As birth marks passage from the confines of the womb, so death marks passage from the confines of the physical world. The existence of the soul of man precedes birth, traverses the condition of the body, and succeeds death: the human spirit is eternal.
The evolution of the soul is spiritual. Free of the world of nature that holds the body captive, the soul continues its advance towards God. Bahá’u’lláh, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, wrote: "I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve?" How different the reaction to death can be when viewed not as an ending beyond which there is nothing but rather as an ending of one leg of the spiritual journey and the beginning of the next.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh upon Whom He bestowed the function of interpreting the Holy Writings, was asked: "Through what means will the spirit of man, that is to say the rational soul, after departing from this mortal world, make progress?" He responded: "The progress of man’s spirit in the divine world, after the severance of its connection with the body of dust, is through the bounty and grace of the Lord alone, or through the intercession and the sincere prayers of other human souls, or through the charities and important good works which are performed in its name." This is an example of how the inhabitants of the physical realm have a connection with those in the spiritual realm.
To develop a greater understanding of death, refer to the topic "Heaven and hell: a Bahá’í view of life after death" and a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Washington, D.C., shortly after the sinking of the Titanic. For independent study of the Bahá’í Writings on the subject of death, "The Human Soul" provides many quotes by Bahá’u’lláh. For collaborative study of this and other subjects, please call the Bahá’ís of Comox (250.702.3041).