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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: Arnaud on June 16, 2012, 11:12:39 AM

Title: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 16, 2012, 11:12:39 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuf-xct2sHk (if you have time watch it to the end)

*And it is worthy mentioning that there are also people who lived negative experiences in NDE. They are considered largely minoritary (approximatively 5%) from all the testimonies gathered of people who lived NDE. These "bad" NDEs have been classified in three categories:

- Inverted
- Meaningless void
- Hellish

______________________

And Are there clerics in the Orthodox Church who have written something about it (NDE)?

Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Asteriktos on June 16, 2012, 11:23:55 AM
Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on June 16, 2012, 11:58:58 AM
I'm still awaiting a NLE (Near Life Experience).
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: HabteSelassie on June 16, 2012, 12:25:49 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.”
John 6

Stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Cognomen on June 16, 2012, 01:31:01 PM
Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).

I could be wrong, but I thought Metropolitan Hierotheos' Life After Death (http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c14/c11434/62185) touched on the subject as well.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Shiny on June 16, 2012, 01:39:18 PM
Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).

I could be wrong, but I thought Metropolitan Hierotheos' Life After Death (http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c14/c11434/62185) touched on the subject as well.

Good lord $47.95? Is it worth it?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 16, 2012, 01:41:58 PM
Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).

I could be wrong, but I thought Metropolitan Hierotheos' Life After Death (http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c14/c11434/62185) touched on the subject as well.

Good lord $47.95? Is it worth it?
35$ here: http://www.amazon.com/after-Death-Metropolitan-Nafpaktos-Hierotheos/dp/9607070348/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339868900&sr=1-1

I read a bit of it before Pascha 2011. It focuses a lot on what it will be like to be a disembodied, fully-concious mind. I didn't see anything about the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come integrated into that. It made me very uneasy. but maybe I didn't get to that part.

Here is what Fr. Thomas Hopko said:

"And we do not ever want to imagine the dead as dis-incarnate souls. Some of the great teachers of Christianity do that, even Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, he does that.

 I must honestly say I do not agree with him when he does that. The dead are simply completely and totally dead. And then when you are alive, you are completely and totally alive. And I believe that when Christ rose from the dead in His glorified body, He gave the glorified body to all those in the tombs immediately, that they enter into eternal life with Him.

That is why when we glorify the saints we glorify them as completely and totally alive. When they appear to people they do not appear as dis-incarnate souls, they appear as people in their glorified bodies, with their risen bodies. They are clothed with the raised body of Jesus Christ. The relic of their psychic body might still be in the tombs, and they are in the tombs until the last day when all the tombs will be empty and there will be no more cemeteries and no more death anymore at all.

 But the dead in Christ are already entering into that splendid glory of the Age to come. That is how we relate to them and venerate them within the Orthodox Church."

-Fr. Thomas Hopko, podcast: "The Descent Of Jesus Into Hades".
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 16, 2012, 04:20:52 PM
I think this quote must be a bit misleading.  I'm sure that Fr. Thomas would not possibly be contradicting the Scriptures which state very clearly that the resurrected bodies are bestowed in conjunction with the parousia.

Our understanding is that the 'dead' are alive in Christ, having passed through death and into the joys of Christ, should they so desire.  Their awareness is complete to the extent that they do not have sensory perception and physical experiences because their bodies have not yet been resurrected.  That's why their are still bodies, real bodies, in the graves.  Fr. Thomas seems to contrdict this, and so the relics of the saints appear to him to be something other than the body of the saint.

The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)


Notice there are three categories: the 'dead' who appear below and who are resurrected first, who then are greeted by a collection of the living remnant and those who are coming down with Christ from the heavens (i.e. the place of rest).

Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ.  This is death.

Were Fr. Thomas' theory (as quoted) correct, then John 5 would be a game, and St. Paul's description in 1 Thessalonians would be a macabre delusion.



 


Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).

I could be wrong, but I thought Metropolitan Hierotheos' Life After Death (http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c14/c11434/62185) touched on the subject as well.

Good lord $47.95? Is it worth it?
35$ here: http://www.amazon.com/after-Death-Metropolitan-Nafpaktos-Hierotheos/dp/9607070348/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339868900&sr=1-1

I read a bit of it before Pascha 2011. It focuses a lot on what it will be like to be a disembodied, fully-concious mind. I didn't see anything about the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come integrated into that. It made me very uneasy. but maybe I didn't get to that part.

Here is what Fr. Thomas Hopko said:

"And we do not ever want to imagine the dead as dis-incarnate souls. Some of the great teachers of Christianity do that, even Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, he does that.

 I must honestly say I do not agree with him when he does that. The dead are simply completely and totally dead. And then when you are alive, you are completely and totally alive. And I believe that when Christ rose from the dead in His glorified body, He gave the glorified body to all those in the tombs immediately, that they enter into eternal life with Him.

That is why when we glorify the saints we glorify them as completely and totally alive. When they appear to people they do not appear as dis-incarnate souls, they appear as people in their glorified bodies, with their risen bodies. They are clothed with the raised body of Jesus Christ. The relic of their psychic body might still be in the tombs, and they are in the tombs until the last day when all the tombs will be empty and there will be no more cemeteries and no more death anymore at all.

 But the dead in Christ are already entering into that splendid glory of the Age to come. That is how we relate to them and venerate them within the Orthodox Church."

-Fr. Thomas Hopko, podcast: "The Descent Of Jesus Into Hades".
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: neon_knights on June 16, 2012, 04:24:38 PM
http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/nde.aspx

This is an Orthodox view of NDEs.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on June 16, 2012, 04:26:43 PM
I think this quote must be a bit misleading.  I'm sure that Fr. Thomas would not possibly be contradicting the Scriptures which state very clearly that the resurrected bodies are bestowed in conjunction with the parousia.

Our understanding is that the 'dead' are alive in Christ, having passed through death and into the joys of Christ, should they so desire.  Their awareness is complete to the extent that they do not have sensory perception and physical experiences because their bodies have not yet been resurrected.  That's why their are still bodies, real bodies, in the graves.  Fr. Thomas seems to contrdict this, and so the relics of the saints appear to him to be something other than the body of the saint.

The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)


Notice there are three categories: the 'dead' who appear below and who are resurrected first, who then are greeted by a collection of the living remnant and those who are coming down with Christ from the heavens (i.e. the place of rest).

Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ.  This is death.

Were Fr. Thomas' theory (as quoted) correct, then John 5 would be a game, and St. Paul's description in 1 Thessalonians would be a macabre delusion.

Well said, Fr. .  The articles and podcasts from Fr. Thomas H. that I've read and listened to of late have me worried he's venturing away from the Patristic/Biblical Traditions and beginning to veer into more liberal/Latin streams.  I hope he's not becoming our Bp. Shelby Spong.  



 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 16, 2012, 04:43:55 PM
Father,

I think this quote must be a bit misleading.  I'm sure that Fr. Thomas would not possibly be contradicting the Scriptures which state very clearly that the resurrected bodies are bestowed in conjunction with the parousia.

Fr. Thomas is not stating that the dead are resurrected now, chronologically, in this age. Rather, he is saying that the dead are already mystically entering into the Age to Come in a manner which is not disincarnate. If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy, surely the departed can do so. Fr. Thom deliberately doesn't go into too much detail here because we just don't know.

