Jens Christian Hermansen: Mary McGovern, you were in California in October where you lectured at two conferences in San José and San Francisco. What were the two conferences about?
Mary McGovern: Yes, that’s right. The main theme of the SAND conference was The Mystery of Being Human, which was divided into many sub-themes including “Sex and Gender”. Other themes included “Science and Consciousness”, “Spiritual Paths to Consciousness”, “Evolution of Consciousness”, “Philosophy”, “Psychology and Psychotherapy” and experiential workshops.
The World Veg Festival was arranged by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society. It presented a varied programme of lectures by researchers, doctors, nutritionists, vegan athletes, animal-rights activists and a series of vegan cookery demonstrations. There were also lots of stands offering vegan and organic products and providing information about veganism, animal rights, climate change and other issues.
What did you lecture on?
At the SAND conference I gave a lecture entitled “The Ongoing Evolution of Human Sexuality”. I had just finished translating The Third Testament – Livets Bog (The Book of Life), vol. 5 into English. It was actually published on 16th October, the day I left Copenhagen for San Francisco. It is Martinus’ main work on the evolution of sexuality from minerals, through plants and animals to our present various stages of human sexuality and beyond. So it seemed appropriate to offer the SAND conference a lecture on that subject, and it fitted in with their theme of “Sex and Gender”.
At The World Veg Festival I gave a lecture entitled The Ideal Food – a Spiritual Perspective on the Evolution of Human Nutrition. It was based on Martinus’ book The Ideal Food, which I translated into English in 1996.
What is the relevance of Martinus’ analyses today?
There is already a lot of research and knowledge about sexuality and vegetarian food today. Do Martinus’ analyses have any new, important perspectives on these topics? What is your view?
With regard to sexuality: I have not come across any world picture or spiritual teaching that so clearly explains what is happening with regard to sexuality in our time. We live in times of widespread sexual confusion and a great variety of sexual states and behaviour. We see the increasing instability of marriage; many experience conflicting needs to express their creative and intellectual abilities and to be good parents and spouses; some are attracted to their own sex while others are attracted to their own sex or both sexes. Martinus offers, in my view, a comprehensive overview of human sexuality that shows that the sexual principle is something much greater than what we normally think of as sexuality, something that underlies all creation and experience. He claims that human sexuality, as we know it, is only one detail in this principle (Livets Bog, vol. 3, section 827).
Martinus describes how sexuality is driven by two poles in our consciousness: the “masculine pole” and the “feminine pole”, the relative size of which determines our sexual nature. He describes human sexuality as something that evolves continuously through reincarnation and the changing constellation of these poles. A completely one-poled state results in a primitive moral standard. A completely “two-poled state”, in which the male and female poles are equal and balanced in our consciousness, results in the very highest moral standard and is the organic structure for neighbourly love.
According to Martinus’ analyses, today’s humanity will evolve into a third and truly human sex that is neither male nor female but a harmonious union of the two principles within the one being, a being that will experience a sense of non-duality and oneness with all life.
Martinus’ framework for understanding sexual evolution can give us a better insight into our own identity and help us navigate through the changing sexual landscape.
In all my reading of spiritual material, I haven’t come across such a clear description of the connection between our changing sexuality, our moral development, our spiritual development and the evolution of our consciousness. I think Martinus is unique in this aspect.
What about food? How do see his contribution to the issue of human nutrition?
As for food, again Martinus offers new perspectives, while at the same time having much in common with current research, which recommends a vegan, wholefood, plant-based diet for a healthy life and to reduce or reverse certain illnesses.
In his book The Ideal Food – which was perhaps ahead of its time, being written in 1933 – Martinus describes the ideal food at different stages in evolution. The ideal food for a lion or tiger is not the same as the ideal food for the modern human being of today, even though many still eat like beasts of prey with many lifestyle diseases as a consequence. Martinus shows how human nutrition evolves the more loving we become. He analyses the evolution of human nutrition from meat-eating to vegetarianism and veganism, and explores the effect of our nutritional choices on our health.
But he goes a step further than nutritional science, firstly, in that he shows a connection between our eating habits and our fate. For example, if we shorten the physical life of animals by killing them for food, we leave ourselves open to dying an unnatural, premature death, perhaps in the form of accidents, where there was no evil intent. When people kill animals in order to eat them, it is not because they hate them; it is merely because they are suffering from the delusion that we have to eat them in order to live. Martinus and nutritional science agree that this is false. Likewise, if we pollute our bodies by smoking, we leave ourselves open to experiencing pollution from our surroundings.
A second important aspect that Martinus offers us is the whole question of the microlife within our bodies and within the organs in any meat or other food we eat. If we, for example, eat a steak, we have to kill the cow in order to do so. But not only that. The cells in the musculature of the cow, which make up the steak, also have to be killed, as do the smaller particles within those cells. He states that life consists of living beings within living beings for all eternity and in all infinity, so the killing of an animal involves the killing of vast numbers of microbeings too. At the same time, inappropriate nutrition will cause the microlife in our own bodies, in the form of organs, cells and smaller particles, to suffer. A stomachache, for example, is a communication from the microbeings within our stomach that are telling us that we have done something that wasn’t good for them. So, just like pregnant women usually take more care of their eating and sleeping habits and see to it that they get enough exercise and rest because they want to take care of the new living being growing within them, we too will gradually realise that our bodies are populated by millions upon millions of living beings that are dependent on us for their well-being. What we eat, think, feel and do have direct consequences for a whole universe of microbeings within us. Again, I think Martinus is quite unique in this regard.
“The path forwards is for me very clear”
Were there presentations or other things during your stay that made a special impression on you?
In general I was very impressed with the atmosphere at The World Veg Festival. People wanted to be more loving in very practical ways. They wanted to reduce or eliminate the suffering of animals, improve the quality of food produce, take care of the Earth and its climate and, not least, improve the health of mankind. So their focus was very much on what they could do for others to improve life.
My subjective impression of the SAND conference was that the focus was more on one’s internal, personal process. A subject various speakers returned to repeatedly was the need to achieve enlightenment. Various techniques were suggested, but here I was grateful for Martinus’ view that enlightenment, the attainment of cosmic consciousness, is not a matter of technique but of moral development. Spiritual development and moral development go hand in hand. So the path forwards is for me very clear. It’s a matter of learning to love everyone and everything on all levels all of the time, that is, learning to love the mesocosmos in which we live among plants, animals and other human beings, the microcosmos, which includes the organs, cells and smaller particles within our organisms, and the macrocosmos, which basically means taking care of the planet on which we live.
At the SAND conference one of the presentations I heard was given by Rupert Shira, who spoke about the essence of non-duality. For me it was quite a beautiful, rather meditative presentation that came rather close to describing what Martinus calls the “I” of the living being, although Shira himself did not use that term.
In my opinion both internal and external focus are needed if we are to be loving on all levels.