Is it correct that birth, and time and form of death, are determined by an unchangeable destiny?
The Guide: No, it is not correct. As to birth, Lecture #34 Preparation for Reincarnation discusses how even that can be changed in the last moment. The time and circumstances of death can also be changed. As I said to you, there is a plan for each life. But I also told you that there are many plans. There is a plan for every alternative, every possibility of free-will decision.
Let us say an entity fulfills the most he or she was expected to. For that alternative there is one plan. Another plan has been made for the eventuality that he fulfills even more than the best that could be expected. That exists occasionally too. There are several other plans for partial fulfillments, or if he does not fulfill anything. Perhaps a person will straighten out a karmic debt, but will not overcome a certain weakness or solve a psychological problem.
The time of death does not vary according to which plan is fulfilled, but the time and manner of death varies according to which plan has come true. Again, I wish to emphasize that the fact that life can be longer than projected in one of the plans is not always a sign that this longer life has been fulfilled at its best, though it may be so.
If an entity really fulfills his or her very best, his life may be prolonged because through his special fulfillment he may have possibilities to help others. But then, again, a life may be cut shorter because the entity has fulfilled his or her best. Then the favor is granted to return home sooner, to begin something new, a task that he or she has been waiting for.
Therefore one cannot bluntly say that an unforeseen prolongation of life is necessarily a proof of good fulfillment. It may be that way, but it may also be exactly the opposite. So the time, as well as the form of death, can vary according to which of the many alternatives the entity has chosen.