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Falling Upward: A Spirituality For The Two Halves Of Life

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RR: Wow. She is so good. It was a delight to teach with her or you had to sit at the same table or on a panel, you know? I just keep looking over at her. She’s a little genius, she really is.

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

In the second half of life we discover that it is no longer sufficient to find meaning in being successful or healthy. We need a deeper source of purpose. According to Jung, “Meaning makes a great many things endurable—perhaps everything. No science will ever replace myth [the communicator of meaning], and a myth cannot be made out of any science. . . . [Myth] is the revelation of a divine life in man. It is not we who invent myth, rather it speaks to us as a Word of God.” [4] Science gives us explanations, and that is a good start, but myth and religion give us meaning which alone satisfies the soul. I have prayed for years for one good humiliation a day, and then, I must watch my reaction to it. I have no other way of spotting both my denied shadow self and my idealized persona.”

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RR: Unlearning. Not learning, but unlearning. The patterns that come so naturally to the ego. Yeah. It’s not about learning, which is what we made it into. Thomas Merton said it was actually dangerous to put the Scriptures in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the Spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egocentric purposes. (This is why religion is so subject to corruption!) Now, if we are going to talk about conversion and penance, let me apply that to the two major groups that have occupied Western Christianity—Catholics and Protestants. Neither one has really let the Word of God guide their lives.

Falling Upward: A Spirituality For The Two Halves Of Life

I was attracted to this book first by the title and then by the cover. And then I thought I have for myself a wonderful book when I read its introduction - it promises a lot of things I was looking for. Jung believes we can do damage, therefore, by “petrifying” our spiritual experience when we try to name it, to express God as an abstract idea. Before you explain your encounter with the Divine as an idea or a name that then must be defended, proven, or believed, simply stay with the naked experience itself—the numinous, transcendent experience of allurement, longing, and intimacy within you. This is the inner God image breaking through! No idea of God is God of itself, but the experience of God’s action in you is what grounds you and breaks you wide open at the same time. Hear a few of our mystics in this regard:

Summary of Falling Upward

He slams orthodoxy and fundamentalism constantly and essentially rules it out as a path for growth and “enlightenment.” He views historical Christian views (and historical, orthodox views of other religions for that matter) as an obstacle rather than a path. BB: I don’t want it, because I don’t want to give it to people when that happens. And yet again, my prayer, I’m trapped in certain grace. I mean, I cannot get out of God’s grace if I try. It seems unrelenting. RR: They did. “We don’t need critical thinking, it’s what we Catholics call it, ‘The Protestant Instinct,’ to protest everything.” It’s an anti-stance. Now, it doesn’t have to be, but it often is. And until you get beyond the anti-stance of, “I’m here to change other people, to get other people to join my club,” I don’t think you’ve got true religion in even close. It’s just a belonging system that tells me I’m right.

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two [PDF] [EPUB] Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two

BB: Let me ask you about this unlearning, because I’m unlearning right now. I’m unlearning about mercy and grace right now, because I kind of want a deposit withdraw system around grace. I would like grace to be a meritocracy.

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RR: And the Franciscan church is on the corner, and my little hermitage is behind that, so everything’s in this one mile long road. Isn’t that interesting? BB: I don’t know whether it was you or Anne LaMott because in the version of the book that I have, Anne LaMott wrote the foreword and someone said, “For all the things that we are finally able to give away, they all have claw marks on them.”

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