Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  32,176 ratings  ·  1,295 reviews
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...more
144 pages
Published (first published 1977)
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Scott
I believe this book moved me more than any other before or since. Not because the writing was so great but the thoughts contained in it were so close to what I was feeling as a 19 year old away from home and on my own for the first time. I still believe the ideas contained here are timeless and profound. The fact that the author kind of went a bit off the deep end does not bother me (although it did for a while!)

I remember that some factions of the Christian right were outraged that the book ref...more
Dickie
Feb 20, 2012 Dickie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Bach, inspirational books, toaism, ect...
Recommended to Dickie by: the girl who liked anchoives and olives - Liz.
This book changed my life. Over and over again. That is the simplest way to put it. One day a girl came into the pizza parlor I was working at and I commented on her tramp stamp. (It was as always, an attempt to get her to lower the jeans) - It was a blue feather tattoo. I asked what it represented and she told me it was the feather from the cover of a book, called "Illusions", and it had changed her life.
She brought the book into me as promised a couple days later with a four leaf clover as...more
Sfdreams
Jul 05, 2007 Sfdreams rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone--especially those on a spiritual path
Shelves: reviewed
I LOVED this book!! I read it over and over and have given copies to several people.

The book starts off with a "handwritten" and smudged story, written like books in the Bible, by a auto mechanic who discovered the Divine in himself and was followed by throngs of people,who called him a messiah, until he had to disappear.

Then the "real" book begins: A young man flys around the country in his airplane, supporting himself by selling flights in his plane. One fateful day, he meets a strange individ...more
Shakirah
I heard about the book on Esther & Jerry Hicks Video. After reading the reviews here on Goodreads I decided to make the 10 odd minute trip to Kinokuniya to grab a copy. I never regretted it. A book which carries the message of how we mould our own future, our own life, our own outcomes in a very engaging way. I finished this wonderful book in 4 hours or so. If you need anything to lift your spirits when you are feeling down, or restore your faith in the Law of Attraction, this is one of the...more
Madeline
Apr 11, 2010 Madeline rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: um, fans of Johnothan Livingston Seagull
Recommended to Madeline by: its pricetag
um... probably the nicest thing to say about this book would be... a dumb mans "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

anyway, i saw this book at a garage sale for 25cents... that made me pick it up. what made me *buy* it was this introduction

"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 fling glass and brick and splinters thr...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
I call anything sounding grand and oh-so-awesome but actually meaning squat a Richard Bach quote. Illusions, to summarize, is a compendium of such quotes.

However, I gave the book two stars only because it is consistent with the philosophy it preaches. The idea that the book is saying anything of consequence is an illusion and you are the one attaching any reality and importance to it.

The book might have had some 'message', but I was too busy smell-proofing my mind from all the shit flying aroun...more
Steve Merrick
"Here is a test to find whether your mission to Earth is finished; If your alive it isn't."
Why write of the book when it could be more fun to explain the reactions of several other people who have read this one. Before I say anything else I feel it needs a health warning. The symptoms that I have witnessed as people read this book include, delusional psychosis, fantasising in public, maniac attempts at cloud bursting and one very very bruised nose. (A result of a grown man trying to swim in the...more
Saby
I loved the way he started this book - with the fable... I found parallels to the life of Jesus - the messiah of the Bible. There are so many inspiring quotable lines. I liked this one best: `Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers'. Maybe because I'm a teacher? But I always loved that line. Even before I became a teacher :)
I think the idea th...more
Rosalía
This was actually a life-changing book. It was a book that opened my mind as to my own thought process when I came upon other individuals having challenges with life's journey. Here's a story I wrote about it (Not for eyes under 18):

JEALOUS OF THE DOG


I'm in love with a man who doesn't love me. Well, love is a strange word, a strong word, a poor-excuse-to-be-miserable word. He loves me as a friend, as a sister, as a pet, perhaps. I'm always around, following him like a lost puppy.

