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Manual The Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland and of the New Gospel of Interpretation

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Kingsford, Anna Bonus [WorldCat Identities]

Account Log in Registration. Cart Your cart You have no items in your shopping cart. In Stock. Qty: Add to cart. Our excellent value books literally don't cost the earth. Free delivery in the UK Read more here. I have to tell you that your friend who calls herself Mary is here, and she bids me tell you that she sees you are very much pleased with the title of your new book, and that you think it is your own.

But it is not. She gave it to you. She not only acquiesces in it, she claims it. Speaking of those wondrous chapters in the second part of this book headed each by a letter of the Greek alphabet, Anna Kingsford affirmed them to be "the ipsissima verba of the Gods," some of them being the original rituals in the sacred mysteries of antiquity which were used in the composition of the Bible. One thing is certain: wheresoever the New Gospel of Interpretation shall be preached, throughout the whole world, "that also which this woman soul hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her"--for these Illuminations were given, not for the few only, but for the many, yea, for the spiritual enlightenment and upliftment of the world.

It is through souls such as Anna Kingsford's that "God stooping shews sufficient of His light for us i' the dark to rise by. And thus it was with Anna Kingsford. Neither must Edward Maitland's part in this great work be overlooked, for it was his loving care, help, sympathy and assistance, and his "restraining influence," that enabled Anna Kingsford to recover so much, and but for which she "would, never have shewn the life she possessed interiorly," she would. And it is to him that we owe, not only the preservation of Anna Kingsford's Illuminations, but also that priceless record of their lives as contained in his magnum opus, The Life of Anna Kingsford.

He passed away, at the end of his seventy-third year, on 2nd October A few clerical errors in the previous edition have been corrected, and I have added one or two footnotes which I trust will be found helpful. Notwithstanding their derivation, be it noted, they were by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland "judged entirely by their own intrinsic merits" Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland , p.

When at length the train had come to a standstill, we cried to the passengers, ' Saved! The startling announcement made to her by the invisible voice when the crowded train was rushing at full speed to its doom, "There is no one on the engine! I had determined to include an account of this vision in the book on which I was then engaged, " England and Islam. I have trusted all to you! And among the impres- sions which at the same instant were flashed into my mind, was the impression, amounting to a conviction, that whatever might be the part assigned to others in the work of the new illu- mination in progress and the restoration thereby to the world of one true doctrine of existence, the exposition of its innermost and highest sphere, the head corner-stone of the pyramid of the system which is to make the humanity of the future, had been committed to us alone.

And now, writing nearly twenty years later, I can truly say that this conviction has never for a moment been weakened, but on the contrary has gathered con- firmation and strength with every successive accession of experience and knowledge, and while cognisant of and fully appreciating all that has taken place in the unfoldment of the world's thought during the interval. Ever since that memorable winter of , the conviction, shared equally by my colleague, has been with me that the controlling spirit of the Ilebrew prophets was that also of our work, the purpose of which was the accomplishment of their prophecies, by the promotion of the world's spiritual consciousness to a level surpassing any yet attained by it, to the regeneration of the church and the establishment of the kingdom of God with power.

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My colleague's enforced return to London was promptly signalised by an experience which served not only yet further to demonstrate the reality and nature of our mission, and of her primacy in our work, but to disclose its essentially Christian character, which hitherto had been an open question for us. For that upon which we ourselves were bent was the discovery of the nature of exist- ence at first hand, and independently of any existing system whatever.

It was truth and truth alone that we sought, and to this end we had laboured to make ourselves as those of whom it is said, " Of such is the kingdom of heaven. This is to say, we were, and we gloried in being, absolutely free thinkers, a term which, in its true acceptation, we regarded as man's noblest title. This is the sense in which it denotes a thought able to exercise itself in all directions open to thought, outwards and down- wards to matter and negation, and inwards and upwards to spirit and reality. And our work proved in the event to be the supreme triumph of Free Thought.

Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland

The experience in question was as follows. And I was conscious of an exaltation of faculty such as might conceivably be the result of an enhancement of my own mind by jxmction with another and superior mind. I was even conscious, though in a far less degree than before, of an invisible presence. But I was too much engrossed with my idea to pay heed to persons, be they whom they might, human or divine, as well as anxious to take advantage of such assistance. I had clearly and vividly in my mind all that I desired to say for several pages on.

