THE WORK OF THE LATE ANNA KINGSFORD, M.D.
AND EDWARD MAITLAND, B.A. (1)
THE work accomplished by the late Dr. Anna (Bonus) Kingsford and Edward Maitland is not one which is easily estimated. Indeed, we question whether anything like an adequate estimate could be given, so comprehensive was the scope of their work, and far-reaching in its influences. We might even question whether their real work has been understood by those who might be spoken of as their fellow-labourers in the great field of service, whether the great purpose of their mission has not been lost sight of because of giving unto it too narrow a scope or a meaning which is altogether inadequate. Such things as they accomplished could not be numerically stated; nor is the greatness of their mission to be weighed by any phenomenal results upon the outer planes. Because their work was more than any outward plane mission could be. Whilst it took the work upon the physical spheres within its scope, it extended beyond them into the spiritual. It embraced the objective fields, but its foundations and inspiration were in the subjective. It dealt with the phenomenal effects, but also with the causes which it discovered through contact with the Spiritual Spheres. They both saw the manifestations which we all witness; but they were also led to witness the subjective effects. They beheld the Creatures writhing within the Physiological Laboratories, as they passed through the fearful ordeals imposed upon them in the name of Science and Humanity; but they were at last led to also behold who the Creatures were who so suffered, and to understand the nature and origin of the dreadful conditions which had brought about all their sufferings. Nay, they even saw the inner meaning of the insane pursuit of knowledge along the lines of Material Science as expounded by the leaders of Vivisection, beheld the forces which lay behind many of the chief apostles of the monstrous heresy in their conduct within the Laboratories, and had given unto them the knowledge of the unspeakable issues of that conduct.
When Anna Kingsford set out on her beautiful mission, whose purpose was to pass through the Physiological Schools which were then open to women so as to know from experience what those schools were in their nature and ways, and to be able to demonstrate how it was possible to acquire sufficient knowledge of Physiology and Medicine so as to take the Medical Degree without having the knowledge gained through the unspeakable demonstrations made upon the Creatures who anguish within the prison-houses, she little imagined what experiences lay before her, and how she and Edward Maitland would be called upon by the Powers of the Invisible World to give to the Western world a view of Vivisection which would at last bring about such a change in the field of Medical Research that the practice of Vivisection would not only be looked upon as a mistaken Pathology arising out of ignorance of the true laws of life on the part of the profession, but an actual crime against the whole of the Human Race. She did not then foresee all that would arise out of her mission; whither the path she had taken would lead her; the fearful sufferings which must needs accompany her along that path and arise out of her walking in it; the strange and, what has appeared to some people to be, inexplicable experiences which would become her portion; the profound meaning of the terrible evil which, with her colleague, she was called to expose both as to its nature and issues. She did not then anticipate all the revelations which afterwards came to her concerning the more than material phenomena which always accompany the work of experimentation within the Laboratories, and the spiritual consequences which follow these dark deeds. For though she knew that it was to be part of her mission to effect the deliverance of the Creatures from the tyranny of the worshippers at the shrine of this modern Moloch, yet did she not then realize all that the inner meaning of her mission implied, nor its relation to the fuller and more perfect deliverance and redemption of all the Creatures from their sad and oft-times painful limitations through the upliftment, the ennoblement and complete Redemption of the various branches of the Human Race.
It was not until she and her colleague seemed to be almost withdrawn from the special work of dealing with Vivisection upon the physical spheres, that the real nature of the mission came to her. For she had to be withdrawn from the more outward spheres of activity in order that she and her colleague might be able to carry out a work whose nature was such that it led them into experiences which took them more and more away from the outer spheres of service, and were the means of causing nearly all those who formerly had been their friends to forsake them. They were both led to see that the whole question of Vivisection belonged to the spiritual realm and not merely to the physical, and that it was but part of the manifestation of deep-seated evils whose nature no one could have imagined unless shown to them from the Spiritual World. They were called very especially to a work for which their strange experiences fitted them, to carry out which they had often to leave the ordinary paths of service and follow one which brought upon them much sorrow and anguish of heart, and upon their fair names obloquy and scorn. For they had to be the Apostles of the new vision that was to be given unto the soul by means of which the whole materialistic systems – Scientific, Ecclesiastical and Theological – should at last be overthrown – systems of which Vivisection is the most satanic exposition. They were called to be the Apostles of that new vision wherein the true nature of Man and Creature is made obvious, by means of which life is to be lifted far above the planes of mere organic matter and shown to be entirely spiritual in its nature; to touch with its magic wand the Creature Kingdom and make all its inhabitants appear in their real life as spiritual organisms rather than material, as elementary Human Souls on their way to the Human Kingdom; and to throw such light upon the Human experience as to give unto both the past and the future history of the Soul certain knowledge which testified to the spiritual origin and nature of all true life, and the high destiny unto which it was called when first created. They had not only to contend against a Science which affirmed the necessity of Vivisectional practices for the healing of disease, but to lay sure foundations for the overthrow of the whole system upon which any such doctrine could be built up. They had not only to expose the falsity of the position taken up by Physical Science, and the horrible nature of the phenomena of the evil, with the awful results unto the Creatures; but very specially they had to make clear the real nature of the Materialistic Systems out of which such beliefs could grow into experimentation.
