"The Soul After Death" by Fr. Seraphim Rose

~Anastasia~

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Just a heads-up, this thread is in the Eastern Orthodox discussion (not debate) forum. All are welcome, and I hope to have a discussion about this book, but this thread isn't for arguing. You can open a thread in St. Justin's for that. :)

St. Justin Martyr's Corner: Debate an Orthodox Chr

Going back to this discussion ...

The Soul After Death

Just the early pages (may have been intro or ch 1) has been interesting already.
Wonderful! I'd love to know what you think of it then.
Well it has indeed taken me a while. I finally finished it yesterday. With copious underlining and notes in the margins lol. I would like to start a thread to discuss it in fact. I think it's an outstanding work, but wasn't exactly what I expected.
Yah, it'd be nice to discuss it!

Well, hopefully I have a bit of time these days. This has stayed on my mind. I'm making a thread ... not sure what direction(s) we might take, but I'm looking forward to it. :)
 

~Anastasia~

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And I don't mind jumping around and discussing whatever, but I'm going to start at the beginning to get things going.

So much, so many notes lol. He mentions a number of other works on the topic beginning in the first few pages. Most of which I haven't read but might be interested. I've made note of them as he mentioned them, beginning with the 4th book of the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great.

(My next class is arriving soon so more later tonight I hope ... that was mybbreak. )
 
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buzuxi02

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Fr. Seraphim was originally a sinner and agnostic who sought out eastern religions and liked their various intellectual and philosophical arguments. He had degrees in Asian Studies and I believe spoke Chinese. He decided to look into Orthodoxy after a fellow agnostic friend would disparage christianity and Orthodoxy in general. As he looked into it he became fascinated by Orthodoxy. He believed the way Orthodoxy interpreted allegories and foreshadowing of Christ in the OT, the same method could be applied to some of the books of eastern philosophy such as in Taoism, that is they too contained prophecies of Christ. To make a long story short he converted to Russian Orthodoxy, forsook his previous life and became a monk. He wrote various books against certain controversial trends within Orthodox circles such as evolution, ecumenism, toll houses, the occult, etc.
 
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MariaJLM

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When it comes to Seraphim Rose people seem to either loathe him or love him. I tend to fall into the former category simply because my interactions with his cult following have been less than pleasant. It seems you can't even criticize the guy or his writings at all without being attacked. That kind of turns me off ever reading anything else by him.
 
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Seth528hz

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I’ve seen some of our after life, people call it astral plane, and there’s people successfully visiting it doing something called astral projection.

(There’s loads of YouTube vids of people telling you about their astral projection experiences)

I believe there’s basically 7 planes of existence. I’ve even seen some of it.
 
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ArmyMatt

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When it comes to Seraphim Rose people seem to either loathe him or love him. I tend to fall into the former category simply because my interactions with his cult following have been less than pleasant. It seems you can't even criticize the guy or his writings at all without being attacked. That kind of turns me off ever reading anything else by him.

that has nothing to do with Fr Seraphim. that's the issue of those people. we Americans have a tendency to guruify people who are important (folks do it to Fr Schmemann, Fr Hopko, Elder Ephraim, etc.).

a few months ago, I was accused of impeaching Fr Hopko's legacy because I dared to disagree with what he said about the mother of God in his book The Winter Pascha. and this was after I praised his preaching ability, his command of Scripture, his pastoral heart, how down-to-earth he could make Orthodox teaching, etc.

I still read me my Hopko.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I’ve seen some of our after life, people call it astral plane, and there’s people successfully visiting it doing something called astral projection.

(There’s loads of YouTube vids of people telling you about their astral projection experiences)

I believe there’s basically 7 planes of existence. I’ve even seen some of it.

no, that kinda stuff is mental or demonic delusion. forgive the bluntness but that is spiritually dangerous.
 
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MariaJLM

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that has nothing to do with Fr Seraphim. that's the issue of those people. we Americans have a tendency to guruify people who are important (folks do it to Fr Schmemann, Fr Hopko, Elder Ephraim, etc.).

a few months ago, I was accused of impeaching Fr Hopko's legacy because I dared to disagree with what he said about the mother of God in his book The Winter Pascha. and this was after I praised his preaching ability, his command of Scripture, his pastoral heart, how down-to-earth he could make Orthodox teaching, etc.

I still read me my Hopko.

Honestly, it makes me rather uncomfortable. These people are human beings, therefore just as flawed as any of us. I've seen people act like saints are infallible too, but I don't buy it for even a second. They are humans too. Humans that happened to reach theosis, but humans nonetheless. If we place anybody as infallible besides God then we're drifting into idolatrous territory.
 
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ArmyMatt

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Honestly, it makes me rather uncomfortable. These people are human beings, therefore just as flawed as any of us. I've seen people act like saints are infallible too, but I don't buy it for even a second. They are humans too. Humans that happened to reach theosis, but humans nonetheless. If we place anybody as infallible besides God then we're drifting into idolatrous territory.

sure, but the point is Fr Seraphim has nothing to do with that.
 
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archer75

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Honestly, it makes me rather uncomfortable. These people are human beings, therefore just as flawed as any of us. I've seen people act like saints are infallible too, but I don't buy it for even a second. They are humans too. Humans that happened to reach theosis, but humans nonetheless. If we place anybody as infallible besides God then we're drifting into idolatrous territory.
I read the bio of Fr Seraphim and while I liked the first 1/8 or so, the tone of it soon took a negative turn for me. While it didn't say anything so explicit, I got the impression that the author suffered from anger or was angry while working on the project, and that he was consciously editing the material to make Fr Seraphim look "holier".

