The suicide, who tries to get away from life, only finds that he is as much alive as ever, and is in a most pitiable plight. He is able to watch those whom he has disappointed and perhaps disgraced by his act, and worst of all, he has an unspeakable feeling of being "hollowed out." The reason for this is as follows:
When the Ego is coming down to rebirth, it is helped by the Creative Hierarchies to build the archetype for its coming body, and it instills in that archetype a life that will last for the number of. years that the person normally should live. This archetype has a singing, vibratory motion which draws the material of the physical world into it, and sets all the atoms in the body to vibrating in tune with a little atom in the heart called the seed atom, which, like a tuning fork, gives the pitch to all the rest of the material in the body. At the time when the full life has been lived on earth, the vibrations in the archetype cease, the seed atom is withdrawn, the dense body begins to decompose, and the desire body, wherein the Ego functions in Purgatory and the First Heaven, takes upon itself the shape of the physical body. Then the man commences his work of expiating his negative habits and deeds in Purgatory, and assimilating the good of his life in the First Heaven.
The foregoing describes the ordinary conditions when the course of nature is undisturbed, but the case of the suicide is different. He has taken away the seed atom, but the archetype still keeps on vibrating. Therefore he feels as if he were "hollowed out" and experiences a gnawing feeling inside that can best be likened to the pangs of intense hunger, or to toothache over the whole body. Material for the building of a dense body is all around him, but seeing that he lacks the gauge of the seed atom it is impossible for him to assimilate that matter and build it into a body. This dreadful "hollowed out" feeling lasts as long as his ordinary life should have lasted.
Thus the law of cause and effect teaches him that it is wrong to play truant from the school of life and that it cannot be done with impunity. Then in the next life, when difficulties beset his path, the sufferings resulting from his former suicide will prevent a recurrence and enable him to go through the experiences of life that make for his soul growth.
At first blush and from the standpoint of people not versed in the teachings of esotericism, euthanasia would seem to have considerable claim to commendation. Most people on seeing an animal suffering agonies and beyond hope of recovery would feel prompted by humane instincts to put it out of its misery and the questions, "Why should we not do as much for our fellow men and women! Why should we keep them alive in excruciating suffering maybe for months or years when we know they have no chance of regaining their health and that they are looking and longing for death to put them out of pain?" seem, from the common point of view, to call for acquiescence. However, when we have a knowledge of the law of consequence and are sure that what we sow we reap, if not in this life then in some future existence, the matter appears in a different light.
We cannot escape our just dues. The suffering that comes to us is needed to teach us a lesson or mellow our character. The only way to shorten such suffering is by an endeavor to understand why we are in the condition that brings us pain. If it is cancer of the stomach, then how have we abused that organ? By overindulgence of food of a nature not suited to our system? Have we been "feeding" our consciousness with selfish emotions or negative thinking? Is our heart causing us problems? How many times have we lost our tempers and raged like mad, putting tremendous strain on this part of the body? Or are other organs of our system weak and debilitated? We may be sure that, either in this life or a previous one, we have lived in a way that the effects find manifestation in our particular physical ailments. Otherwise we would not now be suffering, and the sooner we take the lesson to heart and commence to live a better life, more in harmony with the laws of nature we have broken, the sooner our suffering will cease.
It is always in our own grasp to alter conditions, though of course we cannot remedy in a day what it has taken years or lives to break down, but certainly there is no other way in which a permanent cure can be effected. Even if now, by the enactment of a law condoning euthanasia (or what is erroneously called "mercy killing"), the suffering is shortened, we may be sure that when the person so released from his body is reborn his new vehicle will have the tendency to develop the same disease from which he escaped in such in untoward manner.
Besides, as has been thoroughly explained in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, this physical body of ours is fashioned in the World of Thought as an invisible mold or template, which is called the archetype, and so long as that archetype persists our physical body remains alive. When death occurs from natural causes, or even in the so-called accidents, (which usually are not accidents at all but events used to terminate a life according to the design of the invisible guardians of human affairs) the archetype is disrupted and the Spirit is released. A suicide, however, is different. In this case the archetype persists after death for a number of years until death should have occurred according to natural events, and being unable to draw to itself the physical atoms, it imparts to the suicide during those years of his postmortem existence a continuous aching feeling, something like a gnawing hunger, or a dull but exceedingly painful, whole-body toothache. If euthanasia became a law and people were allowed to obtain the services of others to commit suicide (for that is what it really amounts to), there is no doubt that they would suffer in their postmortem existence in the same manner as the suicide who prescribed his own poison, or cut his own throat. Legalization of euthanasia would also be dangerous in other respects, and we trust no such practice will be sanctioned by law.