The secret is the Danish world teacher Martinus and his spiritual science The Third Testament.
From May to August 2007 an exhibition was held at the library in Martinus’ native town Sindal with the title “Martinus spiritual science The Third Testament”.
It all started in Martinus’ childhood home
The impulse to make a spiritual science exhibition came originally from Aksel Kristensen, who with his wife Marianne administers Martinus’ childhood home “Moskildvad” in Sindal.
The person, the spiritual science and the symbols
At the exhibition visitors can make the acquaintance of the person Martinus – his life story from birth in Sindal in 1890 to his demise from the physical plane in 1981. Furthermore, visitors can obtain a brief description of the main lines in his spiritual science and a presentation of his many cosmic symbols, which describe the spiritual laws and principles of life.
With respect to the many expected foreign turists to the exhibition, the explanations are all in both Danish, English and German.
In addition, writings by others on Martinus – both Danish and many other languages are available, and beautiful paintings of a female artist who has been inspired by the spiritual science is exhibited. Last but not least, visitors can finish with a cup of coffee or tea in the cosy café!
Films and lectures
Various films about and with Martinus are shown non-stop in the small “cinema”– and several dialogue lectures for larger groups on Martinus’ spiritual science will be held during the 4 summer months.
The exhibition is now a travelling exhibition, visiting other Danish libraries and overseas libraries and congress centres.
14.1 The Intellectualised, immortal Christianity Although the concept of the Third Testament had gradually matured in Martinus’ consciousness, he was immediately conscious, since his Christ experience in 1921, that the spiritual science he would create was the fulfilment of the prophecy of the second coming of Christ in the form of the “Spirit of truth” or “the Holy Spirit”. This can be seen, amongst other things, from the article series Interpretation of Livets Bog: Preface from 1933.
Martinus: “I have received the promised Comforter: “the Holy Spirit”. It “teaches” me all things and “reminds” me of everything. And it shall be a sign to every one of my readers that this my statement is absolute truth that he or she will never in any single place in “Livets Bog” or my other manifestations find something that does not show that the universe is based on love, and that the divine words that “everything is very good” are absolutely true.” (Collected Articles 1, §7.16)
According to the Bible the Comforter would, amongst other things, glorify Christ, and as mentioned earlier in this book’s section 13.13 Martinus takes precisely Jesus’ statements, and with logic and the analyses of spiritual science he demonstrates the truth of Jesus’ words. Martinus “glorifies” precisely Jesus by “justifying” him, as described in LB3 §926.
Martinus also demonstrates how Jesus was the model of the perfect man (IC §6-7).
The Spirit of truth in the biblical formulation is indeed also a brilliant description of modern science, and is it not precisely spiritual science’s encompassing cosmic analyses which shall “guide you into all truth”?
The Spirit of truth shall “not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak”, as it says in the Bible. Martinus himself should not think up or invent anything, nor should he speak of himself, but only write that which he could experience with his cosmic senses, which intuitively enabled him to experience these eternal laws, principles and truths. Everything that Martinus has heard, he has spoken (See §1.7).
Martinus, “What I have explained are eternal realities that were in existence before I explained them. I have been merely the tool that has presented them to human beings. I bring them in fact directly from Christ himself, thanks to some cosmic experiences that have caused me also to be able to relate what has taken place.” (English Kosmos, no. 4/2008)
Precisely with the knowledge of the laws of evolution Martinus could predict “things to come”, for example the coming crises and world wars, the establishment of an international world kingdom and the finished creation of terrestrial man in God’s image after His likeness. It corresponds fully indeed to the words “he will show you things to come”.
In the Gospel of John chapters 13-17, the Second Coming of Christ by the Comforter the Holy Spirit has been characterized by 10 to 12 statements that on all points are in keeping with Martinus’ creation of the work of The Third Testament.
14.2 Martinus should not hide, he should say who he was Martinus maintained that all his work was a science of love and that it was the continuation of Christ’s mission. He dared to stand forward and say that his work was the continuation of Christianity and Christ’s teachings. The Third Testamentmust necessarily be the expression of the Holy Spirit when all its analyses are identical with love. When there is a science that contributes to people becoming all-loving in God’s image, it must indeed be the Holy Spirit, argues Martinus.
Martinus was well aware that some people would think that it was boasting in the highest degree. But Martinus said it does not matter: I must not hide and say, “I dare not say it”. Later on life itself will reveal whether it was true or not.
In accordance with his mission Martinus felt compelled to stand forward and say that he was the one who should give mankind the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit came into Martinus himself when he was solemnly initiated through Christ in person to let His light shine out over the world (Intellectualised Christianity §3).
14.3 The Second Coming of Christ in the last days As I said, the explanation and justification for the choice of the title The Third Testament came out first to the general public in 2004, but in his last speeches and lectures Martinus often oriented those interested about The Third Testament, and several of these lectures have in edited form been published as articles.
In a speech on his 89th birthday Martinus explained that we live in the time of the Second Coming of Christ. But it will not happen with the coming of a man who shall make miracles and preach sermons. What it is about is the continuation of the world culture that Christ inaugurated and laid the foundations for with his crucifixion and his divine words. As the people at the time of Jesus were not particularly intellectually equipped, he had to explain the great truths in parables and in symbolic form. He had to thus encapsulate the truth of his “Second Coming” in a kind of fairy tale language.
Many Christians believe that the Second Coming of Christ already happened at the Whitsun miracle shortly after the crucifixion, but Martinus dates the time of the Second Coming of Christ to our times, which are precisely the last days, with wars, concentration camps and atom bombs. See the explanation for “Darkness”, symbol no. 19, where Martinus interprets several of Jesus’ statements in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 24. Here Christ speaks about, among other things, that one shall flee when one sees the abomination of desolation (the atomic bomb explosion), one should not return home from the field. “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” (Matt. 24.19).
Martinus writes: “And what about coming down from the roofs or coming home from the field in the fall-out from the atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was there anyone who could get away from the devilish, totally destructive flash of lightning in which this bomb explosion took place? What about the women who were with child? Did the glimpse of hell not strike them too so that they became disabled and gave birth to deformed foetuses? Have we not also experienced in this darkness of doomsday here in the twentieth century an attempt to wipe out an entire people with gas chambers and other methods of terror?” (EWP2 §19. 26).
