The Spirits' Book
Book Four - Hope and Consolation
Chapter I - Earthly Joys and Sorrows
Distaste for Life – Suicide
957. Generally speaking, what are the effects of suicide on the state of the spirit?
“The consequences of suicide vary because the penalties it entails always correspond to the circumstances that have led to its occurrence. The one unavoidable consequence is disappointment; the rest depends on the circumstances. Some of those who kill themselves atone for their fault right away; others do so in a new human life that is even harder than the one whose course they have interrupted.”
Observation has confirmed that the consequences of suicide are not the same in all cases. Some of the consequences that result from a sudden interruption of life are the same in all cases of violent death. The major outcome is a greater tenacity and subsequent persistence of the link that unites the spirit and the body to break. In nearly all such cases, this connection is in its full strength at the time of rupture. When death is the result of natural causes, the link weakens gradually and may disconnect before the complete expiration of life. The consequences of this situation are, first, extension of the confusion following death, and second, the illusion that the spirit is still living on Earth. (See Q155, Q165)
In some suicide cases, the affinity that continues to exist between the spirit and the body produces a sort of repercussion from the state of the body on the spirit. The spirit then, forcibly, perceives the effects of the body’s decomposition and experiences intense anguish and horror. This state may continue for the length of time the interrupted life would have lasted. This is not a fundamental result of suicide. However, people who voluntarily shorten their lives never escape the consequences of their lack of courage. In one way or another, eventually, they must make amends for their faults. In this manner, some spirits who were very unhappy on Earth reveal that they committed suicide in previous lives as well, and voluntarily submit to new trials to try to bear them with resignation. In some cases, the result of suicide is a sort of connection with matter, from which they vainly try to break free in order to ascend to happier worlds. Something blocks them from accessing these realms. In other cases, they regret the futile deed and from which they have gained nothing but disappointment.
Religion, morality and every philosophy condemn suicide as contradicting the law of nature. They all stress the principle that we have no right to shorten our lives voluntarily. Nonetheless, why do we not have that right? Why are we not free to put an end to our suffering? Spiritism focuses upon numerous examples of those who have yielded to this temptation in order to show that suicide is not only a fault and violation of moral law (something that is of little significance to some), but it is also foolish because a spirit gains nothing by it. Spiritism does not just preach this theoretically; it lays out the facts before our eyes.