Their awareness is complete to the extent that they do not have sensory perception and physical experiences because their bodies have not yet been resurrected.
With all due respect, Father, I don't know if such specific details of the afterlife have been coherently revealed.

That's why their are still bodies, real bodies, in the graves.  Fr. Thomas seems to contrdict this, and so the relics of the saints appear to him to be something other than the body of the saint.
Fr. Thomas used the term "psychic body" because it is the term St. Paul uses to describe our fallen bodies in this Age (see 1 Corinthians 15). He is not saying that the psyche body is not the saints real body. He is saying that chronologically, in this age, the natural body of the saint is still sown. Theologically, mystically, in the Age to Come, that saint is somehow entering into the age where that body is raised a pneumatikos body, a spirit-animated body of the resurrection. I don't think Fr. Thom is saying that this "entering in to" process is complete, which allows for your understandings of the reconciliation of the soul with Christ after death awaiting the parousia.
 
The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':
I agree with you completely here, Father, and I think Fr. Thom was using sloppy language when saying "dead in Christ".

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)

 [/font][/size]
This all happens at the end of the Ages, and is in no contradiction with what Fr. Thom is saying when properly understood. I'd listen to the whole podcast where he talks about how Abraham was alive somehow even though he was not resurrected.

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt

Well said, Fr. .  The articles and podcasts from Fr. Thomas H. that I've read and listened to of late have me worried he's venturing away from the Patristic/Biblical Traditions and beginning to veer into more liberal/Latin streams.  I hope he's not becoming our Bp. Shelby Spong.

Fr. Giryus knows what he's talking about. Fr. Hopko knows what he's talking about. You, however, should not let that kind of B.S. come out of your hands onto the keyboard. 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: orthonorm on June 16, 2012, 04:49:54 PM
I'm still awaiting a NLE (Near Life Experience).

Beat me to it.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 16, 2012, 05:34:32 PM
Could you explain what you mean by "If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy,..."?



Father,

I think this quote must be a bit misleading.  I'm sure that Fr. Thomas would not possibly be contradicting the Scriptures which state very clearly that the resurrected bodies are bestowed in conjunction with the parousia.

Fr. Thomas is not stating that the dead are resurrected now, chronologically, in this age. Rather, he is saying that the dead are already mystically entering into the Age to Come in a manner which is not disincarnate. If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy, surely the departed can do so. Fr. Thom deliberately doesn't go into too much detail here because we just don't know.

Their awareness is complete to the extent that they do not have sensory perception and physical experiences because their bodies have not yet been resurrected.
With all due respect, Father, I don't know if such specific details of the afterlife have been coherently revealed.

That's why their are still bodies, real bodies, in the graves.  Fr. Thomas seems to contrdict this, and so the relics of the saints appear to him to be something other than the body of the saint.
Fr. Thomas used the term "psychic body" because it is the term St. Paul uses to describe our fallen bodies in this Age (see 1 Corinthians 15). He is not saying that the psyche body is not the saints real body. He is saying that chronologically, in this age, the natural body of the saint is still sown. Theologically, mystically, in the Age to Come, that saint is somehow entering into the age where that body is raised a pneumatikos body, a spirit-animated body of the resurrection. I don't think Fr. Thom is saying that this "entering in to" process is complete, which allows for your understandings of the reconciliation of the soul with Christ after death awaiting the parousia.
 
The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':
I agree with you completely here, Father, and I think Fr. Thom was using sloppy language when saying "dead in Christ".

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)

 [/font][/size]
This all happens at the end of the Ages, and is in no contradiction with what Fr. Thom is saying when properly understood. I'd listen to the whole podcast where he talks about how Abraham was alive somehow even though he was not resurrected.

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt

Well said, Fr. .  The articles and podcasts from Fr. Thomas H. that I've read and listened to of late have me worried he's venturing away from the Patristic/Biblical Traditions and beginning to veer into more liberal/Latin streams.  I hope he's not becoming our Bp. Shelby Spong.

Fr. Giryus knows what he's talking about. Fr. Hopko knows what he's talking about. You, however, should not let that kind of B.S. come out of your hands onto the keyboard. 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 16, 2012, 05:41:25 PM
From what is going on here, I think to make a more complete commentary on Fr. Tom's quote I would have to listen to the podcast, which isn't something I'm ready to do right now (I had plenty of Hopko lectures in my time!).

What I will say is that his argument seems a wee bit overly complicated, and thus more than risky when it comes to being potentially misunderstood.  There are several Scriptural references to the dead having awareness (c.f. Rev 6:10), yet I simply have not read anything in the Scriptures or the tradition which implies human particiaption in a body after earthly death before the parousia.  The approach, as quoted, seems to be a retrofit for an objection which was not envisioned by the Apostles when they began the Apostolic Teaching after Christ's ascension. 


Father,

I think this quote must be a bit misleading.  I'm sure that Fr. Thomas would not possibly be contradicting the Scriptures which state very clearly that the resurrected bodies are bestowed in conjunction with the parousia.

Fr. Thomas is not stating that the dead are resurrected now, chronologically, in this age. Rather, he is saying that the dead are already mystically entering into the Age to Come in a manner which is not disincarnate. If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy, surely the departed can do so. Fr. Thom deliberately doesn't go into too much detail here because we just don't know.

Their awareness is complete to the extent that they do not have sensory perception and physical experiences because their bodies have not yet been resurrected.
With all due respect, Father, I don't know if such specific details of the afterlife have been coherently revealed.

That's why their are still bodies, real bodies, in the graves.  Fr. Thomas seems to contrdict this, and so the relics of the saints appear to him to be something other than the body of the saint.
Fr. Thomas used the term "psychic body" because it is the term St. Paul uses to describe our fallen bodies in this Age (see 1 Corinthians 15). He is not saying that the psyche body is not the saints real body. He is saying that chronologically, in this age, the natural body of the saint is still sown. Theologically, mystically, in the Age to Come, that saint is somehow entering into the age where that body is raised a pneumatikos body, a spirit-animated body of the resurrection. I don't think Fr. Thom is saying that this "entering in to" process is complete, which allows for your understandings of the reconciliation of the soul with Christ after death awaiting the parousia.
 
The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':
I agree with you completely here, Father, and I think Fr. Thom was using sloppy language when saying "dead in Christ".

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)

 [/font][/size]
This all happens at the end of the Ages, and is in no contradiction with what Fr. Thom is saying when properly understood. I'd listen to the whole podcast where he talks about how Abraham was alive somehow even though he was not resurrected.

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt

Well said, Fr. .  The articles and podcasts from Fr. Thomas H. that I've read and listened to of late have me worried he's venturing away from the Patristic/Biblical Traditions and beginning to veer into more liberal/Latin streams.  I hope he's not becoming our Bp. Shelby Spong.

Fr. Giryus knows what he's talking about. Fr. Hopko knows what he's talking about. You, however, should not let that kind of B.S. come out of your hands onto the keyboard. 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 12:24:12 AM
Father,

Could you explain what you mean by "If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy,..."?
I mean that we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven at the Age to Come mystically in the divine liturgy, because even though the parousia has not come chronologically, the end of the ages has come theologically already.

