The Soul After Death by Father Seraphim Rose shares the Orthodox Christian position on what happens to human beings upon death. Father Seraphim reviews the teachings of saints to explain modern phenomena such as near-death experiences of those who have been revived after clinical death and also out-of-body experiences among psychedelic drug users. His book is critical reading for serious Christians, because if one were to subscribe to errant beliefs about death, and come to think that “everybody goes to heaven” or that “heaven is a state of mind, not a place,” it will start to negatively affect their spiritual life and may ultimately lead to eternal condemnation.

What is death?

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “By the fall both the soul and body of man were changed. In the strict sense the fall was for them also a death. That which we see and call death is in essence only the separation of the soul from the body, both of which had already before this been put to death by an eternal death!”

Do you believe in a spiritual reality?

We who live on earth can hardly even begin to understand the reality of the spiritual world until we ourselves come to dwell in it. This is a process that begins now, in this life, but ends only in eternity, when we will behold “face to face” what we now see only “through a glass, darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12).

If you don’t believe in a spiritual reality then everything you do will be structured around pleasing your body and flesh until you die, and then when you die, none of that body-pleasing will be useful when you are fully aware and present in soul to be judged by God.

What can we learn from near-death experiences among heterodox and non-Christians?

…Dr. Kubler-Ross mentions one remarkable case where a blind person “saw” and later described everything clearly in the room where she “died,” although when she came back to life she was once again blind—a striking evidence that it is not the eye that sees (not the brain that thinks, for the mental faculties become quicker after death), but rather the soul that performs these actions through the physical organs as long as the body is alive, but by its own power when the body is dead.

[…]

It is characteristic of our times of unbelief that these people seldom use the Christian vocabulary or realize that it is their soul that has been set free from the body and now experiences everything; they are usually simply puzzled at the new state they find themselves in.

[…]

…most, perhaps indeed all, of [near-death] experiences have little in common with the Christian vision of heaven. These visions are not spiritual, but worldly. They are so quick, so easily attained, so common, so earthly in their imagery, that there can be no serious comparison of them with the true Christian visions of heaven in the past… Even the most “spiritual” thing about some of them—the feeling of the “presence” of Christ—persuades one more of the spiritual immaturity of those who experience it than of anything else. Rather than producing the profound awe, fear of God, and repentance which the authentic experience of God’s presence has evoked in Christians saints (of which St. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus may be taken as a model—Acts 9:3-9), the present-day experiences produce something much more akin to the “comfort” and “peace” of the modern spiritistic and Pentecostal movements.

[…]

…[near-death experiences] may be said to “prove” no more than a minimum doctrine of the bare survival of the human soul outside the body, and of the bare existence of a non-material reality, while giving decisively no information on non-material reality, while giving decisively no information on the further state of even existence of the soul after the first few minutes of “death,” nor of the ultimate nature of the non-material realm.

What does it mean to see dead relatives?

St. Gregory the Great, in describing many of these experiences in Dialogues, explains the phenomenon of meeting others: “It frequently happens that a soul on the point of death recognizes those with whom it is to share the same eternal dwelling for equal blame or reward” (Dialogues, IV, 36). And specifically with regard to those who have led a righteous life, St. Gregory notes that “if often happens that the saints of heaven appear to the righteous at the hour of death in order to reassure them. And, with the vision of the heavenly company before their minds, they die without experiencing any fear of agony” (Dialogues, IV, 12).

[…]

These encounters, while they do not seem by any means to occur to everyone before death, still can be called universal in the sense that they occur without regard to nationalist, religion, or holiness of life.

[…]

…it must be that the dead relatives who are seen as not actually “present” as the dying believe them to be. St. Gregory the Great says only that the dying man “recognizes” people, whereas to the righteous “the saints of heaven appear”—a distinction which not merely indicates the different experience of the righteous and ordinary sinners when they die, but also is directly bound up with the different afterlife state of the saints and ordinary sinners. The saints have great freedom to intercede for the living and to come to their aid, whereas deceased sinners, save in very special cases, have no contact with the living.

[…]

…we need not doubt that the saints actually appear to the righteous at death, as is described in many Lives of Saints. To ordinary sinners, on the other hand, there are often apparitions of relatives, friends, or “gods” which correspond to what the dying either expect or are prepared to see. The exact nature of these latter apparitions it is probably impossible to define; they are certainly not mere hallucinations, but seem to be a part of the natural experience of death, a sign to the dying person (as it were) that he is about to enter a new realm where the laws of ordinary material reality no longer hold. There is nothing very extraordinary about this experience, which seems to hold constant for different times, places, and religions.

Applying discernment to near-death experiences

…we must clearly distinguish between genuine, grace-given visions of the other world, and a merely natural experience which, even though it may be outside the normal limits of human experience, is not in the least spiritual and tells us nothing about the actual reality of either the heaven or the hell of authentic Christian teaching.

[…]

One who is aware of this Orthodox teaching cannot but look in amazement and horror at the ease with which contemporary “Christians” trust the visions and apparitions which are now becoming so common. The reason for this credulity is clear: Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, cut off for centuries now from the Orthodox doctrine and practice of spiritual life, have lost all capability for clear discernment in the realm of spirits.

[…]

Those who are seeing “paradise” in the aerial realm today are “pleased,” “happy,” “satisfied”—seldom anything more; if they behold “Christ” in some form, it is only to indulge in the familiar “dialogues” with him that characterize experiences in the “charismatic” movement. The element of the Divine and of man’s awe before it, the fear of God, are absent in such experiences.

Demons will tempt you at the time of death and even right after

The Orthodox Lives of Saints have numerous accounts of… demonic spectacles which appear at the moment of death, usually with the aim of frightening the dying person and making him despair over his salvation.