Christ also warned that there would be many false prophets: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the East, and shineth even unto the West; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:23-27)
The essence of the Second Coming is not that Jesus should appear in physical form. He is neither in the desert nor chambers. The Second Coming of Christ should happen in the form of “the Comforter, the Holy Spirit”. According to Martinus the Comforter the Holy Spirit is the same as the spiritual science. Martinus argues that spirit is knowledge, experiences and facts. Spirit, in other words, is consciousness.
Martinus: “A science will come into being in the world that will teach human beings what Christ could not tell them, since they would not have been able to understand it. It was announced that it would come at a later date, and that time has now come.” (English Kosmos, no. 4/2008)
14.4 What did Martinus say in his last lecture on the Third Testament? Martinus had a long time previously announced that the lecture in connection with his 90th birthday would be his last (9 August, 1980). For many people it was also the last chance to see and hear Martinus, and there came therefore no less than 1200 people in the Falkoner Centre in Copenhagen. The speech, which was recorded on tape, has appeared in Kosmos in edited form. A highlight was, amongst others, when Martinus said: “Spiritual science has come to the Earth; Christ’s announcement about the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit has been fulfilled. What I am relating is what the Comforter, the Holy Spirit is relating.” (The Christ Principle, English Kosmos, no. 4/2010)
THREE INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SECOND COMIN OF CHRIST 14.5 First interpretation: The Third Testament The Son of man coming in the clouds is mentioned in The New Testament, Matt. 24.30 and Mark 13.26, and interestingly enough also in The Old Testament in Daniel 7:13: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven”.
In Intellectualised Christianity (IC), published in 2004, Martinus has reserved the entire first chapter to the interpretation of the prophecy on the Second Coming of Christ. Here are two quotes from the book:
“That which Christ predicted, ‘the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send’, is thus a ‘book of knowledge’ or ‘life’ that would be manifested to mankind. […] Such a book cannot fail to contain the ‘many things’ Christ had to tell humanity, but which God would give later to the coming generations. Such a book cannot fail to be ‘The Comforter, the Holy Spirit’. With its fundamental underpinning of Christianity and thus by virtue of its kinship with the Bible’s two testaments, it will rightfully be called The Third Testament.” (IC §6)
“We have already mentioned that the Second Coming of Christ will be in the clouds with great power and glory. Does he not say exactly that it shall be like lightning coming out from the East and shining into the West? What is it about his Second Coming that can have such capacity? It can alone only be his all-encompassing divine message or universal information to humanity across the globe from East to West, from South to North. This message can only be the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth that God should send to mankind in Jesus’ name, and which should guide humanity into all truth and remind it of Christ and take of what he had said.” (IC §16.)
Martinus also addresses this topic in great detail in Book 3, What is Truth? (see chapters 19-28). The Second Coming of Christ is the continuation of the redemption of the world, it is a universal teaching that will go out across the globe; it is the intellectualization or the making scientific of all of Christianity. As this is not indeed observed with the physical sight, the Second Coming of Christ could symbolically happen “on the clouds with great power and glory”, “as lightning cometh out from the East, and shineth even unto the West”.
Nowadays, one could also say that information about The Third Testamentvia the Internet, television and satellite, can be sent out across the globe with the speed of light, like lightning from east to west.
14.6 Second interpretation: Cosmic consciousness People shall not continue to follow a world redeemer, but they shall become independent-minded beings who themselves shall walk the last part of evolution towards the experience of cosmic consciousness. When one receives cosmic consciousness, one receives Christ consciousness, and that is the same as the Second Coming of Christ. Martinus writes in Humanity and the world picture: “People shall come to experience the Comforter the Holy Spirit and through this directly experience for themselves the great answers to the mystery of life, so that they no longer need to have Christ as an intermediary between themselves and the solution to the mystery of life, between themselves and the Eternal Father”. (Mankind and the World Picture, book 8, chap. 54).
Martinus’ study with the symbol no. 23 with the bible quote, Mark 13.26
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Magnification of the symbol with the bible quote And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13.26
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14.7 Third interpretation: The symbol on the front cover As mentioned in §13.19, Martinus finally chose to publish The Third Testamentwith the Light and Darkness symbols on the cover because they were the two supporting pillars of the whole. The entire world picture is “mathematically” built around the principle of contrast with light and darkness, as Martinus explains in the detailed analyses.
From Martinus’ side there is no written documentation, but quite specifically I think that symbol no. 23, Light, on the front cover of The Third Testament is the fulfilment of the prophecy about “the Second Coming of Christ in the clouds” as there on the symbol is drawn a Christ figure that shines above the dark clouds brooding over the globe. In the symbol explanation Martinus writes certainly that it is a Christ-like being and not the actual Jesus Christ. But there is still some evidence that Martinus himself associated this bible quotation about the Second Coming of Christ to his own symbol. In the picture from Martinus’ study it can be seen namely that he has fixed with two clips a note on the symbol. With a magnification one can read the following text: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark. 13.26).
In The Old Testament it is prophesied that the Messiah would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. When Jesus with the disciples in the days before Easter was going up to Jerusalem, they had no donkey. Christ asks therefore some of the disciples to go out to borrow a donkey, so he can ride into Jerusalem. It was obviously important to Jesus that this biblical prophecy should be fulfilled.
In like manner I think that Martinus by drawing a symbol with a “Christ-figure in the clouds with great glory and power” and putting it on the front page of The Third Testament thereby also ensured that this biblical prophecy about the Second Coming of Christ also came true.
15.1 The principle of world redemption and the new world morality The basis of the new world morality, according to Martinus, will be an Intellectualised Christianity or Christianity made scientific. Early Christianity was indeed a world religion, but when the analysis of eternity comes into Christianity, it becomes science, indeed it becomes the world science itself.
Evolution in earlier times was based on faith and following authority but on the last leg of the evolution towards perfection, mankind shall be an independent-minded being. For the spiritual researcher the cosmic analyses are in the beginning admittedly Martinus’ own personal knowledge, but gradually as they can be confirmed by personal experience and by the person’s own reasoning and thinking, this knowledge is transferred to become the spiritual researcher’s own knowledge. The purpose of Martinus’ analyses is to lead the student to an autonomous understanding of life and a view of life that is based not on belief but on knowledge that can be confirmed by the person’s own experience. The analyses are an aid to self-help. Life itself and the person’s own experiences and observations shall show the validity of the cosmic analyses and help us onward to cosmic consciousness.
