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Falling Upward: A Spirituality For The Two Halves Of Life

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You can immediately see that the object's distance traveled is proportional to the fall time squared. It means that with each second, the falling body travels a substantially larger distance than before. The book establishes this idea of the two mountains, though Richard refers to them as the two tasks. This model serves as the basis for the whole book. Then during the second half of life, the second mountain, we release it so that we might refill it with God and spirituality.

Franciscan priest Richard Rohr—author of, among other titles, The Naked Now and From Wild Man to Wise Man—has written his most sage, most important book yet. The message of Falling Upward is straightforward and bracing: the spiritual life is not static. You will come to a crisis in your life, and after the crisis, if you are open to it, you will enter a space of spiritual refreshment, peace and compassion that you could not have imagined before. And this is among the last ones that made me stop reading the book: he writes, "There is not one clear theology of God, Jesus, or history presented, despite our attempt to pretend there is." Fr. Rohr’s premise is that life is divided into two halves. The first half is spent building a “container” (education, career, family, identify, etc.) for our life. The second half can be the filling of that container with fullness, depth, simplicity leading to the individual becoming an “elder” for those in the first half of life. This “Falling Upward” of the second half of life brings about a wideness of life, the understanding of rules as suggestions for life but they are to be followed only as far as they create connection and relationship.It has been a long time since I wrote in the margins of a book, or even underlined anything. I found myself pulling out a pen to highlight much of what Father Rohr had to say. I give away almost every book I read. But this one is a keeper. Rohr writes about the two halves of life, focusing on the second half--the half more neglected by society, but the wisdom of which is desperately needed. He explains what should, but often doesn't happen in that first half of life; the consequences of our permanent cultural adolescence, and how we might grow beyond that adolescence into full, free, grace-filled selves. If Catholics need to be converted, Protestants need to do penance. Their shout of “sola Scriptura” (only Scripture) has left them at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time—by people who claim to love Jesus! I think they need to do penance for what they have often done with the Bible! They largely interpreted the Bible in a very individualistic and otherworldly way. It was “an evacuation plan for the next world” to use Brian McLaren’s phrase—and just for their group. Most of Evangelical Protestantism has no cosmic message, no social message, and little sense of social justice or care for the outsider. Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do our own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.”

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Understanding the spiritual aspects of aging is as important as appreciating the systems and biological processes that age us. Richard Rohr has given us a perfect guide to what he calls the "further journey," a voyage into the mystery and beauty of healthy spiritual maturity. - Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of the 'Dr. Oz Show'Short review: This is a book about embracing maturity. Age is not maturity, we all know immature people that are advanced in years. Rohr believes that we need to embrace the different parts of life. Our younger years are concerned with identity (what we do, who we marry, etc.). Our older years should be concerned with meaning. So if we properly understand how to mature, we live inside the structures of of life in our younger years and then we learn when to leave the structures of live in our older years.

This is in interesting book. Rohr uses the story of Odysseus as a structure for understanding maturity. He is quite fluent in modern psychology and anthropology as well as the ancient myths. Rohr believes that the ancient myths in many ways better understand how we should live. I thank God for Richard Rohr's sage-like presence in our culture: I honestly don't know where I'd be without it.'

Summary of Falling Upward

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." The Companion Journal helps those who have (and those who have not) read Falling Upward to engage more deeply with the questions the book raises. Using a blend of quotes, questions for individual and group reflection, stories, and suggestions for spiritual practices, it provides a wise guide for deepening the spiritual journey. . . at any time of life. Technically, such a jump doesn't fulfill all the requirements of a free fall – there is substantial air resistance involved. In fact, a real free fall is only possible in a vacuum. Nevertheless, this is as close to the actual experience as you can get on Earth 😉 God hides and is found, precisely in the depths of everything....Sin is to stay on the surface of even holy things...."

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