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Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life -- A Companion Journal Paperback – January 22, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1118428566 ISBN-10: 1118428560 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118428560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118428566
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (618 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"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, MD, host of the Dr. Oz Show

PRAISE FOR FALLING UPWARD

"Rohr writes about spirituality in broad terms, but is deeply grounded in the writings and thinkers of his Catholic religious tradition. His discussion of ... the necessity of suffering, the opportunities provided by mistakes ... is fresh because imaginative and vigorous ... This small, provocative book will make a particularly good gift ..."
Publishers Weekly

"A visionary work about the second stage of life as a time for the unfolding of spiritual maturity."
Spirituality & Practice, Best Books of 2011

"What a pleasure to discover Rohr's guiding voice, leading us as a master of spiritual disciplines, to see within aging—not a dreaded monster, but an actual spiritual goal in living. A goal, that is, if we can accept this confident, compassionate wisdom that no longer needs to settle all questions—and no longer needs to sort the world into neat groups of friends and foes. That awareness can come with age, if we understand the power of that spiritual gift."
Read the Spirit

"This is a book for reflection ... It would be good to discuss in a house group. There are passages to lead in to silent prayer, and the final chapter, a meditation on a poem by Thomas Merton, 'When in the Soul of a Serene Disciple,' is something I shall return to again and again."
Julian Meetings Magazine

"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

In his bestselling book Falling Upward, Father Richard Rohr offers a new paradigm for understanding one of the most profound of life's mysteries: how our failings can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth. Throughout the book, he draws on the wisdom from time-honored myths, heroic poems, great thinkers, and sacred religious texts to demonstrate that we grow spiritually more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.

This Companion Journal helps those who have (and those who have not) read Falling Upward to engage more deeply with the questions the book raises. Its inspiring blend of resources for readers includes:

  • QUOTATIONS FOR REFLECTION Passages from Falling Upward give readers an opportunity to let their meaning spur thoughts about experiences or feelings. In groups, the passages (and reflections about them) are great conversation starters.
  • JOURNALING QUESTIONS Writing in response to these questions is meant to help readers dig deeper into the concepts in the book. The questions can also be used to open discussion in groups.
  • EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES Because spiritual practice is an important part of growth and insight, these experiential exercises are designed to help readers take their writing and discussions further. In groups, the exercises can be used as the basis for discussion and learning together.

About 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.


More About 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 for Action and Contemplation (www.cac.org) 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 author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam's Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, and Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self.

CAC is home to the Rohr Institute where 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 Rohr Institute 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. Learn more at www.cac.org.

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Customer Reviews

This is the only book that I have begun to read a second time.
Practical Searcher
As such I have appreciated reading Falling Upward by Franciscan priest Richard Rohr.
Darren Cronshaw
Richard Rohr is very insightful and offers thoughts that are pertenant to real life.
Ramona Kadow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

350 of 360 people found the following review helpful By Patrick McCormack VINE VOICE on March 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the sort of book that you want to give to all of your family members who have reached the age of 45.

The author captures the way Western society works, with its focus on the first half of people's lives. This percipient sociological analysis is just a starting point for his exploration of the second half of life.

As an aside, our obsession on the first half of life is growing stronger -- we care about courtship, career choice, finding a mate, establishing ourselves, and this is the subject that too many 60 year old people worry at, fantasize over, concentrate on, well past the day that they should let this half of their lives go... and think about the second half.

In this second half, people know they will suffer, that they will enter the "shadowlands", that this part of life can be about suffering and diminution. This author outlines how this half of life can be about joy, about falling upward in a spiritual sense, about the second half of life being about opening yourself. A book like this can help center a reader on the need to get past embarrassment, get past a concern for the material, and begin to understand what faces you, and what you are...

There is God in this book, and the book is frank about being a guidebook, a road map, towards salvation. That is inherent in the entire theme, the idea that a second half of life, with travails, can open to something more.