Christ said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me”. According to Martinus, it means that nobody can have cosmic consciousness or experience the Father’s consciousness without taking the Christ road and practicing Christ’s way of being. Privately, in a circle of friends, Martinus was able to say, “I can also say that no one comes to the Father except through me”, by which he meant that it is necessary and indispensable to acquire the cosmic analyses and translate them into a practical way of being in order to come to the experience of God’s, the Father’s or the universe’s consciousness. Cosmos is an expression of the entire eternal and infinite universe, and to have cosmic consciousness is the same as experiencing the universe’s consciousness.
The divine creative principle and the principle of world redemption are the first topics Martinus discusses in the two main works Livets Bog (chapter 1-5) and The Eternal World Picture (symbols no. 1 and 2). Here he shows that the cosmic parent principle is necessary for humanity’s evolution here on earth and that no step in this evolution can be avoided or skipped. He writes that his world picture expresses the new world impulse and in his literature he refers to his work as “the twentieth century’s world redemption”.
Martinus’ collected work, The Third Testament, represents the new world impulse, in which the essence is precisely that “knowledge” which shall succeed the “belief” belonging to the old world impulse. Acquisition of “knowledge” instead of “belief” is an absolutely necessary and indispensable step in the evolution towards cosmic perfection.
15.2 Is Martinus a world redeemer? One might be led to think that Martinus is not a world redeemer, because he himself at the end of his life, often expressed (for instance in the book Intellectualised Christianity, chapter 1) that one should not perceive the biblical phrase or concept the “Second Coming of Christ” as an expression of a personal physical return of the world redeemer. He also said that after the Buddha, Christ and Muhammad there would not come more world redeemers, who should be worshipped as a person or authority. Humanity will no longer be led by authority and therefore one should not expect that the Second Coming of Christ will manifest itself by his coming in physical form to be worshipped.
But these statements do not prevent Martinus from being a world redeemer. He should simply work by other means than earlier world redeemers and should keep his own person in the background, and create a new cosmic science that should help humanity towards independent thinking and the understanding of life.
Privately Martinus could refer to himself as “world redeemer”, several close friends and co-workers report. If there were problems and difficulties, Martinus could bravely say, “Well, that must a world redeemer also put up with”. Martinus has actually in writing described himself – though in a humble way – as “the world redeemer of the next millennia”. Lars Nibelvang had among Martinus’ rough notes found a statement showing that Martinus’ consciousness was always focused upon removing all forms of personality cult. Although Martinus will be shown to be the world redeemer of the next millennia, he gives God the credit for it.
Martinus: “Thus it is not I, but you – by virtue of that part of your divine being and the other principles which you have given me to practical and theoretical demonstration before the world’s eyes – the world redeemer of the next millennia.” (Martinus As We Remember Him, page 27, 1989).
By virtue of his role as world redeemer Martinus refers indirectly to himself as a Christ-being and a totally perfect human being in God’s image.
Martinus: “In the last stage of the manifestation of world redemption, which means, the stage in which the being’s evolution is completed and where it becomes the totally perfect human being in God’s image, this manifestation is promoted exclusively by world redeemers who have long since become finished human beings in God’s image, that is they have become Christ-beings.” (EWP2 §23.5).
Martinus did not want to draw attention to his own person and he remained indeed unknown to the public in his own lifetime.
Martinus: “I am only anxious to make people investigate for themselves the actual facts relative to the divine manifestation in palpable, physical phenomena, whoever and wherever this might appear, so as to change mere belief into certainty, ignorance to knowledge, religion into science. I am desirous of subduing every form of personal worship and, on the contrary am working for an ever increasing recognition of the veritable existence of the Holy Spirit.” (On the Birth of my Mission, chapter 9).
Martinus the creator of “Martinus Cosmology” also called “Martinus spiritual science”
15.3 Martinus’ world picture is unparalleled Many people perceive Martinus Cosmology as just a school of thought among many others and certainly not as something unique, as an indispensable study to complete the development towards perfection. But Martinus sees his work The Third Testament as the Intellectualised, immortal Christianity that will be the foundation of life for humanityin the next millennia here on earth (IC, Preface).
Martinus: “All these cosmic analyses have no parallel in the world and nobody else can make them and nobody else will come who can make them. Human beings will indeed gradually get cosmic glimpses and start getting cosmic consciousness, and they can then elaborate certain local material. But that which through me has been created in the world is accordingly that which Christ promised mankind.” (Lecture in Varnhem, Sweden, 2 June 1968)
In another lecture Martinus said: “You may think that I am boasting, but try to see if there is anybody like me. Is there another world picture? No, there is not. There is no other, there will be no other, you are not going to get other analyses. It has been presented to you as science and this is what is “The Comforter, the Holy Spirit”. My analyses are “holy knowledge and holy thoughts” and it is these that will be the foundation for the salvation of mankind and for the development of mankind to be ‘man in the image of God’.” (On Myself, My Mission and Its Significance, English Kosmos, no. 2/2004)
15.4 A complete world picture for the first time in the history of the earth Many argue against Martinus Cosmology that it does not at all contain anything new. They claim that what Martinus says there are so many who have said before him. An old proverb says, “there is nothing new under the sun”.
It is true that it is not Martinus who invented the eternal cosmic laws or principles that govern life. “They existed before I was born, I’ve just had the ability to sense them”, Martinus has said repeatedly. Seen from this perspective there is nothing new in Martinus’ world picture.
Many of life’s great truths are like fragments already presented in the various religions and sciences of the earth, but with Martinus’ eternal world picture it is the first time in the history of the earth that a perfect and complete explanation of life is created, assembled in a logical, scientific and mathematically drawn up eternal world picture. All wise men, religions and sciences have only fragments of the world picture, and therefore mankind has also previously only learned about these fragments.
Personally I am of the opinion that many of Martinus’ analyses, for example, of mankind’s sexual pole transformation, love towards the microcosm and the spiral cycle and the structure of eternal life have previously never been described in the literature.
15.5 Martinus’ “love proof” How could Martinus now be so sure that everything he wrote was true? He himself answered, “It is true because all my analyses conclude in love”. “All my analyses show that everything is very good”.
In his lectures Martinus used different variants of his “love proof”. He said that he could be absolutely certain that he wrote the truth because all the analyses on all points finish with the answer – universal love, and that one should love one’s neighbour as oneself. Is there any higher explanation of life than that everything is an expression of love? Universal love is the highest science. Universal love is the keynote of the whole universe.
Martinus has written an entire chapter headed “The guarantee of my cosmic analyses’ identity with the eternal truth” that deals with this love proof (Collected Articles 1, §8.25). Here he writes that his educational work has only been created by virtue of cosmic consciousness and it can be recognized by that the fact that his analyses do not in any field have another conclusion than that one should be good and loving and love one’s neighbour. Everything he has written is one great defence for observing the great commandment “love one another”. It is a logical explanation of immortality and of “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. Everything turns out in the final reckoning to be of benefit, happiness and blessing for all living creatures.
