Churchyards may sometimes appear to be gloomy and unfriendly places, perhaps even scaring to many people. Think of all ghost stories in different genres … And of course churchyards are often associated with sadness, grief and loss. However, I think that churchyards may also have a special spiritual, peaceful atmosphere. For me, I actually like strolling through churchyards and reflecting on life, especially if they are historic places that tell you stories about so many different lives. As Shakespeare put it: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players …”
If you believe in reincarnation, you could imagine looking back through a magic mirror and see all these lives portrayed on the grave stones as parts of one single, meaningful, large chain of life. Sometimes you may have led a long life as a human being, whereas at other times your life was short. Sometimes you lived as a rich and famous person, but another life may have been spent in poverty and misery.
Artists, writers, ministers, mayors, professors, lawyers and other famous men as well as fishermen, farmers and factory workers – in the end their dead bodies all lie side by side, equal to God, albeit with more or less elaborate gravestones. And the bodies of women traditionally rest beside them, historically often referred to only as “wives” or “sisters” to somebody, regardless of what their own talents or fates may have been able to tell us later on.
Last week, I visited Frederiksberg Old Cemetery in Copenhagen, which is a very lush, friendly and green churchyard. And here Martinus is buried with his body embalmed according to his wishes (see also his book On Funerals). As you can see, you can visit Martinus’ grave here and see his coffin behind a glassdoor.
I know that Martinus did not want us to think of him as a guru or anything similar, but I still find his grave quite impressive and beautiful. Last week, when visiting Copenhagen, I felt a sudden need to visit this place again because I felt that I had a lot of challenges lying ahead of me, and somehow wanted to find some support in finding the best possible way to proceed.
However, when I was standing here, I just felt very small. After all, we know very little about anything at all. Martinus tells us that we can pray for guidance and support everywhere and at anytime, so what would actually be the point of carrying my personal challenges to a churchyard? It was like asking a question to the wind, but the lush, green trees and the whole churchyard remained peacefully silent …
Remaining standing in front of this place for a while, however, I was suddenly struck by the Martinus’ flag behind the coffin. The flag is quite big, as you can see in the photo above, and I almost felt that it grew bigger and bigger. For a moment, I almost imagined that it opened up lika a kind of embrace. Because of the reflection of the glass, the flag seemed to show an entrance to a parallel green world and a parallel heaven, like an opening to another world. I know it was nothing magical, just reflections in the glass … But I remained looking at the flag, captivated by the light and the world beyond. And I actually returned back quite uplifted.
As Martinus tells us, death is only the separation of our eternal part from our physical body, and in that sense, death is nothing that we need to fear. We do not just cease to exist. In Christianity, too, people do believe in an afterlife, but with few logical underpinnings to support their more or less strong faith in what Jesus had told humanity a long time ago. You sense the importance of faith in an old churchyard, with all the inscriptions, prayers and statues.
Behind these rituals, I think you can also sense the anguish that must have accompanied those who had lost the ability to believe in the moment of death and loss. And it still accompanies those who must face death and sorrow and bereavement until you find answers that can satisfy your logic as well as your wish for life to be eternal.
According to Martinus, the capacity to believe as well as to stop believing in the so-called old world impulse (the major world religions, among others) is an organic development that follows automatically with the development of your intelligence. You cannot force yourself or anyone else to just “believe” again even if you try to.
In Frederiksberg Old Cemetery, many famous people are buried and a number of their names have been written on a plate for everybody to identify. I was expecting to find Martinus’ name here as well, but it is not included.
I expect, however, that his name will be there one day. It will be in remembrance of the man who gave us 6,000 pages and 100 symbols of the eternal laws and principles of life that he saw in the cosmos, and the hope and knowledge that he wanted to provide with his work.