sacrament in the sense understood by the priest.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 356]
Primitive Christian Church Understood Her Faith
“There is, I find, much evidence to show that the primitive Christian Church understood her faith esoterically, and that her great dogmas were symbols only, or at least chiefly. The monuments, frescoes, and writings of the early years of the Church are evidence of this fact. Within the first century, allusions, both pictured and written, to Christ in the character of Apollo, of Orpheus, of Bacchus, and other Pagan gods, are constant; and it is, moreover, remarkable that at this early date recognition of Him as a historical character never occurs. Wherever He is depicted, it is as a young God – a youth, lovely and blooming, surrounded with vines, doves, lambs, fishes, and naked genii. He is never seen in His historical aspect, is never the “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” of the later times. The Stations of the Cross, the “Gospel history,” as it is called, the crucifix, the agony, – these find no representation in early Christian art. The first idea of Christ was, strangely enough, purely esoteric and mystic. The Christians appear to have devoted themselves in the primitive age of the Church to an attempt to purity and reform the culture of the Gods, adopting their symbols and images, and giving to them an interior and esoteric meaning. Such, indeed, they had in their first intention, but this had long been lost to the Pagan Church, and the original mission of Christianity seems to have been to restore the Mysteries. It is difficult to reconcile the evidences of the cultus of the early Christian Church with any other hypothesis, especially when one finds documentary evidence, such as that of Dio Cassius, that the first Christians were punished on a charge of atheism. Had they been merely adorers of a new God, zealots of a new supernaturalism, their adversaries would hardly have arraigned them on such a charge. But this charge of atheism is precisely that which is, in our day, brought by professors of orthodox superstition against theosophists and pantheists; for to the believer in idols the rejection of these in favour of mystic truth has ever been regarded as a form of atheism and unbelief. Lundy observes, in his Monumental Christianity: – “Had the Christians believed Christ to be a man, there would have been portraits of Him without end in painting, statuary, gems, and mosaics; but because He was deemed a Divinity, we find no such portraits, only ideal types.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 134]
Profanation of the Mysteries to put such Doctrine before
Those who are Content with Present Christianity
“It would be a profanation of the mysteries to put such doctrine before those who held such ideas. And she added in a tone almost of despair, “How is the truth to be got to the world, so long as priests bear rule, preachers preach falsely, and the people are content to have it so? Can it be that we have made a mistake, and come ages before the time was ripe?” To which I replied that the Gods do not make mistakes, and can see better than we how far the time is ripe.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 330]
Essential to High Achievement
“Intensely feminine of aspect, fragile of frame, and delicate of constitution, she was evidently endowed with energy and talents sufficient to ensure conspicuous results. Of her possession of the other qualities essential to high achievement, patience, perseverance, discretion, and judgment, I was less confident.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. I, p. 33]
of the Christian System
“What we really seek is to reform the Christian system and start a new Esoteric Church. When once this is started it may go on indefinitely, as does the Exoteric Church.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 187]
and the Hermetic Interpretation
“So long as religion builds upon the mere facts and phenomena of history, she builds upon a sandbank, on which the advancing tide of scientific criticism is ever encroaching, and which must sooner or later be swept away with all that is founded upon it. But when she learns the secret of Hermetic, that is, Esoteric interpretation, then, and then only, does she build upon a rock, which shall never be shaken. Such is the import of the term ‘Peter,’ which, as one with Hermes, properly denotes not only rock, but interpreter.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 196]
Augustine: Christian Religion Existed Among the
“IN the intervals passed at home this winter and spring Mary wrote [in her diary] a number of meditations of very profound character, on the mysteries, Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, and others, at a length which admits only of a few brief examples here. They form a valuable confirmation of the declaration of St. Augustine: ‘That which is called the Christian Religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity.’” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 172]
Augustine: the Virgin Mary and the Soul
“Her next entry in her Diary, which was dated December 20 , was an extract from St. Augustine, whom she had been reading in French, which struck her as indicating his recognition of the esoteric meaning of Church dogma as its true and intended meaning. For it seemed to her that he could hardly have spoken as he did of the Virgin unless he regarded her as denoting the Soul, and no actual historical person.