There are several Scriptural references to the dead having awareness (c.f. Rev 6:10), yet I simply have not read anything in the Scriptures or the tradition which implies human particiaption in a body after earthly death before the parousia.  
They're at the parousia mystically.

Revelation never says the souls in question are minds. Today we automatically equivocate the soul with the mind because of the influence of the Renaissance. I don't think the Fathers had minds in mind when they spoke of those alive in Christ. A better meaning would be "life", because the lives of the righteous, not just the minds, are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them. When the Theotokos said "my soul doth magnify" she wasn't talking about her mind.  ;)

I understand your reluctance to speak in this way, because it could imply that people are walking around resurrected on some plane of existence or dimension or realm right now, or that the resurrection body is not physical. St. Paul was railing against both in your quote.

But just as we must guard against believing there is a pneumatikos body before the paraousia, we must guard against a disembodied pneumatikos mind before the paraousia. It's not a good deal to trade a bad description for a worse one.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 12:34:33 AM
Did I say 'minds'?   ???



Father,

Could you explain what you mean by "If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy,..."?
I mean that we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven at the Age to Come mystically in the divine liturgy, because even though the parousia has not come chronologically, the end of the ages has come theologically already.

There are several Scriptural references to the dead having awareness (c.f. Rev 6:10), yet I simply have not read anything in the Scriptures or the tradition which implies human particiaption in a body after earthly death before the parousia.  
They're at the parousia mystically.

Revelation never says the souls in question are minds. Today we automatically equivocate the soul with the mind because of the influence of the Renaissance. I don't think the Fathers had minds in mind when they spoke of those alive in Christ. A better meaning would be "life", because the lifes of the righteous, not just the minds, are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them. When the Theotokos said "my soul doth magnify" she wasn't talking about her mind.  ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 12:36:59 AM
Did I say 'minds'?   ???
I was referring back to my initial uneasiness about the book "life after death". Regardless of whether or not those alive in Christ are somehow entering into the parousia now, mystically, I didn't see much about the Resurrection of the Dead in that book. It seemed to focus on all the things that will go on in the ill-defined time between now and the Resurrection. Personally I don't know how that's spiritually profitable, but then again, on that point I am just voicing my uneasiness.

If the life of a disincarnate soul after death was a critical spiritual point, why isn't it included at the end of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed before "I look to the Resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the Coming Age"?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on June 17, 2012, 12:39:10 AM

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt

Well said, Fr. .  The articles and podcasts from Fr. Thomas H. that I've read and listened to of late have me worried he's venturing away from the Patristic/Biblical Traditions and beginning to veer into more liberal/Latin streams.  I hope he's not becoming our Bp. Shelby Spong.

Fr. Giryus knows what he's talking about. Fr. Hopko knows what he's talking about. You, however, should not let that kind of B.S. come out of your hands onto the keyboard. 

B.S., or any S. does not exit the body through our hands.  ;) At any rate, at no time did I insult Fr. Thom nor did I insinuate anything negative.  What I did say, and others have said, is that at times Fr. Thom seems to take some liberties when explaining things.  I could be wrong, but Fr. Giryus seems to imply the same thing when he stated that Fr. Thom's argument seems 'overly complicated'.  

At any rate, though I respect Fr. Thom, I hold more respect for Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS as he holds to a more Patristic understanding of the Ekklesia's teachings.  I own Life After Death and he does indeed talk at length about NDE's.  Since you have the book, might I suggest you re-read it to gain a better understanding?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 12:39:40 AM
Father,

I have a feeling we actually agree on this. I'm sorry if I presumed you meant something like a disembodied mind.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 12:41:25 AM
at times Fr. Thom seems to take some liberties when explaining things.
I fail to see how any of his teachings are "Latin" or particularly liberal. If anything, they're incendiary and odd, which I happen to appreciate, but liberal? I don't see that.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: biro on June 17, 2012, 01:00:57 AM
I was knocked out during a car accident in 2005. I didn't see any tunnels, lights, anything. I went out cold and then I woke up. It was just dark. There was before the accident- and then suddenly it was 'after.'
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 01:10:40 AM
The Divine Liturgy itself does not say we enter into the Age to Come, but that we remember "all the things that have come to pass for us."

Only with the Trinity has the Age to Come already 'happened' and I think this is really getting a bit heady to be worried about if we are 'entering' into it and whatnot. 

It is very clear from the Fathers that human souls are active in the place of rest, and they do not have bodies.  Fr. Tom's assertion that they are 'completely and totally alive' is problematic here because he is trying to define it by relationship between the Body and the Soul whereas the true definition is the relationship between Christ and man.  Man is alive in the presence of Christ, regardless of the disposition of the body and soul.

You can have a body and soul and ben quite dead.

Fr. Tom appears to be reverse-engineering his definition of life (an integrated body and soul and spirit) by implying some kind of pseudo-body, one that is but is not-yet.  Frankly, I find that weird, much weirder that Met. Hierotheos' postulations or some of the saints who have proposed various versions of the afterlife:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1291814?uid=3739560&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=56262083533 (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1291814?uid=3739560&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=56262083533)

I understand the concern that some people have about 'disincarnate minds,' but the fact of the matter is that there is a continued awareness of the human person after death that does not require a body.  That is not to say that death does not impare the person, because it clearly does.  At death, we lose the faculty of prayer and the ability to experience the physical world.  We are cut off from the living.

I don't think that one needs to construct some type of tenuous relationship with either an un-resurrected or resurrected body to avoid a Platonic understanding of the human soul after death.  This theory appears to over-compensate.


Father,

Could you explain what you mean by "If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy,..."?
I mean that we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven at the Age to Come mystically in the divine liturgy, because even though the parousia has not come chronologically, the end of the ages has come theologically already.

There are several Scriptural references to the dead having awareness (c.f. Rev 6:10), yet I simply have not read anything in the Scriptures or the tradition which implies human particiaption in a body after earthly death before the parousia.  
They're at the parousia mystically.

Revelation never says the souls in question are minds. Today we automatically equivocate the soul with the mind because of the influence of the Renaissance. I don't think the Fathers had minds in mind when they spoke of those alive in Christ. A better meaning would be "life", because the lives of the righteous, not just the minds, are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them. When the Theotokos said "my soul doth magnify" she wasn't talking about her mind.  ;)

I understand your reluctance to speak in this way, because it could imply that people are walking around resurrected on some plane of existence or dimension or realm right now, or that the resurrection body is not physical. St. Paul was railing against both in your quote.

But just as we must guard against believing there is a pneumatikos body before the paraousia, we must guard against a disembodied pneumatikos mind before the paraousia. It's not a good deal to trade a bad description for a worse one.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 02:37:44 AM
The Divine Liturgy itself does not say we enter into the Age to Come, but that we remember "all the things that have come to pass for us."
Is not participation in the Divine Liturgy is participation in the Age to Come, especially in partaking of the Eucharist especially, because it is the bread of the coming age?

I don't think Fr. Thom is implying a pseudo-body. I think he's saying that the Kingdom of Heaven doesn't make chronological sense.

