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Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit (Anglais) Broché – 1 novembre 1995

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My truth has been a long time refining.  I've explored and drilled for it with hope and intuition, filtered and condensed it the best I could with reflection, then run it through my engines, wary at first, to see what would happen.

There have been a few backfires, all right, an explosion or two on the racetrack when I learned how volatile any home-mixed philosophy must be.  Sooty but wiser, I blinked a while ago to realize I've been running my mind on this peculiar fuel much of my life.  Even today, cautiously reckless, drop by drop, I'm gradually raising the octane.

I didn't choose to brew my own facts for the fun of it, however, or because I never filled up on regular.  Passionate to discover reasons to be and themes to live by, I surveyed religions as a teenager, studied Aristotle and Descartes and Kant in night-school colleges while I was yet a line pilot in the Air Force.

Last course finished, steps heavy and slow on the sidewalk, I was gripped in strange depression.  As best I could understand from classrooms, these gentlemen knew less about who we are and why we're here than I did, and I barely had a glimmer.

Heavy intellects, they were, cruising stratospheres above the ceiling of my government fighter planes.  I was willing to borrow shamelessly from their insight to build my own, yet it was all I could do, listening in class, to keep from screaming, "Who cares?"

Practical Socrates I admired for his choice to die for principle when escape would have been easy.  Others were not so compelling.  All those tight-packed pages, microscopic letters, and at last their wise conclusion: You're on your own, Richard.  How can we know what works for you?

Studies finished, I walked aimless down the night, footsteps echoing to an empty campus, no place in mind to go.

I took this course for guidance, I thought, I needed a compass to take me through jungles.  Organized religions for me were teetery bridges, weak-tied twigs that snapped at the first pressure, a child's question turning impossible mystery.  Why do religions cling to Unanswerable Questions? Don't they know That's unanswerable is no answer?

Over and again I'd meet a new theology, and every time would come the test: Do I take this belief to become my life?

Each time I asked, tried my weight on it, the spiderstick jackstraws trembled and creaked, then all at once collapsed in front of me, steps tearing off, tumbling down out of sight.

I'd grab the world, cringe back from the edge thankful not to have been killed in the fall.  How would it feel, to give one's heart to a religion that guarantees the planet will dissolve in fire come December 31, then wake up New Year's Day to songs of snowbirds? Sheepish, is how it would feel.

From behind me as I walked, a woman's footsteps in the night.  I angled right, to let her pass.

Now I've finished my course in twenty philosophies, I thought, history's brightest stars, and every one has failed.  All I asked was that they show me a way of thinking about the universe to guide me in daily life--not too hard a task for Thomas Aquinas or Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, you'd think.  Their answers worked for them, but their daily life was on a different moon from mine.

"Was your study for nothing?" she said.  "They've just taught you what you've been hoping to find all these years, and you don't even know it?"

A flash of vexation...the woman wasn't passing me by, she was listening to my mind!

"Excuse me?" I said, cold as could be.

Dark hair with a bold streak of blond, twenty years older than I, plain, not so well dressed, unaware of what I do to people who demolish my quiet-times.

"They gave you what you came to learn!" she said.  "Your life is turning tonight, can't you feel it?"

I looked back along the sidewalk, no one else in sight.  She's got the wrong person, I knew.  She wasn't from philosophy class, she was no one I had ever seen before.

"I don't believe we've met," I told her.

Instead of freezing, she laughed.  "'I don't believe we've met.'" She waved her hand in front of my eyes.  "They've taught you they don't have answers! Don't you get it? Nobody has answers for you except one!"

Heaven help, I thought.  She's going to tell me Jesus Christ is my Redeemer and she's going to wash me in the blood of the Lamb.  Must I hurl Bible quotes to drive her off?

I sighed.  "When Jesus said No one comes to the Father but by me he did not mean me the ex-journeyman carpenter but me the quest to know spirit in..."

"Richard!" she said.  "Please!"

I stopped and faced her, waiting.  Her smile was undiminished, her eyes sparkled starlight.  She's a lot more pretty than plain, I thought, why didn't I notice? Does my annoyance turn others drab?

As I watched, the streetlights must have changed...she was not just pretty, she was beautiful.

She waited, then, till she had my complete attention.  Was she changing, I wondered, and not the light? What was going on?

"Jesus doesn't have the truth you're looking for," she said.  "Neither does Lao-tzu or Henry James.  What you'd discover tonight, if you'd open your eyes to more than a pretty face, is...what?"

She waited.

"I know you, don't I?" I said.

For the first time that night she frowned.

"You're goddamn right you do!"

*               *               *

It's been that way for as long as I can remember.  Somebody's ever following me, crashing into me when I swing around corners, showing up in subways or airplane cockpits to tell me what the lesson's been for every strange event.

