Friday, July 10, 2009

Book Review -- Illusions by Richard Bach

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, is an oldie (first published in 1977), but a goody. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is an easy read and has some profound messages woven in a simple story line.

Written by Richard Bach, the author of the book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, this is a story of a pilot named Richard, who flies from field to field in his Fleet airplane selling rides for $3. As the story begins, another pilot, Donald Shimoda, lands in the same field as Richard -- a rare, but welcome visitor.

As they work together to sell airplane rides to the locals, it is suddenly apparent that Donald is unique. His plane is spotless -- no dirt, no oil, no straw from the corn fields or bugs on the propellers.

Richard begins to have dreams about who Donald Shimoda is...a Messiah, complete with a spotless plane, disappearing in front of thousands of people, floating objects and miracles.

When Richard asks him how he knows so much "Messiah" stuff, Donald gives him a book called, "Messiah's Handbook, Reminders for the Advanced Soul," a book with no page numbers. You simply open it up and whatever you need the most is right there in front of you.

It's not a magic book, Shimoda explains. "You can do it with any book. You can do it with an old newspaper, if you read carefully enough." This is the exact phenomenon I've found in reading tarot cards. It's fascinating what appears when you ask and are ready to hear your answers.

Throughout the book, there are quotes from the Messiah's Handbook. Here are a couple of my favorites:
"You teach best what you most need to learn." (p. 48)

"You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past." (p. 51)

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." (p. 93)
My favorite part was halfway through the book when Richard asks Donald (the Messiah), "...why are we here in the first place?" Shimoda answers by taking Richard into a movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Watching the movie was Donald's answer to Richard's question about why we are here. It's all ILLUSIONS (hence the name of the book). The movie is a set of illusions...and so is life.

The book is built around a very basic story and plot, and Bach uses this simplicity to teach some very deep lessons...if and when you are ready to learn them.

Illusions is a quick read and well worth it. I've included a link below in case you'd like to read it. Enjoy!


Lori Lavender Luz said...

A great review of a book I've always meant to read.

My dad -- who is YOUR dad -- is always quoting Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Wonder if he read this book also?

Kim said...

This is a wonderful book - I've re-read it many times over the years and each time connect with a part of it that is perfect for the moment! I love all of Richard Bach's work!

Phoebe said...

I remember reading this book way back when. I thought it was great.