Through his high cosmic visions Martinus received the gift to be able to analyse the structure of the universe in text, pictures and symbols, which can now be read and studied. But could Martinus perhaps make a mistake in his analyses of the world picture?
Martinus: “I cannot be wrong, because I did not invent it. I can show that every single analysis leads in its final reckoning to love, and there is not one place that leads to the opposite. Therefore I can say there is nothing higher than this spiritual science which has now been created and there will come nothing higher. It will come to carry the future world culture and the people who today welcome it and have the benefit and enjoyment of it and help it, they are the new world culture’s pioneers, and it is they who shall lead it forward.” (Lecture 30 June 1969)
One cannot form a sect by virtue of the fact that two and two equals four. A science cannot be tied into a sect, and there is no subscription nor association with membership around Martinus Spiritual Science. Everyone is free at the library or at home to study Martinus’ works, just as one can study the works of Freud, Marx or Einstein. There is no binding; the only bond is the interest and joy one has in being occupied with Martinus’ spiritual analyses. Martinus said that just as one is free to choose whether to sit in the sun or the shade, one is also free to choose whether one will study the analyses or not. The whole of Martinus’ lifework is a pure gift to humanity; it is completely free.
15.6 Will there be no more world pictures on the earth after Martinus? World redeemers with cosmic consciousness are, according to Martinus, guests from a higher world who in the service of world redemption come to earth to help younger brothers forward in evolution. But gradually earth’s own residents will evolve to acquire cosmic consciousness, and Martinus has roughly estimated that more people with cosmic consciousness will begin to come upon the earth in 1,000-1,500 years, the very first perhaps in 500 years, and in the literature Martinus writes that the majority in 3,000 years will have cosmic consciousness.
Some therefore think that Martinus’ spiritual scientific analyses are not indispensable to achieve cosmic consciousness, because others will come and make world pictures that are just as good as Martinus’ when they one day reach cosmic consciousness. But the wheel can only be invented once!
There can only be one eternal world picture and it fell to Martinus’ fate to be the first, the only and the last one who here on this planet should present this in a logical and scientific way.
There is only one analysis of the I (X1): “there is something that is”. There is only “one divine something”. Everything that exists is simply “a divine something that is”.
There is only one universal creative principle X2, which can be analysed out into several big creative principles on which one can also say that there is only one contrast principle, one hunger and satiation principle, one perspective principle, one sexual pole principle, one attraction and repulsion principle, one life-unit principle, one movement principle, one cycle principle, one talent kernel principle, one repetition principle, one reincarnation principle, one parent principle and one principle of world redemption.
There is only one comprehensive analysis of the constancy or eternal existence of energy in the form of the analysis of X3 which represents all the created or temporal.
This analysis of the entire universe and of the triune structure of living beings is nothing less than the solution to the mystery of life (See also LB2 §559-617, LB3 §680-762 and EWP3 §32.3 to 32.14).
The people who in the future will get cosmic consciousness here on earth will not again create a new “eternal world picture”. They will only be able to come with additional details to the all-embracing mother science that has been presented by Martinus.
Conversely, people in 3,000 years when they read Livets Bog will regard it as a fairy tale or children’s book that tells something about mankind’s current, relatively low level of understanding of the analyses of life.
15.7 Martinus Spiritual Science is a mother science
It should be emphasized that Martinus has only analysed the major principles of the universal science. It is left to present and future scientists with cosmic flashes and cosmic consciousness to explain all the many details in this big world picture.
But in defiance of this wealth of detail of life Martinus argues anyway that his spiritual science is the “mother science” of all science, of all knowledge, of all intellectual manifestation. Natural science and all materialistic science he sees as a small offshoot or department of his spiritual science (See Collected Articles 1, §14.10).
Similarly, intuitively gifted biologists of the future will be able to explain the entire course of evolution and for example expound in detail on all the transitional forms in the evolution from reptile to bird. Even though anthropologists, psychologists, geologists, astronomers, etc. all separately will be able to also add new details to the world picture, Martinus Spiritual Science will still remain a unifying mother science.
15.8 Providence is not careless with world redeemers
As Martinus himself stated, as mentioned in section 15.3, there will not come any more world redeemers after him here on earth, for now mankind is so advanced that they with the help of his cosmic analyses are able to go the last leg to cosmic consciousness. Providence is not careless with world redeemers.
Christ did not come again to demonstrate the universal love once more.
Martinus: “Christ came, amongst other things, into the world to show ‘the culmination of universal love’. Was not this, for instance, what happened on the Cross? – What love can be greater than this, that in the middle of the culmination of life’s worst sufferings that one’s enemy has inflicted upon one, to ask God for forgiveness for those causing this terrible deed? – God has thus shown mankind, by Christ’s way of being, the peak or end goal for His creation of man in His image after His likeness. He does not need to do it again. Now it is mankind who themselves shall start studying the divine knowledge, that now exists in intellectual form, and themselves experience and see the truth in the ‘eternal light’ and by that means eventually become ‘Christ-beings’ or finished human beings in God’s image after His likeness.” (IC §6).
15.9 Theoretical and personally experienced cosmic consciousness
Martinus demonstrates in his analyses that in order to achieve cosmic consciousness it is necessary to understand the laws of life and become an independent thinking person who is completely freed from religious dogma and authority. There are two essential steps in the evolution towards cosmic consciousness. First, one must acquire theoretically the cosmic analyses, and then one has to train or practise the talents for translating the theoretical understanding into practical behaviour. Neither of these two steps can be skipped in evolution.
Martinus shows the necessity for a theoretical guidance concerning what is good and evil: “Although the humane faculty grows and gets people to feel repulsion towards evil, it will not be able to give humanity any particular theoretical guidance as to what really is evil and what really is good. There is so much that apparently is good, but really is evil, just as there is much that seems evil, but really is good. To completely be able to determine what is evil and what is good in the divine world plan, one must know this plan’s main structure” (LB7 §2523).
Concerning the acquisition of “theoretical cosmic consciousness”, Martinus writes, “These susceptible people can with their intelligence receive the intelligence-related interpretation of life’s real cosmic and thus eternal analyses. They can thereby obtain the theoretical experience of the meaning of life or the solution to the mystery of life, as God reveals it through the structure of the universe. By that means they become, both in consciousness and behaviour, gradually made susceptible for “cosmic glimpses”, to finally at last experience the total cosmic consciousness as a permanent mental structure in which they are one with God, infinity and eternity” (LB7 §2524).