At first I thought these folks were phantoms, constructs of my own imagination, and at first they were.  What a surprise, when the next several of these teaching souls turned out to be mortals as firmly three-dimensional as I, as startled to find me in the middle of their adventures as I was to find them in mine.

After a while I couldn't tell whether the person at watch over me and my lessons was mortal or not, and nowadays I assume they're people until they disappear in the middle of a sentence or whisk me off to alternate worlds to illustrate some fine point of metaphysics.

In the end, of course, it doesn't matter who they are.  Some folks are angels without so much as the courtesy of introduction.  Others I've known for years before I've seen their feathers, others still I've thought were living gospel till the minute I found they were bad news.  This book is the story of one of these encounters in my little refinery of thought, what I learned from it and how the learning changed my life.

Do my lessons match yours? Am I a fire-singed fellow angel from a racetrack you're driving too, or am I one more odd stranger muttering in the street? Some answers I'll never know.

But hurry now, or we'll be late for Chapter One.

Présentation de l'éditeur

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?

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 39 commentaires
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Book to Revisit 1 mars 2001
Par Paul Landen - Publié sur
Format: Broché
When "Running From Saftey" first came out I couldn't read it. I remember thinking that the book just didn't speak to me at all, and I gave up after less than 100 pages. Was I ever wrong!! Recently, I remembered the book and decided to give it another try. I am 39 this year -- youth, aging, who I was, who I will be are very heavy in my "approaching 40" mind. The wisdom, insight, and ideas I gained from this book amazed me. It is nothing short of remarkable. Read it, savor it, learn from it!
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
maybe you're right where you were meant to be 1 octobre 1997
Par - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Richard Bach is one of my favorite authors and in this book he explores an area i believe must of us wish to do. As we so often wonder what might've happened if we had done things different, usually because we are not happy with the way life is going right now, here we have a way to really understand that everything we've done has made us what we are today. maybe, just maybe we are where we were meant to be...but if we are not sure or happy enough, as long as there's life, there's time to get there.
78 internautes sur 103 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Richard Bach had no right to write this book. 14 avril 2000
Par Brian Kendig - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Richard Bach has written some wonderful books. I highly recommend Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions for the soul-seekers among us, The Bridge Across Forever for the romantics, and his earlier autobiographies for those of us who have always wanted to fly.
But this time he's gone overboard. I've tried a few times to get through Running From Safety, but I've never made it all the way through. In this quasi-autobiographical book, Richard Bach sets up all sorts of straw-man 'learning experiences' to show how he's learning to let go of the complications and the rationalizations of an adult mind and be true to the hopes and dreams he had as a young boy. The message is good enough, but he goes about it heavy-handedly, setting himself up repeatedly then taking himself down with the morals he's trying to get across. The result is that he doesn't portray himself realistically, and he certainly doesn't come across as the same person who the Illusions / Bridge Across Forever / One trilogy set himself up to be. This new Richard Bach is less graceful and more sappy.
But the real problem, the reason why I actively recommend against this book, is that the author's own life invalidates it. The principal message of the book is to stop being a dull, boring, un-fun adult rationalizing away all your hopes, and to remain true to what you once dreamed as a child, right? Well, The Bridge Across Forever beautifully showed Richard Bach's hopes for someday finding his soulmate, his 'other half,' without whom he's just not whole... but recent rumors, confirmed by a story on Bach's web site, are that he has divorced his soulmate because his hobbies and his career were more important to him than she was. It's very hard to accept that the person who would do that is the same person who wrote this book.
Don't get me wrong -- I don't fault the man for making choices in his own life, but I feel that Richard Bach has in recent years gone from being a brave and unusual thinker to becoming a New Age mystic, and in doing so, he's lost touch with at least this reader.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Don't let the child within you die! 27 novembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I think this is Richard Bach's best book. The book makes you realize a lot many things which we usually bury deep inside us. The conversations between Dickie and Richard are too fantastic! The way Richard explians him the fundamentals of life is very simple and at the same time very profound.Moreover, the concept used by the author is very innovative and wonderful.The book really helps the reader to explore his inner self. I have loved every line of the book and would like to thank Richard Bach for such a lovely creation.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It's a elief to hear from Richard Bach again. 2 août 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It's a relief to hear from Richard Bach again. Reading one of his books is like sitting back with a friend you haven't heard from in awhile and catching up. Anyone who has ever read his previous novels will not only play catch up with someone who probably deeply affected their lives, but will probably start remembering some of their own unkept promises to their inner child.

I would have loved to have given this book a 10, but it really didn't get to me the way some of his other books have. Then again, maybe I'm just not ready for the message...
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