We must consciously realize that we are eternal and we have some stages in our eternal life which we will describe shortly below.
There are four stages in our eternal life:
- Embryonic life
It begins from conception until birth. This stage is characterized by the fact that we, as human beings, are very dependent on the spiritual and biological lives of our parents – firstly, our mother’s, of course.
- Earthly life
The second stage (as such as we all read this) lasts from birth until the separation of our body and soul, an unnatural phenomenon brought in existence by Adam’s sin (hence, our fear of it): the phenomenon called death. This second stage is very important because, in this stage, we determine to a great degree our existential plane for the next two stages. This happens because, here, we have the free will to change.
Even if, after death, our bodies decompose, our souls remain alive and know very well who we are and remember absolutely everything—since the phenomena of ageing and forgetfulness disappear. Our souls, which remember everything, are pleased by the virtues and good deeds we did, but are tormented by the existential distortions (sins) we accumulated and did not confess. In this stage, our souls rely on the prayers of those still in the second stage (and of the Saints in heaven) and hinge on the consequences of our deeds in our former stage.
- After Resurrection
At the Resurrection, our souls regain our bodies. The main change of the body is that it is incorruptible. It doesn’t need any more meals, water, sleep, and similar things. In this period, which is also eternal, the human being stabilizes on the existential plane which is gained in the past three stages.
This is why we should never, ever commit any deed of which we might be ashamed, in the future.
In the photo, a monk comforts Elder Gervasios in his cell near Vatopedi, Mount Athos, a few hours before his death.
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