From Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach:

We are all free to do whatever we want to do,” he said that night. “Isn’t that simple and clean and clear? Isn’t that a great way to run a universe?”

“Almost. You forgot a pretty important part,” I said.


“We are all free to do what we want to do, as long as we don’t hurt somebody else,” I chided. “I know you meant that, but you ought to say what you mean.”

There was a sudden shambling sound in the dark, and I looked at him quickly. “Did you hear that?”

“Yeah. Sounds like there’s somebody...” He got up, walked into the dark. He laughed suddenly, said a name I couldn’t catch. “It’s OK,” I heard him say. “No, we’d be glad to have you... no need you standing around... come on, you’re welcome, really...”

The voice was heavily accented, not quite Russian, nor Czech, more Transylvanian. “Thank you. I do not wish to impose myself upon your evening...”

The man he brought with him to the firelight was, well, he was unusual to find in a midwest night. A small lean wolflike fellow, frightening to the eye, dressed in evening clothes, a black cape lined in red satin, he was uncomfortable in the light.

“I was passing by,” he said. “The field is a shortcut to my house...”

“Is it?” Shimoda did not believe the man, knew he was lying, and at the same time did all he could to keep from laughing out loud. I hoped to understand before long.

“Make yourself comfortable,” I said. “Can we help you at all?” I really didn’t feel that helpful, but he was so shrinking, I did want him to be at ease, if he could.

He looked on me with a desperate smile that turned me to ice. “Yes, you can help me. I need this very much or I would not ask. May I drink your blood? Just some? It is my food, I need human blood...”

Maybe it was the accent, he didn’t know English that well or I didn’t understand his words, but I was on my feet quicker than I had been in many a month, hay flying into the fire from my quickness.

The man stepped back. I am generally harmless, but I am not a small person and I could have looked threatening. He turned his head away. “Sir, I am sorry! I am sorry! Please forget that I said anything about blood! But you see...”

“What are you saying?” I was the more fierce because I was scared. “What in the hell are you saying, mister? I don’t know what you are, are you some kind of VAM-?”

Shimoda cut me off before I could say the word. “Richard, our guest was talking, and you interrupted. Please go ahead, sir; my friend is a little hasty.”

“Donald,” I said, “this guy...”

“Be quiet!”

That surprised me so much that I was quiet, and looked a sort of terrified question at the man, caught from his native darkness into our firelight.

“Please to understand. I did not choose to be born vampire. Is unfortunate. I do not have many friends. But I must have a certain small amount of fresh blood every night or I writhe in terrible pain, longer than that without it and I cannot live! Please, I will be deeply hurt - I will die - if you do not allow me to suck your blood... just a small amount, more than a pint I do not need.” He advanced a step toward me, licking his lips, thinking that Shimoda somehow controlled me and would make me submit.

“One more step and there will be blood, all right. Mister, you touch me and you die...” I wouldn’t have killed him, but I did want to tie him up, at least, before we talked much more.

He must have believed me, for he stopped and sighed. He turned to Shimoda. “You have made your point?”

“I think so. Thank you.”

The vampire looked up at me and smiled, completely at ease, enjoying himself hugely, an actor on stage when the show is over. “I won’t drink your blood, Richard,” he said in perfect friendly English, no accent at all. As I watched he faded as though he was turning out his own light... in five seconds he had disappeared.

Shimoda sat down again by the fire. “Am I ever glad you don’t mean what you say!”

I was still trembling with adrenalin, ready for my fight with a monster. “Don, I’m not sure I’m built for this. Maybe you’d better tell me what’s going on. Like, for instance, what... was that?”

“Dot was a wompire from Tronsylwania,” he said in words thicker than the creature’s own. “Or to be more precise, dot was a thought-form of a wompire from Tronsylwania. If you ever want to make a point, you think somebody isn’t listening, whip ‘em up a little thought-form to demonstrate what you mean. Do you think I overdid him, with the cape and the fangs and the accent like that? Was he too scary for you?”

“The cape was first class, Don. But that was the most stereotyped, outlandish... I wasn’t scared at all.”

He sighed. “Oh well. But you got the point, at least, and that’s what matters.”

“What point?”

“Richard, in being so fierce toward my vampire, you were doing what you wanted to do, even though you thought it was going to hurt somebody else. He even told you he’d be hurt if...”

“He was going to suck my blood!”

“Which is what we do to anyone when we say we’ll be hurt if they don’t live our way.”

I was quiet for a long time, thinking about that. I had always believed that we are free to do as we please only if we don’t hurt another, and this didn’t fit. There was something missing.

“The thing that puzzles you,” he said, “is an accepted saying that happens to be impossible. The phrase is hurt somebody else. We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides. Nobody else. My vampire told you he’d be hurt if you didn’t let him? That’s his decision to be hurt, that’s his choice. What you do about it is your decision, your choice: give him blood; ignore him; tie him up; drive a stake of holly through his heart. If he doesn’t want the holly stake, he’s free to resist, in whatever way he wants. It goes on and on, choices, choices.”

“When you look at it that way...”

“Listen,” he said, “it’s important. We are all. Free. To do. Whatever. We want. To do.”

Do you agree or disagree? Why?

asked 09 Jan '10, 19:52

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 09 Jan '10, 21:31

thanks Vesubius

(09 Apr '10, 17:01) Robert
showing 0 of 1 show 1 more comments

I Am learning that the answers and questions that are presented here in this forum are really quite profound and honestly, truly wonderful.

I would agree that we are Free to choose whatever it is that we desire. We came into this Life knowing that anything is possible and that we have no limitations.

I need to acquire a copy of Illusions.


answered 10 Jan '10, 04:33

Roy's gravatar image


edited 10 Jan '10, 18:17

We are free to do whatever we want to. There will always be consequences to that action. Whether we choose to hurt another or not is a simple example of that. I think the hardest think is choosing not to do anything and trusting it to be the right choice.......

thank you, namaste


answered 19 Nov '10, 14:50

daniele's gravatar image


I would say, “Yes and No!”

Yes as long as we keep the peace, do not hurt, or harm anyone, also, as long as we remember to practice to love thy neighbors, as thy self.

No because we are wards of the Government, in essence we belong to society, we are not really free. And how do we know this, one example is: if you choose to go out there and commit a crime the Law and Order the Police will take you away, perhaps Hand Cuff you, and put you into Jail, based upon the crime you commit.

Our freedom is at risk at all times, someone can kidnap you, and hold you hostage against your free will.

So, we are only free for as long as we can keep the peace and choose to stay free to do what we want to do. If we are held hostage against our free will, then we cannot do what we want to do, because we will become a prisoner. Therefore, we may or may have a choice under the circumstances, to be free, and do what we want to do.

Hopefully, we can always be free to do what we want to do, when we abide by the Laws of society; we should never forget to pay our Taxes, and we should fight for equal rights for all humanity.

Furthermore, we cannot be complacent; we have to be diligent, to secure our rights for freedom to rise against the evil of the World. In essence, we need each other, we need cooperation from each other, we need support from each other, we need to love, and respect each other to stay free, and do what we want to do to make this world a better, and a safer place to live, and be!


answered 10 Jan '10, 06:49

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

I agree with it.

People are as free as they decide to be. There is a catch with that freedom though. Any free action leads to a (temporary) restricting reaction, which we are bound by.

There are laws placed around us. But until we are bound due to a restricting reaction from breaking them - they have no power over us. They may only act as deterrents.

For example, it is against the law to eat pork or drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia. I lived there for a couple of years - and we would occasionally enjoy black market bacon, or black market whiskey. Or we would brew our own wine. Most expatriates did similar.

The laws are there - but we can still choose to go against them. If someone so desired, they can break into your house or kill you (or at least, try). The laws do not stop them having that freedom of choice - though they may later be bound.

If one is physically bound - the mind is still free to go where it desires. If the mind is bound (and all of ours are) then the soul is still free to do what it wants. (and perhaps, the soul chose that) I know this is true, because I have experienced out of body experiences that I have later verified...and it cannot be restricted, one part of its nature is freedom.

People seem to consider loss of physical freedom as the ultimate. It is not. It is well beaten by restriction of the mind. That is far more powerful, far more restricting, far more insidious - and far more prevalent.

We are free to do whatever we want to do - within the constraints we have placed upon us, whether internal or external.

Most reading this - are free to do whatever they want - or seek to get to the position where they can do whatever they want.


answered 10 Jan '10, 09:24

Liam's gravatar image


Yes we are free to do whatever we want but with the understanding to every actions there is a reaction, a cause and a effect.

So God made you a free will agent to choose to love and serve him or someone else but also each and everyday you make choices about what ever. But you may make them without thinking about the choices you make. Or you have made choices by default.

In other words you did not choose but you chose by default. Like for instance do you want to stay here or go home. You make no choice; well if you don't get up and go home than you have choose to stay here.

Please in life don't choose by default choose by thinking about your choices and make the best right choicea for you according to all of the facts of information that yo have at that paticular time. Also look at the conquences of what it might do to others as well and your self on down the road to our selves and others we meet along the way.

Learn from our mistakes we make along the way. Also ask God and Jesus for forgivness of our sins to him, others and our selves and he will forgive you for he died on the cross for all of man kind and the sins of the children of Adam and Eve.

We are to love one another as God wants us too. Care about one another for God loves us and he wants us to help one another. But sometimes people want let you love them for they are dangenrous or evil, or have no caring heart, mind, body or soul at all. Than we give them up to God to handle.


answered 11 Jan '10, 07:04

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 11 Jan '10, 07:09

to want to do something is the question of concernment,
from whence does the motive birth from,
a universal or selfcentered thought?


answered 21 Nov '10, 00:36

fred's gravatar image


yes you even made the choice to come here! people should respect your free will as you should respect their free will! it is all in the balence people should help each other: After these things, Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is also called the Sea of Tiberias. A great multitude followed him, because they saw his signs which he did on those who were sick. Jesus went up into the mountain, and he sat there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in that place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting down; likewise also of the fish as much as they desired. When they were filled, he said to his disciples, "Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost." So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten. When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, "This is truly the prophet who comes into the world." Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


answered 27 May '11, 04:35

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

Free will is dictated by the choices we are given.


answered 27 May '11, 07:20

you's gravatar image


edited 27 May '11, 08:07

There is a saying among veterans, (I am not a vet but I know the saying and agree) "Freedom is not free, it is bought and paid for by the blood and life of every solider to fight for our country."

We are free within the constructs of what limitations to those freedoms we set before ourselves.

For example I am not free to murder and steal but those are not even options I consider so those restrictions to my freedom are not set before me as a hindrance to my freedom. The mystery school saying "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." is a saying that means when we are awakened to the point of not desiring to do the things that are harmful to ourselves or others we need no other laws. Jesus did not need to be told don't steal or kill, he had no desire to, he had no need to be told it is wrong. He knew it is wrong and therefore had no desire to be or do so. So in his case he was truly free to do whatever he wanted to do.

Now if I go to Joseph, he was thrown into a well by his brothers, he was "free" to resist which I am sure he did but it did him no good against them. Then he was sold into slavery again he was "free" to resist the Romans but he would have ended up dead. He arose eventually to be the second in charge of Egypt the Pharaoh's right hand man. He became that by using his limited freedom choices wisely as God directed him. Again he was "free" to say to God "I will not do this! Look at me a slave! You wont help me! Why should I help you!" in that case he would have lived and died as an unknown slave.


answered 27 May '11, 14:11

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 03 Jun '11, 22:11

Click here to create a free account

If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website



Asked: 09 Jan '10, 19:52

Seen: 3,439 times

Last updated: 03 Jun '11, 22:11

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Related Questions