Personally I don't think it's a coherent anthropology to hold that man can experience reality in a disembodied form. Even a coma victim or quadriplegic experiences things in an embodied form. If "it's a mystery", I don't see how Fr. Thom's explanation is lacking. He is saying that because Christ's Kingdom is mystically here and to come at the same time, a saint's body can be in the tomb in this age and risen in the resurrection in the age to come, and the gulf between these ages can by mystically bridged. I think that's in line with some of what St. Isaac the Syrian said about experiencing something of the Age to Come even in our age.

I don't see a particular exclusiveness between your view and Fr. Thom's, with the exception that his view is more incendiary.

If the saints are without body, then they are without mind as well, am I right? If this is the sort of existence we're talking about, I can agree with it, though it is incomprehensible to us, as long as the mind goes where the body goes.

I don't presume to override your experience and expertise in these matters, Father. I always appreciate your posts. Just figuring things out.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 02:48:14 AM
I was knocked out during a car accident in 2005. I didn't see any tunnels, lights, anything. I went out cold and then I woke up. It was just dark. There was before the accident- and then suddenly it was 'after.'
Q: Where are you when you're unconscious?

A: When you wake up.  ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 03:25:48 AM
My problem with NDE experiences, especially the "good" ones, is that these might mislead the experiencers, and others who are interested by NDEs, into believing that they will go necessarily to that "paradise" after their falling asleep. What they lived in NDE didn't suggest to them on the moment to work (once they would be back in their flesh) for their salvation and cultivate a relation with Christ through His Church. That makes me think to this song of Michel Polnareff, you know, "On ira tous au paradis" (we will all go to paradise), and I don't buy it. Often they say they saw these famous "beings of light", people they knew (deceased friends or family members or others) or people they didn't know, who communicated with them. I find this suspiscious. I question the nature of the NDEs these people experienced, I mean if it is "of God" or "not of God".

         
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: stanley123 on June 17, 2012, 03:34:41 AM
Post withdrawn.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 17, 2012, 05:33:39 AM
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 10:26:04 AM

The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)


Notice there are three categories: the 'dead' who appear below and who are resurrected first, who then are greeted by a collection of the living remnant and those who are coming down with Christ from the heavens (i.e. the place of rest).

Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ.  This is death.

Were Fr. Thomas' theory (as quoted) correct, then John 5 would be a game, and St. Paul's description in 1 Thessalonians would be a macabre delusion.

I have never interpreted this psg as you do Father.

Quote
For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.

I have always interpreted "we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord" to mean those Christians physically alive at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and "those who have fallen asleep" to mean those Christians who departed their mortal bodies.

Quote
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The departed Christians will resurrect in their glorified/incorruptible bodies first and join the Lord, and then the Christians physically alive will be transformed (i.e. their bodies, from corruptible to incorruptible, from "soulish" to "pneumatikon") and join the Lord and those already resurrected with Him. This is the resurrection of those who are saved; that's why the Apostle said "and so we shall always be with the Lord". There is no condemnative judgment for all these people.

The "dead in Christ" in this psg means simply, it seems to me, those Christians who rest in the Lord. It doesn't mean dead in the sense of spiritually dead but in the natural sense of having departed.

St Paul does not speak, in this psg, of other people than those who are destined to salvation. He doesn't speak of what's gonna happen for the rest.

St John Chrysostom said: "If He is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see and kiss him; but those of the domestics who have offended remain within. We are carried upon the chariot of our Father. For He received Him up in the clouds, and "we shall be caught up in the clouds." Acts 1:9. Do you see how great is the honor? And as He descends, we go forth to meet Him, and, what is more blessed than all, so we shall be with Him."

This is how I interpret this psg. I may be mistaken, but it makes a lot of sense to me, Doesn't it?   
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 10:45:01 AM
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..

There were several cases when that happened while the person's brain was said to be non-functioning, while the person was clinically dead. And in most cases, the testimonies of NDEs gathered have similarities (decorporation, tunnel with very white light, encounters...etc), which is why that's so strange.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 11:00:10 AM
Unfortunately the only Orthodox Christian that I know who has written about them is Fr. Seraphim Rose (The Soul After Death).

I could be wrong, but I thought Metropolitan Hierotheos' Life After Death (http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#books/c14/c11434/62185) touched on the subject as well.

Thanks.

I was knocked out during a car accident in 2005. I didn't see any tunnels, lights, anything. I went out cold and then I woke up. It was just dark. There was before the accident- and then suddenly it was 'after.'

That doesn't happen to everyone obviously. Just a few experience the thing. 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 11:04:37 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.”
John 6

Stay blessed,
habte selassie

I do not question an incorporeal life, rather the nature of the NDEs. This body is just a "tent" as St Paul I think said in one of his epistles.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 17, 2012, 11:28:45 AM
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..

There were several cases when that happened while the person's brain was said to be non-functioning, while the person was clinically dead. And in most cases, the testimonies of NDEs gathered have similarities (decorporation, tunnel with very white light, encounters...etc), which is why that's so strange.

than there is "what is the clinical death thing" ...

tunel with white light?what would that be?

encounters with whom?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 12:01:25 PM
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..

There were several cases when that happened while the person's brain was said to be non-functioning, while the person was clinically dead. And in most cases, the testimonies of NDEs gathered have similarities (decorporation, tunnel with very white light, encounters...etc), which is why that's so strange.

than there is "what is the clinical death thing" ...

tunel with white light?what would that be?

encounters with whom?

Yes clinically dead, but temporarily, to make a specific surgery, and they reanimate your dead body after. It's not coma, it's temporarily death. This is real, but don't ask how that works I'm not surgeon ;)

Watch the documentary I put in link in my first comment to hear about the tunnel with white light..etc.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Kerdy on June 17, 2012, 12:20:12 PM
I can’t prove or disprove NDE in the context of this thread, but personally I do not believe in them.  I have heard too many heretical “experiences”.  Perhaps evil uses the unprotected state of the person at that time to invade their mind.  Who knows?  I have; however, had a different kind of NDE, several in fact, or should we call them Near Misses.

Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Hiwot on June 17, 2012, 01:39:17 PM
I am kind of intrigued here by something.

what is the nature of the soul?

will the soul become dumb when it parts from the body?

is the soul of a man a rational soul or not?

I know and believe that the soul is not trapped inside a body and when it leaves the body it is not perceived as being free but rather an unnatural event that will be corrected in the Resurrection by the union of the body with the soul in a glorified state and it will enter heaven. the righteous just today are in paradise, and the sinners are in Sheol, awaiting the Resurrection and the final judgement where the righteous will enter life everlasting in the new Jerusalem and the condemned will go to Hell. now my question, the righteous are they alive or dead spiritually speaking not biologically.

if they are alive as scripture says they are, then in what level of awareness are they in?

the saints in this life are aware of many things through the spirit that reveals it to them. they are capable of seeing and knowing what is happening somewhere hidden from their physical sight, they are capable of communicating with animals and even other created beings. all this and more, they have because of the state of their union with God. will they lose this when their soul leaves their holy bodies?

I am intrigued by a certain idea I thought I noticed in here, and I want to be clear about it before I inquire further.

all replies wellcome , thank you in advance:)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 17, 2012, 02:17:00 PM
what is the nature of the soul?

