Illusions
by Richard Bach

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Introduction:

From the Inside Flap
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 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.


Preface to Illusions by Richard Bach
It was a question I heard more than once, after Jonathan Seagull was published. What are you going to write next, Richard? After Jonathan, what?

I answered then that I didn't have to write anything next, not a word, and that all my books together said everything that I had asked them to say. Having starved for a while, the car repossessed and that sort of thing, it was fun not to have to work to midnights.

Still, every summer or so I took my antique biplane out into the green-meadow seas of midwest America, flew passengers for three-dollar rides and began to feel an old tension again -there was something left to say, and I hadn't said it.

I do not enjoy writing at all. If I can turn my back on an idea, out there in the dark, if I can avoid opening the door to it, I won't even reach for a pencil.

But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper. That's how I met Illusions.

There in the Midwest, even, I'd lie on my back practicing cloud-vaporizing, and I couldn't get the story out of my mind. . . what if somebody came along who was really good at this, who could teach me how my world works and how to control it? What if I could meet a superadvanced . . . what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meet him in person, if he were flying a biplane and landed in the same meadow with me? What would he say, what would he be like?

Maybe he wouldn't be like the messiah on the oilstreaked grass-stained pages of my journal, maybe he wouldn't say anything this book says. But then again, the things this one told me: that we magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thought, for instance -if that is true, then somehow I have brought myself to this moment for a reason, and so have you. Perhaps it is no coincidence that you're holding this book; perhaps there's something about these adventures that you came here to remember. I choose to think so. And I choose to think my messiah is perched out there on some other dimension, not fiction at all, watching us both, and laughing for the fun of it happening just the way we've planned it to be.


Reviews:

When I first heard of this book, a friend asked me if I had ever read "Illusions", by Richard Bach, to
which I answered no. I had seen it a few times in the book racks at grocery stores, but never bought it. It arrived in the mail several years later, when I was ready for the lessons therein.

Illusions is about a reluctant messiah, as the title states. I believe this messiah is Richard Bach, in truth, even though he claims his books, sometimes are not about real people. He teaches us so many things in his books, if we only pay attention.
In his journey of traveling all over the United States giving people $3.00 plane rides, to earn money and do what he loves - flying, he meets a man named Donald Shimoda, who also flies a vintage plane, doing what Richard is doing. This teacher of Richards is incredible, he never has to eat or sleep, or clean his airplane or even gas it up, it is just always ready.
Donald teaches Richard about being a teacher and leader for other people and that he can do anything he sets his mind to do. In other words, how to control his reality, all he needs to do is want it badly enough and concentrate upon making it happen.
The idea of this story, according to Donald Shimoda, is all of life is an illusion and we all control how it turns out and what we do with it.
The most important thing I learned from Richard in this book is that any limitations we have in life are put upon ourselves, each time we say I can't, I don't , I shouldn't. Other people do not put limitations on you, you are the only one in charge of your own self growth. A fun book - an eye opener. -- Bonnie Pike

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I have owned, read and re-read this book a hundred times. It is my 'second Bible' and something of an improvement on the first, in my view.
I have given away so many copies I should get a commission from the author. And the way people respond to the book is an unfailing indicator of whether or not we can successfully be friends. If they react with denunciation I know they are still too fearful to depart from restrictive and dogmatic viewpoints, so I bless them and go my way.
Short, pleasant, easy to read, and deceptively simple. But powerful, revolutionary truth usually is not complex or difficult to comprehend. If you have been ruminating on how and why things work they way they do in this world, and how and why they could work better, prepare to be shown the way to a level of conscious living that will enrich every facet of your life.
To an open soul who takes Jesus literally when he said, "All that I can do, and more, ye can do as well," this is intoxicating stuff. To someone not quite ready, it's a very pleasant and nicely told story. Either way, it's a winner worth the read! -- Laura M. Dellinger

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A friend of mine made me read Jonathan Livingston Seagull only about a week before I was presented with a copy of Illusions. Now, Seagull left me with pretty high standards as to what Bach's novels are like, and I was very curious to see if Illusions would reach my expectations. As it turned out, however, I enjoyed Illusions even more than his previous book. It contains the same type of message as Jonathan Livingston Seagull, but the characters in Illusions make it even better than Seagull because they are easier to relate to. Sometimes they are even sarcastic or comedic with one another, and you can't help but laugh out loud no matter where you're reading it. I find that it is absolutely wonderful that someone with such insight has means to share it with the world. This book makes you want every person you know to read it as well. If you are familiar with any novels of the New Age genre, you'll notice that many of them resemble lectures in that they simply name off the many things you can do you improve your life. The great thing about Richard Bach's Illusions is that he creates a plot, which is both amusing and easy to follow, featuring his chosen message. If you haven't already read this novel, it's definitely something to put on you "to do" list, as well as that of everyone you know. -- Laura

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The book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach is a story I had to read for school. To be honest I wasn't that excited. I am a senior and I have been extremely busy planning my future and deciding where I am going to college and what I am going to do with my life. I felt that reading this book would probably just be a waste of my time. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book opened my eyes and taught me to look at the world in a way I never had before. It taught me to slow down and just live. I got to the point where I didn't want to finish the book because I enjoyed reading it so much. The book helped me to relax and to calm down. I realized that I shouldn't be so stressed out and that the college search is a time to enjoy yourself. The book really made me see things clearer than I had before. This book should be read by anyone and everyone but especially those who want to expand the way of thinking and let their soul go places it never has. -- Dani

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