"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

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


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

    Yes, it is always worth it. Why? Because I could not help being me in all the guises I have been clothed with throughout my life. I believe I have grown at each stage into a better person and it can only get better. I gave up being me to become me!

    Shirley Anne x

    1. Growing should mean keeping all the best parts shouldn't it. Strangely, the earlier version of me that I recognise as still being very much hereis the child.
      Thank you Shirley Anne.

    2. "........Was it worth it?" The answer to that question rather depends upon where you are at present. The confrontation with that which we had appeared to become demanded much of us, and that painful confrontation and its results were always worth it. But if that confrontation is yet to take place, the steady transformation into what we have appeared to be can never be worthwhile.

      It is a joy to read your posts, and watch the truth emerging from the depths of your soul, the source of your reality. When we face and acknowledge that truth we discover something else, and that is that we are not required to "improve", an egoistic stricture. As Shirley Anne says, we grow into a person that is getting steadily better; I think, a person more healed. All the soul asks is that it is allowed simply 'to be', that each of us continues to acknowledge the truth that, "I Am That I Am." And out of that something wonderful emerges, something ineffable.

      We spend so much of our lives learning to grow up, and too little learning to grow down. Yes, to play in the waters of life like otters is to live reality. An uplifting post, Halle.

  2. Growing down. I like that at so many levels Tom.

    Always such a pleasure to swim along in parallel for a while.

  3. I enjoyed illusions much more than I understood it. On the other hand. the blue feather that I received shortly after reading the book is still tucked into my paperback copy. Maybe I should read it again; I would probably get something new out of it now. Thank you for the reminder, Halle.

    Hugs and Hopes

    1. A blue feather eh? Did you wish for it first too??
      Hope you enjoy your reread as much as I did. There is so much in it that says life is about fun! and understanding stuff is highly overrated and mostly too much like work in my humble opinion! :-)

      Big Hug January, and thanks for stopping by.

  4. *smiling*

    An old friend.

  5. A thought provoking evocative post with equally appealing comments which I endorse.

    For me I love the words of unknown psalmist which I have sung on countless occasions that cry out in the same way then as today: Where is God, where is God? I am sure the gracious spirit lies deep in your heart, like the dear thirsting for running streams.

    As the deer longs
    As the deer longs for running streams,
    so I long, so I long, so I long for you.

    A-thirst my soul for you the God who is my life!
    When shall I see, when shall I see,
    see the face of God?
    Echoes meet as deep is calling unto deep,
    over my head, all your mighty waters,
    sweeping over me.
    Continually the foe delights in taunting me:
    “Where is God, where is your God?”
    Where, O where, are you?

    As the deer longs for running streams,
    so I long, so I long, so I long for you.

    Defend me, God, send forth your light and your truth,
    they will lead me to your holy mountain,
    to your dwelling place.
    Then I shall go unto the altar of my God.
    Praising you, O my joy and gladness,
    I shall praise your name.

    1. It has always amazed me how a piece of art whether it be visual or musical or written can carry multiple levels of meaning. As the observer changes the message becomes suitable to their individual use.
      Thank you Lindsay.

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


    An old friend

    1. You know how much pleasure it gives me to know you are happy in your life dear old friend! All the best.