Review: Illusions – Richard Bach

Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

by Richard bach


The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, authored by pilot and writer Richard Bach was published in 1977. The story questions our views on reality illustrating the principle that what we call reality is made of illusions that we create and is completely reliant on our perception.

Richard Bach’s mystical adventure story revolves around two barnstorming pilots, who develop a relationship of a master(Guru) and disciple. The story line of Illusions consists of a master imparting his disciple the knowledge of the working of the world and demonstrates that it can be controlled by our thoughts, faith and actions.

Donald Shimoda is a “messiah” who leaves his profession of being a messiah after he concludes that people value exhibitionism over substance. People prefer being entertained by miracles rather than attempting to understand the significance behind them.

It is an engaging and elevating story that brings a fresh perspective to view life. It is a metaphor which when understood can bring a positive transformation in our thinking.  According to the author, life is a passing illusion, an individual sport and is completely separate from the worlds or illusions of others. Our reality depends on our perceptions and faith.

 Some of the enriching insights that I received from Illusions are:

  • Argue for your limitations, and they are yours.
  • Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.
  • Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.
  • You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.
  • Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet them than your acquaintances 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.
  • What the caterpillar calls a tragedy, the Master calls a butterfly.
  • “Everything in it may be wrong.”  !!!

For books are mirrors, we only see in them what we already have inside us.

Happy reading!!

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