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The Art Of Letting Go By Richard Rohr

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I am listening to this audio book by Richard Rohr, who is a Franciscan Priest and I would call him a mystic, from the same cloth as Father Thomas Keating.


I have only listened to three discs of six, but enjoying this book very much.


Some highlights:


-Authentic spirituality is about letting go.


-Jesus went towards the pain in the world, not the sin.


-Spiritual life is based on "Being", not attaining or simply believing.


-God is a Holy Mystery.


-Spiritual life is about transformation - living from your True Self, not from the ego.


This book is based on the life of St. Francis and his beliefs, but Rohr also quotes from many progressives like Ken Wilbur and Thomas Merton.


Highly recommend it, so far. I'll have more to add, as I progress in the book.


Has anyone read this one?

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I haven’t read that book, but did read Rohr's most recent one, Falling Upward, comparing spirituality in the first and second halves of life. I commented on it in the Evolutionary Christianity thread---one thing he emphasizes is that matter and spirit are one, sacred and profane are not separate. A couple other ideas, quoting from his book –


“The closer you get to the Light, the more of your shadow self you see. Thus truly holy people are always humble. I learned this from St. Francis, who did not concentrate on attacking evil or others but just spent his life falling many times into the good, the true, and the beautiful….God is found in the fathoming of our fallings and failures. If we go to the depths of anything we will begin to knock upon something substantial, real, with a timeless quality to it. Once you touch upon the Real, there is an inner insistence that it has to be forever.


Authentic God experience always ‘burns,’ yet does not destroy you, just as the burning bush did to Moses. In the first half of our lives we have no container, no wineskins prepared to hold such utterly intoxicating wine. By definition, authentic God experience is always ‘too much.’ Early stage religion is largely preparing you for the immense gift of this burning, this inner experience of God, as though creating a stable into which the Christ can be born.”

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Guest billmc



I haven't read Richard's book either, but I've listened to a number of his podcasts and interviews. I would love to do a retreat with him.


Richard has been helpful to me in my journey in dealing with the "two-headed monster" of dualism. He (and my own experiences of the More) have helped me to see that part of being spiritual is letting go of the constant need to judge and categorize everything and everyone. This is, of course, something that I work on every day because I was raised in very dualistic Christianity. But it is helpful and freeing to me to realize that the two-headed monster is really all in my head. The Oneness of the Sacred is transformative. :)



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Guest billmc

I haven’t read that book, but did read Rohr's most recent one, Falling Upward, comparing spirituality in the first and second halves of life.


I downloaded this one to my Kindle last night and started reading it, Rivanna. I'm enjoying it so far. Richard's writing is very accessible and I enjoy his humor.

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That book does sound good, Rivanna. I will have to see about putting that one on my Kindle.


Thanks for the comments, everyone.


I just finished the 5th CD, where he talks about the nine stages of consciousness. That was interesting.

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There’s another good book by Richard Rohr (also on kindle), Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality -- many insights and connections I haven’t seen anywhere else. The mysticism of the Franciscan view is a refreshing progressive approach.


You mentioned levels of consciousness in The Art of Letting Go – he talks about them in this work also--


“In short, I see this pattern in the Bible: we start with tribal thinking; we gradually move toward individuation through the dialogue of chosenness, failure and grace; then there is a breakthrough to unitive consciousness by the few who are led and walk fully through those first two stages (Moses, David, many prophets, Job, Mary, the Magdalene, Jesus, Paul). We could describe it also as 1. simple consciousness, 2. complex consciousness, and 3. non-dual consciousness, or the unitive way.”

Edited by rivanna
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