Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

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In Falling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." 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 life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward." In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness. Explains why the second half of life can and should be full of spiritual richness Offers a new view of how spiritual growth happens?loss is gain Richard. Rohr is a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines
This important book explores the counterintuitive message that we grow spiritually much more by doing wrong than by doing right–a fresh way of thinking about spirituality that grows throughout life.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470907754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470907757
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

… my work identity reading this book helped me understand better why so many retired and older people are so …

14 people found this helpful.
 on April 27, 2016
By Bob H
As a senior and finally able to stand back from my work identity reading this book helped me understand better why so many retired and older people are so angry. At a time when we can finally look back at our lives and decide to just move on and enjoy the time we have left there are so many of us still trying to live in the first half of life. Such a shame to see so many people, who could actually make a positive impact on our deeply divided society, are just so angry and unhappy with things and simply unable to show the least bit of comapssion and understanding toward others.

This captures the meaning of being an adult, the spiritual meaning.

442 people found this helpful.
 on March 24, 2011
By Patrick M
This is the sort of book that you want to give to all of your family members who have reached the age of 45.

Expanded my thinking

4 people found this helpful.
 on June 27, 2015
By Carole Banks
Franciscan Priest, Richard Rohrs’ book “Falling Upward” profoundly effected me. It is a blend of psychology, mythology and Christian thoughts. What this book did for me was suggest a different way of looking at Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit. I didn’t like it at first. It felt like the “dimension” I had pictured of God and heaven was disappearing and being replaced by a spiritual realm. But in my gut, I think he’s right. What I have to get my head around is the ‘spirit realm’ is also real and can be experienced. What Richard Rohr is is a catholic mystic. He ‘experiences’ God. This is what I long for myself. He takes a lot of flack for this thinking/teaching from some catholic circles but receives love and support from others. This book can help you in your personal individuation process, as the Jungians would say, and expand your view of God and your place in the universe. That’s pretty incredible wouldn’t you say!

STOP: Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water

4 people found this helpful.
 on October 16, 2016
By Sheila Mosher
I loved this little book although I wish I had read it years ago. It could have saved me a good deal of angst even though I arrived at a similar place on the journey as that described by the author. Father Rohr issues a loving call to grow up in our understanding, to ” put away childish things” and to Fall Up into a mature and joyful spirituality. Really inspiring

Proud to be Second-Phase!

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 14, 2016
By Kera A. Hamilton
A must-gift for anyone who has arrived at or is approaching 50 years or more. I have given countless numbers of this book to friends and mere acquaintances and have received many positive responses on the content. Find out what it is like to finally realize that with years comes wisdom and with wisdom comes peace. We of the 2nd Phase of Life have much to be grateful for and have much to give. Read it to know your accumulated worth … and then share it!

Great Book About the Journey of Life

3 people found this helpful.
 on June 10, 2015
By Lance J Orton
Rohr provides an incredible vantage point at what he calls, “The Second Half of Life”. Each page contains profound and rich ideas for those ready to accept his wisdom. Some spiritual books attempt to change the reader. Rohr, on the other hand, hopes the reader becomes more comfortable with their life as it exists now. Therefore, any change that occurs is more a result of realization than of inspiration.

A Book Worth Reading

9 people found this helpful.
 on May 13, 2015
By Leonard J. Martini
Book report on Falling Upward by Richard Rohr, Bjossey-Bass books, 2011

Dive headfirst into Falling Upward!

One person found this helpful.
 on March 8, 2016
By Richard Thompson
Fr. Rohr’s wide-ranging knowledge of Christian tradition (both East and West), Scripture, contemplative spirituality, and depth psychology, and his deep, mature wisdom, are on full display in this small but meaty volume. As one who is well into the second half of life, both chronologically and, I want to believe, in terms of spiritual maturity, Rohr’s insights and teachings helped me to more clearly name and comprehend my own spiritual journey. His ability to embrace paradox and hold together as one realities of the human experience that seem exclusive–such as sorrow and joy–is real and astounding. I was especially struck by his interpretation of the Odysseus myth as a template for the journey toward spiritual maturity. If you seek spiritual maturity, the ability to see all life with wonder, and a wise, gracious spiritual guide, then Falling Upward is for you. Dive in!

I was on the brink of giving up and found this book.

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 2, 2014
By J. Mark Wells
I was on the brink of giving up on Christianity altogether—exhausted with the restrictive and exclusivity of the traditional Church. I was angry, repulsed and often felt cheated by the church. Metaphorically, I felt entrapped by the shell I had been incubated in, and I had to get out. The day after a major meltdown, when I told my wife I was through with God and through with the Church, I called my life coach who had gone through the same experience, and he recommended this book. Wether it was just timing, or timeless truth, I do not know, but I have never been so thankful for a book in my entire life. This book spoke to my sufferings in my personal life over the last 4 years, and to my spiritual frustrations with the Church. It was like a guide on life’s journey as Rohr talks about in his book. It gave me an appreciation for the Traditional Church in my life, and yet freed me from it at the same time. It gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love in all stages of life, and the need to keep moving in my Faith. I’ve never felt the kind of peace, joy and love from God as I do after hearing this. Rohr’s understanding of scripture (and literature!! Which I loved as an English Major) was extraordinary, exciting and enlightening. I highly recommend this book to everyone, but I will also say that no one will get as much out of this as those who are questioning the traditional Church or have reached a spiritual roadblock in their life.

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