The Wisdom of Donald Shimoda.

I just finished the book Illusions by Richard Bach, an old favorite I hadn’t read in a very long while—and found it just as compelling as when I first read it 2 or 3 decades ago.

The book centers around a character by the name of Donald Shimoda who crosses paths with the narrator, Richard. As they travel the countryside together as barnstormers, selling joy rides on their small planes, Shimoda is revealed to be a “messiah”.

Shimoda passes along the wisdom of many lifetimes to Richard, who in fact may be a messiah-in-training. These include gems like:

“You’re like everybody else. You already know this stuff—you’re just not aware that you know it, yet.”


“Believe you know all answers, and you know all answers.”

Illusions does what good spiritual fiction should do. It gets you to see the world from a fresh perspective, looking at seemingly ordinary events in a new way. The book also gets across the important point that wisdom gained is not to be coveted by its owners, but needs to be shared with others.

Bach closes the story with one of many choice passages from a book of wisdom that pops up throughout Illusions:

“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

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