One

Richard Bach is an author who writes his own mixture of fantasy and philosophy, well known for Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions. One  of his later works is the novel, One. As you may guess from the title, the book is about how we are all one — all the people in the past, present and future. This thought is wrapped up in a pretty fantasy, where Richard Bach, and his wife, Leslie Parrish-Bach, while flying their plane near LA, are suddenly plunged into another world. Alternate realities show up as silver and gold paths beneath the shallow waters they fly over.1933880_1147764287646_3696820_n

In a series of adventures, the Bachs meet versions of themselves they recognize, and ones they don’t — as far-reaching as Attila and the Idea Fairy. Two story threads in particular stand out for me. The first is when they are witness to the handing down of a divine truth, and successfully stop the birth of a new religion, Bach making an intelligent argument for why this is the best course. The other thread is, perhaps, most relevant today, with the wars we have raging in various parts of the world. It is a well-imagined alternate future where wars are very popular televised games. No-one gets killed in these wars, and world-wide audiences enjoy the spectacle of fighter aircraft locked in combat. Bach paints a picture of a future I can only hope we come to some day. The world would be a better place if it heard his message of how we are all one.

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