"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Real Illusions

Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.

While it might be nice to say something like 

"All I ever needed to know I learned from Richard Bach."

it really isn't true. Having said that, it seems that one story,"Illusions; The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" , read and reread over the past thirty years has turned out to be important. Every reading I have come away refreshed, believing once more that there is something more to life than what is obvious.
Even more though, is that this is a story that has made me know that I am part of that magic. 

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 a butterfly.

I always accepted responsibility for my own messes, and then the messes of others to my detriment. 
Too many years of coming home after a hard day of work to a long sleepless night spent hating myself. Tormented by an inner voice that screamed  "You are not this man you pretend to be. Stop pretending!".

"And what would you do," the Master said unto the multitude, "if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I COMMAND THAT YOU BE HAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.' What would you do then?"
And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where they stood.

Too often it seemed that there were two Gods. One calling the faithful to love and  joy, and this other angry one judging and finding me wanting. One demanded that I love myself and others, while the other demanded penance and sacrifice. 
Try as I might, living in the service of others didn't work. Couldn't they see how much I loved them? But it never worked.
I read Bach's Master's words, and that silence, echoing through the valley told me that worrying what others think, trying to make anyone else happy is folly.

It is not something that can be fixed in a day. These are habits of a lifetime. 

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

I had been ashamed of and had tried to atone for this inner personality who seemed to know me better than I did. Finally acknowledging and accepting who I truly am permitted that fictional inner person to become a kind and loving observer and participant. Thoughts of how we could improve who we are, coming from a loving and inner friend, could take the place and carry the same weight as suggestions from a parent or spouse who I wanted to please. 
Here was a way for that insistent person inside (she was just a fiction, right?) to become the way to interact in a new world. Trapped no longer, here was this amazing personality who lived and grew and loved! Over this past four years, that character who lived so long as a painful reminder has become my reality. Oh, not in the physical way that seemed so important to show the world in the beginning, but in all the ways that are truly important in how one relates to others.

The simplest questions are the most profound.
Where were you born?
Where is your home?
Where are you going?
What are you doing?
Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change.

My answers have changed. 
My birth is much more recent than any piece of paper can say.
Home isn't a place or a time anymore.

We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe.

Hidden currents in this ocean take me where I am going, each moment an adventure. 

Watch your answers change

Love who you are fully and without reservation. Be guided to make your choices in that love. Others around you will find all they need and deserve in your presence. 

You gave your life 
to become the person you are right now. 
Was it worth it?


All quotes in blue from "Illusions" by Richard Bach