[…]

The hour of death, then, is indeed a time of demonic temptation, and the “spiritual experiences” which people have at this time… are to be subjected to the same standard of Christian teaching as are any other “spiritual experiences.” Likewise, the “spirits” who may be encountered at this time are to be subjected to the universal test which the Apostle John expresses in the words: Test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

[…]

It befits us, therefore, to be very suspicious (at the least) of the “beings of light” who seem to appear in the moment of death. They seem very much like demons posing as “angels of light” in order to seduce, not only the dying person himself, but even more those to whom he will later tell this tale if he is resuscitated (concerning the chances of which, of course, the demons are well aware).

The demons are not ignorant that people who are clinically dead may be revived, so it is profitable for them to give people a “peaceful” and “calm” vision so that, in the case they do come back to life, they will ecstatically share this vision to all, reinforcing the desired notion that everybody goes to heaven and spiritual labors are not necessary.

Also, don’t despair if you’re swarmed by imp-looking demons surrounding your deathbed. You may think that your judgment has arrived, but really it could be a final temptation by Satan for you to forsake God.

Demons provide a vision at death that corresponds to an individual’s beliefs

It is not necessary for us to define precisely the nature of the apparitions of the dying in order to see that they depend to some extent, as we have already seen on what the dying person expects or is prepared to see. Thus, Christians of past centuries who had a lively belief in hell, and whose conscience accused them in the end, often saw demons at death; Indians of today, who are certainly more “primitive” than Americans in their beliefs and understanding, often see beings that correspond to their still very real fears about the afterlife; while contemporary Americans, with their “enlightened” views, see apparitions in harmony with their “comfortable” life and beliefs, which in general do not include a very realistic fear of hell or awareness of demons.

On the objective side, the demons themselves offer temptations which accord with the spiritual state or expectations of those being tempted. For those who fear hell, the demons may appear in terrible forms in order to make a person die in a state of despair; but for those who do not believe in hell (or for Protestants who believe they are infallibly “saved” and therefore need not fear hell) the demons would naturally offer temptations in some other form that would not so clearly expose their evil intent. Likewise, even to a Christian struggler who has already suffered much, the demons may appear in such a way as to seduce him rather than frighten him.

The activity of demons

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “The holy spirits avoid communion with men who are unworthy of such communion; while the fallen spirits, who have drawn us into their fall, have mingled with us and, so as the more easily to hold us in captivity, strive to make both themselves and their chains unnoticeable to us. And if they do reveal themselves, they do it in order to strengthen their dominion over us.”

[…]

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “…the spirits who appear sensuously to men who are in a state of sinfulness and fall, are demons and not in the least holy angels. ‘A filthy soul,’ said St. Isaac the Syrian, ”does not enter the pure realm and is not joined to holy spirits’ (Homily 74). Holy angels appear only to holy men who have restored communion with God and with them by a holy life.”

[…]

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “The fallen angels are dispersed in a multitude throughout the entire transparent immensity which we see above us. They do not cease to disturb all human societies and every person separately; there is no evil deed, no crime, of which they might not be instigators and participants; they incline and instruct men towards sin by all possible means. Your adversary the devil, says the holy Apostle Peter, walketh about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), both during our earthly life and after the separation of the soul from the body. When the soul of a Christian, leaving its earthly dwelling, begins to strive through the aerial spaces towards the homeland on high, the demons stop it, strive to find in it a kinship with themselves, their sinfulness, their fall, and to drag it down to the hell prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). They act thus by the right which they have acquired.”

The foolishness of seeking visions and spiritual experiences

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “The desire to see spirits, curiosity to find out anything about them and from them, is a sign of the greatest foolishness and total ignorance of the Orthodox Church’s traditions concerning moral and active life. Knowledge of spirits is acquired quite differently than is supposed by the inexperienced and careless experimenter. Open communion with spirits for the inexperienced is the greatest misfortune, or serves as a source of the greatest misfortunes.”

[…]

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “One who perceives spirits sensuously can easily be deceived to his own harm and perdition. If, on perceiving spirits, he shows trust or credulity towards them, he will unfailingly be deceived, he will unfailingly be attracted, he will unfailingly be sealed with the seal of deception, not understandable to the inexperienced, the seal of a frightful injury in his spirit; and further, the possibility of correction and salvation is often lost. This has happened with many, very many.”

Judgment after death

[Concerning] our redemption by Jesus Christ, [Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov says,] “all who have openly rejected the Redeemer comprise the inheritance of satan: their souls, after the separation from the body, descend straight to hell. But Christians who are inclined to sin are also unworthy of being immediately translated from earthly life to blessed eternity. Justice itself demands that these inclinations to sin, these betrayals of the Redeemer should be weighted and evaluated. A judging and distinguishing are required in order to define the degree of a Christian soul’s inclination to sin, in order to define what predominates in it—eternal life or eternal death. The unhypocritical Judgment of God awaits every Christian soul after its departure from the body, as the holy Apostle Paul has said: It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).”

[…]

What is certain is that there is a testing by demons, who appear in a frightful but human form, accuse the newly-departed of sins and literally try to seize the subtle body of the soul, which is grasped firmly by angels; and all this occurs in the air above us and can be seen by those whose eyes are open to spiritual reality.

In the Orthodox Church, the initial judgment after death is called the “particular judgment.” Prayers can help the dead who have not fared well in this judgment, changing their eternal fate. The final judgment occurs on the Last Day and is, as you may have guessed, final.

What exactly happens when you die?

