Life is a precious gift from Aten. How a person lives their life determines the destiny of their ka or spirit. The idea of willfully terminating one’s life is a tragic misuse of a divine gift and considered sinful. Suicide brings an abrupt end to the avenues to develop our spirit.

That being said, there can be many reasons a person might seek to terminate their own life: an act of selfless sacrifice, as the result of destructive living (for example, long term smoking or drinking that results in death is essentially the taking of one’s own life since it was self-inflicted), or it could be because of severe physical, emotional or mental trauma. Because there is no one singular type of self-termination, then there is no one standard perspective.

In all things, wisdom and compassion must be considered. The person who offers up their life in an act of selfless bravery (for example, drowning while saving the life of someone else), is not considered suicide. The person who loses their life from destructive habits, Aten is understanding and forgiving. The person who is in great physical pain, Aten has great compassion for these spirits. The person whose decision making process is clouded by mental or emotional problems, Aten cares for their souls, and works to remove their confusion and suffering in the afterlife.

This does not mean Atenism condones the taking of one’s life, only that the reasons for doing so vary greatly, and many relate to personal suffering on many different levels. Atenism believes our God will show compassion for all who suffer.

The Temple of Aten encourages anyone contemplating suicide to seek professional assistance, such as a mental health specialist or counsellor. There is no shame in seeking help for mental ilness.