Thought, I’d share this. I myself can certainly attest to steps 1 through 4 from experience, a little bit of step 5, too. The only thing holding me back then was a logical flaw to the whole ideation process: The author states the wish for permanent loss of consciousness as a permanent fix to experiencing pain as the ultimate goal for the suicidal individual. I must concur: That would have been my objective, too at the time. (and lo and behold, ideations of this keep recurring….)
Given some of the reading up I had done on the phenomenon of consciousness in general and our human consciousness in particular at that time I was at the highest risk of taking my life, theories had already abounded that make it sound fairly plausible that consciousness may indeed not be located in or be produced by the brain. I’m aware of how far out this sounds to the analytical, skeptical mind. However – and from mere logic – there is no counterproof available just yet, is there? (OK, you could always say, Schrödinger’s dead cat can’t talk. Well… ). For all intents and purposes, science believe that the physical death of the brain annihilates (individual) consciousness. Yet – we can’t prove it, can we? Since we can’t, there remains at least a theoretical chance that physical death is not the end of all consciousness – and hence possibly not the end of individual consciousness and with that, not the end of all pain, either. Which would be … far worse, because now you don’t have a body to facilitate altering that painful perception – no? (Please bear in mind that I try to stay away from any “spiritual” explanations at this point and try to explain this thought process from logic and whatever evidence we have – or don’t have, rather)
On the contrary, very recent findings in the field of research of consciousness seem to indicate that consciousness may indeed be a general property embedded in the very fabric of spacetime (Hameroff and Penrose have published a fairly conclusive theory indicating that the brain is more like a receiver of “all around [proto]consciousness”, which the individual tunes into from an – uhm, doh! – individual perspective.) Traditional schools see it as an emergent property that spontaneously springs into existence at a certain threshold of complexity of the organism and its available cognitive “infrastructure”. Yet, to this day, they fail to describe the mediating processes that enable this spontaneous “birth” of consciousness. They also fail to indicate what exact level of complexity of cognitive processes is required in order for consciousness to suddenly “appear” (which to me sounds dangerously close to saying “we just don’t know”, doesn’t it?). Instead, emergence itsself is being mentioned as an underlying self-organizing principle of evolution – thus remaining unexplained and not really understood.
Long story short: What if you had meant to kill your (aching) consciousness and then had to find you hadn’t? Gee, I don’t know about you, but I say: That would suck some (cosmic) ass! And that could go on for a looooong time. Wouldn’t that be a – very bad – kick to the head?