It's cruel, un...more
Nathan Trachta
My friend Renee recommended this one to me, she knows I've had questions in life and I'm open to unique perspectives; what can I say, I don't know everything in life and I'm still learning. Illusions is a book of self learning or teaching by and indirect method, I'll let you decide. For me it was an indirect method learning about the illusions of life and how we limit ourselves. In this case Mr. Bach has two gentlemen who give airplane rides to people meet and we watch as one quests and learns a...more
liz
Please note the shelves this book is on: It's much more "junk" than "fun." I received this as a gift, and it says on the cover, "The glorious best seller by Richard Bach author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and One", which I think pretty much sums it up. The author's note in the beginning is pretentious drivel about "I never wanted to write another book again because it's just so hard, but these characters and this story were just begging to be let out of my head..." Waah. The book isn't even 2...more
Melissa
I loved this story.
I love taking responsibility for my own life and outcome.
I love doing what I want to do, and leaving others free to do what they want.
I loved the analogy about all the creatures clinging to the sticks and rocks in the river, but one was tired of clinging and let go to follow the path the river led it down.
I loved the point that freedom is watching "your own films" not someone else's films, and the introspection that resulted when I pondered the films I actually like and wh...more
Ben
Once again a wonderful yet short tale, enjoyed this even more than Livingston Seagull. It's like reading a condensed philosophy, with key points cleverly highlighted using the 'Messiah handbook'. Bach is as ever insightful, shall definitely revisit this after some time has passed.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly."
Errin Davenport
This is a wonderful book! I have read it several times and with each reading I discovered a little part of myself, and remembered those times of miracles I had forgotten.
Nick Duretta
I didn't know quite what to make of this. It's a mishmash of new-age wisdom and eastern philosophy disguised as some sort of fanciful folk tale about a man with godlike powers (he can create items out of thin air, fly his barnstorming plane without fuel, and so on) and a book of aphorisms he passes on to Bach, the author who also is in this tale. It's all a bit too precious. Thank goodness it was short.
Ali
خدا را شكر؛ تكليفم مشخص شد؛ حجت بر من تمام شد؛ "ريچارد باخ" يك نويسنده‌ی گند است؛ اول "جاناتان مرغ دريايی" را خواندم و حالا "پندار"، مشتی حرف‌های قلمبه‌سلمبه؛ مزخرف و حال‌بهم‌زن و تكراری؛ تركيبی از عرفان مسيحی؛ بودايی؛ شرقی(شايد ژاپنی) و اميدواری و نيك‌بينی و آرمان‌گرايی به طرزی آمريكايی و اينكه هرچيزی درون ماست و الخ؛ پووف؛ واقعا حال‌بهم‌زن است؛ شايد اين نظرم زيادی بدبينانه است؛ شايد به خاطر اينكه بخواهم ادای ضداسنوب‌ها را دربياورم اين نظر را می‌دهم؛ ولي حقيقتا به ريچارد باخ توصيه می‌كنم حالا ن...more
Manu Prasad
Richard Bach and Donald Shimoda, master and disciple. One, a messiah waiting to retire and the other reluctant to learn. Both barnstorming pilots in mid west America.
The book is about our perspectives and perceptions of reality, and a view that what we see around us is an illusion.. of our own making, a manifestation of what we want it to be.
Shimoda is tired of being a messiah as he thinks people are more interested in the miracles he shows them, than any understanding of what he's trying to s...more
Carole
I read the book since an X'er employee said he had a philosophy that "in every problem is a gift" and that was why he why he did not react to dramas the way that everyone around us did. I read the book and that one quote was the one that stayed with me. That one piece of wisdom was worth the price of the book. It's about the law of attraction, in current spiritual terms.
To me, the spiritual aspect of it was not as important as realizing that it's my choice how I look at something and more impor...more
Daniel
Although I had issues overcoming some of the poor writing line to line in this book: "He smiled for maybe a tenth of a second," on the whole, this book does what it sets out to do.

