Monday, 19 November 2012

'Falling Upward' - a response

Being human is a constant reconfiguring, adjustment, a striving I've called it elsewhere. Well, of course:  if we are not growing (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) we are not living. A plant that is not growing is dead.
This reconfiguring happens in a number of ways.
I have heard brain experts speak of the brain's reconfiguring - not once, as was thought for some time, when we are teenagers (and explaining the angst and trouble for which teenagers have earned a bad name), but twice. The second time in our 20s. An accordingly, our 'identity' isn't really established until we are approaching 30. This is a physically driven reconfiguration.
I have just read a book that talks about two stages of life - a first half of life and a second half of life. This is a reconfiguration driven by our spirituality.
Richard Rohr, in Falling Upward, describes a first half of life that features a need for security, knowing, boundaries, certainty. I am is defined by who or what I am not. Faith is more conservative, the Bible is more literally understood, as we seek a firm footing in the world.
Entering the second half of life, we become more accustomed to mystery, develop a broader vision of ourselves as whole only in community, 'happily participating in God's vision for' us (Rohr, 166) rather than pursuing our own visions. In this stage, 'we are ... "a serene disciple,' living in our own unique soul as never before, yet paradoxically living within the mind and heart of God, and taking our place in the great and general dance.' (167).

Rohr observes that the second half of life often cannot be entered until we are chronologically in the second half of our life. Well, time will take care of my body reaching the second half of my chronological life. And as it does, I will continue to strive, to adjust, to reconfigure, so that I, too, might let go of my own visions, and participate in God's vision. Because as Rohr describes it, it sounds wonderful; it sounds like home.

1 comment:

Anne Magarey said...

Beautifully expressed. It feels like home, too, Sarah.