Separation of Body and Soul?

I’ve talked to some of my friends, Orthodox seminaries, they say that In Orthodox Church is taught today that when man dies, he “sleeps” without consciousness, then when Resurrection comes, man wakes up - resurrects and is judged. This is mostly biased on the research and teachings of saint Maxim the Confessor. (There is no Soul alone time between death and Resurrection)
Orthodox Church is very slow at defining it’s dogmas, since Rome is gone in Orthodox Communion, Orthodox avoid calling for Ecumenical Council until “Rome returns.”
These friends of mine, they say that purgatory and toll houses and any separation of soul from body is neo-platonism and they deny it very strongly.
Now there is this other side in the Orthodox Church (Something like Tomas Hopko School of today) which believes in separation of body and soul and toll houses.
I’ve talked with them about late father Thomas Hopko, they just said “He is Roman-Catholic, his teachings are not Orthodox at all.”
They told me to read works of early Fathers, Fathers who were students of Apostles, they said they never wrote anything about the separation of Soul and Body. They said that if there was separation of soul and body, early Fathers would write about that.

In the west is taught separation of body and soul? Soul is judged for purgatory and then soul waits for it’s body (Resurrection) to join and then is judged once again?

So i must ask, what are Roman-Catholic arguments for separation of body and soul, purgatory and stuff like that? Not only Biblical arguments, any arguments are welcome.


You have to remember that time is physical, and that souls per se therefore have no time. Therefore, any talk of “waiting” for the body, or “sleeping” while waiting for the body, is a restatement in human terms of a process for which we really have no words. It is not waiting as we think of that term.

Sleeping is, in any case, a body function and only bodies can sleep.

BTW, while I am not Orthodox, I seem to recall that they pray to saints. How could saints help you if they are asleep?


I’ve asked them about the saints, they said that we are expressing our communion with them and we rely on their prayers which they said while they were still alive here on earth.
I’ve asked what about many visions that People had about saints, they said it was Christophania (Christ took shape of saints and showed Himself before the ones who had visions)
Are they bunch of heretics inside Orthodox seminary or something?

Well, in the Slav tradition of Orthodoxy, at least, they generally hold to the opposite doctrine - that there are “Celestial Toll-Houses”, which are private judgments of the soul after the death.
There is also a widespread belief that the soul of the deceased “roams” the earth within 40 days after death. And this is how the tradition of the 40-days commemoration of the dead is usually explained.

I told them that, but they said all of that was Roman-Catholic influence that developed inside Orthodox Church because most of Orthodoxy was under Ottoman Empire or Pagan hordes that reigned most of Russia.
They say they base their opinion on teachings of early fathers, mostly st Maxim the Confessor and other earlier Fathers.

There is much written on this in the Bahai Writings.

Soul and Mind exist outside the Body, they are our Spiritual Identity.

The Soul is like a Lamp and Mind is the rays coming from the lamp and are made manifest in this world through the Material Brain and Heart.

It is a very interesting subject :thumbsup:

Regards Tony

Interesting conversation… :slight_smile:

If souls sleep between death and the resurrection, how is it that dead Samuel was able to prophesy to Saul in 1 Samuel 28:16-19? And how could the Bible say of him, "Even after he had fallen asleep * he prophesied and revealed to the king his death, and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people. (Sirach 46:20)

How could the Bible say of Elisha, "As in his life he did wonders, so in death his deeds were marvelous. (Sirach 48:14) Apparently, are reference to 2 Kings 13:21.

How could the Bible (2 Maccabees 15:11-16) say that Judas Maccabeus’ dream or vision of the deceased men Onias and Jeremiah praying for the Jews and Jeremiah prophesying Judas’ victory be “worthy of belief” if souls sleep between death and the resurrection?

If souls sleep between death and the resurrection, how does the story Jesus told of the dead rich man and Lazarus and Abraham in Luke 16:19-31 make any sense? Lazarus and Abraham are dead but they are clearly not asleep but conversing with one another?

If souls sleep between death and the resurrection, how does most of the Book of Revelation make any sense? The dead elders and martyrs, with all their singing and complaining are clearly not asleep?*

I really have nothing to add, i’m too tired to process everything being said here but I want to see where this conversation goes so i’m adding a comment.

With that said- I’m off to bed, but first- i’m googling Toll Houses because I have NO idea what you guys are saying (and I have a sneaking suspicion it has nothing to do with cookies…

Isn’t that pure neo-Platonism and Origenism?

Which part Oktava?


“I would posit that the human being is MORE alive as a soul without a fleshly body,”

Is the statement “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of heaven” purely neo-Platonic or Origenic therefore?


Isn’t that pure neo-Platonism and Origenism?

Sure sounds like it.

Could you please guide me towards which parts of Origens works is indicative of a soul without a body being very much alive and well?

Also, did this theological thinking become heretical? If so, why?

Thanks :slight_smile:


Greetings folks,
Interesting thread in my view. The statement “I would posit that the human being is more alive as a soul without a fleshly body, than a soul with a fleshly body…” makes perfect (?) sense to my small intellect.
When we are soul with the body the soul seems to be overshadowed (forgotten as it were) because the mind and body have so much going on. The mind with the egotism, fears, and anxieties, and the body with the distractions of the senses, aches and pains, and diseases. We for the most part don’t give the soul, the interior life, or spiritual life much attention. Once the soul is separated from the body it (the soul) is free to be itself, so to speak.
I’ve no idea what Neo-Platonism or origenism are so I can’t comment on that. Thankfully. Be well.

The soul without the body survives, but is not “alive and well.” Such a condition is a hideous disability, as without the body, there is no sight, sound, smell or movement; not even knowing, which needs the head, just as smell needs the nose and movement the limbs.

Distinguishing the mind from the soul is not useful. The soul’s major functions are to keep the body alive and to generate the mind. Both require the body; the soul is the soul of the body!

Neo-Platonism is the extension of the teaching of Plato, who in effect despised the body, and taught that soul and body were in essence separate. Origenism is the teaching of Origen, one of the few Church Fathers who was never named to sainthood.


You may note that above is posted that the Soul and Mind exist outside the Body.

We feed Mind and Soul with the Choices made in our Flesh State. The body but a Temporary fleeting vessel to sail our Faith through Troubled waters.

Heart is the key, it is out heart that finds God and it is our heart that feeds our actions that bring us Knowledge of God.

Heart feeds our Brain to Fire the Neurons of free will to direct all to God, or not!

The material Senses can help but in reality are not needed. If it was so, a Materially handicapped person could not find God, but we know that this is not so.

Regards Tony

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