My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Any book that quotes Gerard Manley Hopkins and T.S. Eliot in its first few pages is going to speak to me quite personally. I knew from the outset this would be a book to be taken seriously and considered thoughtfully. I guessed it might be hard work. I was not wrong.
Falling Upward is a book for those who are on a journey. Richard Rohr illustrates his thesis with the journey of Odysseus, but the journey he describes and seeks to explain is a spiritual and emotional one – and moreover a journey that, according to him, not everyone will be ready, willing or equipped to make.
Rohr’s central point is that we live a life of two halves, each with its own task: “The first task is to build a strong ‘container’ or identity; the second is to find the contents that the container was meant to hold”. The world’s focus, he says, is fixated on the first task: establishing one’s identity, creating boundaries, seeking security and status, building community. That is all our society and culture seems aware of or demands of us. But it is only half the story.