The World Health Organization says one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds. Unfortunately, for each of them, there may be 20 others who attempt it.
I believe that what makes someone want to commit suicide is the state of their consciousness. The things you focus on, your predominant emotions, and how you react to negative and positive situations all affect your state of consciousness. Likewise, the condition of your brain and your hormone balance influence your consciousness. Like these variables, consciousness is always in flux, and you are capable of altering your consciousness, even though it may not seem like it when you are drowning in negative emotions and see no hope for the future.
David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD, a widely-known authority in consciousness research and spirituality, laid out a map of levels of consciousness. He gave each level he described a number measured in lux, or brightness of light. When you have a higher level of consciousness, your outlook is bright and other people are amazed by how much you shine from the inside. On the other hand, if you have a lower level of consciousness, your mind and emotions are covered in darkness. You can use this map to guide you out of darkness and into light.
The lowest level of consciousness is shame and the next is guilt and then apathy. People who have shame and guilt want to hide away from others. Those who have apathy have nothing to do that they find joyful. It’s easier for them to give up. Being in these states of consciousness for a while is what generally leads to self-harm or, in extreme cases, to suicide.
For instance, last month, Hoe-chan Roh, a three-term lawmaker in South Korea, ended his own life after being investigated and admitting to accepting a bribe, but without granting any political favors in return. Roh was known for his clean and reform-minded image and had done much to help South Korea’s workers. But the shame and guilt over his mistake and not only over his own tarnished image, but the image of his party and associates, may have played a big part in his decision to stop living.
If you move past shame, guilt, and apathy, you find sadness and fear. At these levels, you don’t have enough desire or energy to overcome those negative emotions. Often these levels of consciousness stem from being stuck in a judgmental mindset. In this state, countless forms of anguish overwhelm and strangle you, big things and little things make you sad, fast things and slow things make you anxious. You are spinning in a cycle of emotion that keeps you down.
But the next levels are desire and anger. Desire is better than shame, guilt, and apathy, because having desire at least means that you long for something. Even that is enough to get you out and about meeting people. You go out and are active rather than hiding because you have desire. Anger also means you have energy. You can be angry only when you have the strength for it. Shame, guilt, and apathy can’t stir up anger. If you can be stirred up, you are moving away from the consciousness of suicide.
To make a real change in your life or the lives of others, though, you need the next level of energy: courage. Courage is the power of affirmation. To have enough energy for courage, you need to build your strength by consistently training your body, clearing your emotions, getting your energy flowing, and cultivating your focus and creativity.
As you strengthen your physical power, heart power, and brain power in this way, your level of consciousness goes even higher. The natural healing power of your body and mind can then work optimally, and you can gain spiritual insight. You become aware of the interconnectedness of all things, and you can feel the value of life itself. In other words, you gain greater understanding and embodiment of the Tao as your level of consciousness brightens.
Those who awaken to the Tao know that they are whole and that they are one with the cosmos. They have nothing to fear and are secure in the fact that have come to the earth to be enlightened, and they live their whole life for that purpose. Death loses its meaning. They don’t worry about how they compare to others, nor seek to grab as much material wealth as they can, never believing they have enough. How joyful is it if you have the health to seek the Tao, if you can breathe comfortably, if you can see and hear, and if you can walk and eat? What more do you want?
That is why thankfulness is the attitude of mind we need to raise our level of consciousness. Once we have gratitude for all things, our doubts, discriminating mind, guilt, jealousy, envy, and victim consciousness fade away. Without these, we can see the Tao and we have a reason to live.
You can also make your consciousness brighter with energy meditation. Imagine bright golden light coming into you as particles—what I call LifeParticles. These LifeParticles will push out dark energy within you and replace it with pure, healing energy from the Source of life.
Remember, you are more than what you or society has judged you to be, be grateful for everything in your life without discrimination, and believe there is the light of hope at the end of every dark tunnel.