Friday, October 27, 2017

Remembering Romeo & Juliet and Reflecting on A Tragic Misconception Concerning Suicide

I came across Q&A 956 in “The Spirits’ Book”, and I couldn’t help but consider how it puts a bit of a thorn in the heartrending romanticism of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

The question reads:
Q:  "Do those who cannot bear the loss of loved ones and kill themselves in the hope of rejoining them accomplish their objective?"

The spirits answer:
A: “The result for them is much different than what they hoped for. Instead of being reunited with the objects of their affection, they keep themselves away from them even longer because God cannot reward an act of cowardice, an insult which demonstrates distrust in divine providence. They will pay for that moment of insanity with afflictions even greater than those they wished to shorten, and they will not have the compensation they hoped for.”

Did Romeo and Juliet believe they would be reunited, or could they simply not bear to be without one another for the rest of their days here on Earth? Either way, anyone who has ever been in love and dreaded the thought of continuing life without the object of his or her undying affection can certainly sympathize with the emotional catalysts for such actions. This is what makes us such fans of this theatrical masterpiece that portrays an emotional turmoil so many can related to. Unfortunately, however, in real life, choices like this do not lead one to happiness in the beyond, as one may hope. 

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From a broader perspective, Romeo and Juliet’s story reflects how a materialistic view on life may ultimately lend itself to a very tragic misconception. From this view, one my see taking his or her life as a way to escape deep pain and suffering. Honest to God, my heart goes out to anyone who is feeling so much hurt or despair that suicide appears to be the best alternative, but this is only made worse by the fact that cutting one’s life short does not take away our problems. In fact doing so limits our ability to resolve them. This also highlights the importance of the message in Spiritism. Spiritism shows us that life beyond the grave continues and that, upon leaving behind the material body, we remain the same individual we were while incarnated - with the same joys, the same sorrows, the same accomplishments thus far achieved, and the some problems left to overcome. Thus demonstrating the futility of ending our own lives and likewise the importance of working through our struggles while we remain incarnate, Spiritism also, however, provides a source of hope and consolation to help us in life’s trying times.

When we allow life to takes its natural course and bravely bear our trials, a natural death can relieve us from certain afflictions - such as the physical pain of an ill body, the longing to be with the loved ones who await our return to the spirit world, or the normal day-to-day challenges of living in the material world. However, many problems that we deal with while alive (incarnated) on Earth - such as broken relationships, addictions, a troubled conscience, moral weaknesses, etc. – do not go away merely because we’ve once again left behind yet another material body and thus closed another chapter on the life story of our immortal soul. Problems like the latter will always require resolution, something that will take effort on our own part to attain, as we continue living and growing in two realms of life.

Suicide only complicates things further and for two reasons. First of all, once we are no longer in the material world, it becomes even harder to actively work on resolving these issues. Sometimes, there are things we can do from the spirit world, but it’s also very possible that we have to wait for a new incarnation to resume where we “left off”. Secondly, the act of prematurely ending one’s life carries with it its own painful consequences – from the darkness and suffering one may experience in the spirit world to the imprint that such an act may have on the circumstances of a future incarnation.

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Collectively, the many teachings of Spiritism help us to understand why suicide is never a good answer. Meanwhile, our loving and knowledgeable mentors and teachers, communicating to us from the discarnate state and through the aid of mediumship, bring us compassion and hope. For all who are interested, below I recommend some resources for learning more about the Spiritist viewpoint and teachings related to the above discussion. If you would like information on where to obtain the books mentioned or which book to begin with, feel free to contact me.

For anyone who may, in particular, have been finding him or herself contemplating suicide: I ask you to please consider exploring the Spiritist teachings and, above all, please reach out to a trusted individual for help. Note that below I have also included US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Furthermore, if you find comfort in what Spiritism offers and you would like to learn more about it, starting with one of the books below, contact me; I will be happy to get you a copy.


Recommended Resources

US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Spiritist Books, topic of Suicide:

Those Left Behind - Understanding Suicide from a Spiritist View (Jussara Korngold)

Spiritist Books for study of Spiritist teachings:

Allan Kardec’s “The Gospel According to Spiritism” 
     (see especially the chapter “Blessed are the Afflicted”)

Allan Kardec’s “Heaven and Hell”

Spiritist Books, specifically, enlightening and inspiring novels:

Nosso Lar  (spirit André Luiz, medium Chico Xavier)

And Life Goes On (spirit André Luiz, medium Chico Xavier)

Resignation (spirit Emmanuel, medium Chico Xavier)

Memoirs of a Suicide (spirit Camilo Candido Botelho, medium Yvonne A. Pereira)

Paul and Stephen (Spirit Emmanuel, medium Chico Xavier)

Spirits Books, messages of inspiration

Happy Life  (spirit Joanna de Ângelis, medium Divaldo Franco)

Child of God  (spirit Joanna de Ângelis, medium Divaldo Franco)

Living and Loving  (spirit Joanna de Ângelis, medium Divaldo Franco)

Our Daily Bread  (spirit Emmanuel, medium Chico Xavier)

The Pathway, the Truth and the Life  (spirit Emmanuel, medium Chico Xavier)


Understanding Suffering - This talk of mine discusses the Spiritist perspective on suffering 

Thank you for reading!
Blessings to all, today and always

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