on 5 April 2013
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.
on 1 June 2015
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.
on 17 June 2016
Dissolve the distractions of ego to find your authentic self. This book likens True Self to a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, 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.
The author quotes St Catherine of Genoa shouting through the streets of town: "My deepest me is God!" And then he points to Colossians where it says: "The mystery is Christ within you — your hope of Glory!" (1:27)
Rohr talks about the False Self as the "small self" that involves four splits from reality: We split from our shadow self and pretend to be our idealized self; We split our mind from our body and soul and live in our minds; We split life from death and try to live our life without any 'death.’; We split ourselves from other selves and try to live apart, superior, and separate.
He gets very repetitive as he tries to say the same thing over and over again in slightly different ways.
I am not sure of the orthodoxy of: You do know, I hope, that it is formally incorrect for Christians to simply say, "Jesus is God," although that is the way they do think. But it misses the major point and goal of the whole incarnation. Jesus does not equal God per se, which is for us the Trinity. Jesus, much better and more correctly, is the union between God and the human. That is a third something—which in fact we are invited to share in. Once we made Jesus only divine, we ended up being only human, and the whole process of human transformation ground to a halt. That is the way the dualistic mind works, I am very sad to say.' For some of you, these paragraphs could be the most important in this book.
When we tried to understand Jesus outside the dynamism of the Trinity, we did not do him or ourselves any favor. Jesus never knew himself or operated as an independent "I" but only as a "thou" in relationship to his Father and the Holy Spirit, which he says in a hundred different ways. The "Father" and the "Holy Spirit" are a relationship to Jesus. God is a verb more than a noun. God is love, which means relationship itself (1 John 4:7-8).
Christianity lost its natural movement and momentum — out from that relationship and back into that relationship—when it pulled Jesus out of the Trinity.' It killed what is the exciting inner experience and marginalized the mystics who really should be center stage. Jesus is the model and metaphor for all of creation that is all being drawn into this flow of love, and thus he always says, "Follow me!" and, "I shall return to take you with me, so that where I am, you may be also" (John 14:3). The concrete, historical body of Jesus represents the universal Body of Christ that "God has loved before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24). He is the stand-in for all of us. The Jesus story is the universe story, in other words. His union with God that Jesus never doubts, he hands on to us—to never doubt. (Quite simply, this is what it means to "believe" in Jesus.)
I’d never thought before to link the two angels of Luke’s resurrection story with those of the ark of the covenant.
He confuses panentheism with panetheism: As St. Bonaventure (1217-1274) put it, "[God] is an intelligible space whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.... [God] is within all things, but not enclosed, outside all things but not excluded, above all things but not aloof, below all things but not debased.... [God] is supremely one and all-inclusive, [God] is therefore 'all in all"' (1 Corinthians 15:28).1 You can either accuse St. Paul and St. Bonaventure, who is proclaimed a "Doctor of the Church," of pantheism, or admit that we are the ones who do not get it yet.
He twists the Vincentian canon to apply to all religions, which is surely not its intention: We can still use the Vincentian canon and look for truth that is somehow held "everywhere, always, and by all."
The title is taken from a line in a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem. He uses this image to describe the processes and pressures of life, which God uses to “construct this hard and immortal diamond, our core of love.”
on 27 August 2014
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.
on 1 June 2015
Undoubtedly one of the most significant messages of our era. Though, unsurprisingly, here couched in Christian terms, it can be found in the Upanishads and Tao Te Ching and is echoed by discoveries in modern psychology.
Unfortunately the first half of this ebook is riddled with typographical errors which, though not distracting from the message, nevertheless makes reading difficult sometimes. When an ebook is priced at this level I think we should expect a better standard of production.
on 25 July 2015
Richard Rohr deals with "the search for our true soul" with his usual humble wisdom. Leading us into a deep spiritual search the book cannot, of course, be read like a novel! However, he presents his thoughts in short sections encouraging one to stay the course and begin to open one's mind to his thesis. The presentation of the SPCK edition which I read is excellent; conducive to maintaining one's attention and perseverance!
on 28 May 2015
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.