If we knew for an indisputable fact that life was eternal, that we essentially drop one body and inherit another, how would that impact suicides?
Many people who attempt death by suicide today assume they are ending everything when they take their lives, like pressing the ultimate off button. They’ve been cruising along with the mainstream narrative that there is no life without working brains. They often just want to end the mind chatter and depressed feelings that have been ruling their existence or to avoid some tortured future. Disable their brain, they think, and that disables all consciousness, the ultimate fade to (or cut to) black.
In the movies, suicide is so often portrayed as a way out, albeit a tragic one. So, for example, when the corrupt warden was exposed in Shawshank Redemption, he felt that the only way to escape the mess he had created was to shoot himself dead.
Another famous suicide in the movies sold as a tragedy—and reinforcing the concept of escape—was the iconic climax of Thelma and Louise. In some ways the film portrayed suicide as heroic while simultaneously showing the protagonists as wrongfully abused.
Suicide would be an entirely different proposition if science determined that consciousness continues to exist beyond what we call death. We even get new bodies suitable for our new dimension. Rather than believing that suicide would end everything, we would instead confront the then-proven fact that we would wake up somewhere else. Transference is an entirely different story than termination.
The Netflix original movie Discovery proposed that when a scientist discovered absolute proof of life after death, millions of people chose suicide hoping to instantly upgrade their existence.
The movie industry does not always think their plots through before propagating mythology. As I noted out in my review of this film, in real life such a scientific breakthrough would be introduced to the public with a bevy of disclaimers. Most notably, luminaries from the so-called other side would be quick to discourage people from suicide and would likely offer healthier alternatives for dealing with their woes.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS
In a strange way, society in general could be accused of contributing to the suicide problem by ignoring postmaterial science that suggests consciousness survival beyond death of the body.
Surely there are many humanitarians around who deeply care about the suicide problem, and in no way am I disparaging their efforts. However, in a broad scope, I am not sure how seriously the whole of society takes the suicide problem.
It would seem that there’s more than enough anecdotal evidence through near-death, out-of-body, and spiritually transformative experiences to motivate research about whether or not we are trans-dimensional beings. If we are, suicide, along with all death, may not be in the largest sense fatal.
Afterlife research is often considered silly like chasing UFOs and ETs. Anything that seems to contradict materialist science seems suspect of fraud. However, considering the major impact that suicide has on the lives of millions, it seems reasonable to me that trans-dimensional living should be studied for the impact it could make on our standard of living and dying.
Those who might have a profound voice on this issues would be those who attempted suicide, had a resulting near-death experience where they clinically died for a few minutes, yet ultimately survived in their physical bodies. People like that often come back assured that suicide is not the solution.
Broadly speaking, religion has tackled the issue through asserting that suicide is a ticket to eternal punishment. This idea causes deep wounds for people whose loved ones took their own lives. Not only are they tossed into grief from the immediate loss, but now perhaps they (and many other congregants in their churches) spin stories about that victim’s sad decent into hell.
Paradoxically, religious figures often consider afterlife research as disobeying God because it breaks inhibitions against attempting to contact the dead. By contrast, secular teaching from afterlife research suggests that people create their own heavens or hells through their beliefs. People who “go to hell” send themselves there rather than being judged by anyone else.
Some “pro afterlife” sources paint rosy portraits of cosmic reality creating expectations that one can commit suicide here and wake up in paradise. It’s like the opposite of the mythology of hell.
SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM
How many people might choose to solve their issues in another way if more was known about what happens after bodily death from suicide?
According to the World Heath Organization: “Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan. … There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.”
“Suicide is a global phenomenon; in fact, 79% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2016. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016.”
Suicide is a complicated matter with complicated solutions. However, if people absolutely knew that death was not a black-out, they might consider a different option.
When I see ways that public funds are spent for different kinds of research, I question our research priorities, knowing full well that many would call researching the afterlife a complete waste of money. Yet at the same time, many issues facing humanity would radically change if it’s ever demonstrated in a scientific, peer-reviewed manner that we don’t die, we change.
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