Hello All (in particular, minasoliman, Stavro, EA, and any familiar with Fr. Matthew the Poor)
Currently, I'm reading Fr. Matthew the Poors Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way. I crossed an interesting paragraph this morning, and I was hoping I could receive yoru comments. Here is the quote:
"There is no share in silence and retreat for bodily activity. Solitude is a chance for the impirsoned soul to be released and go about its business. In the outset of practicing retreeat, the flesh will be ill at ease and the mind will revolt, for the flesh and the mind will feel the darkness of the grave, where the soul be still suffering in travial and discomfort while trying to break loose from the prison of the flesh and the darkness of its senses. One may thus encounter unease at the beginning of one's solitude, but this is the crucial point, which calls for faith and patience. It is not so difficult for the soul to endure such an experience, for it will soon feel that the light is at hand and that behind the darkness of the grave there lies the glory of the resurrection." (Fr. Matthew the Poor. Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way. Crestwook, New York. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. 2003. Pg. 199.)
From my understanding of the quote, it seems that Fr. Matthew is teaching that during deep contemplative prayer, the soul attempts to seperate from the body.
Q1. Is my point of view correct?
Q2. If yes, is this "seperation" to be taken literally or metaphorically?
Q3. Is this point of view of Fr. Matthew held by most Coptic and/or Orthodox Fathers, dead (or "sleeping") or alive?
As the thread progresses, I'm sure I'll have more questions but that is all for now. Thanks.