Dissolve the distractions of ego to find our authentic selves in God.
In his best-selling book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr talked about ego (or the False Self) and how it gets in the way of spiritual maturity. But if there's a False Self, is there also a True Self? What is it? How is it found? Why does it matter? And what does it have to do with the spiritual journey? This book likens True Self to a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds it. In a sense True Self must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that process is not resuscitation but transformation.
Immortal Diamond (whose title is taken from a line in a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem) explores the deepest questions of identity, spirituality, and meaning in Richard Rohr's inimitable style.
©2013 Richard Rohr (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
For most people, the book is going to fall on one of two ends of the spectrum for people.... Either you are going to find the book truly uplifting, life changing and/or affirming or you are going to be unable to appreciate the book in any way, shape or form. A small subsection of people are probably going to be like me.... on the fence on this book.
Firstly know that this book is first and foremost completely and utterly of a SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS nature. I did not know this when I originally got the title and I can assure you probably wouldn't have gotten it if I had known. I seldom, if ever, venture into this particular type of books for a number of reasons. If you are into these types of books and specifically you are a Christian, this book will be absolutely perfect. The author, Richard Rohr, was able to draw on biblical verses as well own life experiences to bring across his point regarding finding one's 'True Self'. He goes into defining what he means by this and also what he means of 'False Self', as well. The entire book speaks highly of 'transformation' and speaks a lot of the 'soul', 'love' and 'God'.
The book has a number of ‘gems’; moments that made me really sit back and think. That being said there is a lot of 'God talk' which might just be where the book will lose a lot of people. And the God talk does increase as you proceed into the book, especially when you get to the Appendixes at the end of the book (you have at least 5 or 6 Appendix I believe). For those who are atheist, anti-Christianity or anti-religion in any way they will find this book completely annoying, uninspiring and the very narrator will seem irksome to them. Veer far from this title if you are in any of the previously mentioned categories, simply save your credit and your time.
The book was pretty short and to me flew by quickly (I literally spent just one day to listen the entire thing). I found some useful things in the book, some interesting sections that had me think a bit more. There were also sections that I found completely irrelevant and essentially common sense. I wasn't bowled over by the book, I did enjoy the narrator though, and he did a good job to keep me interested through the title.
This is simply one of those hit or miss books. It's very pigeonholed if you ask me. It was mostly miss for me, but the hits were good enough for me to not be too vicious while reviewing.
Oh wow! I love this book. If you are a "thinker" and like to look at traditional beliefs from a fresh perspective, this will enforce a lot of what you have thought in quiet times of reflection. As per his usual style, Richard Rohr says things may not please the instituitional relegious bodies of our century as he steps back to question what we are told to think.
He points out things like in certain centuries the focus was on different kinds of sins, such as the sin of usuary (loaning money at unethical interest rates), and how church - ianity forces group think and puts more importance on membership than on spiritual growth. He even quotes one religous authority who, when questioned about certain things, said he didn't have time to think about that, he was busy running a church! Clearly some ideas some people will want to squeltch before they catch on!
Some of his ideas in this book are down right revolutionary if people listen closley and take the time to really contemplate what he is really saying. It's not a casual "feel good" kind of read, but something to pay attention to that can really change your world-view.
I was surprised to see the negative reviews, and think much of those come from people who listen to Richard's books being used to his voice and his presenation style, and find hearing these ideas delivered by an emotionless professional narrator not to have the same impact. I felt the same way as first being disappointed that I didn't hear that familiar voice, but you'll get passed that if you really listen to what is being said.
Another great book by Richard Rohr. Thank God there are people like him who are not afraid to speak out and state what some may think are radical ideas. He not only points out that the emperor has no clothes, but backs it up by describing the various body parts that are in plain view if people would take the time to look closely enough.
Narrative makes the world go round.
For someone like me who consumes too many detective novels as distraction, this was a palate cleanser, turning the eye inward to the essential goodness in us all. This is in the tradition of Brain MacLaren, Shane Claiborne, Ken Wilbur, even Thich Nhat Hahn. If you are dubious of Christian scripture, Rohr uses it as part of world wisdom tradition, not literalist text - all without being unorthodox for traditional Christians - quite a feat,
This is best read in the context of two other of Rohr’s newer books, The Naked Now and especially Falling Upward (also available on Audible). The three books form a culmination of a spiritual master’s teaching. Rohr has been speaking (and thinking) widely and in audio since at least the mid 70s. Situate this in the emerging church tradition, and even deep ecumenism.
Are the not-so-positive reviewers right or wrong? Rohr’s wise saying applies: “It’s not either-or but both also.” Other reviewers make good points. If read carefully, however, this is not a feel-good new agey uplift. It comes from a particular tradition but speaks to many traditions, including Jungian. The richness of this diamond may not be apparent if it’s your first glance at Rohr.
