The longer we spend wondering, the more easily answers come. The reason why we’re here, I’ve just discovered, is written not in some book of magic, it’s written in our daily lives.
Pretend, for a minute, that we’ve all come to Earth to learn something. Since we may not care for little boxy classrooms, instead we have a whole planet for our current lessons. Now pretend that there’s not one of us navigated into this belief of life on the planet, including thee and me, who isn’t in the test of some major challenge.
We're All Playing Make-Believe
For our lessons to matter for us, to make a forever comment in our infinite experience of life, we must pretend that this world spins in a river of amnesia, no past for us to remember, from the day we’re born. We must have a physical body with lots of limitations: no unaided flying, no shape-shifting spirits, no telepathy, no connection with friends of different lifetimes. We must believe that this act in our play is real, that it’s not a scene we’ve chosen to play.
Some of our lessons are easy (How shall I be kind to someone who loves me?). Some of them may take a while (Why did my little airplane lack four inches of altitude above the high-tension wires and therefore she crashed inverted into the ground?). Others are difficult (Why did my daughter die in a snowy head-on car collision one minute after she decided to unfasten her seat belt?).
It’s an early belief for most of us, at the start, that we’re helpless pawns in a vast uncaring universe. We think that we have to eat to live, find some shelter, protect ourselves from hungry animals and raiding humans, dodge volcanoes, duck under asteroids on a collision with our planet, and by the way, if we’re curious in our spare time, find a meaning for it all. We believe that consciousness has nothing to do with the world around us. Physical things, we’re told, are real.
Beginning to Understand
When we begin to understand, from near-death experience, from teachers we admire, from our intuition, that we’re eternal souls, and that no disaster can happen in any of our pretend play-lives to touch our highest self . . . that’s our lesson! Done! A-plus!
That’s why we’re here.
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The number of categories in our lessons is infinite. What if we’re poor, or what if we’re rich? What do we do with the appearances? What if we’re plain like me, or beautiful? What if we don’t care to have lessons, or if we do care?
What about our belief of illnesses, of dangers of living, dangers of working, what if we don’t love what we’re doing, what if we do? What if we love someone who doesn’t love us back, or what if she / he does love us back? What if we love alcohol and drugs?
What if we believe we need medicines? What if there are no doctors in our lives, and what if there are? What if we’re bored with life? What if we want to die, how do we do that? What if we decide not to kill ourselves?
Relationships, other people, ourselves, sports, love and hatred, blocks in our wishes. Different paths appearing suddenly or slowly, what if friends die, schools and teachers end, what do we do about ideas which we love and the ones we disagree with; is television necessary, movies, governments?
What Are Your Tests ?
There are tests for us in everything. Sometimes death appears to be the mark of a failure, sometimes death is a beautiful success.
Take your pencil and name two tests you’re working with now. Don’t list a hundred, just two you’re having. Your answers to them determine the quality of your spirit, at this moment.
What are my tests, you ask? Loneliness, for one. For two, my belief that I’ve already lived too long in this act. I sense that if I give up on either, I’ll probably decide to take the tests again.
What Are Our Lessons and Our Truth?
The lesson for us all: What’s more powerful than our belief of death?
Answer: Love is.
And: We are!
And finally, a truth for why we’re here that takes years for us to discover, right in the midst of all the stories that space and time may offer for us to believe:
We are perfect expressions of perfect Love,
right here, right now.
Subtitles by InnerSelf
©2015 by Richard Bach.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
Part-Time Angels: and 75 Others
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 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, was published in 1977. Visit Richard's website at www.richardbach.com