An Interview with Richard Bach and Leslie Parrish by John
John Harricharan: Richard, you have a reputation for being difficult
with the public. You put up tremendous walls and only come out when
you choose, touch the public and then go back behind those walls.
The question is why?
Richard Bach: Difficult? Not at all. But walls, of course.
Like most writers, we like to find what we know and pass it along to
anyone who cares. When that's done, as soon as we've said the best
we can say, there's nothing else about us that's remotely
interesting to anybody else, and we go back behind the walls. We can
be intimate in books, we can be intimate in talks, but then we need
time to be alone. When people push us, or demand, it's true that we
can get a little frosty.
John Harricharan: Leslie, could you comment on what Richard has
As the practical one of this pair, I'd like to address the
practicalities of the need to withdraw. Stop and think what you'd do
if there were constant demands on your time from outside your
family, outside your work, outside the choices you've made for your
life. Lovely offers, some of them important, but if you responded to
all of them, or even a tiny part of them, you'd have no time to
think or work, no time for a life of your own.
We had a very clear example of this with the book, The Bridge Across
Forever. It was very intimate and readers sent us wonderful,
intimate letters in return. We were so touched by them, as the
introduction to this new book says, that we spent more than a year
Then it came time to write One and we had to put the mail aside.
There were people who'd written when they were in need of support at
critical times in their lives, sometimes desperate times, and when
we stopped reading the letters, we knew there must be letters like
that which were not being addressed, and we worried about them.
While we were writing, it must have seemed a complete withdrawal.
Now, with the book done, we're reading all the letters that piled
up, but our answers are very late, indeed. We're not difficult, we
just have priorities that others don't know.
John Harricharan: So it's with the intent of focus and intensity to
produce something that would be shared again that you lock the world
Leslie: It always is. There has to be that time of quiet and
concentration. Some people make the assumption that because we live
on an island, we have nothing to do, so they might as well drop in
on us and chat for an afternoon. No matter how serene the island
appears to be, our office is a whirlwind of activity, computers
everywhere, machines whizzing connections to New York and London and
Los Angeles. In a life as pressured and as complicated as ours, we
don't have the luxury of sitting around and talking with each other
for an afternoon, much less with strangers. Sometimes we miss each
other, even though we're together in the same office, because
there's so much focus on work and so little on ourselves.
Our next goal is to slow down and experience some other
aspects of life instead of feeling so missionary all the time. We
think we have a lot to learn from some time spent not working. I
suppose then we'll seem even more withdrawn, but maybe this will
help people understand.
John Harricharan: You have said, Richard, that you hate to write.
Yet after Illusions, we saw Bridge and now "One." Why do you keep
writing? Is there an idea which you come upon and feel you must
express, or do you just want to write a book every few years? And
will you write more?
Richard Bach: It's like a pulsar inside us. There is this
great burst of energy, forcing us to write, and then the star goes
quiet for a time, and we think it's gone, but it's gathering energy
for another burst. And we seem to be almost unwilling participants
in this. I'm sure that "One" is the last book we'll write, but I've
been just as sure every book would be the last. I wish it would
stop, but I suspect that over the next few years something, some
strange whimsical, quirky, other-world part of us will say, "Well,
let's see what can we hand over that will be so overwhelmingly
fascinating that they'll have to write it, no matter what?"
"One" came from a long-term curiosity about what might have
been, what would have become of us if I had run from love; if Leslie
had? Who are those people we might have been? Where are they now?
Then one day I picked up a little book, The Many Worlds
Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It says that every possible
event that can happen, does happen in an alternate space-time. It's
like the theory of relativity itself; it's incredible, but no one
can fault the math!
Physicists do not accept the idea of time. They say, "There is no
space-time, there is not time, there is no before, there is no
after. The question what happens 'next' is without meaning" I
thought, if all these other paths exist, and if there is no such
thing as time, when all paths must be simultaneous! But how can this
be? How can opposites be true? And I went to sleep thinking about
that and all of a sudden I was looking down on this infinite pattern
and it all clicked, everything made sense!
There's a pattern behind space-time, and every event is part of the
pattern, each lifetime is a different path through the same pattern,
and I told Leslie, I've just found the answer to every question in
the universe! I hit the computer transfigured with inspiration and
understanding and the words that I wrote were just...awful! I could
see the idea, but I couldn't write it! How many beginnings, Leslie,
did we go through on this book?
Leslie: Well, it was an elusive little thing-twenty-four
chapters down one road, eleven chapters down another. Then having
danced all around us like that, it suddenly became very clear. It
was the same idea all along. The challenge was to write it so it was
not pure science, so abstract that no one would care about it. How
do you get readers to experience this understanding, to see
themselves in the pattern, to know their power of choice over the
direction their lives can take?
John Harricharan: The process of writing this book is rather
interesting. There seems to be no boundary between Richard and
Leslie. You wrote that you become "RiLeschardlie," which is in
keeping with the title of the book, One. How do you write together?
Richard Bach: We're two apprentice pole vaulters, we pick up
this sentence or this paragraph and we say, "What a wonderful pole,
we can really jump with this!" So we run like crazy, slam that pole
into the ground and go sailing up into the sky toward our idea-and
then we hear this cracking breaking sound and down we go-kafoof!-in
a cloud of dust. Didn't even come close to the vision we'd had. We
then say, "Well, that one didn't work" And we try again, another
paragraph: "What a wonderful pole this one is!"
All the while, that beautiful idea floats high up there, out of
reach, and you can't stop trying, you can't stop bouncing up toward
it: spring shoes, you drag a trampoline under it, you point
cannon-barrels at it, climb in and light the fuse.
My way of writing a book is completely disorganized-to hurl myself
at the problem, over and over. Leslie's way is to sit down very
quietly and outline a logical progression of ideas. I didn't let her
do that at first. I said, "Leslie, I know I'm going to get it this
way. Tomorrow I'll have something terrific, not perfect but" But
time after time, my way wouldn't work.
Finally, I remember, I gave her a handful of rough chapters,
certainly not a finished book, but a start at least, rough chapters.
That was the lowest point for me, when I saw her face and knew that
she thought they were a little less than wonderful. But she took
those chapters and she gave them the direction they were looking for
all along, and at least the book was underway. It was not easy.
John Harricharan: This must call for a tremendous amount of
patience, no matter how much you love someone, or it will generate
more heat than light. How do you handle that, Leslie?
Leslie: With honesty. Without that, it would be a disservice
to Richard, to the readers, and to the idea itself. It was not that
the idea wasn't there, it's that it wasn't in a form that would
sing. I think one of the most exceptional things about Richard's
writing is that he can write philosophy and people who generally
wouldn't have much interest in reading philosophy suddenly become
fascinated with it. He can write about flying, and people who hate
flying learn to love it because he brings it into some kind of
exciting presence that touches them and they say, "Yes, this is a
part of my life and I see how it applies." I think that's one of his
The first attempt at this book was very scientific, very
philosophical. But there was not story line to make a reader stay
with it. The ideas were intriguing, but they wouldn't touch the
audience that Richard has communicated with so well. The second
version was a reaction to the first, it became laden with story line
and it was just a novel, an adventure. The wonderful ideas that had
started the whole thing were buried in the plot.
They say there's a statue hidden inside every stone. A book is the
same - a beautiful, clear thought hidden within masses of
disorganized ideas. As sculptors chip away the stone in order to
find the statue, writers chip away extraneous verbiage so readers
can see the shape of an idea clearly. My gift is to see through the
confusion, to bring order and simplicity. And though Richard is the
most loving man I can imagine with me, he is still more reserved
than I am in writing, and I encourage him to show more of his
feelings in a book than he normally would.
John Harricharan: So it's the synergy of it all that works.
Richard Bach: Yes! Then there are two tests that we have for
all of our writing: So What? and Who Cares? There is an answer to
both. The answer to Who Cares is that a reader cares, if the writing
is good. The answer to So What is that these ideas give us
completely new understanding, change our sense of who we are and why
But the road to So What is writing and cutting and rewriting and
editing over and over. Does this paragraph, this sentence, this
comma, express the idea? If not, we do it again. I can understand,
listening to me now, why I hate writing. It's terrible work.
Leslie doesn't feel that way. Sometimes I'd be bashing on the
keyboard completely frustrated and I'd look over at the computer
next to mine and she'd be having a wonderful time. She'd look up
with a big smile, "Oh, Richie, isn't this fun? I love writing!"
Those times I wanted to throw a lamp at her.
Leslie: For me, it's a joy. You have the power to make things as
positive and beautiful as you wish when you write. It's magic.
John Harricharan: We have followed you through Jonathan Seagull,
with Donald Shimoda over Bridge to One. It appears that both of you
have experimented successfully with astral travel. Do you do that
from a practical standpoint or is it just recreation?
Richard Bach: We don't practice any more. It's an
interesting syndrome that happened over and again to amateur psychic
researchers. First, we discover that we have these capacities that
we never knew we had. With great practice we learn that we have the
ability to leave our body, to know what's going on at some point
miles and days distant from where we are, to know what someone else
is thinking. We discover these and we say it's incredible! We do it
for a while longer and we say, nice. I accept this. But novelty
turns to understanding, and then it's time to get on with other
aspects of our lives, there's new learning still to come.
Leslie: I feel that having touched upon it, first,
accidentally, then deliberately, you don't have to continue to
practice it. But it appears in your life in other forms. There's a
thing I've been repressing all my life which I guess is a psychic
sense, something that knows a lot of things that I don't have any
right to know, yet I know them for sure. They're intensifying now,
and I'm learning to trust them.
John Harricharan: Can you give us an example?
Leslie: There was one last week. Richard went to pick up an
airplane after its annual inspection. Mind you, he flies airplanes
all the time, flying is as normal for us as it is for most people to
get into a car. But last week, I was frightened for days before he
picked up that airplane. I had very intense feelings that said,
"Something's wrong!" I told him, "I'm worried about you. Check it
over very thoroughly before you fly it." And sure enough, there was
something very wrong, something that could have killed him on
takeoff. He was in a super-alert state from all my nagging, I
suppose, and he's also a fantastic pilot, so he was able to act very
swiftly, do exactly the right things and land before things flew
John Harricharan: Where do you think this information came from?
Leslie: I think I'm finally beginning to allow, to
recognize, an area of myself which I didn't like or want. My mother
was very psychic when I was little, she knew many things before they
happened. And I got so frightened of that gift of hers, I surely
didn't want to find it in myself. So I denied these insights for
years and made a lot of bad choices because of that denial.
Then I happened to meet this man, Richard Bach, who was very
gifted in this way too, and fascinated with psychic phenomena. And
we talked about experiences I'd had before I ever heard about
psychic experiments - like spontaneous out of body experiences that
I'd never mentioned to anyone till I met him. And he'd say, "How do
you account for this, pragmatist?" And I didn't know. So we did some
experimentation, and every time we did, we were amazed at the
discoveries we made, how good we were at it.
John Harricharan: Do you think that anybody can do this if they
Leslie: Absolutely. I've been a tough one to convince
because I didn't welcome it. If it could get through to me, then it
should certainly work for someone who is open to it. I think
sometimes people try so hard to have psychic experiences that they
use a conscious part of the mind when it seems the unconscious side
is the part the excels at this. The things that happened to me
seemed to come of their own accord, naturally. I'd say the best
approach would be to focus on something beautiful and open yourself
to the possibilities.
Richard Bach: There aren't just a few of us scattered
through the land who are creatures of light and everyone else is a
lump of clay. We're all creatures of light, and if it intrigues us,
if we're magnetized towards understanding this power that we have,
then we can practice and demonstrate it. First we have our
curiosities, then little hints of ability and then very powerful
We are light-beings who have chosen to believe in the limitations of
space-time for our own very good reasons. We love to surmount
obstacles in order to express life. We do this in a world that
appears to be uncaring, or cruel, or ferocious. What's the reason
for tragedy and disaster? To force us to call on our light within!
And when we do, that light bursts forth, right in the midst of
tragedy, to sing to us of our power. Our purpose for living is to
shine that light.
Leslie: Now there is intense interest in this subject. It
seems that humanity is ready to see another level of itself - a
higher level. There was a time when the western mind lived in Europe
and knew nothing of the "new world." Then it discovered whole
continents, part of the planet it had never noticed. Now we go back
and forth between old and new and there is an awareness that the
physical world is on. We feel we're ready to open ourselves now to
new emotional and psychic continents, and the result will be an
emotional oneness. We see the birth of that today as walls of
suspicion between peoples and nations begin to disappear and we find
love and friendship and joy in discovering one another at last.
