Life after Death | Orthodox | 10

Messages from there

We often hear a question: could ghosts of the departed appear before us? And it is not a mere curiosity.

Quite a few facts are known when the departed appeared to their nearest people in their dreams, in a drowse and even in reality and conveyed some important news to them.

For example, 3 months before his death Philaret (Drozdov) Patriarch of Moscow, saw his departed father in his dream who said: “Remember the date of 19th?”.

Really, the Patriarch died on the 19th of November.

There are a lot of these facts.

Also there are quite a few reliable reports about how the recently died people appeared before their relatives and very close friends.

But the yearning to see the departed, to find out about his whereabouts, is very hazardous. The attitude towards these phenomena should be extremely responsible as the Christian creed asserts.

Saint Fathers warn strictly that we should not only to search not for contacts with that world, but with all possible means we must avoid them and not trust the information, obtained in the dream or in reality, moreover at some sort of spiritual sessions, where, allegedly, they summon the souls of the dead.

Sometimes a message from there in fact comes true.

The danger of such realizations lies in the fact that a man is set up to trust dreams, visions, and etc. – and then demons would show him such disgusting things that he would run his head into the noose. Horrible thing!

If it is needed, God will find means to prompt a man what he really must do.

By the way, the statistics states, that those involved in spiritism, as a rule, are mentally deranged; many end their lives by a suicide.

Venerable John Cassian of Rome describes what happened with one monk, who being a strict ascetic, began to trust dreams and perished. Here is that message:

The devil, wishing to lure him, often showed him true dreams (dreams coming true) in order to win him over for accepting temptation into which he wanted to involve him later.

So, one night he showed him Christian people with apostles and martyrs, covered with every sort of the infamy, exhausted with grief and weeping, - on the one side,

and on the other – Judaic people with Moses, patriarchs and prophets – in the splendor of a radiant light and living in the joy and fun.

In addition the tempter advised him that he should take the circumcision (that is Judaism), if he wanted to participate in beatitude and gladness of the Judaist people.

And he, being tempted, fulfilled the order.

From all said above it is clear, that everybody whom we have spoken about, would not have been mocked at in the most miserable and grievous way, if they had had the gift of reasonableness”.

The venerable John Climacus (of the Ladder) wrote:

He, who believes dreams,
he is like a man who runs after his shadow and tries to grasp it”.

‘If we start to subjugate ourselves to demons in dreams,
they will outrage over us during our wakefulness.

He who believes dreams, he is not clever at all;
and he who does not have any trust for them, he has love of wisdom”.

Now in the West we witness everybody’s fad for mysticism, to be precise, we’d better use the Latin word - occultism. Everyone is eager to learn what is there.

According to public opinion polls it was found out that 42 % of Americans had a contact, as they think, with the “departed”, and 2/3 had the experience of extrasensory perceptions.

That is the real national disaster.

People do not even suspect that such information may originate from spirits of lies, from devil, and they do not understand how dangerous it is to enter a contact with such “Spirits”.

It is not the departed that speak with them but the demons in the image of the dead.

That is why the Orthodox saints, knowing perfectly the nature of such phenomenon, they didn’t only search this kind of meetings, but in order to avoid a fatal mistake, they completely rejected to perceive any visions or attach importance to dreams.

Saint Gregory of Sinai (XIV) warned:

“Never take to your heart whatever you see sensual or spiritual, outwards or inwards, irrespective whether it is the image of Christ or Angel, or any saint…

That one who takes, is easily tempted…

God is not indignant at him who carefully heeds himself, if he, for fear of temptation, will not take what comes from Him…but He will praise him as a wise man”.

This is how all saint people behaved!
And we being far from perfect should be more careful the more so.