The term “suicide” may induce an impression of abrupt surprise in your mind.
It seems that the annual rate of suicides has progressively increased over the years in this modern civilization. In Japan alone, more than 30,000 people commit suicide each year and those deaths represent four times the number of deaths by traffic accidents.
It is not the purpose of this chapter to discuss the reasons for this increasing number of suicide deaths. Rather, we shall examine suicide from a spiritual aspect.
Most of us who have read the other chapters may interpret suicide as a “failure to achieve the goals which were planned by ourselves before we were born and, in order to avoid facing the misery of this material world, we have decided to die and return to the spiritual world.”
Generally speaking, most suicides may fit within this interpretation. However, this motivation is very selfish. The Spirit says there is another view of suicide.
As examples, we present the cases when one commits suicide to save another’s life in exchange for one’s own life, or one chooses death to release one’s family and friends from nursing and worrying over his terminal or excruciating illness. If the reason for the suicide is caring for others, then suicide is regarded as in compliance with the Spiritual Ethics.
As stated in “Basis of Decision Making,” the determination of whether suicide is justifiable or not depends on one’s motivation – whether it is based on love or not.
In the case of a Japanese warrior (samurai) committing hara-kiri just to maintain his feudal lord’s honor that is based on nothing but egoistic motivation. Hence, he certainly could not avoid going straight to hell (a world which consists of lower vibration energy).
To commit suicide against one’s incurable and debilitating illness, one may possess an intention to free himself from the pain as soon as possible for one’s own sake, while another may wish to relieve the hardship endured by his caregivers. For outsiders, it may seem to be the same commission of suicide. However, although the results may be the same, it is obvious which is driven by love or by ego.
It is not easy to sacrifice your life for others. Unless you profoundly understand spiritualism and devote yourself daily to being kind and helpful to others, you would not be able to decide to end your life for the sake of others at the critical moment.
On the other hand, it is relatively easy to commit suicide to escape from one’s own pain and sufferings. Since we have been given our precious souls (derived by the Creator) to learn all of these invaluable lessons, we should seek our own true values to help others and have reverence for our life.