I guest frequently on radio programs, and some recent hosts have ask me to address the suicide of Robin Williams with the hope that I can comfort the many people who love that beautiful man. I love him, too. But I have little comfort to give to radio listeners, and I don’t plan to discuss his passing on my own weekly program, Seek Reality. The best news that the afterlife evidence offers to us about suicide is that it is not all bad news.
To understand why killing yourself never is a good idea, it is important to know a few basic things. Briefly:
1) The chance to learn on earth is a gift. We are told that there are many more people wanting to live an earth-life than there are bodies to accommodate them, and we who are here are the fortunate ones who were given this phenomenal opportunity.
2) We plan our lives. In close cooperation with our guides and with those who will be important in our lives and their guides, each of us writes a pre-birth plan. We cannot say for certain that every bad thing that happens in our lives is planned, but the evidence is strong that we eagerly plan to have bad things happen so we can grow spiritually. An easy life is like an easy gym session: it doesn’t build much spiritual muscle.
3) Each of us plans two or three possible exit points into our lives, and suicide never is one of them. As soon as we have gotten whatever spiritual growth can be wrung from this lifetime, our higher consciousness takes the next exit and we happily boogie outta here.
So, you can see the problem. We petitioned for the chance to come here, and we planned whatever lesson is making us think now that we would rather die than see it through. If we commit suicide, we land back in the Summerland and we face our post-death judgment phase while we are struggling with the horrible realization that we screwed up very badly.
God doesn’t judge us. No religious figure judges us, and that is bad news since perhaps a loving God would have compassion on us for our mistake in taking our own lives. Each of us is our own afterlife judge, and the evidence is strong that we judge ourselves ruthlessly. We know what we intended! We planned to have great spiritual growth come from whatever caused us to kill ourselves, and we entered this lifetime hungry for that growth. Instead, we threw our chance away. We blew it!
The way suicides handle their self-judgment seems to vary considerably:
1) Sub-adults forgive themselves easily. Children and people even into their twenties seem not to have trouble forgiving themselves, and they get tremendous loving support.
2) The old and the dying generally forgive themselves. There seems to be a sense on their part that they have wrung most of the value out of this lifetime, so hastening their imminent departure was a forgivable decision.
3) People in midlife who kill themselves may be unable to manage self-forgiveness. I don’t think that anyone knows the statistics, but evidence is strong that many who kill themselves in midlife in order to avoid a planned catastrophe – divorce, bankruptcy, a career crisis, whatever – will find self-forgiveness to be difficult or impossible.
Our ability to attain the higher afterlife levels is based on our rate of spiritual vibration. Evidence suggests that nearly everyone who has lived a reasonable life achieves at least the third afterlife level. But if you are unable to forgive yourself for something you have done in life, then gradually your spiritual vibratory rate will slow. You will find it harder and harder to remain on the third level. You will have plentiful love and counseling, but ultimately unless you can forgive yourself you won’t be able to maintain even the second afterlife level. You will end up in what Jesus called the outer darkness, “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Where does this leave our beloved Robin Williams? He was an ambitious being when he entered this lifetime. He chose a horrendous set of lessons, combining complex interpersonal problems and extraordinary professional success with mental illness, and reportedly also Parkinson’s Disease. Wow! Any one of the four would be a tough row to hoe, and he chose them all. He was only in his early sixties, which today is late middle age. And he is bright. He is intense. I worry that for him, self-forgiveness may not be easy.
Fortunately, though, Robin Williams is very much loved. And for us to send love to those who have recently died seems to assist them in maintaining their spiritual vibratory rate, and even to assist them in self-forgiveness. Whenever I am asked about the fate of people who commit suicide, I always say that suicide is a disastrously bad idea and explain why that is true, but I also urge everyone to send love and light to loved ones lost this way, and to pray for these people in whatever prayer tradition makes sense to the mourner. If everyone who loves Robin Williams will do that, then I am confident that he is going to be fine.
As is true of everything else that we once might have regarded as sin, the problem with suicide is not the deed itself, but rather it is the tremendous sense of guilt that suicide can bring. Don’t even think about killing yourself! The problem with killing yourself is that it is impossible for your mind to die.
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