On the suicide of Avicii, counterfeit-euphoria and Jesus Christ:
“The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate, and it has just let you down.” – Ravi Zacharias
With the recent, very sad suicide of DJ “Avicii” (Tim Bergling) an article I wrote last year came to mind as extremely relevant. Avicii had all the money and fame and validation one could ever dream of. Little is known about Avicii’s religious leanings, but the word Avicii (Avici) in Buddhism refers to the lowest circle of hell from which one is reborn.
No one knows all the details of what was going on in Avicii’s mind, body and soul to drive him to suicide but what I am reminded of is the relationship between rationalism, irrationalism and nihilism. A nihilism that when embraced, can easily lead to suicide.
Millennials in the post-modern west are the first generation to grow up in a society totally unmoored from the shared theological foundation their parents grew up in. They are searching for meaning and they are increasingly turning to what filmmaker Jason Silva refers to as “electronic buddhism”. A quasi-religion which promises ultimate meaning to life through a shared musical experience, usually accompanied by drugs and alcohol which leads to a temporary feeling of transcendence, or escape from death.
Of course this religion can’t cash the checks it writes, and when the check bounces, as it seems to have for Tim Bergling, the only thing left is nihilism.
The following is a snippet from the article which was written in response to Jason Silva. The same applies to Avicii.
“What you have here with Jason Silva is a well-meaning but misguided individual who is made in the image of God for the purpose of worshiping God together with other humans. The thirst that he senses for pursuing a community-synchronized experience of music as a sanctifying meeting with the transcendent exists within him because of this image of God that is irrevocably stamped on his being.
For all the euphoria that this man is celebrating, it is a counterfeit euphoria that will not ultimately satisfy him nor will it help him to achieve his true purpose in life, which is to glorify his creator. It will end in emptiness and despair. He may quench his thirst temporarily with each “hit” of this counterfeit experience that he enjoys, but he will be thirsty again. He drinks from a broken cistern that cannot ultimately hold the water he thirsts for. The pursuit of pleasure as an end in itself is vanity and ultimately meaningless.
What he (and everyone else) truly needs is to drink from the fountain that will quench his thirst forever, that has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ who is supreme over all creation. The transcendent has come in the form of a man who shed his blood for us in order to truly redeem us. This, in order that we might be restored to our creator so we can know him, worship him, obey him and enjoy him (and his musical gifts) together with others in time and space and for all eternity. We do need to be purged of our sin and escape death, but a concert just won’t do.”