St. Cyril: “What fear and trembling await you, O soul, in the day of death! You will see frightful, wild, cruel, unmerciful and shameful demons, like dark Ethiopians, standing before you. The very sight of them is worse than any torment. The soul, seeing them, becomes agitated, is disturbed, troubled, seeks to hide, hastens to the angels of God. The holy angels hold the soul; passing with them through the air and rising, it encounters the toll-houses which guard the path from earth to heaven, detaining the soul and hindering it from ascending further. Each toll-house tests the sins corresponding to it; each sin, each passion has its tax collectors and testers.”

[…]

As a sensuous or “natural” experience, therefore, it would seem that death is indeed pleasant. This pleasantness may be experienced equally by one whose conscience is clean before God, and by one who does not deeply believe in God or eternal life at all, and therefore has no awareness of how he may have displeased God during his lifetime. A “bad death” is experienced, as one writer has well said, only by “those who know that God exists, and yet have lived their lives as though He did not”—i.e., those whose consciences torment them and counteract by their pain the natural “pleasure” of physical death. The distinction between believers and unbelievers occurs, then, not at the moment of death itself, but later, at the Particular Judgment. The “pleasantness” of death may be real enough, but it has no necessary connection whatever with the eternal fate of the soul, which may well be one of torment.

[…]

In the contemporary experiences the soul is most frequently offered a choice to remain in “paradise” or go back to earth; while the genuine experience of heaven occurs not by the choice of man but only at the command of God, fulfilled by His angels. The common “out-of-body” experience of “paradise” in our days has no need of a guide because it takes place right here, in the air above us, still in this world; while the presence of the guiding angels is necessary if the experience takes place outside this world, in a different kind of reality, where the soul cannot go by itself. (This is not to say that demons cannot masquerade as “guiding angels” also, but they seldom seem to do so in today’s experiences.)

Secular people are hung up on the delayed inevitability of physical death, and cope by distracting themselves in this life with endless amusements and doctor visits, but it’s really the potential for spiritual death that we should focus our labors on.

Death experiences of the Saints

Saint Ignatius: “The great saints of God pass through the aerial guards of the dark powers with such great freedom because during earthly life they enter into uncompromising battle with them and, gaining the victory over them, acquire in the depths of their heart complete freedom from sin, become the temple and sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, making their rational dwelling-place inaccessible for the fallen angels.”

The aerial realm

The realm into which the soul immediately enters when it leaves the body and begins to lose contact with what we know as “material reality” (whether after death or in a simple “out-of-body” experience) is neither heaven nor hell, but an invisible realm close to earth which is variously called the “After-death” or “Bardo plane” (Tibetan Book of the Dead), the “world of spirits” (Swedenborg and spiritism), the “astral plane” (Theosophy and most of occultism), “Locale II” (Monroe)—or, in Orthodox language, the aerial world of the under-heaven where fallen spirits dwell and are active in deceiving men for their damnation. This is not the “other world” that awaits man after death, but only the invisible part of this world that man must pass through to reach the truly “other” world of heaven or hell. For those who have truly died, and are being conducted by angels out of earthly life, this is the realm where the Particular Judgment begins at the aerial “toll-houses,” where the spirits of the air reveal their real nature and their hostility towards mankind; for all others, it is a realm of demonic deception at the hands of these same spirits.

[…]

The beings contacted in this realm are always (or almost always) demons, whether they are invoked by mediumism or other occult practices, or encountered in “out-of-body” experiences. They are not angels, for these dwell in heaven and only pass through this realm as messengers of God. They are not the souls of the dead, for they dwell in heaven or hell and only pass through this realm immediately after death on their way to judgment for their actions in this life. Even those most adept in “out-of-body” experiences cannot remain in this realm for long without danger of permanent separation from the body (death)…

[…]

Almost all contemporary researchers accept or at least are highly sympathetic to the occult teaching regarding this realm, for the single reason that it is based on experience, which is also the basis of science. But “experience” in the material world is something quite different from “experience” in the aerial realm. The raw material being experienced and studied in the one case is morally “neutral,” and it can be studied objectively and verified by others; but in the other case the “raw material” is hidden, extremely difficult to grasp, and, in many cases, has a will of its own—a will to deceive the observer.

What is really going on with modern near-death experiences?

The passage through the toll-houses—which is a kind of touchstone of authentic after-death experience—is not described at all in today’s experiences, and the reason for this is not far to seek. From many signs—the absence of the angels who come for the soul, the absence of judgment, the frivolousness of many of the accounts, even the very shortness of the time involved (usually some five to ten minutes, compared with the several hours to several days in the incidents from saint’ Lives and other Orthodox sources)—it is clear that today’s experiences, although sometimes very striking and not explainable by any natural laws known to medical science, are not very profound. If these are actual experiences of death, then they involve only the very beginning of the soul’s after-death journey; they occur in the anteroom of death, as it were, before God’s decree for the soul has become final (manifested by the coming of the angels for the soul), while there is still a possibility for the soul to return to the body by natural means.

[…]

It is not precisely an “after-death” experience; it is rather the “out-of-body” experience which is only the antechamber to other much more extensive experiences, whether of death itself or of what is sometimes called “astral travelling”… Although the “out-of-body” state might be called the “first moment” of death—if death actually follows—it is a gross mistake to conclude from it anything whatever about the “after-death” state, unless it be the bare facts of the survival and consciousness of the soul after death, which hardly anyone who actually believes in the soul’s immortality denies in any case.

There is an aerial realm above us that we cannot see because our spiritual eyes are shut. This aerial realm is infested with demons. When you die, your soul launches into the aerial realm for a brief period, where the demons can influence you with various visions, until the holy angels come down to begin your trial of particular judgment. Many psychedelic drugs have the ability to put you in the aerial realm where what you see is almost certainly a demonic trick. Proof of this is the fact that very few psychedelic users interpret their “spiritual experiences” of the aerial realm in a way that steers them into the Orthodox Church. The vast majority fall back into a variety of pantheistic, gnostic, deistic, or New Age belief systems that are not sufficient for salvation.

