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Russian Man Andre went through the Toll Houses


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#1 Angie

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:06 PM

Hi
 
I was wondering if anyone has heard of a Russian man that God allowed to go through the toll houses and came back to tell us what its like?
 
Its on you tube but not sure about it.  So far it seems to be according to our orthodox faith, just wondering if anyone knows something
 


Edited by Olga, 18 July 2016 - 12:33 AM.
Corrected hyperlink formatting


#2 Angie

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 03:04 AM

Thanks Olga, couldn't work it out :)



#3 Angie

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:45 AM

Has anyone seen it?


Edited by Angie, 23 July 2016 - 11:45 AM.


#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 12:45 PM

Internet is full of storytellers.

 

In the specific video at 1:02 the storyteller says: "all souls in hell pray, they ask for mercy, but in vain - their prayers have no effect and no meaning - only the prayers of the living provide comfort to the souls that are in hell".  Of course this is false, souls in hell do not pray to God for mercy.

 

And elsewhere in the video it is clear that the story is false and formatted as fabrication. We do not need these kind of false propaganda.

 

Beware of this kind of false visions. 



#5 Angie

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:50 AM

Thank you Lakis.

 

Its good to seek another opinion. That's why I needed others to view it.

 

I wonder why would someone make things like this up,  are they not afraid of God?


Edited by Angie, 24 July 2016 - 03:51 AM.


#6 Lakis Papas

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:24 PM

St Paisios - and other Saints- gives the following advice: if we have a vision we should always reject it for we are not worthy for such experience. Even if the vision is genuine from God, our rejection is evaluated from God as positive because it shows that we are humble.

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 04:18 PM

There is a variant of the foregoing advice, which variant I was taught is the classic approach when faced with something which cannot be discerned one way or the other - neither accept nor reject for then one avoids accepting something which is from the evil one and avoids also rejecting something which actually is from God.

 

As to why anyone would make up and publish such a story, which is a sin, why do any of us sin as we do - are we not we afraid of God?



#8 Angie

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 01:01 AM

Very true Rrd Andreas, many thanks to both of you.



#9 Angie

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:35 AM

Hi everybody

 

Just letting you know this might be genuine.

 

Our monastery here has it in there bookshop.

 

Inside the book it says it has been translated with permission by our spiritual fathers.



#10 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 11:29 PM

Hi everybody

 

Just letting you know this might be genuine.

 

Our monastery here has it in there bookshop.

 

Inside the book it says it has been translated with permission by our spiritual fathers.

Dear Angie,

 

Don't take this the wrong way but something being in a monastic bookshop does not testify to its genuineness; monasteries play an important part in Orthodoxy providing a place dedicated to prayer, but this does not necessarily mean they are going to be correct in their theology especially when this is comes in the form of a book not written be themselves. You mention the book (I presume this is a written account of what features on the video) saying it has been translated with permission by our spiritual fathers, but this begs the question who's spiritual fathers they cannot be treated as a general category, it is also not the role of a spiritual father to give permission for anything it is the role of the bishops and the holy synods.

 

The deeper issue here is that of toll houses; to summarise the idea comes from 'The Tale of Basil the New' which was part of a book condemned in the Roman empire for heresy though now is normally found in the late Life of Basil the New. The basics of it are that after death the soul of Theodora travels through various aerial toll houses where the daemons judge her soul in regards to a specific category of sins. This is not an Orthodox teaching it is a quasi-gnostic teaching which spread to the Russian Church and from there to America via Fr Seraphim Rose, and now sadly to Orthodox people around the world by its proponents. Now its proponents attempt to demonstrate a patristic origin for this teaching using extensive lists of extracts from patristic texts in much the same way as Roman Catholics do when attempting to support the Filioque and Papal Supremacy. Just as Catholic apologists attempt to use any reference to Saint Peter's primacy as an example of the Pope's authority over other bishops so also do toll-house proponents use any reference to visions of demons after death as an example of toll-houses. Now many monastic visions of death occur in the Fathers  - which all differ somewhat, perhaps suggesting a lack of universality in the after death experience or that such accounts should not be taken entirely literally- most speak of the appearance of angles and daemons after death and of the daemons accusing and the angles defending the person in question, most also speak of some form of ascent toward the heavens. However, the idea promoted by 'The Tale of Basil the New' that each group of sins is judged in turn by the daemons (as opposed the the daemons accusing the soul before God) is not found in these accounts, the idea is however found in some forms of gnosticism. There are various other problems with 'The Tale of Basil the New' which I haven't the time to go into here but it is not an Orthodox text by any means even the Russian version contains much nonsense let alone the original Greek version. What is important is that though whilst it has some basing in Orthodox teachings (impart due to alterations in the Russian), for example the effectiveness of prayer for the dead, the importance of avoiding all sins as far as is possible, and has some basis in earlier texts Toll-Houses are not an Orthodox teaching. Like most syncratic tales it takes much from what is True in order to appear itself true when it is false. 

