Why continue on?

Suicide is an odd construct amongst mortals. There are those societies and cultures that abhor and condemn it. Others are less judgmental. Still others glorify suicide in pursuit of some temporal victory. Regardless of which cultural construct one chooses to operate within I find the idea of taking your own life somewhat foolish given that death offers little but the unknown, and is quite likely the utter cessation of existence. In that case, suicide is the destruction of an entire subjective universe and hardly justifiable under most circumstances.

I understand seeking to end one’s own suffering. Those situations where life is merely the prolonging of an ever-escalating burden of agonies does indeed cry out for the rational to have the choice to bring existence to an end, but from my perspective your existence is so very brief, and you are so often not rational…

I have never seriously considered suicide. By that I mean to say I have never come to the point of actually laying in place those things I might need to affect a permanent end to my existence. This begs the obvious question: why not?

The issue is devoid of simple explanations.

On a personal level, while I carry a certain burden of pain as the result of my immortality it has yet to fully overwhelm me. I have succumbed to it in the past, let it form as a hot kernel of rage that fires the engine of depravity and destruction; however, in the end I learned what that rage was, what it meant. I shoved the genie back in to the bottle as it were, and moved beyond the days of anger and hate. It is both the advantage and the curse of my existence that I am afforded the opportunity to live past my accumulated evils. In this case it becomes somewhat comforting to view the coming days as an opportunity to right my wrongs and atone for my sins. They are legion, and not so easily put to paid.

To be amongst you causes me pain, this I freely admit. As the centuries move past I cannot help but come to view your lives as fleeting things, mere vignettes scattered in and about the slow drama that is my life. You often seem random and disconnected, even dissonant in your utter lack of relation to the difficult truths and comforting lies that construct my life among you. Yet it is by my own free choice that I live amongst you. I am of no meager resource, it is well within my means to live in blissful isolation, to hold the mortal world at bay and sample it but sparingly, if at all. If the truth is to be told such isolation might be the precursor to a decision to seek an ending, but it is something I seek only on occasion these days. My most recent sabbatical lasted less than twenty years.

I have noted before that in balance I am an optimist; that I look on my life, and on the relative progress of Man, and I find reason for hope. It seems to me that such hope is proof against the desire for self-destruction. I have loved, and the inevitable loss of that love to the relentless march of time pains me as well. Yet here I am amongst you, and despite my fears, the trepidations surrounding my current course of action, I find hope in the idea that I may yet love again. That when I do it is possible that my new love shall know me fully for what I am before our lives intertwine. That I might fall into that delusion that is love without the burden of secrets held close against fear. I do not dwell upon this, but neither do I dismiss it.

There is yet one final reason why I have not sought to end my life and this one is a matter of both technique and moral responsibility. In short, it is a question of fear. Not fear of death, for that holds no dread for me. Rather, it is fear of failure. It is not enough to contemplate suicide, or to act upon it. Were I to make a serious attempt at it I must be certain to succeed. In order to be certain of success I must seek complete destruction. Anything less leaves the slight possibility, perhaps vanishingly small, yet still quite real, that I might be condemning some new and undefined entity to the same struggle I have faced lo these thirty-five centuries.

This I cannot permit.

4 Responses to “Suicide”

  1. “In order to be certain of success I must seek complete destruction. Anything less leaves the slight possibility, perhaps vanishingly small, yet still quite real, that I might be condemning some new and undefined entity to the same struggle I have faced lo these thirty-five centuries.”

    Interesting. Could a remainder of your flesh regenerate into a new immortal? As in the phoenix that is reborn out of its own ashes.

  2. This I seriously doubt, particularly given that I have lost limbs in the past with no such effect.

    The question is actually more one of metaphysics than mere regeneration. Assume the most absurd: that a lost finger could somehow accrue sufficient working mass to grow into a complete new individual. What would that individual be, a blank slate? I am mindful of my own earliest memories when I consider such things for I have no recollection of childhood or of any sort of upbringing. Such notions leave me cold and comfortless.

    I am certain my ability to recover from injury has its limits. Should I ever come to the point where I choose to bring about my own end, it would seem wise to exercise all due diligence in assuring those limits were vastly exceeded.

  3. I Have tried to comment suicide. Obviously not seriously enough, since I’m still here. Both times over the pain of loosing someone. The second time, I realized it was all a joke, and that I was not, in actuality, serious about killing myself, and that, who knows what tomorrow is going to bring. I didn’t want to miss out on a good party, did I? I might win the lottery. I might fall in love. Those are things to live for. (I won’t hold my breath about the lottery one, but I might learn something knew tomorrow, and I like learning new things) and falling in love is the best thing in the world. Even if losing love is the worse.

    *G* as said before. Tis better to love and lose, then to never have loved.

  4. “Tis better to love and lose, then to never have loved.”

    not sure i buy that.