Paul writes – One of the highlights of 2006 was attending a three-day workshop and chatting over a cup of coffee with US Franciscan monk Fr. Richard Rohr. Negotiating “mid-life” is in a many ways a significant transition period in ones life – it’s a period of re-formation and of opening up depth in ones life and relationships. Rohr is a helpful guide from within the Christian tradition. Other helpful voices (a good number from the Jungian tradition) include the likes of James Hollis (through this “middle passage” we move from “misery” to “meaning”), Robert Johnson, or Mark Gerzon (mid life transitions us from “crisis” to “quest”). While, the enneagram and the like can also often very helpful tools in this transition.
All that really serves as a brief introduction to the fact that Rohr has a new book out in March / April. A 240-page hardcover from Jossey-Bass. It’s titled Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.
The publisher writes:
“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
This important book explores the counterintuitive message that we grow spiritually much more by doing wrong than by doing right…”
- The Two Halves of Life.
- The Hero and Heroine's Journey.
- The First Half of Life.
- The Tragic Sense of Life.
- Stumbling over the Stumbling Stone.
- Necessary Suffering.
- Home and Homesickness.
- Amnesia and the Big Picture.
- A Second Simplicity.
- A Bright Sadness.
- The Shadowlands.
- New Problems and New Directions.
- Falling Upward.
Can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com (here). You’ll find a related article by Rohr here. It’s titled: The Two Halves of Life: How did we get them so mixed up? Also, this US Catholic Feb 2010 interview (PDF) with Rohr under the general title: “Don’t Miss the Second Half”.