Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

Posted: September 8, 2010 in Book Notes
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Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all -young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks and you will die quicker than boredom!” But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.” But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.

[Quotes from Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advance Soul]

  • The Master believed that it is well for any man to think upon himself as a son of God, and as he believed, so it was…
  • Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another.
  • If a man told God that he wanted most of all to help the suffering of the world, no matter the price to himself, and God answered and told him what he must do, should the man do as he is told?
    • If God spoke directly to you face and said, “I command that you be happy in the world, as long as you live.” What would you do then.?
    • In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which we have chosen this lifetime.
  • The only learning that’s mattered is what I got on my own, doing what I want to do.
  • We are all sons of God, or children of the Is, or ideas of the Mind, or whatever else you want to say it.
  • There is no problem so big that it cannot be run away from.

Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you know. You are all learners, doers, teachers.

You 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 fake Messiah.

The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don’t turn away from possible futures before you’re certain you don’t have anything to learn from them. You’re always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

  • Believe you know all answers, and you know all answers. Believe you’re a master, and you are.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

  • A person gets used to being alone, but break it just for a day and you have to get used to it again, all over from the beginning.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

  • There are no adventures when you know that you can’t be troubled by any thing on this earth.

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours. (you get to keep them)

  • Just give up all your inhibitions and all your beliefs that you can’t play. Touch the thing as though it was part of your life, which it is, in some alternate lifetime. Know that it’s all right for you to play it well, and let your nonconscious self take over your fingers and play.
  • People see films for fun or for learning or for both together.
    • A movie is like a lifetime…
    • We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe. We cannot die, we cannot hurt ourselves any more than illusions on the screen can be hurt. But we can believe we’re hurt,  in whatever agonizing detail we want. We can believe we’re victims, killed and killing, shuddered around by good luck and bad luck.
  • …any illusions requires space and time to be experienced.

Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.

  • …if you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your thinking. That’s all there is to it.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.

  • It is easy to forget our times of knowing, to think they’ve been dreams or old miracles, one time. Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.
  • The image is a dream. The beauty is real.

The original sin is to limit the Is. Don’t.

  • We all live in different worlds because of the choices we make.
  • I was the more fierce because I was scared.
  • We are all. Free. To do. Whatever. We want. To do.
    • We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides. Nobody else.
    • It goes on and on, choices, choices.

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.

  • Cosmic law: like attracts like.
    • We can attract whatever we want to attract. A magnet is not anxious about how it works. It is itself, and by its nature it draws some things and leaves others untouched.
    • Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright. Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really what to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well.
  • The world is your imagination…Where your thinking is, there is your experience; as a man thinks, so is he…
    • To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.

The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that’s all it needs to be.

On being responsible to others, to the world.

  1. I do not exist to impress the world. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.
  2. Everybody else is free to do whatever they feel like doing, for a living.
  3. Responsible is Able to Respond, able to answer for the way we choose to live. There’s only one person we have to answer to, of course, an that is ourselves.
  • …I allow the world to live as it chooses, and I allow me to live as I choose.
  • Spoken life a true messiah! Simple, direct, quotable, and it doesn’t answer the question unless somebody takes the time to think carefully about it.
  • I do unto others as I would have them do unto me…Do unto others as they want to be done to…We can’t know how anybody but ourselves wants to be done to. What the Rule means, and how we apply it honestly, is this: Do unto others as you truly feel like doing unto others.

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

  • No one can stop us from doing what we want to do…
  • The people who work for a living are doing what they most want to do, just as much as the people who play for a living…
  • It’s OK if the world is destroyed. There a thousand million other worlds for us to create and choose from. As long as people want planets, there will be planets to live on.
  • We see just one little fleck of the whole that is life, and that one fleck is fake. Everything balances, and nobody suffers and nobody dies without their consent. Nobody does what they don’t want to do. There is no good and there is no evil, out side of what makes us happy and what makes us unhappy.
  • Anybody who’s ever mattered, anybody who’s ever been happy, anybody who’s ever given any gift into the world has been a divinely selfish soul, living for his own best interest. No exceptions.

In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.

  • We’re all fakes on this whole world, we’re all pretending to be something that we’re not. We are not bodies walking around, we are not atoms and molecules, we are unkillable undestroyable ideas of the Is, no matter how much we believe otherwise…

Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

  • You said that depending on people to care about what I say is depending on somebody else for my happiness. That’s what I came here to learn: it doesn’t matter whether I communicate or not. I chose this whole lifetime to share with anybody the way the world is put together, and I might as well have chosen it to say nothing at all. The Is doesn’t need me to tell anybody how it works.

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

  • This is a dream. It’s a different space-time and any different space-time is a dream for a good sane earthling, which you are going to be for a while yet. But you will remember, and that will change your thinking and your life.
  • …don’t be flustered or saddened by appearances.
  • Dying is like diving into a deep lake on a hot day. There’s the shock of that sharp cold change, the pain of it for a second, and then accepting is a swim in reality. But after so many times, even the shock wears off.
  • Only a few people are interested in what you have to say, but that’s all right. You don’t tell the quality of a master by the size of his crowds, remember.
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