6 thoughts on “Suicide: A Symptom of Global Spiritual Malaise?

  • May 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you for this amazing article Will! I struggled with anxiety, depression, and addiction for years. The only thing that finally helped is when I incorporated meditation and a new sense of spirituality in my life. I was traumatized as a child, and lived my whole adult life in protection mode, where I would internalize every emotion I experienced. When I finally opened my mind to a universe force that was greater then me, I could look at my ” human” suffering w more understanding and ease. Without mindfulness, I don’t know where I’d be now. It has helped my anxiety and depression tremendously, and I also have not had to pick up a drink or a drug since. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Kvil32–

      Thanks for speaking up. I believe the spiritual solution, broadly defined, is the key to recovery from mental health problems, just as AA has long said about its role in recovery from alcoholism. As more of us find this out, the time may come when meditative and devotional practices are relied upon just as much as psychotherapy. I was in therapy for decades with little improvement. Only after enlightened mental health professionals encouraged me to focus on spiritual growth, and I began meditating in earnest, did I finally begin to improve. Recovery still took quite a few years, but the progress was immediate and steady–much faster than I ever experienced with therapy alone. Thank you for helping spread the word!

      Best Wishes,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Thank you! As I read your post it explained my own experience back to me. I work in schools. The suicide rate seems to continually grow. It seems the approach from the school side is to promote self care to staff and parents…and then encourage them to bring the essence to their experience with the children. The children are connected already (the younger they are the more free). For me, mindfulness was the practice that opened me up to the depth/broad scope of spiritual experience. Thank you! I’m excited to follow your blog:-)

    Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I like your article. It does highlight a massive problem with the world. You’ve called it a spiritual problem – I’d prefer to call it a “disconnect” problem.

    I prefer “disconnect” because it is a more tangible concept (in my mind). Studies show that those who are religious are generally happier than those who are not. Why? A sense of purpose? A “connection”?

    For those who have reached the conclusion that there is no religion, or indeed no spiritual connect to be had, they can feel awfully disconnected. There are few places to turn to that offer what is missing.

    Meditation and mindfulness are fantastic tools to use against depression. But for those without a spiritual connection or “greater purpose” there is a lack of the spiritual connection which you speak of.

    These people should be encouraged in the Sciences. They should be shown the incredible insight humans have gained in to learning about our world and our universe. This can offer the connection required so often left by the renouncement of faith and spirituality. To understand the secrets of the universe and know we are always on the path to learn more can give that person a sense of purpose in their life.

    That purpose can either be to make new discoveries yourself, or simply to devote your time to learning about what has already been discovered. And these concepts can be meditated on.

    When talking about mental health and our wellbeing, spirituality/faith and science are two sides of the same coin.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Simon–

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. My take on science, which I’ve been studying since childhood, is that it absolutely can lead to a sense of connection. The problem is, for ideological reasons there is strong aversion to teaching the subject in ways that foster such sense.

      I see as sad the relatively common conclusion that there is “no spiritual connect to be had.” The way I see it, there is nothing for us to connect with other than life, and life is as open to scientific analysis as anything. Even when we connect with our fellow humans, we’re connecting with life. Add in the long biological evolution that gave birth to humanity, and the way the biosphere supports us by providing food, oxygen, and so on, and I personally find every reason to feel connected. To call this spiritual or not spiritual is (almost) entirely a matter of semantics.

      Although meaning and a sense of purpose are important, I think that feeling of connectedness is at least as vital. My writings these days are aimed at encouraging that sense of interconnection, grounded in well-established biology and physics but interpreted with a little more leeway than is permitted by strict empirical work. See this recent piece on my main site, if you’re interested in how I go about this: The Intimate Surprise of Consciousness.

      My hope is that someday, generations hence, humanity will no longer make a distinction between spirituality and science. There will be open-hearted, open-minded inquiry, without rigidity and dogmatism.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts, which helped me clarify my own.

      –Will

      Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Read the gospel of Barnabas to understand Jesus'(Isa) true message.

    Reply
 

Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *