In this recording, Archimandrite Athanasios Mytilinaios (1927-2006), answers the question: “Why the dead raised by Christ did not tell us anything about the other life?” “No one can communicate in words what he saw. Note that Saintly men who were ‘caught up to the third heaven,’ just like St. Paul, could not say anything either. What they experienced cannot be said. The things Paul saw were uncreated. The human language is created. But what Paul saw was unable to be passed on because it was uncreated.”
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Audio source: “Catechism”, no. 988, January 12, 1997 (in Greek)
Could you please tell us why the dead resurrected by Christ and the Apostles told us nothing about the next life? What did they see, etc.? There is a whole paragraph about other things, but I will not repeat it.
My dear ones, what should they say?
Apostle Paul says in Second Corinthians he “was caught up to the third heaven.”
“He heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” [2 Corinthians 12:2-4]
The things Paul saw, pay attention to this point, were uncreated. The human language is created. The letters of the Gospel are created. We type them. But what Paul saw was unable to be passed on because it was uncreated.
Thus, the words “which is not lawful for a man to utter” has two meanings. [Met. Athanasios now interprets the ancient Greek language of the original text of the Bible.]
One is that it was impossible to communicate [what he saw]. The second is that it was not permissible [to communicate what he saw]. Meaning, it is not possible, but it is also not permissible.
No one can communicate [in words] what he saw. Note that Saintly men who were “caught up to the third heaven,” just like St. Paul, could not say anything either. [What they experienced] cannot be said. A people’s tradition says the following. Lazaros was resurrected by Christ four days [after his death]. He tasted the bitterness of death [but] Lazaros said nothing about the other life. Nothing, nothing, nothing! He never laughed [again after his resurrection due to what he had seen in Hades]. Once, however, he saw somebody stealing a jar. He then laughed and said, “Look, the clay is stealing the clay,” which indicates that he saw the vanity of the thing and made this remark.
He also laughed bitterly one more time. Thus, if we could have [such] an experience, we must have it through faith.
What is the present world and what is the future world, we keep our distances.
Something else. In one of the spiritualism books that many of you bring to me, and I keep them so I can enrich the quiver [of my arguments], a doctor from Athens said that the soul has material hypostasis and he used the famous equation between mass and energy by Einstein. [According to him], the man dies and his [overall] weight decreases.
The difference in the weight [before and after death], he says, is the weight of the soul. Needless to say, these are completely materialistic things. Even if the soul was energy as materialism says, still you cannot weigh energy. We only weigh mass. We measure energy but we cannot weigh it.
Those are foolish things. Unfortunately, however, they circulate and we have to be very attentive about these things.