1. The mission of marriage
Just as all great phenomena, movements or releases of energy in the spiral cycle are cycles, so too is the principle of marriage a cycle. It has a culmination in darkness and a culmination in light. The great cosmic spiral cycle begins in darkness and ends in light. This is not the case with marriage, which begins in light and ends in darkness. This is, however, not so discouraging as it may seem, since God has another great plan for the human being, one which is being implemented at the same time as marriage. Marriage does not exist only for its own sake: it is a means by which God can promote the being's evolution from a primitive consciousness to a human consciousness. It is divine that marriage is a great light shining in the darkness.
The Bible also mentions marriage, and we learn that Adam was created. But Adam was not created; living beings cannot be created since they are the creator himself and have existed for all eternity. The creator cannot be created; it has therefore to be understood that the Bible's explanation of the creation of Adam and Eve is a symbolic description of actual principles.
2. From the double-poled state to the one-poled state
The Bible states that in the beginning Adam was in paradise and that it was lovely because no evil existed there. This paradise is in reality the kingdom of bliss. Since the beings have lived eternally we see that their story does not begin where the Bible begins its narrative. Since Adam is a term for beings who are eternal, there must be a past, and Adam must have experienced the entire previous spiral cycle. Adam is therefore not one single being, but the state of a being. These beings had been through the plant and animal kingdoms of the previous spiral cycle, had reached through the divine worlds and had experienced the highest light to such a degree that they gradually became so satiated with and uninterested in it that their sensory capacity so degenerated that they could no longer experience anything in the outer world. They could experience only in the kingdom of bliss; that is, they could re-experience only their memories of what they had experienced in that great cycle. The kingdom of bliss is a transition stage from the spiritual to the physical worlds. Everything comes from the kingdom of bliss; newly-born children, planets which incarnate in the universe, come from the kingdom of bliss.
Adam in paradise was thus a being who lived in the world of his memories in order to become mature enough to be able again to incarnate in a new cosmic spiral cycle. The Bible says it was not good for Adam to be alone. This does not mean that it was not good for Adam not to be married; it is not a marriage that is being referred to. It means it was not good for Adam to go on being double-poled, his state at that time. In the last part of the kingdoms of the spiral cycle, in the high spiritual worlds, beings are double-poled; that is, they are neither male beings nor female beings. In these worlds there is no talk of marriage. Adam in the Garden of Eden was one of these beings. They were thus beings who should begin to incarnate in a new cosmic spiral cycle. But in order for this to happen to them a change had to take place, since the goal was to give consciousness to these beings who were unconscious in the outer world. They had worn out their consciousness in the previous spiral and had no longer the capacity to sense in the outer world; everything had degenerated and was in a latent state. In order for these beings to be able to continue their eternal life they had to enter once more a new cosmic cycle, they had to experience the contrast to light. Where there are no contrasts there is no experience. Adam, or these beings, had therefore to receive a consciousness so that they could sense in the outer world. They came to experience the contrast, namely the creation of Eve, through which they would one day get the capacity to experience the highest light in the new spiral.
The Bible says that God let Adam fall into a deep sleep and from him removed a rib, with which he created Woman. This symbolises that it was an inner condition, an inner process which took place in Adam himself. And when it says that God created a woman it is evidently implied that Adam could not be a man. Why should male beings exist when no women existed? Men and women belong together like wheels on a car. Adam therefore represents not a man but homogeneous, double-poled beings who should then be transformed and become two kinds of beings. Some became male beings, others became female beings. Adam did not exist any more. Adam is a term for that state of a being where the beings are double-poled and find themselves in the kingdom of bliss; that is, in the transitional stage from the spiritual to the physical world.
