One Message, and One Reply

Dear Richard,

I have never e-mailed an author, so forgive me for my brief note. I enjoyed your work, The Reluctant Messiah.

At first, I questioned why someone had slid this under my door as I worked in the Child Protection Field, I never knew who had provided me this gift. I should say it sat unopened on my desk for months before I chose to open it. The questions it posed were wonderful. I am not a religious person and to be honest I believe only in a something greater than me, but not sure what or who that may be.

This book hit home with me as it reminded me of my childhood and the people that saved me. I was disappointed when as quickly as it had been given to me it was taken away. I am not sure who took it, but glad it was mine briefly. I have obtained another copy and I recently gave it to a young man in a mental health facility that stated stress had made him snap. I laughed as I explained the stress of being chosen to be a messiah.

Thank You.


Hi (unnamed reader),

Such a strange life this little book is leading!  I’ve heard from readers who were given Illusions as a gift on a yacht anchored off Monaco, and from a man who found it when he was homeless and drunk, sleeping on a sidewalk in Manhattan.

I may not know the person who slipped the book under your door, but I know her motive: she thought an idea or two, if you read the story, might bring you a moment of happiness.  Was that your motive, too, when you gave it to the young man?

Like so many others, readers or not, you are a part-time angel, lifting lives just a little bit.  You have no idea what will happen to your gift, or how it will affect people you’ll never know.  It isn’t God that touches our lives, and yours, it is love.


17 thoughts on “One Message, and One Reply

  1. OK, maybe I can’t pick up an old newspaper and find just what I needed, but apparently I can visit a web site and see it. 🙂 Long, boring story behind that comment which doesn’t matter.

    But yes, amazing the life this book leads! A friend loaned it to me years after I’d read Jonathan. I’d already decided that if you ever wrote another book, I would not read it. There was simply no way you could equal “Jonathan”, or so I thought at the time. How easy it is to be limited by beliefs like that! Many books later, I’m glad to say how wrong I was! May Illusions (and all of your writing) continue to find the people who most need them!

  2. ‘Illusions’ was probably the most influential book in my life, among many. Years & years later, I’ll remember a quote. I’ll ponder a circumstance, or meditate on an answer – and always remember the metaphor of choosing our movies (so often this has helped me from judging or condemning others.) But Richard, one last thing – isn’t God – Love?

  3. Every time I see a feather or hear an old airplane overhead I think of this book. I gave a copy of this book to one of my closest friends long ago. From what I gather it is still close by for reference even today 40 some years later. This book helped me see Love and feel love on a totally different level. Thanks for this everlasting gift, Richard.

  4. I have been collecting all the feathers that I think are angel ones ….. not just the ones that escape from the duvet! Love!!!

  5. Illusions is still my favorite book that I give to everyone who I think will enjoy reading it. Sometimes it has not had the effect on people that I thought but others love it as much as I do. I keep a copy at work and open it to a page when I’m stressed. I use the quotes repeatedly. Thanks for such a wonderful book.

  6. In the 70’s I borrowed Illusions from a lending library. As I was reading the book and came across a profound quote, I thought, I’m going to put that on my refrigerator. When I came to the end of the book and read about putting the quotes on your refrigerator, I was shocked to say the least. I went back to the lending library and said ” I want to buy this book”. They said “but you just read it”. I said I have to have this book and I bought it. I later lent it to some one and it was never returned. I understood. Since then when ever I see a copy at a flea market, yard sale etc., I buy it and give it to someone.
    Thank you Richard for blowing my doors in, for your Love and Beauty and for sharing all the Wonder. Love you Man!

  7. Yes Illusions has been a most amazing influence in my life. When I had time years ago I learned the calligraphy style in the handbook just so I could create a few of them myself and give to those around me who seemed like it would touch/help in a good way. I would use various bits of scrap leather to create a cover. Great fun and hopefully a bit more joy in life for those that I gave them to.


  8. I have to chime in and agree that Illusions has been one of the– if not THE– most influential book in opening me up to love, acceptance, surrender and my true power source. It certainly was one of the earliest, and I have treasured it.

