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Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

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Overview

PRAISE FOR FALLING UPWARD

"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"

"Falling Upward calls forth the promise within us and frees us to follow it into wider dimensions ...

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Overview

PRAISE FOR FALLING UPWARD

"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"

"Falling Upward calls forth the promise within us and frees us to follow it into wider dimensions of our spiritual authenticity. This 'second half of life' need not wait till our middle years. It emerges whenever we are ready and able to expand beyond the structures and strictures of our chosen path. With Richard Rohr as a guide, this mystery can become as real and immediate as your hand on the doorknob."
Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

"In Falling Upward, Richard offers a simple but deeply helpful framework for seeing the whole spiritual life—one that will help both beginners on the path as they look ahead and long-term pilgrims as they look back over their journey so far."
Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and Naked Spirituality brianmclaren.net

"The value of this book lies in the way Richard Rohr shares his own aging process with us in ways that help us be less afraid. We begin to see that, as we grow older, we are being awakened to deep, simple, and mysterious things we simply could not see when we were younger."
Jim Finley, retreat leader, Merton scholar, and author of The Contemplative Heart

"This is Richard Rohr at his vintage best: prophetic, pastoral, practical. A book I will gratefully share with my children and grandchildren."
Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest, retreat leader, and author of The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, Centering Prayer, Inner Awakening, and The Wisdom Way of Knowing

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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)
From the Publisher
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) (Publishers Weekly, April 11, 2011)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470907757
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 18,323
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 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.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    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 43 Customer Reviews

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