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"

"The convictions of others don`t affect my life... until they`re my convictions, too."

"The first prerequisite of an advanced being is a sense of humor."

"The gull sees farthest who flies highest."

"The current of the river swept silently over them all "

"The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have."

"The gulls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere, instantly."

"The next night from the Flock came Kirk Maynard Gull, wobbling across the sand, ragging his leftwing, to collapse at Jonathan's feet. Help me, he said very quietly, speaking in the way that the dying speak. I want to fly more than anything else in the world... Come along then. said Jonathan. Climb with me away from the ground, and we'll begin. You don't understand My wing. I can't move my wing. Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way. It is the Law of the Great Gull, the Law that Is. Are you saying I can fly? I say you are free."

"The one thing we fear most is the one thing that is not possible: We cannot die, we cannot be destroyed."

"The ideas behind the words are simple ones that work in everyday life; find what we most want to do; do it, no matter what; and in the doing be guaranteed a very difficult and a very happy lifetime."

"The only thing that shatters dreams is compromise."

"The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder."

"The opposite of loneliness, it's not togetherness. It is intimacy."

"The original sin is to limit the Is. "

"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 a while and watch your answers change."

"The simplest things are often the truest. [Often attributed, but not a Richard Bach quote]"

"The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be."

"The things we own, the places we live, the events of our lives: empty settings. How easy to chase after settings, and forget diamonds! The only thing that matters, at the end of a stay on earth, is how well did we love, what was the quality of our love?"

"The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel. The same questions, asked again, bring you just the answers you need just the minute you need them."

"The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'"

"The way to tell if your job is done: if you're alive, you've got a job."

"The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums."

"The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy."

"The worst thing you can do for love is deny it; so when you find that special someone, don't let anyone or anything to get in your way."

"Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have."

"The world's crazy when it comes to beauty."

"There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go."

"There are no speed limits on the road to excellence."

"There is such a thing as perfection...and our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth....Each of us is in truth an unlimited idea of freedom. Everything that limits us we have to put aside."

"Thought plus belief equals manifestation."

"To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere there is, you must first begin by knowing you have already arrived."

"To bring anything into your life, imagine that it's already there."

"Two things I do value a lot, intimacy and the capacity for joy, didn't seem to be on anyone else's list. I felt like the stranger in a strange land, and decided I'd better not marry the natives."

"Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be searching and lost."

"We can start working with time if you wish, Chiang said, till you can fly the past and the future. And then you will be ready to begin the most difficult, the most powerful, the most fun of all. You will be ready to begin to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love."

"True love stories never have endings"

"We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture... We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it into gravel, we can shape it into glory."

"We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome."

"We don`t need our belief in limits to live, [...] we need `em to play the game!"

"We look at some people as if they were special, gifted, divine. Nobody is special and gifted and divine. No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it."

"We generate our own environment. We get exactly what we deserve. How can we resent a life we've created ourselves? Who's to blame, who's to credit but us? Who can change it, anytime we wish, but us?"

"We teach best what we most need to learn."

"We think, sometimes, there's not a dragon left. Not one brave knight, not a single princess gliding through secret forests, enchanting deer and butterflies with her smile. We think sometimes that ours is an age past frontiers, past adventures. Destiny, it's way over the horizon; glowing shadows galloped past long ago, and gone. What a pleasure to be wrong. Princesses, knights, enchantments and dragons, mystery and adventure... not only are they here-and-now, they're all that ever lived on earth! Our century, they've changed clothes, of course. Dragons wear government-costumes, today, and failure-suits and disaster-outfits. Society's demons screech, whirl down on us should we lift our eyes from the ground, dare we turn right at corners we've been told to turn left. So crafty have appearances become that princesses and knights can be hidden from each other, can be hidden from themselves. Yet masters of reality still meet us in dreams to tell us that we've never lost the shield we need against dragons, that blue-fire voltage arcs through us now to change our world as we wish. Intuition whispers true: We're not dust, we're magic!"

"We're the bridge across forever, arching above the sea, adventuring for our pleasure, living mysteries for the fun of it, choosing disasters triumphs challenges impossible odds, testing ourselves over and again, learning love and love and LOVE!"

"We're all the sons of God, or children of the Is, or ideas of the Mind, or however else you want to say it."

"What I have just heard is pure . . . listen! . . . radiance, that you took from cloud-linings and sunrises and distilled into light that I can hear! Do you know how good, how lovely that is, what you can make the piano do?"

"We wait all these years to find someone who understands us, I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, someone with a wizard's power to melt stone to sunlight, who can bring us happiness in spite of trials, who can face our dragons in the night, who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical Someone is the face we see in the mirror: It's us and our homemade masks."

"What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change."

"What if somebody came along who could teach me how my world works and how to control it? What if I could meet a super-advanced . . . what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meet him in person, if he were flying a biplane, for instance, and landed in the same meadow with me?"

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly."