The Terrible Fate of the Suicide

We can thus understand the terrible destiny and the horrible torments which have to be endured by the unfortunates who end their lives through suicide. When death comes naturally, the three bodies separate relatively easily. Even in apoplexy or any other sudden but natural form of death, the separation of these higher members has in fact been prepared for well in advance, and so they separate easily and the sense of loss of the physical body is only slight.

But when the separation is as sudden and violent as it is with the suicide, whose whole organism is still healthy and firmly bound together, then immediately after death he feels the loss of the physical body very keenly and this causes terrible pains. This is a ghastly fate: the suicide feels as though he had been plucked out of himself, and he begins a fearful search for the physical body of which he was so suddenly deprived. Nothing else bears comparison with this.

You may retort that the suicide who is weary of life no longer has any interest in it; otherwise he would not have killed himself. But that is a delusion, for it is precisely the suicide who wants too much from life. Because it has ceased to satisfy his desire for pleasure, or perhaps because some change of circumstances has involved him in a loss, he takes refuge in death. And that is why his feeling of deprivation when he finds himself without a body is unspeakably severe.

Source: Rudolf Steiner -GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE THREE: LIFE OF THE SOUL IN KAMALOKA – Stuttgart, 24 augustus 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Suicide, 1881 (oil on canvas)
Suicide, 1881 (oil on canvas) by Manet, Edouard (1832-83); Buhrle Collection, Zurich, Switzerland