3. The masculine principle and the feminine principle
The two great cosmic organs which are to be found in every single being, and which we call the masculine principle and the feminine principle, are fundamental to the spiral cycle principle. They are both present in all beings and they were also present in Adam before the creation of Eve but then they were equal, they were in balance. In order that a state could then be created in which the beings could experience darkness, it had to begin in ignorance, with fewer talents in order to be able to become more talented. The Adam-beings became transformed so that in some of them the feminine pole stagnated and the masculine pole became dominant, so that they became male beings. In other beings it was the feminine pole which dominated and the masculine pole stagnated so that they became female beings. In female beings it was thus the feminine pole which took command over the being's experience-structure, and in the male beings it was the masculine pole or pole-organ which took control over the being's experience-structure. Two opposites were created; they had become two kinds of beings dependent upon each other; they had become one-poled and had to come into contact with one another. They could make this contact only through what we call the act of copulation or the sexual condition. The feeling of pleasure which was involved was thus a glimpse of the state of bliss in which the beings live in the highest worlds.
4. The light in the darkness
One sees here that it is divine that these beings who were now about to live in darkness got a greater and greater ability to re-experience this divine light from that world from which they had come. They could thus experience this light here in their physical state, but they did not become human beings immediately. The transformation began where the Bible states that God let Adam fall into a deep sleep. What kind of sleep was this?
5. The sensory abilities of the beings in the plant kingdom
When there is talk of beings beginning in the spiral cycle, this means in the plant kingdom. The plants still live, to a great extent, in the kingdom of bliss, but in their consciousnes they experience the memories from a previous spiral. Gradually, as they begin to create organisms here on the material plane, their first experience of life is the ability to sense vaguely. They cannot see, hear, smell or taste like a human being, but they can feel that they can vaguely sense pleasantness and unpleasantness, they can notice hot and cold, and they begin to react to this pleasantness and this unpleasantness. When these beings have only this single small ability here on the material plane, they are sleeping beings. We also see that the plants are double-poled in order later to develop further and further to become one-poled beings. We see that they develop their organisms further and further. At the beginning each plant I lives in a group-body, but the goal for every single plant I is to come out of this group-body and get its own physical body, and this is what happens when evolution reaches so far forward that they begin to become animals.
6. The evolution of the animal's physical sensory abilities
The animal is a plant being which has come so far that it has its own organism and has developed its physical abilities to such a degree of perfection that it can move itself; it can hear, see and taste and so orientate itself on the material plane. At the same time, it dies away from the kingdom of bliss; the double-poled state ceases and the one-poled state begins. It then evolves further and the sexual condition takes the lead. Through this state, reproduction takes place; new organisms must still be created. But the beings cannot evolve here without from time to time being able to experience the spiritual plane, that is, the process we call reincarnation; no being can therefore live permanently on the physical plane. The ordinary plane is the spiritual plane, but one cannot experience anything there if one has no consciousness; which is why one must go through the physical plane of existence in order here to create a consciousness. One should here remember that the plants and animals have no real ability to love, but through the one-poled state an organic structure is formed.
7. The divine light in the animal kingdom
We see that the two sexes are drawn towards each other because they, through the sex act, can experience the divine light. Even if they do not know what kind of light it is, they notice this divine pleasure, and it is therefore this which is the absolute guiding principle throughout the animal kingdom. It is for this reason that the animals mate, fight for and defend their mate and their offspring; it is absolutely the highest light in this dark sphere. The animals' consciousness still consists only of their need to reproduce, to find food and to protect their offspring. They have no spheres of interest beyond these. They have nothing which competes with this, their state of light; the mating condition of the animal is therefore its greatest manifestation of light. Absolutely the happiest marriages are to be found here; the formidable forms of unfaithfulness or irresponsibility and so on which are to be found among beings later do not exist. Here, in this light epoch of marriage, the marriage, the sexual drive in the beings which is particulary developed is really the highest light and through their sexual condition they experience paradise on earth. It is really a divine, heavenly light which here flows through the beings. One need only go out into the forest in spring and hear how the birds sing, the cuckoo calls, the lark sings, the nightingale trills; there is one unending song and one unending hum. Imagine that all human marriages sang and trilled to the same extent; then one could say that they were happy. But they do not sing, because marriages are not nearly so happy among people. In the animal it is a divine state in the middle of darkness, for we must remember that, even if they are now so happy, the animals' lives are still in danger, because here on this plane it is a condition of life that they must must kill in order to live. Either their bodies are sought by other beings who will use them as food, or they themselves must fight in order to get food, fight against cold and frost; there is a lot for these small beings to overcome, but they have such a strong light within themselves that they do not notice it as much as they otherwise might.