And in following the path along which they must needs go in order to accomplish their mission, they became subject to experiences of the saddest kind, experiences which caused them to be misunderstood by their intimate friends, and even to be cast off and repudiated by many of them. Whilst they were wholly consecrated to the work of receiving for Humanity a higher and truer vision of all life, both as to its origin and its destiny, they were maligned by those who were at heart enemies of the beautiful mission in which they were engaged; and by their previous friends the profound spiritual import of their work was so misapprehended and grossly misrepresented that for many years a dark cloud was cast over the Divine work accomplished through them. For their work’s sake they were made to pass through fires of trial which imposed upon them sufferings beyond the power of tongue or pen to portray; and these terrible trials were intensified by the attitude of those who should have been able to apprehend the sublime nature and purpose of their work, to enter into real sympathy with them in their most difficult task and support them by their loving thoughts and co-operation, and to defend both them and their mission against the calumniators who were only too anxious to injure them and to make their mission ineffectual.
It is one thing to now look at their work, to behold it in its manifoldness and
discern its high and holy and all-embracing nature, and to turn to them with
thoughts of admiration and gratitude for their splendid and noble heroism on
behalf of truth and righteousness; but how very differently were they dealt with
when they were doing the great service on behalf of the Creatures and the whole
Human Race? It is now one thing to recognize the meaning of their work as
expounded in “The
It might be well to present in a brief and succinct form the work specially accomplished by both of them, lest it should appear to some as if our paper were more a plea for their recognition as true Reformers and Seers than a presentation of the work done by them.
1st. It should be borne in remembrance that Anna Kingsford demonstrated to the whole Medical Faculty that woman was capable of taking her true place by the side of man in the service of life, and that in order that a student should qualify for the degree of M.D. it was not necessary for him or her to pass through the Physiological Laboratories. This was a work of no small importance, accomplished in the very environment of one of the worst centres of vivisectional experimentation; and to all students who are humane in their sympathies, and who desire to escape the unspeakable tragedies wrought within the demonstration classes, it should be an example full of encouragement to them to follow the same path.
2nd. She likewise exposed the whole system of modern Therapeutics as fallacious because built up upon wrong principles. For she showed by her keen perception that the origin of disease is not upon the physical plane of life – that is, the plane of phenomenal effects, but within the mind; that all organic disease is spiritual in its nature and can be truly eradicated from the system only through the purification of the mind; and that the true physician is he who knows these things and who heals in that way. She thus lifted, or rather, she sought to lift, the whole Medical Profession out of their materialism, and make their beautiful mission to Humanity something infinitely higher than the earth-bound perfunctory service now alas! too often rendered by those who have taken upon themselves the Sign of the Healer.
3rd. By the visions vouchsafed to her she saw the terrible effects upon the
4th. Then when we turn to what we may term the inner aspects of the mission of herself and her colleague, we find that they arrived at the hitherto unknown meaning of the influences by which Vivisectors are led to pursue their unspeakable calling. For unto them was it shown that many of those who practice Vivisection are under the influence of what may even in these days of greater spiritual perception and realization be spoken of as demons – i.e. elemental powers whose magnetic conditions are in opposition to the true ways of life. It was shown unto them that not only was Vivisection the embodiment of the very worst form of the materialistic sacrificial system, but that its high priests were under the influence of the very spirit out of which all evil grows, and that all the terrible things done by them in the Physiological Laboratories were the manifestations of that diabolical power. And thus they gave a view of Vivisection which is self-interpretive, since it explains by inference how it is that men who should be truly humane, who should understand the true meaning of compassion and pity, and who should be expected to make these beautiful feelings manifest, can pursue a line of conduct whose ways are cruel and whose works are Satanic.
5th. In their experiences it was given unto them also to know that the Creatures were often other than they seemed; that they were not mere physical organisms with nothing more than animal instincts, but Souls who were on their way to the true Human Kingdom, some of them indeed Souls who had missed their way after arriving upon the Human Kingdom and who had to return into the Creature forms for purposes of purification. It was even given unto them to see the Human Soul looking out through some of the Creature forms, and anguishing within the Physiological Laboratories. And in this beautiful, if in some respects sad, truth they brought into the newer and higher vision of the Life of the World the true meaning of the wonderful intelligence of many of the Creatures, the truly Human affection and devotion which oft-times may be witnessed in the Creatures, and the reality of their powers to endure suffering and even anguish like human lives. And they thus showed that the Creatures were parts of the organic whole, the little children within the household, the elementary Human Souls within the great Spiritual System of the world who were to be cared for as those who were to attain with ourselves the fullness of Soul-life before the Divine, the crown of spiritual manhood and womanhood, even the Life of the Divine consciously realized.
6th. And then all these things were crowned by the yet larger work of being the instruments through whom the falsity of the entire sacrificial system was to be exposed; how that system, Scientific, Scholastic and Ecclesiastic, had arisen and the terrible evils which had always followed in its path; how it blighted the aspirations of the Soul and prevented its true evolution; and how Humanity had been dwarfed by it and robbed of the Divine birthright which was to have been and shall yet be the heritage of all Souls, viz., the Christhood Estate. And in this they were the heralds of the Coming Christhood; the harbingers of the restored Golden Age when all the world should be once more young and its Kingdoms, Planes and Spheres know evil no more; the prophets through whom the Divine once more spoke, and the wisdom of the Ancients was once more recovered.
J. TODD FERRIER
(1) Read at the International Anti-vivisection and Animal Protection Congress, Caxton Hall, July 6-10th 1909.
[From The Herald of the Cross Vol. 5, by John Todd Ferrier. Published by the Order of the Cross, 1909. Reproduced by permission of the copyright owners, the Trustees of the Order of the Cross.]