Contemplating Death as a Tool for Spiritual Understanding

By Arnie  Vargas

For those of us who were born in the West, due to the way we have been educated, the theme of death has been a complicated one to understand, come to terms with and reconcile within us.  What we have been taught does not help us understand that part of the “earthly dream” we ironically call “life.” In order to tackle this phenomenon, we need to turn to our spiritual tools; otherwise, we can make no sense of it.

From a spiritual position, where we understand Source as Infinite, Perfect and Unconditional Love, the explanation of pain, loss, and everything else associated with a human death, presents itself as a metaphysical problem to be solved:  either Source is all we say IT is, or IT isn’t.   If we accept the Truth about Source to be unconditional Love, Perfection, and Infinity, then its opposite would have to be false or we would have what Mrs Eddy describes as “a Truth, and an erroneous truth next to each other, something totally incompatible.”  Therefore, let us contemplate death from a spiritual perspective, according to the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy and Joel Goldsmith that we have been studying.

If we look at death as a tragedy or the end of it all, we will not find consolation. Then how should we understand death?

I noticed how I felt this week at receiving the news of Whitney Houston’s passing. My heart sank and I felt grief and sorrow.  I never met Whitney personally, but her music played a big role in my adolescence and at that time, knowing about her Christian values, meant a great deal to me.  As time passed, hearing the news of her addictions and her tragic life, showed me how one can reach “the top” and still feel unhappy and unrealized.  What a great lie we have been taught about fame and money!  How many reach those goals, only to face the question: “and now what?”  This observation has helped me understand Jesus’s teaching: “seek ye the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness and everything else will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33)   Don’t look to false gods (money, fame, or anything else) for your good, since none of them will bring you happiness. However, if and when we find God, everything we need comes to us and we learn to see our earthly goods for what they are: worldly pleasures to be enjoyed in this world, and being material in nature, they too, will have an end just as all matter comes to an end, and that includes our material bodies and physical existence.

Contemplating Whitney’s passing, after I was able to accept and recognize the pain and sadness at her “loss” as claims, I was able to realize the following:

If Source is “All-in-all” then it is Source who chooses ITS existence in and as each of us, and lives unique experiences as each of us. Those individual experiences in and as each of us, include the type of entrance and departure into this “dream.”  Everything we recognize as the life and death of an individual, is nothing but Source having an experience on Earth and in all of it, there are clues to help us all to “wake up from the dream.”  We are all mirrors for each other.  As we contemplate our lives and the lives of others, we can begin to recognize spiritual truths that “those who have eyes will see and those who have ears will hear (Mark 8:18).” In other words, when we are ready we will be able to see all that involves human death in a much different way than what we have been taught.

In the lives of the rich and famous, such as Whitney, Source shows us how it is about “seeking the Kingdom of Heaven” which reigns within us that will provide for us lives of peace and harmony.  Those qualities cannot ever be found in matter.  The material world is forever changing. Money fluctuates in value and quantity at the mercy of the world market and the economy, and therefore, its value and amounts go up and down according to those human laws.  Jesus gave the example of building our foundation, not on what the world considers laws, but on spiritual law, when he gave the parable of the wise man, who built his house (spiritual values) on the rock (Truth).  When the storms came, the house remained intact because its foundation was strong. On the other hand, the fool built his house on sand (the easy and superficial), and when the storms came, his house collapsed because the foundation was faulty and weak. (Matthew 7:24-27).

When we enter a spiritual path and realize that we have to study in order to understand Truth, life can seem hard, boring, and monotonous.  There may be times when we ask ourselves “is it worth it to do all these practices?”  That is how the ignorant ego looks at the spiritual pearls of wisdom when confronted with aggressive mental suggestions.  If we decide that it is worth the work and we continue on the path, we begin to see that what at first “seemed” worthless and senseless, begins to give us results and our lives begin to show forth those results in more harmony and abundance at all levels. Now we realize that the work we did to acquire a spiritual consciousness, is giving us the promised results that “the world knows not of.”

As we contemplate Whitney’s life, we can see Love in form. In that form as Whitney, Source showed us that life has to be “more than food and the body more than its clothing (Luke 12:23).”  Source, incarnated as Whitney Houston, revealed that Truth in the same way It has revealed it before in the lives of the many who never reached human maturity of age, though they reached human fame and fortune. In that way, Source is showing us the importance of “building our houses upon rock.”  Source does all of this without harming anyone.  The teaching of the many wise Masters is clear.  Everything is taking place in this plane of maya, illusion, claim, where no one will be harmed for real.  Source would never permit anyone to be harmed because that would be harming Itself. That is the teaching we need to remember.  As Joel Goldsmith reminds us: “someday, we will wake up from this dream (not all at the same time, but at different times according to our soul’s purpose) and we will realize that it was all a dream, and that we never left ‘Heaven.’  ”  For me, that is not only a consolation, but a logical teaching before the theme of death and what it represents for the human race.

