After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


About Death After Death

Vernost 120

Seraphim Larin

It was in Eden that the snake, in responding to Eve’s doubts concerning the threat of death for disobedience, said: “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4).  In believing the father of lies, Adam and Eve made all humanity mortal.  As a consequence, having entered the world, omnivorous death mows down everybody indiscriminately: the rich and the poor, famous and the unknown, leaders and their subordinates, the healthy and the ill.  In a frank conversation with Count de Montholne in 1821, the great conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte exclaimed: “I will die and my body will return to earth and become food for worms. Such is the fate of him that was named the Great Napoleon! What a great chasm that exists between my insignificance and Christ’s eternal Kingdom!”  When another great conqueror – Alexander the Great was dying, he requested that upon his burial, one of his hands remain outside the coffin as a witness that he was a mere flawed, corruptible mortal who had achieved nothing in this life and whose body decomposes just the same as any other.

Before death, every person’s life appears before him, and he suddenly realises that all his “conquests” are nothing in the face of immortality.

However, it is not death itself that is frightening, but its consequences; behind death’s door eternity is revealed, in which there are two paths: a bright one that leads us to the blessed presence before God, generously sharing with us His unlimited love; and the other, that leads us down into the dark fate of the hater of Christ – the devil and his servants.  We structure our future in this life: we prepare our place in eternity: we realise our own fate.

“The death of a sinner is terrible” – declares the Prophet David.  Ungodly Voltaire, renowned throughout the whole world, whose “pen was mightier than the sword”, conqueror of minds, the “enlightener of Europe”, the “liberator” of morals and promoter of immorality, was dying from a stroke – slowly and agonisingly.  His close friends recorded his frightening demise: “Because his agonies only increased through our presence, he cursed us all the time, constantly exclaiming: ‘Go away!  You are the ones who have brought me to this state! Leave me I tell you, go away!  What miserable glory you have prepared for me!’”  He attempted to smother his suffering with a written confession, which was prepared and signed by him, and read before him.  However, all was in vain.  Two months before his death, he was tortured with internal agonies, at times grinding his teeth in a feeble hatred against God and people… On occasions, having turned away his face, he would invoke: “I must die – forsaken by God (Whom he despised) and everyone!”  Not being able to bear this spectacle, his nurse occasionally kept uttering: “I would never agree to be witness to the death of another godless individual for all the wealth of Europe.”

Another “great” representative of this world, L.N.Tolstoy – whose own death was not an easy one - could never understand as to why his peasants passed away so quietly and peacefully… a Christian ending.

Normally, people either don’t think about hell, or reject it fully, or imagine that after death they would arrive there, where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.”  Philosophies that promote libertine behaviour and impunity only tend to reinforce in a person the theories of contemporary notables of medicine, like doctors E.Kubler-Ross, Moodie, Professor Ring and others.  They all confirm that those who had spent time beyond life’s boundary and returned (out of body experience), have experienced exceptionally “positive feelings.”  These doctors had written many books about this ostensibly “positive” spending of time beyond the grave by patients, after they had been pronounced clinically dead.

From the Holy Gospel, the teachings of our Church, writings of the Holy Fathers, from the lives of Saints and finally from personal experience, we know that the life hereafter can be quite dismal.  Indeed, it could be quite the opposite - agonising  and eternal.  Even contemporary medicine has studies that testify to the “negative” suffering of people that had spent time being clinically dead, as well as “negative” torments of those, on the eve of their deaths.  Unfortunately, contemporary psychiatry – for whatever clandestine reasons - remains mute on these cases.

In 1993, an American doctor – Maurice C. Rowling – an eminent cardiologist and specialist in clinical deaths, president of the Institute of Cardiologists in the State of Tennessee, former physician to President Eisenhower, wrote a book titled “To Hell and Back”.  In it, he cites many examples where people that had experienced clinical death, landed in hell but initially didn’t want to reveal this.  Having gathered many testimonies as to the existence of the “negative” side of life beyond the grave, he sent copies of them to: Kubler-Ross, Ring, Moodie and others, proposing to organise a meeting with his patients that have experienced hell in the world hereafter.  Unfortunately, he received no response from any of them, except Kubler-Ross.  She declined the meeting under the pretext that the investigations were finished, and they were unwilling to return to the subject.

