Illusions (novel)

Illusions (novel)

Infobox Book |
name = Illusions

image_caption =
author = Richard Bach
country = United States
language = English
genre = Philosophical novel
publisher = Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
pub_date = 1977
media_type = Print (Paperback) & AudioBook (Cassette)
pages = 192 pages
isbn = ISBN 0-440-20488-7

"Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah", authored by pilot and writer Richard Bach was first published in 1977. The story questions our views on reality portraying the premise that what we call reality is made of illusions that we create for our learning and enjoyment. This book was the first work of the author following "Jonathan Livingston Seagull".

With apparently some inspiration on Nevil Shute’s novel, Round the Bend, Richard Bach's mystical adventure story revolves around two barnstorming pilots who meet in a field in midwest America. The two main characters, who are doing what each one really wants to do, take on a relationship of teacher-student about the illusions that make reality. If that sounds like the point where "Jonathan" left off, it could be true: for "Illusions" may reflect what has been going on in the author's mind since the phenomenal success that changed his life.

"Illusions" is a companionship and enlightenment story. 'What if somebody came along who could teach me how my world works and how to control it? ... What if a Siddhartha or Jesus came to our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meet him in person, if he was flying a biplane, for instance, and landed in the same meadow with me?'

Donald Shimoda is one of the two main characters in "Illusions". He is a messiah who leaves his job of being a messiah (and also of being a mechanic at a garage) after deciding that people value the showbiz-like performance of miracles and want to be entertained by those miracles more than to understand the message behind them. He meets Richard, a fellow barn-storming pilot and begins to pass on his knowledge to him, even teaching Richard to perform "miracles" of his own.

Donald and Richard go on a talk show at one of their stops, and Donald answers most of the questions. People listening to him don't like his speaking, and Richard gets a little worried. The next day as Richard is at his plane, he hears a gunshot, and runs towards Donald's plane. Donald says that because he wasn't a 'by the book' messiah, he didn't die the way a messiah actually would. Donald dies, and Richard opens the Messiah Handbook, which is a book that he gets from Donald that opens to a page with whatever you need to see at that moment. What he reads shocks him. The page says: "Everything in this book may be wrong."

Of the lessons taught Richard by Don, one of the most important is that reality is based on perspective. "What the caterpillar calls a tragedy / the Master calls a butterfly."

The novel features quotes from a "Handbook Of A Messiah", owned by Shimoda, which Richard later takes as his own. A most unusual aspect of this handbook is that it has no page numbers. The reason for this, as Shimoda explains to Richard, is that the book will open to the page on which the reader may find guidance or the answers to doubts and questions in his mind. It is not a magical book; Shimoda goes on to explain that one can do this with any sort of text. The messiahs handbook was released as its own title by Hampton Roads publishing company, inc. The book itself mimics the one described in Illusions, along with more quotes based on the same philosophies displayed in Illusions, (ISBN 1-57174-421-5) (ISBN 978-1-57-174421-0)

"Illusions" Quote, on Back Cover of Some Versions

Here is
a test to find
whether your mission on earth
is finished:
If you're alive,
it isn't.

External links

* [ "Illusions" - "Messiah's Handbook" Quotations]

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