 

In Christ.

Daniel



#11 Angie

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 04:22 AM

Thank you Daniel.

 

However, in our orthodox faith the toll houses are true.  Even our spiritual fathers say so.



#12 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 09:48 AM

There is a thread about toll houses which has been running for twelve years:

 

http://www.monachos....25-toll-houses/

 

With regard to what Angie says about the monastery to which she refers and its spiritual fathers, it has to be borne in mind that there is a variety of opinions about the toll houses and the teaching about them is by no means settled, and since the toll houses teaching is not Orthodox doctrine, we cannot say it is part of the Orthodox faith as such. This does not mean it can be disregarded because there are saints which have accepted the teaching (such as Ignatii Brianchaninov). Regarding what Angie says in post #11, one would want to know upon what basis those spiritual fathers said the teaching is 'true', though saying the teaching is 'true' is rather simplistic since it is not clearly defined.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 27 August 2016 - 09:58 AM.


#13 Lakis Papas

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 02:19 PM

Simple stories of toll houses are all over the world!

Edited by Lakis Papas, 27 August 2016 - 02:20 PM.


#14 Father David Moser

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 03:12 PM

To sum up toll houses (at least my opinion on the matter): The account of the toll houses is the same as an icon - it relates a spiritual truth which is beyond our ability to comprehend in language that is simple and basic and easy for the fallen intellect to grasp.  It is not "literally" true, nor is it false.  It is a story that relates an important truth - that truth being the nature of the particular judgement that we all will face after death. 

 

As a matter of cultural perspective - replace the term "toll-booth" with "border check point" (especially one on a hostile and interdicted border) and you'll have a better grasp of the language.  Too often today when we think of "toll booth" we think of this machine with a basket that collects change as we drive thru or of a little airconditioned cubicle with a sometimes cheerful, sometimes surly attendant who takes our money and lets us through.  Check points are a little more "to the point" since there is someone with a gun pointed at you checking your identity to make sure you are who you say you are and that you have the proper permissions to pass through (or else they will arrest/shoot you if you try).

 

Fr David Moser



#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 06:26 PM

What a scene that last sentence conjures up - demons with AK-47s!

 

Might not this thread be moved to the one I mentioned??



#16 Lakis Papas

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 09:51 PM

Fr David, I believe death experience is the most personal, not shared experience of all. It is an ontological transformation that has no room for participation for others.

Yet, we have stories of presence of angels, or deamons, or saints, on several occasions. These recorded instances in orthodox tradition have no consistency, they follow different patterns.

Most of the times the soul is presented paralyzed, framed and sometimes confused. And almost always the soul has to go through a depressed "environment", presented like a lobby to hell.

Most of the times, toll house stories are about weighting human acts by a measure that is based on divine legislation. Almost always there is a simplistic balancing between good and evil.

The symbolic dimension of toll house is in contrast to real experience, I think.

What confuses me the most is that toll house stories introduce several elements that interact amd eventually define God's Judgment and leave too little room for God to treat each soul with the Authority of Love.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 27 August 2016 - 10:02 PM.


#17 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 10:07 PM

So, here's what we do. We print off the twenty toll houses/checkpoints and use them as an aide memoire at confession. Sincere repentance for all sins in any of the categories and absolution means the demons have nothing in us.

 

What I have seen at a funeral is for the priest to place in the coffin a letter of absolution for the deceased's sins.



#18 Ilaria

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:21 PM

I don't know the twenty toll houses/checkpoints. Can you enumerate them?

 

But, following your suggestion, couldn't we simplify them by using the consecrated terms - as we know from the Fathers? (Some of them enumerate 7 (St.Basil) , others 8 (St.Casian) deadly sins. 



#19 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:57 PM

On the first aerial toll-house, the soul is questioned about the sins of the tongue;
The second is the toll-house of lies;
The third is the toll-house of slander;
The fourth is the toll-house of gluttony;
The fifth is the toll-house of laziness;
The sixth toll-house is the toll-house of theft;
The seventh is the toll-house of covetousness;
The eighth is the toll-house of usury;
The ninth is the toll-house of injustice;
The tenth is the toll-house of envy;
The eleventh is the toll-house of pride;
The twelve is the toll-house of anger;
The thirteenth is the toll-house of remembering evil;
The fourteenth is the toll-house of murder;
The fifteenth is the toll-house of magic;
The sixteenth is the toll-house of lust;
The seventeenth is the toll-house of adultery;
The eighteenth is the toll-house of sodomy;
The nineteenth is the toll-house of heresy;
The twentieth toll-house is the toll-house of unmercifulness



#20 Father David Moser

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 02:01 PM

The placing of a prayer of absolution in the hands of the deceased is a part of the funeral service - it is prescribed in the rubrics not only to be placed in the hands of the person, but also to be read by the priest over the person.

 

Fr David






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