The Messiah's Handbook
Extracts from "ILLUSIONS" by Richard Bach
Imagine the universe beautiful
And just and perfect.
Then be sure of one thing:
The IS has imagined it
Quite a bit better than you have.
A cloud does not know why it moves
In just such a direction and speed.
It feels an impulsion: this is the place to go now.
But the sky knows the reasons
And the patterns behind all clouds,
And you will know, too, when you lift yourself
High enough to see beyond the horizons.
Every person, all the events of your life
Are there because you have drawn them there.
What you choose to do with them is up to you.
Within each of us lies the power of our consent
To health and sickness, to riches and to poverty,
To freedom and to slavery.
It is we who control these, and not another.
You are led 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 are always free to change your mind
And choose a different future, – or a different past.
Where are you going? What are you doing?
Think about these once in a while,
And watch your answers change.
Clinging, we shall die of boredom.
The river of life delights to lift us free,
If only we dare to let go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
The original sin is
To limit the Is.
The world is an 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 to tear the pages.
Argue for your limitations,
And sure enough, they are yours.
The best way to avoid responsibility is to say:
I have got responsibilities.
You are never given a wish
Without also being given the power to make it true.
You may have to work for it, though.
There is no such thing as a problem
Without a gift for you in its hands.
You seek problems because you need their gifts.
If you'll practice being fictional for a while,
You will understand that fictional characters are
Sometimes more real than people with bodies and hearts.
In order to live free and happily,
You must sacrifice boredom.
It is not always an easy sacrifice.
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, teachers.
You teach best what you need most to learn.
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 a fake messiah.
The truth you speak has no past and no future.
It is, and that 's all it needs to be.
Live never to be ashamed
If anything you do or say
Is published around the world -
Even if what is published is not true.
Listen to it carefully.
Your conscience is the measure
Of the honesty of your selfishness.
Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet
Than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
But of respect and joy in each other's lives.
Rarely do members of one family
Grow up under the same roof.
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.
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.
And the voice said unto him:
Not my will, but thine be done;
For what is thy will is mine for thee.
Go thy way as other men, and be thou happy on the earth.
And he said unto them:
If a man told God that he wanted most of all
To help the suffering world, no matter the price to himself,
And God answered and told what he must do,
Should the man do as he is told?
"Of course, Master," cried the many.
"What would you do," the Master said unto the multitude,
"If God spake directly to your face and said,
I command that you be happy in the world,
As long as you live.
What would you do then? "
And the multitude was silent;
Not a voice, not a sound was heard.
And the Master said unto the silence:
"In the path of our happiness shall we find the
For which we have chosen this lifetime.
So it is that I have learned this day,
And choose to leave you now
To walk your own path as you please."
Here is a test to find whether
Your mission on earth is finished:
If you 're alive,
Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the
twigs and rocks at the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and
resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.
But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said, `Fool! Let go,
and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the
rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom.'
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised , but hurt no more. And the creatures down stream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, `See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies. See the Messiah, come to save us all!'
And the one carried in the current said, `I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.' But they cried the more:. `Savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone, making legends of the Saviour."