Suicide

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Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. In the Theosophical view, a person that commits suicide is not actually killing himself but only killing his physical body and its subtle counterpart. The person remains conscious, stuck on the "atmosphere" of the earth (kāmaloka) until the time of natural death was supposed to occur. Only then the normal post mortem processes can take place:

The rule is, that a person who dies a natural death, will remain from "a few hours to several short years," within the earth's attraction, i.e., in the Kama-Loka. But exceptions are, in the case of suicides and those who die a violent death in general. Hence, one of such Egos, for instance, who was destined to live — say 80 or 90 years, but who either killed himself or was killed by some accident, let us suppose at the age of 20 — would have to pass in the Kama Loka not "a few years," but in his case 60 or 70 years, as an Elementary, or rather an "earth-walker"; since he is not, unfortunately for him, even a "shell." Happy, thrice happy, in comparison, are those disembodied entities,who sleep their long slumber and live in dream in the bosom of Space![1]

Fate of the suicides

In one of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett the Mahatma K.H. wrote:

There is another kind of "Spirits," we have lost sight of: the suicides and those killed by accident. Both kinds can communicate, and both have to pay dearly for such visits. And now I have again to explain what I mean. Well, this class is the one that the French Spiritists call — "les Esprits Souffrants." They are an exception to the rule, as they have to remain within the earth's attraction,and in its atmosphere — the Kama-Loka -- till the very last moment of what would have been the natural duration of their lives. In other words, that particular wave of life-evolution must run on to its shore.[2]

To try to engage in communication with the physical world they left through any kind of medium is harmful both for the soul still bound to the atmosphere of the earth as for the medium:

But it is a sin and cruelty to revive their memory and intensify their suffering by giving them a chance of living an artificial life; a chance to overload their Karma, by tempting them into opened doors, viz., mediums and sensitives, for they will have to pay roundly for every such pleasure. I will explain. The suicides, who, foolishly hoping to escape life, found themselves still alive, — have suffering enough in store for them from that very life. Their punishment is in the intensity of the latter. Having lost by the rash act their seventh and sixth principles, though not for ever, as they can regain both — instead of accepting their punishment, and taking their chances of redemption, they are often made to regret life and tempted to regain a hold upon it by sinful means. In the Kama-Loka, the land of intense desires, they can gratify their earthly yearnings but through a living proxy; and by so doing, at the expiration of the natural term, they generally lose their monad for ever.[3]
And woe to those whose Trishna will attract them to mediums, and woe to the latter, who tempt them with such an easy Upadana. For in grasping them, and satisfying their thirst for life, the medium helps to develop in them — is in fact the cause of — a new set of Skandhas, a new body, with far worse tendencies and passions than was the one they lost. All the future of this new body will be determined thus, not only by the Karma of demerit of the previous set or group but also by that of the new set of the future being. Were the mediums and Spiritualists but to know, as I said, that with every new "angel guide" they welcome with rapture, they entice the latter into an Upadana which will be productive of a series of untold evils for the new Ego that will be born under its nefarious shadow, and that with every seance — especially for materialization — they multiply the causes for misery, causes that will make the unfortunate Ego fail in his spiritual birth, or be reborn into a worse existence than ever — they would, perhaps, be less lavishing their hospitality.[4]

Online resources

Books

  • Westcott, William Wynn. Suicide: Its History, Literature, Jurisprudence, Causation, and Prevention. London: Lewis, 1885. 191 pages. Available at Hathitrust and Wellcome Library.

Articles

Notes

  1. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 200.
  2. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 197. See Mahatma Letter No. 76, Page 1
  3. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 197.
  4. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 200.