Talk 01: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences
Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
(Duration: 2hr 10min)
In almost any bookstore or library one can find a large number of books, some of them bestsellers, on “near-death experiences.” These experiences are also portrayed on the Internet, on television, and in films. They relate the experiences of people who have nearly died or who have in fact died and then returned to life. Such people often describe meeting a “being of light” that is non-judgemental and full of love. Accounts of these “near-death experiences” have influenced public opinion on matters relating to death and the afterlife.
In this talk, Father Kosmas discusses how many people today feel that this new teaching offers a more enlightened and humane attitude towards death and dying. Furthermore, he points out that these accounts have even been promoted as a helpful way to prepare the dying for the transition from this life to the next. It is claimed that these accounts remove the fear of death, replacing it with a calm acceptance, or even an eager anticipation, of death and the afterlife. Regardless of the fact that the Orthodox Church possesses the truth about death and dying, many Orthodox Christians have unfortunately been influenced by these teachings.
The following questions are also discussed: does love justify everything? Is love an excuse for adultery? Why does society object to mentioning hell as a reality? Why have scientists and doctors become interested in dying and the afterlife? How do modern near-death and afterlife experiences promote suicide? Can a soul see and hear after death?
Other topics covered in this talk include: ancient civilizations and their beliefs in the afterlife; negative opinions about traditional Christian teachings on the afterlife; spiritual communism in the West; visions at the time of death; society’s helplessness in helping the dying; and the three types of ESP: natural, divine and demonic.
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