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What is the Orthodox Position on Ghosts?

stashko

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Marc1152 said:
The spiritually healthy part of belief in "Ghosts" is belief that we survive death in some way. If you get to that point, a reasonable person will begin to reconsider if he is prepared for an after-life...

My wife and I had made a pact many years ago that if one of us died we would send a signal to the survivor that the deceased had survived death and was in the after-life.... It was a very personal thing that was to be done, a husband and wife sort of thing that would not occur normally.. I will spare you the details since it is rather personal..

A week or so after she passed... it happend.. In all truthfullness,  I had long forgotten about our pact and only when it had happend did I realize it was the signal we had agreed on....  I saw it, thanked her and then said..."Okay, do it again"... Two days later, it happend again.

From my standpoint there are only two possibilities..This could have been the work of a Demon just to mess with me in my grief or it is as it appears, a clear sign of survival of death and the existence of an after-life...

Please pray for my dear wife Isadora ( Dorie) on this the 3rd anniversary of her passing.. ( actually yesterday 8/8 )

Marc

May Her Memory be Eternal...Amen
Bessed Rest Grant thy Handmaden Oh Lord Among Thy Just..Amen
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Robb said:
I am especially thinking of the Greek Orthodox since they, unlike the Russians, do not subscribe to the "Toll House" belief but instead believe that people are purified in an intermediary state after death.
I know that Elder Ephraim and Abbot Paisios of St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona fully affirm the "toll-houses" as the traditional Orthodox belief on the state of the soul after death, and they are from Mount Athos themselves.  So it would seem that at least some Greeks do agree with the belief as laid out by Fr. Seraphim.
 

88Devin12

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Wouldn't we be able to affirm that some are able to return here and appear to humans? After all, this has happened with the Saints. I believe(d) (not sure atm) that originally it was all demonic activity. Now I'm not so sure.

Originally after the death of my beloved Grandfather (and then my Uncle), we had unexplained occurrances in our home, as did my Grandmother's house. I was told by my Priest that it could indeed have been my Grandfather. My parents (Protestants) and brother tell me about a "ghost" we had in a 100 year old house we once occupied over a decade ago.

We have many stories of Saints returning and appearing to us. In my opinion, it may indeed be possible for this to happen with those not declared as Saints.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/death/

I've read several articles on that site before and felt it is very possible for the souls of the departed to return.

As for chanting in Churches, etc... It could indeed be fragments, but IMO, it just shows how the Church here is connected to the heavenly Church.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Marc1152 said:
The spiritually healthy part of belief in "Ghosts" is belief that we survive death in some way. If you get to that point, a reasonable person will begin to reconsider if he is prepared for an after-life...

My wife and I had made a pact many years ago that if one of us died we would send a signal to the survivor that the deceased had survived death and was in the after-life.... It was a very personal thing that was to be done, a husband and wife sort of thing that would not occur normally.. I will spare you the details since it is rather personal..

A week or so after she passed... it happend.. In all truthfullness,  I had long forgotten about our pact and only when it had happend did I realize it was the signal we had agreed on....  I saw it, thanked her and then said..."Okay, do it again"... Two days later, it happend again.

From my standpoint there are only two possibilities..This could have been the work of a Demon just to mess with me in my grief or it is as it appears, a clear sign of survival of death and the existence of an after-life...

Please pray for my dear wife Isadora ( Dorie) on this the 3rd anniversary of her passing.. ( actually yesterday 8/8 )

Marc
I dare not pass judgment on such matters as the pact between you and your wife. But I would strongly caution others not to make such pacts. The purpose of our lives is to know and serve God for all eternity. This earth is a temporal prison from which we have been liberated by the Cross.

St. Paul writes:
"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." [II Cortinthians 5:6-8]

If we are to walk by faith and not by sight, then perhaps it is unhealthy to seek "signs" from our loved ones who have departed from this earth. Instead we should pray for them according to the teachings of the Church and have faith in God. If they are with Christ, then why should they desire to return to us? If they have been freed from the sin and death of this world, then why would they desire to return to this mortal realm? God has already commissioned His angels to enter this realm and fight spiritual battles on our behalf. Humans and angels are different creatures, and so we must not confuse the two.

The Church teaches that Saints have appeared to humans at certain times. Perhaps because of their spiritual victory while on earth, they are given special charge to appear to men at certain times for specific purposes. But even in entertaining such Saintly manifestations we must exercise extreme caution and discernment. It is not beyond possibility that demons will disguise themselves as Saints in order to lead men astray. This is why fasting, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical faithfulness and discipline are so important in the Christian life. Without these things we become very susceptible to demonic deceits.

I hope these comments are not too off base, and that they do not contradict Orthodox teaching. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thank you.


Selam 
 

Rastaman

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88Devin12 said:
Wouldn't we be able to affirm that some are able to return here and appear to humans? After all, this has happened with the Saints. I believe(d) (not sure atm) that originally it was all demonic activity. Now I'm not so sure.
It's not quite clear. There have certainly been instances of Sts. appearing and angels, at the same time I know of at least one occurrence where somebody passed away, had an out-of-body experience, and was brought back to life, confounding the medical experts present. I know of one theologian who seems to indicate through patristic writings that as soon as one dies the spirit is taken away to a place to await judgment. In his view, any apparitions are therefore demonic, which doesn't really jive with the appearances of saints.

Overall, when dealing with any instances such as ghosts or other "paranormal" (wrong term really) activity, proceed with extreme caution...
 
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