Every year thousands of people experience warming, radiant, sunlit summer areas. They are surrounded by the wonderfully beautiful scents of cornfields and green meadows. On yellow beaches people gambol among blue-green salty waves. From green forests and groves sound the song of the nightingale and the cry of the cuckoo. All day long from the blue sky and the white summer clouds sounds the song of the lark. […] In the Nordic midsummer the kingdom of God is revealed on earth. (Martinus: Mental Prisons, ch. 1)
Everything is just so beautiful − the water, the wind, the birds, the tiny flowers and the light. Nature smiles. Even during the night, there is a subdued, magical light. It is, as Martinus says in the passage quoted above, like the kingdom of God revealed on Earth.
Summer in Sweden is the highlight of the year. It is almost like a religious ritual. We wait for it for several months, talk extensively about it and fear that it might not come, then there is no guarantee for sunny days during our summertime. But when summer finally comes − and this year it has certainly been wonderful − we worship it, we take photos, we get together and we tell everybody on social media how happy we are. To visitors from abroad, this obsession with summer may seem a little exaggerated, but I believe you must have lived here for some time in order to understand just how much we feel starved of the light after many dark and cold winter days.
To Martinus, however, the inner meaning of summer is not just a well-deserved holiday in beautiful surroundings. In the article “Mental Prisons” in The Road of Life he tells us that people who think that summer is just a season “no longer know at all what they are experiencing with their senses”.
Instead, he invites us to read the change in the seasons as pages in the book of life, where the seasons of the year tell us something about the eternal contrast between light and darkness and show that all creation is based on logic. It is a divine plan whose underlying beauty is revealed to us as “the hidden cosmic message of summer”:
The ancient immortal myth of paradise has become a living reality before our eyes. We are even now in the presence of the living “Adam” and “Eve” in flesh and blood. And God calls to us through the garden. (ch.1)
Perhaps the instinctive awareness of the principle of contrast is why Scandinavian people find summer so tremendously important and strive to enjoy every minute of it. And even if we know about the scientific background for the change of seasons, it is magical to experience it with your own senses. Every year, we see the frozen stillness of snow-covered landscapes transform themselves into the green, living paradise on Earth and it seems to be almost a miracle. Perhaps we do perceive that this abundance of Nature’s beauty is a glimpse of the divine?
And for some time, I would like to linger here, just relishing the wind and the water.
I know that life is a school, that we need to move on and learn new things. I know that there is still so much to do. We have a long way to go before we reach the real human paradise, where everything is characterised by neighbourly love toward everyone and everything. Being a terrestrial human being means living a life in transition.
But right now, I would like to keep those thoughts about our development and our challenges away. I want to enjoy being human, being caressed by the sun, enjoy being among friends and my dearest, closest family members, enjoy feeling the presence of God here and now.
Having visited an old church and sitting with a book on my lap without really reading it, I am reminded of Goethe’s famous words in his play Faust: “Stay a while, you are so beautiful …” (Verweile dock, du bist so schön …)
As we know, this is a part of Faust’s bet with the devil, where Faust refused to believe that the devil could offer him anything so beautiful and pleasing on Earth that he would wish to linger on.
In the end, Faust lost half the bet, but that is another story. And if Faust had been shown the summer landscape of the Swedish island Möja in the archipelago, where these photos were taken, I think he would probably have lost his bet sooner.
Here you want the moment to stay, perceiving that Martinus is right, that God is now and that we do believe in a hidden cosmic message of summer − Verweile doch, du bist so schön …