He nearly remembered the dream, not quite. The last hour before sunrise, he had fallen asleep. He had been back in school, or back at least in a place surrounded by empty blackboards.
There had been thousands of words on the boards, but all of them erased, rows on rows of chalk-film eraser-marks. Then came one board, just before he woke, with one word, not chalked but chiseled in stone:
There was a half-second to see it before the blackboards spun away and he woke to first light east, clear dark skies.
A man who didn't remember dreams, Jamie Forbes grabbed the last fragment, held till it dissolved in the dawn.
The Dream is the Answer
The dream's my answer, he thought. At last!
Now, holding the answer, he went looking for the question. Life, he thought, life-life-life. Shall I write it down? Seemed silly, but the map lay on the right switch-panel console. He pulled his sleeve pen and wrote it: Life.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
It had seemed so important to remember that. Minute by minute, it was looking sillier. Life. Okay. Seconds ticked. Okay became Now-what became So-what. Life. Nice word, but it could use a little context.
Wuff, what a night. I am stiff, stiff, stiff?
There in the sunrise, before he took the chains for true .. . : No! I will NOT repeat after you! I reject your dull suggestion about my feelings I shall not trance myself sick or limited or unhappy.
I am not stiff stiff stiff, I'm the opposite. I am a perfect expression of perfect Life, here and now. I'm limber as a snake, this morning. I feel zero pain, zero discomfort. I am in perfect health, full of energy, sharp, alert, rested!
At one level he knew he was playing at his de-hypnotizing trick, at another he wondered if it might work.
To his startlement, it did. Stiffness disappeared, vanished in the first half of the first second he pushed the suggestion away instead of hugging it, some bloodsucking vampire pal, to his neck.
He practiced walking, in the predawn, as though he were perfectly un-stiff, and like some miraculous Bible healing he walked easily, relaxed and normal.
Applause, from an inner gallery. It was a miraculous demonstration, by reflex: near-instant denial of negative suggestion, affirmation of real nature, suggestion vanished into rejection-limbo, ability-to-walk restored in seconds.
Rewiring Yourself with Positive Suggestions
This world, it really isn't what it seems, he thought, jogging now along the dim taxiway, tasting victory. Since it's going to be suggestions one way or the other, why not take the bright ones for true, instead of the drags? Is there something wrong with that?
I'll look at it this way: I'm rewiring myself. Every time, I'll swap the negative energies for the positive, and see what happens. God knows I've bought the downs long enough in this lifetime, now it's the ups' turn.
Feels strange, that such a simple thing as— He interrupted at once. Doesn't feel strange at all! Feels natural, normal; feels right!
He smiled at himself. Let's not get carried away . . . No! I'm already carried away, with my rewiring. It works! Only stuff gets through my gates is positive life-affirmers!
I reserve the right to refuse negative suggestions from anyone.
The Battle for Your Mind
Come on, growled this feisty new optimist within him to the forces of darkness, what's your next put-down for me? Roll 'er out. Take your best shot!
Jamie Forbes laughed at the battle for his mind, put his money on the new guy there.
Thank you, he thought to the teacher within. I expect you're gonna see big changes, starting now.
©2009 by Richard Bach.
Reprinted with permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Co.
Dist. by Red Wheel Weiser. www.redwheelweiser.com
Hypnotizing Maria: A Story
by Richard Bach.
About the Author
A former USAF pilot, gypsy barnstormer and airplane mechanic, Richard Bach is the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, One, The Bridge Across Forever, and numerous other books. Most of his books have been semi-autobiographical, using actual or fictionalized events from his life to illustrate his philosophy. In 1970, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a story about a seagull who flew for the love of flying rather than merely to catch food, broke all hardcover sales records since Gone with the Wind. It sold more than 1,000,000 copies in 1972 alone. A second book, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, published in 1977, tells the story of the narrator's encounter with a modern-day messiah who has decided to quit. Visit his website at www.richardbach.com