The first time I read Richard Bach was in 1980. I read Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and it obviously led me on to Illusions. As a 20 year-old man who was terribly immature and even silly, I found the two books a great inspiration. Both the idealistic Jonathan and the reluctant messiah of Illusions grew in my consciousness for many years. Then I grew out of them. The other day I was looking for a light read as I was recuperating from a viral fever which left me rather debilitated. Illusions caught my attention. It kept me riveted though I now don’t agree with quite many of the things in it which were gospel truths for me some three decades ago.
The basic assumption of Illusions remains true even today. It will remain true any day. The world as seen by most people is an illusion. We keep chasing shadows such as money and positions, luxury and redundancy. We seek to fill the ineluctable vacuum with religion and god(s). It’s only a few rare beings, highly evolved beings like the protagonist of Illusions, that realise the futility of all human endeavours.
Human endeavours keep the world moving forward. Achievements and more achievements. But the world keeps becoming a worse place for living in. We are still living in illusions. All the progress, all the religions and gods, all the gurus and preachers haven’t added a modicum of refinement to the human soul. The really refined being will continue to be shot dead like in Illusions. Perverts rule the world. Religions and gods are the palliatives that soothe the bruises so that we can go on with our perversions. Illusions are the only truths.