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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

The spiritual journey of believers has two parts, writes Richard Rohr in Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. Rohr is founder of the Center for Contemplation and Action, Albuquerque, N.M. During the first half of life, we create a container for our identity. We establish our security, boundaries and a minimum of order.

Falling UpwardIn the second half, we work on our pride and prejudices, leave our comfort zone and venture into the unknown, live with a both/and perspective, and become a generative person. These elements of spiritual maturity don't come without encounters with pain, doubt, loneliness, failure and loss. And they don't happen overnight.

Rohr concludes with a revised picture of old age: "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 our physical life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling can largely be experienced as falling upward and onward into a broader and deeper world, where the soul has found its fullness, is finally connected to the whole, and lives inside the Big Picture" (Jossey-Bass).


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