John Harricharan: If we're all aspects of the "One" then it follows
that we're all connected in this and every other lifetime. I have
met in my investigations, over forty Cleopatras, Caesars, and
Pharaohs. Could I not tap into a lifetime, say, of Attila the Hun
and see what my relationship was with that aspect of myself?
Richard Bach: Certainly. All those beliefs of lifetimes are
not in the past, they're not in the future, they're right now! And
in this simultaneity of being, none of them are real, they're all
belief systems, playgrounds, learning grounds in fields of
space-time. I think the only reality is Love, that transcendent
eternal explosion of life that knows us for who we are, Love that is
divinely indifferent to whatever we choose to believe.
John Harricharan: What you're saying then, Richard, is that there
could be forty or four hundred Cleopatras for those who felt a
connection to that aspect?
Richard Bach: I think the "historical" Cleopatra and her
infinite number of alternate mirrors are aspects of every single one
of us. I said, "every single one," but as there is not separation
between the drops of water in an ocean, there is no separation
between us. We are one. Each of us ocean-drops is free to perceive
itself as a limited entity, with the circumference of its being
extending only a tenth of an inch from its center. The ocean,
however, says, "If you want to feel that way, but I know who you
are. I know that you're one with me, dear little drop, and never can
we be separated." There are no boundaries except those we accept in
We all know those who draw their boundaries carefully and say, "I'm
only human. Nobody's perfect. I accept my limitations." And we know
others who take an opposite view and say, "I can do anything I
choose to do. It is in my power to change the world." Those are the
ones who most often change the world, and there are many of them on
the planet today.
John Harricharan: Leslie, you and Richard are so close in the focus
of this lifetime. Richard speaks of alternate lifetimes and aspects.
Do you feel that in those alternate lives you're with an alternate
Richard, or could you possibly be with others who are not close
aspects of Richard?
Leslie: I can't imagine anyone other than Richard. I think that's
why I waited forty years for him in this lifetime - I couldn't
imagine anyone else. I don't mean this physical expression of
Richard necessarily, but this expression of spirit which fits so
perfectly with mine.
Richard Bach: If we visit a masquerade party with our wife
or husband, we look at our partner and see familiar eyes behind a
strange mask. The face is different from the one we're used to
seeing, but the same person lives behind that mask. So it might be
in other experiences we have. We feel bonds between us which the eye
John Harricharan: What you're saying appeals to thousands of people
on earth today, especially someone like me, who, as you know, just a
few weeks ago lost someone very close and special.
Richard Bach: You have not lost your beautiful wife, John.
Books like One are fictional ways of telling the truth. There was
Richard surrounded by the beliefs of Leslie's death. "This is our
house and she's gone, this is her gravestone, for God's sake, and
it's solid rock and don't try to tell me different" But different
was true, and at that very moment she was saying, "I am with you!"
John Harricharan: If the belief system were changed by reason or by
the intellect, would you have been able to perceive and hear her?
Richard Bach: Reason and intellect are opening wedges in an
understanding of reality - and there we go right back to the only
thing that's real in any universe: that brilliant fire of Love that
burns to the exclusion of everything else. As we recognize the
presence of Love, we break through that wall of grief that would try
to convince us that the dear soul with whom we have learned and
loved so much no longer exists, or that she or he cannot speak with
us. There is no wall that Love cannot vaporize. We may believe in
death, Love doesn't.
John Harricharan: Concerning this thing called the New Age, what are
your thoughts? Also the proliferation of channels from ancient east
Indians to dolphins to the cosmic chicken?
Richard Bach: I think we're at a point of immense personal
discovery. So many of us today have learned from empty pasts in ages
gone by. We're tired of emptiness and ready for a new age, and we
have decided to create it around us. There is a massive wish to
discover, to experience individually the highest we can imagine.
As creatures of enormous creativity and uncertain confidence, we use
channeling as training wheels of the spirit. It's adventurous to
open ourselves to other voices, and if it's the cosmic dolphin that
comes through, what a playful, intelligent image we've chosen! What
matters is not that a dolphin speaks to us, but what the dolphin
says. If that dolphin is speaking from the center of our being, it
will be chatting to us about the nature of love and of what our
gifts to the world can be, and how our lives can be uplifted. Should
the dolphin suggest that our mission is to destroy everyone who does
not swim, however, then we're well advised to shut down the channel.
