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

FatherGiryus

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That's why I have not told anyone they can't (at least on this thread)...  8)

GabrieltheCelt said:
FatherGiryus said:
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.  ;)
 

FatherGiryus

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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.


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

Conjecture is the forum's specialty, Fr. 
How many Hypostases can indivduate upon the head of a Prosopon?
 

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FatherGiryus said:
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.
 

FatherGiryus

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But, there is nothing in our Tradition that says that death is the Age to Come.  Again, I think he is making a very odd solution for a problem that does not exist.  I think he's doing too much thinking... fairies and pinheads.

NicholasMyra said:
FatherGiryus said:
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.
 

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FatherGiryus said:
The quote from St. John merely affirms what I wrote: the saints on earth rise to meet the reposed saints coming down with the Lord, and they together form the pomp that accompanies Christ when He returns to judge the earth.  The condemned remain below.

Nothing unusual here.
We agree. But what you said:

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

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

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

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

Again, I might be mistaken..






 

FatherGiryus

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The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time?  While we have contact with the eternal through God, we do not 'experience' the future in the present... there is simply no support for this in our Tradition.

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

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

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


NicholasMyra said:
FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]But, there is nothing in our Tradition that says that death is the Age to Come. 

I don't think he's saying death is the age to come. I think he's saying there's no death at all anymore.
 

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

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

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FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time? 


Father,

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

This doesn't make the creatures who experience it timeless. It means that God can blur the lines. After all, God hears our prayers in the present from before all ages; surely he can make a mystical age that follows, not a "timelessness", but a different sort of sanctified time.
 

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The point is that those things are true, and yet we do not experience them as such the way Fr. Tom seems to be implying that they are.  The dead have not entered into the Age to Come.  There is nothing indicating they exit chronos.  They die and either remain in hades (i.e the "dead in Christ" are thus dead) or emerge and enter into rest.

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

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

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

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


NicholasMyra said:
FatherGiryus said:
[size=11pt]The Age to Come is the Age to Come.  I could make the same absolutist argument that he makes about death that you are either in the Age to Come totally or not at all.  How can a finite being begin to 'experience' timelessness when he has and always will be a creature of time? 


Father,

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

This doesn't make the creatures who experience it timeless. It means that God can blur the lines. After all, God hears our prayers in the present from before all ages; surely he can make a mystical age that follows, not a "timelessness", but a different sort of sanctified time.
 

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

Arnaud said:
FatherGiryus said:
Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.
confused me.  :-\
Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

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

__________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thanks anyway.
 

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You are making the assumption that to 'die in Christ' is to remain 'dead in Christ.'  The concept of 'dead in Christ' appears nowhere else in the Scriptures, and that is because of the teaching that those who die in Christ are freed from the 'pit' of sheol so that they may pass to eternal rest.

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

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

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


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

Arnaud said:
FatherGiryus said:
Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.
confused me.  :-\
Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

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

__________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thanks anyway.
 

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Arnaud said:
Azul said:
I have not heard of many cases but I think they are the product of the mind.Thus not all experience the same stuff..
There were several cases when that happened while the person's brain was said to be non-functioning, while the person was clinically dead. And in most cases, the testimonies of NDEs gathered have similarities (decorporation, tunnel with very white light, encounters...etc), which is why that's so strange.
"The process of cell death thus really begins as soon as the heart stops beating due to the effects of lack of oxygen but continues for many tens of minutes if not hours until eventually all the remnants of the cells also disintegrate and we are left with nothing other than bones.  "

 

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Kerdy said:
I can’t prove or disprove NDE in the context of this thread, but personally I do not believe in them.  I have heard too many heretical “experiences”.  Perhaps evil uses the unprotected state of the person at that time to invade their mind.  Who knows?  I have; however, had a different kind of NDE, several in fact, or should we call them Near Misses.
I have heard many weird experiences also.. heck even had one after a strong hangover but i`m not sure if that qualifies as NDE ;).

The mind is an interesting organ.
 

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FatherGiryus said:
You are making the assumption that to 'die in Christ' is to remain 'dead in Christ.'  The concept of 'dead in Christ' appears nowhere else in the Scriptures, and that is because of the teaching that those who die in Christ are freed from the 'pit' of sheol so that they may pass to eternal rest.

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

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

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


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

Arnaud said:
FatherGiryus said:
Who are the 'dead in Christ'?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, there are those that have not entered into rest, those who are the residents of hades who refuse to leave.  They are truly 'dead.'  They do not join the triumphant pomp of the Lord's return, so these are not members of the Body of Christ. This is death.
confused me.  :-\
Okay, then Should we understand the 'dead in Christ' to also mean, not only those departed whose souls are in sheol, but also those still in the flesh [but spiritually dead] at the time of the Second Coming of our Lord? What about this latter group?

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

__________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thanks anyway.
Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
 

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Yet another thread I wish I could get into. To me Fr. Thom has stumbled in a clumsy way upon an answer to a fundamental Christian problematic which within the life the Orthodox Church is made more problematic.

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

 

FatherGiryus

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Absolutely not.  :mad:

Azul said:
Fr are you saying that the souls have no mind conscience after their death untill "the Resurrection" ? Are you saying they wake up directly in the times of Resurrection and Last Judgement?
 
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