I was very happy to meet you yesterday as you picked up your new puppy. I claimed, in error as it seems, to have read most of your books. I see now that I have read quite a few, but far from all. It seems that I have some catching up to do! It was a pleasure meeting you, keep writing and I’ll keep reading!
Regards, Steve Roos
I read “Stranger to the Ground” when I was about 14 years old in the Dutch translation. I wanted to be a jet-fighter pilot and I was very impressed by your story of a pilot flying at night in a F-84 F Thunderstreak. The Dutch airforce also had this type of aircraft in service and I’ve seen them fly over many times. I thought and still think it’s the best book about flying I’ve ever read. Reading this story brings me into the cockpit and let me almost feel the movements of the airplane and the sounds an airplane makes. Years later, when I was about 21 years old I read “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”. A few years later, reading “A gift of Wings” I discovered that these books were written by the same author! Later I read more of your books. “The bridge across forever” is the best love story I’ve ever read. It helped me to overcome some troubles my wife and I had in our relationship. We are still together and very happy!
Johathan Livingston inspired me to follow my dreams. Mathematics was one of those things I did’nt understand, so a career als a pilot seemed impossible. I took to gliding and got a Private Pilot License a few years later. Unfortunately I had to quit flying when I lost my job and the money ran out. I love to ride my bicycle in the countryside, my wife and I walk in the mountains on vacations and I like to row with my team on the beautiful river IJssel which flows along the beautiful city of Deventer, where I live. So, flying is over, but there has ever since been a connection with the adventurous and challenging sides of life, inspired by your books and stories.
Thank you very much for that, Richard!
I read one of your books Jonathan Livingston Seagull a very long time ago. It is not at all an exaggeration when I say it was one of those books that has made a huge impression/impact on me. I speak about the book to my friends, my family and whenever the sitation demands it.
I often try to psycho analyze as to why it made such an impression on me and maybe because I could relate to it in my life, maybe so, whatever the reason. It does not matter but it is awesome work.
Now I am going to order the rest of your books to determine if you are indeed a true genius LOL
Keep up the good work.
Save your money, since I’m no genius, true or pretend. I do love certain ideas, though, and I’m one of a family around the world who loves them, too. And from time to time they’re here. Welcome!
Dear Mr. Bach,
In talking with a fellow writer the other day I realized how much your writing has influenced my love of travel. In 1991 my college professor mentioned your book “Stranger to the Ground” and for the first time I understood how I’d felt all my life. I instantly read “Illusions” which has come to mean so much as well.
I became a travel writer several years ago. Then I became a travel author. To this day, being in flight is the one place where I feel happiest and least stressed. Just going to the airport is a stress reliever. In the car on the way there I feel the weight of my simple world begin to melt away, knowing the sky is almost within reach. Even now after hundreds of flights, when the plane is climbing and especially seeing another plane climbing alongside us in the distance, often times your timeless title “Stranger to the Ground” will pop into my mind. They are words that, for me, answered the internal question “Who am I?” in a time of confusion and few options.
Sometimes when I need a mega dose of wisdom, I’ll re-read segments of “Illusions” while listening to Danny Wright’s “Phantasys” album. Every time I read it, I learn something new or am reminded of why a passage meant so much in the first place. My favorite is the line about the sky knowing the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, “and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.” I have lost count of how many copies I’ve bought and given to people who are trying to resolve a problem or figure out a new path in life — my copy had so many scribbled Post-its stuck throughout the pages that I recently had to get a new one just for myself.
I’m so grateful to that teacher, Mr. Whitman for introducing me to your work. It was a part of my path to find my way in life, which still works for me to this day: up. Thank you for the words you’ve given to this world. — Kelly Merritt
Thank you, Kelly! And thank you Mr. Whitman. Sometimes it happens that one sentence from us can change another’s life.
Dear Richard Bach,
I’ve just finished reading Illusions for the 3rd time and plan on reading it several times more, but there is a passage I’d really love to be able to grasp and apply to my life immediately.
You are led
through your lifetime
by the inner learning creature,
the playful spiritual being
that is your real self.
Don’t turn away
from possible futures
before you’re certain you don’t have
anything to learn from them.
You’re always free
to change your mind and
choose a different future, or
“Choose a different past? Literally or figuratively or how did it mean? “I think my mind just boggled, Don. I don’t know how I could possibly learn this stuff.”
“Practice. A little theory and a lot of practice,” he said. “Take you about a week and a half.”
“A week and a half.”
“Yeah. Believe you know all the answers, and you know all the answers. Believe you’re a master, and you are.”
Is it possible you can delve in deeper to the practice part, the how to. How does just belief allow it to come into one’s reality. Many people hold fast to a number of beliefs steadfastly and many do not come to pass.
I’m going through an incredibly tough time, a decade really of tumultuous circumstances, people, and events that I acknowledge I’m the creator of, but I’d really love to receive further information if possible on that particular passage. I’ve tried the whole believing
“I Am” and have received some less than favorable results, even at times more negative than my current circumstances. I’d really love to know what I’m missing as I’m considering suicide and there seems to be no way out of this hell on Earth I’ve created.
My guess is that most of us have had times like the one you’re living now. Suicide, as they say, is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Two years ago I was trapped in a hospital after a plane crash, was lost for one I could love, and remembered a heaven so free and waiting for me. Suicide was a lovely idea.
Something suggested that this was another test for me. I could die, or step by step I could overcome the problem by holding the image that I am a perfect expression of perfect Love, here and now. I held that image, second by second, over and over and over. Today it’s happened that I am healed of nearly all the suggestions of the crash, and what I thought was an impossible healing of loneliness — that suggestion that kills so many of us — found a miraculous healing, too.