Judge not by the form of the messenger, but the form of the message.
Does the message strike harmonics in our highest self, does it
expand our capacity to love, does it free our world from the chains
of beliefs that would hold it down?
Leslie: Some aspects of channeling disturb us, though. I
feel that, in its best sense, we're using someone else to give us
permission to affirm what we already know. And if that's what it
takes to allow ourselves to recognize these perceptions or to pry
them from the place we have hidden them, that's fine. But there's an
aspect of it that's very disappointing when you consider that people
become involved in search of spiritual insight and some of them wind
up involved in high finance, instead. I think we should be wary of
channels who urge us to buy more than a look at their ideas. When we
buy real estate from our channel, for instance, and then the roof
leaks, we're disappointed in too many ways.
John Harricharan: Richard, I'm taking you out on a limb now. Is this
what happened to Christianity where everyone looked to the messenger
and forgot the message?
Richard Bach: Not only Christianity, John, but every other
religion that defies form instead of knowing. Pretend for a moment
that you were Jesus, or Siddhartha, and you found this gift of
understanding and gave it to your time the best you could. Now watch
while the centuries roll by and your gift is organized and
ritualized and commercialized. How does it feel, Jesus, to watch the
ones you wished to set free not only bind themselves in slavery to
your wooden image, but to torture and kill those who worship
differently? If I were Jesus, I'd be mortified.
John Harricharan: What really is the New Age and where do you think
it is going?
Richard Bach: One of the delights of the new age is that
it's a turning of consciousness to give us permission to look beyond
appearances. But there are traps that come with it. It's brave to
throw off the old altars and churches and ceremonies that kept us
from discovery, it's not so brave to replace them with chants and
rituals and new priests who are retreads of the old.
John Harricharan: Yet Richard, it appears that mankind has always
had hierarchies, and seems to seek out those who know. What would
you do if I were to come to you and say, "Great Guru of the Skies,
you have found that for which I have always longed. You studied with
the Great Seagull and you're a friend of Don Shimoda who can walk on
water. If I associate with you, if I pray to you and bring you
gifts, would you, Great One, help me find the way?" How would you
respond to that?
Richard Bach: I would respond unto you, "No gifts, my child.
John Harricharan: But don't we need help? Don't we need a teacher?
Richard Bach: We have a teacher! The teacher is ourselves!
We already know everything we need to know -- our challenge is to
discover that we know it. Turn to gurus, I think, and we become
guru-dependent, no different from drug-dependent, alcohol-dependent
-- needing an outside force to control our lives. Yet for thousands
of years, the most advanced teachers have told us that the answers
are within: "Neither Lo, here! nor Lo, there! The kingdom of heaven
is within you." "Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be
given; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Leslie: Years ago, I went to a psychoanalyst. I am forever
grateful to him for refusing to give me his answers, his wisdom, for
forcing me, instead, to recognize my own wisdom. At the time, I was
so filled with doubts, I tried continually to lean on him, to force
him to live my life for me. He consistently refused, he insisted I
had the answers, the ability to make good judgments. I finally
recognized he was right, and took responsibility for my life at
last, able to walk through all its good and bad without crutches.
Richard Bach: But we don't have to go to anyone to find
understanding. We can sit still, eyes closed, and then open our
eyes, notice whatever we see and ask, "What is the lesson from
this?" Right now, for instance, I'm looking out the window and I see
a huge fir tree, as massive thing of branches and barks and needles.
Let's say there's a rainstorm and two little raindrops fall together
at the base of the tree, and they're drawn up through the root hairs
and all the millions of possible paths toward the top of that tree,
choosing every turn. Perhaps way up high, one will go out to one
branchlet and one will go out another.
The tree is a symbol of the simultaneity we've been talking about, a
reminder that all these possible choices were there before ever the
droplets fell from the sky. They choose their way through the
infinite possibilities that the tree offers as we choose our way in
the space-time. Ultimately they find their way out of the
fir-needles, evaporate into air and clouds and the cycle can be
repeated any number of times. The raindrops can experience every
aspect of that tree or they can fall back and become one with the
sea again or they can do both or they can do something else.
We live on our own spinning metaphor, turning about another metaphor
still. And when we understand that even our solar system is a tiny
little metaphor, lost in the enormity of a universe, does it hint at
the immensity of love?
John Harricharan: We have all read or heard predictions from
Nostradamus to modern day prophets concerning imminent physical
Earth changes. What are your thoughts on these predicted disasters?
Richard Bach: Each of us is free to move our consciousness
through that infinite pattern of possibilities as we please. If
we're filled with fears, or if we trust the fears of others, we'll
choose a path in which our city falls into the sea, or a path in
which a third world war vaporizes us, or whatever other disaster is
most thrilling or horrifying or fascinating for us.
Another person who may have shared our journey, who may have
traveled in consciousness just as far up the same tree as we have,
who has come with us to the point of hearing others predict disaster
is free to say, "This will not be true for me. I refuse to accept
such an uncreative future. I refuse to accept a world war in my
experience and I'll do whatever I can to make a world of peace come
true. I'll love my enemies, if I must. I'll become a
citizen-diplomat. I'll help to change the world."
That person, with her resolve, is choosing a future which does not
include nuclear destruction. Her world might come within a few
seconds of destruction or it might miss it by years, but she will
not experience that which she refuses to accept. Those who warn of
earth-changes, of disasters and terrors, are heralds of possible
futures for those who have something to learn from them.
John Harricharan: This is a tremendous amount of freedom. When I
commune with the God Force, the Infinite Is, and I say, "Father, Thy
will be done," do I hear the answer, "My will is exactly what you
will for yourself"?
Richard Bach: I hear, "My will is already done." There is no
past; there is no future. Love's will is done now. But we're free to
believe anything else we want to believe. I don't think this life
force steps in our way and says, "I refuse you the opportunity to
believe that you are limited or to believe that you're destructible
or to believe that you're subject to space and time and disaster."
It says instead, "If you choose that, dear reflection of Me, that's
your freedom. But you cannot change reality, I AM, AND SO ARE YOU."
When we're born on this planet, we're taught to believe that what we
see is real. But as we grow in understanding, we recognize first
that we've been hypnotized by that reaching, and second that it's
within our power to de-hypnotize ourselves. And as we do that, the
illusion appears to change, to come in harmony with what we most
value. If we most value love, we will begin to see more and more
love and joy and adventure-creative expressions of life shimmering
everywhere around us.
John Harricharan: What do you think about astrology? In recent
months it was the focus of the media. Do you think there is anything
Richard Bach: There is something to astrology for those who
believe in astrology, as there is something to medicine for those
who believe in medicine. Every system works when we give our heart
to it. But most often, I think, we find that we can pretty well
count on our highest sense of right to guide our lives.
Leslie: I was raised a Catholic and I took from that system
all that I felt was good and used it to grow. But when it became a
system for the limitation of my though and growth instead of part of
a growth process, I left it and looked to other systems, astrology,
various other religions, channels, all sorts of things. Now I feel
that all these systems, whether they are ancient religions or the
methods that are developing the New Age, are simply ways of focusing
on our highest sense of right and allowing ourselves to see it. They
give us permission to set time aside for inner exploration to say,
"I'm going to assign an hour for church or twenty minutes for
meditation or a weekend for a seminar."
We're using these methods to reach that part of us that knows more
than we dream we know and, whatever it is-if it's the cosmic dolphin
or someone who claims to be the latest incarnation of God-if it
elevates us, if it makes us see more clearly, if it makes us a
kinder soul, if it makes us happier, then listen.
Sometimes disaster is our teacher. I don't welcome it, but if it
comes, there is something to be learned from it. Richard and I
sometimes say, "We knew better, but we did this anyway. Why did we
do such a silly thing?" Then we find five years later that the
"silly thing" was a very small sample of what would have happened to
us if we hadn't learned through that experience. It's as if we had
this sample as an inoculation so we could develop antibodies. Five
years later, we can say, "We had a taste of that before, and we
don't have to go through it again. Thank goodness for that earlier
John Harricharan: In your book "One" you mention crystals. What are
your thoughts on crystals?
Richard Bach: We use them as an image in one chapter. They
are very pretty.
