Suicide and Rebirth

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Suicide and Rebirth

Post by 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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Re: Suicide and Rebirth

Post by 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.

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Re: Suicide and Rebirth

Post by cooran » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:07 am

This previous thread may be of interest:

Buddhism, rebirth and suicide

With metta,
---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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