15.10 Livets Bog is not the one and only salvation, but still indispensable
Martinus, in the Preface to Livets Bog 1, will really make the reader understand that the universal world picture or the eternal wisdom which he has manifested in the form of Livets Bog “does not in any way claim, or suggest any right, to constitute a so-called ‘one and only salvation’”. (LB1 §10).
He argues himself that a single manifestation like Livets Bog cannot replace or supersede all other forms of manifestation. Life must of course equally make use of all the existing manifestations. That Livets Bog should be the one and only salvation would indeed be tantamount to the rendering superfluous of all other religions and philosophies.
Each step in evolution has its natural religious source of inspiration that cannot be replaced by Martinus’ work, which in this way is not the one and only salvation. Evolution has many steps and happens through many different paths, all of which are equally necessary.
Even though Livets Bog is not the one and only salvation, so all on a certain stage of evolution will come to study the laws of life and the cosmic analyses before they get cosmic consciousness. Even though evolution goes through many different paths, all shall inevitably go through the same gate to gain access to the real human kingdom.
15.11 People grow out of the old religions like children outgrow their clothes
Livets Bog cannot replace the many religions, outlooks on life and philosophies that provide great inspiration to people here on earth. Martinus compares the many different religions and outlooks on life down through the ages with children’s clothing. As children grow out of old clothes and must have bigger clothes, so also people grow out of old and out-dated religions and must have new inspiration, until they finally come to the absolute analyses of truth in the form of the cosmic analyses and the eternal world picture. Mankind shall become adult and sovereign.
Livets Bog is for the spiritual researcher a manual on how to observe life, like the flora for the botanist is a handbook to observe plants. Livets Bog is an aid to understanding the direct speech of life, or existence’s own livets bog. Martinus is not an authority to be believed, but he is a guide who shows where and how one can make one’s observations of the laws of life. When he wrote the series of cosmic analyses that collectively constitute the basic analysis of the universe, it was not just so that one should study them. The intention on Martinus’ side is to animate the readers themselves to find out if what he writes is now really something that can be observed. Ultimately it is our own experiences and observations that shall demonstrate the validity of Martinus’ work – The Eternal World Picture.
On the last step of evolution before cosmic consciousness, everyone on this planet will therefore unavoidably and inevitably come to study the cosmic analyses of spiritual science, no matter what paths they have followed previously.
The three major factors in evolution
15.12. In connection with the argument for cosmology being an indispensable stage in evolution towards cosmic consciousness, it must be stressed that evolution does not just depend upon a single factor but on several factors. Martinus has on one occasion listed the three most important factors for mankind’s evolution:
One’s own experiences
The good example
Of these three factors our own experience plays by far the largest role, let us simply say approximately 80%. (Danish Kosmos no. 5/2013). But teaching, for example in connection with spiritual science, also plays an important role, e.g. 15%. Inspiration to follow others good example plays a small but not insignificant role in evolution, about 5%.
It is a general principle in evolution towards cosmic consciousness that the more evolved help and teach the less evolved. Therefore, the parent principle or the principle of world redemption can also be included under the eternal principles of creation in the creative faculty X2.
Martinus Cosmology is a moral teaching that aims to inspire people to practise neighbourly love. Martinus warned against deliberate attempts to achieve cosmic glimpses or an artificial initiation.
Martinus: “For with fundamental moral development the cosmic faculties will come about quite of themselves in a natural way in all their unfailing power and strength and without any danger or any risk to the individual” (LB1 §208).
“After all, we can nevertheless never get the explanation anywhere else than through life’s own direct speech”, writes Martinus (LB3 §679). It could be interpreted that studies do not play any role in evolution. But studies and teaching are also a part of life’s direct speech. Moreover, Livets Bog is a handbook for observing life. Livets Bog is a language aid and grammar helping towards an independent understanding of “Life’s direct speech”.
Martinus: “I, with my cosmic analyses, do not wish to be an authority in whom people must believe. The individual spiritual researcher must carefully re-examine and study my lifework. He must confront it with his own experiences. Only then can it be of value to him, when it becomes independent thinking and analysing, when – it becomes a help for self-help which leads to initiation into the mystery of life itself” (Possession, English Kosmos, no. 4/1988).
Framsida af Livets Bog i 1932. Vid utgivandet valde Martinus inte det ovan nämnda tecknet, men strålkorset på framsidan av Livets Bog (se symbol nr 41, Den eviga världsbilden, del 4).
15.13 Martinus shows a very tolerant attitude
Martinus’ comprehensive tolerance emerges particularly in the Preface to Livets Bog where he defends all people, as in section 14 where he writes that Livets Bog is a defence even of the book’s opponents, and in section 19, where he emphasizes that Livets Bog is a defence of all existing beings.
Martinus: “Livets Bog cannot, therefore, be encapsulated in, or monopolized by, any kind of sect or community; for, just because of its universal, impartial manifestation of love and wisdom, it can never come to exist without forming a textbook equally for those who are not members of any sect as it is for those who are, just by virtue of its identity as a universal expression of life’s own living religion – of which everyone, as said above, is a member, and all things are doctrines” (LB1 §15).
For every truth seeker or student of life’s highest problems, it is of great importance to be guided to the right source of information and Martinus does not write here that Livets Bog is the sole proper source. He writes instead that the divine wisdom radiates through many different forms of beings, sciences, religions and branches of art.
But how can one know that one has found the right source of informational source? One is at the proper source when one gets inspiration and experiences “a flow of warm waves, a flow of life-force and energy, of ideas, of longing to represent a higher degree of perfection, a flow of hope and faith in Providence and the Father, of divine satisfaction, harmony and happiness and an irresistible urge for loving; in other words, an increased ability to love everything and everybody. Where he is in contact with one or more of these flows, there is his right place in life” (LB1 §17).
15.14 Livets Bog is sufficient to get cosmic consciousness
People have often asked if Martinus would manage to finish his work, to which he replied that his mission was finished with the completion of Livets Bog. Everything he wrote afterwards was “extra”. In Livets Bog, which was completed in 1960, there was sufficient material to obtain cosmic consciousness.
As an 80-year-old Martinus said: “There are some new things I hope to get completed and even though I do not manage to get it finished as I want, then I must say that the world mission isrescued. There has been given so much material that the new world culture can flourish. Humanity can attain cosmic consciousness through the study of my analyses and with the practice of the following subsequent way of being” (Lecture 11 August 1970, EWP5 §77.2).