It's a clever little pop-spirituality diatribe about Bach's view of the world, which is not a horrible one. It has a cool gimmick that makes it work. I can't endorse its message outright, - and you can probably guess some of the narcissistic tendencies of the work from the subtitle - but Bach is pretty straightforward...more
Amrita
I discovered this slim volume in my brother's book rack as I looked for our sherlock holmes collection. I had seen this around at book stores before, was a little curious, but never curious enough to buy. So, it was a surprise to find a spiritual book in my brother's otherwise thriller/adventure collection. I read it because, well, I have had a spiritual void for sometime myself. And though it took only a couple of hours, I learned nothing new except a couple of things about planes. I have to sa...more
Madeline L
Richard’s life of flying airplanes around Illinois change when he meets a man by the name of Donald Shimoda. They create a student-teacher relationship after Shimoda decides to leave his former job of being a messiah, to teach Richard about what he knows. Throughout the story, Richard reads passages from the ‘Messiah’s handbook’ that somehow tie into the things he is learning about his life, and about life in general. The more knowledge Shimoda passes on to Richard, the more Richard begins to cr...more
Samantha Johnson
One of my all time favorite books. Author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Metaphysics and airplanes.
Rise into your own reality. Believe, create...
Do what makes you happy.

Here is how it begins...

"Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

The current of the river swept silently over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going it's own way, knowing only it's own crystal self.

Each creature in it's own manner clung tightly to the...more
S'hi
Illusions is a book concerned with flight. My own copy is perhaps even more so because the pages are falling out and have a tendency to rearrange themselves between readings. But this little gem has given me great delight and different interpretations at different points in my life.

Richard Bach’s first success was Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Such success lead to the questions he asked himself in writing this handbook. By saying that it is about flight I mean both in the dreaming and soaring way...more
Kascha
Another book I read as a very young girl - on my own, a few years after my mother stopped reading me Johnathan Livingston Seagull. It's a beautiful book with such an important message about belief in self and not being afraid to manifest ones own values and realities in life.

I love the premise of the book - just two guys with a sign saying Fly $3 Fly traveling in the Midwest and giving airplane rides while philosophizing and carrying around The Messiah's Handbook (this still cracks me up - that...more
Viraj
Oct 07, 2009 Viraj rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: None
Recommended to Viraj by: Swanand Sahasrabuddhe
Shelves: novels
Overall: Boring…


Directly from the book (my comments in brackets):

Pg. Quoted
49 The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, “I’ve got responsibilities.”
75 Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.
90 Negative attachments… If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you don’t make a big production out of it; you just relax and remove it from your thinking.
92 You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it h...more
Bob Couchenour
I just read ”Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”. Occasionally a book or other source of information makes itself available to me which seems to strike a chord IE speaks to me personally, in a way that can only be described as “synchronistic”. From the first chapter I knew I was being spoken too, or to explain it another way, something which I had realized but have had to keep to myself, a secret in my own mind as revealing such understanding to another “un-enlightened” would autom...more
Diwakar Narayan
Though this book is leveled as psychology, I see it purely religious. The one reason why I loved the book is - maybe this is an exaggeration - that I understood more than what the writer wanted to convey. I stopped at times just to enjoy the aftertaste of what I just read.

The book is amazing. Teachings of a Messiah put in simpler ways. Maybe, it was simple ever - before we tried to restrict the understanding and made it complicated.
Shasta McBride
People have been telling me to read this book for over a decade. One man told me he was living in the Alaskan wilderness in a log cabin spending the summer painting. We was using the ochre from the rocks and mixing it with linseed oil and doing landscapes. One night he said the river flooded so hard that he thought the cabin might be swept away. It swamped the valley completely and for days he holed up inside hoping the water wouldn't rise. He had been dropped by plane earlier in the summer and...more
Robbie
"Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place."

This is a very easy read and one of my all time favorite books that I have read over and over. The book starts out with the main character Richard who travels around in his biplane throught he midwest and sometimes gives paid rides to people. He makes friends with Donald Shimoda who is a mechanic and retired messiha. They begin to fly together and Donald Shimoda imparts wisdo...more
Suka
I find it amazing that so many reviewers feel the same way that I do. I first read this book many years ago, and pick it up to re-read every so often. It's a simple read and yet it takes me a long time to get through it -- there are so many profound, insightful observations that I set the book aside and think about it. I feel so empowered by some sections. I actually learned how to float on my back after reading the chapter about walking on water! I just walked into the lake and did it (float on...more
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16904
Richard David Bach is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is noted for his love of flying and for his books r...more
More about Richard Bach...
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“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” 757 likes
“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.”
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