Reality Part Two — A Final Exam for Mortals

HOW DO WE KNOW what’s real?

I was walking with Lockie yesterday and for a minute I did what I did as a boy, I had a double image of him.  So long as I could cross my eyes, I saw two Lockies side by side running through the meadow.  Yet there was only one of them in my life, so I wondered: which image was the real one?

The two alert Shetland Sheepdogs in my vision looked exactly the same, their fur and colors and tipped ears just the same, the gold meadow was the same, the trees in each image were the same.  Each of them would occasionally come to me if I called, each would eat a little treat for them if they came, with exactly the same number of crunches and with the same hope for another treat when they finished the first.

While they ignored my call, since there was a bunny that needed to be chased, I quit trying, uncrossed my eyes and watched their two images change to one.  The question remained: The double image I saw, which one was the real Lockie?  I reached deep into the past to find out.

I was an amateur astronomer when I was fifteen years old.  I built a six-inch F9 Newtonian reflecting telescope on an equatorial mount, set on the ground in my back yard.  Amazing, I thought, watching the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.  On very quiet night, after the air cooled and I could use a high-power eyepiece, I could see Syrtis Major on Mars and for a few seconds I could see a few of the canali there.  In English the word meant channels but in that time, it was bent to mean canals on Mars!

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Two Years Since

SOMETIMES ONE DOESN’T KNOW why things happened till later.   Till way later.

So it was two years ago that I crashed Puff into some high-tension wires.  I guess you know the story, in one second her wheels were caught in the cables and she slammed upside down into the ground, and I got to rest for most of a year, rebuilt Puff like new again and have been flying since.  It’s old history, yet I think of it, from time to time.  I’ve learned some lessons for me, but was there a story for anyone else, did my little adventure help anyone else’s lifetime?

All at once, the answer.  Only three words, built from personal experience.  Startling they are, but I think they’re true, they’re non-fiction:

We don’t die!

Most people who have lived through the adventure speak one time or two, for their family, their own story: “I knew I was going to die, but I didn’t.  I don’t mean in this accident, this lifetime.  I mean we don’t die, ever.“

Thoughts and spirits change in such calm words… spoken, sometimes whispered in quiet times, at home.  Listening, we try to share that feeling, and once in a while, we do.

What happens for the person who lived it is that we’ve just whispered the most important story we can tell, it means so much to us when someone understands what happened.

It doesn’t matter whether someone tells me or not – well, it does matter to me — but their telling says that something happened, that a wall came down that had been years standing.

So here’s a message from Adina, she lives in Sweden:

“I was reading a translated interview with you in the Swedish Magazine Inspire, and wanted to tell you that what you shared there means a lot to me.

“34 years ago my father died in an airplane crash together with 3 others. Similarly to what you were describing, the plane got caught and went straight down. They had flown from England to Sweden and were just about a kilometer from the airport, but had somehow gotten lost and were running out of fuel.

“I’ve thought about how they were experiencing their final hour and wondered if they even understood what happened going into the crash. What you shared in the article I’ve never heard of before, and it’s comforting to think that even though there must have been a lot of stress before the actual crash, the crash itself can have been a completely different experience.”

If I could talk with Adina, I’d say, “Yes!  It was a completely different experience!  Not what the newspapers said, not what anybody said!  Completely different!  Astonishing!  Beautiful!”

Used to be, I believed in continuing lives, they made sense, they seemed rational.  I don’t believe, now.  I know.  Every death ends in a dream.

I think that the afterlife seems realer than this lifetime, yet I’m pretty sure that our afterlife is a dream, too.  I think it is.  I don’t remember living it, but it makes sense, it seems rational.  My guess?  We live in beliefs of spacetime until we finally discover they’re good lessons, but they’re not real.  That happens, I think, when we know that the only thing that’s real, is Love.

Maybe that’s wrong.  If that’s wrong, I have such an incredible number of lives before I can think of something higher than that.

The Three Languages

I WAS THINKING THIS morning, writing with a friend, and realized all of a sudden that beyond our normal verbal language there are three other languages we can understand.  We hear messages from the our carrier (her word for the body), messages from the spirit, and last from the soul.  The last two use our own thoughts for its language.

The carrier speaks of fear and danger and death, the monkey chatter of words in all the languages of mortal minds.  Other physical things, too, like challenge, like striving, like sex, it’s a joy and sometimes a distress when it speaks.

Spirit speaks the subtle and unexpected, the voice beyond words.  Our friends on the Other Side, guardian angels, our highest right, speak spirit, sudden inspiration, a warning from time to time, as comments from them come to keep our mortal carrier and our highest aspirations going.

Soul speaks life and love, untouched by beliefs, uncaring about the fate of our body.  When we think we’re dying, it loves us, speaks to us then and ever.  Love, I think, is the highest language there is.

On the Other Side, in the Beyond, there’s no carrier language since there’s no body, no physical senses are required.  Thought only, telepathy, not a word of human language at all, so we can talk with our beliefs of animals, trees, flowers, all the same connection to everyone.  When our Beyond self speaks from time to time with a mortal, it speaks thoughts, and we translate thoughts into our own human language…perfectly normal for us.

Can this be true for you?  It was startling, to me, but still true, when I thought of all the messages sent for me in this lifetime, and read about the messages to those who have met trouble, too.

Why bother with these ideas which others think are nothing but random thoughts?  Seems to me that the better we practice and understand pure thought, the easier we can talk with other aspects of ourselves and others, on their many levels.  Can we practice speaking back?  Will they respond?  Maybe it’s just fun.

And maybe my pleasure is languages, the rivers that join souls and spirits and mortals together.  Is there someone in this little family who hears from time to time and maybe speaks these languages, too?

I think that could be true.

Our Silent Fires

IT HAPPENED IN the state of Iowa, and when it struck, I happened to be mowing the lawn.  The back yard of the rented house was at the edge of town, on the hillside.  Leafy summertime, and from the yard one could see other hillsides, trees in the sunlight, to the horizon.

Could I have been pushing a hand mower or was there a gasoline engine on the machine?  I think it must have had the engine, I think there were heavy waves of loud that afternoon.  Back and forth…zoom….zoom in the middle of the 1960’s.  Jonathan Seagull was an unfinished manuscript, forgotten at the bottom of a stack of other manuscripts.

Zoom…sometimes slowing in the thickest grass.  How am I going to finish this lifetime, I thought.  So many expenses, so little income from the few books.  I didn’t know why I was here, right when I was facing…what?  When you’ve got no money in a culture that needs money to live.  I didn’t think of it as a divine test for mortals, then.  It was the leading edge of disaster.

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Orcas Fly-In New Information

IT’S OVER.  A great fly-in, lots of airplanes, and I think Puff was the star.

They printed T-shirts, caps and fluffy sweat jackets with a drawing of Puff for this year.

August 5, 2014:  There may be just a few unsold, or they may all be sold.  I think I can get a number of the hat patches if you like them.  Who knows, maybe make a different patch, just for Puff and us.  Let me know by a direct message to me at richard@richardbach.com.

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Why Are We Here?

THE LONGER WE spend wondering, the more easily answers come.  The reason why we’re here, I’ve just discovered, is written not in some book of magic, it’s written in our daily lives.

Pretend, for a minute, that we’ve all come to Earth to learn something.  Since we may not care for little boxy classrooms, instead we have a whole planet for our current lessons.  Now pretend that there’s not one of us navigated into this belief of life on the planet, including thee and me, who isn’t in the test of some major challenge.

For our lessons to matter for us, to make a forever comment in our infinite experience of life, we must pretend that this world spins in a river of amnesia, no past for us to remember, from the day we’re born.  We must have a physical body with lots of limitations: no unaided flying, no shape-shifting spirits, no telepathy, no connection with friends of different lifetimes.  We must believe that this act in our play is real, that it’s not a scene we’ve chosen to play.

Some of our lessons are easy (How shall I be kind to someone who loves me?).  Some of them may take a while (Why did my little airplane lack four inches of altitude above the high-tension wires and therefore she crashed inverted into the ground?).  Others are difficult (Why did my daughter die in a snowy head-on car collision one minute after she decided to unfasten her seat belt?).

It’s an early belief for most of us, at the start, that we’re helpless pawns in a vast uncaring universe.  We think that we have to eat to live, find some shelter, protect ourselves from hungry animals and raiding humans, dodge volcanoes, duck under asteroids on a collision with our planet, and by the way, if we’re curious in our spare time, find a meaning for it all.   We believe that consciousness has nothing to do with the world around us.  Physical things, we’re told, are real.

When we begin to understand, from near-death experience, from teachers we admire, from our intuition, that we’re eternal souls, and that no disaster can happen in any of our pretend play-lives to touch our highest self… that’s our lesson!  Done!  A-plus!

That’s why we’re here.

The number of categories in our lessons is infinite.  What if we’re poor, or what if we’re rich?  What do we do with the appearances?  What if we’re plain like me, or beautiful?  When if we don’t care to have lessons, or if we do care?  What about our belief of illnesses, of dangers of living, dangers of working, what if we don’t love what we’re doing, what if we do?  What if we love someone who doesn’t love us back, or what if she / he does love us back?  What if we love alcohol and drugs?  What if we believe we need medicines?  What if there are no doctors in our lives, and what if there are?  What if we’re bored with life?  What if we want to die, how do we do that?  What if we decide not to kill ourselves?

Relationships, other people, ourselves, sports, love and hatred, blocks in our wishes. different paths appearing suddenly or slowly, what if friends die, schools and teachers end, what do we do about ideas which we love and the ones we disagree with; is television necessary, movies, governments?  There are tests for us in everything.  Sometimes death appears to be the mark of a failure, sometimes death is a beautiful success.

Take your pencil and name two tests you’re working with now,  Don’t list a hundred, just two you’re having.  Your answers to them determine the quality of your spirit, at this moment.

What are my tests, you ask?  Loneliness, for one.  For two, my belief that I’ve already lived too long in this act.  I sense that if I give up on either, I’ll probably decide to take the tests again.

The lesson for us all: What’s more powerful than our belief of death?   Answer: Love is.  And: We are!

And finally, a truth for why we’re here that takes years for us to discover, right in the midst of all the stories that space and time may offer for us to believe:

We are perfect expressions of perfect Love, right here, right now.

How Do I…

SOME QUESTIONS FROM a friend.  “How do you just quit being jealous?  How do you just quit being angry? “

It took me just forty years to quit.  I found that when I was left by one I loved, or when I was angry, the same thing happened in my mind, always the same words: You’re frightened.  You’re going to lose something!  Protect it!

After slipping into protecting without thinking, decade after decade, I decided that I didn’t like feeling  jealousy and anger.  Finally I asked, feeling helpless, “Well, what am I going to lose?

“I’ll lose her, is what!” I said.

“Oh?” Another voice in my mind, my high spiritual self.  “Can you answer my questions?”

“Of course I’ll answer.  I’m jealous and angry, but I’ll answer if you don’t require a page to listen.”

“Three questions.”

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Am I Getting Smarter?

OR ARE THE THINGS IN this life a lot simpler than they once seemed?  Does simplicity come from a few old words used in a new way?

By the blessing of my airplane crash, I’ve learned that “death” at the end of our Earth-time is not death at all, it is a beautiful new Life.

After letting go of events so familiar, at once the colors are brighter and scenes are different from ever on Earth. There are no evils around, we find friends that we’ve known ever, we don’t have to struggle to live.  Coming back to Life again, with its teachers and guides for us and for our friends, most of us gradually getting better at Earthlife, suddenly we can see what once we called a “lifetime” isn’t a lifetime at all.  It was just one act in our cosmic screenplay.

All at once we understand why we lived that role, we see the lessons we hoped to show during our Earthtime. What we called our lifetime is “Act 12” or “Act 2431,” and all of our acts become the Play as it seems to us.  Act after act, lesson after lesson, triumphs and not-quite-rights and shoot-it-overs.

Out of the play for a while when we “die,” we can rest as long as we wish, do nothing, imagine and choose lifestories yet to be in our acts, including some that are most likely impossible. We can play any role of any of our beliefs, any time we wish, several at once, if that suits us.

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Part-Time Angels

HOW MANY TIMES, in your life, have you done something nice for other people?  Something thoughtful?  How many smiles have you spent for them?  How many puppies and kittens have you petted?  How often, when someone is thinking of killing themselves, have you said, “I think your idea’s a permanent fix for a temporary problem.”

In all of those times (which you have mostly forgotten), in every one, you have been an angel.

In the midst of 1961, on a Manhattan sidewalk, an attractive woman looked at me, and in passing on the stream of other-bound pedestrians, she smiled at me for a second.  I don’t know why: maybe she was just happy.  But that was (1961 – 2014 = ) 53 years ago, and I still smile back to her, whether she’s somewhere in New York, in some other country, whether she’s on this planet or not,

She was an angel, changing my life in one second.  Just yesterday i had a message from a friend who was standing in a troubled checkout line, everyone there was wanting to get this shopping finished and someone was slowing the line.  She said, “Maybe we’re being slowed up here because a car’s going to kill us if we move…”  Everyone laughed, and the next minute a car drove half-way through the window of the market.  No one was hurt.

Someone remembered her words, to a reporter, and the newspaper said next day, that there was an angel there, who made us all stop, and saved our lives for not being in front of that window at that moment..

My friend said, “I’m no angel!  I just thought of some funny reason for us to stay where we were.”  Do you think she was no angel?  If not, I’ll give her fifty angel-points for her smile and for thinking to say what she said when she did.

When we consider the millions of kind and thoughtful deeds others do for others and for us, and which we do for them, of course we realize that there’s a need for us amateurs to be temporary angels.  How will that feel, to be given angel-points some day, from a full-time angel?