It is pleasing for the soul to separate from a body corrupted with sins

Our physical bodies in this fallen world are bodies of pain, corruption, and death. When separated from this body, the soul is immediately in a state more “natural” to it, closer to the state God intends for it; for the resurrected “spiritual body” in which man will dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven has more in common with the soul than with the body we know on earth.

What will our resurrected body be like?

[The] resurrected body, like that of Christ Himself, will be different from our earthly bodies in that it will be more refined and more like the angelic nature, without which it could not dwell in the Heavenly Kingdom, where there is no death or corruption; but it will still be the same body, miraculously restored and made fit by God for eternal life, as Ezekiel saw in his vision of the “dry bones” (Ezek. 37:1-14).

Erroneous concepts of heaven

…many Christians, in order to escape the mockery and unbelievers and avoid even the slightest taint of any materialistic conception, have gone to an opposite extreme and declare that heaven is “nowhere.” Among Roman Catholics and Protestants there are sophisticated apologies which proclaim that heaven is “a state, not a place,” that “up” is only a metaphor, the Ascension of Christ (Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-11) was not really an “ascension,” but only a change of state. The result of such apologies is that heaven and hell become very vague and indefinite conceptions, and the sense of their reality begins to disappear—with disastrous results for Christian life, because these are the very realities toward which our whole earthly life is directed.

[…]

The Christian after-death experiences all affirm the existence of heaven, hell, and judgment, of the need for repentance, struggle, and fear of losing one’s soul eternally; while the contemporary experiences, like those of shamans, pagan initiates, and mediums, seem to point to a “summerland” of pleasant experiences in the “other world,” where there is no judgment but only “growth,” and death is not to be feared but only welcome as a “friend” that introduces one to the pleasures of “life after death.”

What to do when someone you know dies

As soon as someone has reposed, immediately call or inform a priest, so he can read the “Prayers on the Departure of the Soul,” which are appointed to be read over all Orthodox Christians after death. Try, if it be possible to have the funeral in church and to have the Psalter read over the deceased until the funeral. The funeral need not be performed elaborately, but most definitely it should be complete, without abbreviations; think at this time not of yourself and your convenience, but of the deceased, with whom you are parting forever.

The spiritual world is merging with ours

St. Gregory the Dialogist: “As the present world approaches its end, the world of eternity looms nearer… The end of the world merges with the beginning of eternal life… The spiritual world is moving closer to us, manifesting itself through visions and revelations.” The end of this world’s existence began with the coming of Christ, and sensitive souls are always seeing how the other world is “breaking into” this world ahead of time and giving “hints” of its existence.”

The only way to heaven is through Lord Jesus Christ

The Church’s teaching is that whereas before our redemption by Christ, no one could pass through the air to heaven, the path being closed by demons, and all men went down to hell, now it has become possible for men to pass through the demons of the air, and their power now is restricted to men whose own sins convict them. In the same way, we know that even though Christ “destroyed the power of hell” (Kontakion of Pascha), any one of us can still fall into hell by rejecting salvation in Christ.

I see the toll-houses as a way for God to show you his just judgment. It’s a fair court trial with detailed evidence presented by your accusers—the demons—and defended competently by the holy angels. Whoever ends up in hell after the Last Judgment will have no doubt why they are there, and has no standing to whine that God is unfair or arbitrary. With The Soul After Death, Father Seraphim Rose did a commendable job revealing the doctrine of death and the importance of believing in the truth instead of vague modern notions that try to exalt death for everyone, regardless of what type of lives they had. (For a podcast adaption of the book, listen to Father John Valadez’s Soul After Death lecture series. For a more academic approach to this topic, try Jean-Claude Larchet’s Life After Death.)

One caveat is that, unless you are firmly on the path of Orthodoxy, you will feel notions of despair about the perceived difficulty of being saved, at least from the anecdotes that were shared involving mostly monks who were greatly tried at their final hour. I purposefully did not share any of the hard sayings since my audience is not solely Orthodox. I cannot recommend this book to those not in the Orthodox Church except for those who have had near-death or out-of-body experiences and have fallen into a “spiritual but not religious” trap that needs to be corrected. If you’re Orthodox, this is essential reading to understand the stakes at hand.

Learn More: The Soul After Death on Amazon

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A very important book, extremely sobering and can light a fire in someone to struggle all the harder. I revisit it when I am flagging in the struggle against the sins that have grown old and habitual in me

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I think the quote from St. Gregory the Dialogist is especially relevant as we see what is going on today. When we look back to even the first half of our lives, we see how much less perceptive most people are to what is quite obvious, and going on currently, compared to those we consider in tune with reality. The only good news is that there are more people closer to sanity than we realize, mostly because there are so many that are closer to, or beyond insanity - a trick of the evil one to get us distracted from the good.

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Interesting read. Thanks for the final summary - it helps.

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One caveat is that, unless you are firmly on the path of Orthodoxy, you will feel notions of despair about the perceived difficulty of being saved, at least from the anecdotes that were shared involving mostly monks who were greatly tried at their final hour.

I feel overwhelmed with despair, anyway.

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People today don't understand that there are worse things than physical death. Like the saints said, hell is unimaginable for the living and so is heaven or Paradise. And so they dress up for carnivals, go to parties, drink heavily, all the while demons don't have any work to do to get them to renounce God as a silly idea and church as a relic of the past.

