"Nothing will come of nothing: speak again."
An older fellow presents with chronic depression, personality disorder, social isolation, medical problems, and a deeply ingrained sense of bitterness and entitlement. However, he is highly intelligent, erudite, and possessed of an acidic, acerbic wit, making a session with him a bleakly endearing clinical approximation of reading Samuel Beckett.
He declares that while he has no imminent plan or intent, he deems it "92%" likely that within five years he will be dead "by my own hand." And yet, two minutes before the end of our meeting, he asks whether I know of any wisdom that he ought to keep in mind if or when the suicidal bug should bite him in the future. Interesting bit of intellectualization, that.
Ah, for a transcendent mantra that could tear the scales from the suicide's eyes and show the world in all of its eminently worthwhile glory! I'm thinking of a phrase that, when uttered, would silence the most raucous city street and bring the mighty to their knees, that would be like a compound of: the Holy Grail, the ultimate Om, fragments of the True Cross, the Philosopher's Stone, the meaning of Zen, the Ark of the Covenant, the Fountain of Youth, the proof of the existence (or non-existence) of God, the proof that Shakespeare wrote (or did not write) Shakespeare, the Theory of Everything, a perpetual motion machine, the Aleph of Borges, and the One Ring of Sauron (which, recall, did not permit its wearers to die).
But alas, that fantasy is akin to keeping a tower upright by proposing to blast it perpendicularly into space, when in reality its supports are far more prosaic, comprising deep-seated attachments between stone or steel and the earth from which they came. And of course that's what the request entailed: attachment, not anti-gravity thrust. "We'll talk about it next week."