Rohr does use Christian scripture quite frequently in this book, and there are probably two solid reasons for this. Spiritual teachers such as Thich Nhat Hahn use their own traditions most frequently because that is the authentic way to proceed. Despite Rohr's criticism of the narrowness of much of contemporary Christianity and Catholicism, Rohr has not turned his back on the tradition that formed him –either the parts useful for the tasks of the “First part of life“ or the more mystical veins that speak to the tasks of the second half. Rohr has amply demonstrated his roots in deep ecumenism in the body of his work. A second reason for the grounding in Christian scripture here may be that Rohr is often criticized by those in his own tradition –especially literalist Catholics – so perhaps he is trying to situate his teaching as orthodox to that audience also.
As for narration, it is better than average for nonfiction, but I am among those who love Rohr so much that I would prefer his reading, If you are considering another Rohr download. He is a teacher-preacher-synthesizer of ideas, and his recorded live talks are FANTASTIC – his reading however (and even someone else reading him), is probably enjoyed by those who already love him. Try one of his more recent live talks - several of which are available on Audible - and many more directly from his Center for Action and Contemplation.
Based on some of the negative Audible reviews (the Amazon reviews were kinder and better informed, as per usual), I almost didn't purchase this book, but after listening to Father Rohr's previous book "Falling Upward" and being extremely impressed, I went ahead and downloaded "Immortal Diamond". I'm so glad I did, as this book is every bit as good (though different) and could possibly be Rohr's best work to date.
While not as focused as its predecessor, "Immortal Diamond" reads like the masterwork of a spiritual teacher at his peak. The main theme of the book is the nature of the true self, and here Rohr's message is nothing short of luminous. A secondary theme critiques (to devastating effect) the church for being, well, the church, i.e. promoting outwardly-focused, tribal "Churchianity" as opposed to substantive, transformational Christianity.
As another reviewer observed, this book is best read/understood in the context of some of Rohr's other writing, particularly his books on contemplation ("Everything Belongs" and "The Naked Now") or his two most recent titles, "Breathing Underwater" and "Falling Upward", both of which explore the process of inner transformation through Christian contemplative practice (the former from a 12 Step perspective and the latter based on Rohr's brilliant "two halves of life" developmental model).
A word about the narration: while Kevin Pierce has a commanding voice and speaks with passion (almost to the point that he sounds in places like he could be the author himself), I found his delivery a bit too forceful at times. I also got annoyed with his many mispronounced words and names -- he botches poor St. Irenaeus's name repeatedly, as well as terms like Taize (tay-zay) that anyone reading this sort of material should know or acquaint themselves with. (This is a common problem with a lot of non-author narration, I've noticed lately.)
Old School Harlan Homie
I love Richard Rohr. He should have narrated this book himself. The voice used is lifeless.
The narrator! It was like listening to my GPS read the book to me :-(
The other books of Richard Rohr. He tends to tell the same story in different ways.
Biggest mistake of this production.
Would have been better, if they kept with the formula and let Richard Rohr narrate his own book.
Fr Richard's comment on the Emmaus story, "How you are present to others is how you are present to God.". This statement is a diamond discovery for me. I wept as I read it.
I just finished the book which I read along with listening to it on Audible. I know that God is stirring it all around in me, mining for gold. I would recommend the book and the class!
Truly remarkable work to inspire genuine change in the ways through which a person lives one's life more fully and functionally in several aspects of your whole life spectrum daily weekly monthly.
I have not yet read the print version although I have ordered it. I listened to this as my morning meditation while riding the bus to work and it gave me lots to think about and be challenged by. I think I would have preferred Richard Rohr's reading of it although I did eventually get used to Kevin Pierce's voice.
It's not a "story" but a challenge and spiritual awakening.
I think that, in his attempt to be really clear and flawless, Kevin sounded too stiff and robotic. However, it was not as disturbing the longer I listened to him.
Definitely not - too much to reflect on! There is a gem in almost every paragraph! Lots of "aha" moments.
Read it! I have ordered extra copies to give to friends and I plan to read it to my husband each night, as I have been doing with Falling Upward, another Richard Rohr book.
I'm sorry to say that this is a book that thoughtful people would be well advised to discreetly pass over. If Rohr were not already a popular author, I doubt it would have been published. The style of the reader is entirely inappropriate for the contents of the book. My specific complaints with the whole selection are really too numerous to list.
"Immortal diamond but.."
It may seem unfair to criticise the narrator at the expense of the book: 1) The book continues Richard's fascinating and encouraging exploration of the True Self/Soul or whatever we choose to call it, literally inspirational.
2) Unfortunately the medium is the massage and this reader mars the message; perhaps time constraints prevented Richard reading his own work? This reader mangles Julian of Nor-Wich, and his Theilard de Chardin defeats him, he was not up to the subtlety of the writing.
In the spirit of the book, I do not condemn him but know he tried his best (this is not meant sarcastically or insincerely)
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