Then, suddenly and completely, like the stoppage of a stream in its flow tlirough a tube by the quick turning of a tap, the current of my thought ceased, leaving my mind an utter blank as to what I had meant to say, and totally unable to recall the least idea of it. So palpable was its withdrawal, that it seemed to me as if it must still be hovering somewhere near me, and I looked up and impatiently exclaimed aloud to it, "Where are youF" At length, after ransacking my mind in vain, I turned to other work, for I was perfectly fresh, and the desertion had been in no way due to exhaustion, physical or mental.

On taking note of the time of the disappearance, I found it was The next morning failed to bring my thought back to me as I had hoped it would do ; but it brought instead, an unusually early visit from Mrs. Kingsford, who was — as I have said — staying in Chelsea. And I was feeling envious of your sex for the superior advantages you have over ours of doing great and useful work. As I sat by the fire thinking this, I suddenly found myself impelled to take a pencil and paper, and to write.

I did so, and wrote with extreme rapidity, in a half-dreamy state, without any clear idea of what I was writing, but supposing it to be some- thing expressive of my discontent. I had soon covered a page and a half of a large sheet with writing different from my own, and it was quite unlike what was in my mind, as you will see. To my enquiry as to the hour of the occurrence, she at once replied, '' Half-past eleven exactly ; for I was so struck by it that I took particular notice of the time. Tlie notion that men and women can by any possibility do each other's work, is utterly absurd.

Whom God hath distinguished, none can confound. To do the same thing is not to do the same work ; inasmuch as the spirit is more than the fact, and the spirit of man and of woman is different. This was the point at which my thought had failed me, to be taken up by her at the same instant two miles away. This is her continuation of it.

It will be seen that, besides complementing my thought, it responded remedially to her own mood : — " In a true mission of redemption, in the proclamation of a gospel to save, it is the man who must preach ; it is the man who must stand forward among the people; it is the man who, if need be, must die. But he is not alone. If his be the glory of the full noontide, his day has been ualiered in by a goddess. Aurora has preceded Phoibos Apollo ; Mary has been before Christ. For, mark that He shall do His first and greatest work at her suggestion. To her shall ever belong the glory of the inauguration ; of her shall the gospel be born ; from her lips shall the Christ take the bidding forHis first miracle ; from her shall His earliest inspiration be drawn.

The people are athirst for the living wine, which shall be better, sweeter, purer, stronger, than any they have yet tasted. The festival lags, the joy slackens, for need of it. Tlie Christ is in their midst, but He opens not His lips; His heart is sealed. His hour is not yet, come. Hail, Mary, full of grace ; Christ is thy gift to the world! Without thee He could not have been ; but for thine impulse He could have worked no mighty work.

This shall be the history of all time; it shall be the sign of the Christ. Mary shall feel; Christ shall speak. Hers the gloiy of setting His heart in action ; hers the thrill of emotion to which His power shall respond. But for her He shall be powerless ; but for her He shall be dumb ; but for her He shall have no strength to smite, no hand to help.


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It is the seed of the woman who shall bruise the serpent's head. The Christ, the true prophet, is her child, her gift to the world. Striving for fuller unfoldment and enlightenment, we were at length enabled to discern the tremendous mistake which orthodoxy has made ; the mistake of confounding, first, Jesus with Christ, and, next. Meanwhile, the experience was a further demonstration to us of the reality and accessibility not merely of the world spiritual, but of the world celestial also, and of the high source of the commission under which we had become associated together.

It was also an indication that as concerned ourselves our work appertained to the spiritual, rather than to the social plane. Such application of it would follow in due time. Nor could we imagine any source other thau the Church invisible for an interpretation so noble of the Scriptures of the Church visible. Not that the hypothesis of an extraneous source accounted for all our experiences. For besides receiving knowledge from such influences, there were instances in which we actually saw and seemed to remember scenes, events, and persons, long since vanished from earth, and felt at the time that it needed only that the period of lucidity be sufficiently prolonged to enable us to recover from personal recollection the whole history concerned.

I was somewhat surprised by finding the first experiences of this nature, as well as certain others of an equally high and rare order, occurring to me rather than to my colleague, of the superiority of Avliose faculty and of whose primacy in our work I had no manner of doubt. The explanation at length vouchsafed was in this wise. It was in order to qualify me for recognising by my own expe- riences the reality and value of hers Avhen they should come. Not otherwise should I know enough to be able to believe.

The reason for according her such preference over and above the superiority of her gifts will presently appear. The partial withdrawal from me of faculty just alluded to took place early in , but not until I had undergone a thorough experiential training in its varied" manifestations. Among these were two which call for relation here, by reason of their serving to show that nothing was withheld which might minister to the completeness of the work set us.