8. Marriage is incompatible with the law of neighbourly love
Marriage is not based exclusively on creating light for the beings. Through the one-poled state these beings are not really able to fulfil the law of life at all; they cannot love their neighbours as themselves; they have no love yet but they have this artificial sympathy which their organic structure can produce. It is true that falling in love is very effective towards the person who is its object, but it is not love. It exists very much on the condition that it is reciprocated. This does not hold true for beings of the same sex; these beings cannot love one another, so there can be no perfect beings in the animal kingdom. The life-condition for being happy and perfect as a human being is this - that one can love one's neighbour as oneself. But when a state comes in which beings can love their neighbours as themselves it is incompatible with marriage. Conflict between these two epochs must arise. In marriage between animals the sympathy is designed for beings of the opposite sex. The same sex is tolerated only where it is a life-condition for them to be in a flock, but otherwise there is not much mutual sympathy between male beings nor much mutual sympathy between female beings in the animal kingdom. Sympathy is expressed between beings of opposite sexes; there is no other sympathy apart from a very latent love which is expressed towards the offspring. There is no real love because falling in love is based on egoism. When the beings are so kind and sweet to each other when they are in love it is in order to get the same treatment in return and to get a desire satisfied whereby they experience the high light contrast to that existence in which they live.
9. Pole-transformation in the being
But it cannot go on being like this for ever. People have now reached so far in evolution that they have the ability to look back at what has really happened and at what is happening today. They are very like the animals; they have the same masculine state and feminine state, and the beings also give birth to their offspring in a similar way to the animals. This means that what we call human beings have not yet become real human beings. They have become beings who have acquired a body, an organism which is the beginning of a real human organism, but they have not become real human beings yet. They fall in love; they live under the same reproductive conditions, the same marital circumstances, as the animals. But how has it happened that beings have become like this? How can it be that they have developed from that condition which the animals are in, and can no longer have such a pleasant time in their marriages and with their sexual condition as the animals? It stems from the fact that at a certain stage in evolution another process occurs which is, as far as I know, not mentioned in the Bible; it was not of immediate importance at that time. What happened was this: Eve who had been created should die again, symbolically speaking. At a certain stage in the beings' evolution this principle, this one-poled state becomes interrupted. This happens through that pole which is latent in the being beginning to grow, beginning to make its presence felt, and in the male beings it is the feminine pole. Today men are more or less feminine and women are more or less masculine. It is this pole-transformation which is the cause of women becoming self-supporting: women can become priests, managers of businesses, directors; they go more and more over to doing the same things as men, and men go over more in the feminine direction. You see that there thus occurs a transformation of the principles within the human being. This has also been symbolised as the birth of the Christ child. What is born in the human being, what is beginning to happen with this pole-transformation, is that the human characteristics are beginning to make their presence felt in the animal.
10. The dark epoch of marriage
Here begins the dark epoch of marriage. Its light epoch was where the animals were so happy with their sexual drive that they were not overwhelmed by the dangerous living conditions, the unpleasantnesses by which they were surrounded. With this incipient double-poled state something new emerges in the animal. The new something is the activity of the stagnant pole. It is not the purpose of this pole to stimulate marriage. On the contrary, it interferes with marriage. The opposite pole stimulates the human talents and abilities, firstly, a more developed ability to feel. The being thereby, with this feeling and instinct, begins to perceive religious states, begins to understand something of what it sees. The animal does not speculate over what it sees; it is interested only in its food. But here the being begins to become aware of itself in relation to his surroundings. It begins to speculate about existence, and here we have the first type of man. Men live to a great extent like the animals, but they begin to believe in a providence; this is the first form of human consciousness. And they grow further, but marriage is still the mainstay or leading principle in their lives.
