This morning when I logged onto Facebook, this was one of the first posts I saw:
This morning when I got up to get ready for work, I began to have this strong sense of urgency. I felt so impressed that someone today is dealing with suicidal thoughts. I don’t know who it is or exactly what is going on. However, I feel led to tell you that there is a silver lining to this dark cloud and this will pass. It may not feel like it today or at this very moment, but God has his hand on you and knows your struggle. He sees you…He REALLY SEES you…and he loves you very much. Don’t give up my friend…the devil is a LIAR. You ARE worthy and you deserve happiness. I am praying for you…♥
My first reaction was one of compassion for anyone feeling that low. Been there, done that. At times in life I have felt so lonely I would have felt comforted by sweet oblivion that suicide purportedly provides. Fade to black. How can you suffer if you aren’t conscious?
Well, it turns out — at least according to many of those who survived suicide attempts — that you don’t fade to black. You don’t lose consciousness. Instead you lose use of your body and are stuck in a whole new dimension. Your consciousness hasn’t changed and you’ve added to it by heaping upon yourself the whole new mess of failing to obliterate your mind. It dawns on you that you cannot kill your mind even when you kill your body.
WHERE IS EVERYBODY?
The next thing that occurred to me was that we as a society do a piss-poor job of tending to our emotional and spiritual needs. Why do we let people get so lonely or frustrated or enraged or demoralized that suicide turns out to even be considered a favorable option?
I noticed it myself when I have been overwhelmed with loneliness — where do I go? Where do I find healthy mind food to turn this foul mood around? It seems that so many places or options are just products or services merchants are selling. We don’t make it easy for people in funks to find their way out.
In my experience of my own funky times, friends vanish. They don’t want or don’t know how to deal with my mood dip. Others make broad-brushed suggestions on how I should heal myself. Emails for solutions costing money (doctors, therapists, life coaches, seminars, webinars) seem to flood my in-box along with ads for dating services, singles clubs, and masturbation options. I am left asking where is everybody?
The third major impression I had regarded the Christian symbology used in the Facebook post I quoted. I was not brought up in a robustly religious household, and for the most part, I rejected God talk for decades. Long story, but the point I wanted to make now is that in my own spiritual journey I came to realize that I wasn’t rejecting God or Jesus. Rather, I was rejecting the version of God and Jesus that most organized religions peddled (and I use the term peddled because those church people were indeed selling God as a product.)
My spiritual explorations have led me to a new conception of God as a force-being much more interesting and inspirational than the one who supported if not ordered the US to kill people in Vietnam. For my tastes, religions too often portray God as an outside-the-body judgmental figure. I prefer thinking of God as inside of me, which is to say that I have a direct connection to God energy as does everyone else. Worshiping or praying is therefore inner communication with the life force or God consciousness. God loves us because God dwells within each and every one of us; we are cells of God.
My exploration has revealed to me that there is so much more to this universe than we’re ever shown in mainstream media or in any church I ever attended. It is primarily for that reason that I deeply lament anyone’s decision to attempt suicide. My hopes and prayers for anyone entrenched in a funk is that they are somehow led to see the beauty that is always there somewhere.
I remember once when I got on an airplane on a dark, gloomy, foggy morning in San Francisco. Shortly after take-off, the plane broke through the fog and my face was splashed with gorgeous morning sunlight. It had been there all the time, the gorgeous sun of God, but I hadn’t seen it or felt it until I broke through.