The first was as follows : — Being seated at my writing-table, and meditat- ing on the gospel narrative, with a strange sense of being separated by only a narrow interval from a full knowledge of all that it implied, I found myself impelled to seek the precise idea intended to be conveyed by the story of the woman taken in adultery. It made Him that most odious of characters, a fvude. Seek for it. Close before me, on my right hand, stood the Temple, with Jesus seated on a stone ledge in the porch, while ranged before Him was a crowd of persons in the costumes of the country and the time; each costume shoAving the grade or calling of its wearer.

Standing together in a group in front of Him were the disciples, and immediately beside them were the accusers, who were readily recognisable by their ample robes and sanctimonious demeanour ; and quite close to Him, between Him and them, stood the accused woman. As I approached the scene, moving meteor-like through the air. He was in the act of lifting ]limself up from stooping to write on the ground, and I had a perfect view of His face.

The expression was woru and anxious, and somewhat weary. The skin was rough as from exposure to the weather. The eyes were deep-set and lustrous, and remarkable for the tenderness of their gaze. Their exact purport escaped me; but the impression I obtained was that they were unimportant in themselves, having been written merely to enable Jesus to collect and calm Himself. For He was filled with a mighty indignation, which was directed, not against the accused woman, but against the by-standing repre- sentatives of the conventional orthodoxies, the chief priests and Pharisees, her sanctimonious and hypocritical accusers, — those moral vivisectors through whose pitilessness the shrinking woman stood there exposed to the public gaze, while her fault was so brutally blurted out in her j resence for all to hear; for her attitude showed her ready to sink with shame into the ground, and afraid to look either her accusers or her Judge in the face.

He, her Judge, also has heard it, and knows that they who utter it are themselves a thousand-fold greater sinners than she, inasmuch as that which she has yielded through exigency either of passion or of compassion, has with them been a cold-blooded habit engendered of ingrained impurity.

His impulse is to drive them forth with blows and reproaches from His presence, as once already He has driven the barterers from the Temple. And so, to keep His wrath from exploding, He stoops down and scribbles on the ground, — no matter what, anything to keep Himself within bounds. In the exercise His spirit calms. Indignation, He reflects, is too noble a thing to be expended upon insensates such as they, and exhortation would be vain.

He will try sarcasm.

Kingsford, Anna Bonus 1846-1888

So He raises himself up, and looks at them, very quietly, and even assentingly. Yes, they are quite right; the law must be vindicated, and so flagrant a sin severely punished. Therefore He says, " He of you who is blameless in respect of this sin, let him first cast a stone at her. What can be the '''The expression of which the above is an adaptation, had recently been applied by Mr Gladstone to the Turkish power.

For the period was the eve of the Turco-Russian War ; and Mr Gladstone had found vent for his strong sacerdotal proclivities by siding fiercely against the priest-hating and prophet- venerating Turks, and demanding their expulsion from Europe, very much on the plea that " it was good for Europe that one nation die for the rest.

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And no wonder that most of the ancient authorities omit all mention of the incident. Even of His immediate biographers only he records it who is styled " the Beloved," and whose name, office, and character indicate him as the representative especially of the love-principle in humanity. Such were the impressions made on me by this vision while it lasted, and written down at the time.

And so strong in me was the feeling that I could similarly recall the whole history of Jesus, that I mentally addressed to the presences which I felt, though I could not see, around me an inquiry whether I should then and there begin the attempt. The reply, similarly given, was a decided negative so far as that present time was concerned, but accompanied by an intimation that our future work would comprise something of the kind; a prediction which was duly fulfilled. I found myself perplexed beyond measure to comprehend the modus operandi of this experience.

Among other things I was clearly shown that the policy which sought to detach England from the East, was of infernal instigation, being intended to thwart the rapprochement between Christianity and Buddhism from which the new humanity was to spring. But the circumstances of the book's production — it was poured through me at great speed and printed off as it came — precluded due revision and elimination of redundant matter ; and for these and other reasons, I have suffered it to go out of print.

No explanation was forthcoming, whether from my own mind or from my illuminators, until long afterwards; and when it came it was in reference immediately to similar experiences received by my colleague, some of which likewise involved corre- sponding personal recollections coinciding with but surpassing mine.

