"The event which takes place when we fully assume the results of brain sciences is the event of Enlightenment, the attainment of Nirvana, which liberates us from the constraints of our self as as an autonomous substantial agent. But does this solution work?" Slavoj Zizek from his book Event
Is their a dark brooding irony that Kurt Cobain's band was called Nirvana. By Zizeks' reading Buddhist enlightenment once attained renders an individual free from the concept of the self. So when Kurt Cobain died in a way he made the choice to rid himself of individual consciousness and enter into the state of Nirvana free from his pain in the world. Or instead should we read Cobain's death as an occurrence generated by historically specific life narrative that chained him to the wheel of suffering, the very thing Buddhism emphasizes one must break free from before becoming enlightened.
The secondary reading begs the question whether one can you go from a suffering individual to free from suffering by eliminating the self in one fateful step. Did Kurt Cobain cheat his way to enlightenment? or instead succumb to the earthly misery with roots in his traumatic childhood, what was by most accounts a very unhappy time for him taking on the role as a sullen and ostracized outcast abandoned even by his blood relatives.
A useful source of commentary on death and enlightenment is Ickheartol a new age self-help guru who talks about the split running down the consciousness of every human being who has two selves enclosed inside one body. On one side, much like old cartoons is the healthy happy angel sitting on our shoulder side that we usually are. However, in tough circumstance horrible circumstances the 'pain body' or devil side of our mental selves comes to the for, typified by the emotional scars amassed over a lifetime from mean and hurtful comments.
Despite the prima-facie beneficial arrangement of the angelic and demonic selves inside us, problems rapidly arise when we lose control of the 'pain body',that has the ability to derail our lives sabotaging every good thing that happens in our lives inherited by the actions of the happy side of our psyche mental self. An out of control pain body occurs when someone is triggered who has has undergone to much trauma in a single lifetime usually occurring in childhood were 'issues repressed come back into our lives with double the original ferocity'(zizek).
The guru Ickehardtol was himself almost a fatal victim of the pain body as he opened up to his audience in a lecture about the perils of the battle inside his unconscious in the shape of a war against himself motivated by self-hatred and self-disgust. He outlined how he nearly lost complete control over his body almost resulting in suicide. Thankfully things didn't turn pear shaped as he was able to distinguish the pain body from his true self the happy side that wrenched back control and saved his life. Tols own battle with the pain body made him highly motivated to educate others on the dangers of mentally distinct and split selves, when you hear a negative voice rolling around in your head that's the pain body the one listening is your other side the good side. Sadly for some people yes even the famous who have bad mental health the inner-mind dialogue comes to be completely dominated by the pain body, the idea of diminished responsibility seems to be appropriate as a person loses control
over their own actions.Like an insane person the pain body in a sense is the manifestation of an inability to function in a normal way due to a troubling situation or circumstance in the present, past or future.
To draw a parallel back to Kurt Cobain after watching the latest documentary "Montage of Heck" executive produced by his daughter Francis Bean it seems strikingly obvious how the trauma and pain Cobain suffered as an unwanted child with no real family to depended on fractured his sense of self. The unimaginable pain of being rejected by loved ones caused him to constantly act out and become angry and very depressed as an adolescent which only further isolated him and re-inforced his families decision to reject him, which created the primordial pain and root cause of his bad behaviour. Cobain stated that all he ever truly wanted was a strong cohesive family unit. And for this very reason I believe Kurt Cobain and many other individuals in similar positions to him die unnecessarily at the hands of themselves due to an out of control pain body that consciously blocks any good thoughts from entering their mind when they preform their self-harming final act. The fight of the split psyche between the devil and angel at war inside Kurt and others causes far to many people to die when they have so much to live for, but in their last moments controlled by the pain body they have no way to realize the good, such a scenario really sounds like the opposite of enlightenment.