In the book 'The Gurus the Young Man and Elder Paisios', by Dionysios Farasiotis p.238-242, St Herman Press 2008, we read the most amazing description of that moment when a searching soul is presented with the terrifying choice, eternal life or eternal death.
afternoon at the beginning of Holy Week, having made a stop in
Thessaloniki, I was by myself in our home there, when, suddenly, my
surroundings vanished. There were no images to be seen, sounds to be
heard, or objects to be touched. My five senses had ceased functioning.
It was as though the light switch had been flicked and the room plunged
into total darkness.
My mind turned its full attention to a spiritual
realm that it found utterly riveting and captivating. In one direction,
I saw a soft but intense light- brilliant yet gentle. In the other
direction, I saw a thick, cavernous darkness. Initially, I turned my
attention towards the awesome, yet fearful, darkness. It made my
flesh crawl, but I was overcome by curiosity, the desire to
understand what it was. My mind advanced towards the darkness, and
I began to sense the magnitude of its negation. The deeper I went, the
greater this negation became, and the thicker the darkness.
It had a vast power and, if I dare put it this way, a certain
It represented a negative perspective on reality, unhesitatingly
extending into reality as depth, even as the light stretched infinitely
into reality as height. On one side, there was immense love; on the
other immense hatred. The light was overflowing with unconditional
altruism, while the darkness pulled away in utter self-centeredness.
I could not see into the darkness, I could feel the presence of souls
in it, leaping about and shrieking with insane, wicked laughter as they
were pulled deeper and deeper into the ocean of darkness , until the
sound of their voices disappeared altogether. Frightened by this savage
madness, I headed towards the light, seeking its protection. Just
reaching its outskirts, I felt the relief of having being rescued from a
Although I didn't advance very far at all into the
darkness, I was able to fill the depths of its evil ocean. I could
understand the very essence of the enticing power of sin to tempt, as
well as its laughable powerlessness, utter dependence,
and shadowy non-existence. The darkness, I saw, is fearsome when it has
won you over, but it is absurd and feeble when you reject it- it can not
defeat even a small child if he does not fall on his own. In the same
way, I did not advance far into the light- only so to speak, skating its
edge -but even there I felt confident and comforted by a fullness of
life, peace, joy, and knowledge. The light loved me greatly in spite of
my unworthiness and granted me its gifts, gifts I never dreamed existed.
At this point, I realized that the light created the world and
living being. The existential space in which each person dwells is
itself a creation fashioned by the light, which also fills and permeates
these spaces. One being decided to stay outside of the existential
space created by the light, thus creating a sort of space for itself,
though only by denying the light, turning from it and driving it away.
The darkness has no existence of its own, but only in that it denies the
ever-existing and sovereign light....
Just as the light's love
wishes to unite all things, being the source of existence and creation,
so the hatred of the darkness wants to divide all things, being the
source of non-existence and destruction.
Within a matter of
minutes, I had received a lesson of immeasurable depth. It was not only a
revelation beyond words, of subtle differences of profound meaning and
great importance, but also -and even more- a test and trial of the
deepest inclinations and intentions of my heart, to see whom I
would follow and whom I would leave behind. Fortunately, although my
heart initially moved towards the darkness, it ultimately found repose
in the light, and fortunately, the light still accepted me."