Spiritual.

will the soul become dumb when it parts from the body?

No.

is the soul of a man a rational soul or not?

Rational.

I know and believe that the soul is not trapped inside a body and when it leaves the body it is not perceived as being free but rather an unnatural event that will be corrected in the Resurrection by the union of the body with the soul in a glorified state and it will enter heaven. the righteous just today are in paradise, and the sinners are in Sheol, awaiting the Resurrection and the final judgement where the righteous will enter life everlasting in the new Jerusalem and the condemned will go to Hell. now my question, the righteous are they alive or dead spiritually speaking not biologically.

This is indeed what the Holy Scriptures and the Tradition teach. And they are alive.

if they are alive as scripture says they are, then in what level of awareness are they in?

I don't know precisely. As far as they can be aware, as far as God allows them to be aware.

the saints in this life are aware of many things through the spirit that reveals it to them. they are capable of seeing and knowing what is happening somewhere hidden from their physical sight, they are capable of communicating with animals and even other created beings. all this and more, they have because of the state of their union with God. will they lose this when their soul leaves their holy bodies?

Right, and to answer the question: No.

I am intrigued by a certain idea I thought I noticed in here, and I want to be clear about it before I inquire further.

?

all replies wellcome , thank you in advance:)

I couldn't resist to your ironic proposition.

;)

God bless
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Hiwot on June 17, 2012, 03:07:00 PM
what is the nature of the soul?

Spiritual.

will the soul become dumb when it parts from the body?

No.

is the soul of a man a rational soul or not?

Rational.

I know and believe that the soul is not trapped inside a body and when it leaves the body it is not perceived as being free but rather an unnatural event that will be corrected in the Resurrection by the union of the body with the soul in a glorified state and it will enter heaven. the righteous just today are in paradise, and the sinners are in Sheol, awaiting the Resurrection and the final judgement where the righteous will enter life everlasting in the new Jerusalem and the condemned will go to Hell. now my question, the righteous are they alive or dead spiritually speaking not biologically.

This is indeed what the Holy Scriptures and the Tradition teach. And they are alive.

if they are alive as scripture says they are, then in what level of awareness are they in?

I don't know precisely. As far as they can be aware, as far as God allows them to be aware.

the saints in this life are aware of many things through the spirit that reveals it to them. they are capable of seeing and knowing what is happening somewhere hidden from their physical sight, they are capable of communicating with animals and even other created beings. all this and more, they have because of the state of their union with God. will they lose this when their soul leaves their holy bodies?

Right, and to answer the question: No.

I am intrigued by a certain idea I thought I noticed in here, and I want to be clear about it before I inquire further.

?

all replies wellcome , thank you in advance:)

I couldn't resist to your ironic proposition.

;)

God bless

 thank dear Arnaud I truly appreciate it.  ;D
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Asteriktos on June 17, 2012, 03:09:42 PM
I'm still awaiting a NLE (Near Life Experience).

Beat me to it.

Cars + snowbanks + a helping hand = profound NLE
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 03:41:54 PM
The quote from St. John merely affirms what I wrote: the saints on earth rise to meet the reposed saints coming down with the Lord, and they together form the pomp that accompanies Christ when He returns to judge the earth.  The condemned remain below.

Nothing unusual here.



The dead are those who refuse to enter into the joy of Christ, preferring hades to Him.  These are the 'dead in Christ':

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)


Notice there are three categories: the 'dead' who appear below and who are resurrected first, who then are greeted by a collection of the living remnant and those who are coming down with Christ from the heavens (i.e. the place of rest).

Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ.  This is death.

Were Fr. Thomas' theory (as quoted) correct, then John 5 would be a game, and St. Paul's description in 1 Thessalonians would be a macabre delusion.

I have never interpreted this psg as you do Father.

Quote
For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not
precede those who have fallen asleep.

I have always interpreted "we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord" to mean those Christians physically alive at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and "those who have fallen asleep" to mean those Christians who departed their mortal bodies.

Quote
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The departed Christians will resurrect in their glorified/incorruptible bodies first and join the Lord, and then the Christians physically alive will be transformed (i.e. their bodies, from corruptible to incorruptible, from "soulish" to "pneumatikon") and join the Lord and those already resurrected with Him. This is the resurrection of those who are saved; that's why the Apostle said "and so we shall always be with the Lord". There is no condemnative judgment for all these people.

The "dead in Christ" in this psg means simply, it seems to me, those Christians who rest in the Lord. It doesn't mean dead in the sense of spiritually dead but in the natural sense of having departed.

St Paul does not speak, in this psg, of other people than those who are destined to salvation. He doesn't speak of what's gonna happen for the rest.

St John Chrysostom said: "If He is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see and kiss him; but those of the domestics who have offended remain within. We are carried upon the chariot of our Father. For He received Him up in the clouds, and "we shall be caught up in the clouds." Acts 1:9. Do you see how great is the honor? And as He descends, we go forth to meet Him, and, what is more blessed than all, so we shall be with Him."

This is how I interpret this psg. I may be mistaken, but it makes a lot of sense to me, Doesn't it?   
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 03:55:38 PM
Since the Church has not spoken definitely on this matter, every one of us is engaging in guess-work.  Me included.

Again, since the fathers don't use 'mind' the way you are using it, then you can't say that a person has a 'mind' either before or after death, yes?  So, is a pointless question.  The issue has to do with existence and experience.

Do the dead continue to have existence, and thus some type of awareness after death?  Yes.  The Church does not teach 'soul sleep.' 

Is their awareness and existence the same before and after death?  The answer is clearly 'no.'

But, this notion that souls are attached to a pseudo-body and are experincing the parousia before it happens is just weird.  We participate in eternal things through a mystery, and Fr. Tom's explanation as presented is problematic because it attempts to explain a mystery that the Church has not defined as he has.  So, in the end, it is not anything other than his opinion.  But, I think he is trying to create a problem where there is none, since he cannot even bring himself to condemn Met. Hierotheos and thus a number of saints who wrote on death but did not come to the same conclusions Fr. Tom has.

I think you hit the nail on the head: incendiary.   :laugh:


The Divine Liturgy itself does not say we enter into the Age to Come, but that we remember "all the things that have come to pass for us."
Is not participation in the Divine Liturgy is participation in the Age to Come, especially in partaking of the Eucharist especially, because it is the bread of the coming age?

I don't think Fr. Thom is implying a pseudo-body. I think he's saying that the Kingdom of Heaven doesn't make chronological sense.

Personally I don't think it's a coherent anthropology to hold that man can experience reality in a disembodied form. Even a coma victim or quadriplegic experiences things in an embodied form. If "it's a mystery", I don't see how Fr. Thom's explanation is lacking. He is saying that because Christ's Kingdom is mystically here and to come at the same time, a saint's body can be in the tomb in this age and risen in the resurrection in the age to come, and the gulf between these ages can by mystically bridged. I think that's in line with some of what St. Isaac the Syrian said about experiencing something of the Age to Come even in our age.

I don't see a particular exclusiveness between your view and Fr. Thom's, with the exception that his view is more incendiary.

