Ten years ago, I sent this book to my future wife, Susan. This is how I inscribed the book:
“To my soulmate, Sue.
“Here’s an interesting addition to our mental processes.
“I hope you can see the concepts for what they are: enigmas meant to get us thinking…
“You aren’t required to agree with him — I certainly don’t, frequently — But he is provocative!
From the dust cover flyleaf
In Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah , Richard Bach met Donald Shimoda, a fellow pilot with the keys to the universe who barnstormed the Midwest in a Travel Air biplane.
Part of Shimoda’s secret was a small book, bound in what look like suede — Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul. “Open it,” he said, “and whatever you need to know is there.”
Lost for decades and rediscovered, here it is in print at last — reminders for those who have outgrown cynicism and doubt.
Reminders for the Advanced Soul
“Many happy, successful people
at one time
have considered suicide.
They decided against it.”
“What you knew
before you were born
You only hide it till you’re tested,
till it’s time to remember.
And sure enough, when you want,
you’ll find some odd funny beautiful way
to find it again.”
“You are the game-playing,
you are the otters of the universe.”
“Unconditional love is
no more a force in spacetime
than it is in chess,
or soccer or ice hockey.
Rules define life in games,
and unconditional love
doesn’t recognize rules.”
“From time to time it’s fun to close your eyes,
and in that dark say to yourself,
‘I am the sorcerer, and when I open my eyes
I shall see a world that I have created,
and for which I and only I
am completely responsible.
Slowly then, eyelids open
like curtains lifting stage-center.
And sure enough,
there’s your world,
just the way you built it.”
“You wait a lifetime to meet Someone
who understands you, accepts you as you are.
At the end, you find that Someone, all along,
has been you.”
“You learn most
when you play against an opponent
who can beat you.”
“You are free to smile
in the midst of massive tests and challenges,
knowing that you have chosen to play this game,
and that you have dominion
over all the appearances of earth.”
“You are a creature of light.
From light you have come,
to light shall you go,
and surrounding you through every step
is the light of your infinite being.”
“You gave your life
to become the person you are right now.
Was it worth it?”
After all these years, I now see that what Richard Bach was trying to share with the reader is quite true.
He had a moment of enlightenment. We are the beneficiaries. We are the Messiahs.
Thank you, Richard.