Zero = Infinity    *****    If you can enjoy sadness, then nothing can stop you from being happy always    *****    Love is the flow of positive energy from one soul to another   *****    An atheist can realise God more easily than the staunchest theist
January 31, 2008

The Desire to Die

Long ago, a friend of mine had gifted me a book, which lay idle for months in my office cupboard. I had had no inclination to read it, and when I eventually felt like, work pressure left me with no time to even see if that book was still there. Everything changed today, and it has eventually led to this post.

The very first page of the very first chapter talks about one of the most interesting experiences of life - a desire to die. It might sound strange to many, but I could relate to the author's experience, because, I have felt it many times before as well. It's a feeling arising out of the realization of the complete meaninglessness of what we see, perceive and understand as life or living. It comes along with a profound sensitivity to one's own insignificance in this universe, because of which, one realizes that it simply matters not if the plug was pulled out of one's life. It comes when you no longer want to live the kind of miserable life you have been living all along. And it comes, when you start hating your own existence and, when you are deeply depressed with everything.

These thoughts of wishing to die is very painful. It matters not who you are, but it is painful. But at the same time, it is immensely beautiful, because, as I have found on many occasions, it opens the door to a higher state of peace and bliss. Most people never go through this pain. Many who do, often react to it in a negative way, and start contemplating what they shouldn't. But hang on... and you would then see the beauty of this pain. Every time after I have felt this pain, I have felt much cleaner on the inner side. It brings with it a great lightness of mind, resulting in greater peace and calm. This desire to die, actually causes a part of one's own imagined self, or identity to die, and in its place, comes into existence a void with no sense of identity. And as we die slowly inside, and more and more of our inside is filled with a void, the greater we experience bliss inside. And it is for this reason, that the desire to die is an interesting experience.

As I have already said, few are really fortunate to experience it. And fewer are those who understand its significance.

P.S: The book I talked about was Echart Tolle's The Power of Now


Anonymous kn said...

Dude..That's interesting because I began reading the same book two weeks back. And agree, the first few pages are astonishing.

Blogger Jaishree said... left your comments on my blog more than 1.5 years ago..anyways, I enjoyed reading this post of yours. It brings me to the phenomenon of "fana" in Sufism - a complete destruction of the individual identity/ego that occurs when one is blissfully joined with Allah. It is a phenomenon that I believe has been universally described by all of the world's faiths when they describe the union with/understanding of God/Pure universal consciousness.

What is interesting about your post is that many people do not know how to deal with this intense depression (of the littleness they feel when compared to the magnitude of the universe), and some take to the extreme step of destroying their physical bodies in place of their egos. However you have beautifully woven the concept of the desire to die, to not the death of our alive physical bodies, but our little ego selves. When you can be part of the universe, why only be one "I"?

Anonymous rajni said...

Amazing post...the desire to die should be taken as a desire to expect more from life even more and thats when you feel light hearted and motivated to put extra energy in your deeds...

Blogger Vivek said...

this desire was part of me for a long time..its effect is inexplicable.. no one who hasn't felt it understands it..

you have been able to talk about it very myth in me died 2day ;)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have "died" this way many times, it seems to bring on an epiphany, resulting in a temporary stay of execution, only to eventually be revisited again and again.

Blogger MilleMølle said...

