Sunday, January 23, 2011

The values of getting older

Many of us see the second half of life as a process of heading downhill from the 'heights' of our (long) youth - 0-40, roughly.

However, Richard Rohr believes we should look at this differently, and has recently produced a book called, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. It's published byJossey-Bass.

The publishers' blurb says: “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.

Some of the chapter headings sound intriguing:

1. The Two Halves of Life.
2. The Hero and Heroine's Journey.
3. The First Half of Life.
4. The Tragic Sense of Life.
5. Stumbling over the Stumbling Stone.
6. Necessary Suffering.
7. Home and Homesickness.
8. Amnesia and the Big Picture.
9. A Second Simplicity.
10. A Bright Sadness.
11. The Shadowlands.
12. New Problems and New Directions.
13. Falling Upward.

To get a short appreciation of Rohr's viewpoint, you can read an article entitled: The Two Halves of Life: how did we get them so mixed up?

[Thanks for
Paul Fromont for alerting us to this book.]

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