I’m referring to the yearly statistical report provided by The Samaritans of Singapore (God bless these guys!) as shown in the CNA article.
Simply put: We are experiencing an increase in suicidality.
As a Christian Counsellor and Psychologist, this is how I make sense of it.
More and more of these cases are popping up. Although from where I’m working, suicide is not the main complaint but more or less a secondary symptom stemming from a more deadly root called Nihilism. It is a state of mind no different from Viktor Frankl’s ‘existential vacuum’ which brings the sense of overwhelming meaninglessness in life that people would rather end things than spend longer time in the painful state.
I somewhat cannot separate this problem from the lack of the fulfillment of our basic human needs. Previously I wrote warning against the psychological effects of A.I. on society’s collective thought. I believe that all these technological progresses contribute to the lessened sense of humanity which brings us collectively to a deeper reality of that vacuum of meaninglesness. Having to say that our pursuit to push machines to think like us will most likely bring the opposite effect of us becoming like the machines.
Technology progresses and we are further driven away from our human needs such as belongingness and relationships, our need for love and security. Finally our need to unite with our Creator. As human beings attempt to be independent of God, the more sick we become.
Every time we partake of that forbidden fruit that aims for us to be independent of God, we die. It is the fruit that declares to The Creator that: “I don’t need You” or “I am greater than You” which drove Adam and Eve out of The Garden. It is the very fruit that made Lucifer deluded into thinking that he is better than The Almighty. It is the same fruit afflicting all of us now. For when was the last time have we prayed to Him for guidance and wisdom? When was the last time we have acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives, over our very existence? Whichever it is, it is not enough.
Today, we turn to social media, to activities that will numb us from boredom and pain. This then is the beginning of our path to Nihilism. This trend of going round and round with worldly stuff will continue to spiral down until we hit the bottom of nothingness. This will continue on until we acknowledge that all along He has been right and we were dead wrong.
For this reason, I have moved away from secular counselling to that of Christian Counselling because finding meaning apart from our Creator is a fool’s errand. It’s like teaching a dog to chase their tail; an image no different from chasing success for the sake of man’s approval alone.
A meaning system that ends up with the self is a meaning system that is doomed for nihilism. It’s like having the most powerful computer in the world but without an internet connection. We need to be in fellowship with one another, we need to be in communion with God.
I would like to reiterate what I call “Peter’s Resolution”, declaring to The Lord Jesus: Where else can we go? Your words hold eternal life! (John 6:68)
What else can our life be about?
This is a call to heed once again our need to address not just our psychological needs but our spiritual needs. We are human beings, created in the image of God and when The Lord Jesus gave the image about the vine and the branches, I don’t think He was merely speaking of our physical or even psychological health. If our existential needs aren’t met, then we will really have no choice but to nose dive to a state of emptiness. It is time we settle the real questions in life.
I’ve been a therapist for almost 25 years. I do not see any other way for meaning to be established in life if the creature avoids The Creator. If the sinner avoids The Saviour. If human beings avoid Jesus Christ.
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