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on 18 December 2011
Richard Rohr is very eloquent in his call for us all to move away from the rationalistic dualistic left-brain mind of Descartes and to recover the contemplative mode of being of the Desert fathers and mothers that has been lost to Christianity.

The book calling for us to live in the naked now in the Presence is so refreshing and invigorating. Let's get out of the mind-frame of Churchianity and get back to the real message of Jesus in living the abundant life of God everyday. How do we do this - by changing the way we look, perceive the world - through a gradual metanioa or even a sudden awakening to what underlies our being. Contemplative prayer and living in the present moment are ways to access this way of being and to discover our true humanity and to realise the non-duality of Christ as both fully divine and fully human.

I could read and reread this book and something new sinks into my consciousness every time. Rohr refers to Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Simon Weil, Teresa of Avila, William Blake amongst others who wrote about the mystical knowing as well as frequent mention of the words of Jesus Christ himself. Rohr is a genius at making the Gospel message fresh and universal and brings the message into the 21st Century.

The Wisdom tradition of Christianity is reemerging from its hidden depths and we are being asked to embrace it to change ourselves within - to do the inner work required rather than sticking to ritualism and the neediness of belonging. The depth of the inner life and the journey towards knowing the divine within is what Rohr is pointing at. Simple message but so hard to do with the thinking mind.

'The lamp of the body is the eye.' Matthew 6:22 There are exercises for awakening the seer who perceives the world non-dually in a series of appendices at the end of the book.

Highly recommended.
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on 29 September 2016
It's rare that a book moves me so deeply that I review it. Well, 'Falling Upward' is one such rarity.

It's unlikely you'll understand it if you're under 40, not being age-elitist at all but simply that most people haven't failed enough by that age. Coming to that realisation that we are not defined by what we do, have or achieve is a painful but necessary part of our spiritual journey.
Richard Rohr explains this so beautifully, and really pinpoints how failure becomes inspiration not something to avoid.

My only possible criticism could be that the process is described as such a beautiful, moving and necessary part of the spiritual journey, and one that not that many people truly embrace ... for me it leads to feelings of being special, superior and it being praise when I recognize the steps I have already walked. Ha! Which shows me once again MY continued failure of arrogance and how very far I have yet to go. Yes and I'm grateful for that gift too :)
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on 25 March 2017
An amazing assessment of our human condition as we approach the transition of our lives. For those with any self-awareness and desire to understand what it is to 'move on' from one phase of life to another, this is a must read treatise. Well written and engaging throughout, it is nevertheless a challenging adventure to work through and the author has approached a hugely sensitive subject in love but with uncompromising firmness.
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on 10 December 2016
A gift of a book. Full of insights that confirmed or clarified my own experiences, understanding and faith. Every paragraph says something worth hearing, often in a beautiful way, with some wonderful poetry and other quotes.

However, if I had a criticism it is that it could have been 40 pages shorter. Repetition and over-egging, especially towards the end of the book, moved its wonderful free tone to a more 'lecturing' tone, which for me detracted from the book as a whole.

Still, we are blessed to have this book, published in 2012.
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on 14 January 2017
I'm well into the second half of my life and have recently developed a healthy interest in religion. A good friend recommended this book and I in turn, commend it to you. Richard Rohr has a very neat way of making complex theology very simple.

Reading this book I fund myself startlingly true to type and hugely reassured by this book. Yes I spent decades chasing money and now my focus is on social impact. This I reassuringly find is a positive sign. Whatever you do and however young you are, this book is worth a read.
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on 5 January 2014
Having negotiated the `death' of early retirement after a career of innovation, being always ahead of the game, I now find myself helping others through this `death' to a new life out the other side. This book, though somewhat repetitive, or at least saying the same thing in lots of different ways, draws on the largely male hero/quest myths made popular by Joseph Campbell.

I used to wonder how people could say that `I don't care what others think of me.' But you get to a certain age when people with less experience than you start to criticise and you wonder whether they are really criticising the real you or the image they have invented in transference. Be yourself, not the self that other people want you to be - but have a good spiritual director who can stop you in your tracks when you get to `up yourself.'

The key chapter is chapter 12. If nothing else, read this chapter.

It is clear from the some reviews that they haven't `got it.' Some question the author's orthodoxy. These people seem to think that it's all about rules and dogma. But Desmond Tutu said that we are only light bulbs and our task is to remain screwed in. So Fr. Rohr is loyal to the tradition. And the Dalai Lama advises us to: learn rules well so that you know how to break them.

We are called to be ourselves. And our selves change as life goes on.
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on 3 May 2014
This is a book which has to be read carefully as the first time you do read it you miss quite a lot. I have re-read quite a bit to fully understand(I hope) as I went along. The ideas are dense but clear and make you think around the thoughts you have held dear all your life and find them wanting. This book gives you a different way of looking at life which in many instances feels shocking until you realize that you have been edging to these ways without realizing it. The book, which I have not finished yet, directs you to consider that your life is composed of two main parts, the first developing the ego, career, family and other paths in life and the second part when, as it happens to all people at some time or another during their lifetime, many things are swept away. Then the rebuilding has to start again but not in the same way as before. A challenging yet easy to read and understand book once you have got over the feeling that life is as journey of two halves and not a continuous timeline.
Excellent book.
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on 19 November 2015
This is an unusual end refreshing book on spirituality . It talks about what is gravely missing from most of our lives , when we are supposed to go on to higher things but compete and strive for the usual things instead . It also is one of the few books to speak to speak honestly of the pain and difficulties of that pre-awakening process . I recommend it warmly together with the book called "The disappearance of the universe".
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on 14 July 2014
This is such a helpful book to anyone who has found themselves in middle age and began to wonder "is this it?" Richard takes us through the necessary way we have to approach the first part of life but goes on to say that this way of thinking will not serve us well in the second half and in fact a radical rethink is needed to become fully at peace and effective in the second part of life. This is great news and lifted my spirits immensely. His assertion is that with the experience we have gained, often through hard times in our life, we are able to be released from the dogmas and shackles of religious life and find God in beauty and simplicity. You may find some of your dearly held doctrinal dogmas challenged, but persevere and you will find deep spiritual wisdom here and for those looking to live the second part of life in all its fullness, this is essential reading.
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on 12 February 2015
I had borrowed a friend's copy but found I wanted to mark with stick-it notes various pages etc so bought my own copy. This is a very thought provoking book which helps you 'find yourself' and get your life, spiritually at least, into better perspective. Some of us may never mature in our Christian faith - hence the 'two halfs of life' - our younger minds and the more mature mind. It needs reading at least twice - the second time more slowly. I found it difficult to get into initially but going back to it when I was in a different frame of mind made all the difference.
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