"The Soul After Death" by Fr. Seraphim Rose

~Anastasia~

† Handmaid of God †
Dec 1, 2013
31,103
17,425
Florida panhandle, USA
✟903,242.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
And I don't mind discussion of definitions, theologumen, dogma - especially as it refers to tollhouses, which is on topic.

But PLEASE do not let this thread turn into another evolution/YEC/Creation debate. We have enough of those. (And folks are always free to start another one.) Posts that head that direction could disrupt my thread. I want to ask those not be made before that happens. :)

Thank you all very kindly for understanding and respecting that. :)
 
Upvote 0

buzuxi02

Veteran
May 14, 2006
8,608
2,512
New York
✟197,444.00
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Single
I seriously think alot of what is objected to is due to looking through the American prism. The western mindset is radically different than an eastern monastic mindset.
This is why spiritual fathers warn against reading books like the Ladder of Divine Ascent and the Philokalia without their guidance. What maybe considered superstition in the west may not be in the East or even in Africa. There are plenty of stories about Orthodox monks called in to rid a place of demons because the clergy of the sects were not able to. In the western mindset this is nonsense. In Greece the relics of saints are passed over the bodies of the faithful as they lie down in the street with the occasional shrieking of possessed people, in the west it's just a psycological phenomenon and nothing more. What Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote are common topics in the old countries. Just think how nonsensical most Orthodox in the west consider the prophecies of St. Paisios but in Greece they are highly respected and believed.
 
Upvote 0

prodromos

Senior Veteran
Supporter
Nov 28, 2003
19,520
10,676
57
Sydney, Straya
✟942,106.00
Country
Australia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Not my call to make, but I trust my priest on this issue. He told me himself the things I listed off are theologoumena. Another priest I know just outright calls tollhouses "Pagan nonsense"(which is obviously the opposite extreme I don't quite agree with either).
If they are mentioned in the Liturgy, do you think they can they still considered as theologoumena? (Lex Orandi Lex Credendi)
 
Upvote 0

Lukaris

Orthodox Christian
Supporter
Aug 3, 2007
7,065
2,036
Pennsylvania, USA
✟530,781.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Single
There are valid concerns re a gnostic problem with the toll house concept. The usual citation for it setms from Ephesians 6:12 & is amplified from there considering to be implicit in many places.

A possible problem seems to exist in an early gnostic writing in which it is explicit ( see: Coptic Apocalypse of Paul ). The late Metr Philip of our Antiochian Church did not support this doctrine. It is not in the funeral rites of the Antiochian Church.It is attributed to hymnography of St. John of Damascus which seems odd in light of its absence from his precise theology. This doctrine gets grafted into the Dormition of the Theotokos ( I searched the Dormition homilies of St. John of Damascus again nothing) Balamand Monastery - St. John of Damascus' Three Sermons on the Dormition Feast Why only supposedly in his hymnography? An Antiochian priest posted years back on this doctrine being grafted in to the Dormition: http://gotruthreform.org/wp-content/Contra Tollhouses - The Dormition of the Theotokos Clean.pdf.

I do not mean any ill will in my post; this topic can be touchy.
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
39,725
18,750
39
Earth
✟1,215,184.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
There are valid concerns re a gnostic problem with the toll house concept. The usual citation for it setms from Ephesians 6:12 & is amplified from there considering to be implicit in many places.

A possible problem seems to exist in an early gnostic writing in which it is explicit ( see: Coptic Apocalypse of Paul ). The late Metr Philip of our Antiochian Church did not support this doctrine. It is not in the funeral rites of the Antiochian Church.It is attributed to hymnography of St. John of Damascus which seems odd in light of its absence from his precise theology. This doctrine gets grafted into the Dormition of the Theotokos ( I searched the Dormition homilies of St. John of Damascus again nothing) Balamand Monastery - St. John of Damascus' Three Sermons on the Dormition Feast Why only supposedly in his hymnography? An Antiochian priest posted years back on this doctrine being grafted in to the Dormition: http://gotruthreform.org/wp-content/Contra Tollhouses - The Dormition of the Theotokos Clean.pdf.

I do not mean any ill will in my post; this topic can be touchy.

but I don't think that's a strong argument. not only do you find it in early Christians who are not Gnostics (Sts Justin Martyr, Hippolytus of Rome, Cyril of Jerusalem, etc), but using that logic, the Resurrection is pagan Egyptian influence, since pagan myths had that first.
 
Upvote 0

Platina

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2017
614
616
38
Mechanicsburg
✟177,182.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
It is found in the funeral though, it's just that most people never see/hear a full funeral. I don't have the quotes on hand, but there are several places in the funeral service. I'm sure the quote scan be found in St. Anthony's book on the topic.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: ArmyMatt
Upvote 0

MariaJLM

Crazy Cat Lady
Aug 1, 2018
1,117
1,475
31
Calgary
✟35,814.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Celibate
Politics
CA-Others
I don't even know why people continue wanting to argue about tollhouses with me anyway. Never has my own priest/spiritual father said one MUST believe in them to be Orthodox, therefore my mind is already made up. A person can either believe in them or not because, truth is, none of us 100% know what happens immediately after death. We can only speculate.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Lukaris
Upvote 0

~Anastasia~

† Handmaid of God †
Dec 1, 2013
31,103
17,425
Florida panhandle, USA
✟903,242.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Before there gets to be too much debate about tollhouses in general, I'd like to ask if folks have read the book?

If folks are arguing against a perception of tollhouses that isn't what was presented, it could be disagreement over something the other(s) don't actually intend.
 
Upvote 0

MariaJLM

Crazy Cat Lady
Aug 1, 2018
1,117
1,475
31
Calgary
✟35,814.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Celibate
Politics
CA-Others
dunno about Liturgy itself, but they are in the Marian prayer prescribed for compline.

I've been trying to search that up, but my "go-to" site that I trust for those things wasn't loading. It finally did and tbh I can see how people could get tollhouses from that, but I can also see that it's left pretty wide open for people to read it in a variety of different ways. This part in particular:
"Be with me always in your grace and loving mercy, for you are the fervent helper who turn away the assaults of enemies and guide men toward salvation, caring for my unworthy soul at the hour of death and driving from it the darkness of evil spirits. In the Day of judgment, free me from eternal torment and show me to be an heir of the divine glory of your Son, and our God."

Assault of enemies could mean demonic temptation in this life, a.k.a our active daily struggles with sin. Guiding men towards salvation could be asking for the Theotokos intercession against the demons and temptations that attack us. Caring for the unworthy soul driving it from darkness could even be read as Purgatory(see the problem I'm getting at with that part in particular?).

In short, what I'm getting at is that people can read practically whichever meaning they want to into these prayers and many of them would appropriately fit. My own priest seems to feel the same.
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
39,725
18,750
39
Earth
✟1,215,184.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
I've been trying to search that up, but my "go-to" site that I trust for those things wasn't loading. It finally did and tbh I can see how people could get tollhouses from that, but I can also see that it's left pretty wide open for people to read it in a variety of different ways. This part in particular:
"Be with me always in your grace and loving mercy, for you are the fervent helper who turn away the assaults of enemies and guide men toward salvation, caring for my unworthy soul at the hour of death and driving from it the darkness of evil spirits. In the Day of judgment, free me from eternal torment and show me to be an heir of the divine glory of your Son, and our God."

Assault of enemies could mean demonic temptation in this life, a.k.a our active daily struggles with sin. Guiding men towards salvation could be asking for the Theotokos intercession against the demons and temptations that attack us. Caring for the unworthy soul driving it from darkness could even be read as Purgatory(see the problem I'm getting at with that part in particular?).

In short, what I'm getting at is that people can read practically whichever meaning they want to into these prayers and many of them would appropriately fit. My own priest seems to feel the same.

well, the darkness couldn't be Purgatory, because that's not purgatory. that being said, it does say to drive away the evil spirits at death. that is the toll house teaching.
 
Upvote 0

MariaJLM

Crazy Cat Lady
Aug 1, 2018
1,117
1,475
31
Calgary
✟35,814.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Celibate
Politics
CA-Others
well, the darkness couldn't be Purgatory, because that's not purgatory. that being said, it does say to drive away the evil spirits at death. that is the toll house teaching.

Well my point was that some Catholic could easily read that and interpret it as being Purgatory. That one part in particular sounds a lot like the Catholic teaching of Purgatory.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: SashaMaria
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
39,725
18,750
39
Earth
✟1,215,184.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Well my point was that some Catholic could easily read that and interpret it as being Purgatory. That one part in particular sounds a lot like the Catholic teaching of Purgatory.

except it's nothing like purgatory. what about that looks like purgatory?
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
39,725
18,750
39
Earth
✟1,215,184.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
If that reply was for me - I knew you had. :)

More to the point, anyone arguing against toll houses should clarify exactly what they don't agree with. :)

from what I gather, usually they argue against the literalist view, which every work for the toll houses says you can't do. it's usually one big straw man.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: ~Anastasia~
Upvote 0