AARP Falling Upward. A Spirituality for the Two Halves of by Richard Rohr

By Richard Rohr

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So get ready for a great adventure, the one you were really born for. ” So get ready for some new freedom, some dangerous permission, some hope from nowhere, some unexpected happiness, some stumbling stones, some radical grace, and some new and pressing responsibility for yourself and for our suffering world. Introduction What is a normal goal to a young person becomes a neurotic hindrance in old age. —CARL JUNG No wise person ever wanted to be younger. —NATIVE AMERICAN APHORISM There is much evidence on several levels that there are at least two major tasks to human life.

All we can give back and all God wants from any of us is to humbly and proudly return the product that we have been given—which is ourselves! If I am to believe the saints and mystics, this finished product is more valuable to God than it seemingly is to us. Whatever this Mystery is, we are definitely in on the deal! True religion is always a deep intuition that we are already participating in something very good, in spite of our best efforts to deny it or avoid it. In fact, the best of modern theology is revealing a strong “turn toward participation,” as opposed to religion as mere observation, affirmation, moralism, or group belonging.

People who know how to creatively break the rules also know why the rules were there in the first place. They are not mere iconoclasts or rebels. I have often thought that this is the symbolic meaning of Moses breaking the first tablets of the law, only to go back up the mountain and have them redone (Exodus 32:19–34, 35) by Yahweh. The second set of tablets emerges after a face-to-face encounter with God, which changes everything. Our first understanding of law must fail us and disappoint us. Only after breaking the first tablets of the law is Moses a real leader and prophet.

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