This is the passage: –
“Tous, nous sommes les pauvres, les mendiants de Dieu, omnes mendici Dei sumus. Mais c’est par les mains de Marie que Dieu veut nous accorder ses graces; tous ses doivent passer par le Coeur de la Vierge Immaculée; de sa Mère. Totam nos habere voluit per Mariam.” Elsewhere he says, “Mary brings us to Jesus.” What is this but our own doctrine that the finding of Christ is by the culture of the Soul, the Christ within us, our spiritual and substantial Ego in which we are redeemed?” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 100]
• Sin, Karma, Enlightenment, “Man Made Perfect” or “Raised from the Dead”
“What is Sin? The root of Sin is Ignorance, and the nature of Sin is Injustice. The word Sin is best interpreted by the Biblical word Transgression: “Sin is transgression of the Law.” Of what Law? Of the Law which maintains order in the world – the Law of Nature; in other words, of the Will of God. Sin is always the result of Ignorance, because no sane creature does that which is the worst thing he can do for himself, knowing it to be the worst. He sins because he is ignorant and does not yet know the Truth; that is, the Law. What, then, is the relation of Sin to disease? Disease is the result of an injustice done to the body; of a violation of or deviation from the Order of Nature. Therefore disease is undoubtedly the product of Sin, insomuch that but for Sin there would be no disease.
“But disease may be inherited, in which case the parents’ sin, or the ancestors’ sin, is the cause of it. Immediately, this is so; but the diseased person would not have been born of such parents but for Karmic influences and attractions. The chief sins are murder, cruelty, theft, rape, envy, hatred, gluttony, drunkenness, lying, and all kinds of frauds and idlenesses. All these are sins because they are injustices. Some forms of sensual vice are sins in a lesser degree; but most ecclesiastical “sins” are not sins at all. There is no forgiveness of sins in the ecclesiastical sense. Sin – or transgression, as it is much better to call it – may be wiped out by the enlightenment of the transgressor, and his consequent abandonment of his mistake. But the consequences will have to work themselves out to the end, as is the Law of Nature. No merits of another, or sacrifices made by anybody else on behalf of the sinner, can obtain pardon for his sin. The merit of holy men, whether dead or living, may indeed act on a penitent soul as a means of grace; that is, a good influence or influx, creating a purer moral and spiritual atmosphere about him, and so inducing favourable conditions for grace and imparting grace; and the power of holy souls, living or departed, to be thus helpful to others depends on the amount of merit they possess. “But no man can redeem his brother, or make atonement unto God for him.”
“Sometimes, for occult reasons, because of the intervention of the operation of a Law more powerful than the natural (physical) Law (as that of magnetism suspends that of gravitation), the effects of Sin are suspended or suppressed, but they are never annulled. No soul is ever absolved from penance. The penance is as inevitable as effect always is to every cause. It is idle to say, and it is a terrible heresy to say, that man cannot sin because he is God. It is not the God in him that sins, of course, but the human. The Divine Selfhood, or Atmân, knows all things, and is therefore free from Ignorance, which is the only cause of Sin. But the lower selfhood is ignorant, and learns knowledge by experience; hence it is prone to sin. If everything were Pure Mind, and man were wholly, in all his nature, Pure Mind (God), the world would be resolved into Himself, and would have no material existence. But so long as there is material existence, there is Limitation; hence Ignorance, and hence Sin. Man is the Microcosm, and as the world is, so is he. When he shall have united himself wholly with his Divine part, and become one with It, and permeated by It, he will cease to sin, and will be “resolved” or transmuted, as the world would be in a similar state. But now is not the world Pure Mind only, nor is man Pure Mind only, but consisting of many complex elements and consciousnesses which are far from being in harmony. Hence the Karmic Law by which Sin is expiated and experience gained, and the sinner saved. When the truth of things is clearly seen, the denial of it becomes impossible, and action adverse to the Truth ceases. But such enlightenment occurs only when man is made perfect, or “raised from the dead.” “Awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”” [Anna Kingsford. Taken from Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, pp. 341-342]
Sins, “Avidya,” Ignorance, Karma, and Karma Must be Reaped
