Richard Bach Illusions and The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (Comparison and Contrast)

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Richard Bach Illusions and The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (Comparison and Contrast)

Comparison and Contrast

Two books that have changed the way I see this world are One and Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. They contain such a spirit that it makes you to want to change your life. One describes the journey of two main characters traveling through their own life and in time. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah is about two pilots, who fly around the U.S. in the early 1960’s, and sell plane rides. One of them, Donald ‘the reluctant messiah,’ becomes the teacher to his less experienced friend. The books have several elements in common as well as some important differences. One of the similarities is the life inspiring message given to readers. In One, the main characters, Richard and his wife Leslie, travel in an airplane through time and observe their own lives. Gradually, they discover that every decision we make, even the unimportant ones, changes and affects our future lives. And decisions that we make in peace with our inner selves can make us truly happy. For example, in one of their travels, Leslie is able to see herself as a young girl struggling with making an important decision. She had to choose between a modeling career and becoming a pianist, which was her lifelong dream. At the end she chose to be a model because of her financial problems. Although she is happy in her present life, she still wonders about how her life would have changed if she would have become a pianist. Similarly in Illusions, this inspiring message is brought to Richard by Donald Shimoda. These two friends fly their airplanes around the country and sell three dollar plane rides to people who have never flown. During this journey, Donald reveals his past about being messiah and his view of the world to his ‘spiritually immature’ friend. In one of their discussions about life, Donald gives him a book called the Messiah’s Handbook. This little book contains life truths such as, “you are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true” or “there is no such a thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands, you seek problems because you need their gifts.” These two messages, along with all the others have a very strong influence on Richard. Towards the end of the story, he becomes as aware as Donald is, of all the possibilities that life offers.

Even though there are a lot of similarities, these stories also differ. One of the differences is the way the books end.

Although One contains strong elements of science fiction, at the end the author tries to make us believe that it was all a reality. For example, after Leslie and Richard return from their three month adventure in a different dimension, they are convinced that it was all real, even though time was the same as it was in the moment they got lost. Later on, they decide to let people know what has happened to them. In an upcoming conference of researchers of creative thought, science and consciousness, they announce the message they found out, “everybody is aspect of everybody else because consciousness is one and the future of the world is subjective and we pick what is going to happen to the whole world by what we choose to bring true for ourselves.” This message appears at the end of the book and summarizes the journey and discovery that they have made. They feel the need of educating the general public on the truth that has been revealed to them. Differently in Illusions, the final chapter turns out to reveal a shocking and unexpected end to the story. Richard, who learns from Donald, likes to challenge him with his witty thoughts. One day Richard reveals his thoughts about Donald’s mission in life and why he does not want to be a messiah anymore. He says that Donald is dependent on the people whether they are interested in his messages or not and it means that his happiness depends on somebody else. When Donald realizes this, he knows that his mission in life is over and he will soon die. Certainly enough, the following day Donald is killed by an unknown person. Richard doesn’t understand what has happened and in his state of depression he opens the Messiah’s Handbook and reads, “everything in this book may be wrong.” This is a surprising end of this book, and just epilog tells us that Richard continues in selling the flights and tries to forget his past and friendship with Donald. We can see that these two stories have a few similarities. Some of them are the airplanes used in both stories and Richard, who is one of the main characters that appears in the books. This makes us believe, that the books were at least partly autobiographical. Because the books were written by the same author and the main ideas are very similar, there aren’t too many differences. The main one is at the end of the book where the mission of the characters in Illusions seems to be complete. Unlike the mission of the main characters in One which starts to take place at the end of the story.

Every time I read these stories, they make me feel better about this life, the world and that is why they are very valuable to me.

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