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June 12, 2018

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Pseudo - Christianity and Corporate greed are resulting in suicides, Vedic practice like Sungazing can free the society from hunger and dependence on cunning publishing industry run by atheists, cunning education system sucking money, cunning capitalists and corporate greed,cunning military industrial complex paying money to create paid martyrs, cunning healthcare industry to exploit disease, cunning cults promoting terrorism by paying poor and hungry people. Evil will be wiped out by one act of Vedic practice Sungazing. NASA has validated it.

It's a shame for anyone to judge someone else, and nowhere is this more egregious than commenting upon someone else's suicide.

It doesn't reflect well for someone to use someone else's pain and misery to sell their religious or atheist wares.

Suicide is a horror, but it may well reflect the horror someone is going through which they have not, after decades of struggle, been unable to overcome.

That, too, must be respected.

Brian, I love how you pick on topics that, when one reads your post, results in a whole explosion of perspectives in one’s mind. Your blog continues, for me, to be unmatched food (scratch that, and replace with ‘banquet’) for thought!

Re. this particular discussion itself, two thoughts stand out :


First : How suicide rates compare amongst different groups (including, for example, the religions vis-à-vis the non-religious), that is something that can, surely, be definitively and objectively studied.

A quick look through the link in the post did not really throw up any conclusions one way or the other, as far as I could make out. The conclusion of this study seems to be that : "Current religious practices were not predictive of retrospective reports of past suicide attempts. Church attendance, rather than other religious involvement indicators, has the strongest relationship to current suicidal ideation." The first part doesn't definitely rule out the role of religion in determining current attempts at suicide ; and the latter part actually seems to support the religion-as-deterrence idea in some form.

If anyone’s aware of any more such research (which compares these statistics after controlling for other factors that might muddy the issue), then that would be interesting to look at.


And two : My gut feeling would be that blind religiosity might actually turn out to be a deterrent to suicide. (And I say this despite what I like to think of as my own lack of blind religiosity.) Many religions do overtly pronounce that suicide is a sin, something to be avoided. Many religions spell out all sorts of unfortunate consequences to the suicidee (is that a word, “suicidee”? the spell-check here thinks not, apparently) that would follow an act of suicide, consequences that far outstrip in unpleasantness whatever it is the suicidee is attempting to escape from in this life. While the religious may not always be able to live up to -- pardon the tasteless pun! -- this impulse not to sin (by committing suicide), nevertheless that added impulse, that added deterrence, does remain, does it not?

The non-religious, the non-theist, on the other hand, has no such deterrence. (That is, no doubt the non-theist also has other deterrents that would keep him from taking his life, but this particular deterrent, based on religious injunctions and ‘explained’ by fanastic religious world views, is not available to him.) There are times when taking one’s own life may appear -- rightly or wrongly -- to be the rational choice ; and at such times, the non-religious, the non-theist, the atheist, would have one less deterrence (the “thou shalt not” deterrence, stated in whichever language and form and supported with whatever fantastic explanation) to keep him from taking this apparently rational step.

In a way, the title of this blog post is a bit misleading. Of course, I realize that you, Brian, probably phrased that title as you did intentionally, as a deliberate parody of the religious way of looking at things : but still, if I may take those words in your post title literally : thinking of suicide as something to be “saved” from itself is religious thinking. The atheist has no reason to see suicide as something that one needs to be saved from, after all!

Like all choices, the only time when the choice of suicide is something one needs to be saved from, is when this choice is made irrationally, under emotional stress, a decision that one would probably regret later on (if one were able to, that is, if there at all were a “later”). Even then, what comprises “rationality” is ultimately subjective, but I suppose we can inter-subjectively come to some kind of consensus when free choice ‘ought’ to be limited. But leaving all of these nuances aside, I would say that suicide isn’t something necessarily ‘bad’ at all ; under some circumstances, suicide (either active suicide, the direct taking of one’s own life ; or else passive suicide, that is, the choice of not availing of available life-prolonging measures ; as well as this third category that occurs to me, which isn’t suicide per se, and therefore not necessarily proscribed by religious pronouncements, but still may be thought of as effective suicide, for instance running into a burning building in a clearly doomed effort to save someone else, or charging on with just 300 men (and CGI-enhanced pectoral muscles) to face an army numbering in many thousands, or a parent starving themselves in order to give their portion to their child in order to keep the child alive at the cost of their own life, or any number of equivalent choices that society generally tends to applaud, but which nevertheless remains “effective suicide”) ... suicide may, I was saying, turn out at times to be rational and even desirable, unless one is deterred from this course of action by blind faith in religious pronouncements.