How many of us have had tests that seemed utterly hopeless, but by constantly reminding ourselves of the forever truth of our real being have been healed of the tests and suggestions that sometimes seem to haunt us in space-time?
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It is my privilege and honor to have found your site, Professor Bach…
I too have read your book “Illusions” a couple of times. I admire your simplicity of purpose; just living and creating, but changing the past ? we could only do that in our minds. Guess that is how anything starts, a simple thought, this however suggests we need to almost lie to ourselves and play a pretentiuos existence. Why the honest ones, and the truth seekers seem to have the toughest tests of times here in the physical world?
And suicide is NEVER the answer to any question!
Dear Mr Bach, I have read some of your books. Illusions changed my life like it did for so many of your readers. I practiced vanishing clouds and on some occasion succeeded too! I feel truly grateful for having attracted your profound wisdom into my experience. And the time I then had to put some of it into practice. I reached a place where I was so very happy. I was alone but I loved myself and my life. I then went on to attract to me my soulmate. Whom I met! It was perfect! He is wonderful. We fell deeply in love. And we are now married. And he continues to be wonderful everyday.
However I made the mistake of loving him so much so that I forgot to love myself. And now I’ve lost my way. I don’t like who I am at all. I feel alone again, alienated from the happiness that surrounds me because the happiness that I found in me is gone. I miss myself very much.
Im humbled by the lesson that one can learn so much of what’s worth learning, hold all that power of happiness and contentment and then lose all of it and oneself in another person, a soulmate.
If you could find a piece of wisdom to help me find my way back, I would treasure it. Is it harder now that I had it and lost it? Is there any forgiveness for disrespecting oneself?
It was an odd winters day when I first learned of you. I was a ninth grader, sitting on the dusty floor of a history classroom. For one odd reason or the next, our teacher decided to read stories to us before the holiday break. At the end of all the stories of hollies and jollies, this man pulled out one of your books. He began to read “There’s No Such Place As Far Away”. At the end of it, and as the bell rang, he muttered quietly to himself, but not quietly enough,”someday you will understand”. I filed that mysterious tidbit away in my head along with your name.
My next notable encounter with your writing wouldn’t be until years later, as a freshman in college. Though time had passed, I still remembered you and decided to see if the library had anything by you. It was then that I found Jonathan. (I will not describe every journey to each of your books that I have read, no worries – this one is just particularly special). It was November. It was Thanksgiving. I had been banned from festivities due to my chest cold vs some vulnerable immune systems. Though I understood, I was still offended. I had brought Jonathan home with me, so I read it. It was on that holiday that my spirit jumped at the idea of no limits and decided to soar. I decided to go out for a run. In my euphoria of no limits I ran ten miles, at a time where that wasn’t a normal distance for me, in the cold, with a chest cold. I saw a butterfly that day and thought it must have read your book as well, to have been living so long. This experience marked me and I will remember it always. It is one of the reasons that whenever I find a spirit that may be kindred to our type, I gift Jonathan to them. Or at least make them aware of you. I actually have a copy that I will be giving away soon, and I am very happy about that. I feel like the people who are touched by your works are driven to share them, to seek out “like”, if you will. At least that’s what I hypothesize about the first encounter I described.
Most recently, I finished reading “Running From Safety”. Before I put it down I gave it a hug and a kiss, not the most normal thing to do – but who cares? I feel like the more I read of you, the more your books give insight into each other. Read “Illusions” and you understand more of “Jonathan ” read “Safety” and you understand more of “Illusions”. I love it. My favorite thing though, and I can’t quite explain it properly, is to find and go to used book shops and search for anything by you. There’s something about knowing that that book passed through someone else’s mind and touch … It makes it seem like a treasure hunt. I found “Safety” that way and just the other day I found my next read. I will be embarking on “A Gift of Wings” shortly, and I am very much looking forward to it.
I just really wanted to write you and thank you for being such an inspiration. I just realized your writings have been in my life for a little over ten years. Ten years! My apologies for not writing sooner! Thank you for touching my soul. Thank you for embracing being an individual and being a constant learner. I am so happy to have found your books, to let go of limitations and just “be”. Facing the challenges of life is so much more fun when you have an arsenal of seagulls reminding you that you can do anything. Thanks again, Richard.
With love, thanks, and cheer,
I read Seagull first, this was years ago when I was living in Istanbul, the book was in Turkish. I fell in love with Jonathan (my son’s middle name is Jon – Can – John).
But the book which I was truly inspired by was ‘The bridge across forever’ My daughter’s dad, at the time he was my university sweetheart, had read it before me and he had underlined the bits which was special to us both and post the book to me as I was working away home at the time. Before the book arrived he actually send me a hand written letter which was directly taken from your book, but I knew right away it wasn’t him speaking on that letter. So the letter didn’t do what it suppose to do.
Thank you for the beautiful people, stories you have introduced to me….
PS. I still think about the Richard in that story then thinking ‘I mustn’t be the reason for killing a living-being’ so I order lemon cake for breakfast…
some years ago, when I was still at college, I found a book under a desk. My first thought was trying to return it to the person it belonged to, but then something happened: I opened the book randomly, and on that random page I read: “… Quizá no tengas este libro en las manos por pura coincidencia…”. So I kept the book, and I kept reading. It had been a secret until now, but since you don’t know me I guess it remains a secret (smile) I’m from Chile, and the name of the book is “Ilusiones”.
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