If death is real, there can be no God. The two cannot co-exist. That is what we have to contemplate and resolve individually for ourselves in order to overcome any doubt or dilemma within us when confronted with the claim of the finality of life again and again.  In our contemplations and meditations, we can come to an understanding of this Truth, which cannot be understood only with the intellect.  Therefore, let us take the following question to our meditation:

“I admit that I don’ t understand the concept of human death. What is death?  If Source is Infinite, how can I explain death and all that it involves for every human being?”

As you contemplate that question, what your Soul will give you will be priceless. I hope you do practice this and share with us your findings..

Much love and blessings,



  1. Margarita said,

    February 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Sent Feb 20, 2012 4:05 a.m. by Mar from Valladolid

    I’m sharing a few words from a piece I wrote a few days ago for my course, in which I expressed the value of acquiring the understanding of the meaning of the cycle of life and death, since both are part of the same thing.

    As human beings we are part of a process that is the universe, which is much more than humanity. It is permanently expanding, and is always in full motion and creativity. In comparison with it, our humanity is but a lost particle in infinity. To understand that humanity is but part of a much larger evolution, and the essential law of this evolutionary process is a process of life and continuous movement. We are born, we die, and we are born again with the Spirit of the universe. There is no end. The evolution is always moving, it is pure growth. And death, in reality, is part of our growth and evolution, it is an evolutionary process of which we are a part. Therefore, our soul is an immortal essence which is in constant evolutionary growth. This human form is only one of the pieces, we enjoy it, we learn in it, and then we leave it and continue our evolution with the Universe. We must remember that we are a spiritual being having a human experience, and there is no end, but only growth, evolution, and with death what we do is far from ending our expansion in life.

    Since this vision, once understood, comforts this human form in which we now find ourselves, and brings us peace when it is time to say goodbye, to see all the good that we shared, learned while we shared the path, and to express our gratitude, it helps us to say goodbye to the physical part of our life, but we continue united in essence, and our heart is always remembering what we shared. It is gratifying, it accompanies us, and gives us peace.

    Whitney was with us and stimulated our hearts with her beautiful songs. I also liked them, and, as Arnie says, her life is a great teaching. We are all One. We are interconnected. Remembering this in human form gives us peace when we feel the sadness, the emptiness, to know that she is not gone and always will be there because we can find her in our hearts, will comfort us and give us peace.

    I’m sharing this because in the face of deaths that I have lived through, the pain remained and this prevented me from letting go and saying goodbye. This past Christmas, a friend from my youth died, and by understanding the cycle of life and death, and all of this, it has helped me very much, and not only have I been able to soothe the sadness of his death, I have also been able to heal previous ones. Now when I remember them, I remember all that I learned with them and I feel grateful instead of being overcome by sadness. Sadness still comes, but I remember this and find peace, and now they are not separated from me and I am able to say goodbye to the physical part. I understand and feel the sense of the cycle of life, that in reality Soul is immortal and continues with us because there is no separation. I only have to return to the heart and they are always there, and the comforts the human pain.

    Thank you for reading this, and blessings.

    Mar (Valladolid)

    • Margarita said,

      February 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you, Mar, for sharing your ideas and feelings. In reading, and translating your comment into English, I had the opportunity to think about this subject more deeply, and I’m grateful to you especially for a point you make that we should all, really, examine more profoundly.

      You share that you recently lost a friend from your youth, and you also shared your grief and sadness and your reconciliation with the claim of a loss with eloquence. The most important thing you said, for me, was that once you reconciled this newest loss, you were able to go back and come to terms with other, prior griefs and sadnesses. That is a very important point.

      In being able to see through the lie of “death” this time, you were able to “awaken” your consciousness a little more and so you were able to “see” the truth of this event and all the other similar ones you have experienced in your lifetime. This “awakening” is like shining the light of truth a little more brightly, and it helps us to continue illuminating, awakening, and focusing on truth.

      Thank you, Mar, for reminding us of this detail!

      All the best from New York! Margarita

  2. Margarita said,

    February 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Sent Feb 20, 2012 6:02 a.m. by Mar (Valladolid)

    I’d like to add to my previous comment for Arnie, I am with him in his sadness and loss and what it represents for him, and for me, although I realize that in this case it is less because of the singer it refers to but for what he expresses, and hopefully this will accompany us all in our process, and until calm arrives, to help fill this emptiness and to remember, listening to her music will help us through these moments.

    A great big hug, Arnie!

    • Arnie Vargas said,

      February 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Mar. Thank you also for your beautiful words to me.

      Much love,

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