In the meantime the teach- ing given us comprised the doctrine of reincarna- tion, stated so positively, systematically, and scientifically that, when taken in conjunction with our experiences, we found that it, and it alone, ait'orded a satisfactory explanation of them. There is one supreme experience in the spiritual life, known to mystics as " the vision of Adonai," or God as the Lord, The reception of this vision by ' There is another fact, referred to in " The Life of A.

Although described several times in the Bible as an actual occurrence, it had failed to find any response in our own consciousness, more than if it had no existence. Rather did it seem to have been entirely passed over as a matter wholly apart from human cognition. Hence, when it was vouchsafed to us, it was entirely with- out anticipation of its occurrence or previous knowledge even of its possibility.

It was received first by myself, the manner of it being as follows. I had observed that when I was following an idea inwards in search of its primary meaning, and to that end concentrated my mind upon a point lying within and beyond the apparent concept, I saw a whole vista of related ideas stretching far away as if towards their source, in what I could only suppose to be the Divine Mind ; and I seemed at the same time to reach a more interior region of my own consciousness; so that, supposing man's system to consist of a series of concentric spheres, each fresh effort to focus my mind upon a more recondite aspect of the idea under analysis was accompanied and marked by a corresponding advance of the perceptive point of the mind itself towards my own central sphere and radiant point.

And I was prompted to try to ascer- tain the extent to which it was possible thus to concentrate myself interiorly, and what would be the effect of reaching the mind's ultimate focus. I was absolutely without knowledge or expectation when I yielded to the impulse to make the attempt. I simply experimented on a faculty of which. I found myself newly possessed, with the view of discovering the range of its capacity, being seated at my writing-table the while in order to record the results as they came, and resolved to retain my hold on my outer and circumferential conscious- ness no matter how far towards my inner and central consciousness I might go.

For I knew not whether I should be able to regain the former if I once quitted my hold of it, or to recollect the facts of the experience. At length I achieved my object, though only by a strong effort, the tension occa- sioned by the endeavour to keep both extremes of the consciousness in view at once being very great. My progress in this ascent was clearly dependent upon my ability to concentrate the rays of my consciousness into a focus. For, while to relax the effort was to recede outwards, to intensify it was to advance inwards. Presently, by a supreme, and what I felt must be a final, effort — for the tension was becoming too much for me, unless I let go my hold of the outer — I suc- ceeded in polarising the whole of the convergent rays of my consciousness into the desired fociis.

And at the same instant, as if through the sudden ignition of the rays thus fused into a unity, I found myself confronted with a glory of unspeak- able whiteness and brightness, and of a lustre so intense as well-nigh to beat me back. At the same instant, too, there came to me, as by a sudden recollection, the sense of being already familiar with the phenomenon, as also with its whole import, as if in virtvie of having experienced it in some former and forgotten state of being.

I knew it to be the " Great White Throne " of the seer of the Apocalypse. But though feeling that I had no need to explore further, I resolved to make assur- ance doubly sure by piercing, if I could, the almost blinding lustre, and seeing what it enshrined. With a great effort I succeeded, and the glance revealed to me that which I had felt must be there. Overjoyed at having this supreme problem solved in accordance with my highest aspirations, my one thought was to return and proclaim the glad news.

On seeking the reason for the reticence thus imposed on me, I learned that the stage in our work had not yet come when it could be given to the world, either with safety to myself or with advantage to others ; and it was necessary that my colleague receive no inti- mation in advance of any experiences which were to be given to her — of which this experience was one — in order that her mind might be wholly free from bias or expectation. Only so would our testi- mony have its due value as that of two independent witnesses.

The access came upon her while standing by the open window, gazing at the moon, then close upon the full. I have extracted the following account of the most interesting part of it from " The Life of A. It appeared afterwards, that under an access of spiritual exaltation, she had yielded to a sudden and uncontrollable impulse to pray that she might be taken to the stars, and shown all the glory of the universe. Presently she rose, and after gazing upwards in ecstasy for a few moments, lowered her eyes, and, clasping her arms around her head as if to shut out the view, uttered in tones of wonder, mingled with moans and cries of anguish, the following tokens of the intolerable splendour of the vision she had unwittingly invited : — " Oh, I see masses, masses of stars!

It makes me giddy to look at them. Millions and millions! O my God, my God, why didst Thou create? It was by Will, all Will, that Thou didst it. Oh, what gulfs! Millions and millions of miles broad and deep! Hold me! I shall sink — I shall sink into the gulfs. I am sick and giddy, as on a billowy sea. I am on a sea, an ocean — the ocean of infinite space. Oh, what depths! I sink — I fail! I cannot, cannot bear it I" " I shall never come back. I have left my body for ever. I am dying ; I believe I am dead.

