"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."--
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When reading this spiritual book, I identified several developmental psychologists in addition to Jung in its message including Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg. I would recommend this book to anyone who only see a continual falling and failing in one's final years.. This book reminds us that development is a lifetime process where falling is also countered by a "falling upward."
I'm glad I read it, and found much of the book quite thought-provoking, but it didn't really give any positive guidance or suggestions. Those still in the author's first 'stage' of life (whatever their chronological age) would probably find it confusing, even heretical; those going through difficult circumstances would not necessarily be encouraged at the thought that this 'falling' could be the trigger to moving 'upward.
But still, an interesting read.
The second half of life is more nuanced and non-dualistic. By now many individuals have suffered setbacks. They have come to know pain and misfortune. They have experienced what it means to grow older. Many of these folks know discomfort from disease like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer, chronic renal failure among other afflictions. But they strive well in living with these problems. There’s a “luminous sadness” in their lives. These individuals have therefore been propelled to a new reality. They have become contemplative and compassionate. Their afflictions don’t get them down but spur them onwards.
Rohr mainly demonstrated what the thinking of the younger generation is like as opposed to the older. He explained that the second half integrates the dualistic and non-dualistic way of thinking. In a chapter he showed how he himself went through successful changes from the first to the second half of life. Luckily, the author was able to learn from these spiritual insights that he discussed in his book. He described how people should deal with their shadow, and shouldn’t confuse their profession with their identity. It was imperative they cast off their mask and embrace their true self. So, when they look in a mirror they should view their authentic self. People would inevitably fall down many times, but they should get up by what Rohr described as “falling upwards.”