By Life Positive May 2007 Illusions by Richard Bach are more than an international bestseller. It is a great way of looking at life We had landed in a huge grazing place next to a three-acre horse-pond, away from towns, somewhere along the line between Illinois and Indiana. No passengers, it was our day off, I thought. “Listen,” he said. “Don’t listen. Just stay there quiet and watch. What you are going to see is not any miracle. Read your atomic physics book… a child can walk on water.” He told me this, and as though he didn’t notice the water was even there, he turned and walked out some yards from shore, on the surface of the horse-pond. What it looked like, was that the pond was a hot- summer mirage over a lake of stone. He stood firm on the surface, not a wave or ripple splashed over his flying-boots. Here,” he said, “come do it.” It felt like walking on clear blue linoleum, and I laughed. “Donald, what are you doing to me?” “I am merely showing you what everybody learns, sooner or later,” he said, “and you’re handy now.” Look. The water can be solid” – he stamped his foot and the sound was leather on rock – “or not”. He stamped again and water splashed over us both. “Got the feel of that? Try it.” How quickly we get used to miracles! In less than a minute I began to think that walking on water is possible, is natural, is… well, so what? “But if the water is solid now, how can we drink it?” Same way we walk on it, Richard. It isn’t solid, and it isn’t liquid. You and I decide what it’s going to be for us. If you want water to be liquid, think it liquid, act as if it’s liquid, drink it. If you want it to be air, act as if it’s air, breathe it. Try.” Maybe it’s something about the presence of an advanced soul, I thought. Maybe these things are allowed to happen in a certain radius, fifty feet in a circle around them… I knelt on the surface and dipped my hand into the pond. Liquid. Then I lay down and put my face into the blue of it and breathed, trusting. It breathed like warm liquid oxygen, no choking or gasping. “If we can walk on water, and breathe it and drink it, why can’t we do the same on land?” ..I walked to the edge of the pond, thought the earth to liquid and touched it with my toe. Ripples spread into the grass in rings. How deep is the ground? I nearly asked aloud. The ground will be as deep as I think it will be. Two feet deep, I thought, it will be two feet deep and I’ll wade. … “Richard, don’t forget what you did today. It is easy to forget our times of knowing, to think they’ve been dreams or old miracles, one time. Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream”. The world is a dream, you say, and it’s lovely, sometimes. Sunset. Clouds. Sky.” “No. The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?” I nodded, almost understanding. Later I sneaked a look in the handbook. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. 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.
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