Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

( 45 )

Overview

In the first half of life, we are naturally and rightly preoccupiedwith establishing our identity—climbing, achieving, andperforming. But those concerns will not serve us as we grow olderand begin to embark on a further journey, one that involveschallenges, mistakes, loss of control, broader horizons, andnecessary suffering that actually shocks us out of our priorcomfort zone. Eventually, we need to see ourselves in a differentand more life-giving way. This message of "falling down"—thatis in fact moving ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$12.06
BN.com price
(Save 39%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $8.00   
  • New (14) from $11.20   
  • Used (14) from $8.00   

Overview

In the first half of life, we are naturally and rightly preoccupiedwith establishing our identity—climbing, achieving, andperforming. But those concerns will not serve us as we grow olderand begin to embark on a further journey, one that involveschallenges, mistakes, loss of control, broader horizons, andnecessary suffering that actually shocks us out of our priorcomfort zone. Eventually, we need to see ourselves in a differentand more life-giving way. This message of "falling down"—thatis in fact moving upward—is the most resisted andcounterintuitive of messages in the world's religions, includingand most especially Christianity.

In Falling Upward, Father Richard Rohr—the founder of theCenter for Action and Contemplation—offers a new paradigm forunderstanding one of the most profound of life's mysteries: how ourfailings can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth.Drawing on the wisdom from time-honored myths, heroic poems, greatthinkers, and sacred religious texts, the author explores the twohalves of life to show that those who have fallen, failed, or "gonedown" are the only ones who understand "up." We grow spirituallymore by doing it wrong than by doing it right.

With rare insight, Rohr takes us on a journey to give us anunderstanding of how the heartbreaks, disappointments, and firstloves of life are actually stepping stones to the spiritual joysthat the second half of life has in store for us.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (May)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470907757
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 19,577
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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 forAction and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.

Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam's Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi.

Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity's place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings. Visit cac.org for more information.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

The Invitation to a Further Journey vii

Introduction xiii

1 The Two Halves of Life 1

2 The Hero and Heroine’s Journey 17

3 The First Half of Life 25

4 The Tragic Sense of Life 53

5 Stumbling over the Stumbling Stone 65

6 Necessary Suffering 73

7 Home and Homesickness 87

8 Amnesia and the Big Picture 97

9 A Second Simplicity 105

10 A Bright Sadness 117

11 The Shadowlands 127

12 New Problems and New Directions 137

13 Falling Upward 153

Coda 161

Notes 169

Bibliography 177

The Author 183

Index 185

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    Beautifully and thougthfully written!

    A mature and refective study on the nature of one's true and authentic spiritual journey. The necessary steps one must take in order to be fully-realized in this life.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Great concept - and accurate, too, I believe. But the writing i

    Great concept - and accurate, too, I believe. But the writing is marginal. Too often, Rohr uses one hundred words when thirty would do. And when you're looking for sharper clarity on particular ideas, he doesn't offer it. The book's obtuseness made sense to me when Rohr revealed in one of the final chapters that he wrote the book during a Lenten hermitage. That tells me he was highly sensitive to certain ideas, but he forgot to bring his thought process down to earth. Falling Upward is a good first draft of what could've been a really fine study.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Horrible Book

    The author spends more time telling the reader what he is going to tell you about than telling you. The author also throws a whole bunch of philosophy on the wall to see what sticks and throws up the names of just about every philosopher, psychologist, and spiritualist that exists or did exist just to impress the reader.

    When it comes to spirituality, nothing beats the bible. No other book is needed on how to live or understand one's life.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    highly recommended for R. Rohr's followers

    The book gives a superb insight into the progression followed by thinkers of how God interfaces with humans at various times of their lives. The book highlights the second half of life, usually 50-60 or older, and the changes that occur during that time when more introspection is usually accomplished.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Wonderful book, to be read again and again. Written by a man who

    Wonderful book, to be read again and again. Written by a man who knows from whence he comes. (Similar to reading Parker Palmer.) Almost every page in my book is high-lighted for a variety of reasons: great quotes from people who speak with wisdom, an affirmation of where we are in our own lives, great imagery, affirmation, and encouragement. It doesn't have to be either/or; it can be both/and. I too see life as positive or negative energy; I choose to add positive energy to the world, and to those around me. One of my take-away images is that of a mirror: "Let the Light mirror you; we can reflect on our lives to get a sense of who we are; we need true friends to be honest mirrors for us; hopefully our work on this earth will be a good refection on us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    This should be required reading for anyone 50 years or older.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended for those nearing the second half of life

