Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, is an internationally known author and speaker. He is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation.
In this book he presents a view of life in two halves. The first half of life is the ego-centric active part where one builds identity, family, friends, and vocation. The second half of life is characterized by a more soul-centric wisdom, where one reflects on what has gone on in the first half, with particular attention to failures and struggles. Rohr would say that “the path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers.” These halves of life are not necessarily chronological and going on the ‘further journey’ might be at different times for different people.
In a complimentary review Lauren Winner says this, “The message of Falling Upward is straightforward and bracing: the spiritual life is not static. You will come to a crisis in your life, and after the crisis, if you are open to it, you will enter a space of spiritual refreshment, peace and compassion that you could not have imagined before.”
This ‘further journey’ is well described by the author himself in this short trailer about the book.
For a more in-depth look at his ideas, there is a helpful 1 1/2 hour lecture by Rohr on many of the ideas in the book. Listening to this speech in tandem with the reading was helpful in clarifying his ideas, which are a bit hard to follow at first. This book would probably be most appreciated by those with some life experience and/or anyone post-crisis.