Monday, June 18, 2012

Two Halves of Life

Sunrise on the ocean where I made my annual retreat last week with some friends.
We used Richard Rohr's Falling Upward, an excellent book that I read on winter vacation and then studied for the retreat.  I want to summarize in a few entries what I got out of it.
Rohr quotes Karl Jung, the great psychiatrist, who said "What is a normal goal to a young person becomes a neurotic hindrance in old age."  Maybe some examples first of the different attitudes and practices of the two halves of life. 
Our attitude toward law is different.  In the 1st half we think that obedience to the law is always necessary.  In the 2nd half we see the importance of law, but it is "no longer our guiding star.  It has been wrong and cruel too many times."
In the 1st half we are more exclusive about who belongs to our group, our club, our church.  In the 2nd half we are more inclusive; we stress likenesses rather than differences. 
In the 1st half God is clear and definite.  In the 2nd half God is Mystery, yet more intimate. 
In the 1st half things are black and white.  In the 2nd half there's a lot more gray.
We agreed with Rohr that Jesus was very much a 2nd half of life person, stressing the importance of law yet disobeying it and including all kinds of people in his company.

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