Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book #14

Falling Upwards, by Richard Rohr. Unabridged audio.

I heard an interview with Richard Rohr recently, about spiritual practices and disciplines, and decided to seek out one of his books. Maybe I picked the wrong one.

Rohr is a Franciscan, and I looked forward to learning from his unique perspective. And much of what I found in this book did encourage me, that my own desire to practice certain ancient church charisms was positive. His dividing of life into "first half" and "second half" was interesting, pointing out that as we mature, our priorities and perspective naturally change.

My biggest issue with the book is that Rohr universalizes his own experiences. He talks about his own journey from a "first-half of life" perspective to a "second half of life" perspective, but then presumes that everyone's journey will exactly mirror his own. I discovered about two-thirds of the way through the book, after finding much insight and value in Rohr's writing and experience, that I myself am not on the same journey as him. Rohr is very clear that having political and social views different from his own disqualifies one from the mature road of "second half of life" living. Rohr makes it clear that it is not possible to hold certain views (that are not in line with Rohr's) if one is on this path that he proposes.

Disconsolate by this assessment, I did nonetheless finish the book, but I admit that I was taken out of the book, and probably did not get as much out of it as I may have, had I been able to set aside the author's scolding of me for what I think about church and society and the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment