Question – “What happens to a person when they commit suicide?”
Chinaman: Although that sounds such a simple question you ask me a very complex one indeed? Let me begin to answer that by looking at the concepts of Life and Suicide.
What is sacred? What is holy? What is the mystery beyond our conception? It is Life. When we try to define life we think we have it until something emerges which defies our definition. The concept of Life is totally beyond us for there is a concept of life within Life of which we have not yet spoken. Where does any individual, say called Martin, stop? Or where does this individual Martin begin? We look at the physical body, the physical workings and limits, and use that as a working hypothesis. It is acceptable for most of life’s actions but your thoughts, your influence, your spirit, are far more.
What can be understood of the simple things such as the shedding of your skin? Wherever you have been, do we say there is Martin? When the skin is no longer joined to you it is disowned but it is still a part of Martin. However it is physically dead. It is no longer joined. It is no longer, in one sense, Martin. However, there is also the fact that there are many kinds of living organisms within Martin that are a part of Martin but quite distinct, in that they can continue to be alive when separated from Martin – the small bacteria and single celled organisms.
Give thought also to transplanting organs. Once an organ is transplanted, is it part of the donor or the recipient? Does the summation of all the parts define Martin or can Martin be Martin with most of the physical body missing?
One most profound concept is that there is life within Life, or no life individually for there is only one life and we are but parts of it. That is for the mystics to dwell upon! I can come back to that particular concept some other time if you desire, but I introduce it because there is the question of the sanctity of life. When we are physically dead what is the state of the continuance? Can the body still be kept “alive” when the personality is no longer present? Is the “living” part, the personality?
However my thoughts this morning must be limited. I must not wander in a philosophical maze upon the concept of the single greater whole or the concept of the different incarnations of an “Essential Spirit” but simply the concept of an individual that we understand by a name. What happens when that individual dies under the terms we call suicide?
If Life is sacred, if Life is holy, then although it is a mysterious state it is also a gift. It is beyond our ability to create and would make us God if we could. But that gift like any other gift can be used and treasured, or can be misused and squandered.
The gift of Life belongs to the individual at that level I am talking about and the responsibility of that life rests with that individual. Suicide therefore, the giving up of ones life, might be in one sense the highest sacrifice a person makes – or in another sense one of the greatest abuses or misuses or squandering of the gift of the sacred.
When a person offers himself or herself willingly as a substitute for someone else out of love, then that offering is of the highest possible, a gift from God willingly given to someone else. To give one’s life for another person’s chance to continue living is an incredible sacrifice or offering. It is not squandering the gift but enhancing its value, for that is a wondrous example of love. Although it is freely given, though, it is in one sense a suicide.
There is much in religion concerning this kind of giving and the sanctity of life. It is considered the utmost sacrifice and the memory of the giving person is usually honoured and treasured. As the soul of that person continues his or her existence after the earthly life is given, they are received on the spiritual planes with similar honour and exultation. Such an expression of sacrifice and love is a tremendous spiritual step to take and an accolade is given. However this has been twisted and used by others in the manipulation of politics and war to become something abhorrent and sacrilegious – an abomination.
In my time the people who were born to a noble position saw it as their duty to protect the weak and to help them. Those who had the comforts and luxuries of their office or position in life considered that such responsibility was a just price to pay for they were obliged to give freely of themselves to those who had contributed to their wealth and position. Those who were lowly born could therefore enjoy the protection of their lord. It was, in my estimation, a noble concept for those who were noble had the time and the education to practise particular skills in order to execute justice, to preserve life. There was no such thing as a police force but there were armies of retainers both paid and unpaid.
This is where things begin to be a little indistinct for if a noble had to give to the extreme and so give his life for his people, then was it a noble sacrifice? Was it their duty, was it but politics, or was it their love for their people? The life may have been freely given in the cause of justice, policing or protection but was it still freely given and a suicide?
In your own time, in your own society, people sometimes give of their lives out of duty because of their position of authority. They find themselves in situations that call for this sacrifice. I am thinking of a policeman who was killed a little while ago. He had become a policeman because of a sense of injustice in the world and wanted to do his bit. Offering of himself, a giving of his life was the extreme.
However when people are exhorted to give sacrificially where does the sense of justice finish and the abomination of, say war, begin? When those who have authority to manipulate the emotions of others with the call of patriotism proceed to do just that, it may be of a high ideal – but for the most part I am sure it is not! For the most part it is seen as a ‘justifiable’ means to an end. For the common person that may well end in death, and although they may be laying down their life, a free offering and a suicide, there is nothing honourable in the greater motive. It is sacrilegious to an absurd degree and an affront to God that seems inseparable from the human political condition. I abhor it with every fibre of my being. And yet individuals who are caught up in such absurd times indeed often give of themselves, even with full understanding of what is taking place. Not for the politician but indeed for the individual, that is an honourable and compassionate spiritual way of sacrifice.
Despite my loathing, I do not hide from the fact that at the height of the blackness that is generally around the spiritual pit in war times, there are these wondrous glimmers of sacrificial giving and suicide. Still I wonder if there could have been ways of giving, without the blackness in some way – a paradox.
I speak of this particular kind of suicide because in some cultures or societies this is taken to the extreme in a kind of ‘ritual’ suicide. In such situations it has been twisted and warped. The honourable is debased for it is throwing the gift of life back into the teeth of God. Therefore there is much confusion when these individuals pass on. There is no accolade, in fact they are pitied rather than applauded by those who have gone before them. For the newcomers there is disbelief and then there is anger that they have been duped. And these emotions are not confined to the individual in their new state of being but reach down to the Earth plane and general negativity is increased. There is many a rude awakening at the next level of being at their passing on. The fanaticism usually dies with the body, for within a few moments of their transition the consternation is evident upon their faces. Of course there are some who retreat into their fanaticism and disbelief. They cannot accept the obvious and so create around themselves thought forms of accolade and applause and it is a long time before anyone can pierce through such phantoms – do you understand?
A lot of blame most therefore be left not just with the politicians but also with the priests of the religious orders that also perpetuate such absurd idealism and spiritual blindness. Karma and Justice will of course be done but so much damage will also occur en route. I would have considered the role of the priest was to promulgate the truth, even though it might have meant being castigated by their politicians of the day. It is a naive hope on my part.
Thinking of other situations of suicide let us consider whether it can be an upholding of dignity or spiritual worth or whether it is always a running away and a retreat and to be avoided at all costs.
When Life has fulfilled its time and the body is no longer functioning properly, then indeed to drop the body’s faltering processes with dignity, with understanding and with spiritual preparation need not be such a terrible thing after all. In your society it has become a dishonourable thing to let go of life when machines and drugs and other people’s efforts can keep you alive. In my society, of course, there was little chance of this, so perhaps I am biased. But I do not really think so, for to leave this earthly plane of existence and to pass on with dignity and understanding, accepting full responsibility for one’s actions even then, is not a squandering of the gift of Life but an acknowledging of the sanctity and holiness of it. To degrade the body with machines could be understood as a blasphemy, as a sacrilege, to what ends? So to release oneself from incarnation before this happens is still upholding that sanctity, that dignity, that holiness. It would be a form of suicide but it would not be dishonourable in my estimation. Such a release is acknowledging something of the validity of Death and a going onwards, embracing life in a fuller sense.
However there is a running away, a retreat, if the person is not able to embrace all the challenges that come ones way. In the transition from this plane of existence to the next the result is an increase in confusion. Problems do not disappear but merely change and the miasma of negativity, which may surround the individual, continues with them. The utter sense of defeat that encapsulates them is nearly impervious to the efforts of those who help on the other side. They become for the most part lost souls caught in a limbo of their own making. It is a hell. It also brings an echo of such pain to those who look on in their helplessness. It is so distressing for everyone and sometimes the only way to rescue these souls is for them to inhabit a body once more. This could be done through channelling – this is the “in” word I believe. There have always been – again another “in” word – ‘rescue’ circles in all religions to try to help these peoples who are caught in such pits of despair.
Suicide, in that sense, must surely be the worst experience that a soul can undergo.
In these situations of the earth bound soul, the miasma that they have created and contains them, remains in that place of their transition and effects other who then come and live at that place on the earthly plane. It is important, therefore, that when the suicide has not been of an honourable, uplifting experience or a release with dignity and understanding but an attempt to run away from something, that spiritual forces are then used to clean the earthly place. Do note this, for in the prayer and in the cleansing, the individual who committed suicide is also helped. Some of that blinding, blackening wall that they have created is actually washed away and they may be able to move on without the need for rescue work on the earth plane but become open to the rescue work from those on the spiritual level.
God, of course, can reach through. But, in the depths of that individual hell, God is often also rejected and blamed. There are some spiritual teachers who say there is no hell. There are some spiritual teachers who say that the earthly life is hell, I wish I could take those people into the spiritual hell that suicides often find themselves in. That would change their teachings.
There are many places, many spiritual levels of being, and in the alienation that comes of such suicide they experience one kind of hell, but there are other kinds of hell, negativity and pits. All is not light on the other side.
I do have, I believe you call it, a bee in my bonnet concerning the throwing away of Life, the sacrilege, the blasphemy by the individual or the machinations of individuals as in war or ritual. It is an abomination.
Are you content that we move on or would you like to ask a question concerning that topic?
H: May I make a comment? I know two people who have committed suicide because of the pain of their lives. It really saddens me to realise there has been no release for them and that they have in fact gone into a further hell. I am appalled.
Chinaman: May I remind you of another talk I gave. I explained that we chose the parameters that are set for each incarnation of our essential Beings. How we face those challenges is still our responsibility. Eventually those people who are in such despair are rescued, they are not left there. There are always others who are endeavouring to reach such souls although it may take a seemingly interminable time until they are rescued. They are eventually brought out of their negativity in time.
H: It is good to be reminded of that.
Chinaman: Indeed. I lost many friends through the wrong teachings of honour and religion. It rebounds upon the teachers karmically – that is a consolation to me. But those who have been caught in that trap are indeed eventually released. The compassion of others, – the love there -, will not let them go. For friends who have committed suicide, prayer is probably the strongest and most helpful thing that can be carried out. It is not a waste of time. It is not an act of foolishness. It is a very real help.
H: Thank you
B: I have a question. It concerns the same two people who H talked of. I was very close to them in my work and because I had spent time in their struggle and knew that they were not people who would avoid a challenging situation, when I heard that they had committed suicide my first sense was one of relief. I did not feel sadness. Part of the relief was the fact they had two daughters who were in turn suffering from their situation. It was being inflicted on the daughters. I wondered how you felt about that?
Chinaman: The complexity of the situation develops many-fold. There is a mixture not only of the despair of the individual but the concern of the individual for and by others. I was too simplistic in my explanation, for motivation is never simple. Let me speak hypothetically.
Although there is usually a running away, as I say, that may be too simplistic for there are usually many factors in real life situations. A person creates the conditions of the continuing experience whilst still incarnate on the earthly plane. If their despair dominates, if the running away dominates, then their alienation will be most dominant in their next experiences of continuing life. That is the consequence. However if concern for another has been a growing factor and if there are also the factors of indignity and spiritual teachings, then these will also affect the situation in the next experience of life. So it is not only the sort of conditions they experience but the way that they cope with them.
Take for example the marriage situation where one partner is so sick physically that they commit suicide so their partner no longer has to look after them. There may have been a large element of concern for the one remaining as well as a desire to be free from intolerable pain. There may also have been concern and a sense of release by the partner who remains but it may be that the partner who remains also has much anger at their loss. That anger actually contributes to form a kind of prison to the suicide. The remaining partner is a factor to the continuing state of the suicide, but if that remaining partner finds forgiveness and understanding then their love for each other and the surviving person’s prayer are major factors in the rescue.
It is never a simple situation and I do apologise if I have made it sound too simple. That is the fault of the teacher in trying to simplify without being too simplistic.
B: That helps. I felt there was a lot of concern for the people around them in these two cases.
Chinaman: I hope that is some kind of answer that helps rather than adds to a burden.