Author Topic: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?  (Read 16431 times)

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Offline Arnaud

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What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« 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)?

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #1 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).

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 11:58:58 AM »
I'm still awaiting a NLE (Near Life Experience).
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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #3 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,
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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #4 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 touched on the subject as well.
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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #5 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 touched on the subject as well.

Good lord $47.95? Is it worth it?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #6 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 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".
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 01:47:50 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #7 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 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".
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Offline neon_knights

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 04:24:38 PM »
http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/nde.aspx

This is an Orthodox view of NDEs.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #9 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.  



 
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #10 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. 
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 04:49:54 PM »
I'm still awaiting a NLE (Near Life Experience).

Beat me to it.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #12 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. 
You can't find wisdom in the mirror.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #13 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. 
You can't find wisdom in the mirror.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #14 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.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 12:35:16 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #15 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.  ;)
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #16 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"?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 12:38:35 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #17 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?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #18 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.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #19 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.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline biro

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #20 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.'
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #21 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

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.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #22 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.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 02:43:51 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #23 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.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 02:48:52 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #24 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".

         
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Offline stanley123

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2012, 03:34:41 AM »
Post withdrawn.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 03:36:32 AM by stanley123 »

Offline Azul

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #26 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..
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #27 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?   
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #28 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.
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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #29 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 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. 
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #30 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.
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Offline Azul

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #31 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?
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #32 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.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #33 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.


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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #34 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:)
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #35 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
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 02:49:17 PM by Arnaud »
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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #36 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
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #37 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

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #38 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?   
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #39 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.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #40 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.  ;)
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #41 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?
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #42 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.  ;)
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #43 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?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What do you think of NDEs (Near Death Experiences)?
« Reply #44 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.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 08:31:34 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.