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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant…

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (original 1977; edition 2001)

by Richard Bach

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3,303451,651 (3.95)35
Title:Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Authors:Richard Bach
Info:Arrow Books Ltd (2001), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library

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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach (1977)


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This book states many beliefs I have held for years, so it wasn't "life-changing" or anything... it was more like another confirmation of the ideals I already hold, and the fact that I am not alone in my beliefs. Very well-written easy read. I read this book in two hours. It's a thinker, and I always enjoy books that make me think. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Boy: “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead…only try to realize the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
Boy: “There is no spoon.”

Reading Richard Bach’s 1977 personal treatise on all things humanist, [Illusions], felt like reading Neo’s training manual. But Neo didn’t really have to read anything, did he? All in all, I’d rather have just uploaded this one and not wasted the evening it took to read. The material amounted to essentially the same thing – nothing is real; all things are possible if you just believe they are, etc. But Neo’s journey was more palatable, less preachy.

After writing [Jonathon Livingston Seagull], Bach literally checked out, vowing not to write any further. While spending summers flying the country in an antique biplane, he became enamored with the idea of a messiah figure who had decided to quit and turn his back on the calling. The idea became this book, featuring two barnstormers who meet in a Midwest field and strike up a friendship. One of the two men is the reluctant messiah, and he begins teaching the other how to see the truth of the world. The bulk of the narrative is told in the conversations between the two. Throughout, there are excerpts from “The Messiah’s Handbook,” which magically tells you exactly what you need to know at any time. Here’s a sampling:
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.”
“Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it.”
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

As with any philosophy or religion, there are some valuable lessons if you look for them. Humanistic philosophy is important in demonstrating the inherent value in human life. But taken to its extreme here – everything is secondary to self-pleasing – it dissembles. Like most humanist platforms, [Illusions] takes several shots at any religion or thought that might send people on a journey outside of themselves. Odd that so many broadly accepting philosophies are rabid to exclude opposing thoughts. At several spots in the book, the messiah makes clear that the only important thing in the world is to do what feels good. But when challenged, the messiah also says that you can’t be fully self-realized if you find pleasure in pleasing or serving others. There’s the faulty logic. The difficulty of [Illusions]’ premise is that following it would create a self-obsessed world – Bach would be okay with that, apparently.
Bottom Line: Mainly a humanist philosophy platform.

3 bones!!!!! ( )
3 vote blackdogbooks | Mar 9, 2014 |
I remember only that it was a great, great disappointment. ( )
  Lucy_Skywalker | Apr 24, 2013 |
this is one of my all time favorite books - i probably read at least once a year.

It's a thinking book that makes you realize you are your own messiah. ( )
  suefitz1 | Apr 3, 2013 |
I tried to read this book real fast and couldn't get it done before my mom sent it back to Paperspine. In what I DID read, I didn't have my eyes opened or my soul sung to. Now I wonder if I'm too cynical for these philosophy/religion books... or maybe the devil has me in his grasp? :)
  TeenieLee | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If your alive, it isn't.
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1. There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099427869, Paperback)

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders ...until he meets Donald Shimoda - former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard's imagination soar...In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don't need airplanes to soar ...that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them ...and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places - like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:14 -0400)

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When two barnstorming adventurers meet in the fields of the Midwest, one of them begins to learn about the realities of his world and what caused a real Messiah to abandon his mission.

(summary from another edition)

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