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It is one thing to say … that one must be careful not to read the Orthodox texts on the other world and life after death in too literal or earthly a manner, since that reality is in many obvious ways very different from earthly reality; but it is quite something else to “sweep away” all these texts and deny that they refer to anything at all in an outward way, and are nothing but “allegories” and “fables” … the Orthodox Church and Faithful have always accepted these descriptions as corresponding faithfully to reality, even while making allowances for the peculiar, other-worldly nature of this reality.

—Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina