Running from Safety
by Richard Bach
Running from Safety

[ Introduction ]  [ Quotes ]  [ Reviews ]  [ Buy from Amazon.com ]


Introduction:

A half-mile up, suspended by nylon wings and the promise of good lift, life hanges on a pledge. Richard Bach made that pledge, fifty years before, to return to the frightened child he used to be and teach him everything he had learned from living. His promise went unfulfilled until one day, hovering between earth and sky, Richard encounters Dickie Bach, age nine--irrepressible challenger of every notion Richard embraces....

In this exhilarating adventure, Richard and Dickie probe the timeless questions both need answered if either is to be whole: Why does growing spiritually mean never growing up? Can we peacefully coexist with the consequences of our choices? Why is it that only by running from safety can we make our wildest dreams take flight?


Quotes:

  • "You either plan for what's ahead or you fight with what you've got: worry is a waste of time."
     
  • "A major rule you forgot, Roles. Every game we play, we slip into a role, a game identity with which to play. We decide we're rescuer, victim, leader-with-all-the-answers, follower-without-a-clue, bright, brave, honorable, crafty, dull, helpless, just-trying-to-get-along, diabolical, easygoing, pitiable, earnest, careless, salt-of-the-earth, puppet master, comic, hero... we choose our role by whim and destiny, and we can change it anytime we want."
     
  • "All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life, there in riches or poverty, in joy or despair. Snapshots don't show the million decisions that led to that moment."
     
  • "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."
     
  • "If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it. If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim."
     
  • "Our true country is the land of our values, and our conscience is the voice of its patriotism."
     
  • "We don't have rights until we claim them."
     
  • "When we put up with any situation that we don't have to put up with, it's not because we're dumb. We put up with it because we want the lesson that only that situation can teach, and we want it more than freedom itself."
     
  • "Happiness is the reward we get for living to the highest right we know."
     
  • "Good and evil are not what our parents told us, not what our church tells us, or our country, not what anybody tells us! All of us decide good and evil for ourselves, automatically, by choosing what we want to do!"
     
  • "Organized religion is God-in-a-web, the Great Spider at the center of a thousand doctrines and rituals and mandatory believing. People die in that web. Please, no organization!"
     
  • "Because a name is a label and as soon as there's a label the ideas disappear and out comes label-worship and label-bashing and instead of living by a theme of ideas people begin dying for labels, and the last thing you think the world needs is a new religion?"
     
  • "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."
     
  • "The world's not a sphere... it's a big floating pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid is the lowest life-form you can imagine, hateful, vicious, destroying for destruction's sake, devoid of empathy, one step above consciousness so savage it self-destructs the instant it's born. There's room for that kind of consciousness, lots of room, right here on our triangular third planetů At the top is consciousness so refined it barely recognizes anything but light. Beings who live for their loves, for their highest right, creatures of perfect perspective, who die with a loving smile upon whatever monster would strike them down for the fun of watching someone die. Whales are like that, I think. Most dolphins. Some people... the human beings among us."
     
  • "Flying's still a fantasy," I said, "for a lot of us. How many fantasies include disease? Live enough of what you've always dreamed of doing and there's no room left for feeling bad."
     
  • "I can't be distressed over what I don't control."
     
  • "Crying does zero good, I found out. Feelings don't change things. It's knowing that matters, and I've got a lot to learn."
     
  • "With every choice you risk the life you would have had; with every decision, you lose it."
     
  • "Run from safety doesn't mean destroy yourself," I said. "You don't strap on a racing plane until you learn to fly a Cub first. Little choices, little adventures before big ones."
     
  • "Here's what you do: You keep working, and watch for coincidence to come strolling your way. Watch carefully, for it always comes in disguise."
     
  • "Like attracts like. It'll surprise you as long as you live. Choose a love and work to make it true, and somehow something will happen, something you couldn't plan, will come along to move like to like, to set you loose, to set you on the way to your next brick wall."
     
  • "Whatever We Hold in Thought Comes True in Our Experience; Like Attracts Like; we experiment with the Law of Changing Appearances, to make our outer world reflect our inner."
     
  • "Dear God, I thought, don't give me a job, give me ideas, and let me take it from there!"
     
  • "When we put up with any situation that we don't have to put up with, it's not because we're dumb. We put up with it because we want the lesson that only that situation can teach, and we want it more than freedom itself."
     
  • "Avoid problems and you'll never be the one who overcame them."
     
  • "I am ," I told the world. "I am neverborn, neverdying individual expression of infinite life, choosing spacetime for my schoolyard and playground. Came here for the fun of it, to join again with old friends, to challenge again grand dear enemies. . ."

Reviews:

An extended dialogue between Bach and his inner child comprises the latest book from the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. While hang-gliding one afternoon, Bach is reminded of a promise he made to himself when he was a child: to write a book containing the sum of all he has learned and deliver it to his nine-year-old self, Dickie. But Bach finds that Dickie is angry and hurt at having been locked away for the last 50 years. Slowly a dialogue emerges, as Bach tries to pass on his years of experience and in return relives some buried memories, particularly the events surrounding the death of his brother Bobby. What results is a kind of Richard Bach primer, summing up the author's thoughts on time, love, death and God and laying out a belief system not unlike George Bernard Shaw's idea of the Life Force. Participating in this shared voyage of discovery is Bach's wife, who contributes her own insights and acts as a kind of reality check on her husband. Though the concept here may strike some as Philosophy Lite, the book-thanks in large part to Bach's sincerity-deftly skirts sentimentality and becomes, ultimately, a real and affecting creation. -- Publishers Weekly
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