So many people I know are concerned with retirement, but not what to do in retirement, about a lake home, but not a better self... There is a sense that an obsession with retirement, in this second half, will then relegate health problems, money problems, pain, the death of friends.. into painful shocks. This book tells you that these painful days can be something more, a new journey.

Well written, with a gentle, funny, and open style, this is a book that actually can change your life.
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110 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Age old questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? How can I survive the death of my loved one, the sickness of my child, or my pending divorce? "Falling Upwards" helps us with these questions.

Falling Upwards challenges the reader to examine his life experience and re-evaluate his path. This is a superior book about human spiritual growth and approach to contentment. How do I grow? What is my road to serenity - to happiness? How can I best adjust to my problems? Why do I sometimes feel conflicted when I am not secure? When I lose? When I make a mistake?

Considering that the author is a Franciscan Priest, one might expect this book to be religious and focused upon the Catholic Church. It is not. Falling Upwards is a spiritual text with pearls of wisdom that transcend religion. It is spiritual in the sense that it focuses upon our individual spirit and our growth to true happiness. Falling Upwards is deeply psychological. It helps us focus upon the growth of our psyche and our search for maturity.

Rohr explains that human development can be viewed in two stages. The first phase of our life is about building our self concept, security, relationships, and place in the community. The primary focus in this stage is upon self and our survival. Some people live their entire life in this first stage.

The second phase of human growth is focused upon discovering our real self, searching for the roots of our self, and discovering our true worth. In the second half of life we learn patience, forgiveness, and concern for other people. The second half is where we become much more serene and contented.

Rohr teaches us that we must experience success in early life to build a strong self image.
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134 of 144 people found the following review helpful By P. Hamm VINE VOICE on March 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Most of us are stuck in the first part of our spiritual life, the part that is about creating the structures and the container for who we will be when we start living for others, start pouring ourselves out like Christ did.

Rohr's imagery and references may be too universal for many readers. If you can't get past this because of your own religious fundamentalism (not necessarily a bad thing, btw), just skip it. But his insights into what makes us tick, and then what SHOULD make us tick when we finally get to the "second half of our spiritual life", are more than worth navigating his multi-religious musings. (For the record, he is a Catholic priest and a Franciscan, so though he borrows thoughts from all religious and philosophical traditions, he is firmly planted in Christianity.) His style reminds me a bit, by the way, of Dallas Willard, and I'm surprised Willard never gets mention here.

How much did I like this book, as a 47-year old who is wrestling with his own thoughts on how to engage my "second half"? I'll simply put it this way. After finishing this book, I immediately began a second read (it's not long, but is very dense) and plan to take many copious notes and process the content very very carefully.

My favorite book on spirituality for years and years has been "The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard. This book is sure to be tied with that one in my heart.
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127 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin A. Simpson VINE VOICE on April 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fr. Rohr is known for speaking clearly, prophetically, and with wisdom.

Falling Upward, his latest work, is an amalgam of insight drawn from the Christian tradition, the field of psychology, epic poetry, and contemporary spirituality. There is no shortage of interesting analogies, fresh connections, and surprising verities in this book, primarily on the concept of identity, and the strong need we have as human beings to construct containers within which we can seek to understand ourselves, followed by the deeper calling to transcend and surpass that container in ways that both embrace and challenge our existing identities. Rohr presents an understanding of Christian spirituality that is defined by curiosity, deep humility, and expandingly inclusivity. It is a vision I am certain many will find very compelling.

Rohr's greatest contribution in this book, in my opinion, is his incisive and insightful commentary on the ongoing journey that is both life and faith, if the two can be divorced. He rightly names the "first-half-of-life" culture that dominates the landscape in the United States, the ongoing desire many of us have to define ourselves by some type of success or acclaim, such as a career, or financial independence, or social status. He identifies how these quests often leave those who complete those journeys with a deep emptiness, and without discerning "the quest within the quest," a greater journey that leads beyond those initial identity markers to a deeper sense and experience of what it means to be human, life is left unfulfilled. Rohr argues that the spiritual life is something more, something deeper, something that God has designed as being the fulfillment of the deepest human desires.
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