I’ve read some very interesting books lately. I will be writing about some of them in posts to come.
One of my favourite books now is the book “Falling Upward – A Spirituality for the two Halves of Life” written by Richard Rohr, a Fransciscan priest. This book has opened my eyes to a better understanding of two different states we can be in as human beings wandering this earth.
Basically, I think a main message in the book is this: In the first half of life you need to build your ego and in a way become secure and grounded in this ego. The second half of life is about going deeper than this ego and starting to figure out more about your truest identity.
Another aspect here, as I understand Rohr, is that the person in the first half of life is more dualistic and black-and-white in his thinking. He may also be more focused on orthodoxy and dogma, which makes his faith often more exclusive. Later in life, by going through some processes that involve contemplation and also suffering, the person becomes less preoccupied with dogma, orthodoxy and also more inclusive when it comes to where truth is found. You really need to read the book to get the full understanding of what I am (/Rohr is) trying to say here. If you happen to be in your thirties or older I really recommend giving the book a chance.
The title, I think, refers to the process you have to go through to spiritually cross over to the second half of life, which involves a kind of falling. Partly this falling may involve quite a bit of suffering and emotional pain. But, in the end you will find that the road downward is actually the way up! As I see it, this can also be understood in light of what Jesus said about dying to your own self, which in my opinion can mean (among other things) that your ego has “to die” or lose importance, in order for a new and true identity (God’s image in us) to grow forth (see f.ex. Luke 9,23 and Gal. 2,20).
I truly believe that by preparing for and going through this tranformational process in life, by the grace of God, we can find a way to connect more fully to the living water that Jesus talked about to the Samarian woman, and finally find a deeper and more (ever-)lasting joy!
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