“What have I to do with confessions to clerks in orders, when the ear of the Lord is open to me? As for past sins, – what are sins? “Avidya” – ignorance, the mistakes of the blind eye and the deaf ear; ignorances by which the Soul gains experience, and for which, too, she thanks God. We sin only so long as we do not know the nature of things. When once our eyes and ears are open we cannot sin. No man who has seen the Lord can abide in sin. Nor is past sin a thing to be either regretted or forgiven. Forgiven it cannot be, because all Avidya has its Karma, and Karma must be reaped; regretted it need not be, both because regret is useless and because it is needless. Keep the lesson sin has taught, and cast out the memory of the sin.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 331]
Suicidal to the Whole Sacerdotal System
“For, as was obvious to me, it would be simply suicidal to the whole sacerdotal system to propound an interpretation which, by the very fact of its being an interpretation, posited the understanding, instead of authority, as the basis of belief, and by its nature was destructive of the whole fabric of the theology on which sacerdotalism rested, and would involve, therefore, the damning admission on the part of the Church that, so far from being, as it claimed to be, infallible, it was not merely fallible, but utterly fallen and corrupt, and was a Church, not of Christ, but of Antichrist. As well might Jesus and the prophets, and their followers, appeal to Caiaphas and his successors for recognition of their doctrine as we to official ecclesiasticism for recognition of ours.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 309]
Testimony of Baron Spedalieri on “The Perfect Way”
“The testimony received from the personage just named transcended in value that of any other person known to us to be alive. Baron Giuseppe Spedalieri, a native of Sicily and a resident at Marseilles, was the ripest living veteran of spiritual science in Christendom. He had been the friend and disciple, and was the literary heir, of the renowned magician, the Abbé Constant, who wrote under the name of “Eliphas Levi,” and was at once Hermetist, Kabalist, and Occultist, and to his knowledges Baron Spedalieri added a wisdom and understanding surpassing his master’s, as was amply testified to by the multitude of his letters to us by which his discovery of The Perfect Way was followed. The weighty utterance in which he first announced to us – writing as a perfect stranger – his judgment on our book has already seen the light on two occasions, one of which was the introduction to the Second Edition. But the plan of this biographical history of our work calls for its inclusion here also. Originally written in French, I render it in English, in which language he afterwards conducted his correspondence with us. This is the deliverance in question, written exclusively upon the strength of the intrinsic merits of the book. Such an utterance, like the occasion of it, is unique in history, and it proves that “When the Son of Man comes, He shall indeed find,” not only “faith,” but knowledge “on the earth,” though not necessarily within the pale of the Church visible: –
“‘As with the corresponding Scriptures of the past, the appeal on behalf of your book is, really, to miracles, but with the difference that in your case they are intellectual ones, and incapable of simulation, being miracles of interpretation. And they have the further distinction of doing no violence to common sense by infringing the possibilities of Nature; while they are in complete accord with all mystical traditions, and especially with the great Mother of these, the Kabala. That miracles such as I am describing are to be found in The Perfect Way, in kind and number unexampled, they who are the best qualified to judge will be the most ready to affirm.
“‘And here, à propos of these renowned Scriptures, permit me to offer you some remarks on the Kabala as we have it. It is my opinion –
“‘(1) That this tradition is far from being genuine, and such as it was on its original emergence from the sanctuaries.
“‘(2) That when Guillaume Postel – of excellent memory – and his brother Hermetists of the later middle age – the Abbot Trithemius and others – predicted that these sacred books of the Hebrews should become known and understood at the end of the era, and specified the present time for that event, they did not mean that such knowledge should be limited to the mere divulgement of these particular Scriptures, but that it would have for its base a new illumination, which should eliminate from them all that has been ignorantly or wilfully introduced, and should reunite that great tradition with its source by restoring it in all its purity.
