Beliefs on suicide

QUESTION: Masters why is suicide so stigmatized? I feel that it is a choice like any other and that the feeling that it is something bad has been built culturally. I feel it’s just a way to go home early. ~Cristhiane, Brazil

ANSWER: Suicide is stigmatized because it diminishes the population. Society wants to encourage a healthy, productive mass of people who are available to take care of all the needs of others. Suicide is also a choice made by some people when they do not want to be controlled by others. If a person thinks they can end their worries and difficulties by ending their own life, then there is no permanence to the control one has over another.

The first edicts against suicide came from land owners and religious organizations. No one could read or write, so they learned everything through their churches and their bosses. These owners and controllers wanted to have absolute power over the behavior of those under them.

The only life solution they wanted the populace to see was the promise of salvation made to the peasants if they worked hard, did as they were told, and clung to the belief in going to heaven. Suicide sent them to hell, they were told (and also lost land owners a good working hand and churches a willing congregant).

To some it was merely a property issue: alive, they owned you; dead, they lost your services. So, suicide became outlawed. Society blamed the one who wished to end their own life and gave the family the responsibility to make sure none of their members took the easy way out. By promising a heavenly reward, the churches wanted to be the ultimate salvation for the wretched lives people were leading. The punishment for suicide was eternal damnation.

When you remove the influence of the rest of the society sharing this lifetime with you, you have the only real answer. You have freedom of choice to come and go as your soul desires. In the spiritual sense, nothing is considered to be right or wrong.