Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Richard Bach, fully Richard David Bach

American Author best known for his best-selling novels, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" and "One"

"Your body is your thoughts in a form you can see."

"Every person, all the events of your life are drawn there because you have them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you."

"Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers."

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work."

"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."

"The only true law is that which leads to freedom. There is no other."

"We magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thought."

"You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote]"

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift. You seek problems because you need their gifts."

"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but that mark of a fake messiah."

"You teach best what you most need to learn."

"Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can."

"In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice."

"We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!"

"A drug for everything is madness. Legal or not, prescribed or not, over-counter under-counter bought for blood on street-corners-every pill separates us from knowing our own completion and from being taught by what's true."

"A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons."

"A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life."

"A present from the heart: I'm not here because I'm supposed to be here, or because I'm trapped here, but because I'd rather be with you than anywhere in the world."

"An easy life doesn't teach us anything. In the end it's the learning that matters: what we've learned and how we've grown."

"A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow."

"An idea is never given to you without you being given the power to make it reality. You must, nevertheless, suffer for it."

"And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where they stood."

"And the one carried in the current said, I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

"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?"

"Anybody who's ever mattered, anybody who's ever been happy, anybody who's ever given any gift into the world has been a divinely selfish soul, living for his own best interest. No exceptions."

"Any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless until we choose to use it."

"Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours"

"As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men's minds more seriously than what they see."

"As long as we believe in sequential time, we see becoming, instead of being. Beyond time, we're all one."

"Before you'll change, something important must be at risk."

"Ask yourself the secret of your success. Listen to your answer, and practice it."

"Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah."

"Believe you know all the answers and you know all the answers. Believe you're a master and you are."

"Boredom between two people doesn't come from being together physically. It comes from being apart mentally and spiritually."

"Bad things are not the worst things that can happen to us. Nothing is the worst thing that can happen to us!"

"Avoid problems and you'll never be the one who overcame them."

"But one creature said at last, 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.'"

"But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons."

"But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks."

"But they cried the more, 'Savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior."

"Can miles truly separate us from friends? If we want to be with someone we love, aren't we already there?"

"But the speed was power, and the speed was joy, and the speed was pure beauty."

"Do you know what I learned from you? I learned what is possible, and now I must hold out for what I thought we had. I want to be very close to someone I respect and admire and have somebody who feels the same way about me. That or nothing. I realized that what I'm looking for is not what you're looking for. You don't want what I want. What do you think I want? I asked. Exactly what you have. Many women you know a little and don't care very much about. Superficial flirtations, mutual use, no chance of love. That's my idea of hell. Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, Richard, in which there is no love. Horrible! Leave me out of it."

"Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere."

"Does anybody learn writing, or do they just touch someone who lets them see the power of the deleted word?"

"Children are not our property, and they are not ours to control any more that we were our parents' property or theirs to control."

"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 a different past."

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."