+JMJ+ I’ve been doing research for the weekly series on the soul, which has not only taken over the blog but my life, apparently. I’m not complaining. Far from it! Today I bought two inexpensive ebooks written from an Orthodox perspective on 1) what happens to the soul after death, and 2) the religion of the future. Now, by Orthodox I mean the Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox in this case. Russian Orthodox Outside Russia.
I have only read a little about Orthodoxy and that was years ago. It’s a vast field and there are snares along the way but I hope to avoid them, please, Lord. I know there are bad feelings between the Latin West and the Greek East and maybe those terms have a limited usefulness but they are of some use, after all. This is only a first foray into Orthodoxy in the context of my current project.
The author’s name is Fr. Seraphim Rose (see note 1 below) and I know that his name alone will set some people off. I’ll probably get at least one email telling me that I shouldn’t read him, and I’ll probably get another telling me I don’t need to read anyone else. Well, I’m not reading him as the only “real true arbiter” of Orthodox orthodoxy. I’m reading him because he wrote about two subjects in which I am mainly interested and I’m collecting everything I can find that will help me understand. (See numbers 1 and 2 above; those are the two subjects I am intensely studying right now. I’m studying other things, but these are the ones I’m studying with the most focus and interest and have been for the last few months.)
I’m somewhat disappointed that Fr. Seraphim does not mention Dom Wiesinger (see note 2 below) in either of the two titles I now have. Or if he does, I have not found any mention yet with a search of the text. They appear to disagree on some points (see note 3 below) and I would like to find where Fr. Seraphim addressed that somewhere, but it may be that he didn’t know about Dom Wiesinger’s work or that he rejected it. I would like to know which it is. This is the kind of thing that I plant firmly in the back of my mind, realizing that it might be years before I find the slightest hint of an answer down the line. Oh, well, patience is a virtue, they say. Now where do I get that? Patience, I mean. Sigh. ;)
More to come. Stay tuned. Thanks for visiting and reading. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
- Fr. Seraphim Rose, at the OrthodoxWiki: former Methodist, then atheist, then student of Alan Watts, explored Buddhism, and so on until he discovered Orthodoxy and embraced it, becoming a priest (hieromonk, presbyter, elder) in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The Soul After Death: Paperback. Kindle. Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future: Paperback. Kindle. (Amazon affiliate links, full disclosure, see below.)
- Dom Alois Wiesinger, OSCO, Abbot, author of Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology and other works, though I doubt the others have been translated into English. His Occult Phenomena is considered a classic in the field of paranormal research, though it’s much more than that, and certainly much more than most books on that subject. I say this as a former New Ager. This book would’ve saved me a LOT of wasted time and trouble. And reading Wiesinger is what started me off on this project, the soul series, here on the blog. What I didn’t know, a lot of other people don’t know, either. So it’s become my mission, as it were, to spread this knowledge far and wide. Wiesinger’s book and the subject in general have led me down many rabbit holes so far and I’ve only just begun. If only I’d known about these books all those years ago! Ah, it’s become a common refrain for me and a true one, indeed. Get a free PDF copy of Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, by Dom Alois Wiesinger, OSCO, at archive.org.
- I’ll write more about this for the actual series on the soul. I’m in the middle of reading Fr. Seraphim’s book and I want to re-read part of Dom Wiesinger’s book, too, before I say anything specific about either. It’s too early right now. I’m making notes and pondering at this stage.
Image: St Simon Stock and the Virgin Interceding for Souls in Purgatory, Corrado Giaquinto (Italian 1703–1756), Baroque, Rococco. From the Athenaeum. Public domain. (The Athenaeum appears to be down or gone, haven’t been able to access it for days now. How tragic! It was a great source.)
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