Richard Bach Book: Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
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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.
A friend recommended this book to me about a year ago, and once I started reading I couldn't put it down.
What DO we really have power over? What IS real? Do our beliefs respond to the world, or does the world respond to our beliefs?
Early on, and throughout life, we develop a set of unbreakable "rules" by which we consider the world to operate - laws of physics, laws of governments, laws of religions, laws created within us by beliefs we hadn't dared question.
Bach (through Larry Shimoda, his reluctant messiah) raises the question - what if it's ALL what we believe it to be - if the world and those around us fulfill our expectations?
What if a "Messiah" comes to show people THAT this is the case, that they can free themselves if they just choose to... but they choose instead to remain locked in their limitations and worship him as the Messiah who will himself save them all?
With all the abstract ideas being presented, Bach wisely chooses to start out in the very concrete, logical world of machines... two men flying their old biplanes cross-country, barnstorming. The Reluctant Messiah himself worked oil rigs and wrenched bulldozers off and on. As a bit of a gearhead myself, broadening my horizons to other things, this formed an excellent bridge to lead from the world I know to the reality-construct Bach presents.
A mere three or four years ago I probably would have rolled my eyes after the first few chapters, but when I DID read it, it was one of the best and most inspiring books I'd read in a LONG time.
If you're ready to try looking at the world in a very different way, I highly recommend this book.