Bach: No. That is, Leslie and I are no longer married. Soul mates, to me, don't define themselves by legal marriage. There's a learning connection that exists between those two souls. Leslie and I had that for the longest time, and then a couple of years ago, she had this startling realization. She said, "Richard, we have different goals!" I was yearning for my little adventures and looking forward to writing more books. Leslie has worked all her life long, and she wanted peace, she wanted to slow the pace, not complicate it, not speed it up. Not money, not family, no other men or other women, separated us. We wanted different futures. She was right for her. I was right for me. Finally it came time for us to make a choice. We could save the marriage and smother each other: "You can't be who you want to be." Or we could separate and save the love and respect that we had for each other. We decided the marriage was the less important. And now we're living separate lives.
Amazon.com: Will you write about that sometime?
Bach: I'm not sure. I could write my perceptions but not hers. I believe that Leslie and I were led to find each other, led through the years we lived together, and led to part. There's so much to learn! When a marriage comes to an end, we're free to call it a failure. We're also free to call it a graduation. We didn't say, "I guess we weren't led to each other, I guess we're not soul mates after all." Our graduation was part of the experience we chose before we were born, to learn how to let each other go. We're two expressions of life, which decided to share the experience of 21 years in space time. Good times and terrible ones, everything in the books and more, they're still true. We're apart because we decided to have different futures. I've remarried now, beginning a new adventure as Leslie begins hers, but I'll never forget that she's always been as much a soul mate to me as I've been to her--we've lived some powerful lessons together." -- quoted from an Interview of Richard Bach on Amazon.com
The following text was taken from the remains of Richard Bach's own website at web.archive.org.
Note: What you are about to read is pure fiction. Any similarity between the characters in the following story and anyone else, living or dead, is pure coincidence. The story is a fable, with a moral, strictly for those readers who enjoy fictitious fables with morals. It is not a true story.
A FICTION STORY:
Once there was a husband and wife, Roger and Susan. Roger wrote a book about their adventures, part fiction but a lot of non-fiction, too. Then one day Roger and Susan discovered that each wanted a different future, he to continue to fly and to write, she to rest from the constantly increasing workload of managing many books in many editions and languages around the world. She had a right to choose a quiet future, he had a right to choose an active one, and neither wished to force the other to live as they did not want to live.
After careful thought, after countless discussions, and for reasons that at last made perfect sense to each of them, the two separated and divorced, wishing love and happiness to the other. Susan made one request, however: she asked Roger please never to mention her name on his website. Unless she chose to write about herself, she said, and unless readers chose to buy her books, what she did in her private life was nobody's business but her own. Roger agreed. A reader's right to know a writer's personal choices stops at the last page of any writer's book.
So Roger promised not to mention her name, and the two went their ways, each grateful to the other for powerful lessons learned from their long marriage.
Most readers know that the end of a marriage is an enormously complex event, and his readers trusted that Roger and Susan probably had not taken the step one afternoon on a lark, for the fun of it, because they had nothing else to do.
A tiny fraction of visitors to his website, though, did not accept the news, nor did they recognize that Susan had a right to live her own quiet life. These few badgered poor Roger: "Where's Susan? How dare you separate? We trusted you when you said that you loved each other, and by divorcing you have shattered our world! Your books, once truth, are now lies! We shall never believe in love again -- we hate you both, and everything you stand for!"
While he realized that his readers were free to hate, Roger also realized his mistake. He had forgotten to remind that last one-thousandth of one percent of his readers that each is an independent person, responsible for her or his own independent choices. He had forgotten, in the book about his life with Susan, to insert one last sentence:
Everything in this book may be wrong.
Disillusionment and Sovereignty (a brilliant article!)
Richard Bach surfaced on the information highway to establish a connection with those of like mind. When he divorced and remarried, the attacks against him likely caused him to submerge once again into the safety of obscurity.
Perhaps reality has layers. The sensory illusion and idea of a flat earth was peeled back to reveal the more fundamentally true concept of a globe. This will in time give way to the idea of the earth as a three dimensional snapshot or time/space sample of a multidimensional mental construct. Will the real truth please come forward. Maybe the only thing we can rely on is that our present concepts and understandings will in time be exchanged for more expanded versions, forever.
Do soul mates, divinely matched pairs of polarized opposites really exist? I don't know for sure. Bach proceeded on the assumption that they do and his experiences seemed to align with and confirm his assumption. For a while anyway.
Is Bach now presuming that we have multiple soul mates, many people who come into our orbit with whom we may be compatible as life partners? Maybe. The thing that interests me is that when we set up other people as our gurus, role models, and teachers, we will in time become disappointed and disillusioned, we will take a fall. This is because no man can lift us to the level we desire. The power to ascend is within yourself; it's your own chronic imagination moving you from one plateau to another in your own awareness. Maybe the rising from one level of consciousness to another, or peeling back another layer of truth is the only ascension we will ever experience.
Richard Bach was faced with the dilemma of many new thought authors, how to deliver his concepts of truth without setting himself up as a self-proclaimed authority figure. He used the vehicles of Donald Shimoda and even himself as younger and alternatively real versions of the current Richard Bach. This took some of the heat off the delivery by making it appear that the material was coming from a second person source. As his ideas were embraced as gospel by many, the rigid verbatim acceptance of them caused mayhem in the lives of some that forfeited their own conclusions and common sense in favor those of their benevolent leader and romantic savior.
