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A New World Picture

The Eternal Nature of Life

Does life really end at physical death? Is there an underlying meaning to our lives here on Earth? Down through the ages people have asked these existential questions. But now, through spiritual science, we can begin to find adequate, logically substantiated answers. The question in itself hints at the fact that we actually know more about ourselves than we realise. And this is the case, says Martinus. We know much more about life than we think we do, and we have in actual fact an innate notion that life has an eternal dimension.

But how can we combine the idea of eternal life with what we experience directly in every part of Nature, where everything has a beginning, a period of change and an end? Martinus describes this continuity so logically and simply in his world picture that we can relate to it intellectually. The experience of life can be maintained only through change and renewal - otherwise it would degenerate.

With this we are discovering a pattern in existence, a pattern that we are all actually familiar with. We know that all experience consists of distinguishing between contrasts, and of feeling and experiencing differences in well-known cycles. We are familiar with this from day and night, winter and summer, youth and old age, pleasantness and unpleasantness, hunger and satiation, and so on. Through these contrasts between "light" and "dark" states we continuously renew our experience of life.

Reincarnation - the missing piece

Spiritual science explains this pattern for us so that we understand that when the physical body grows old and dies, it does not die in the absolute sense. We understand that we instead pass over to a spiritual plane of existence where we live on in perfect health until we are ready to be born in a new physical body.

Spiritual science thus adds an important "logical piece" to our understanding of life. We have brought our innate abilities and talents with us from previous lives. This explains why children can be born with abilities that are entirely different to those of their parents - from the so-called "child prodigy" to children with physical and mental handicaps. And the experiences we have in this life will in the same way form part of the luggage we have with us when we are reborn in future lives.

From animals to real human beings

But the experience of light and dark contrasts does not stop here. We also find it in life’s great cycle - that which Martinus describes as life’s cosmic "spiral cycle". At the moment we human beings still live in the "animal kingdom", but we know that we were once at primitive, ape-like stages, which we have now left behind. And we see that our humane characteristics are growing within us.

As Martinus points out, there is no reason to believe that evolution will stop at the stage we are at now. Through the strong influences of existence and our experiences of suffering, we will each gradually become less and less of an animal and more and more of a human being. We will develop our humane abilities and our compassion for other living beings. And this is precisely the meaning of our life here on Earth.

If we look at things in a large perspective, we can already survey an immeasurably long course of evolution. It goes all the way through the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the real animal stages, the terrestrial human stages with animal consciousness - and then on to the "real human kingdom", whose residents will have an all-embracing ability to love and a perfect, logical and intellectual ability to think. Through the study of Martinus’ world picture we can thus meet not only the past, but also our own future.

The meaning of life

Martinus’ simple answer when he was asked about the meaning of life was that the meaning of life is the experience of life. This begs the question: Who is it that experiences? When the experience of life consists of a continuous stream of changing experiences, there must be something eternal and unchangeable that is able to register and react to these surroundings. And this is indeed the case, explains Martinus. It is our eternal, immortal "I". The study of Martinus’ profound analyses of these existential questions can inspire many who would like to understand both the mystery of existence and eternity.