11. The evolution of intellectual abilities
As long as the human being was not so scientifically gifted as he is now, things went very well. Then, intelligence, which is also a human ability, arrived on the scene and the human being began to study and observe seriously. Until then it had been belief, instinct and a certain state of feeling which made the beings interested in providence and made them feel and sense that something higher must exist; they could not have been created by themselves. But now that intelligence has begun to grow in the being he begins to use it in his daily life, since he still lives under the conditions of the animal. He must kill in order to live; he must fight with other human beings in order to hold his own. He begins to use his intelligence so that he can defend himself and attack better. This is the animal mentality, but it is promoted by human talents, and it is this animal mentality from which the human being cannot be said to be free yet. He creates huge murder-weapons, colossal atom bombs which can wipe out millions of people instantaneously. It is the animal in the human being; the human aspect is only the ability to make these weapons. We see that this human ability, the intelligence, leads human beings into promoting their animal nature to such a colossal culmination that they can no longer be described as animals. Man promotes killing in a way which is impossible for the animal. The animal kills only in order to get food and in self-defence, but men have begun to kill for quite other reasons. It is not because they lack food and clothing, but because they are disposed towards the principle of the animal, the right of the strongest which is the same as the law of Moses, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. One must take revenge, punish and persecute; one cannot tolerate anything. This is a virtue in the animal and it is still to be found in the human being, where it is not a virtue; here it is a destruction of human happiness. We see that this is a special state which is necessary. It is promoted by the incipient double-poled state. Had that not appeared, the beings would go on being animals. Now, this incipient double-poled state transforms the animal so that it begins to acquire human talents before it has begun to aquire human morals or a human mentality. Love has not yet developed; this is why man to such an extent creates weapons for defence and attack. Here arises that consciousness I call "devil-consciousness" since one cannot call it animal consciousness. The animals do not kill to the same extent and do not cause such suffering to each other as these beings who have been equipped with human talents. Neither can one call them perfect human beings, for they are at the devil stage; they have devil-consciousness. This is not something for which one can blame people; it is a link in the divine plan. Darkness had to be created because if one did not have access to suffering, to killing, murder and mutilation, if one did not get the opportunity to experience this contrast, this dark state, one would never acquire the capacity to experience light. This very great intelligence promotes the animal principles and it gives rise to a colossal amount of suffering, it gives rise to doomsday, illnesses, sorrows and problems, suicide and mental illness; it promotes everything which we today have to have remedied by doctors and hospitals.
12. The mission of suffering
Through suffering the humane capacity is developed in the beings; they begin to be conscious of what they are doing; they begin to acquire a capacity for sympathy. This capacity results in their not having the heart to do evil. All beings are at stages where this capacity is developed to varying extents: some beings can have the heart to kill, murder, lie and cheat; others do not have the heart to do these things to the same extent. This capacity to not have the heart to do evil is developed more and more, and becomes what we call love. This love is a real, organic talent which arises in the being. It is not an artificial process like falling in love, but differs from falling in love in that it only wishes to help, only wishes to do good, to be a joy and a blessing. This is the result of suffering, of the double-poled state's first stage.
13. The talent for marriage degenerates
As the talent for sympathy develops, the beings become more gifted. Their gifts gradually become guided and controlled by the humane ability and the being becomes more and more loving. But here begins a collision with marriage, and gradually, as more and more loving beings appear, that robustness, that mutual contrast between the male beings and female beings which is to be found at the animal stage, disappears. They feel sympathy without that sexual attraction which creates falling in love. In the human being with a developed ability to love it is not a sexual attraction, but a warm, human desire to do good, for loving, for liking, for creating perfection where there is chaos, for correcting what is wrong. It is truly a wonderful ability, and it is very much developed in some beings. Indeed, the more this ability is developed, the worse a marriage partner such a being becomes. He is wonderful for the beings in his surroundings, but in marriage there can be difficulties because it is commanded that "a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife"; but a being who begins to like everything and everyone can come into a state of conflict. If he is married to a being who is still completely at the marriage stage, conflict, jealousy and envy arise, and this is the root of the degeneration of marriage.
