[Written around 2004.]
People commit suicide when the pain of lying to themselves is unbearable and the pain of telling the truth is even worse. Here the journey to manifest enlightenment – to heal all one’s childhood traumas – feels hopeless. The person’s childhood cemented the notion that deep, consistent parental love was completely out the question and that his parents were nothing more than shams. But he could never face that fact, because it was too painful – and they would have only rejected him all the more. Instead he denies it and turns his hopelessness and rage and anger toward himself. He swallows the worst of his parents into his psyche and he fantasizes that death will free him, and bring him peace. But it will not. Death is no relief. Death will only end his journey and kill his potential to grow.
Only a few of the truly suicidal, the most isolated and alienated, end their own lives. Most express their suicidality more acceptably, through extreme passivity or self-neglect, both of which go hand in hand with a desperate but silent cry for parental rescue. A flip side of this involves people who engage in risky acting-out behavior, such as driving dangerously, using drugs and alcohol excessively, heavy overeating or under-eating, fighting violently with others when true self-defense is not involved, having risky sex, climbing mountains… Such people let the world know how much they undervalue their own lives – which is exactly what they were taught in their childhood homes.
The cure for being suicidal is to heal the ancient wounds that caused the despair. This will not be easy for him, because his parents crushed the searching side of him, and subtly threatened him with full rejection if he tried to reconstitute his healthy and seeking side. But healing is possible. A suicidal person needs to find others who can hear him and believe him and trust him – trust every little bit of horror he’s gone through and still holds inside his psyche like a poisonous abscess – until he can learn to do this for himself. He must begin his growth process in a more enlightened setting that does not crush him anew. He must find ways to look honestly at the history of his demise and feel all his grief, horror, and rage. He may lose his old numb self in the process, but he will find his life. No one who finds the path to his legitimate anger and honest grief can ever stay suicidal for long.