If the saints are without body, then they are without mind as well, am I right? If this is the sort of existence we're talking about, I can agree with it, though it is incomprehensible to us, as long as the mind goes where the body goes.

I don't presume to override your experience and expertise in these matters, Father. I always appreciate your posts. Just figuring things out.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on June 17, 2012, 04:24:24 PM
Since the Church has not spoken definitely on this matter, every one of us is engaging in guess-work. 

Conjecture is the forum's specialty, Fr.  ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 04:35:26 PM
experincing the parousia before it happens
When it happens. The claim is that they're at the when, not a where.

Quote
Conjecture is the forum's specialty, Fr. 
How many Hypostases can indivduate upon the head of a Prosopon?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 06:41:34 PM
That's why I have not told anyone they can't (at least on this thread)...   8)

Since the Church has not spoken definitely on this matter, every one of us is engaging in guess-work. 

Conjecture is the forum's specialty, Fr.  ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 06:58:54 PM
Fr. Tom's postulation is that man is either 'alive' or 'dead' and that involves connection to a body.

However, that is simply not how it works: death has never been represented as an absolute, and neither has life.  Human life has infinite potential to grow because we are meant to be united with an infinite God.  This is a patristic standard.  It is also why human death does not result in total annihilation.  Death is an eternal moving away from God, which is also a futile act which results in the experience of darkness and even torment.

So, his 'on/off' proposition is problematic is the face of the Church's teachings, summarized in Theosis, or transformation.  You are not 'transformed/untransformed,' but rather there are degrees.  We don't teach hard lines the way he appears to be teaching.

Human death now has its own degrees: death unto life, or death unto eternal death.

I believe the patristic consensus is that humans retain an affinity for their bodies even after death, and so Fr. Tom's remark about the 'relic of their psychic body might still be in the tombs' is outlandish: what is in the tombs are really the body, and that is the body that will be glorified (even if it its utterly destroyed).  I think Fr. Tom's statement interrupts that continuous relationship and makes it sound like the Church teaches that the dead body is no longer the body.  I've never heard of such a teaching amongst the Orthodox.  Fr. Tom sounds more like he is reacting to Platonism than Orthodoxy.

At death, the body stops operating, but I have never heard of anyone, including Met. Hierotheos teach in the utter alienation of the soul from the body at death.  Without this utter alienation, Fr. Tom's hypothesis comes apart.


experincing the parousia before it happens
When it happens. The claim is that they're at the when, not a where.

Quote
Conjecture is the forum's specialty, Fr. 
How many Hypostases can indivduate upon the head of a Prosopon?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 17, 2012, 08:29:32 PM
So, his 'on/off' proposition is problematic is the face of the Church's teachings, summarized in Theosis, or
I believe the patristic consensus is that humans retain an affinity for their bodies even after death, and so Fr. Tom's remark about the 'relic of their psychic body might still be in the tombs' is outlandish: what is in the tombs are really the body, and that is the body that will be glorified (even if it its utterly destroyed).  I think Fr. Tom's statement interrupts that continuous relationship and makes it sound like the Church teaches that the dead body is no longer the body.
I don't think Fr. Thom is suggesting that the body is not their real body. He is speaking of this age, where that body is sewn corruptible, and the age to come, when it is resurrected. Same body, different age. That's the language used by St. Paul, so I think it's an okay way to phrase things.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 17, 2012, 11:24:47 PM
But, there is nothing in our Tradition that says that death is the Age to Come.  Again, I think he is making a very odd solution for a problem that does not exist.  I think he's doing too much thinking... fairies and pinheads.

So, his 'on/off' proposition is problematic is the face of the Church's teachings, summarized in Theosis, or
I believe the patristic consensus is that humans retain an affinity for their bodies even after death, and so Fr. Tom's remark about the 'relic of their psychic body might still be in the tombs' is outlandish: what is in the tombs are really the body, and that is the body that will be glorified (even if it its utterly destroyed).  I think Fr. Tom's statement interrupts that continuous relationship and makes it sound like the Church teaches that the dead body is no longer the body.
I don't think Fr. Thom is suggesting that the body is not their real body. He is speaking of this age, where that body is sewn corruptible, and the age to come, when it is resurrected. Same body, different age. That's the language used by St. Paul, so I think it's an okay way to phrase things.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 18, 2012, 12:59:40 AM
But, there is nothing in our Tradition that says that death is the Age to Come. 
I don't think he's saying death is the age to come. I think he's saying there's no death at all anymore.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 18, 2012, 10:32:17 AM
The quote from St. John merely affirms what I wrote: the saints on earth rise to meet the reposed saints coming down with the Lord, and they together form the pomp that accompanies Christ when He returns to judge the earth.  The condemned remain below.

Nothing unusual here.

We agree. But what you said:

Notice there are three categories: the 'dead' who appear below and who are resurrected first, who then are greeted by a collection of the living remnant and those who are coming down with Christ from the heavens (i.e. the place of rest).

Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.


confused me.  :-\

Quote
For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1Th 4:15-17.

I understand "the dead in Christ" as these same ones who have fallen asleep; not distinct.

To me, the last sentence:
Quote
And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
explains the first:
Quote
For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.


Again, I might be mistaken..






 
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 18, 2012, 10:33:41 AM
thank dear Arnaud I truly appreciate it.  ;D

 ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 18, 2012, 10:41:08 AM
The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time?  While we have contact with the eternal through God, we do not 'experience' the future in the present... there is simply no support for this in our Tradition.

The present is the present, pure and simple.  We do not worry about the future, because this is God's domain and not ours.

If you take Fr. Tom's theory of aspects of the future brought into the present, you now validate the Roman Catholic dogma that borrowed from Christ's resurrected humanity in the future and retroactively applied it to the humanity of the Virgin Mary (I'm sure I'm bungling the technically correct definitions, but this is a close proximation) before her conception so that Christ would be born of her without Original Sin.  When you start borrowing frm the future to make the present work, you have a problem.

Again, it seems the more we discuss this theory, the stranger it gets.


But, there is nothing in our Tradition that says that death is the Age to Come. 
I don't think he's saying death is the age to come. I think he's saying there's no death at all anymore.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 18, 2012, 10:44:38 AM
Sorry about the confusion.  I think if you reread the colored passages I previously posted and let it sink in, you'll see that there are three sets of people, and the 'dead in Christ' are not the same as those who join the others 'in the clouds'.


Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.


confused me.  :-\

Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: NicholasMyra on June 18, 2012, 12:11:34 PM
The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time? 

Father,

Isn't it clear from the Scriptures that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, within us, and to come, at the same time?

This doesn't make the creatures who experience it timeless. It means that God can blur the lines. After all, God hears our prayers in the present from before all ages; surely he can make a mystical age that follows, not a "timelessness", but a different sort of sanctified time.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 18, 2012, 12:58:04 PM
The point is that those things are true, and yet we do not experience them as such the way Fr. Tom seems to be implying that they are.  The dead have not entered into the Age to Come.  There is nothing indicating they exit chronos.  They die and either remain in hades (i.e the "dead in Christ" are thus dead) or emerge and enter into rest.

Why Fr. Tom is taking issue with this beyond me other than his notion of life is one of assembled parts rather than movement towards/away from God.