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People today don't understand that there are worse things than physical death.

Amen. I've been saying this for a while, but mostly in reference to medical treatments and vain attempts at "surviving" instead of honorably dealing with life, and thus, death. Still, it is a true statement across the board.

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So I have not read this book. But I think I have seen another very similar article to this one. My son died when he was less than five. I don't understand how a small child is supposed to be dodging demons and using discernment and all of this kind of thing?

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So I have not read this book. But I think I have seen another very similar article to this one. My son died when he was less than five. I don't understand how a small child is supposed to be dodging demons and using discernment and all of this kind of thing?

Your post brought to my mind St. Paisios' words on the topic:

-Elder, why does God allow so many young people to die?

No one has made an agreement with God as to when he will die. God takes each person at the very best time of his life, in a particular manner, in order to save his soul. If He sees that someone will improve, God will give him time to live. But if He sees that he'll become worse, God takes him in order to save him. God will bring into His presence some who lead a sinful life but who have the disposition to do good - even before they have a chance to do this good - only because He knows that they would have done this good as soon as they were given the opportunity. It is as if He were telling them, "Don't weary yourself; your good disposition has sufficed." Also, God chooses to take someone who is very good because Paradise needs more blossoms.

Naturally, parents and relatives have a hard time understanding this. You see, a young child dies and Christ takes the child into His embrace as a little angel. Although the parents will cry and grieve, they should be joyful because they cannot know how their child would have been had he grown up. Could that child have been saved? IN 1924, when we were leaving Asia Minor on a ship to come to Greece, I was an infant. The ship was filled with refugees, and as my mother had wrapped me in swaddling cloths, one of the sailors accidentally stepped on me. My mother thought I had died and started to cry. One of the other women of our village unraveled the swaddling cloths and saw that nothing had happened to me. Had I died then, I would have certainly gone to Paradise. Now that I am a man of many years and have made such an ascetic struggle, I am not certain that I will go to paradise.

The death of a child can help the parents. They should know that from that moment on they have an ambassador in Paradise. When such parents die, their children will appear with angelic wings at the gates of Paradise to receive their souls. This is not a small matter! Again, to the little children who have suffered here from illness or some disability Christ will say, "Come into Paradise and select the best place." And then the children will say to Him, "It is very beautiful here, beloved Savior, but we want to have our dear mother with us." And Christ will then listen and in some way save the mother also.

Children have not yet grown old enough for passions & demons to root themselves in him. Christ says that the devil 'has nothing in him' & small children are surely much the same, just as how Christ says unless we are as children we shall not attain the kingdom. That state of the devil having nothing in you, is what allows you to pass unimpeded through the demons of the air.

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Thanks. That is nice to hear. I have been trying to figure out what I would do to help if he was off by himself facing down demons and such things.

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An excellent article and absolutely mind blowing for me. I have struggled for years with being "spiritual but not religious" and its associated terminology such as Near Death Experience, Reincarnation, panentheism, etc.

For years I thought I have found the truth by reading stories of Near Death Experiences, that the ultimate purpose of life is to learn and to love other, but I am indeed mistaken.

I believe this to be some kind of divine providence because several months ago I had similar discussions with fellow members, and they prove to me that "spiritual but not religious", NDE, etc., are false and comes from the demons to mislead people. Now Roosh wrote this article which answers the same question that I have struggled with the most.

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Nobody knows what happens after death but the dead, and nobody has come back to tell us, those that say they know are full of it because it's all BS.

Well Christ showed us what comes after death by coming back to life, walking talking and eating through his glorified body. So theres one example but judging from your handle, this would probably not be deemed as actual proof

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Thank you for this post Roosh. My resolve has been strengthened to further rid myself of sin, to pray more, and to live for God more.

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Hail our Lord.

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “The desire to see spirits, curiosity to find out anything about them and from them, is a sign of the greatest foolishness and total ignorance of the Orthodox Church’s traditions concerning moral and active life. Knowledge of spirits is acquired quite differently than is supposed by the inexperienced and careless experimenter. Open communion with spirits for the inexperienced is the greatest misfortune, or serves as a source of the greatest misfortunes.”

[…]

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov: “One who perceives spirits sensuously can easily be deceived to his own harm and perdition. If, on perceiving spirits, he shows trust or credulity towards them, he will unfailingly be deceived, he will unfailingly be attracted, he will unfailingly be sealed with the seal of deception, not understandable to the inexperienced, the seal of a frightful injury in his spirit; and further, the possibility of correction and salvation is often lost. This has happened with many, very many.”

Absolutely has been my experience. I have been both blessed and tested my brothers and sisters.

I really don't know why this has happened to me, but it has been months that I hear Satan's voice so clearly in my soul, and I suffer his hatred.

It all started when I started praying more sincerely to our Lord. Lockdowns made me suffer as happened to all of us. So in 2020 I knelt besides an icon I had of Him and our Holy Mother, and I cried out for help.

"Lord, please help us". "They want to kill us, please, please help"
At least for my friends. For my family. I didn't care really about my own dreams anymore. Satan had been allowed to take them from me. Dreaming is not what life is about.

I started hearing a voice demanding that I contact people I had left behind me. People that I had hurt or that had hurt me. To make up for it, by expressing my regret to them for all that had happened, and the sad role I had allowed Satan to play using me.

I have not killed or been violent. But I have betrayed my own love for God many times in the past, unable to understand why.

I never really understood that to love myself is to hate myself, because self love is really just isolation from the Divine.

After contacting the people I had shared a sad history with, miraculously almost all of them responded and I was able to meet them and apologise. I don't believe we can ever forgive ourselves. I forgive my brothers and sisters, even when it was they who were unfair, or so it seemed.

