Published June 16, 2018


Part 3

Continued from Part 2

  Another celebrity took his own life. Anthony Bourdain apparently hung himself in his hotel room while filming his popular TV show that mixed cooking, culture, and travel.

   Sadly this is also a common occurrence. Once a high-profile suicide is reported it is often followed by others. Sometimes there are groups of suicides, like those reported to have followed silent movie star Rudolf Valentino’s death. The real reasons can be as varied as the people who use such an event to justify their own exit.

   The media and the “experts” lament the loss of yet another “STAR” from the heavens of the rich or famous. They talk in sympathetic terms about the life lost and any legacy worth remembering. Their conversations with the “experts” touches on possible causes, missed clues, and methods of suicide prevention. Some ideas are reasonable, but most suggestions are empty recycled ideas from the caring but clueless.

   The caring cadre of clinicians are pulled from the mind sciences of Psychiatry, Psychology, M.D.’s , Sociologists and others that deal with people struggling with depression or psychotic episodes. Certainly these and other professionals have a part to play, but where are the Priest, Minister, and Rabbi? Has our society become so anti-traditional religion that they are never consulted in situations like this? I’m no cheerleader for organized religion, but it’s value to our country far exceeds it’s shortcomings! As I questioned in another posting, “why can’t God have a seat at the table?”

   I asked in the title “is suicide really painless?” as a response to a line in the lyrics from the popular TV show MASH.

Lyrics: (“That suicide is painless – It brings on many changes – and I can take or leave it if I please.”)

   It resonated eerily with me all those decades ago and I never forgot how strange and sad it sounded. The words sound intentionally meaningless, perhaps the way people feel about their lives before deciding to end it all.

   Words are important tools and signposts, and I choose my words very carefully. Much of what you will read you may never have heard or read expressed in the same way. Please do your best to reserve judgement until all my points are made. Be as objective as possible. Our first reaction and default position is to resist new or strange ideas. Let that reaction pass, if it comes, and unbutton your mind for a different perspective about life.

   You are not who you think you are. None of us is. We come into this world, and then this world comes into us, through our parents, childhood circumstances, and culture. We grow physically, according to our genetic makeup, and we learn to use our mental faculties a short time after birth. These two aspects of our human identity are like 2 legs. However developing into a full human being requires the growth of a third part to our character. This would make us in essence similar to a 3 legged stool. That third leg is our spiritual identity.

   Every human is born with a spiritual identity, but too few ever commit to self-exploration. This brings us to a famous quote that asks, “Is the unexamined life worth living?” It’s my contention that we are out of balance because we don’t know what we are as human beings, or who we are as individuals! Sadly, suicide is deadly proof that the unexplored life is not worth living, in the opinion of many.


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