The problem here is that if the human person relies on this future body in the present, they he is experiencing the world 'out of order' or his own personhood is partly unknown to him, which then causes problems when considering the human will.  If part of the person is in the future, then part of his present will is derived from the future, making him no longer a creature of time. 

God casts hades into the lake of fire, but not time.  The fact that he has to make this chonological jump, something that I've never heard of before, makes me think that he's thinking too much!  ;)

For God to have to blur the lines of time to get something to work means that His present creation is imperfect and insufficient.  Lack of planning on His part.  I reject that notion.


The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time? 

Father,

Isn't it clear from the Scriptures that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, within us, and to come, at the same time?

This doesn't make the creatures who experience it timeless. It means that God can blur the lines. After all, God hears our prayers in the present from before all ages; surely he can make a mystical age that follows, not a "timelessness", but a different sort of sanctified time.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 19, 2012, 11:14:07 AM
Sorry about the confusion.  I think if you reread the colored passages I previously posted and let it sink in, you'll see that there are three sets of people, and the 'dead in Christ' are not the same as those who join the others 'in the clouds'.


Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.


confused me.  :-\


Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

If I understand you correctly, you are saying those departed whose souls are in paradise, and those faithful still in the flesh at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord, shall resurrect bodily and be caught in the clouds to meet the Lord in the same time? No group precede nor follow the other, eh?

__________________________________________

In the TOB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traduction_%C5%93cum%C3%A9nique_de_la_Bible) for instance, the psg reads in French:

"Voici en effet ce que nous avons à dire, sur la parole du Seigneur. Nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là pour l'Avènement du Seigneur, nous ne devancerons pas ceux qui seront endormis. Car Lui-même, le Seigneur, au signal donné par la voix de l'archange et la trompette de Dieu, descendra du ciel, et les morts qui sont dans le Christ ressusciteront en premier lieu; après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs. Ainsi nous serons avec le Seigneur toujours. Réconfortez-vous donc les uns les autres de ces pensées."

= "Les (the) morts (dead) qui (who) sont (are) dans (in) le Christ (Christ) ressusciteront (will resurrect) en premier lieu (first); après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs (after what we, the living, we who will still be there, we will be brought together with them and took away on clouds to meet the Lord in the air)."

'The dead who are in Christ' obviously can't mean here, according to the wording, those whose souls are in sheol..

And in another French translation, the Louis Segond's translation, in 1 Corinthians 15: 16-18 it reads:

"Car si les morts ne ressuscitent point, Christ non plus n'est pas ressuscité. Et si Christ n'est pas ressuscité, votre foi est vaine, vous êtes encore dans vos péchés, et par conséquent aussi ceux qui sont morts en Christ sont perdus."

= "Cause if the dead do not resurrect, Christ is not resurrected either. And if Christ is not resurrected, your faith is vain, you are still in your sins, and therefore also those who died in Christ are lost."

Here it doesn't say 'dead in Christ' but 'those who died in Christ'. It's not the same thing but is very close. Logically, someone who died is a dead, right? So, someone who died in Christ, Is it not possible to say he is a dead in Christ or a dead who is in Christ?


Do you understand, Father, why I have some difficulty to understand your separation of the 'dead in Christ' from 'those who have fallen asleep' in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Thanks anyway.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 19, 2012, 12:21:37 PM
You are making the assumption that to 'die in Christ' is to remain 'dead in Christ.'  The concept of 'dead in Christ' appears nowhere else in the Scriptures, and that is because of the teaching that those who die in Christ are freed from the 'pit' of sheol so that they may pass to eternal rest.

I could see why you would confuse the two, but the rest of the Tradition pretty plainly rejects the idea that Christians who die 'in Christ' remain dead.

Plus, you are ignoring the fact that those that St. Paul describes as the 'dead' do not rise up to join the pomp descending from the heavens.'

It's OK, this will take a while to sink in.  It certainly did for me.  ;)


Sorry about the confusion.  I think if you reread the colored passages I previously posted and let it sink in, you'll see that there are three sets of people, and the 'dead in Christ' are not the same as those who join the others 'in the clouds'.


Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.


confused me.  :-\


Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

If I understand you correctly, you are saying those departed whose souls are in paradise, and those faithful still in the flesh at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord, shall resurrect bodily and be caught in the clouds to meet the Lord in the same time? No group precede nor follow the other, eh?

__________________________________________

In the TOB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traduction_%C5%93cum%C3%A9nique_de_la_Bible) for instance, the psg reads in French:

"Voici en effet ce que nous avons à dire, sur la parole du Seigneur. Nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là pour l'Avènement du Seigneur, nous ne devancerons pas ceux qui seront endormis. Car Lui-même, le Seigneur, au signal donné par la voix de l'archange et la trompette de Dieu, descendra du ciel, et les morts qui sont dans le Christ ressusciteront en premier lieu; après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs. Ainsi nous serons avec le Seigneur toujours. Réconfortez-vous donc les uns les autres de ces pensées."

= "Les (the) morts (dead) qui (who) sont (are) dans (in) le Christ (Christ) ressusciteront (will resurrect) en premier lieu (first); après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs (after what we, the living, we who will still be there, we will be brought together with them and took away on clouds to meet the Lord in the air)."

'The dead who are in Christ' obviously can't mean here, according to the wording, those whose souls are in sheol..

And in another French translation, the Louis Segond's translation, in 1 Corinthians 15: 16-18 it reads:

"Car si les morts ne ressuscitent point, Christ non plus n'est pas ressuscité. Et si Christ n'est pas ressuscité, votre foi est vaine, vous êtes encore dans vos péchés, et par conséquent aussi ceux qui sont morts en Christ sont perdus."

= "Cause if the dead do not resurrect, Christ is not resurrected either. And if Christ is not resurrected, your faith is vain, you are still in your sins, and therefore also those who died in Christ are lost."

Here it doesn't say 'dead in Christ' but 'those who died in Christ'. It's not the same thing but is very close. Logically, someone who died is a dead, right? So, someone who died in Christ, Is it not possible to say he is a dead in Christ or a dead who is in Christ?


Do you understand, Father, why I have some difficulty to understand your separation of the 'dead in Christ' from 'those who have fallen asleep' in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Thanks anyway.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 19, 2012, 01:27:37 PM
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..

There were several cases when that happened while the person's brain was said to be non-functioning, while the person was clinically dead. And in most cases, the testimonies of NDEs gathered have similarities (decorporation, tunnel with very white light, encounters...etc), which is why that's so strange.

"The process of cell death thus really begins as soon as the heart stops beating due to the effects of lack of oxygen but continues for many tens of minutes if not hours until eventually all the remnants of the cells also disintegrate and we are left with nothing other than bones.  "

Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 19, 2012, 01:29:36 PM
I can’t prove or disprove NDE in the context of this thread, but personally I do not believe in them.  I have heard too many heretical “experiences”.  Perhaps evil uses the unprotected state of the person at that time to invade their mind.  Who knows?  I have; however, had a different kind of NDE, several in fact, or should we call them Near Misses.



I have heard many weird experiences also.. heck even had one after a strong hangover but i`m not sure if that qualifies as NDE ;).