    I just received a copy of the Messiah’s Handbook. I have passed along a couple copies of Jonathan and Illusions to others, but reading these comments has me considering that perhaps I have been stingy. I have waited for others to PROVE that they are open and interested before sharing. Who am I to determine if someone is “ready.” I am inspired to share more of these ideas, these books with those I encounter. Someone did that for me – took a chance and introduced me to the beauty of this work; challenging me to think beyond the fear and egocentric nature that easily becomes habitual in these lifeforms.

    I believe that we each have our own path to spiritual freedom/oneness/love that can look extremely different one to the other. And, I’m so glad that my journey included these books as reminders of who and what and why I exist. I am thankful for this online community that keeps alive the lessons of how to live more authentically and beautifully than what my human nature/ego would lead me to.

    Thank you for being here and now!

  9. In a life with a prior “Soulmate”, on the day of my birthday – you made a rare public appearance at my church in Wilsonville. Having steeped myself in the essence of your reply to this anonymous letter, I had my own experience with the Inner-Messiah, and proved this book to be paraphrased non-fiction. REAL!

    I went to Goodwill and cleaned out 6 of the 7 remaining paperback versions of Illusions, and had you sign them. (left one for that fateful find by another). All six of those have been “in mysterious circulation” (non-attachment to their return), but my one sacred hard-bound copy remained untouched for the next 10 years.

    Last week, I gave that copy to my headshot client that “I knew in an instant” and didn’t bother worrying about the fate of my cherished hardcover. My wife was in LA on business during that last book being shared.

    On return, she handed me a revised version of Jonathan, along with the Messiah’s handbook. In giving, it is clear, we receive. She had no idea, and still doesn’t, of the timing of your channeled words finding me in what seemed like an instant.

    Give = receive. Let go = gain. It’s pretty fippin cool, but as I now understand… Of course!

    THANK YOU, for turning your nudges into powerful, timeless words that are serving countless millions.

    THANK YOU, for saying yes to Mary to speak at her church (on my birthday, no less)

    THANK YOU, for turning your brother’s loss into such depth to put you on the fast-track with your purpose.

    THANK YOU, for sharing the insights of your mentor – 1000 words per day… (served me very well!)

    THANK YOU for writing something that even us non-pilots can understand in order to connect with your depth gained at such altitudes of your life.

    Okay – I’m feeling like a wall-hog now, but I’ve been meaning to say this since the 90’s, and I have no control over my inventory of tomorrows.

    In Human terms – You ROCK DICKIE!!! (yes, I’ve read nearly every book of yours since)


  10. If everyone on this planet were to read “Illusions,” it would be much more peaceful because we would all understand that the main reason we are here is to learn and express our love. The reason that “Illusions” should be required reading for everyone who is remotely connected to the child healthcare field is that there’s no better explanation as to why innocent children are allowed to suffer the way they do sometimes. If the people who work in that field don’t get the main concepts described in “Illusions,” they will surely become angry with God eventually, and when they allow themselves to be bitter and angry, they are simply less angels on earth to alleviate the children’s pain. If Richard only knew the good that “Illusions” has done for children, he’d have no doubt that he himself is one of God’s Angels.

  11. I like to think that it was the spirit of Mama Jean Baker who yelled at you not to delete your website. I can see her, pulling the gooey remains of a puffed sugar tidbit from our campfire and eating it as she thought, or at least, insinuated, “Well, that only took 20 years”, as she savored the sweet decadence of our collective wisdom which you have pointed us towards. Hoping you got as much from our brief interactions all those years ago, manifested into our mutual todays. Be well.

  12. Guess what, Richard. I think you might be a full-time angel. So many times I’ve turned to your writing in the past and you’ve always helped me. Here you go again–I was just struggling with a beat of a project and needed a boost. I checked in here and now I’m smiling again and having faith in “the process”. Somehow it will work out

  13. Dearest Richard Bach,

    It is so strange and yet so of-course to find your website after I gave up on it years ago. Your books, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, but especially Illusions, started me on my journey. You were my very first reminder of how there is so much more to me than this physical body that I inhabit. Along my way I have found teachers, playmates, and a life that I love and that I know is always going to be a work-in-progress. I don’t have anything to say except thank you. Thank you for making your way into my life all those years ago. Thank you for starting me on this path where I discover and make-my-own truths that resonate with who I really am. Thank you for giving me a head start on my own adventures.

    All the very best to you,


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