Most people in the world long for peace and freedom from conflict and suffering. We dream of happiness and perhaps we picture Paradise as a place of timeless peace and tranquility for all eternity. Or do we really −for all eternity? The images of the Garden of Eden in Judaism, Christianity and Islam are powerful and must have been even more attractive to people in times when the great majority lived in extreme poverty. A perfect, beautiful, peaceful garden with an abundance of fruit and water would have been everything a human being could wish for, after a life full of hardships, hunger and struggles.
Later on in history, images of angels playing harps on clouds, singing for all eternity were added to the Christian Paradise. A Swedish 19th century poet, Gustaf Fröding, lamented this future prospect as being somewhat repetitive: “I hate the thought of God imagined as a Pater, and hate the thought that we, when we get up there, no longer man and woman but monk and nun, should sing eternal cantatas” (from his collection Gralstänk.) Such poetry could be regarded as disrespectful during his lifetime, but as is so often the case with poets, their art reflects questions that belong to the future: Does this kind of paradise not run the risk of getting somewhat boring? Could we really imagine some kind of eternal, passive existence as being wonderful and fun, however peaceful it would be?
In his works, Martinus describes a great number of principles, categories and terms. Some of them are neologisms (created by him for his specific purposes), whereas other terms and concepts are ordinary Danish words in his original writings, but quite often used in a specific meaning. One such principle which Martinus describes is the principle of contrast, which in its simplest form can easily be verified in our daily life:
“Every experience or sensation is merely an experience and creation of contrasts. Where there are no contrasts, no experience or creation is possible. An eternal stagnation would dominate the situation. And such a situation could be nothing other than an eternal ‘absolute’ ‘death’.” (Livets Bog, vol. 4, sect. 1443)
This means that there will always be contrasts in life and we cannot experience anything without contrasts. And regarding the Swedish poet quoted above, who felt rebellious at the thought of a repetitive and not very exciting paradise, Martinus could have given him a different perspective to look forward to: the perspective of contrasting, eventful passages through eternal spiral cycles. According to him, all beings have eternal life, but this eternal life is subject to constant variation according to the eternal principles of existence. In order for this variation to be possible, in correspondence with the principle of contrast, the living being will always experience two large contrasts of darkness and light, which together make up a spiral cycle:
“No being whatsoever can exist without having an eternal life. The beings’ eternal faculty to experience life is promoted and maintained through the culminating experience of the epochs of darkness and light. These two epochs together form that section of life experience that we have called a spiral section or a spiral cycle. Every time a being has experienced the dark and light epoch of a spiral cycle it begins to experience the dark and light epoch of a new spiral cycle. But in principle this experience becomes a repetition of the previous one, only in quite a new variation. Every time a being slips into a new spiral cycle, it experiences the unfoldment of each of the cycle’s six basic energies in a new variation. If this new spiral cycle were not experienced in a new variation, then this cycle could not form a spiral cycle, but only a cycle. The being’s experience of such a cycle would be only a passage in a circular path. But just because the variations are different in each new cycle, then the being’s passage through a cycle does not become an absolute repetition of the same cycle, but a continuation into a new cycle and so on continuously.” The Eternal World Picture, vol. 1, sect. 14:5.
These spiral cycles are in turn divided into six main spheres of consciousness or “kingdoms”, each of them dominated by one of the six basic energies: “instinct”, “gravity”, “feeling”, “intelligence”, “intuition” and “memory”. Martinus writes extensively about this overview of life in Livets Bog (The Book of Life) and The Eternal World Picture. In his shorter book Meditation, he gives a brief introduction:
For this reason the form of life-experience of all living beings is organised in spiral cycles. These spiral cycles are divided into particular spheres of consciousness that span from the culmination of darkness to the culmination of light, which is the same as the culmination of hate and the culmination of love. Of these spheres of the spiral cycle the plant kingdom constitutes the first, the animal kingdom the next and the human kingdom the third. Thereafter the spheres are no longer of a physical nature, but constitute spiritual or mental planes of existence. These are described in more detail in my main work “Livets Bog” where they are called “the kingdom of wisdom”, “the divine world” and “the kingdom of bliss”.
The eternal life of the living beings is thus a passage through these kingdoms. When they have passed these six kingdoms they proceed into a new spiral cycle, in the same way but in new forms, in order to again pass through the six kingdoms or spheres of this spiral cycle, and so on continuously through new cycles in all eternity. (Meditation, ch. 10)
So, according to this overview, there will always be periods of absolute happiness and periods of darkness in all spiral cycles. Otherwise there would be no contrasts and no experience of life would be possible. But we will not stay in one specific paradise forever, be it equipped with harps or not. There will always be movement to new experiences in new variations of spiral cycles. It is worth noting, however, that the epochs mentioned above comprise an unimaginable amount of time, just in case we might actually feel like resting for some time in a peaceful, beautiful garden. According to Martinus, everybody gets their own personal, earthly paradise for a certain period of time after death, but this will have to be dealt with in another blog entry.
About cosmological concepts
This category, “Cosmological concepts”, will contain reflections on some of the specific terms and concepts that Martinus uses in his writings. In contrast to what might be considered as a norm in contemporary science, however, Martinus’ terms and concepts cannot always be described by giving exact, limited definitions that are used in a consistent way. Instead, his use of words and concepts seems to reflect the spiritual world he is trying to describe to us, where you get the impression that the meanings of many words and concepts are shifting and multidimensional, opening up to new and wider dimensions when they are used in a new and different context, almost like a flower or a tree.
Consequently, the exact meanings of Martinus’ cosmological concepts may sometimes be difficult to define without looking at the specific context. But as far as the principle of contrast is concerned, and our passages through eternal spiral cycles, we can imagine this by using our own experience. We cannot imagine life without contrasts.
More about the spiral cycles can be found in Martinus’ Symbol No. 4: The Cosmic Spiral Cycle 1