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  • 1. ILLUSIONSThe Adventures of a Reluctant MessiahNotice!This electronic version of the book, has beenreleased FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.You may not sell or make any prot from thisbook.And if you like this book, - buy a paper copy andgive it to someone who does not have a computer,if that is possible for you. Richard Bachauthor of Jonathan Livingston Seagull

2. Reprinted in Arrow Books, 1998 5 7 9 10 8 6 4Copyright Creature Enterprises Inc 1977Design copyright Jean Stoliar 1977Designed by Jean StoliarThe right of Richard Bach to be identied as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordancewith the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not,by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publishers prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including thisI t was a question I heard more than once, afterJonathan Seagull was published. What are youcondition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser going to write next, Richard? After Jonathan, what?First published in the United Kingdom in 1977 by William Heinemann LtdI answered then that I didnt have to write anythingFirst published in the United Kingdom in paperback in 1978 by Pan Books Ltd next, not a word, and that all my books together said every-This edition rst published in 1992 by Mandarin Paperbacks and reprinted 14 times thing that I had asked them to say. Having starved for a Arrow Bookswhile, the car repossessed and that sort of thing, it was funThe Random House Group Ltd20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SWIV 2SAnot to have to work to midnights. Random House Australia (Pty) Limited Still, every summer or so I took my antique biplane 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, SydneyNew South Wales 2061, Australia out into the green-meadow seas of midwest America, ewRandom House New Zealand Limitedpassengers for three-dollar rides and began to feel an old18 Poland Road, Gleneld, Auckland 10, New Zealandtension again - there was something left to say, and IRandom House (Pty) Limited Endulini, 5a Jubilee Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa hadnt said it. The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009 I do not enjoy writing at all. If I can turn my back on an www.randomhouse.co.ukidea, out there in the dark, if I can avoid opening the door to A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library it, I wont even reach for a pencil.Printed and bound in Great Britain byCox & Wyman Ltd, Reading, BerkshireISBN 0 09 942786 9 3. But once in a while theres a great dynamite-burst ofMaybe he wouldnt be like the messiah on the oil-ying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall streaked grass-stained pages of my journal, maybe heand somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by thewouldnt say anything this book says. But then again, thethroat and gently says, I will not let you go until you set things this one told me: that we magnetize into our livesme, in words, on paper. Thats how I met Illusions. whatever we hold in our thought, for instance - if that is true, There in the Midwest, even, Id lie on my back prac-then somehow I have brought myself to this moment for aticing cloud-vaporizing, and I couldnt get the story out of reason, and so have you. Perhaps it is no coincidence thatmy mind... what if somebody came along who was reallyyoure holding this book; perhaps theres something aboutgood at this, who could teach me how my world worksthese adventures that you came here to remember. I chooseand how to control it? What if I could meet a super- to think so. And I choose to think my messiah is perched outadvanced... what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came intothere on some other dimension, not ction at all, watching usour time, with power over the illusions of the world because both, and laughing for the fun of it happening just the wayhe knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meetweve planned it to be.him in person, if he were ying a biplane and landed in thesame meadow with me? What would he say, what wouldhe be like? 4. 11. There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.2. The Master learned of thisworld in the public schools ofIndiana, and as he grew, in 5. his trade as a mechanic be healed of their troubles of automobiles. and their many diseases.3. But the Master had learnings 5. The Master believed that itfrom other lands and otheris well for any man toschools, from other lives thatthink upon himself as a sonhe had lived. He remembered of God, and as he believed,these, and remembering became so it was, and thewise and strong, so that others shops and garages where hesaw his strength and came worked became crowded andto him for counsel. jammed with those who soughthis learning and his touch,4. The Master believed that heand the streets outsidehad power to help himself with those who longed onlyand all mankind, and as hethat the shadow of hisbelieved so it was for him, passing might fall upon them,so that others saw hisand change their lives.power and came to him to 6. 