"The Soul After Death" by Fr. Seraphim Rose

MariaJLM

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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.

From what I understand there's two different camps within the Pro-Tollhouse movement: the literalists and then those who take a more metaphorical/figurative understanding. When I argue against them it's the literalist view I'm arguing against. I don't even take issue with the metaphorical understanding, especially since I don't entirely reject the metaphorical understanding.
 
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ArmyMatt

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From what I understand there's two different camps within the Pro-Tollhouse movement: the literalists and then those who take a more metaphorical/figurative understanding. When I argue against them it's the literalist view I'm arguing against. I don't even take issue with the metaphorical understanding, especially since I don't entirely reject the metaphorical understanding.

then you're pro-toll house and pro-Fr Seraphim. he warns against the literalist view.
 
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AMM

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I saw this video the other day and thought it was an interesting opinion on tollhouses. I don't really have strong feelings on the matter (I'm too new to Orthodoxy - I don't really want to get bogged down into the nitty gritty details of doctrine that are debated when there's still so much foundation that I don't know). But it was still interesting to me (it is a little long)

 
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MariaJLM

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then you're pro-toll house and pro-Fr Seraphim. he warns against the literalist view.

Eh...I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm Pro-Seraphim Rose since I do take serious issue with his YEC views. Plus I still hold that it's not required for one to adhere to the tollhouse doctrine in order to be Orthodox. I'm sure the average layperson did not even think about it much until Seraphim Rose wrote about it for a modern audience.
 
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ArmyMatt

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Eh...I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm Pro-Seraphim Rose since I do take serious issue with his YEC views. Plus I still hold that it's not required for one to adhere to the tollhouse doctrine in order to be Orthodox. I'm sure the average layperson did not even think about it much until Seraphim Rose wrote about it for a modern audience.

I just meant in terms of the toll houses.
 
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~Anastasia~

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I just meant in terms of the toll houses.
That was kind of my point.

It's not that I mind folks disagreeing. But for the purposes of this thread at least, it makes sense to clarify that folks disagree with the book - or not.

I suspect a lot of Protestants might have trouble with it. But I'd not really expect Orthodox to have a problem with the basic understanding?
 
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ArmyMatt

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That was kind of my point.

It's not that I mind folks disagreeing. But for the purposes of this thread at least, it makes sense to clarify that folks disagree with the book - or not.

I suspect a lot of Protestants might have trouble with it. But I'd not really expect Orthodox to have a problem with the basic understanding?

the basic understanding probably not, but what makes it hard is Fr Seraphim's warning not to take it literally sometimes gets lost in a lot of literal imagery.
 
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~Anastasia~

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the basic understanding probably not, but what makes it hard is Fr Seraphim's warning not to take it literally sometimes gets lost in a lot of literal imagery.
I will say ... I appreciated your warnings to me as I read the book. But it seemed (iirc) you were mostly concerned that I not take the tollhouses as literal things. And as I read it, I couldn't help but think that it this is exactly what Fr Seraphim warns against continually.

I guess it surprises me that anyone can read it and come away thinking he is teaching literal toll booths in the sky.

But we would be foolish to discount the Scriptural explanation of "the powers of the air" and so on regarding demonic influence.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems simple to me. Maybe I'm too simple lol. I was concerned with reading it as slowly as I did that I would forget parts and not build properly on the foundation, but I guess Fr Seraphim reminds often enough in the book.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I will say ... I appreciated your warnings to me as I read the book. But it seemed (iirc) you were mostly concerned that I not take the tollhouses as literal things. And as I read it, I couldn't help but think that it this is exactly what Fr Seraphim warns against continually.

I guess it surprises me that anyone can read it and come away thinking he is teaching literal toll booths in the sky.

But we would be foolish to discount the Scriptural explanation of "the powers of the air" and so on regarding demonic influence.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems simple to me. Maybe I'm too simple lol. I was concerned with reading it as slowly as I did that I would forget parts and not build properly on the foundation, but I guess Fr Seraphim reminds often enough in the book.

I think it's because of how he presents it. it can overshadow what he actually says, especially if you go in wanting to find literalism.
 