Marriages today are not nearly as stable as they were in the old days. Then it was a scandal if two beings could not stay together for life. But we see that along with the development of the talent for sympathy, the development of love for all beings, together with the great new sphere of interest, it is obvious that there cannot be so much energy to devote to marriage as there could be when marriage was the only sphere of interest. The human being goes through quite a natural transformation, and we must understand why marriage has to have legal bounds. It must be because it is degenerating. One believes that it is something which will last for ever; one believes that one will always become engaged and get married. One believes that it is something which takes place everywhere, even in heaven; but that is not the case. In heaven one does not have to have an artificial process in order to love; one needs this only here in the primitive beginner-stage. It is a divine arrangement so that the beings, at a stage where there is no love, can be loved and get the chance to love within a certain area.
People are now at a stage where love begins to grow and where the ability to be bound to another being degenerates. How can one see that it is degenerating? One can see it from the coming into existence of something which people call the honeymoon. The honeymoon is the name given to the first part of a marriage where the love affair is flourishing exceedingly and where the couple may be very happy and delighted with each other. This state can last varying lengths of time. How can it be that this honeymoon exists? How can it be that the honeymoon does not last the whole life? It did previously, and it does among animals.
What we experience of the principle of marriage is what remains when the rest of the human being's consciousness is taken up partly by humane and partly by intellectual states. People are so much taken up by other things that, in one life after another, marriage is not pursued, not maintained as it is at the primitive stage where it is the main interest. But when people lose interest in a thing, it degenerates. Marriages are only repetitions of something which once existed, and they cease. People get married and when the honeymoon is over the marriage can certainly continue if it is a matter of two people having developed so much love that they have not the heart to harm one another, and for the sake of their children do not have the heart to divorce. But not everyone has so much love, and they get divorced even when there are children. But love will be developed in the being and become so strong that one will be able to love one's neighbour as oneself, as Christ instructed us to.
14. God transforms the animal into a human being
This analysis naturally cannot be a reality for you just because I tell you about it, but I would like to make you aware of3 it. Here you are given a line, a rule of conduct which you can think about and research into. It is the implementing of the divine plan which happens before our eyes: the animal is transformed into a human being. God is at this moment transforming the human being into Man in his own image. People are not yet finished human beings, but we can consider a being like Christ. One can feel without any doubt that for such a human being marriage was not the primary thing, and one cannot really imagine a Mrs Jesus. One also sees that all the really greatest beings were not married, because they were double-poled; they cannot fall in love, they do not have this artificial sympathy, since in ratio to the growth of this real love this artificial sympathy, falling in love, disappears. I have never in my life been able to fall in love. I am immeasurably fond of all human beings, but it is not the man or the woman I love; it is the human being in the human being, the human being in the woman and the human being in the man I love when I see it shine through their eyes; it warms me and it makes me tremendously glad and happy to see such people.
But people do not realise that they have reached a stage where marriage is more or less fleeting. When they are young they are repeating (that is, repeating the essence of their previous lives - translator's note) and fall in love and believe that this love can last their whole life. They do not know that it is only a very short period during which they go through this repetition; they therefore get married quite confidently and then discover that this marriage does not last. They then try a new love affair, but that does not last either and we get many divorces, many forms of the degeneration of married life. Instructions will be created to show how life together ought to take shape in order to be in contact with the cosmic laws, in order to be in contact with the plan God is in the process of implementing, so that all the many states of suffering which the degeneration of marriage brings will not arise. This degeneration of marriage is only a means on the way to leading people through the animal kingdom, a means of creating darkness; and by experiencing the culmination of darkness they develop love.
