The following comes from the book "Illusions" by Richard Bach. It is one of my favorite books. This particular selection is actually the first chapter to the book. Hope you enjoy!


~ Illusions - Chapter 1 ~
    1.  There was a Master come unto the earth,
        born in the holy land of Indiana, raised 
        in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.
    2.  The Master learned of this world in the 
        public schools of Indiana and he grew, 
        in his trade as a mechanic of automobiles.
    3.  But the Master had learnings from other
        lands and other schools, from other lives 
        that he had lived.  He remembered these,
        and remembering became wise and strong, so
        that others saw his strength and came to him
        for counsel.
    4.  He believed that he had power to help himself
        and all mankind, and as he believed so it was 
        for him, so that others saw his power and came
        to him to be healed of their troubles and their
        many diseases.
    5.  The Master believed that it is well for any man 
        to think upon himself as a son of God, and as 
        he believed, so it was, and the shops and garages
        where he worked became crowded and jammed with 
        those who sought his learning and his touch, and
        the streets outside with those who longed only
        that the shadow of his passing might fall upon 
        them, and change their lives.
    6.  It came to pass, because of the crowds, that the
        several foremen and shop managers bid the Master
        leave his tools and go his way, for so tightly was
        he thronged that neither he nor other mechanics
        had room to work upon the automobiles.
    7.  So it was that he went into the countryside, and
        people following began to call him Messiah, and 
        worker of miracles; and as they believed, it was
    8.  If a storm passed as he spoke, not a raindrop 
        touched a listener's head; the last of the multitude
        heard his words as clearly as the first, no matter
        lightening nor thunder in the sky about.  And always
        he spoke to them in parables.
    9.  And he said unto them, "Within each of us lies the 
        power of our consent to health and to sickness, to
        riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery.  
        It is we who control these, and not another."
    10. A mill-man spoke and said, "Easy words for you, 
        Master, for you are guided as we are not, and need
        not toil as we toil.  A man has to work for his 
        living in this world."
    11. The Master answered and said, "Once there lived a 
        villiage along the bottom of a great crystal river.
    12. "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 its own 
        crystal self.
    13. "Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to
        the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging
        was their way of life, and resisting the current 
        what each had learned from birth.
    14. "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.'
    15. "The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let 
        go, and that current that you worship will throw
        you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you
        will die quicker than boredom!'
    16. "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.
    17. "Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again,
        the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he 
        was bruised and hurt no more.
    18. "And the creatures downstream, 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!'
    19. "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.'
    20. "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 a Savior."
    21. And it came to pass when he saw that the multitude
        thronged him the more day on day, tighter and closer
        and fiercer than ever they had, when he saw that they 
        pressed him to heal them without rest, and feed them
        always with his miracles, to learn for them, to live
        their lives, he went alone that day unto a hilltop
        apart, and there he prayed.
    22. And he said in his heart, Infinite Radiant Is, if it
        be thy will, let this cup pass from me, let me lay
        aside this impossible task.  I cannot live the life
        of one other soul, yet ten thousand cry to me for 
        life.  I'm sorry I allowed it all to happen.  If it 
        be thy will, let me go back to my engines and my 
        tools and let me live as other men.
    23. And a voice spoke to him on the hilltop, a voice 
        neither male or female, loud nor soft, a voice
        infinitely kind.  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."
    24. And hearing, the Master was glad, and gave thanks
        and came down from the hilltop humming a little
        mechanic's song.  And when the throng pressed him
        with its woes, beseeching him to heal for it and
        learn for it and feed it nonstop from his understanding
        and to entertain it with his wonders, he smiled upon 
        the multitude and said pleasantly unto them, "I quit."
    25. For a moment the multitude was stricken dumb with
    26. 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 him what he must do, should the man do as he
        is told?"
    27. "Of course, Master!" cried the many.  "It should
        be pleasure for him to suffer the tortures of hell
        itself, should God ask it!"
    28. "No matter what those tortures, nor how difficult
        the task?"
    29. "Honor to be hanged, glory to be nailed to a tree
        and burned, if so be that God has asked," said they.
    30. "And what would you do," the Master said unto the 
        multitude, "if God spoke 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?"
    31. And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a 
        sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the 
        valleys where they stood.
    32. And the Master said unto the silence, "In the path
        of our happiness shall we find the learning 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."
    33. And he went his way through the crowds and left
        them, and he returned to the everyday world of
        men and machines.


Richard Bach
Delacorte Press, New York, 1977

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