Richard Bach and the vagaries of consciousness

[I wrote this email to Richard Bach early in 2008.]

Dear Richard,

Reality – if you’ve never noticed – is so strange! Yesterday [I went to Charlottesville and in a bookstore found your book] One, hesitated, knowing that I had read it, but suspecting that I didn’t own it, which made it rather a hole in my shelf. So I bought it, just in case. And … and began re-reading One last night. I am back at it this morning, and although I have only another couple of dozen pages to go, I had to stop to write you.

It is so strange. I know that I have read the book before, because I remember very well the part about saving the world from a new religion, even though I had not remembered the sequence correctly. But that isn’t the strange part. The strange part is that I am about to publish – to self-publish, as usual – a book that I call The Sphere and the Hologram, which comprises transcripts of 22 altered-state sessions that I recorded and transcribed in the years 2001-02. Those sessions consisted of questions about the way the world works from my friend Rita Warren and answers through me from the guys upstairs. The underlying mechanisms that they describe, the reality they describe, are so much the same as what you describe in One that I can only wonder uneasily how much of what came through was in fact unconscious memory of what I had read.

(This working from the unconscious, or connecting with the other side, or talking to other aspects of ourselves, or channeling our higher self, or however one would choose to describe it, defies definition. Before the fact, one doesn’t know what is going to appear, during the fact one doesn’t know where the information is coming from, and after-the-fact one doesn’t know how much of it was authentic, how much of it was synthesized, how much of it was for all I know disinformation. Other than those few uncertainties, the process is very straightforward.)

Last night a strange thing happened twice, and I can’t help associating it with my rereading One, though there is not necessarily a logical connection. In the first dream, there I was naked in public again – but this time instead of hiding or experiencing a reaction within the context of the dream I realized, while still dreaming, that I must be dreaming. In a second dream, things had been stolen from me including my journal, and I decided to proceed intuitively to find the thief and the items, but the important thing was not the pursuit but the calmness and the awareness that if I didn’t recover them it was not a catastrophe – and again, through the logic of the dream I came to realize that it was a dream. Not expressing this very well, but I hope you get the idea. In both cases it seems to me the process itself indicated an increase in consciousness and I am led to ascribe the blame to you! You, nearly 20 years ago, at that!

So, thanks.

8 thoughts on “Richard Bach and the vagaries of consciousness

  1. I’m still a bit envious that you know Richard Bach on a first name basis. I know that’s because Hampton Roads published his works, and I still think it’s way cool that you know him.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull was pivotal to my teenage self. My mind couldn’t grok it all, but my soul sang with joy when I first read it. I think I reread that book about a thousand times. It gave comfort to a teenager who felt so out of place, who felt so orphaned when she looked at the stars at night.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Like many here I’ve long fretted over how difficult my changes in consciousness are, and how long they take. These posts and Bach’s writings help me see I’m not alone in that concern, nor in the changing itself.

    Illusions was Bach’s seminal book for me … read and reread it 15+ times, the first sitting in the Atlanta airport with tears streaming down my face. I’ve always liked his intro words, and feel they fit life and change in consciousness just as well as writing.

    My paraphrase:
    “I do not enjoy changing at all. If I can turn my back on an idea, out there in dark, if I can avoid opening the door to it, I will.

    But once in a while there’s a great dynamic-burse of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, ‘I will not let you go until you pay attention to me.”
    Jim

  3. I remember how it felt reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I was an awkward teenager. I really felt the seagull in my bones. I was too immersed in the story to understand that a human wrote it. It still feels a strange idea. The human social field can be such a nasty cage. Now, looking back, ain’t it marvelous to have found ways to open the cage door and go free, every now and then. Even the cage starts to look different: maybe it is there to protect the guileless. So they know where the food bowl and water is while they (we) aquire the skills for the wider world.

  4. One night Richard Bach and I connected online, at his site, unexpectedly and sort of hit it off. I sent him the intro pages to my book that Hampton Roads was also publishing, and he said wonderful things about it. We stayed in touch right up to his plane accident and only now and then since. Lately, I’ve sort of felt him around and have communicated with him a bit through my journaling. He’s unlike anyone I know, and so kind. And I do think, in his way, he changed the world.
    I still read his ferret books to my grandson, who loves them.
    As recently as the end of 2018, he was talking about finishing another book, one that he said was a bit different from his others. I hope to read it.
    Thanks for sharing your email, Frank. It brings him back into my awareness, and I feel his inspiration.

  5. Amazon is showing that “Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul” will be available on Oct 1 of this year. Looks like the Kindle version is already available for download. 🙂

    I also noted that “Life With my Guardian Angel” came out last year. So much of his work I haven’t read!

      1. “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” came out in ’77.
        “Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul” seems to be ’04. A rewrite?

        1. No, a new product. Illusions referred to, and partially quoted, The Messiah’s Handbook. The handbook itself was only written and published in 2004. Hampton Roads didn’t even exist when Illusions was published, of course, but we are the ones who shepherded The Messiah’s Handbook into print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.