Leslie: We have a beautiful crystal in our living room. It
is from a dear friend and we love it for its beauty and for the love
of the friend who gave it to us. But, aside from that, we don't see
any magic in crystals other than the magic that we give to them
John Harricharan: Money, Richard -- how to make money. Having had
lots of it, lost it and regained it, how does money impact on your
relationship with your soulmate, your environment and the people of
Richard Bach: Money is a great isolator. In fact, we don't
even need to have money or make money, we only need to be perceived
as having money to be isolated in the strangest ways from most of
the community around us. It reaches the point where a person with
money spends a great deal of time reacting to people who are
reacting to the money.
Leslie: I lived in great poverty as a child and young woman,
and I used to think of money and how to make money as a means to get
away from the constant struggle to survive -- as freedom. Now I know
it isn't freedom. It's not a solution, but a new problem. It comes
with its own challenges and tremendous obligations.
The way to obliterate financial problems with your soulmate is to
have absolute equality in the management and control of money. We
share everything so neither of us has financial power over the
other, and that's been a wise arrangement. I don't think we've ever
had an argument about money.
Richard Bach: In the highest sense, at least on this level
of space-time belief, money is the way in which we say thank you for
a gift that's been given. But with money come the tests. My
bankruptcy, which at the time we thought was a disaster, turned out
to be a major blessing. It taught me so much! I said money is an
isolator, but it's a magnet, too. It draws all kinds of people to
you -- you may not want them but it draws them to you anyway. The
reverse of that, a bankruptcy, sends everybody away. People we
thought were friends, and some we thought were family, showed us
that our value to them was measured in dollars, in money, and that
was a memorable discovery.
Leslie and I went through that experience together. We were
not even legally married when I went bankrupt, and there was part of
me, way down deep in my cynical soul that said, "This is a test for
her. My friends have run away; now we'll see what my soulmate is
going to do." She didn't flicker. Leslie was there closer than ever,
and that demonstration alone was worth the bankruptcy.
And the principle of exchange was still true: if you give a gift,
society's way of thanking you is in the language of money. You make
We learned from that experience, and we wrote about it: how it feels
to find a soulmate, to find happiness in the midst of financial
death. That adventure was called "The Bridge Across Forever," which
some people enjoyed enough to say thanks by buying the book, and we
were financially reincarnated. They don't know it, but their thanks
lifted us out of poverty.
John Harricharan: I will quote from a letter, Richard, that you
wrote to me the day after my wife died. "Her light is no more out
than is the light of the sun, though it may seem dark till the world
turns to let you see with your eyes what you know in your heart.
Remember to write what she says to you now." Is this what you mean
by communication at all levels whether in the body or not?
Richard Bach: If we believe that we're separated from
someone, though they stand in the same room with us, we're
separated. If we believe that we're together, if we believe that
they are with us, if we listen through our inner senses, there's a
chance we'll hear. Why not trust ourselves to know that we have our
own channel of communication through love?
This afternoon we talk with you on a telephone, John. We're hearing
your voice and we accept that it's you without asking you to prove
your existence to us. The voice we hear could be a charlatan
masquerading as John, or perhaps the voice of a very smart computer.
We have no physical evidence that you exist, yet we're exchanging
ideas with you now, we're affecting each other as though we were in
the same room.
John Harricharan: Through this long experience we've shared with
you, your own financial problems and Mardai's illness, we've been
with you in spirit. Yet you've known that we were with you, sending
loving support, that we felt sad that this terrible experience was
coming to you and trusted that one day terrible would give way to
beautiful. Through it, you and Mardai, Richard and I were only
spirits to each other, yet we've felt love and compassion and
sadness and empathy as clearly as if we'd been together. That same
sharing is available to you and Mardai now.
John Harricharan: One last question. What advice do you have for
people who are just beginning to realize that there are many things
out there beyond their limited worlds?
Richard Bach: Two words: Love leads. Listen to that ring of
love within. Ask, "Is this my highest sense of right? Is this the
direction I want most to go? Is this the way in which I can give my
greatest gift?" If we follow that leading of love we'll be
guaranteed an adventurous, positive, joyful life.
Leslie: Difficult times, testing times, too, but the day
will come when we'll look back across it all and be proud of the
person we chose to be.