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Richard Bach

An American author.

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Life: To fly or not to fly? To write or not to write? To be or not to be? THE INSPIRATION

  • Oct 17, 2009
He is provocative, he is hypnotizing, he is inspirational. He is Richard Bach!

I was first introduced to Richard Bach's writing in 2004. A guy I met on my trip to Antarctica (January 2004) from Seattle gently introduced the magical world of Bach during our few months of correspondences over the internet. We had since lost touch with one another but his presence through the works of Bach's writing has often been felt.

Richard Bach has had a very interesting life and one which inspires many of his readers. I don't think anyone could have read Bach without being changed by it one way or another. I devoured his books for an entire year until I've almost read all of them. 

Bach loves flying, me too. Bach is philosophical, I was told by some of my readers, me too! Bach said he hates to write, me too! I feel a lot of the emotions Bach had felt in his life. Not all, but I think I do constantly find parallels in our lives. Strange, considering he's really not from my generation. However, humans are always humans... we are not as different as we try to make out to be!

To truly understand Bach is impossible. But to try to understand him and be inspired, one has to read many of his books. It was said when one is ready, the teacher will appear.

Richard Bach's most famous books is Jonathan Livingston Seagull but my most favorite of all his books is that of his love story between him and the actress Leslie Parrish. It is an awesome and touching love story. That book is The Bridge Across Forever. If you've not read it, go grab one. A most beautiful and heart wrenching love story. I was truly touched by it!


Sometimes I asked myself why I keep writing even though I hate writing. I think as with Richard Bach, this interview may give an idea. I'm clearly no writer as Richard Bach but he beautifully answered the reason why I am writing, even without me consciously realizing it!

John Harricharan: You have said, Richard, that you hate to write. Yet after Illusions, we saw Bridge and now "One." Why do you keep writing? Is there an idea which you come upon and feel you must express, or do you just want to write a book every few years? And will you write more?

Richard Bach: 
It's like a pulsar inside us. There is this great burst of energy, forcing us to write, and then the star goes quiet for a time, and we think it's gone, but it's gathering energy for another burst. And we seem to be almost unwilling participants in this. I'm sure that "One" is the last book we'll write, but I've been just as sure every book would be the last. I wish it would stop, but I suspect that over the next few years something, some strange whimsical, quirky, other-world part of us will say, "Well, let's see what can we hand over that will be so overwhelmingly fascinating that they'll have to write it, no matter what?"

"One" came from a long-term curiosity about what might have been, what would have become of us if I had run from love; if Leslie had? Who are those people we might have been? Where are they now? Then one day I picked up a little book, The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It says that every possible event that can happen, does happen in an alternate space-time. It's like the theory of relativity itself; it's incredible, but no one can fault the math!

Physicists do not accept the idea of time. They say, "There is no space-time, there is not time, there is no before, there is no after. The question what happens 'next' is without meaning" I thought, if all these other paths exist, and if there is no such thing as time, when all paths must be simultaneous! But how can this be? How can opposites be true? And I went to sleep thinking about that and all of a sudden I was looking down on this infinite pattern and it all clicked, everything made sense!

There's a pattern behind space-time, and every event is part of the pattern, each lifetime is a different path through the same pattern, and I told Leslie, I've just found the answer to every question in the universe! I hit the computer transfigured with inspiration and understanding and the words that I wrote were just...awful! I could see the idea, but I couldn't write it! How many beginnings, Leslie, did we go through on this book?

Leslie: Well, it was an elusive little thing-twenty-four chapters down one road, eleven chapters down another. Then having danced all around us like that, it suddenly became very clear. It was the same idea all along. The challenge was to write it so it was not pure science, so abstract that no one would care about it. How do you get readers to experience this understanding, to see themselves in the pattern, to know their power of choice over the direction their lives can take?


Here are some of Bach's writings which have influenced my life over the years:

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. 

Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there? 

Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. 

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were. 

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly be who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

An idea is never given to you without you being given the power to make it reality. You must, nevertheless, suffer for it. 

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. 

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. 

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly. 

When you have come to the edge of all the light you have and step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of the two will happen to you. Either you'll find something solid to stand on or you'll be taught how to fly!

So, in writing this review, I learn something new; I learn why I keep writing. I need to learn... to learn about myself, to know about myself, to discover about myself. And it is in writing without that I get glimpses of within. It is an odyssey. I travel so that I may fly. I fly so that I can see better. And in seeing better, I live more fully.

Thank you, Richard Bach! You are blessed & in being so you've blessed others' lives as well. May God Bless You Always!

Life: To fly or not to fly? To write or not to write? To be or not to be? THE INSPIRATION Life: To fly or not to fly? To write or not to write? To be or not to be? THE INSPIRATION Life: To fly or not to fly? To write or not to write? To be or not to be? THE INSPIRATION Life: To fly or not to fly? To write or not to write? To be or not to be? THE INSPIRATION

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September 21, 2010
Bach is Great - I first read Jonathan in my early Teens and it has had a lasting impression on me, the idea of finding your true self and not be programed by the behavioral patterns you are born into is really important. Illusions is also Fantastic and often quite funny and Bridge is also very good but you do know that their relationship did not last.

One of my favorite quotes from Jonathan is
 " It's strange . The gullls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere instantly."
But as a compulsive traveler you may not like it much as I do Ha Ha :-)
October 21, 2009
Wow! What a fantastic write-up. You really did go all out with this one. I will have to read some more of his work now after checking out your review. This is amazing!
October 22, 2009
Thank you, Brian! I didn't plan or think about what I'm going to write with my reviews. For most part, I simply start typing and interesting enough, I'll find the inspiration and what I need to write. I don't know why that is so, but that's the way it has been with my writings. If the subject matter is interesting for me, then I'll definitely find something interesting to write about, that's what I believe. Glad that you like it and hopefully you'll find what you need in Richard Bach's work! :-)
More Richard Bach reviews
Quick Tip by . October 12, 2009
posted in Inspirations
Philosophical, talented and captivating. I love the love story between him & Leslie Parrish even though they had since gone separate ways.
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Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Richard David Bach (b. June 23, 1936, Oak Park, Illinois) is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston SeagullIllusions: The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah, and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is noted for his love of flying and for his books related to air flight and flying in a metaphorical context. He has pursued flying as a hobby since the age of 17. 

Bach espouses a consistent philosophy in his books: Our true nature is not bound by space or time, we are expressions of the Is, we are not truly born nor truly die, and we enter this world of Seems and Appearances for fun, learning, to share experiences with those we care for, to explore—and most of all to learn how to love and love again. Bach's philosophy is strongly influenced by the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science, which teaches that evil, death, and rebirth are illusions, and that our true nature is timeless, infinite and perfect. Bach was a member of the Christian Science Church until the early 1970's.
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