“‘(3) That this illumination has just been accomplished, and has been manifested in The Perfect Way. For in this book we find all that there is of truth in the Kabala, supplemented by new intuitions, such as present a body of doctrine at once complete, homogeneous, logical, and inexpugnable.
“‘Since the whole tradition thus finds itself recovered or restored to its original purity, the prophecies of Postel and his fellow-Hermetists are accomplished; and I consider that from henceforth the study of the Kabala will be but an object of curiosity and erudition, like that of Hebrew antiquities.
“‘Humanity has always and everywhere asked itself these three supreme questions: Whence come we? What are we? Whither go we? Now these questions at length find an answer, complete, satisfactory, and consolatory, in The Perfect Way.’
“He subsequently wrote: –
“‘If the Scriptures of the future are to be, as I firmly believe they will be, those which best interpret the Scriptures of the past, these writings will assuredly hold the foremost place among them.’” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, pp. 167-169]
Testimony of Lady Caithness on “The Perfect Way”
“That most admirable book, The Perfect Way, which embodies the latest, highest, and most import revelations given to humanity, constituting a new Gospel which thousands would thankfully receive could the work in question be brought to their notice; for thousands are at this time literally starving for want of the spiritual food adequate to the needs of their present spiritual growth. This further supply was promised by the One who could not give them more until they were prepared and able to receive it, in these words, ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth’. This promise is now very beautifully fulfilled in The Perfect Way. And being further cognisant of the way in which it has been given and received, I have no hesitation whatever in pronouncing it to be the new Gospel of Interpretation of the Mysteries of God kept secret from the beginning.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 75]
Testimony of S.L. Macgregor Mathers on “The Perfect
“The accordance of our doctrine with that of the Kabala – but obtained by us entirely from interior sources, and in complete ignorance of the Kabala – was subsequently testified to by Mr. S.L. Macgregor Mathers, who dedicated to us his learned work, The Kabala Unveiled, in these terms: –
“‘I have much pleasure in dedicating this work to the authors of The Perfect Way, as they have in that excellent and wonderful book touched so much on the doctrines of the Kabala, and laid such value on its teachings. The Perfect Way is one of the most deeply occult works that has been written for centuries.’” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 169]
• The Flight of
the Seagulls on a Glorious Day: – the Happiness and the
“Once after recovering from a serious bout of illness she was taken to convalesce at Dieppe. An incident occurred here very illustrative of her susceptible nature. Having stayed for some time and being greatly benefited by the change, she was proceeding in company with Mr. Edward Maitland to see her husband off by the steamer. Says her biographer:
“It was a day of days for beauty. While waiting, we sat watching the gambols of a flock of seagulls, whose gleaming white wings, as they circled round and round against a sky of clearest and tenderest blue, approaching each other to give loving salute with their bills, and then darting off only to return and repeat the act, uttering the white shrill notes of joy and delight, made a spectacle of exquisite beauty, and one that went to fill the invalid’s inmost heart, inducing an ecstatic sense of the possibilities of happiness in the mere fact of a natural and healthy existence. Though entranced by the scene no less than my companion, I did not fail to note the effect upon her, and the thought arose in my mind, “This is the best remedy of all she has yet had.”
“As we were thus gazing and feeling, a shot was fired from a boat containing some men and women, which, unperceived by us, had glided out from behind the opposite pier; and immediately one of the birds fell into the sea, where it lay fluttering in agony with a broken wing, while its companions fled away with harsh, discordant cries; and in one instant the whole bright scene was changed for us from one of innocence and joy into one of the darkest gloom and misery. It was a murder done in Eden, followed by the instant eclipse of all that made it Paradise. Mary was frantic. Her so lately injured organism gave way under the shock of such a revulsion of feeling. Her impulse was to throw herself into the sea to succour the wounded bird, and it was with difficulty that I restrained her; and only after giving vent to an agony of tears, and pouring on the shooting party a storm of reproaches, at the imminent risk of being given into custody as they landed bearing the bird, now dead, as a trophy, did I succeed in getting her back to the hotel. For the next twenty-four hours her state was one of raving mania.”
