Richard Rohr adds a second deformative element, which leads us to the creation of a false self: the split of life from death…
The Second Split: Life from Death
The Second Split is the split between life and death. We come to this as children, when we first experience loss, perhaps the death of a grandparent or beloved pet. They were alive a moment ago, but are suddenly gone forever. It just boggles the mind. Suddenly, instead of being an integrated whole, life is here and death is somewhere else.
Once you integrate that life and death are one, you are not afraid of death anymore. You don’t waste any more time and energy in a neurotic building, defending and protecting in avoidance of disappearing. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and you can’t avoid it anyway. You are already living the seamless process. Francis says, “Face the first death, and the second death can do you no harm.” He is pointing to the death of the illusion of the separate self (the first death) vs. the death that is ascension to the Beloved (second death). Francis made a proactive move into death. In other words, he met life at the bottom, at the place of humility, at the place where there was nothing to lose. The place where reality, every moment, is what it is.