As an 85-year-old Martinus said in his welcoming speech at Klint, “There is the best prospect that I get a couple more years and can finish what I have already started. I have a lot that I want to complete. But my mission, that which can give mankind cosmic consciousness, is long finished. The mission has long since been finished. What I have left are things that I embarked upon because I was so strong and because I have the strength to be able to implement them” (Danish Kosmos, no. 7/2004).
15.15 Previously the most evolved people on earth needed to incarnate on other planets in order to get teaching in spiritual science
When Martinus in 1932 wrote the first volume of his main work Livets Bog, even relatively highly evolved people could not get cosmic consciousness here on earth.
Martinus: “The Great Birth cannot take place on earth in the case of those human beings who gradually become so purified and developed that they are able to receive a fundamental experience of it, but only in worlds which are further forward in evolution. This means that when a terrestrial person has experienced a number of forerunner symptoms of the Great Birth through several lives, and has become mature enough for the genuine experience, he or she will no longer be born on this earth but in a higher world where the Great Birth is fundamental. But in about three thousand years time the earth’s development will have reached so far that the Great Birth can be experienced here, and the real human kingdom will have arisen within the earth’s horizon” (LB1 §248).
But already after 1960, when LB7 and thus the entire main work was completed, one was indeed able to get cosmic consciousness on this planet. This is evident from the following quote, which was published four years later in 1964.
Martinus, “Before we go on we must point out that so far no being here on the earth has been able to evolve as far as the finished stage, where it has become the human being in God’s image after his likeness. When such a finished human being, such as described above, showed itself in flesh and blood, showed itself in a physical organism, it was in reality only as a guest on the earth. The conditions for reaching such a high evolutionary standard have not previously been present here on the earth. And the beings then, when they had become mature enough for an evolutionary epoch that was as yet unattainable on the earth, had to incarnate or be born in a world or on a planet that was so much further forward in evolution that it had the conditions for the beings there to evolve right up to the finished stage and become human beings in God’s image after his likeness. Many of the advanced men and women of the past have long since incarnated on such a higher planet or world, which is even now a finished or real human world, such as that which the earth one day will become. Not until the new epoch of world redemption that began in the twentieth century could people complete their evolution towards becoming God’s image after his likeness here on earth” (EWP2 §21.6).
It is especially Martinus’ work as the kernel of the twentieth century’s world redemption that has changed this situation so that one can now have cosmic consciousness here on the earth. According to Martinus the world state will come to have the cosmology as its “religion” or spiritual basis, and it will come to permeate the entire future culture in such a way that the cosmic analyses will become an integral and natural part of mankind’s way of thinking. Children of the future will be taught in school the symbols and the analyses and that means that no person on earth will be able to avoid becoming acquainted with the cosmic analyses, even without detailed study of Livets Bog.
15.16 The analyses shall be translated into practical behaviour
Martinus describes how the acquisition of the cosmic analyses through the A-, B- and C-stage helps the being onwards to cosmic consciousness. To get cosmic consciousness, the cosmic analyses of spiritual science shall first be integrated into the consciousness as theoretical A-knowledge and then be translated into conscious practising as B-knowledge, and finally as automatic practising in the form of C-knowledge.
Martinus writes about this evolution in connection with the analyses of mankind’s sexual development from A- to K- human beings. The most evolved people on earth today are the so-called I-human beings who have grown out of marriage and have got such a universal love that they can love their own sex. Previously, I-human beings here on earth had to incarnate on other more evolved planets to acquire the cosmic analyses of spiritual science and cosmic consciousness (LB5 §1890).
Martinus: “When the I-human being had reached a certain level of maturity, it had to incarnate, as previously mentioned, on another planet that had evolved to such a higher level that the solution to the mystery of life or the real, eternal world picture was an absolutely concrete and general, awake day-conscious fact, and where the great birth was a daily occurrence, just as physical birth is an everyday occurrence here on the terrestrial plane. Here the mature I-human being slipped instantly into the process of acquiring the cosmic analyses of spiritual science. These became A-knowledge, which means, knowledge based on realistic facts. Then they became a daily practice, which is the same as B-knowledge. Through daily practice, they became C-knowledge, which in turn is the same as an independent habitual function or talent. And with his behaviour culminating in humaneness and neighbourly love, and his psyche and intellectuality culminating in the highest knowledge, the I-human being’s spiritual and physical vibrations came onto the same wavelength as the keynote of the universe or the energy of absolute love. And the very moment that the being’s psyche came into contact with this wavelength, the great birth began. The being was no longer an animal but a human being in God’s image” (LB5 §1892).
15.17 The Jewish temple as a symbol of the A-, B- and C-stage of cosmic consciousness
In his book Logic, chapter 94, Martinus has in special detail explained a talent’s creation through the three stages of A-, B- and C-knowledge, which represent respectively theoretical knowledge, practical exercise and perfect or automatic function. In the article The Temple of the Psychic in Book no. 21 (translated in English Kosmos, no. 1/1993) and in LB6 §1984-1987 Martinus explains the symbolism to be found in the Jewish tabernacle with the outer and the inner forecourts, the outer sanctum and the Holy of Holies or inner sanctum.
“The heathens who populate the outer forecourt are all beings who still live as tools for the manifestations of the killing principle, live as powerful physical killers” (LB6 §1984).
“Only the beings who have finished with all these manifestations of killing and are no longer possessed by the great superstition, that one is permitted to persecute one’s neighbour, because it is this neighbour who is the cause of one’s unhappy fate, aspire to the Great Birth” (LB6 §1985).
In Martinus’ interpretation of the symbolism of the temple of initiation the people in the “inner forecourt” have a theoretical understanding of the cosmic analyses, and are thus at wisdom’s A-stage. By practising the cosmic analyses in daily behaviour, they enter gradually into the “outer sanctum”, which is the seat of wisdom’s B-stage. Wisdom’s C-stage corresponds to “the Holy of Holies” or “inner sanctum”.
Martinus: “When wisdom has thus become an automatic function in the daily behaviour and the being in that way has no more darkness to contend with or does not have anything to overcome in their way of being, and the same being has become a human being who in every particular complies with neighbourly love or the principle of loving one’s neighbour as oneself, as the obvious and natural way of being, then it is finished with the animal kingdom. Then it has got through both the ‘forecourt’, the ‘inner forecourt’ and the ‘outer sanctum’ and has now entered ‘the Holy of Holies’ or ‘inner sanctum’ in God’s tabernacle or the temple of life. Then it has become a true ‘high priest’ or a Christ-being that has access to the temple of life’s ‘Holy of Holies’. It is this making perfect of the being, which culminates in the form of ‘the Great Birth’ or initiation” (LB6 §1985).