No incident could be more characteristic of her temperament or of her outlook upon life. The charm and beauty and joy of life were all on the surface and only served to conceal the horror and anguish which lurked beneath. She felt, with the apostle, that all creation groaneth and travaileth together, and to her hyper-sensitive spirit life itself was all too frequently a very hell.” (pp. 6-8) [Ralph Shirley – Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland. Mandrake Press, Thame, England, 1993. 23 p.]
Perfect Way” and the Dogmas of the Church
“While this book [The Perfect Way] confirmed me in my attitude towards the theology of the Churches, it also taught me what I did not before know, namely, that all that is true is spiritual; and that all the dogmas of the Church are spiritual, [NC: meaning related to the Soul, mystic, esoteric, allegorical, and therefore, not to be literally understood] and that no dogma of the Church is real that is not spiritual; and that “the Catholic Church has the whole of the truth in a parable”: and it gave me great joy to learn this.” [Samuel H. Hart. From Life of Anna Kingsford, Preface to the Third Edition, p. ix-x].
Perfect Way,” Mr. Sinnett and Reincarnation
“After all this reviewing and fault-finding on the part of critics having but a third of the knowledge which has been given to us there is not a line in The Perfect Way which I would alter were the book to be reprinted. The very reviewer – Mr. Sinnett – who writes with so much pseudo-authority in the Theosophist has, within a year’s time, completely altered his views on at least one important subject, – I mean, Reincarnation. When he came to see us a year ago in London, he vehemently denied that doctrine, and asserted, with immense conviction, that I had been altogether deceived in my teaching concerning it. He read a passage from Isis Unveiled to confute me, and argued long on the subject. He had not then received any instruction from his Hindu Guru about it. Now, he has been so instructed, and wrote Mr. Maitland a long letter acknowledging the truth of the doctrine, which, since seeing us, he has been taught. But he does not yet know all the truth concerning it, and so finds fault with our presentation of that side of it which, as yet, he has not been taught.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 74]
Perfect Way,” Present Gospel of Christendom and the
Needs of the Age
“The Perfect Way neither is, nor purports to be, a ‘new’ Gospel in the sense implied by your correspondents. On the contrary, it is expressly declared in the preface that ‘nothing new is told, but that which is ancient – so ancient, that either it or its meaning has been lost – is restored and explained.’ Its mission is that simply of Rehabilitation and Interpretation, undertaken with the view, not of superseding Christianity, but of saving it.
“For, as the deepest and most earnest thinkers of our day are painfully aware, the Gospel of Christendom, as it stands in the Four Evangels, does not suffice, uninterpreted, to satisfy the needs of the age, and to furnish a perfect system of thought and rule of life. Christianity – historically preached and understood – has for eighteen centuries filled the world with wars, persecutions, and miseries of all kinds; and in these days it is rapidly filling it with agnosticism, atheism, and revolt against the very idea of God. The Perfect Way seeks to consolidate truth in one complete whole, and by systematising religion to demonstrate its Catholicity. It seeks to make peace between Science and Faith; to marry the Intellect with the Intuition; to bring together East and West, and to unite Buddhist philosophy with Christian love, by demonstrating that the basis of religion is not historical, but spiritual, – not physical, but psychic, – not local and temporal, but universal and eternal. It avers that the true ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ is no mere historical character, no mere demi-god, by whose material blood the souls of men are washed white, but ‘the hidden man of the heart,’ continually born, crucified, ascending and glorified in the interior Kingdom of the Christian’s own Spirit. A scientific age rightly refuses to be any longer put off with data which are more than dubious, and logic which morality and philosophy alike reject. A deeper, truer, more real religion is needed for an epoch of though and for a world familiar with Biblical criticism and revision; – a religion whose foundations no destructive agnosticism can undermine, and in whose structure no examination, however searching, shall be able to find flaw or blemish. It is only by rescuing the Gospel of Christ from the externals of history, persons, and events, and by vindicating its essential significance, that Christianity can be saved from the destruction which inevitably overtakes all idolatrous creeds. There is not a word in The Perfect Way at variance with the spirit of the Gospel of the ‘Lord Jesus Christ.’ If your correspondents think otherwise, it can only be because they are themselves dominated by idolatrous conceptions in regard to the personal and historical Jesus, and cannot endure to see their Eidolon broken to pieces in the presence of the Ark of the Mysteries of God.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, pp. 75-76]
