What About Suicide?
This article is written to provide comfort and to give
peace to those who have survived the loss of a loved one from suicide. In no way is it intended to encourage a person who is in a suicidal state to go ahead
with their plans to commit suicide.
For those who read this who may be in a suicidal state,
please don't consider suicide as an option. The heartache that you leave for
your family and friends is beyond comprehension. There is help - and time will
help you deal with your feelings of hopelessness and despair; I know, for I was
suicidal for 2-1/2 years myself. I can honestly state that I am glad that I
didn't go through with my plans because of the havoc it would have wrecked on
everyone within my sphere. For more information: Suicide
Education and Information Center and the excellent Metanoia.org
about those who commit suicide?
what I have read in Emanual Swedenborg's [18th century
theologian/scientist who claimed to have extensive experience of the
spiritual world] writings, the act of suicide in and of
itself does NOT put a person in hell. As explained in "The
Straight Facts~Spiritually Speaking", a person goes to the
"country of their heart". For all of us - when we first cross
over, we are in an "in-between" place - Swedenborg called it the
Spiritual World (I believe that Spiritualists call it Summerland). It is a
beautiful place, and it is where we all go initially. As we cross over,
angels of the highest heaven meet everyone and graciously welcome us. The
angels love nothing better than to help and counsel those just crossing
over. Whatever we didn't get to work on here, we work it out in this
middle place before continuing to Heaven. A person who committed suicide
will be met by these angels as well - and will have opportunity to work
things out - and in no way, are they punished, mistreated or anything else
that sounds grossly cruel. Compassionate people would not treat a suicidal
person cruelly - how much more true this is of angels and of God!
there a heaven and hell? And if so, what are they like?
according to Swedenborg, heaven and hell exist and they are inner, spiritual
states within ourselves - "For, behold, the kingdom
of God is in the midst of you" [Luke 17:21], as well as real places
in the spiritual world. Hell, according to Swedenborg, is not like we have
traditionally been taught. Rather than the fire and brimstone of outer fire, it
is the burning hatreds within an individual's heart that makes it hell. For more
is always all-loving and all merciful. He punishes no one. He casts no one into
hell - rather, He wants all to be in heaven - to be eternally blessed. However,
there are people that do not want to be in Heaven - they would rather be in
hell, unbelievably. We don't have to wait to get to the spiritual world to see
this ourselves, but rather, we can see this in people here in this physical
world. There are people who willingly choose to live in the hellish nightmare of
hatred and uncontrolled, murderous jealousy and lusts towards others. The
spiritual world is no different - those who have chosen this kind of life here -
willingly continue over there. Hell is simply a place of segregation for those
of like mind, so that they cannot hurt the good - and in no way is a place of
eternal torment and punishment from God.
is an individual thing - we simply go to "the country of one's heart."
There are many places in heaven - some prefer to live in cities; others prefer
to live more simply as people did hundreds of years ago. Whatever is the
"country of your heart" is where you will be - happy and blessed for
eternity. There is ample opportunity to pursue those things that were not
available to us here due to any kind of constraints. For example, a person who
is physically disabled might have had the lifelong dream to become a figure
skater - this is all possible in the spiritual world. Or another person who
desires to be an artist, but could not due to family and financial
considerations, will have that opportunity to fulfill their heart's desire.
For more information: Death and Beyond.
wrote that it was relatively easy to get into heaven: 1) Love God; 2) Love your
fellow person and 3) be of use (service). Swedenborg wrote that the first two go
hand-in-hand. A person who professes to love God, but acts in hatred of his
fellow person, does not love God. Conversely, a person who is very quiet about
his belief in God, but acts in love towards his fellow person actually loves
God. Swedenborg defined "use" as simply going about our daily life -
whatever that is - and performing our responsibilities always out of love - to
God and to others.
have heard people say that a person who commits suicide is automatically
"earth-bound" - is that true?
to my knowledge, never mentioned an "earthbound" condition. It
is true that there are some people that cross over that are so attached to
things of this earth that they refuse to believe that they are dead -
Swedenborg did write of such people. But if a person knew and believed
that life continues after death, then just because they committed suicide
would not put them in this state.
because you receive an afterdeath communication from a loved one does NOT
mean that the person is in an "earthbound condition". It is the
bond of love that connects us with our loved ones - and if there is love
between two individuals, that bond will be just as strong as it ever was.
Our loved ones are there right beside us - and in no way, does that mean
that they are earthbound. Swedenborg wrote that married partners (in a
happy marriage) in particular (and this can pertain to those engaged as
well) are not separated by death - the deceased one continues to live with
the one in this world until they cross over and they are reunited once
more. For more information, please see Marriage
those who commit suicide doom to be reincarnated?
to Swedenborg's writings, there is no reincarnation. He wrote that we are
surrounded by spirits - and that sometimes we access their memories and believe
them to be our own. This would explain why sometimes more than one person has
claimed to be a famous person in a past life. Swedenborg's explanation does not
discount the experience - this life was lived - but not by the person claiming
more than one life. We have one life - eternal life - and we are ourselves
throughout eternity. We retain our personality intact. For more information:
have heard that those who cross over by suicide are in a gray fog or
to Swedenborg, all people are met by angels of the highest heaven when
they initially cross over. If a person accepts these angels, they are then
counseled and instructed about heavenly life. If people refuse to listen
to these angels, then angels from a lower heaven are sent - and so on,
until there is a "perfect fit" between the person and the angels/spirits
that are helping. This is the person's own choice - and is not something
that God or the angels arbitrarily decide.
middle area where we all initially go to, as stated above, is a beautiful
place - and there is no actual gray fog or mist. However, I have come to
believe that the gray fog or mist that is spoken about is an
emotional/spiritual gray fog or mist. When I look back on the grief
and despair of losing my loved ones, I often tell people that I was in a
fog - that my thinking was not clear. I believe with all of my heart that
this is what is meant when we hear that those who commit suicide are in a
gray fog or mist - it's their emotional/spiritual state - and they cannot
see clearly. This state of mind affects their ability to see what is truly
about those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol?
wrote extensively that a person has to be in a rational state for his
decisions to be a part of his life. Obviously, a person addicted to drugs
and/or alcohol and/or is in a suicidal state are not in a rational state of
mind. Only when our minds are rational is when we are truly free to make
our choices. When our bodies are addicted, there is no way that we are
free - and God always wants our choices to be made in freedom. That's what
happens in that middle ground - the Spiritual World. That physical craving
for the drugs is not carried over into the Spiritual World. They are led
back into a rational state of mind by the angels and allowed to make their
choices at that time. Of course, many addicts have a good heart - and many
do not - and it's there in the Spiritual World that they make their choices.
is a quotation by a Swedenborgian minister, Brian Kingslake, in his book
"Inner Light: Swedenborg Explores the Spiritual Dimension"
second state [of death - after the initial crossing over and could be
likened to a life review] can produce some surprises. [There may be] many
who, while on earth, appeared to be good and wise and were respected by
everybody are now seen to have been motivated by self-love or love of the
world. All their respectability now falls away, and they plunge into
unrestrained selfishness or acquisitiveness. Another person may have been
a drunk or wastrel on earth, scorned by "good" people; or
perhaps even a criminal - who knows? Yet in their heart they may have
longed for better things; in which case, their good ruling love will now
take over, and their disreputable exterior will fall away, leaving them
sweet and angelic, as they always wanted to be."
did write that we are not to judge anyone as the Lord indeed instructed in
Matthew 7:1. Only God can see into the heart of an individual and know
what they truly are. God, who is Infinite Love and Mercy, makes every
provision for all that long to be with Him and to live in love in Heaven
to do so.
last thought - if compassionate people refuse to treat a suicidal person
in a cruel, illogical and condemning way, then I would
think that God, being Infinite Love and Wisdom, would also extend those
kindnesses - only in an infinite manner - more so than any mere person.
are some resources on the Net that may provide help in dealing with a
loved one's suicide:
For more articles based on Emanuel
writings, click on the Links button below.