Suicide and Rebirth

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
AgeOfEden
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:09 am

Suicide and Rebirth

Postby AgeOfEden » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:29 am

There is this near death experience of a suicide and she was told on the "other side" that if she did take her own life she would simply have to come back in another life to relive all those negative experiences that brought her to suicide in the first place.
What are your thoughts on this and suicide?

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Dhammanando
Posts: 2563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: Suicide and Rebirth

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:51 am

In Buddhism karma and rebirth are treated as sheer brute facts and nothing more. As such, the Buddhist conception of karma is not like that found in some theistic religious systems. Karma doesn’t serve any purpose within some supposed divine plan. It wasn’t ordained by any God to serve as a guarantor of cosmic justice or a means by which humans might evolve towards union with God or some such ultimate end.

Likewise, the Buddhist conception of rebirth is not the same as Nietzsche's "eternal recurrence" or analogous ideas among New Agers.

The idea that a suicide would have to come back as such and such, in order to experience such and such, in order that such and such lesson be learned.... etc. etc. — this presupposes a conception of karma and rebirth that is alien to the Buddhist world view. It assumes that rebirth has some sort of evolutionary teleology to it (as in Theosophy, for example), but in an atheistic system like Buddhism this is out of the question.
The Great Sage did thus proclaim
With many a diverse chosen name
Vipassanā stilled and purified,
That to Emergence is allied.

Saṃsāra-cycle’s swamp of pain
Is vast and terrible; a man
Wisely should strive as best he can,
If he would this Emergence gain.
(Visuddhimagga XXI)

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cooran
Posts: 8186
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Suicide and Rebirth

Postby cooran » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:07 am

This previous thread may be of interest:

Buddhism, rebirth and suicide
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12221

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---


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