The mind is an interesting organ.
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 19, 2012, 01:32:19 PM
You are making the assumption that to 'die in Christ' is to remain 'dead in Christ.'  The concept of 'dead in Christ' appears nowhere else in the Scriptures, and that is because of the teaching that those who die in Christ are freed from the 'pit' of sheol so that they may pass to eternal rest.

I could see why you would confuse the two, but the rest of the Tradition pretty plainly rejects the idea that Christians who die 'in Christ' remain dead.

Plus, you are ignoring the fact that those that St. Paul describes as the 'dead' do not rise up to join the pomp descending from the heavens.'

It's OK, this will take a while to sink in.  It certainly did for me.  ;)


Sorry about the confusion.  I think if you reread the colored passages I previously posted and let it sink in, you'll see that there are three sets of people, and the 'dead in Christ' are not the same as those who join the others 'in the clouds'.


Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.


confused me.  :-\


Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

If I understand you correctly, you are saying those departed whose souls are in paradise, and those faithful still in the flesh at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord, shall resurrect bodily and be caught in the clouds to meet the Lord in the same time? No group precede nor follow the other, eh?

__________________________________________

In the TOB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traduction_%C5%93cum%C3%A9nique_de_la_Bible) for instance, the psg reads in French:

"Voici en effet ce que nous avons à dire, sur la parole du Seigneur. Nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là pour l'Avènement du Seigneur, nous ne devancerons pas ceux qui seront endormis. Car Lui-même, le Seigneur, au signal donné par la voix de l'archange et la trompette de Dieu, descendra du ciel, et les morts qui sont dans le Christ ressusciteront en premier lieu; après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs. Ainsi nous serons avec le Seigneur toujours. Réconfortez-vous donc les uns les autres de ces pensées."

= "Les (the) morts (dead) qui (who) sont (are) dans (in) le Christ (Christ) ressusciteront (will resurrect) en premier lieu (first); après quoi nous, les vivants, nous qui serons encore là, nous serons réunis à eux et emportés sur des nuées pour rencontrer le Seigneur dans les airs (after what we, the living, we who will still be there, we will be brought together with them and took away on clouds to meet the Lord in the air)."

'The dead who are in Christ' obviously can't mean here, according to the wording, those whose souls are in sheol..

And in another French translation, the Louis Segond's translation, in 1 Corinthians 15: 16-18 it reads:

"Car si les morts ne ressuscitent point, Christ non plus n'est pas ressuscité. Et si Christ n'est pas ressuscité, votre foi est vaine, vous êtes encore dans vos péchés, et par conséquent aussi ceux qui sont morts en Christ sont perdus."

= "Cause if the dead do not resurrect, Christ is not resurrected either. And if Christ is not resurrected, your faith is vain, you are still in your sins, and therefore also those who died in Christ are lost."

Here it doesn't say 'dead in Christ' but 'those who died in Christ'. It's not the same thing but is very close. Logically, someone who died is a dead, right? So, someone who died in Christ, Is it not possible to say he is a dead in Christ or a dead who is in Christ?


Do you understand, Father, why I have some difficulty to understand your separation of the 'dead in Christ' from 'those who have fallen asleep' in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Thanks anyway.

Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: orthonorm on June 19, 2012, 02:04:49 PM
Yet another thread I wish I could get into. To me Fr. Thom has stumbled in a clumsy way upon an answer to a fundamental Christian problematic which within the life the Orthodox Church is made more problematic.

When will life begin, so that I can waste time here?

Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 19, 2012, 02:58:14 PM
Absolutely not.  >:(

Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Azul on June 19, 2012, 03:27:01 PM
Absolutely not.  >:(

Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
Than what?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: FatherGiryus on June 19, 2012, 06:10:13 PM
Could you clarify what you are asking?  I don't see where I advocated no consciousness as you may be implying that I have.

Absolutely not.  >:(

Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
Than what?
Title: Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
Post by: Arnaud on June 19, 2012, 06:50:06 PM
You are making the assumption that to 'die in Christ' is to remain 'dead in Christ.'  The concept of 'dead in Christ' appears nowhere else in the Scriptures, and that is because of the teaching that those who die in Christ are freed from the 'pit' of sheol so that they may pass to eternal rest.

No I was not making this assumption. I was suggesting that one may be called 'dead' because one passed thru death, which is the separation of the soul from the body, the body going to dust, and the soul experiencing either a foretaste of the Age To Come (being in Christ, being in paradise) or a foretaste of the lake of fire (not being in Christ and being in hell). In other words, one already lives the Age To Come and the other the lake of fire, but bodiless, in their souls.

Originally death was the grave and sheol/hades. Then Christ comes and changes the meaning of death for God's people. Death is not anymore a fatality. It means only the grave now. Death becomes a passage towards eternal happiness. Yet death is still there because the Christian is separated from his body and his body is rotting in the grave.

There are instances when the Christians who departed are, because of that, assimilated to 'the dead' too, although the term 'those who have fallen asleep' (I think referring to the cessation of activities of the body and the rest of the faithful from this dispensation) is always preferred for them.

Quote
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming...

If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”...

But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain -- perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of men, another of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body...

1 Corinthians 15: 20-23, 32, 35-44.

You see.

It's OK, this will take a while to sink in. It certainly did for me.

Well, I'm following your advise and I'm trying to understand a commentary of St John Chrysostom.

Quote
Speaking concerning the faithful, and them "which are fallen asleep in Christ" 1 Corinthians 15:18; and again, "the dead shall rise in Christ." Since his discourse is not concerning the Resurrection only, but both concerning the Resurrection and concerning the honor in glory; all then shall partake of a Resurrection, he says, but not all shall be in glory, only those in Christ. Since therefore he wishes to comfort them, he comforts them not with this only, but also with the abundant honor, and with its speedy arrival, since they knew that. For in proof that he wishes to comfort them with the honor, as he goes on, he says, "And we shall be ever with the Lord" and "we shall be caught up in the clouds."

But how do the faithful fall asleep in Jesus? It means having Christ within themselves. But the expression, "He shall bring with Him," shows that they are brought from many places. "This." Something strange he was about to tell them. On this account he also adds what makes it worthy of credit; "From the word of the Lord," he says, that is, we speak not of ourselves, but having learned from Christ, "That we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in nowise precede them that are fallen asleep." Which also he says in his Epistle to the Corinthians; "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." 1 Corinthians 15:52. Here he gives a credibility to the Resurrection by the manner also in which it will occur.

For because the matter seems to be difficult he says that as it is easy for the living to be taken up, so also for the departed. But in saying "we," he does not speak of himself, for he was not about to remain until the Resurrection, but he speaks of the faithful. On this account he has added, "We that are left unto the coming of the Lord shall in nowise precede them that are fallen asleep." As if he had said, Think not that there is any difficulty. It is God that does it. They who are then alive shall not anticipate those who are dissolved, who are rotted, who have been dead ten thousand years. But as it is easy to bring those who are entire, so is it also those who are dissolved.

Seems like you're in line with him. I'm reconsidering my interpretation. Yet I do not understand why, if by 'the dead who shall rise in Christ' he indicates those whose souls are in sheol, I do not understand why they would rise in Christ.