15.18 Cosmic consciousness is God consciousness
In the explanation of the symbol, “The Second Coming of Christ in the clouds” [no. 23], on the front cover of the main work Martinus explains how the world redeemer helps when the highly evolved human being aspires to initiation in cosmic consciousness.
Martinus: “At this stage the aspirant to the great birth meets the world redeemer or the Christ-being. The aspirant thus witnesses this being, who reveals himself to him in his celestial glory. He sees the world redeemer in an all-pervading white flood of rays emanating from his cosmic body, which appears to be built up of millions upon millions of microscopic stars each emitting a little flood of rays of snow-white light, which, together with the multitude of other small stars, forms the snow-white, all-outshining light-material of which the Christ-being’s organism is built up. With this all-outshining cosmic organism of light the Christ-being now penetrates the spirit of the aspirant and hereby opens its talent kernels for the experience of cosmic consciousness (EWP2 §23.5).
Martinus: “What else could be world morality other than love? – Love must be the world morality, and love is indeed the answer in everything I have done, in everything I have written. I have never criticised anything, not even the black or dark. But I have explained the darkness and its consequences and explained how it leads to the light at the end. Everything leads to the light. Everything leads to God. Everything leads forward to that mankind gets God consciousness” (Danish Kosmos, no. 7/2004).
* * *
From my book “Martinus and the new World Morality” published by
Scientia Intuitiva Edition in Denmark, www.
In 1932 an administrative centre, now known as the Martinus Institute, was established in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen in order to ensure the availability of Martinus’ literature in the original Danish and other languages. It is non-profit making and responsible for the school at the Martinus Centre. There are lectures, seminars and study circles in Danish at the institute from September to April. Martinus Cosmology is not the basis for any kind of sect or association.
Martinus, born in Sindal in the north of Jutland, Denmark, had a very minimal education and spent most of his early working life as a dairyman. In 1921 he experienced a spontaneous transformation of consciousness that enabled him to analyse life and describe its spiritual laws and eternal principles. Martinus writes in the preface to Livets Bog: “I had become my own source of light. The cosmic baptism of fire through which I had passed … had thus left the fact that entirely new sensory abilities had been released in me, abilities that enabled me – not in glimpses – but on the contrary in a permanent state of awake day consciousness – to apprehend all the main spiritual forces, invisible causes, eternal world laws, basic energies and basic principles behind the physical world. The mystery of existence was therefore no longer a mystery to me. I had become conscious in the life of the whole universe, and had been initiated into ‘the divine principle of creation’.”
In addition to his writings, which provide a scientific basis for loving all living beings, his many symbolic drawings with explanatory texts help the reader to acquire an overview of the cosmic structure of life. Martinus died in Copenhagen in 1981.
THE MARTINUS CENTRE
The Martinus Centre is a school for the study of Martinus Cosmology. Established in 1934, it is situated in Klint, near Nykøbing Sjælland, on the north coast of the island of Zealand (Sjælland), 60 miles north west of Copenhagen. Summer courses are available in English, German, Esperanto, the Scandinavian languages and other languages on request. There are also spring, autumn and winter courses in the Scandinavian languages.
Livets Bog (The Book of Life) consists of 7 volumes and is Martinus’ major, central work. Along with The Eternal World Picture vols. 1-5, which contains 77 symbols, it constitutes the core of his description of his spiritually scientific world picture. Nature is the “book of life”, whose language the human being is learning to understand. This takes place through, among other things, the experiences of science. Without knowledge of the physical laws of Nature, people would be unable to use the forces of Nature and create modern technology. By also acquiring knowledge of the spiritual laws of Nature, it will gradually be possible for us to understand ourselves and others, and finding meaning, logic and love in existence.
Livets Bog forms the basis for a science of life. It analyses the principles that render our experience of life possible. It shows how our existence is connected with Nature as a whole, and how we create our future, our fate, by the way we think and act today. We are evolving towards becoming “real”, completely evolved human beings. The principle of the “right of the stronger”, i.e. dictatorship, is undermined in favour of a growing humane attitude to life, i.e. democracy. The dark world events of our time are birth pangs of a future world culture of light, which will lead to a radical transformation of existence for us all.
Volume 1 is an introduction to the whole work and can be recommended for people new to Martinus’ world picture. It contains the Preface to Livets Bog, and describes a series of core elements in the eternal world picture. Includes: the world situation – the divine creative principle – the new world impulse – an international world state in the making – mankind’s receptivity to the new world impulse – basic energies and planes of existence – evolution from animal to man – 8 symbols with explanations. 292 pages.
Volume 2 describes the “cosmic chemistry” with which Martinus expands the science of chemistry’s teaching on the reactions of physical substances to include teaching on the reaction of “superphysical” substances, i.e. the substances and kinds of energy that lie behind the known physical world. Includes: the law for the reaction of substances – cosmic chemistry as the “science of fate” – the eternal power sources of the I – sleep and the nature of sleep – the symbol “The Combination of the Basic Energies” – thought climates – the triune principle as the highest analysis of existence – cosmic language teaching – the basic answers to the mystery of life. 304 pages.
Volume 3 (English translation currently in preparation)
In volume 3 the description of cosmic chemistry continues with main topics such as: the symbol “The Principle of Cycles”, the symbol “The Solution to the Mystery of Life”, and an exposition of “63 substances of life”. Also includes: Nature as a living being – the meaning of the term “in God’s image” – life as a rhythmical movement between two extremes – how talents and dispositions come into existence – what the number system expresses. 535 pages.
Volume 4 and volumes 5-7 have “Eternal Life” as their common main heading. The focus of the analyses changes here from the outer, cosmic, technical structure of living beings to their many forms of life experience. Vol. 4 includes: the sensory perspective of the living being – temporal and eternal analyses – all living beings as one family – the identity of our neighbour – neighbourly love and sexuality – the principle of world redemption – the symbols in the story of Adam and Eve – marriage – amorous love – criminals, revenge and punishment – the genuine and the false principle of business – democracy and communism – politics and religion – the symbol “Life and Death”. 507 pages.