I realize this is an old post - but I think it is of immense impotants. I have periodically had the desire to die since I was a child. But I have never suffered from a depression in the clinical sense (I tried to see a therapist and I didn't fit the profile). I have never stopped functioning, laughing and being aware of the immense beauty and joy of life. For that reason it always puzzles me when it happens. I too came to the conclusion that it was aspects of my self breaking down. But thank you so much for posting this...because it is painful and lonely. I wish there could be a proper discussion about the desire to die - which went beyond simply trying to avoid it at any cost and acknowledge that it is indeed a facinating part of life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, I wish I could really truely believe that there was something better, to actually live for, and a purpose to life for me. not just the fear of hell or the unknown. this life is misurable and I haven't been happy for a long time and why o why should I go on? to continue as I am is not even an option I want to think of yet death is scarry too. but life as it is now is just to hard. I feel so lonely and so sad all the time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your post really surprised me about how you feel about death. I myself honestly would like to share to everyone that I don't believe in any Gods anymore, although I do believe in myself and my will to exist in whatever way that it would be. Although the idea of dying doesn't scare, what scares me would be the emotions of longing and that when I die I would miss talking to every people that I care about, even if I may be in my spiritual form, I can't talk to them since they can't hear me. I also can't speak to them because I don't have a body to do what I want to do, and the only thing I can do is to think and see what's happening around me and that to see what I like to see. I've been through death before, I can't say that I'm lucky because I lived, but I know deep down that this is not the world for me, I've been lonely since I was born, I have friends but I don't really talk to them that much, they just sorta dragged themselves and followed me wherever I go. They may make my day lively sometimes but they do bother me often. To me everything is short lived, I don't find happiness in everything I do, the only thing that makes me stay here in this world is that because I want to learn how to believe strongly. To believe that I am not bounded by any laws of the universe and that of any world when I die, and that out of my own will I will exist in the world and places that I desired to exist.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I was overwhelmed with this desire
and punched in these key words and ended up seeing your post.

My desire for death is due to meaningless, though busy,
life I am living. Had I been living a successful and productive life, perhaps I would not have had this desire. My ego is crushed because I have not achieved any thing significant in a fairly long life I have lived. Unlike many of you, I am not finding any peace
or seeing any beauty or grandeur in this void.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I was overwhelmed with this desire
and punched in these key words and ended up seeing your post.

My desire for death is due to meaningless, though busy,
life I am living. Had I been living a successful and productive life, perhaps I would not have had this desire. My ego is crushed because I have not achieved any thing significant in a fairly long life I have lived. Unlike many of you, I am not finding any peace
or seeing any beauty or grandeur in this void.

Anonymous Shahla said...

Madthinker .. nice name.

I am a smiling and social person, with successful professional and education achievements .. I am writing this to say that I am having a life that is good. I don't hate my existence .. Besides, i might also feel this place is not for me.

But on your post: I feel the same. When Arron chose death, many people sympathized but I didnt. I think he made the right choice. Thinking like this is painful but as you said it is immensely beautiful. I find bliss in that too. I feel death is like swimming home.

Blogger Harrogar said...

The desire of wanting to die don't mean you giving up. It's a solution to my happiness when you think about the outcome knowing all the pain you was feeling is over and being at peace is beautiful. Wanting to die is a everyday thought for me since I was a little kid.(I'm 21 now) At times, happiness comes once in a while but that voided feeling of all the pain resurfaces over and over.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After my long term marriage of 36 years ended 3 years ago- suddenly with my husband walking out, I felt as if I had been hit over the head with a brick. At age 56 1/2 years old then, the thoughts of starting over again was overwhelming, but thought I would try with a new outlook on life.
But only 4 months later, I was "blind-sighted" again when my brother in NY called me on Jan 20th 2014 to tell me he had found my adoption documents hidden in our father's apartment. Wow, I had never had a clue I was not the product of my parents, but found out ALL the relatives knew I had been adopted overseas in Germany.
Again, thinking and asking myself questions like "Who am I?" and feeling like I was and still am living in the "Twilight Zone". To find out once my brother mailed me the entire adoption package that I had another name, but was changed to a more appropriate name for a Jewish girl and now daughter of a rabbi, again made me feel so lost and very very hurt that I was not told about this event as an adult. My birth mother was a French Jew, and my adoptive parents even spoke French fluently, so why didn't they teach me the language?

The next event took place 1 year ago, in which my left eye retina detached not only once but twice within a 33 day period of each other, had truly sent me over the edge and wanting to now end my life. I cannot seem to get a grip on any happiness and being legally blind in that eye has made me feel so unhappy and wanting to cross over to the other side.
At age of almost 60, I just feel such sadness everyday, without a let up. Because my children and moved all over the country due to his military and corporate careers, I do not have any friends nor family near me to lean on, to go out for coffee or lunch, I cannot laugh anymore, but cry my eyes out every single day in utter sadness.
I am making plans of sorts to find a home for my kitty, send my oldest son my credit cares and passwords, and shot myself and cross over. Maybe once I die, maybe then I will meet those including my birth mother who told the family that she gave birth to a baby girl in 1957 but that baby, ME, died of a disease and ask her why, ask my adoptive parents, Why?,


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