“Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness. It is we who control these and not another.” – Richard Bach, Illusions

Health and illness are real, we can’t take health for granted or deny the unpredictable nature of most illness. I don’t think that Bach means to deny involuntary illness in this segment of Illusions.
The line in the book is inflammatory for the those who fight illness. They are not volunteers. It’s always bothered me a little.
I could certainly be wrong – he may actually mean that the illness is just another part of the illusion and that it truly isn’t real in his higher plane, but that is a difficult concept when you or someone you love is in pain, and too easily perceived as a lack of empathy when the speaker is well.
I find that interpretation too difficult to absorb in the daily life in which we engage.
Bach, actually says “to consent to” rather than to attract too. Wiggle room, maybe, but if we look at it more openly we can read it as the decision to fight or submit to the illness.

OK, that caveat out of the way, I think he is referring instead to a temptation to submit to a fragile nature.
At a different level of personal responsibility and empowerment, we are in control of our well-being, at least to a certain extent.
We all know particularly fragile individuals. I can’t help but wonder if there is some internal error, whether by nature or nurture, that links illness to some positive spin on ‘special’. Again, I’m not talking about serious illness.
Maybe its just the attempt at unique identity through illness. There are certainly those whose identity is the sum total of their illnesses. Ask how they are and hear the litany.

We all at an early age determine whether we will define ourselves by our illness or whether we will define ourselves in spite of it.

Whether we are fragile.
But within a certain range of human experience there is a tendency to overcome or submit to everyday issues. There are people who compare illnesses and pains like medals, and those that don’t.

The lesson, I think, is to avoid the limitation of identifying with illness.

Still, no matter how indestructible we think we are, there are those moments when the other car doesn’t turn as expected, ropes slip, or footing fails, and once recovered we hear that echo – “not now, but someday.” and we are reminded of the narrow edge that we struggle to inhabit.

“Argue for your limitations, and they are yours.” – Bach

“The original sin is to limit [your being] – Don’t” – Bach


~ by interpretingillusions on November 25, 2012.

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