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Illusions, Messiah's Handbook Quotes
I believe the book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah to be an excellent example of modern Gnosticism. Although this book is technically classified as a novel, it attempts to address the gnostic need to have personal encounters with the divine while living daily life. Although I have read other books by Richard Bach, they fall very short of the level of experience in wisdom that is found in Illusions. Below is a list of the 23 quotes from the Messiah’s Handbook found within the pages of Illusions. Challenging yourself to learn, do, and teach these quotations will be as growth producing as wresting with any more common religious text.
Quotes from the Messiah’s Handbook
Page 44: Perspective - Use it or loose it. If you turned to this page you’re forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from. Where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You’re going to die a horrible death, remember. It’s all good training, and you’ll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind.
Page 45: Take your death with some seriousness, however. Laughing on your way to your execution is not generally understood by less-advanced life-forms, and they’ll call you crazy.
Page 46: 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. You are all learners, doers, and teachers.
Page 47: Your 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 the 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.
Page 48: You teach best what you most need to learn. Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world - even if what is published is not true.
Page 49: Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
Page 49: The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, “I’ve got responsibility.”
Page 51: You are lead 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.
Page 57: There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.
Page 65: 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 ther same family grow up under the same roof.
Page 75: Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours.
Page 86: Imagine the universe beautiful, just and perfect... Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.
Page 90: A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and a t such a speed... It feels an impulsion... This is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind the clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.
Page 92: You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.
Page 97: The world is your exercise book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or tear the pages.
Page 98: The original sin is to limit the Is. Don’t.
Page 103: If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.
Page 104: Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.
Page 110: Every person, all the events in your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.
Page 116: The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that’s all it needs to be.
Page 121: Here is a test to find whether you mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.
Page 130: In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.
Page 132: 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.
Page 134: 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.
Page 136: Everything in this book may be wrong.
Other Quotes from Illusions
Page 80: The following lines are not from the Messiah’s Handbook, but rather from the text of Illusions during a scene in a movie theatre and are quite worth remembering. While no words have been changed, I have pared down the text to focus on the key issue.
Whatever I came up with fit his two fingers; people see films for fun or for learning or for both together.
“And a movie is like a lifetime, Don, is that right?”
“Then why would anybody choose a bad lifetime, a horror movie?”
“They not only come to the horror film for fun, they know it’s going to be a horror movie when they walk in,” he said.
“But why would anyone want to be horrified? Or bored?”
“Because they think they deserve it for horrifying somebody else, or they like the excitement of horrification, or boring is the way they think films have to be. Can you believe that lots of people for reasons that are very sound to them enjoy believing that they are helpless in their own films?”