The other day I mentioned one of my favorite writers, the great Richard Bach. In my time, I have come across a few life-changing books; the first one I remember clearly is Narnia, then Mio, min mio, The Never-Ending Story, The Outsiders, Lord of the Rings… and Illusions. I’m sure there are more, lots more, but these are the ones coming into mind as I write this. I firmly believe that most of my personality, most of my thoughts, my ideals and views on the world have been shaped and set by these stories. Of course, I believe everything is stories, but that’s a matter for another post sometime…
Today, I write about Richard Bach. In the years after first reading Illusions, I referred to him as The Master, but I don’t anymore, knowing he wouldn’t like it. I also know that we are all masters, if we want to be so. And I guess that is the most important message from him to the world: We are all masters.
I have met many different people, some who knew and loved this message, some who just didn’t get it, some who shrugged at it, some who understood, but couldn’t live it, some who found it ridiculous. Some find it silly, some too much of a burden. Yet, whatever you think, whatever you feel about this – we are all masters of our own life. None can live it, none can change it, none can make a difference – only you.
If you have come this far and you’re still thinking Richard Who? – then read this. It only gives you the outer shell, of course, and what’s important here is the message.
And what is the message, then? Well, in short, Richard tells us that this world; time, space, bodies, the beginning and end of life, is an illusion. It is a story, which we play out for fun (yes, fun!), and it’s no more real than watching a movie in the theater. This means we are all but actors on a stage, partaking in these stories, but it also means that we’re free to change our stories as we please as we go along. And this is where being a master comes in. Because we’re only playing out stories, we’re also free to change the stories: If you don’t like what you see, then change it.
And how? Well, this is where the grain of a sesame seed comes in.
“If you have imagination as a grain of sesame seed, all things are possible to you.“
Richard Bach – Illusions
All it takes is imagination. Not belief, not faith, not prayers, not suffering, not self-punishment or abstaining – just imagination. In the world he offers, there are no Gods, no heaven or hell, no rules, no bidding or revengeful overlords – there is only your free will and whatever your imagination can conjure up. You see why many have found this man to be dangerous? How would this world be if everyone realized this is true?
He answered that once … His guess is: happy. I agree.
As you can see from my list of life-changing books, I have always been a fan of magic and fantasy. When I first read Illusions, I must have been 11 or 12, my focus point was the magic: The hovering tools, swimming in the ground, walking through walls; this was important to me. This author was telling me this could be done. I remember checking with my dad: Is he saying this can really be done? I also remember my dad saying: Yes. And it’s true. My dad has always been awesome
Reading the book again later in life, something else stood out: The message that you can change your life as you please. If you can imagine it, you can do it. And who gets to decide what’s real? This was the time I lost all trust in so-called authorities, and I have never regained that.
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
Richard Bach –
A courageous seagull named Jonathan changed the world when it was born. Illusions has always been my favorite of Richard’s works, but I know a lot of people favorite Jonathan. Jonathan definitely changed Richard’s life and the life of thousands, maybe millions, of people. How so? Well, it offered a new way of life, a new way of thinking and seeing the world. Instead of being a victim, suffering circumstances, bowing down to destiny and general opinion, it offered free flight and free choices.
How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!
Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull
It may leave you somewhat shaken, realizing this for the first time. It also leaves you responsible for everything … Seeing this as true, you’ll no longer be able to point your finger at the world for blame, you alone hold the key. Not everybody cares to be responsible like this. Some people like to blame others, blame circumstance, blame destiny. Some people enjoy the role of a victim, the suffering and complaining, and of course, they are absolutely free to enjoy this.
For me, shaking off the burdens of destiny and circumstance has been absolutely joyful. Empowering. Magical. I, and I alone, make things happen. I, and I alone, create my world. Now, this is magic, this is walking through walls and hovering tools, this is life.
I’m still practicing loops and free falls in this. I believe it is true. I have embraced magic and imagination, and I have managed quite some tricks as regards attracting things and people into my life. But most important of all, I have embraced this:
None of it was making the lady on the phone any calmer. But she broke suddenly and said simply, “How do you know all these things that you say? How do you know what you say is true?”
“I don’t know they’re true,” he said. “I believe them because it’s fun to believe them.”
Richard Bach – Illusions
Up until today, Richard has quite an extensive bibliography. I have read everything on it. Books on flying airplanes, books on love, books about ferret adventures, books on travels and life. Together, these book sum up everything in life from high ideals, adventures, learning and living to everyday humdrum. They tell a collected story about a life dedicated to this message.
On this blog, I have often mentioned perfection. To me, this message is perfection. It holds everything, and it sets you free. There’s no book of rules, no wisdom to acquire, no levels to gain: It’s all Here and Now. It’s what you are. A perfect idea; endless and everlasting. Free. Perfection.
Oh, of course, everything on this blog may be wrong.