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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah Paperback – January 12, 1998

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (January 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385319258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385319256
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,036 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

183 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Terry Mathews on May 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book was published in 1977, it didn't find its way to me until the mid 80's. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." No truer words were ever spoken, at least not in my life.
I've read this book over 30 times in the last 15 years, and I never fail to find something new to learn from it. I've given countless copies away to friends who then give copies to their friends.
When "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" was first published, an elderly relative told me Bach was the devil incarnate. Imagine what she'd say about THIS one!
I've not had the good fortune to run across a Donald Shimoda-like character, but I think I'd be ready to hear what he said.
Two quotes from Shimoda's 'The Messiah's Handbook and Reminders for the Advanced Soul' are worth repeating:
Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet them than your acquaintences will know you in a thousand years.
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.
This book has been a great gift to me and I'm thankful it found me!
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. Horne on June 11, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've probably purchased and given over 50 copies of this book to people who don't seem to understand the power they have to change their own lives. This book was originally published in 1977 and its still around 30 years later, that tells you something. The first person I helped with it was me. The theme of the book is personal power. The point of view is "What if Jesus has just said 'No'!" to his calling as the Messiah. Ever think about that? He did have a choice you know, otherwise there would have been no need for temptations to infest his short life. That being said, this book is nothing about any church or even the point of view of a particular faith. Its about a guy who incarnates as a Messiah, but just says no to that calling, thus becoming a loner and a wanderer because people keep finding out about his powers. He runs into a cynic (the author) and the two decide to pal around together. It's a must read. I've read it half a dozen times myself and you don't need a high school degree to understand it. If you are stuck (job, relationship, drugs, alcohol, whatever) and are unhappy, this little book will get you all the answers you need to change that condition. You probably will not realize the full extent of its teaching until later, but this is Bach at his best. If I had one book to recommend, and could only choose one book in the world, I would choose this one. That's right, even before the Scriptures, because this book people will read and understand. This book isn't full of thee, thou, thy, and begot. It's simple to the point fiction that's a fun read. I first read this book in 1984 and still learn from it. I also captured 3 college degrees along the way, a beautiful wife and two lovely children. Not things my parents would have predicted based on my childhood antics.Read more ›
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Tim Burness on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Richard Bach's classic is one of the very first self-development/spiritual books I ever read, and 15 years later it still compares very favourably with the best of the rest. There is profound truth and subtle humour on nearly every page, and I strongly recommend this beautifully written book to anyone who has not come across it yet.
The author meets stranger and fellow pilot Donald Shimoda and the story unfolds. About a third of the way through Richard starts reading the "Messiah's Handbook" which is quoted liberally from then on. It contains various pearls of wisdom.... "You teach best what you most need to learn", "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours" and (one of my favourites) "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it however".
The chapter where Shimoda and Richard visit the cinema to discover the meaning of life is a high point and the twist at the end of the book is absolutely brilliant. Enlightenment!
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161 of 180 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a powerful book and the Messiah's book is full of great insights. I got a little more concrete spiritual help from the book An Encounter with A Prophet, but this book Illusions inspires me to a belief in no limitations. I do not know if these levels are attainable, but it sure feels good to believe that way.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Larson on April 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...the master calls a butterfly."
How many times have those words touched my soul? Every time I have lost my way, I have read Illusions. And it has reminded me that things happen for a reason, that I have created the mess I got myself into, and that I have the power to make things better if I truly want to.
We all create situations for ourselves that keep us safe, protected, and bored. This book reminds you that you don't have to stay in that little world you've created. It is ok, and even expected that we break out of that from time to time. "In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice."
I love the parable in the beginning of this book about the creatures at the bottom of the river who cling because clinging is all they know. And the one creature who was brave enough to let go was dashed upon the rocks. But then he rose up with the current, and drifted on at a higher plane than he had been on when he clung as he was told. I spend every day reminding myself to let go.
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