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Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of LifeFalling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book of Rohr's which I have read. It received a lot of notice when it came out, so I had high expectations.

And for the longest time, they were not met. The opening chapters seemed trite, uninteresting, even somewhat cloying at times. I moved very slowly through them, wondering whether I should not read anymore of the book.

In late October I put it aside to read a couple of books for my sermon series on the Letter from Birmingham Jail. I seriously considered not reading anymore of it after I finished those. But, I decided to go ahead and try. It was better going when I picked it back up.

And then today I got to good parts and read more than half the book today, in the midst of lots of other work (I can read a lot while I'm waiting for my slow computer to do things).

The message of the book is that there is a second part of life that instead of a loss is really a gain. Early in life we are ego-driven, ambitious, concerned with our identity, rules, etc. This is necessary work, he says, as we are creating our identity and shaping the "container" for what comes later.

The spiritual task of the second half of life is to fill the container. To broaden our perspective, quit being concerned about getting ahead, abandon our ego, gain wisdom and peace. We have learned from suffering and now it affects us less.

Though some of the spiritual advice is not new, I liked the way he discussed various things, including desire, the role of religious belief, and becoming our true self.

I will use some of his material in my sermon series for Epiphany and Lent.

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