I have written before about Mark Townsend’s book, Through Pagan Eyes. Well, Mark has written other books which are equally good and one has recently been updated and republished. When Mark asked if people would help him by promoting and reviewing this book I happily volunteered.
The Gospel of Falling Down
The Beauty of Failure in an Age of Success
Here’s the official blurb:
JUST released – new edition of The Gospel of Falling Down, by Mark Townsend – a book to challenge the comfortable and comfort the challenged. A spiritual antidote to this current Western climate of ‘look after number one and bugger the rest’. Well needed in this present day culture of value that flows from productivity rather than value that is intrinsic due to being human. A necessary antithesis to this modern world of success and perfectionism, that leaves the rich bloated and unhappy, and the poor unloved and undervalued.
Forward by John Parkin of the F**K It books.
Preface by Bowie’s legendary guitarist Carlos Alomar.
Endorsements from others:
“Mark’s book is humble, searching, faith-filled, and yet risky and creative at the same time. He is vulnerable throughout, much of it showing the depth and fruitfulness of having suffered along the way.” Richard Rohr OFM
“A heart-warming corrective, offering a perfect antidote to the urging for wholeness we so often hear from the New Spiritualities Movements. This book encourages us to value brokenness as much as accomplishment.” Philip Carr-Gomm
While Mark Townsend is a Christian priest, his words transcend religion to speak with all people, regardless of their beliefs.
I first read “The Gospel of Falling Down” about a year ago. At a time when I had fallen to the lowest point I had ever fallen in my life, it gave me hope that I could find my way back up again.
In doing this review, I have gone back to read the book again. Once more I find that these words of wisdom and guidance have come at a time when I most need to hear them. I recently started doing work to claim and stand in my personal power. Now, I know from past experience that one big stumbling block for me when I am doing personal work is that I get caught up in seeking perfection, to the extent that I stop actually doing the work!
How can I claim to be standing in my power when I still have doubts, and fears? When I still don’t know how to do it right? Mark’s words in the Gospel of Falling Down are a gentle reminder that it is through imperfection that I gain my strength and my connection to Spirit.
One theme found throughout “The Gospel of Falling Down” is the idea of unconditional love. Loving and accepting ourselves just as we are. Not as we think we should be, and not while thinking there is nothing that needs to be improved. But knowing that yes, I have imperfections, yes I have work to do on myself, and that’s okay. I can love and accept myself unconditionally.
Of course I pull my own experiences into my reading. I am reminded first of the chant which was given to me by Brigid, and which I discussed just the other day in my previous blog post, “The Gods Don’t Want Me Weak”. It is the imperfections and the failures which make me stronger and better able to withstand the trials which life has thrown at me. Before I could enter this current stage of growth and becoming I first had to break free of the illusions which had been keeping me stuck.
Before I could break out of those illusions, they had to be burnt away completely because while I was in them I could not see them as the illusions they were. I had to hit my own rock bottom.
“The bottom is the place of discovery; it is where ‘we come to our senses’. … Rock bottom is an illuminating term to use for the place at the bottom of the ladder. (…) you can’t fall further than the hitting of that rock. It is there that the fall breaks. But there is something else too. A rock is solid ground. A rock will not collapse. A rock is a place on which you can actually build.” – Chapter 9
Here then is where I am, standing firmly on that rock and rebuilding myself from solid ground. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
You can order “The Gospel of Falling Down” from your local book shop, through any major book store, or on Amazon.
This review is of a copy of “The Gospel of Falling Down” which I purchased for myself in 2013.