“The Perfect Way” Restored the Meaning of the
Symbols of All the Churches, pre-Christian as Well
“They recognised their “own appointed mission as that of unsealing the Bibles of the West”: a mission derived, not from any Church or a section of any Church visible, terrestrial, and corrupt, but “from the Church invisible, celestial, and incorruptible.” Prior to the publication of The Perfect Way, there was not any satisfactory work in existence enunciatory of the true spiritual interpretation of the allegories of the Bible, but therein the key has been restored which unlocks the meaning of the symbols in which the doctrines of all the Churches, pre-Christian as well as Christian, has been at once concealed and revealed “to the elucidation of all the problems which have so sorely perplexed the world, and the verification, by actual experience, of the truth contained in them.”” [Samuel H. Hart. From Preface to the Fifth Edition (pp. xxii-xxiii), The Perfect Way]
Perfect Way”, Spiritism and Illumination by the
Inner Divine Spirit
“The secret, however, of the opposition made in certain circles to the doctrine set forth in The Perfect Way is not far to seek. It is to be found in the fact that the book is, throughout, strenuously opposed to idolatry in all its forms, including that of the popular ‘Spiritualism’ of the day, which is, in effect, a revival under a new guise and with new sanctions of the ancient cultus known as Ancestor-Worship. The Perfect Way, on the contrary, insists that Truth is accessible only through the illumination, by the Divine Spirit, of man’s own soul; and that precisely in proportion as the individual declines such interior illumination, and seeks to extraneous influences, does he impoverish his own soul and diminish his possibilities of knowledge. It teaches that ‘Spirits’, or ‘Angels’, as their devotees are fond of styling them, are untrustworthy guides, possessed of no positive or divine element, and reflecting, therefore, rather than instructing, their interrogators; and that the condition of mind, namely, passivity, insisted on by these ‘angels’ is one to be strenuously avoided, the true attitude for obtaining divine illumination being that of ardent active aspiration, impelled by a resolute determination to know nothing but the Highest. Precisely such a state of passivity, voluntarily induced, and such veneration of and reliance upon ‘guides’ or ‘controls,’ are referred to by the Apostle when he says: ‘But let no man beguile you by a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels.’ And precisely such exaltation of the personal Jesus as The Perfect Way repudiates and its opponents demand is by the same Apostle condemned in the words: ‘Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.’
“This, then, is the conclusion of the whole matter. God, with ‘Christ,’ is in the man who, purifying his spirit after the secret of the Christ, aspires prayerfully and fervently. And it is to this interior spirit that he must look for illumination and salvation, and not to any outside ‘angel’ or fleshly Saviour. Attaining such illumination for themselves, our critics will be able both to recognise the sources and to verify the teachings of our book for themselves. For, thus invoked, the Divine Spirit will ‘bring all things to remembrance’ for us. Opinions will be merged in knowledges. And, instead of limiting the Spirit by the form in which its past revelations have been couched, they will be able to discern, in all its plenitude, the Spirit through the form.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 77]
“The Perfect Way” Will Be
Found to Be an Occult Library
“The Perfect Way will be found to be an occult library in itself, and those desirous of coming into the esoteric knowledge and significance of life, will be richly repaid by its study or perusal; and specially will those who feel that they cannot afford the means or the time to purchase and read many books, do well to make this one of their first choices. To such, and all who are seeking new light, life, and higher inspiration, we respectfully dedicate the American edition.” (p. 4)
[From Preface to the American Edition, The Perfect Way; or, the Finding of Christ. Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland. Esoteric Publishing Company, Boston, 1888. 358 pp.]