6. It came to pass, because 8. If a storm passed asof the crowds, that the he spoke, not a raindropseveral foremen and shoptouched a listeners head;managers bid the Master the last of the multitudeleave his tools and goheard his words as clearlyhis way, for so tightly as the first, no matterwas he thronged that neitherlightning nor thunder inhe nor other mechanics hadthe sky about. And alwaysroom to work upon the he spoke to them in parables.automobiles.9. And he said unto them,7. So it was that he went within each of us lies theinto the countryside, and power of our consent to healthpeople following began to calland to sickness, to richeshim Messiah, and worker ofand to poverty, to freedommiracles; and as they believed, and to slavery. It is weit was so.who control these, andnot another. 7. 10. A mill-man spoke and said, way, knowing only its ownEasy words for you, Master, crystal self.for you are guided as weare not, and need not toil13. Each creature in its ownas we toil. A man has tomanner clung tighty to thework for his living intwigs and rocks of the riverthis world.bottom, for clinging was theirway of life, and resisting11. The Master answered and said, the current what each hadOnce there lived a village learned from birth.of creatures along the bottomof a great crystal river. 14. But one creature said atlast, I am tired of clinging.12. The current of the river Though I cannot see it swept silently over them with my eyes, I trust that all - young and old, richthe current knows where it is and poor, good and evil, going. I shall let go, and the current going its ownlet it take me where it 8. will. Clinging, I shall diecurrent lifted him free from of boredom. the bottom, and he was bruisedand hurt no more.15. The other creatures laughed and said, Fool! Let go, and that 18. And the creatures downstream, to current you worship will throwwhom he was a stranger, you tumbled and smashed cried, See a miracle! A creature across the rocks, and you like ourselves, yet he flies! will die quicker than boredom! See the Messiah, come to save us all!16. But the one heeded themnot, and taking a breath 19. And the one carried indid let go, and at oncethe current said, I amwas tumbled and smashed by no more Messiah than you.the current across the rocks.The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare17. Yet in time, as the creaturelet go. Our true work isrefused to cling again, thethis voyage, this adventure. 9. 20. But they cried the more, hilltop apart, and there he prayed. Saviour! all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they 22. And he said in his heart, looked again he was gone, andInfinite Radian Is, if it they were left alone makingbe thy will, let this cup legends of a Saviour. pass from me, let me layaside this impossible task.21. And it came to pass whenI cannot live the life he saw that the multitudeof one other soul, yet ten thronged him the more day on thousand cry to me for life. day, tighter and closer andIm sorry I allowed it all fiercer than ever they had,to happen. If it be thy when he saw that they pressedwill, let me go back to my him to heal them without rest, engines and my tools and and feed them always withlet me live as other men. his miracles, to learn for them and to live their lives, he 23. And a voice spoke to him on went alone that day unto a the hilltop, a voice neither 10. male nor female, loud norentertain it with his wonders,soft, a voice infinitely kind. he smiled upon the multitudeAnd the voice said unto him, and said pleasantly unto them,Not my will, but thine be I quit.done. For what is thy willis mine for thee. Go thy 25. For a moment the multitudeway as other men, and was stricken dumb withbe thou happy on the earth.astonishment.24. And hearing, the Master was26. And he said unto them, glad, and gave thanks, and cameIf a man told God that he down from the hilltop hummingwanted most of all to help the a little mechanics song.suffering world, no matter the And when the throng pressedprice to himself, and God him with its woes, beseechinganswered and told him what he him to heal for it and learn must do, should the man do for it and feed it nonstop as he is told? from his understanding and to 11. 27. Of course, Master! cried the I COMMAND THAT YOU BE many. It should be pleasureHAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS for him to suffer the LONG AS YOU LIVE. What tortures of hell itself, should would you do then? God ask for it! 31. And the multitude was silent,28. No matter what those tortures,not a voice, not a sound nor how difficult the task?was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where29. Honor to be hanged, glory they stood. to be nailed to a tree and burned, if so be that 32. And the Master said unto God has asked, said they