Volume 5 (English translation currently in preparation)
Volume 5 has “The Highest Fire” as its main theme, with focus on Martinus’ core analysis of “the principle of the transformation of the sexual poles”. Includes: masculine and feminine beings – beings that are sexual halves and sexual wholes – why the religions cannot save mankind – the meaning of the terms “in God’s image” and “the second coming of Christ” – the animal becomes a human being – marriage and neighbourly love – the happy and unhappy zones of marriage – the various types of human beings: from type A to type K – the “great birth” – the sexual sphere as the alpha and omega of the cosmic cycle. 333 pages.
Volume 6 (Not yet available in English)
Volume 6 has “the kingdom of God or the fairy tale of life” as its main theme with focus on the way out of darkness and the beginnings of insight into higher levels of consciousness. Martinus describes this evolution as “the greatest fairy tale of life”. Includes: the principle of reincarnation – logic, the law of creation – cosmic consciousness as the “holy spirit” – prayer and meditation – the universe as a living being – the details of Nature as “letters”, “words” and “sentences” in a “superterrestrial language” – the innermost cause of all illnesses – everything is very good – intuition and cosmic glimpses – the power of neighbourly love is greater than that of the atom bomb – the being’s free will – the power of thought as vital force – the nature of electricity – the innermost cause of movement. 384 pages.
Volume 7 (Not yet available in English)
Volume 7 has “cosmic world morality” as its main theme with focus on the neighbourly loving way of being that will form the foundation of way of living in the future human kingdom. Includes: intolerance keeps people in a perpetual state of war – when might and not right dictates existence – how the human being can free itself of dark fate – the basis of the cosmic world morality – the creation of true peace as a question of evolution – the experiences of suffering will lead mankind out of the horrors of the day of judgment – the difference between amorous love and neighbourly love – life’s greatest demand on people today – the new world culture has already begun – postscript. 272 pages.
A magazine for people interested in spiritual matters
The magazine Kosmos is designed to provide information on Martinus’ analyses and improve their understanding of his world picture. The magazine shows how the new humane world culture is gaining influence on people’s lives and on evolution and development all over the world.
The magazine publishes articles that are written by Martinus himself or based on his lectures, and articles written by others with an interest in his work. The articles guide the reader through a wide range of spiritually scientific subjects, such as science versus spiritual science, reincarnation, depression and vitality, health and joy in living, the crisis of marriage, intellectualised Christianity, the science of fate and the development of a new, humane world culture. Through shedding light on these issues, Kosmos tries to give examples of how to put the new ethical view of life of Martinus’ world picture into practice, and as a reader of Kosmos you can be inspired to see your own life, and the world we live in, in a broader perspective.
In the regular question-and-answer column, the reader can ask questions about any aspect of Martinus Cosmology. The editors are also happy to receive articles written by readers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martinus provided the following examples of his wishes regarding the purpose and content of Kosmos.
“Its purpose is firstly to provide information on the growth of my Cause and innovations within it, so that those who are interested can keep themselves up to date with it. Over time the magazine – along with other material – can form the basis for the history of the Cause.
Its purpose is secondly to demonstrate the influence of the new world impulse on the lives of terrestrial human beings and on Nature, and here there are many possibilities. Topics of particular interest for the magazine are, for example, social and human progress, new scientific discoveries, advances in technology, economy, art, religion, literature and much more, which should all as far as possible be written in such a way as to show their connection with the cosmic world picture. In all essentials, it will suffice to show the emerging positive aspects, since all of life’s negative aspects are experienced or made known in abundance through newspapers, radio, war literature, and so on, so that a mere reference to them will often render any emphasis on these aspects unnecessary.
(Letter to Anon. 09.08.1952)
“… the layer of the population that is hungry for wisdom is much thinner than the layer that is hungry for entertainment. There is thus a much larger audience for a magazine that provides entertainment, than for a magazine that provides wisdom. For this reason, the latter kind of magazine must always be more expensive than the former. ” (Kosmos no. 1, 1939)
“Who am I?” . . . “Do suffering and death have any meaning?” . . . “What is the significance of love?”
At the age of 30 the Danish writer and mystic Martinus (1890-1981) had a series of profound, illuminative spiritual experiences, after which he experienced – through his intuition – that the universe was pervaded by infinite love and wisdom. He created 100 symbols and wrote more than 6000 pages that describe a coherent world picture, the eternal, spiritual laws and a path to theoretical cosmic insight.
The use of a dove and olive branch as a symbol of peace originated with the early Christians, who portrayed the act of baptism accompanied by a dove holding an olive branch in its beak and also used the image on their sepulchres.
Christians derived the symbol of the dove and olive branch from Greek thought, including its use of the symbol of the olive branch, and the story of Noah and the Flood. Although Jews never used the dove as a symbol of peace, it acquired that meaning among early Christians, confirmed by St Augustine of Hippo in his book On Christian Doctrine and became well established.
The early Christians in Rome incorporated into their funerary art the image of a dove carrying an olive branch, often accompanied by the word “Peace”. It seems that they derived this image from the simile in the Gospels, combining it with the symbol of the olive branch, which had been used to represent peace by the Greeks and Romans. The dove and olive branch also appeared in Christian images of Noah’s ark. The fourth century Vulgate translated the Hebrew alay zayit (leaf of olive) in Genesis 8:11 as Latin ramum olivae (branch of olive). By the fifth century, Augustine of Hippo wrote in On Christian Doctrine that “perpetual peace is indicated by the olive branch (oleae ramusculo) which the dove brought with it when it returned to the ark”.
Before the Peace of Constantine (313 AD), in which Rome ceased its persecution of Christians following Constantine’s conversion, Noah was normally shown in an attitude of prayer, a dove with an olive branch flying toward him or alighting on his outstretched hand. According to Graydon Snyder, “The Noah story afforded the early Christian community an opportunity to express piety and peace in a vessel that withstood the threatening environment” of Roman persecution. According to Ludwig Budde and Pierre Prigent, the dove referred to the descending of the Holy Spirit rather than the peace associated with Noah. After the Peace of Constantine, when persecution ceased, Noah appeared less frequently in Christian art.
Medieval illuminated manuscripts, such as the Holkham Bible, showed the dove returning to Noah with a branch.Wycliffe’s Bible, which translated the Vulgate into English in the 14th century, uses “a braunche of olyue tre with greene leeuys” (“a branch of olive tree with green leaves”) in Gen. 8:11. In the Middle Ages, some Jewish illuminated manuscripts also showed Noah’s dove with an olive branch, for example, the Golden Haggadah (about 1420).