So yeah, well, I’d say (from my gut as it were, and fully willing to correct myself if actual research, controlled for extraneous factors, shows me to be wrong -- although one would still, in that case, require some kind of an explanation about why it is one is wrong) that I’d expect that religion would tend to go some way towards “saving” one from suicide. Except, when done irrationally -- and all choices made in blind faith are ultimately irrational, at least from the perspective of those who don’t share that particular brand of blind faith -- such “saving” isn’t necessarily, always, a good thing at all!

I don't think satsangis would commit suicide, also people in other religions that believe in reincarnation and the law of karma.

Taking one's own life would be the worst possible act and result in very strong karmic retribution.

Hi Jen
Satsangis have committed suicide.
It is impossible to judge what a person is going through. But an empath can understand what unrelenting pain is. At some point logic and reason take a back seat.

Shabd is the answer to all our woes. Because in His Word we aren't here.

But our connection to it can take a couple of lifetimes to establish.


Jen wrote: "Taking one's own life would be the worst possible act and result in very strong karmic retribution."

-- After the "Great Master" in the Sant Mat religion died many disciples were despondent and there were reported suicides. In regard to the case of one suicide the successor master, Charan Singh, said (I paraphrase) that he was a very devoted and loving disciple and that this would be taken into consideration in settling his karmic account. In other words, the person killed himself out of love for the master which is more spiritual and karmically better than killing yourself because your pension ran out. Personally, I don't think the Universe cares one way or the other if you kill yourself or not or what the reason was. In the end it's all good as the saying goes.

Spence wrote: "Shabd is the answer to all our woes. Because in His Word we aren't here. But our connection to it can take a couple of lifetimes to establish."

-- It seems to me we already aren't here as such. That is, what we call 'me' is conceptual only. What is there about 'me', a mere figment of imagination, that would have subsequent or previous lifetimes? If Shabd (Word) is that which manifests creation and is, in fact, that which manifestation is, then that is all there is. What else is there? What could be outside of or other than what it is? How can I establish a connection to that which 'I' already am?

I just threw that out there. It was just the response that came up. Rhetoric really.

Hi Tucson

There is water, and there are ripples.
In a state of no movement, there are no ripples.

Where there is movement, you get ripple, most apparent on the surface. Barely noticeable in the deeps, if at all.

Temporary records of the initial action that have their own effects over time.

Then there is perspective. From the center, all flows outward.

From the edge, it is constantly buffeted with waves gently pushing the edges of the pond outward over time.

From the middle, it's up and down.

Each of us views this creation from our own situation.

Are there fewer souls in heaven? Do we merge with other souls to become one?

Not exactly. We are still individual regardless of where we go and the clothes we wear.

We can change clothes, we can change jobs, personalities, sex, even moral outlook.

But the same actor moves through those.

At one level the actor sees their various roles. From that perspective they are not the same personality at all which has been formed and conditioned in this life. They wear that role and from the higher vantage point, off the stage, they can see the role they are playing and they can see themselves, the actor who has played many parts, many they recall very clearly.

But that actor has a different vantage point and their perspective is much larger than the various roles they play.

When the intermission is over, they put on their makeup, their mustache and wig, their costume and return to the stage. Their character knows nothing of the actor. But the actor knows this is just a character, though living as that character occupies their full attention while they are on stage.

Meditation, if it is advanced, is the intermission.

Spencer, you say:

"Shabd is the answer to all our woes. Because in His Word we aren't here.
But our connection to it can take a couple of lifetimes to establish."

Once again this is all about beliefs. I used to believe in the Shabd, the Master etc. I used to believe in reincarnation and the law of karma and I am surprised that satsangis have committed suicide, because that is probably the worst sin a person can do, especially believing in the law of karma and having a rebirth in which they will suffer greatly.

You talk about having to establish a connection to the Shabd which does not make sense because we are told that we are Shabd in a human form. So why do we have to strive to connect with that which we already are.

In Sant Mat we learn that we have to meditate for a connection to realise that Shabd is who we really are. I find living a meditative lifestyle, being focused and in the moment with a strong awareness of who and what and how I am going about in this earthly life form serves me much better than doing a couple of hours of meditation and then forgetting about it and delving into everyday living without much awareness.

