Martinus was born in Denmark in 1890 and lived there until his death in 1981. He is renowned for his comprehensive spiritually scientific writings, which have the collective main title The Third Testament.
His life story is one of a poor, not well-read village boy from the north of Jutland who led an obscure life until the age of 30 when he experienced a profound transformation of consciousness that enabled him to describe nothing less than a comprehensive spiritually scientific world picture. After that he spent almost 60 years describing and disseminating this world picture, which is also known as Martinus Cosmology and Martinus Spiritual Science.
He tells his life story (in Danish) in the lecture: : Om mig selv, min mission og dens betydning (About myself, my mission and its significance).
Illegitimate child – poverty and limited schooling
Martinus was born on 11th August 1890 on the outskirts of Sindal, a railway town in the north of Jutland. His childhood home “Moskildvad” -which is now open to the public – bears witness to his poverty-stricken childhood. His mother was unmarried and worked as a housekeeper for the proprietor of a large farm called “Kristiansminde”. A stableman, whose surname was Thomsen, was named as his father, and Martinus’ official name was therefore Martinus Thomsen. But Martinus thought it more likely that the proprietor was his real father.
His mother was not in a position to be able to look after the boy, so he was fostered by his mother’s brother and his aunt, and grew up in spartan surroundings in their house, which was called “Moskilvad”. His foster parents were elderly and had already brought up 11 children. Martinus always referred to them as very loving people who, despite their modest circumstances, gave him a warm and secure childhood. His contact with his real mother, who died when he was 11 years old, was limited.
In the local village school, teaching was limited to verses of hymns, the catechism, geography, arithmetic and sometimes a little Danish history and natural history – in all six hours a week in the summer and 30 hours a week in the winter. At home the boy often lacked reading material because they could not afford books or magazines. Martinus told us, however, that he inherited old volumes of the magazine Familie Journalen (The Family Journal), which he could read.
As an “illegitimate” child he was, according to the local, evangelical priest, doomed to eternal damnation, but Martinus could not believe that. Martinus had already at that time a close, personal relationship to God. He told us that if a fly was drowning in a milk jug, he would try to save it – otherwise he could not expect God to help him if he were in need.
Early years with practical jobs
After his confirmation Martinus became an apprentice smith. He had, however, to give up his apprenticeship because his constitution was far too delicate for such hard work, and he became a farm worker instead. Martinus was trained as a dairyman in 1910, and worked at various dairies in various parts of Denmark until he moved to Copenhagen in 1917. There he worked as a watchman and postman, until 1920 when he got a job as an office clerk at Enigheden dairy.
But Martinus longed to do more with his life than merely sit in an office and write numbers all day long. For a while he liked the idea of becoming a missionary, but he gave up the idea for various reasons including the fact that he could not reconcile himself with the way people interpreted many of the Christian dogmas at that time. It soon emerged that Martinus had his own, personal mission.
Cosmic consciousness at the age of 30
In March 1921 a decisive transformation took place in his life, in that he had strong spiritual experiences that led to a profound expansion of his consciousness. His books On the Birth of My Mission and Intellectualised Christianity provide a thorough and beautiful description of these, for him, unexpected spiritual experiences.
“The cosmic baptism of fire through which I had passed – the closer analysis of which I cannot specify here – 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’.” (Livets Bog 1, sect. 21)
Martinus called this new state of consciousness, which he attained at the age of 30, “cosmic consciousness”. The prerequisite for cosmic consciousness is a highly developed faculty of intuition, which all human beings will develop sooner or later.
Martinus’ work with the cosmic world picture
When Martinus had received his cosmic consciousness, he had to get used to using it. He quickly understood that becoming a vegetarian was essential for him. He also realised that describing his spiritually scientific analyses in his spare time after work would not suffice. This became the beginning of some very frugal years where Martinus lived on support from kind-hearted people who understood the importance of Martinus devoting himself to his mission. The first volume of his main work Livets Bog (The Book of Life) was ready for publication in 1932. He continued to write for almost 50 years after that, his works comprising several thousand pages of text, symbolic drawings and a long series of lectures.
An important part of his mission consists in shedding light on the development of Christianity and other religions towards a future form corresponding to the level of consciousness of the modern intellectualised human being. For this reason he describes his works as intellectualised Christianity and has given them the common, collective title The Third Testament. Through this he unites the otherwise so separate scientific and religious ways of thinking in a new spiritual science, which he foresees will come to form a foundation for the future development of mankind.
Great personality without personality cult
It was very important for Martinus that no form of sect or membership be built up around his life’s work, and he had no wish whatsoever to be the subject of a personality cult. Being the head of cult or a religious community was not a part of his mission. The main purpose of his life was to write his cosmic knowledge down and disseminate it. In a small, materialistic country like Denmark he could do this work in obscurity. This did not, however, mean that he lived in isolation. He was always very welcoming and took time to answer the questions that people put to him. He was altogether a very cheerful and friendly person who enjoyed the company of good friends. Having evolved to become a double-poled human being meant that he neither lived in a relationship nor had a family. He was frequently asked about this subject, and cheerfully answered that he was married to the whole of mankind.
Martinus lived in a small flat on the first floor of the Martinus Institute until his death in 1981. But his “Cause” lives on and enjoys a steadily increasing interest among spiritual seekers in a number of countries the world over.