- 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,280 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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I would not inflict this small of type on anyone -- not even my 18 year old nephew who has perfect vision! I'm returning it for another version, because even a great book, which this is, needs to be able to be READ WITHOUT A MAGNIFYING GLASS!
Illusions puts forth in an entertaining style, the ancient Greek philosophy of solipsism, the idea that only mind exists, and what we consider the real world is merely a projection of our own thoughts, desires, concepts and intentions. Ultimately, this idea is hard to distinguish from Buddhist epistemology, or even from Neoplatonic thought. It is virtually impossible to disprove, and almost equally difficult to believe. Anyone who has been in a car accident, suffered a major health crisis, been a victim of serious crime, or fought in a war, will have a hard time accepting the premise of this book.
I certainly did. It is a fun read, a fun idea, but ultimately, it does not allow one to levitate a socket-wrench (one of the incidents described) or become a Messiah, reluctant or otherwise. Mostly, the idea is a sort of "locked room mystery," in that there is no way to really penetrate the illusion to reach the truth.
If you never read this in the 70s, do yourself a favor and read it now.
I'm being generous giving Illusions 3 stars.
Or, maybe, that's part of the illusion.
The plot is minimal: A traveling airplane mechanic and pilot (Nominally the Author, Richard Bach) meets fellow enthusiast Don who turns out to have messiah-like powers such as healing the sick and working small physical miracles. This is the story of their time traveling together, and what Don teaches Richard, who turns out to be a "messiah in the rough" himself. The teaching takes the form of a series of short adventures, involving such diverse things as vampires, blue feathers, and snoopy the cartoon dog. The real appeal of the book is the range of spiritual questions raised. Is a messiah a teacher or a savior? How much do we create our own reality? What is our obligation to our fellow beings?
Illusions provokes thinking about these and more, but without being preachy or pontificating. The author never pretends to know the "Truth", he just raises interesting points; and does so in a humorous and entertaining way. When I first read it the book seemed very profound to me, as it was the first time I'd encountered some of the ideas. Re-readings since just serve a good reminder that life may not mean what I think it does.
The teachings herein are consistent with every religion and spiritual practice I'm familiar with. It doesn't take sides on any religious debates, so it's not likely to offend or upset anyone. It's just a quick bit of entertainment which always leaves me feeling a little happier and a little more in touch with life.