15. The capacity for intuition grows in the developed human being
When the human being has reached so far that he cannot bear to do evil, when he would rather suffer himself than let others suffer, then he is ready for the development of a new capacity. This capacity we know as intuition, but many do not know how it works. It is a capacity which, when fully developed, gives rise to the fact that the being can experience the solution of the mystery of life, all the cosmic and eternal principles. Everything which lies outside time and space is experienced with intuition; all these things into which one cannot possibly research, things which cannot possibly become scientific facts through research, one is given as living experiences which arise in oneself.
That I can write my work "Livets Bog" (The Book of Life) is because I have received it from above. I have not had to study anything whatsoever; I have received these solutions into my consciousness and receive them still; my task is only to make what I experience comprehensible to others through my intelligence. It comes to me through my intuition from the cosmic plane of wisdom. The knowledge that one can then reveal is thus not a science one can come to through research; it can only be reached through one's standard of love. When one has the right standard of love one receives cosmic consciousness. Then the last remains of the tendency to marry have left the human being; then the mission of marriage has ceased for this spiral.
When the human being reaches this state of cosmic consciousness he is also finished with having to incarnate on the physical plane. People no longer need to do research, to observe; they have, through their lives on the physical plane, through their incarnations aquired the ability to think, to use their intelligence and their intellect, and now receive the whole of this enlightenment from the spiritual plane and can then continue their divine, elevated existence in the highest worlds of the cosmic spiral cycle, and this will last for an immeasurable period of time.
There are many people who do not like the thought of having to go back to the material world. They do not need to be afraid of this, since everyone will remain in the high spiritual worlds as long as they are at all happy to stay there. As long as they can at all find delight there, they will not come back to the material world.
16. In the highest worlds the double-poled state reaches its perfection
In these highest worlds the beings are, as I said, double-poled. Here the double-poled state reaches its perfection, and the sexual drive is superseded by real love. These beings have such a cosmic structure that with every meeting between them they experience a feeling of bliss. It is not something to be described as immoral; it is a divine, unconcealed meeting where they each radiate a divine love. When this love brings about contact, the human beings experience the highest and most beautiful feeling that can be experienced. One must say here that they experience God. It is that which is the goal.
17. In the lower spheres of the spiral, marriage creates dark contrasts
But marriage has also its significance in the lower spheres of the spiral by creating dark contrasts, by creating a state where the beings cannot love each other. Through this, darkness could be created, and through marriage the beings could develop themselves to that state in which marriage is no longer needed. Marriage exists as only a small part of the spiral cycle. It begins in the animal kingdom and reaches its culmination in light there. Its dark stage we find within the zone of the unfinished human beings. The dark stage of marriage stretches from the beginning of the unfinished human being until he reaches his cosmic consciousness; and, with this, marriage is finished for this spiral. When the being has lived through the cosmic worlds and should again, after an immeasurable period of time, enter a new spiral, the principle of marriage again arises.
18. The place of marriage in the cosmic spiral cycle, the divine world-plan
If you live in an unharmonious marriage and would like to follow the laws of life, you must find a way of doing the most loving thing you possibly can. Very often whatever one does is evil. One must find a way of doing the least evil.
Of course there can be marriages where the least evil is that the husband and wife get divorced because they cannot understand each other at all; harmony cannot be created between them. In such cases it must of course be the most loving thing to get divorced, and it is better that two beings divorce as good friends than that they live together as enemies in a permanent daily war which will be quite terrible for the children they had brought into the world. But here also through cosmic analyses instructions will be given as to how people can with the greatest ease come through these spheres which they still have before them.
Those people today who are in love and happy about marriage need not fear, since it will last thousands of years yet; so those who find their greatest joy in marriage will not be disturbed.
I tell you these things not because I am against marriage but because I think that you are all interested in comprehending the divine world-plan, the cosmic spiral cycle, and in seeing where marriage is situated in this cycle and, through this, getting some kind of answer to the problems which can otherwise arise.
(Original Danish title: "Ægteskabets kredsløb", transcribed and edited from a tape of a lecture and published in the Danish edition of KOSMOS No.20,1972.) (Translated by Mary McGovern)
© Martinus Institut 1981
Published with permission from Martinus Institute