What difference does it make that they repay me? Can we ever undo the sins that Satan has branded on our souls by ourselves?

To ask for payback is to trade a sin for another, and sin is the currency of hell, as I learned later on by the torture I endured.

Bearing my small cross, I too have experienced torment by the devil and this is what I've learned.
Demons value sin as bankers value money.

Satan, or should I say Lucifer, is the father of lies and thus even his most famous name (Lightbringer) is a lie and a complete mockery of truth.

He is a banker and an investor.

In Latin vestuare (if I'm spelling it right) is about clothing but in French investing can also mean invading.

Satan invests you but also invests in you, with his money, sin or should I say, crime.

The more you sin the more stock he owns of You, incorporated.

Incorporated means united with the body. In this case, the body of Satan.

As you sin, sin compounds into more sin. So you have compounded damnation. It grows exponentially until the End of History. And this explains all the abominations we see today.

Before doom is damnation. We are all sinners, and as such we are suspected and accused of sinning.

Suspected is what Satan suggests you to do.
He whispers you to do things. He uses the mouths of those you love to talk to you.
Even our Lord had to answer to his student to stop talking, calling him Satan as he wanted him to refuse the Cross.

So the devil lurks in your mind, twisting your thoughts, changing one word for another, blinding you. His favourite trick is the magnifying glass.
He has you looking at something in great detail, to hide something else.
I call this to hide through showing. Journalists are experts at it. What a profession.

Our own mind has been hijacked by our past. He entered through our senses and the voices of those we love the most, our parents, siblings loved ones. Who here has had a saint for a brother, to be made aware of the danger?
Most of us have grown up in worldly life, and we are simply in the matrix he built in our mind. A parallel system of thought, identifying itself as our own, living it's own life inside of our head.

After suspicion, which is him suspecting you by planting evil in your thoughts and emotions, comes accusation.

Accusation is what happens when you fail because of Pride. It is when you allow Satan to take hold of you for a brief instant or longer, allowing suspicion to become reality. Now you are accused. You made the suspicions reality. You manifested Satan into the world and as long as you identify yourself with the sin, he owns part of your life. The only escape is repentance and taking complete ownership of all the mistakes and evil you can remember you have done, including those you do not remember you have done, and pray for forgiveness and drink the blood of Christ in the Holy Communion.

The Lord warned us of this again when he says to his students that Satan wanted to have them tempted and asked permission from the Father, but Jesus protected them.

He knew they could not defend themselves against the full power of his attacks, and they are Saints. Only Jesus has won alone.

So first you are suspected through thought and emotion, inside of you. Now you acted Satan's evil out, and made it a reality, the evil spilled out of your body into others, into the world, through action, inaction or what you said or did not say.

You are accused by Lucifer of your past.

Accusations or sins are what you truly have done.

Sins are like treasury loans, bonds and obligations or mortgages. Mort in French is death, gage is obligation or credit if I'm not mistaken. A death credit. Bankers truly speak the devil's crooked tongue.

These bonds the blood of our Lord destroys.

Suspicion is always the underwater part of the iceberg.

It is those roots that demons have planted on our nervous system, through worldly life. They are temptation devices, that cash in our souls at the devil's bank.
Only the Holy Spirit can unroot these ills. For they grow to give sin, that compounds into more suspicion leading into even greater sin, so on and so forth, until all free will is completely lost. This is not damnation, but doom. That is irreversible. In this case you have completely denied God within you, by allowing Satan to suffocate your soul to the point that only your ego remains. This is why politics and finance but also Hollywood are in many ways completely corrupt in an absurd manner. They are in self-destruction mode.

Sin is money is sin, and this is the meaning of our Lord paying all our sins. He literally bought and destroyed all rights Satan had of us, through his sacrifice.

Just like every citizen owns part of the national debt (30+ trillion in the USA) from the day he is born and branded like cattle with a civil identity, so Satan brands us with Pride and Sin, and we fall under the crushing weight of the spiritual debt of our society. Every year it gets worse.

Some pray but most simply borrow from Peter to pay Paul, sinning more to pay back previous sin, just like bankers borrow from one another to pay back expiring loans.

All sin is a loan from Satan. And he views us as his own children, that he will cannibalise to survive.
This is why Satanists are paedophiles. They drink the blood of their own mind to recycle themselves. They cannot give life unto anything, but they are sterile, reproducing sterility.

This is why all sexual ideas are sterile. If you do not intend to have a family with the person whose body you both share with each other, you are in a sterile relationship. And sterile is death, and death is from the underworld. You cannot life happiness and will separate inevitably. Unless you are really sterile in which case adoption is a good act. Otherwise you are deluding yourselves into the dream world of nirvana through sex, sex and more satanic loaning.

Much of today's ideas revolve around arrogantly and greedily extracting pleasure from our depleted nervous system, like violent slavemasters.

The Devil cannot reproduce himself, really. Only divide himself more and more, just like information technology. Truly 0+0 does not equal zero. Because by adding up ignorance, look at what man has accomplished.

The Lord made the world in 7 days. Man added up his ignorance in exchange for his innocence and gave birth to Science, an abominable magic which ironically with the dawn of AI seems to draw scientists back to the very thing they vowed to defeat, idolatry and being superstitious.

The day is close when most humans beg artificial intelligence like pagan priests begged stone statues to tell them how to make love to their spouse and how to tie their shoe laces.

AI will be the God of the unfaithful. And we have all been warned:

And none shall be able to buy and sell without the Mark of the Beast.

The Beast is many different things. It has to do with money and banking but also with Groupthink. It is the status, the fame, the fake glory of the Idols. It is the social hierarchy. If you are part of society at the end times, you will be part of a hive. All your will will be free in nothing but name. Your will will feel like it's yours but in reality it will be nothing but the will of your demon investors.