Impos- sible to return from such a distance! Oh, what colossal forms! They are the angels of the planets. Every planet has its angel standing erect above it. And what beauty! I see Eaphael. I see the Angel of the Earth. He has six wings. He is a God— the God of our planet. I see my genius, who called himself A. Oh, how surpassingly beautiful he is! My genius is a male, and his colour is ruby. Yours, Caro, is a female, and sapphire. It is the Angel of the Earth himself that is your genius and mine, Caro. And they call me ' Bitterness. I shall always have love.

How dim is this sphere!! Hide me, hide me from it! I cannot, cannot bear it! It is agony supreme to look upou. God I Thou art slaying me with Thy light.

Kingsford, Anna Bonus (1846-1888)

Oh, what light! It is like an emerald;-' a sapphire? No ; a diamond! In its midst stands Jieity erect. His right hand raised aloft, and from llim pours the light of light. Forth from His right hand streams the universe, projected by the omnipotent repulsion of His will. Back to His left, which is depressed and set backwards, returns the universe, drawn by the attraction of His love.

Hepulsion and attraction, will and love, right and left, these are the forces, centrifugal and centri- petal, male and female, whereby God creates and redeems. Lord God of life, made of the substance of light, how beautiful art Thou in Thine everlasting youth! And I had thought of God as elderly and venerable! And now not as Man only do I behold Thee! For now Thou art to me as Woman. Lo, Thou art both. One, and Two also.

And thereby dost Thou produce creation. God, God! Surely, surely, it had been better in love to have restrained Thy will. It was by will that Thou createdst, by will alone, not by love, was it not? I cannot see clearly. A cloud has come between. Maria is next beside Thee. Thou art Maria. Maria is God. Oh Maria! God as Woman! Thee, thee I adore! But 1 shall never get back. What strange forms! All angels and archangels. Human in form, yet some with eagles' heads.

All the planets are inhabited! Already do I feel myself burning. Here is Jupiter! It has nine moons! Yes ; nine. Some are exceedingly small. And, oh, how red it is! It has so much iron. And what enormous men and women! There is evil there, too. For evil is wherever are matter and limitation. But the people of Jupiter are far better than we on earth.

They know much more; they are much wiser. There is less evil in their planet. What is it? No ; I cannot describe it. I cannot tell what it is. It differs from any of the others. We have nothing like it. I cannot get back yet. I shall never get back. I believe I am dead. It has grown cold for want of me. Yet I must be approaching; it is growing shallower. We are passing out of the depths. It was with an interest altogether novel in kind and degree that I now turned to the Bible narratives of the same vision, and found that in the record of its reception by the Elders of Israel, it is stated, as if in token of the power of the spiritual battery with which Moses had surrounded himself, that no less than seventy of his initiates were able to receive the vision without magnetic reinforcement by the imposition of their master's hands.

But, as we learnt from our own manifold experiences, it does not follow that because there is no imposition of visible hands, no extraneous aid is rendered. The seeker after God cannot, even if be would, accomplish his quest alone ; but always are there attracted to him those angelic beings whose office it is, as ministers of God, to sustain and illu- minate souls by the imposition of hands invisible to the outer senses. In her case such aid was palpable. There was no effort on her part. And she held converse with those by whom she was upborne in her stupendous flight.

After defining the Elohini as comprising the two original principles of all Being, " the Spirit and the Water," or Force and Substance, and bring- ing up the process whereby Deity proceeds into manifestation to the point described in Genesis in the words, " And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters. He was in the beginning, and by Him were all things discovered. Without Him was not anything made which is visible. For He is the Manifestor, and in Him was the life of the world.


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God the nameless hath not revealed God, but Adonai hath revealed God from the beginning. He is the presentation of Elohhn, and by Him the Gods are made manifest. He is the third aspect of the Divine Triad : Co-equal with tlie Spirit and the heavenly deep. For except by three in one, the Spirits of the Invisible Light could not have been made manifest. But now is the prism perfect, and the generation of the Gods discovered in their order. Adonai dissolves and resumes; in His two hands are the dual powers of all things.

Having the potency of both in Himself, and the power of things material. Yet being Himself invisible, for He is the cause, and not the effect. He is the Manifestor, and not that which is manifest. The reason for the suppression by the trans- lators of the Bible of its numerous affirmations of the Divine Duality, saving only those of Genesis i. Creation and Redemption.