The Part of Life Called Death


“Death is not a tragedy when it comes at the end of life.” -B. Manning

                Death is not antithetical to life. Death is not evil. Death, as we experience it, whether physical or experiencing some sort of emotional or spiritual death, is simply an aspect of the cycle of life; a stage among stages, a season among seasons. The sooner we understand that death is a part of life the sooner we can stop fighting or fearing it as something that must be destroyed or overcome.

                In the truest sense, you will never die. Science describes a process of the transformation or conservation of energy. When energy in the form of a chunk of Pine in your fireplace burns it doesn’t just “go away” when we watch it turn to smoke and ash. The energy that was wood is transformed by fire and converted into a different sort of energy. The same quantity of energy or “Life” remains, though it adopts a new purpose and appearance. In religious texts a similar phenomenon is cited as occurring at the point of shedding our biological body.  For example the bible states that “… in the twinkling of an eye… the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will all be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:52). These sorts of verses are interpreted by many to mean that we will metamorphize into some new, glorious body, in which we will never be sick again or feel pain, etc. At the very least it is clear that the author of these words was attempting to communicate a specific point; if you were afraid of death, don’t be, because there is a wonderful transformation that occurs after this experience of life.

                There have been a number of saints in the past, including Sadhu Sundar Singh, who have stated that the main confusion surrounding death is that people think that they die. An incredible shift begins within us when we realize the truth of these words. There is no end of life. What we have been calling death all these millennia is simply a moment of transition from life to a new form of life. Even if one has no ear for spiritual ideas or thinking, the scientific understanding of conservation of energy, mentioned moments ago, still holds to this truth.

                What about experiencing an emotional or spiritual death? It is recorded that Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it will bear much fruit.” I write these words to whomever is reading them as encouragement. I have known and know emotional and spiritual dying. There are moments we all endure when our joy and hope seem to dry up and disappear, as do the leaves in the cool of fall. Do not be dismayed. With every dying of this kind comes new understanding, new maturity… new Life. In the spiritual as in the physical, there is no actual death if we can only see it; there is only life merging, growing, and transforming into new forms of life. Keep your joy, maintain your peace, and allow your heart to believe that at the end of every dark tunnel is another eruption of light… after all, without darkness how could we know the glory of Light?

                I pray that today your life is filled with peace, not fear; joy, not dread. May you continually see Life wherever you look and passionately love whatever Life you see. There is no need to fear, for Love never ends which means Life never ends. May you be forever in Love. Amen

“The last enemy (lie) that shall be destroyed is death.” –Paul the Apostle