Q: A friend took his life...does The Urantia Book
A: Thanks for your note of concern...I want to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your friend to suicide.
The Urantia Book does not spend a lot of time talking about the act of suicide as regards the individual; there are only a couple of passages that comment about it. This first one is regarding Judas:139:12.13 When the sordid and sinful business was all over, this renegade mortal, who thought lightly of selling his friend for thirty pieces of silver to satisfy his long-nursed craving for revenge, rushed out and committed the final act in the drama of fleeing from the realities of mortal existence— suicide.
And this next one addresses suicide in general, and explains that it is one of the things that marks our difference from animal existence:
Animals respond nobly to the urge of life, but only man can attain the art of living, albeit the majority of mankind only experience the animal urge to live. Animals know only this blind and instinctive urge; man is capable of transcending this urge to natural function. Man may elect to live upon the high plane of intelligent art, even that of celestial joy and spiritual ecstasy. Animals make no inquiry into the purposes of life; therefore they never worry, neither do they commit suicide. Suicide among men testifies that such beings have emerged from the purely animal stage of existence, and to the further fact that the exploratory efforts of such human beings have failed to attain the artistic levels of mortal experience.
In both of these passage, we see that The Urantia Book considers suicide to be a failure, really, to harmonize oneself to the realities of earthly life. A person who resorts to suicide has not been able to achieve the emotional or intellectual maturity to deal effectively with discouragement, and they have not been able to create a working "art of living" which would buffer them from the ups and downs of life. This is not a judgment on them, but simply a sad observation.
In the treatise of Rodan, (Rodan's Greek Philosophy ) from which the second passage has been taken, we receive some valuable teachings. The authors of The Urantia Book thought enough of this Greek philosopher to devote an entire paper to him and his way of thinking. The whole of Paper 160 is worth a read, but most especially I would recommend " The Balance of Maturity , " which discusses what is needed for successfully navigating the problems of temporal existence.
I wish your friend could have come across this... In the end, though, I suspect you want to know if your friend will survive to eternal life, even though he ended his life by his own hand. Even though I can't say for sure, I certainly think it is likely that he will survive. Our heavenly Father is a God of Love, above all. He knows what we are, he knows what we suffer, he knows how we struggle, and in the case of your friend, he knows exactly what struggles that person had to face. "In all our afflictions, he is afflicted..." God's love and MERCY are over all, so I would rest on that foundation as I think of your friend's eternal fate. If we, as mere mortals, can have compassion for a suffering soul who sees no way out, I think it's safe to say that God will have a far greater heart of compassion for such a soul.
...Your short sojourn on Urantia, on this sphere of mortal infancy, is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. It is not so much what you learn in this first life; it is the experience of living this life that is important. Even the work
of this world, paramount though it is, is not nearly so important as the way
in which you do this work.
Actual living experience has no cosmic substitute... Experience is inseparable from a living existence; it is the one thing which no amount of divine endowment can absolve you from the necessity of securing by actual living
Your friend has forever lost the potential for the actual life experience that he might have acquired, and that is a sad fact, but still, this does not necessarily affect his survival opportunity, as only God knows what might have been in the heart of this individual. From what I know of suicide, it is a desperate act born of great anguish—not a deliberate thought of doing something wrong against God. God knows our real reasons for doing what we do, so I would just trust God in this matter, and pray that your friend is now at peace. What's done is done, and hopefully, new opportunities are emerging for him on the other side...one day, you'll find out for sure.
This is a dark planet, full of error and sin; not everyone has the gumption and grit—and maturity—to make it through to the end. Life can hand us very difficult challenges, and, depending upon our heritage, our upbringing, our mental, physical and emotional health, and any number of other factors, we can either fight the good fight, or we can succumb to the pressure. In choosing death, we destroy our opportunity for actually living this first life, and that is very sad—but hopefully, not fatal to the survival of the soul.
Your friend chose to succumb, and again, I am sorry for your loss...this is saddest, of course, for those like you who are left behind to pick up the pieces. I pray that you experience peace over this sad event. Perhaps you'd like to read even more comforting Urantia Book teachings about death in our topical study HERE