A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
A fresh way of thinking about spirituality that grows throughout life
In Falling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward." In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness.
Explains why the second half of life can and should be full of spiritual richness Offers a new view of how spiritual growth happens?loss is gain Richard. Rohr is a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines
This important book explores the counterintuitive message that we grow spiritually much more by doing wrong than by doing right.
Franciscan priest Rohr (The Naked Now) is a big-picture kind of thinker when it comes to characterizing the human journey. Life has two halves; life follows the pattern of a hero/heroine's journey; life is disorderly and inherently tragic. Elders and mystics are more inclined to such sweeping and subtle observations, and Rohr, born in 1943, fits in both categories. Rohr writes about spirituality in broad terms, but is deeply grounded in the writings and thinkers of his Catholic religious tradition. His discussion of familiar theological concerns the necessity of suffering, the opportunities provided by mistakes is fresh because imaginative and vigorous. His metaphors ("discharging your loyal soldier"), paradoxes (see the book's title), and arguments are not, however, easy to follow or even easy to summarize. They will frustrate some readers, but delight others who are attentive enough to follow the connections Rohr makes. This small, provocative book will make a particularly good gift for a thoughtful, spiritually open man.
A Helpful Reflection
I liked the personal quality of Rohr's writing. It reads like an elder passing on the insights cleaned from a lot of falling; and not like a study of other people's experience.
As a Protestant I appreciated his reflections on the sense of tragedy and the realty that suffering is necessary for the ego to truly be broken.