The only question I have for Richard is, "how are you doing?"

The only question I have for Richard is, "how are you doing?" I was very sorry to hear about your accident with Puff. I hope you're doing OK. 

The event with Puff was no accident, it was a blessing!  From the crash, I learned that there's no such thing as dying.  There was no pain there, as if was a dream, and all at once we're in a different world.

My guess, my belief for right now, is that there are an infinite number of worlds in which we can appear.  The one we accept is the one closest to our own thought of who we are.  As far as I know, the next world is one of advanced ideas, with fictions that seem real, yet each with a chance for us to take a long step to the one reality, to Love.  

Since "coming back" from that experience, I've read a number of other near death experiences (there's many of them in print), sifted them to find the ones closest to mine.  Some, I'm sure, may be true for the authors, but not for me, others are much like my own.  My life since the crash has become a quiet little schoolroom for me: learning from others, yet finding my own highest sense of right.  

No crash, I thought, no school!  


Does Jonathan have other friends?

Does Jonathan have other friends that speak to his ideals, or is he the only one?

I know a few.  There’s Donald Shimoda, the ex-Messiah of Illusions.  There’s the ferrets of Curious Lives, even more directly connected to the events of our lives. 

Uh-oh.  I think all my books have a quiet connection, as though my life was built to support Jonathan Seagull. Not a burden, that connection, but a joy.


If, before the ending of Part 1, Jonathan Seagull had lived… ?

If, before the ending of Part 1, Jonathan Seagull had lived a near-death experience like yours, how would it have changed his life?

Good question!  If he had been for just a few minutes in his next-life experience, where the other gulls would not have fought for food, where there was no politics in the flock, where each learned how best to express the beauty of flight -- and then returned again to his lonely life, what would have happened to him?

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The Mystery of Jonathan Seagull

So much has changed for me, since the beginning: my early beliefs about who I am, about families, about schools, about the military, governments, religion, entertainment, about the news, about authority.  Nearly everything I thought was true has changed, over the years.

The tests, the sudden challenges that come to us, I learned, those are not terrible accidents, they're our teachers.  I thought they were our destiny.  As the years swifted by, I found they were our choices: I found our destiny is us! 

The one thing that hasn’t changed in all the years...

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What do you hope… ?

What do you hope people will get from this website?

We can recognize that there’s a family here, who delights in meeting and flying with Jonathan, playing with the ideas he loves.  Jonathan's story has been translated into 50 languages, 50 million copies, yet so many of us feel that we have lived his story silently, alone. The truth is that our family lives all around the world, nearly every language, almost every part of the earth, and we’re part of the family, too, each one of us.  The story of the choices we've made, the coincidence that has changed us, it can touch many of this family whom we'll never meet in person.


What is the best… ?

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? 

It came from Ray Bradbury, about writing.  He said it in his lectures, too: he said, ”Don’t think.”   I had barely begun my life as a writer, and his was advice which stopped me from breathing for a while.  It was true!  So much beautiful writing happens for me when I don’t think, I live my stories and they choose the words.  In my life, writing, I bracketed his advice with two binary sentences, a long book in six words:

     Have fun.  Don’t think.  Don’t care.    

When I told him that his work had changed my life, Ray told me that I would never be able to thank him.  The one thing I could do would be to help other young writers way in my future, scared and determined to live a life of ideas.  The only way he could thank his own teacher, he said, was what he was doing this minute, giving his best advice, his best experience, to me.

So here I am, after our belief of his death, thanking him for his explosion of light, leading the way for me and many others.  He has a few lectures, by the way, to smile with him, and consider.


What’s your favorite passage… ?

What's your favorite passage from JLS?  Why? 

One I read tonight:  “He was alive, trembling ever so slightly with delight, proud that his fear was under control.”

      It’s the story of so many moments in Jonathan’s life, and in mine, too.  When I test something new, something I’ve never done before, I’m always frightened and try not to show it.  I’m thinking this could be the end of my life when my flying skills fail, or the end of my career when others see I've tried to write a strange thing instead of just writing it like others do. 

      Maybe my career has ended, come to think of it, the last few books being, shall we say, unusual.

      Yet those choices are so interesting!  Flying this tiny seaplane across the continent, watching words and ideas I’ve written that have never been said before.  I think that’s true for many of Jonathan’s readers, too, having chosen sometimes the flamboyant, creating the fires of imagination over the ashes of what we’ve done before.  Glad I have their company in my life.

Richard Bach