Belief in teachers and masters outside of our own awareness is a confession of ignorance and slavery. Leaning on these mirages will eventually result in a fall to the ground. Spirituality was always meant to be become first person real to YOU, the whole reason for the seemingness, the purpose of the whirling of the atomic cinema. The followers of Jim Jones surrendered their critical factor and their sovereignty to a charismatic leader. Perhaps they waited for some divine intervention, some sign that they were going down the wrong road, but instead they drank the cool aid and fell silent in piles.
I am an airshow stunt pilot and pretty much live the lifestyle that Bach writes about. I live on an airport and have come to love aviation as it supplies a feeling of drama, and breathtaking sights only an airman gets to see. I love Richard Bach's works because he has captured the feeling and romanticism of flying and used it as a grand metaphor for the freedom we remember deep inside from our pre-physical existence. His books are pretty much autobiographical and show his evolution of thinking and progress as he has lived his life publicly, through his writings.
I love Bach but he is not my guru or teacher. He is a human being, makes mistakes and has limitations just like anyone else. He has articulated ideas that resonate deeply within me, and while enhancing some of my own conclusions, they do not replace them. We should give him the space to turn around when he has made a mistake, to go in different directions, to experience his own ascension within himself. We should relieve him of the burden of anything but self-mastership not press upon him like the multitudes in the first chapter of "Illusions".
Man's weakness for leaders, and his worship of idols makes him an easy mark for schools, teachers, governments, masters, clergy, presidents, authors, and outside authority figures of all kinds. Good will eventually come of this to everyone as they will discover after years of subjection to these "outside" agents, of waiting lazily for some writer, or teacher to show them the way, that what they've been looking for can't be found in another. That there is only one master, their own awareness, the unique God within themselves. Stop looking for the teacher to come, lean on your own version of truth that comes from the center of yourself. This is the only authentic savior you will ever experience.
Instead of developing the imagination of man, our educational system stifles it by attempting to put in our minds the wisdom that we seek. It forces us to memorize a number of text books, which all too soon are disproved by later text books. Education and first person spirituality is not accomplished by putting something into man; its purpose is to draw out of us the wisdom latent within us, the first person experience of ourselves as God. This "peep show" culture of ours isolates us from the assumption that we have the knowledge and truth within ourselves and we go running everywhere to find it, in books, churches, temples, rituals, observances, best sellers, and talk show hosts.
When these let us down as Bach's love story did, we are shocked and we mentally and emotionally fall to the ground. Every belief that we have accepted from others tumbles as we realize that our consciousness is the one and only savior. We have so long worshipped images and truths of others that we find this revelation to be blasphemous. When we start to see the reality of our own imagination and awareness being the basis for our life, we begin to slay our belief in a God apart from ourself.
The world is as giants to us, all those out there who "know" make us feel as small insects helpless in our worlds. We don't see that our world in it's every detail is our own consciousness crystallized and extruded into our environment. We can only be to others what we are to ourselves. When we revalue ourselves and begin to feel ourselves to be the giant in our world, a center of power and truth, we automatically change our relationship to the giants, reducing these former monsters (teachers, gurus, therapists, writers, ministers, parents, coaches, etc.,) to their true place, making them appear to be the small helpless insects in our world.
There is a divine conspiracy of the entire universe to help each of us find, develop, and express our own truth. Each of us individually is as qualified as any one ever was or ever will be, to unravel the mysteries of life. This conspiracy waits patiently for you the subject, to step forward and identify yourself as the commander, to stop laying yourself before servants, and accepting the second hand experiences of others as the spiritual truth and fire of your own being.
There is only one everlasting Lord and Master; your awareness of being. This is what is peeling back the layers of reality, moving you however haltingly, back to the recollection of who and what you are as God. Enjoy writers and entertainers but don't substitute their synthesis of truth and reality for your own. Seek your own counsel as much as you can. Dependence on any one or anything else will eventually result in disappointment and this may be, as it always was.
Sky High Regards,
Soul Mates and Divorce
I think people in relationship with us will always be compelled to show us to ourselves. I have seen many people change mates only to see the same problems appear in the new ones.
If your romantic relationship situation improves, it's a sure sign that you have changed something within yourself for the better.
Our worlds are our concepts of self and life made visible. We want someone to lean on, to entertain us, to make our lives exciting. We don't want to take the responsibility of doing it for ourselves. This short circuits our sovereignty and will end in disappointment.
When we work on becoming a self sufficient, self entertaining, self exciting human being, we begin to attract mates of a higher caliber in the food chain of life.
When we sit and wait for someone else to bring us this magnificent package of compatibility we don't realize that they are the delivery man carrying a giant mirror. These others in our lives are made of reflective glass not flesh and blood.
Don't accept the appearance for the reality. The senses deliver a hopelessly skewed version of reality and can't be trusted.
Marriage has utterly failed as an institution because it arranges unions of convenience and convention. The true purpose of union is to be mutually clear and accurate reflectors of each other to facilitate self understanding, to be able to see what you are throwing out there. The contents of our consciousness is much too near to see and understand until we project and dramatize it onto the screen of space and time, into the multiplicity of relationship for our viewing pleasure.
When the other persons behavior is bothersome it should throw up a flag for self examination for the source of the displeasure. We are at the creative center of our own realities laboring under the illusion of separation. All we see is an extrusion of our self laid out into the world around us. The very purpose of the illusion of relationship, or the myth of otherness, is to enable the understanding and definition of ourselves.
Popular song and culture has us thinking that we are nothing without some mystical "other half" that will complete us. Wake up and shake yourself, you are dreaming. If you want sanity, compatibility and joy in a relationship then get your own house in order. These elements have to be arranged first within your own consciousness, then all who are in relationship will under compulsion, reflect these back to us.
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