It should be noted that doctors Kubler-Ross, Moodie and others, who were mentioned in Father Seraphim Rose’s book “Soul after death”, have since travelled far along the path of truth distortion.  Doctor Moodie is currently a specialist in the diverse realms of shamanism and occultism, holding lectures and seminars, where he teaches how to pass your mind through mirrors and crystals.  He turned his house into a temple to the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. Doctor Kubler-Ross busied herself with spiritism, and in her practice calls upon the spirits of Salema, Anka and Villi – even recording their voices on tape.  UFO’s, shamanism and spiritism had captivated Doctor Ring, attempting to bring all of them into a single configuration.

Apparently death doesn’t frighten them, as they have created for themselves a fantastic perception of the future after death, and if they don’t change, they will realise their lethal self-delusion upon separation of body and soul – when its too late, and then a cry of innocence will not be heard from the depths of hell!

The death to some unbelievers can bring about ineffective fear.  As an example, Sigmund Freud, the father of contemporary psychoanalysis had a mortal fear of death.  Notwithstanding the fact that he was a doctor, he even refused to come close to cadavers.  Once, while having a discussion with another “father” of psychoanalysis, Jung, Freud fainted when Jung went into an enthusiastic description of death and cadavers.  Later, he accused Jung of subconsciously wishing his demise.  This accusation was taken quite seriously by Jung, and for the next 6 years of their collaboration, he was as he wrote, “on the edge of a nervous breakdown”, fearing that he would indeed kill Freud.  And these are the fathers and founders of psychiatry and psychology, inspirers of contemporary medical “lights” – Moodie, Kubler-Ross and many others.

Jung likewise practiced spiritism, having written his work “Septem Sermons and Mortuos” under the influence of the summoned spirits.  As he writes: “My whole house was full of spirits, packed to the doors, and the air was that heavy that I could hardly breathe… It was here that I was inspired and began to write, and over a period of three nights, I had finished my work.”  The leader of the spirits and Jung’s acknowledged friend and mentor was none other than Philimon.  He had met him at the very beginning of his venture into spiritism. In describing his outer appearance, Jung wrote that he had “horns and wings” and “had a limp in one leg,” this “wise old man.”  He also reminded him of Goethe’s Faust!

It is to the demons’ advantage to reject the existence of eternal suffering, which has been prepared for them and their father – the devil.  In following their motivators, the adaptors – some of the authorities of contemporary medicine - also reject the sad fate of fallen souls.  The sobering and life-saving thought of eternal suffering is quite alien to them.

“Remember your last day and you will never sin.”  Just like fear of God, fear of death can appear as the beginning of wisdom, the beginning of conversion.  While out walking one day, the Byzantium Emperor Isaac 1 got caught in a storm.  In running toward shelter from the surrounding flashes of lightning, one bolt of lightning crashed right next to him.  This shook him up so much that he uttered: “I have seen the closeness of death!  And what have I done for my soul?  Nothing.”  He returned to the palace and abdicated, entered a monastery, was tonsured and became its gatekeeper.

“Just as it is impossible for a hungry person not to think of food, so it is impossible for a person to be saved that does not think of death and Final Judgment”, writes Saint John Climactus.  How many offences had not been committed because of the thought of eternal suffering, and how many souls inherited eternal life because of the sobering thought of death!

“My brothers, let us not deny the existence of Gehenna so as not to end up in it” writes Saint John Chrysostom, “because he who doesn’t believe in its existence, becomes lazy and remiss in good deeds.  And a lazy and neglectful person in good deeds, will reach a stage of unrepentance and undoubtedly will end up in hell.  Let us unreservedly believe in Gehenna and discuss it constantly, and then we will not fall into sin so easily and quickly.  Because just like bitter medicine, thoughts on sufferings in hell cure and avert evil.”

Let us treat physical death as the final earthly step toward eternity…  let us treat life on earth as the determinant of our eternal future… and let us hold fast to Christ’s Truth… notwithstanding that the vast majority “walk in a false spirit” and regard the true faithful as schismatics and disrupters, because “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  It is only through resolute commitment to true life and belief, can we face with calm certainty that “mercy and truth go before Your face” (Psalm 89:14)

Related post: Death of Stalin

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