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~Anastasia~

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I think it's because of how he presents it. it can overshadow what he actually says, especially if you go in wanting to find literalism.
May be? I didn't read it with an eye looking for that.

We do tend to find what we want to find anyway, at least I think so.

My concern is that excerpts from the book can very easily be misleading. At least in my reading, I found I needed to keep it all in mind to understand. So it's good he frequently reminded for those who easily forget like me. :)
 
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ArmyMatt

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May be? I didn't read it with an eye looking for that.

We do tend to find what we want to find anyway, at least I think so.

My concern is that excerpts from the book can very easily be misleading. At least in my reading, I found I needed to keep it all in mind to understand. So it's good he frequently reminded for those who easily forget like me. :)

and I think that's the issue, folks taking those excerpts out of their context.
 
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TheLostCoin

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

A specific process of some type of pain after death to remit unconfessed sins. It also utilizes works or deeds to “make up” for sins.

Say what you want, but it’s an explicit process of the purification of the soul after death.
 
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ArmyMatt

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A specific process of some type of pain after death to remit unconfessed sins. It also utilizes works to “make up” for sins.

Say what you want, but it’s an explicit process of the purification of the soul after death.

which is not the toll houses. the toll houses don't purify, are not a process, doesn't involve pain, and doesn't use works to make up for sins.
 
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TheLostCoin

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which is not the toll houses. the toll houses don't purify, are not a process, doesn't involve pain, and doesn't use works to make up for sins.

I thought what the toll houses were are a set of tolls where demons go through all of the sins that you haven’t confessed, and then you have to show a good work to “make up” for any of the sins. If you aren’t able to, the demons drag you to hell.

It’s a process of getting rid of sins after death and using deeds to do so, which is what Purgatory is similar to - while Purgatory is a place of purifying flames (traditionally), the good deeds of the person or others expediates the process, and the goal of both is to wrap up unconfessed sins.

It’s a purification, directly or indirectly.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I thought what the toll houses were are a set of tolls where demons go through all of the sins that you haven’t confessed, and then you have to show a good work to “make up” for any of the sins. If you aren’t able to, the demons drag you to hell.

It’s a process of getting rid of sins after death and using deeds to do so, which is what Purgatory is similar to - while Purgatory is a place of purifying flames (traditionally), the good deeds of the person or others expediates the process, and the goal of both is to wrap up unconfessed sins.

It’s a purification, directly or indirectly.

no, and you're only looking at the literalist view. even so, there is no indirect purification from the demons, as the good deeds have already been done.

no to mention purgatory is for the saved, the toll houses are for everyone. purgatory is a third "place," the toll houses is an occurrence. purgatory get be lessened by time, there is no time required for the toll houses and you don't get off time.

so even in your presentation, nothing like purgatory.
 
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Synergist

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May be? I didn't read it with an eye looking for that.

We do tend to find what we want to find anyway, at least I think so.

My concern is that excerpts from the book can very easily be misleading. At least in my reading, I found I needed to keep it all in mind to understand. So it's good he frequently reminded for those who easily forget like me. :)
One thing that comforts me about the afterlife is Christ's multiple promises of protection in the Bible for those who abide in Christ. The promises are so strong to the point of us being predestined as long as we abide in Christ.

I'll get around to reading the book but if it does not refer often to the Bible or at least to Saints who base their beliefs on the Bible or Church traditions I'll be very disappointed.
 
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Dorothea

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I read the book about Father Seraphim's Life and Works about a decade ago, and I still remember it being really good. I don't fall into either camp mentioned: loathe or love. I respect him and admire his intelligence and devoted life as a monk.

My son read his book, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. It was the first book he read from Fr. Seraphim, and it impacted him strongly. He was still a teenager, grappling with trying to find his connection to God and understanding why Orthodoxy was the faith and preserved from the start. All his questions and confusion were cleared up after reading that book, so he's very thankful to Fr. Seraphim for that.

My son also bought The Soul After Death a few months back and was reading it out loud to me and his best friend a couple of months ago. First off, I tried to read Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future (started it and got through maybe 4-5 pages) and listened to my son read The Soul After Death, but anything regarding demonic or demons scares me too much, so I can't really read or listen to those types of subject matter. But I'm sure both the books are very good.
 
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