Illusions

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The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

It was a question I heard more than once, after Jonathan Seagull was published. « What are you going to write next, Richard?  After Jonathan, what? »
I answered then that I didn’t have to write anything next, not a word, and that all my books together said everything that I asked them to say. Having starved for a while, the car repossessed and that sort of thing, it was fun not to have to work to midnights.
Still, every summer or so I took my antique biplane out into the green-meadow seas of midwest America, flew passengers for three dollars and began to feel an old tension again –  there was something left to say, and I hadn’t said it.
I do not enjoy writing at all. If I can turn my back on an idea, out there in the dark, if I can avoid opening the door to it, I won’t even reach for a pencil.

But once in a while there’s a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and bricks and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper. »  That’s how I met Illusions.
There in the Midwest, even, I’d lie on my back practicing cloud-vaporizing, and I couldn’t get the story out of my mind….what if somebody came along who was really good at this, who could teach me how my world works and how to control it?  What if I could meet a super-advanced…..what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them?  And what if I could meet him in person, if he were flying a biplane and landed in the same meadow with me?  What would he say, what would he be like?

Maybe he wouldn’t be like the messiah on the oil-streaked grass stained pages of my journal, maybe he wouldn’t say anything this book says.  But the again, the things this one told  me: that we magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thought, for instance – if that’s true then somehow I have brought myself to this moment for a reason, and so have you.  Perhaps it is no coincidence that you’re holding this book; perhaps there’s something about these adventures that you came here to remember.  I choose to think so.  And I choose to think my messiah is perched out there on some other dimension, not fiction at all, watching us both, laughing for the fun of it happening just the way we’ve planned it to be… Richard Bach

Imagine
the universe beautiful
and just and
perfect,

the handbook said to me Once

Then be sure of one thing:
the Is has imagined it
quite a bit better
than you
have.

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