    I find Rohh's thesis thought provoking as we pass through our various stages of life and wonder what it is all about and what happens beyond. Is there a God? Is there a heaven and hell? Is heaven on earth what God seeks for us humans? If so, is there an after-life experience? Rohr helped me wrestle with these questions.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2015

    Hi Interview on Pete Holmes's podcast was excellent and thoughtf

    Hi Interview on Pete Holmes's podcast was excellent and thoughtful. I will be buying this book based on that 2 hour interview and I can't wait to get it. I will update this post after I read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    Richard Rohr, writer, activist, lecturer, Franciscan Priest, h


    Richard Rohr, writer, activist, lecturer, Franciscan Priest, has lived long and reflected deeply upon that living. In this small, but very weighty tome, he distills his conclusions about life being lived fully, deeply, in full awareness and completeness. His words are dense, accurate and speak directly to the heart.
    This is not a book that can be, nor needs to be, read quickly. Each page, often each paragraph, holds ideas which explode into the mind and attach to the Spirit of the reader.

    “We do not ‘make’ or ‘create’ souls; we just ‘grow them up.’”(p.x)
    “None of us go into our spiritual maturity completely of our own accord, or by a totally free choice. We are led by Mystery, which religious people rightly call grace.” (p. xvi)
    “We grow spiritually much more by getting it wrong (making mistakes) than by doing it right.” (p. xxii) (emphasis mine).
    “Myths are true basically because they work.” (p. xxx)
    “. . . whatever reconnects (re-ligio) our parts to the Whole is in experience of God, whether we call it that or not.” (p. xxxiv)

    These are but a few “moments upon which to pause” found in the introduction. The next 168 pages are likewise dense.
    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.
    Using poetry, a lot of Biblical Scripture, Depth and Self Psychology, Mythology and a Wisdom Literature from a broad spectrum of faith systems, the author makes a strong argument for his case. He speaks clearly of the need to embrace the pain and tragedy common to life, letting it teach us the richness that comes from living full and which can occur only by surrendering what we think we know and the expectations of how things should be. Only by doing so can one fill the “container” of life’s “first half,” giving it meaning definition and the wideness of true freedom.
    “Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God’s own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us.” (p. 57).
    “The more you exclude, the more hellish and lonely your existence is.” (p. 101)
    Repeatedly, Fr. Rohr reminds the reader that “God writes straight using crooked lines,” and the both of life’s “halves” reflect the truth that we are the “writing” brought about by such Grace. 
    There is much depth, reality and heart-freeing truth found in this book that to hint at its benefit to me would require a long in-person discussion of each chapter. I would welcome such discourse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Highly recommend

    Excellent book. I will read it more than once. This book gives you lots to think about and is very uplifting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Spiritually enlightening and thought provoking

    I have recommended this book to more people than I have any other book. It is not a fast read. It is a serious soul-searching study.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Thoughtful & insightful understanding of the seasons and journey of life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2013

    not to be missed

    A very thoughtful book about the 2 halves of life, and what it means to be with God here on earth. A fantastic read, filled with more thought provoking ideas than most any other book I have read. A must read if you are a Christian.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    I think whether you felt it was an exceptional book or completel

    I think whether you felt it was an exceptional book or completely the opposite depends upon, as Rohr writes about, whether or not you have had the experience of Falling Upward.
    Even if you have only "fallen" and are awaiting the "upward" part you will find value in what Rohr has to say.
    Essentially what he is writing about is the Paschal Mystery ha is for all of us to experience in the here and now and not just at the end of our lives.
    What Rohr is teaching his readers is what truly is the Good News of Jesus Christ that too often is never understood  and thus missed.
    It's a short read, so if your on the fence of whether or not to read it, I say give it a shot.  If it doesn't speak to you you will not have lost much time in your life; however, if you are at a place in your life where this will "hit you between the eyes" you will experience "new life within" and be forever grateful you took the time to read it.If you don't want to risk spending the money, then get it at the library!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    I love it.  I am buying another copy for a friend.

    I love it.  I am buying another copy for a friend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Excellent discussion of life. A must read for all thoughtful persons who want to live with intention and integrity.

    Richard Rohr examines the two halves of life with depth that requires (for me) a second reading. So much to ponder as one looks at life from his/her own vantage point. FALLING UPWARD is not about the downward spiral of life as one ages, but about the call to a fuller life with different and broader values.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Highly recommended one incredibly insightful

    A profound book of wisdom. One of the best ever written. Very solidly based on psychological and religious groundings

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    So so.

    Nice premise. Hardship can make us stronger. He offers little more in the way of content beyond stating this premise, however.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)