History of the Cause and the Institute

The Martinus Cause
Martinus used the term ”the cause” as a collective term for the interest and the various activities that are connected to his spiritually scientific work. The reason for this rather neutral term has unboubtedbly been that he wanted to stress the free nature of his spiritual work. It was important for him that “the cause” was borne solely by a common interest in his spiritual science -  without any kind of organised movement, membership or association.

Martinus with supporter of his cause, March 1953

90 years - and still growing
The cause had its 90th anniversary in 2011, it having begun with Martinus’ cosmic initiation in 1921. In the years that followed he created the basis for his description of the spiritually scientific world picture that he was to impart to the world.

During this period he made contact with the first circle of people who were interested in his work. They supported him so that he could pursue his lifelong task of imparting his cosmic analyses to the general public.

He gave his first public lecture in 1930. The first volume of his main work Livets Bog (The Book of Life) was published in 1932. Since then the cause has grown quietly, and today there are people interested in it in many countries all over the world. Some of his books are translated into 20 languages, and a number of extensive informative and study activities have arisen at home and abroad. One can hear more about Martinus’ cosmic initiation, the support he received during the initial phase, and the later development of the cause in the lecture Om mig selv, min mission og dens betydning  (On myself, my mission and its significance) (in Danish only).

Members of the audience in the Institute’s lecture hall, approx. 1943

Livets Bog's Bureau
The cause’s first centre was very modest. In 1932 Martinus and his first permanent co-worker set up a little office that they called ”Livets Bog’s Bureau”. It was in a flat in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. When the interest in hearing about the cosmic world picture grew during the 1930s, the bureau later moved to larger premises where there was more space for study circles and lectures. Concurrently with the activities in Copenhagen a course and holiday camp was established in Klint near Nykøbing Sjælland, where many course participants come during the summer. In 1943 Martinus took over the property at Mariendalsvej 94-96 in Frederiksberg.

Martinus giving a lecture in the lecture hall at the Institute, 1943

The Institute on Mariendalsvej
The new property was inaugurated with a lecture by Martinus on 3rd October 1943. 400 people enrolled for the lecture, so it had to be held twice. For almost 40 years the property was Martinus’ permanent residence and place of work. At the same time it was the framework -  as it is today  -  for practical tasks such as the publication of books, the editing of the magazine, lectures and study circles etc. In 1945 the Institute was given its official name, which is still used today, namely “The Martinus Institute of Spiritual Science” or the shorter form “The Martinus Institute”. In 1956 the Institute became a non-profit-making private foundation.

The Institute’s printing works in the 1950s

Daily life at the Institute
Central to Martinus’ life was of course writing his cosmic analyses, and this extensive work took most of his time. In addition to giving lectures Martinus was therefore often busy at his typewriter in his flat on the first floor of the Institute, where there was sufficient peace and quiet. He also took care of the planning of the cause’s practical life along with his close co-workers, who were responsible for the administration of the house and for the printing works.

Dyrhavsbakken (a fair-ground and park near Copenhagen) approx 1977. Photo:© Mischa H. Lim

Despite the little amount of time at his disposal, Martinus was a very hospitable man; he always showed great kindness to all the many people who came to ask for his advice about difficult questions about life. He also received guests from home and abroad who were interested in his analyses.

Martinus happily took pauses from the demanding work of writing in order to take part in trips or gatherings in the company of good friends. Here he was always a natural midpoint because of the humorous, interested and loving way of being he had towards everything and everyone.

Martinus and his co-workers on the steps of the Institute, approx. 1976

The “Structure” and the Institute’s “Laws”

A Thursday meeting, 1979

During his final years Martinus worked in detail with the organisation of the future structure of his cause. It was established that the Institute’s area of responsibility within the cause must include the following main tasks:

  • preserving Martinus’ collected works unaltered as Martinus left them
  • to provide information about these works and
  • to make the works accessible to those who are interested in them through publishing, translation and teaching in satisfactory ways.

Martinus wanted to ensure that there is one place in the world where this obligation to preserve his works and to watch over their sole and exclusive right to translate and publish them in as many languages as possible. The Institute is also obliged to provide information about the works and provide education built directly on Martinus’ world picture. Concurrently with this, a great amount of work to provide information about the world picture and teach it is done on a private and voluntary basis by many people all over the world. Everyone is free to provide information about Martinus’ world picture as long as the Institute’s copyright is respected. This can be done by forming study groups, giving lectures and running courses, making homepages, writing articles and books etc. See here for further details about educational and information work.


Until Martinus’ death the principles for the Institute’s future activities were written in what was entitled “The Laws for the Martinus Institute of Spiritual Science”. Those who are interested can read the Institute’s laws from 1982 (in Danish), which also contain detailed comments from the council of that time.
One can also read the content of Martinus’ last will and testament (in Danish), in which he gives his formal approval of the laws, and transfers all rights to the Institute.

The laws are developed/elaborated on in the charters for the Institute’s present two funds, the Martinus Idealfond and the Martinus Aktivitetsfond, which contain a collected description of the principles for the cooperation and organisation within the framework of the Institute.