Now, I don't mean anything bad about Hieromonk Damascene personally, only the sense I got from reading his work. That said, I think some people can be desperate for a real saint to look up to from our own times. That plus the obvious skill and intelligence in Fr Seraphim's own writing (whether you agrer or not) can turn into a kind of unhealth obsession. But it can happen anywhere, not just in Christian circles.

Certainly Fr Seraphim can't be blamed for things other people do after his death.
 
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MariaJLM

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I read the bio of Fr Seraphim and while I liked the first 1/8 or so, the tone of it soon took a negative turn for me. While it didn't say anything so explicit, I got the impression that the author suffered from anger or was angry while working on the project, and that he was consciously editing the material to make Fr Seraphim look "holier".

Now, I don't mean anything bad about Hieromonk Damascene personally, only the sense I got from reading his work. That said, I think some people can be desperate for a real saint to look up to from our own times. That plus the obvious skill and intelligence in Fr Seraphim's own writing (whether you agrer or not) can turn into a kind of unhealth obsession. But it can happen anywhere, not just in Christian circles.

Certainly Fr Seraphim can't be blamed for things other people do after his death.

I recently expressed my concerns about some of Seraphim Rose's writings, primarily the ones dealing with YEC. All I said is that I'm not convinced of YEC And then some Seraphim Rose fanboy freaked out and started calling me a heretic and stuff.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I recently expressed my concerns about some of Seraphim Rose's writings, primarily the ones dealing with YEC. All I said is that I'm not convinced of YEC And then some Seraphim Rose fanboy freaked out and started calling me a heretic and stuff.

right, and that's not good. but that's no reason to say you loathe Fr Seraphim
 
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archer75

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I recently expressed my concerns about some of Seraphim Rose's writings, primarily the ones dealing with YEC. All I said is that I'm not convinced of YEC And then some Seraphim Rose fanboy freaked out and started calling me a heretic and stuff.
I wasn't aware of that thread and I didn't mean to correct you at all. I was just thinking aloud. Apologies
 
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MariaJLM

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right, and that's not good. but that's no reason to say you loathe Fr Seraphim

Admittedly a lot of it is likely a kneejerk reaction since I have PTSD from past emotional and mental abuse, thus these people freaking out at me for not agreeing with Seraphim Rose triggers a defense mechanism.
 
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ArmyMatt

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Admittedly a lot of it is likely a kneejerk reaction since I have PTSD from past emotional and mental abuse, thus these people freaking out at me for not agreeing with Seraphim Rose triggers a defense mechanism.

yeah, that can happen. I am just saying what I am saying so the blame for your reaction is where it should be.

prayers for you!
 
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Lukaris

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There are people who understand him to be a saint and that seems valid. This is something I should respect within community of the faithful. The integrity of Fr Seraphim seems undoubtable & needs to be taken into account.

Personally, I read:Orthodoxy & the Religion of the Future about 10 years ago. It is well written but it seems dreary & not very hopeful. Surely I do not believe in delusions of universalism, worldly ecumenism, etc and maybe I am being too cynical of Fr Seraphim. The doctrine in: The Soul After Death is unsettled & often divisive (I am not saying Fr Seraphim was divisive); it should not be called heresy or dogma. I have not read this Book although I have read some sections of it; it was the toll house thing I was referring to mainly.

One interesting thing though, it seems that tradition does attest to our afterlife soul meeting an angel that will escort us towards our state of salvation or judgment. Fr Seraphim even refers to Billy Graham attesting to this which seems to echo that of St. Cyprian. 17th c. Protestant translator of Josephus, Walter Whiston, insisted that Josephus wrote the original treatise on this but most scholars say no. Whiston insisted that this was further attestion of Josephus of Jesus Christ & that Josephus became Christian in some aspect (perhaps not Orthodox but not gnostic either).
 
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~Anastasia~

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There are people who understand him to be a saint and that seems valid. This is something I should respect within community of the faithful. The integrity of Fr Seraphim seems undoubtable & needs to be taken into account.

Personally, I read:Orthodoxy & the Religion of the Future about 10 years ago. It is well written but it seems dreary & not very hopeful. Surely I do not believe in delusions of universalism, worldly ecumenism, etc and maybe I am being too cynical of Fr Seraphim. The doctrine in: The Soul After Death is unsettled & often divisive (I am not saying Fr Seraphim was divisive); it should not be called heresy or dogma. I have not read this Book although I have read some sections of it; it was the toll house thing I was referring to mainly.

One interesting thing though, it seems that tradition does attest to our afterlife soul meeting an angel that will escort us towards our state of salvation or judgment. Fr Seraphim even refers to Billy Graham attesting to this which seems to echo that of St. Cyprian. 17th c. Protestant translator of Josephus, Walter Whiston, insisted that Josephus wrote the original treatise on this but most scholars say no. Whiston insisted that this was further attestion of Josephus of Jesus Christ & that Josephus became Christian in some aspect (perhaps not Orthodox but not gnostic either).
One thing I would say - don't judge this particular book by excerpts from it. It wasn't at all what I expected. Largely it talks about popular ideas about life after death and attempts over the years to study them, demonic delusions, and how all that fits into and compares with Church teaching (and how Church teaching can be misunderstood). An excerpt could end up being very misleading - even opposite to what Fr Seraphim is actually saying.
 
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