Falling Upward and Living Water!

Living Water

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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When The World of Thoughts Loses Power!

World of Thoughts

When man realizes that thoughts are just thoughts and that the ability to think is just a tool that can be used when it is beneficial and useful, this can be experienced as a small revolution! In the lives of many people, thoughts are honored with too much credibility and power. Man are too often easily governed and therefore thrown around by the strange and sometimes chaotic thinkinggames of the mind.

In the moment that thoughts are revealed as what they truly are, nothing but simple thoughts, this creates a sense of freedom. From then on thoughts can come and go like leaves on the river’s surface and this can help man to move along on the peaceful, contemplative road.

When the mind loses its unjustly power, the chattering mind can also calm down so man himself becomes calmer. In this experience, a room for contemplative silence and new expectations can grow. Man is ready for new steps into the exciting unknown within is Godgiven inner being.

To find rest from “yourself”

In the comtemplative, often quiet, prayer you can find the calmness to rest from your own (false) self. Several times in the New Testament (se Matt. 10, 38-39 and Mark 8, 34-35) the words of Jesus, about laying down your own life and taking up your cross and following him, are repeated. It is all about losing your life (false self) to find true life itself. Jesus is showing the way that leads to a new dimension through the resurrection in which you can partake in, in your own life. Seek to live your life, more and more every day, in touch with the depths within yourself. Through this connection with your inner being and God’s own Spirit that is awakened in your innermost, you will find rest from yourself. “Yourself” means not your real and truest self, but it can be all your personas, masks and your ego which are used (and also at times useful!) on your earthly journey. By surrendering your ego/false self and not counting this self as decisive and your true self, you will find that which God has placed within you. In a quiet surrender you can lay down all that which is not real and search for life in the depths of your inner being, where you will find the kingdom of God.