Also focussing on awareness throughout the day brings the serendipities that 777 talks about and they happen regularly. Being conscious and aware is what its all about. Then one wonders and hears that people believe it is all consciousness and when we die we are like a drop that merges in the ocean of consciousness once again. But how to prove any of this. Its just about beliefs once again and thats why I prefer to be unknowing and just living in the moment.

Cheers bro, and try not to be too preachy, lol


It seems to me we already aren't here as such. That is, what we call 'me' is conceptual only. What is there about 'me', a mere figment of imagination, that would have subsequent or previous lifetimes? If Shabd (Word) is that which manifests creation and is, in fact, that which manifestation is, then that is all there is. What else is there? What could be outside of or other than what it is? How can I establish a connection to that which 'I' already am?

You doubt the time-honored "soul drop" theory...? :)

Although I can't pretend to understand it in its totality,
Ishwar Puri's view always resonated with me:

"You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the whole ocean in
the drop. When we are here we think we are separated. You are
not separated. I gave a talk in 1963 in a church and a person
got up and said if it is so bad to be here, `Why did we leave
our home anyway?' And my abrupt answer without thinking was,
`We never left.' We only left the awareness of it. This journey
isn't travel, we don't go anywhere, we just get back our
awareness of who we are, where we are, who our real self is."

Yes, Dungeness, Puri's words resonate with me too. I was at a satsang he gave back in '68 or so. People, especially women, were smitten with him. A glib, charismatic, handsome guy he was in those days. But something didn't seem right. I think people would have followed him to Guyana if he led them there. Rumors ensued. This was at the time Mary Blakely was giving satsangs in L.A. A charismatic herself, Blakely splintered off with her own following as Puri did and I seem to remember she moved to New Jersey. Man, that was 50 years ago?!!

The "soul-drop" concept is misleading in my view, as if the soul is in one place and the ocean in another. There cannot be drop or ocean because there is no drop that is not ocean nor any ocean that is not drop.

Spence, I like your story about the actor (drop) and its roles, but I don't think there is really any actor, only the idea or appearance of one. There is not any objective thing to which karma happens as a result of its actions. There is only action . We objectify this action and call it "me", thus making a noun out of a verb.

Hi Tucson

You wrote
"Spence, I like your story about the actor (drop) and its roles, but I don't think there is really any actor, only the idea or appearance of one. There is not any objective thing to which karma happens as a result of its actions. There is only action . We objectify this action and call it "me", thus making a noun out of a verb."

Yes, there is just the water, as I wrote immediately beforehand. The ripples and our vantage point differ, that is all.

Yet we do have a very specific point of view. It changes dramatically as we rise higher upon and in Shabd.

That experience explains a lot.

Hi Jen

You wrote
"Spencer, you say:

'Shabd is the answer to all our woes. Because in His Word we aren't here.
But our connection to it can take a couple of lifetimes to establish.'

Once again this is all about beliefs. I used to believe in the Shabd, the Master etc."

Jen this has nothing to do with beliefs.

It is about experience. You are right to reject belief in favor of experience.

But then each of us sees from our own vantage point.


I think people would have followed him to Guyana if he led them there. Rumors ensued...
Blakely splintered off with her own following as Puri did...

No, I don't think any splintering occurred in Puri's case. Who knows with
out the requisite experience within. What's clear though is he speaks of
mysticism as a disciple of Great Master only. He often jests that he
doesn't even have the look of a PLM. In many ways his role resembles
that of Lionel Metz many years ago. He just gives talks on the spiritual
path as seva.


The "soul-drop" concept is misleading in my view, as if the soul is in one place and the ocean in another. There cannot be drop or ocean because there is no drop that is not ocean nor any ocean that is not drop.

Yep, I agree. That's Ishwar's point really. We are the ocean. We just
contracted our awareness until we think we're only a "drop".

P.S. Lots of rumors surfaced about Great Master in the early days too.
The scandal mongers suggested that some hanky panky was going on with
those three devoted "Bibi's" who were always around him.

Spence, you say:

"It is about experience. You are right to reject belief in favor of experience.
But then each of us sees from our own vantage point."

So true about our own vantage point, how we experience and witness life.

This quote spoke to me today:

"Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost going through anxieties caused by others.
Leave this play, you have played enough" - Rumi

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