Suicide as a response to suffering

The first of the Buddha’s Noble Truths tells us that we cannot run away from pain, that it is there in everything we experience in the world. In responding to those who are contemplating suicide, or who have attempted it and lived, we face a difficult task. All the ethical case studies and all the legalistic workings out of ethical principles may well be useless in the face of extreme suffering. Telling someone who is in extreme physical or mental pain that by ‘taking the knife’ they are breaking the precepts, or that they are only hurting themselves, would be unlikely to dissuade them. What seems important is the imaginative identification. If we are able to empathise with others then we will be more able to face our own suffering, and therefore in a better position to help others face theirs.

via Suicide as a response to suffering.

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