Enough despair. I write Satan with a big S, for in these two years I've been crushed. The Lord has protected me throughout this course. I have not destroyed anything. But in my mind, privately I have become mad.

One day it was so intense I took a knife to kill myself, hearing what the Saint calls spirits.

I hadn't done any black magic or things like that.

I really couldn't handle it, and grabbed a knife to split my throat to stop the merciless voices mocking me.
And as I was about to do it the most soothing of all voices whispered to me that it would all be fine, and my body relaxed. Ever since I have been through various experiences but none so bad. And throughout I have prayed.

Of course we should beware of the occult. It leads to self destruction, invariably.

I believe it was not against me, but rather as a lesson that the Lord allowed satan to do this to me, however bad it was.

You must avoid anything complex, this I've learned. The Devil uses complexity to his own advantage. He multiplies his spirit of Death by dividing himself into an almost infinite spectrum. And then invests himself everywhere into human life. This gave birth to marketing. Marketing is branding. Branding is ego. Ego is Pride.

Yet our Lord warned us. Do not add up treasures here, but in the heavens. I believe acts of love inspired by the Holy Spirit are the pure treasures He pointed out.

And yet here we are leaving our mark everywhere, proudly being invested by company names in our lives. And people become prey to idolatry.

The new Idols are not made of stone. They are made of ideas. Ideas that consume our mind, Satan investing our heads to have a share of our "mindset".

We are our own enemies and only God Almighty can stop us from this merciless brainwashing, that counsels us to stab each other with the pointy finger of mutual accusation.

Cease to spread the venom of accusation and believe all that a person says as true, without mimicking him.

If he lies the Lord will make it obvious to those innocent, for he warned us:

Children only enter Heaven, and being innocent is not a matter of age, but of love.

His heart bleeds the blood we drink every time we commune with Him, begging for our sins to be forgiven. Let us not forget that before him, the Father had Justice as Law, but we couldn't be fair, and now he is merciful, but his blood is still sacred.

Please, I feel this inside me, that so many of us are vulgar in our commitment, devaluing his sacrifice by measuring sin up the standard of our abominable society.

Sin is money and money is sin to the Devil. Do not let him invest in you. And know he already has rights that he will claim, if not on you then on your loved ones.

We are all responsible and indebted by default, just like with the national debt. We all pay for each others sins, because we all share the same land, this Earth.

The Saints all payed more than their fair share, lifting the heaviest cross they could find. Our Lord Jesus Christ showed us the way.

And yet how many of us, becoming vulgar and common, devolve and desecrate ourselves even further before our King, by saying this :

" It's not my fault"
Of course it isn't. Most sins are inherited because of society. But is this noble? Is it sacred?

Imagine God judging us all today, this very second, and many of us saying, like children in a class after throwing a ball of paper on Him, "it wasn't me".

Lucifer will eat us alive with this stance in life. We must all pray for all of us, regardless of what they've done. He instructed us to do so: pray and if your enemies do not repent, they shall be destroyed. Yet in justice, it works both ways. We shouldn't be malicious in our prayers.

Only our Lord can destroy sins, and they're much alike financial instruments.

Do not condemn the sinner that all of us are, but condemn the sin without punishing it, for those that use the sword will find themselves against it.

Long story short, today I am mostly okay. I will write a better post on it someday, sorry for hijacking the thread. This has been my experience with the "spirits", blended in with Christ's Love.

I must also say that the moment you take a stronger stance in your faith in the Lord, you take a stronger stance against Satan.

As the mercy of the Holy Spirit frees the penitent from the bonds of sin, so Satan attacks his family and relatives, claiming all his mortgages, using them against him and against themselves.

All of money is nothing but the material manifestation, the shadow if you will, of Satan on the world. It is a massive ledger of sin. The more you sin, the more money will you have. And the money you inherit is tainted by sin as well. Only with the Holy Spirit can you bear this responsibility.

This is why glorifying money is idolatry. I know we live in a financial world and a sinful society that we are members of. But members of society are also limbs of the Beast. In the not so distant future, in decades from now, man will have to make a choice:

Either to renounce the command of money/currency on his will and be rejected from the body of society but be part of Christ, or become a member of society by staying in it, and be Christian only as an identity, not in sacred Love.

God bless you, sorry for the preaching. May the Mercy of our Lord guide us. Times are tough on humanity. Comfort has killed virtue. Virtue has been replaced by abuse and egoism. We will prevail. Pride is worthless. Only forgiveness makes one humble. Let us apologise for it all.

ICXC NIKA

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Our lives are mysterious in many ways, but we need to be faithful in our repentance, at least. And leave the rest for our Lord to help us, since we can do nothing in and of ourselves. I think people make things unnecessarily complex, mostly because (as above) the world is quite complex, and we are into comparing ourselves to other's, for simpleton sake kind of things; perhaps even to feel like we can understand the world or control it in some way. Keep reading and listening to the Saints and the advocates for them, and of course follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying is hard but we must try since the modern world is so full of distraction. God is setting up the coming times for us to show that we are with Him, and want to be with Him, and this will be a great test - but also a great mercy. Lord, have mercy.

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Having had a "near" death experience which lasted so long that after recovering, I then developed cancer (beat after many surgeries) from cells going anerobic from not enough oxygen while dead, as well as having met almost a dozen other experiencers, I have to state that none of these persons are accurate on their spiritually criminal speculations for which they will be held accountable, and accordingly punished at the judgement, for not having been there themselves and trying to discount and reject new knowledge because it does not pander to their prejudices (the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). I won't go into detail on my personal experience as I was told not to, will say that a lot of religious people are headed to hell and will have a very painful wakeup call. For more details, I will state a friend of mine was shot in the forehead with a .45 fmj and lost a lot of his brain when his store was robbed, and God told him he was to go back and preach. Another, a former employee had one from an attempted murder, was in a coma for months, and correctly named the day and time our co worker would die (God told him) which he did, from pnemonia. Another employee was shot and in a coma for 8 months, another fell 95 feet and disembowled on impact, another was shot in the jaw, another bled out due to stepping on an antipersonnel mine, I could go on and on. If you think that your "beliefs" will override God, you will find you are sorely mistaken when you also die, and heaven or not, will be filled with sorrow and regret for all those misled by false teachings. God in no uncertain terms stopped openly working miracles so that people will not attribute it to satan (who ironically cannot heal) and thus blaspheme the Holy Spirit rendering them unable to be saved. One is treading on very dangerous ground to attribute God's blessing to demons...

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Having had a "near" death experience which lasted so long that after recovering, I then developed cancer (beat after many surgeries) from cells going anerobic from not enough oxygen while dead, as well as having met almost a dozen other experiencers, I have to state that none of these persons are accurate on their spiritually criminal speculations for which they will be held accountable, and accordingly punished at the judgement, for not having been there themselves and trying to discount and reject new knowledge because it does not pander to their prejudices (the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). I won't go into detail on my personal experience as I was told not to, will say that a lot of religious people are headed to hell and will have a very painful wakeup call. For more details, I will state a friend of mine was shot in the forehead with a .45 fmj and lost a lot of his brain when his store was robbed, and God told him he was to go back and preach. Another, a former employee had one from an attempted murder, was in a coma for months, and correctly named the day and time our co worker would die (God told him) which he did, from pnemonia. Another employee was shot and in a coma for 8 months, another fell 95 feet and disembowled on impact, another was shot in the jaw, another bled out due to stepping on an antipersonnel mine, I could go on and on. If you think that your "beliefs" will override God, you will find you are sorely mistaken when you also die, and heaven or not, will be filled with sorrow and regret for all those misled by false teachings. God in no uncertain terms stopped openly working miracles so that people will not attribute it to satan (who ironically cannot heal) and thus blaspheme the Holy Spirit rendering them unable to be saved. One is treading on very dangerous ground to attribute God's blessing to demons...

Brother,
I don't understand.

So you met God and in his Holy Light He gave you something that you shouldn't say, and you mention having this secret?

Who told you not to speak?

I am not questioning you or accusing you. But you are making what demons do when you associate anybody with hell, especially these priests. What is the point? If the Lord has shown you his design, and judges you as an innocent man, you should be merciful towards those you accuse of being misleaded.
Or you believe yourself to be offended, which I can understand. But how do can you be so quick to irritation after meeting God? Have you lost contact with Him? Why are you so quick to demand justice ? Has God appointed you his new accuser, after Lucifer? Why are you defending yourself?

Are you sure you're not leading yourself astray?

Nobody questions your soul personally. These works are there to only bring more austerity in a world of seduction where it seems nobody takes sin seriously.

There will come a time when this world we live in becomes a very sad place for most people. Then you will come to understand why these fathers try to protect by emphasizing the cross.

You know the Father is Just. You know we are all equal to Him. You know what would happen if all of us did what you do in life? Or what I do? That is the essence of heaven or hell.

Some desires are chaotic. Others are tyrannical. Only in love is there God.

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I was told I will be persecuted so only talk about the afterlife and not the particulars. My later father also had a NDE through hemorrhage (he was revived when they cauterized the bleeding) and saw the exact same things I did. He told me he was to come back and give some messages for the family, then that he would die in 3 years to the day, which he did, and at his deathbed my whole family saw a light. When I was young I read about NDE experiences never even remotely planning to ever met someone who had one yet alone have one myself. It was "universe shattering." Some very painful life experiences occurred leading up to mine. I don't preach, I leave that to my betters, only state not to discount what many have said they have seen.

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I was told I will be persecuted so only talk about the afterlife and not the particulars. My later father also had a NDE through hemorrhage (he was revived when they cauterized the bleeding) and saw the exact same things I did. He told me he was to come back and give some messages for the family, then that he would die in 3 years to the day, which he did, and at his deathbed my whole family saw a light. When I was young I read about NDE experiences never even remotely planning to ever met someone who had one yet alone have one myself. It was "universe shattering." Some very painful life experiences occurred leading up to mine. I don't preach, I leave that to my betters, only state not to discount what many have said they have seen.

Was it during your NDE that you were instructed to keep the secret of its particulars?

A angel told you to keep the experiences details secret?

I suppose it provided you with healing to know what they showed you, but it would be harmful for others to know it however. I have felt something similar. Yet you should never be threatened. Is it from above that you are threatened ?

Edit: if that's allowed to ask

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Yes. It was personal about my own future, all of which has and is happening. It is like going into deep dreamless sleep when the blood pressure falls enough and the oxygen is shut off to the brain, but when you get deep enough you wake up on the other side with a clarity and peace you never knew in life, instantly realizing that one was in a very great delusion as to the nature of consciousness itself, which is never lost for a moment, only one was forgetting each time one "went to sleep." Sleep is an incomplete death. I saw some personal enemies in hell and was told not to use my position to harm them as God was going to take care of it. I first had a tour of the bad places then the good. I was put in a very bad position and chose God over everything one could possibly ask for in life, without going into details. I believe what happened to me is what happened to Jesus Christ when it says he was "ministeted to by angels" after his temptation in the desert. St. Paul also had an NDE on the road to damascus.

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