Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life -- A Companion Journal
January 2013, Jossey-Bass
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.
- Explains why the second half of life can and should be full of spiritual richness
- Offers tools for spiritual growth and greater understanding of the ideas in Falling Upward
- Richard Rohr is a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines
This important companion to Falling Upward is an excellent tool for exploring the counterintuitive messages of how we grow spiritually.
1 The Two Halves of Life 1
2 The Hero and the Heroine's Journey 15
3 The First Half of Life 29
4 The Tragic Sense of Life 41
5 Stumbling over the Stumbling Stone 55
6 Necessary Suffering 69
7 Home and Homesickness 85
8 Amnesia and the Big Picture 101
9 A Second Simplicity 115
10 A Bright Sadness 127
11 The Shadowlands 139
12 New Problems and New Directions 153
13 Falling Upward 167
The Author 181
Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. He founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1986, where he presently serves as founding director. Fr. Rohr is the author of more than twenty books, an internationally known speaker, and a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines and the CAC's quarterly journal, Radical Grace.
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
San Francisco, CA - 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. However, what looks like falling down to many can largely be experienced as “falling upward.” In fact, our demise and/or failures and imperfections are not a loss but somehow actually a gain and all can look to their elders to see how it is in this second half where people achieve true spiritual fullness.
FALLING UPWARD: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Father Richard Rhor helps people understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have gone “down” are the only ones who understand “up.” Those who have somehow fallen, and fallen well, are the only ones who can grow spiritually and not misuse “up”. He describes what “up” (in the second half of life) will look like and could look like.
Many, if not most, people and institutions remain in “the first half of life” forever, preoccupied with establishing their identity, climbing, achieving, and performing. If you knew there was a further journey, wouldn't you choose to do the "first half" quite differently? The further journey involves challenges, mistakes, loss of control, even "necessary suffering," because that is how we grow.
“The soul has many secrets, and one of the best-kept ones is that the way up is actually on the way down. It is in the moments when we believed we’ve ‘fallen’ is when the real spiritual break-throughs occurs. I wrote this book to help those reverse their thinking, and to stop trying to strive for perfection because that can’t be achieved – to grow up we must pass through the darkness, it is there that we can find our true light.”
This message of falling down and in fact moving up is the most counterintuitive message in most of the world religions, including and most especially Christianity. We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.
FALLING UPWARD teaches us not be afraid of our failures or moving closer to the end of our time on this earth. Instead, it is an opportunity to further spiritually evolve and to experience real spiritual growth.