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"

"It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages."

"It is by not always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might somehow be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be searching and lost. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote. It is a quote by Leslie Parrish in his book]"

"It must happen to us all"

"Jonathan Livingston Seagull is speaking to his young fledgling son who is learning to fly: You will begin to touch heaven . . . in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there. . . . To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived. . . . The trick is to stop seeing yourself as trapped inside a limited body that has a forty-two-inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick is to know that your true nature lives, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time."

"It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: Am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth what I paid?"

"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright. Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well."

"Languages are fluffy big pillows stuffed between nations - what others say is muffled and nearly lost in them, and when we speak their grammar we get feathers in our mouth. It's worth it. What pleasure to phrase an idea, even in child's words, slowly, and sail it across the gulf in another language to a different-speaking human being!"

"Jonathan is that brilliant little fire that burns within us all, that lives only for those moments when we reach perfection."

"Life is the unknown and the unknowable, except that we are put into this world to eat, to stay alive as long as we possibly can."

"Life does not require us to be consistent, cruel, patient, helpful, angry, rational, thoughtless, loving, rash, open-minded, neurotic, careful, rigid, tolerant, wasteful, rich, downtrodden, gentle, sick, considerate, funny, stupid, healthy, greedy, beautiful, lazy, responsive, foolish, sharing, pressured, intimate, hedonistic, industrious, manipulative, insightful, capricious, wise, selfish, kind or sacrificed. Life does, however, require us to live with the consequences of our choices."

"Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull"

"Listen to what you know instead of what you fear."

"Listen,' he said. 'It's important. We are all. Free to do whatever we want to do."

"Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world - even if what is published is not true."

"Mistakes - call them unexpected learning experiences."

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

"Look in the mirror and one thing is sure: what we see is not who we are."

"Navigate by the same star, unwilling to change, and you find yourself not only off-course but lost."

"Love. What is love? No word can define it, it's something so great, only God could design it. Yes, love is beyond, what man can define, for love is immortal, and God's gift is divine."

"No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it."

"No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote]"

"Most gulls don"

"Next to God, love is the word most mangled in every language. The highest form of regard between two people is friendship, and when love enters, friendship dies."

"No one does anything uncharacteristic of who they are."

"Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true."

"Real love stories never have endings."

"Nothing happens by chance, my friend... No such thing as luck. A meaning behind every little thing, and such a meaning behind this. Part for you, part for me, may not see it all real clear right now, but we will, before long."

"Of course there"

"One way to pick a future is to believe it"

"Other people think they know what you are: glamour, sex, money, power, love. It may be a press agent dream which has nothing to do with you, maybe it's something you don't even like, but that's what they think you are. People rush at you from all sides, they think they're going to get these things if they touch you. It's scary, so you build walls around yourself, thick glass walls while you're trying to think, trying to catch your breath. You know who you are inside, but people outside see something different. You can choose to become the image, and let go of who you are, or continue as you are and feel phony when you play the image."

"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. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote]"

"Rarely do members of the same family grow up under the same roof."

"Part of us is always the observer, and no matter what, it observes. It watches us. It does not care if we are happy or unhappy, if we are sick or well, if we live or die. Its only job is to sit there on our shoulder and pass judgment on whether we are worthwhile human beings."

"Perspective"

"Respect for sovereignity, for privacy, for total independence. Gentle alliances against loneliness, they were, cool rational love-affairs without the love."

"Such promises are only for the gulls that accept the ordinary. One who has touched excellence in his learning has no need of that kind of promise."

"Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote]"

"So much of what we said sounded crazy, yet none of it was false... as if two theoretical physicists stood on stage to say that when we travel near light-speed, we get younger than nontravellers; that a mile of space next to the sun is different than a mile of space next to the earth because the sun-mile space is curved more than the earth-mile. Silly ideas, worth the admission price in smiles, but they're true. Is high-energy physics interesting because it's true or because it's crazy?"

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

"Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution is not generally understood by less advanced life-forms, and they'll call you crazy."

"Sometimes when learning comes before experience It doesn't make sense right away."

"Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives."

"Sooner I'd try to change history than turn political, than try convincing others to write letters or to vote or to march or to do something they didn't already feel like doing."

"Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers and teachers."

"That's what learning is, after all: not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning."

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."

"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."

"The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, I've got responsibilities."