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

Arnaud

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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)?

 

Asteriktos

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

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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
 

NicholasMyra

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Achronos said:
Cognomen said:
Asteriktos said:
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".
 

FatherGiryus

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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.





NicholasMyra said:
Achronos said:
Cognomen said:
Asteriktos said:
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".
 

neon_knights

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http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/nde.aspx

This is an Orthodox view of NDEs.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]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.  



 

NicholasMyra

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Father,

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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".

FatherGiryus said:
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)
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.

GabrieltheCelt said:
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. 
 

FatherGiryus

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Could you explain what you mean by "If we can enter into the Age to Come in the divine liturgy,..."?



NicholasMyra said:
Father,

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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".

FatherGiryus said:
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)
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.

GabrieltheCelt said:
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. 
 

FatherGiryus

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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. 


NicholasMyra said:
Father,

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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.

FatherGiryus said:
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".

FatherGiryus said:
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)
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.

GabrieltheCelt said:
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. 
 

NicholasMyra

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Father,

FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]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.

FatherGiryus said:
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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Did I say 'minds'?  ???



NicholasMyra said:
Father,

FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]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.

FatherGiryus said:
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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FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]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"?
 

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NicholasMyra said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
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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GabrieltheCelt said:
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.
 
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