Near-Death Experiences & Suicide
“Due to the overwhelming percentage of loving and warm experiences reported in near-death experiences (NDEs), I occasionally receive e-mails from people, often in a depression, wondering if they should try suicide in order to induce one. I immediately respond: ‘Absolutely not!’ I encourage those who are depressed to seek counseling and also to discuss their life issues with their health-care team. People who had near-death experiences as a result of suicide attempts almost uniformly later believe that their suicide attempts were serious mistakes. An NDE should never be sought by creating a life-threatening event.”
“Scientific studies of spiritually transformative experiences (STEs), particularly research focused on near-death experiences occurring to persons who have survived suicide attempts, tell us that those who commit suicide deeply regret the choice they made to end their own life. They wish they could take it back and find a way to persevere against all obstacles, no matter how great. We also know from research into STEs that the meaning and purpose of life is to love one another.
“Bodily death comes to everyone and everything eventually and inevitably. Yet, consciousness survives bodily death and lives on eternally. When death comes as the natural conclusion of one’s life on Earth, it is a transition from this reality to the greater all-encompassing absolute reality that awaits us ‘on the other side.’ Such observations describe, but do not glorify death.
“Life is a precious sacred gift. It has a transcendent purpose. It is meant to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest. To end it prematurely is a refusal of that gift and a denial of all the opportunities for spiritual growth that could have come throughout one’s natural lifetime. Each new day brings new opportunities and possibilities. Try to see beyond the moment and know that the emotion and despair you may be feeling right now can and will shift in time. Tomorrow is a new day.”
“I have found one positive side to my suicide attempt. Now, when people come to me with suicidal thoughts, I can talk to them with firsthand knowledge about this horrible urge. I freely share my own story of attempted suicide and tell them why I am glad I didn’t succeed. I also bring in the data about people who have tried to commit suicide and had near-death experiences before being revived. These people say that they will never again try to kill themselves, not because they fear going to hell, but because they have learned that life does have a purpose.”
— NDE Researcher & Experiencer Dr. Raymond Moody, Paranormal
“Near-death experiences reveal the quality of our lives after death is not determined by HOW we die, but by how we LIVE. Unfortunately, many suicides cause devastating emotional damage to families lasting a lifetime or more. This is the REAL tragedy and the problem with committing suicide. While near-death experiences show that suicide, in itself, has spiritual consequences which are no different from other ways of dying, it does show there are penalties for hurting others. This is why people who decide to justifiably end their life must do the research and prepare themselves and those around them.”
— NDE Researcher Kevin Williams, Near-Death Experiences and Suicide
George Ritchie’s Three Classifications of Suicide
By NDE Researcher Kevin Williams
Dr. George Ritchie, author of Return From Tomorrow and My Life After Dying, learned during his near-death experience what happens to some people who commit suicide. According to Ritchie, the quality of life a person initially finds after suicide is influenced by their motive for committing it. He classifies suicide in the following three ways:
1. The first classification are those people who kill themselves in order to hurt someone, get revenge, or who kill themselves out of anger for someone else. They arrive in the earthbound realm out of hatred, jealousy, resentment, bitterness and total distain for themselves and others. Ritchie writes, “I want to make clear that it was impressed upon me that these were the ones who had the same type of powerful emotions which people who committed murder have.” (p.25) Ritchie says such people mistakenly believe they are not committing murder which their religious training tells them is a worse sin than suicide. Their motive for killing themself is, “If I can’t kill you, I will kill myself to get even with you.” According to Ritchie, such people “haunt” the living by being aware of every horrible consequence their suicide had on others.
2. The second classification includes those who, because of mental illness, confusion, or a terminal illness, take their own life. Ritchie states these people are allowed many opportunities from God to grow in love just as any other person would who had not committed suicide. In other words, there are no negative consequences for them.
3. The third classification includes those who kill themselves from drug, alcohol, or any other addiction. According to Ritchie, these people can become stuck in limbo trying in vain to satisfy their addiction until eventually something frees them. This condition is also called an earthbound condition.
Concerning souls belonging to the first classification, Ritchie writes:
“I understood from what I was seeing that these people and the average murderer also are confined in a state where they are given a chance to realize two very important facts. One, you can only kill the body, not the soul. Two, that only love, not hate, can bring them and others true happiness. I believe once they fully understand this, they are given the opportunity to continue their spiritual and mental growth.”
To learn more about Emanuel Swedenborg, go here.
• If You Are Considering Suicide, Help Is Available (eternea.org)
• Near-Death Experiences and Suicide (near-death.com)
• Is Suicide Ever Appropriate (NHNE Forum Discussion)
• Near-Death Experiences on the Purpose of Life (NHNE)
• Dr. Kenneth Ring’s Suicide Near-Death Experience Research (near-death.com)
• Dr. Peter Fenwick’s Suicide Near-Death Experience Research (near-death.com)
Near-Death Experiencers Who Attempted Suicide
• Yolaine Stout
• Sandra Rogers
• Angie Fenimore
• Nadia McCaffrey
• Asher Elmekiess
• Cree Dean
• Roberta Misikin
• Rod Cooley
• Near-Death Experiencers Who Attempted Suicide (nderf.org)
• Near-Death Experience Research on Suicide (near-death.com)
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