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Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self Hardcover – 21 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass (21 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118303598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118303597
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

How well do we know ourselves? So many roles and identities shape individual lives that it′s easy to be confused about what is authentically "us." Rohr, a Franciscan priest and founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, N.Mex., leads a narrative excursion to the "True Self," the core of character that lies like a diamond buried within. Writing for secular seekers, the author claims that individuals need to allow the false self to fall away in order to get in touch with the true self, allowing it to breathe and flourish. Grasping onto the superficial identities of the false self, such as job, class, race, or accomplishments, can keep people from being the loving and generous conduits of the Divine that they are meant to be. God is always communicating with humans, but those who cling to ego and social position can t hear these divine messages. The author makes clear that it is not easy to shed this falseness for truth in the inner life, but it is a spiritual path well worth the effort. (Jan.) (Publishers Weekly, February 2013)

From the Inside Flap

"I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealized self image. Living in the True Self is quite simply a much happier existence ..."
From Chapter One

In his bestselling book Falling Upward (and in many of his other teachings), Franciscan priest Father Richard Rohr talked at length about ego (part of the False Self) and how it gets in the way of spiritual maturity, especially if its preoccupations continue into the second half of life.

But if there′s a False Self, is there also a True Self? What is it? How is it found? Why does it matter? And what does it have to do with the spiritual journey?

In Immortal Diamond, Father Rohr likens True Self to a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, and separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds it. In a sense True Self must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that process is not resuscitation but transformation.

Immortal Diamond (whose title is taken from a line in a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem) explores the deepest questions of identity, spirituality, and meaning. In Richard Rohr′s inimitable style, the book brings to light the mysteries of grace, death, and resurrection.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By boudicca on 27 Aug. 2014
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Richard Rohr was recommended to me by my spiritual advisor and I came to this book through his Daily Meditation email. I found it a slow start because he talks about the True Self and the False Self, concepts which were new to me but I became drawn in by his amazing way of putting things and his clearly eyed love of people and lack of bigotry.

I found I read it in sections, taking time to write about what had struck me in my journal. There were so many resonances and insights that I recommended the book to friends who also loved it. I think it probably has resonances for people in the second half of life when the old black and white certainties no longer satisfy. Rohr talks about the importance of being able to tolerate dualities and conflicts, without needing to explain them or entirely resolve or understand them. His God is one of utter grace and love who relates to us through our fallibility and the mistakes we make, not in spite of them.

I am looking forward to reading his book about the second half of life next.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I would have liked some more practical guidance on how to move from the false to the true self.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JW on 5 April 2013
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I find reading Richard Rohr really refreshing. I am currently reading this for the second time, and am getting new things from it all the time. It is extremely helpful to read his views on faith and Christianity, not least because it helps me begin to understand why I found church so frustrating and found God so distant for so many years. This book and others by Richard Rohr, amongst others, are helping me to move on and I am now finding a totally new and wonderful relationship with God.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lainey on 9 Dec. 2014
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Finally a Christian writer who writes about the true ministry of Jesus - the dying of the self to live. Not just a worthwhile read but a must read if you want to grow in consciousness and spirituality.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Murphy on 13 Nov. 2013
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I FOUND THIS BOOK REALLY BEAUTIFUL. IT IS GIVES A BEAUTIFUL EXPLANATION OF OUR WONDERFUL BEING AND GOD'S DEEP AND PERSONAL LOVE FOR EACH. I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WHO IS SEEKING TO DEEPEN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
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Like most of us, main stream religion has lost is hold on our attention. This book recommended to me by my Padre, was a tool to help me search for what I have been looking for. Answers are what we need to make sense of our surroundings and what is going on in our own lives. This book delves in to who and what are we...us...you.

Finding ourselves and what makes us "tick" might be karma or having a peaceful soul. Knowing one's self is the one thing that most of us don't know. Looking inside ourselves for the "Answers", realizing what we understand about ourselves and what matters and what doesn't, is in here.

Open your mind to an alternative perspective and sit and reflect on what has been said. It has opened my eyes to some real truths in my own life about me. I can see why my Padre wanted me to read this great book. Love does conquer all.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Holdsworth on 18 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
The Immortal Diamond is my first contact with Richard Rohr and I am very impressed with the depth of his knowledge; he draws on a wealth of contemplative and mystical material in his writing as well as showing his Franciscan roots. I would recommend that this book is read slowly; I dashed through it on my first reading but intend to go back and take my time with a second reading. Two reasons for this; firstly there's a lot to take on and reflect about, secondly if you read it fast it can feel quite repetitive (the constant references to the 'false' and 'true' selves). I have only given it 4 stars because I don't feel that it's completely accessible - you need a certain level of education and knowledge to be able to access this book, but if you are someone who has already begun to grapple with mystical Christianity then you will find this book clear and illuminating.
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This is a great overview of how spirituality can help us transcend the small, ego-based self, so as to discover the True Self behind all appearances. It is written from a mystical Christian perspective, but would be useful for any spiritual seeker (from any tradition or none) who is open to the author's use of Christian symbology. This symbology adds a richness to the explanation of the spiritual path as it is making use of symbols that are deep in the unconscious mind of anyone raised in the West. It would also be of interest to Christians exploring a deeper, more inclusive, more creation-centred and less dualistic Christianity and would be a wonderful companion text to Brian McLaren's 'A New Type of Christianity'. A deeply rewarding and life-affirming book.
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By Tariki on 28 May 2015
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As an attempt to infuse Christianity with life, and doing so without discarding its older and time worn traditions, this is worth a read. Yet I have found Thomas Merton's various explorations of the "true" and "false" self to have greater insight, clarity and guidance. Also, and this may well seem pedantic, but Mr Rohr should try to stop saying that Buddhists speak of the ways of the false self as "emptiness". "Emptiness" - and other equivalent terms like "suchness" - is used by Buddhists to denote the Ultimate Reality, not to describe that which is vacuous or false.
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