• Thought is
“Thought is substance, and every thought a substantial action.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 301]
• To Labour Is to
“The command always is – “To labour is to pray”; “To ask is to receive”; “To knock is to have the door open.” “I have often said,” says my genius, “Think for yourself. When you think inwardly, pray intensely, and imagine centrally, then you converse with God.” (p. 37) [Anna Kingsford. Clothed With the Sun. Third edition: edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart, 1937. Sun Books (reprint), Santa Fe, USA, 1993. 210 pp.]
• True Woman
“A true woman thinks first of her heart, secondly of her mind, and last of her personal appearance.” [Anna Kingsford. From Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 373]
• Two Things about the Christian Religion
“At the present moment there are two things about the Christian religion which must be obvious to every percipient person; one, that men cannot do without it; the other, that they cannot do with it as it is.” (p. 6) [Matthew Arnold. Quoted in The
Universal Peace is
Absolutely Impossible to a Carnivorous Race!
“These poor deluded creatures cannot see that universal peace is absolutely impossible to a carnivorous race! If men feed like lions and tigers, they will, by the necessity of things, retain the nature of lions and tigers.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. I, p. 27]
Vegetarian Movement: Redeemer of the World
“I consider the vegetarian movement to be the most important movement of our age. I believe this because I see in it the beginning of true civilization. My opinion is that up to the present moment we do not know what civilization means. When we look at the dead bodies of animals, whether entire or cut up, which with sauces and condiments are served at our table, we do not reflect on the horrible deed that has preceded these dishes; and yet it is something terrible to know that every meal to which we sit down has cost a life. I hold that we owe it to civilization to elevate the whole of that deeply demoralized and barbarized class of people – butchers, cattle-drovers, and all others who are connected with the deplorable business. Thousands of persons are degraded by the slaughter-house in their neighbourhood, which condemns whole classes to a debasing and inhuman occupation. I await the time when the consummation of the vegetarian movement shall have created perfect men, for I see in this movement the foundations of perfection. When I perceive the possibilities of vegetarianism and the heights to which it can raise us, I feel convinced that it will prove the redeemer of the world.”
[Anna Kingsford. Quoted by Samuel H. Hart, “In Memoriam Anna Kingsford”. A booklet containing the full text, with some additions by the author, of a Lecture given to the Leeds Vegetarian Society on September 15th, 1946, to commemorate the Centenary of the birth of Anna Kingsford.]
Mystical Representation of the Soul
“I read a paper on Revelation as the Supreme Common Sense, meaning that the consensus or agreement which it represents is that, not of all men merely, but of all parts of man; of mind, soul, and spirit; of intellect and intuition, combined in a pure spirit and unfolded to the utmost. There is no contradiction between Reason and Revelation, provided only it be the whole Reason and not the mutilated faculty which ordinarily passes for such, for that represents the intellect without the intuition. And it is precisely the loss or corruption of this last which constitutes the Fall, the Intuition, as the feminine mode of the mind and representing the soul, being mystically called “the woman.”” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 197]
• Work in
“‘Once delivered from the dead weight of dogmatic interpretations and anthropomorphic conceptions, the fundamental doctrines of all religions will be found to be identical in their esoteric meaning. Osiris, Chrishna, Buddha, Christ, will be shown as different means for one and the same highway to final bliss. Mystical Christianity, that is to say, that Christianity which teaches self-redemption through one’s own seventh principle, – the liberated Para-atma or Augoeides, called by the one, Christ, by the other, Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit – will be just the same truth as the Nirvâna of Buddhism.’
“These are wide and far-seeing words, and ought to sound for us the keynote of our policy and aims, especially in regard to the work of the Society in Christian lands like England and France. It is not by wholly setting aside and rejecting names and symbols hallowed by familiar use among our people from their birth as a nation that we shall create for ourselves the largest sphere of usefulness. It is not so much the revelation of a new religious system that is needed here as a true interpretation of the religion now existing.” [Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. II, p. 141]