The Significance Of Life In Illusions By Richard Bach

Superior Essays
In Between the Lines
Everyone has a diverse mentality and view of the world. When you come in contact with another individual, their experiences and beliefs define how they live and perceive life. In the novel “Illusions” by Richard Bach, the blend of Eastern and Western ideologies is represented by two men who are on a spiritual expedition to uncover the significance of life. This novel discusses the ideas of free will through defying our misconstructions of our world. The air we breathe, the earth we touch, and the people we meet are all simply an illusion.
Toward the beginning of the novel, Richard has a difficult time understanding Shimoda and his view towards life. The quote that really represented Richard was in chapter two of the novel.
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In chapter 2, when Richard is drowning in his money, Don states, “When you are done swimming in your money, would you mind passing my stew?” (43) As you can see in this scene, the differences between the two fliers are exemplified. Donald has observably an eastern philosophy. He has no interest in the currency that he obtained. It has no monetary value to him. Eastern philosophy focuses on inner-world dependence. He doesn’t see happiness in finding a goal and being successful, he finds happiness within self-liberation. In chapter three Shimoda states “If you want freedom and joy so much, can’t you see its not anywhere outside of you?” (52) Shimoda constantly attempts to explain to Richard that whatever he wishes, he can make it happen. I thought about this for a moment. Everyone is so displeased with their life, but why? No one makes an effort to find happiness in themselves anymore, but instead outside of them. When I feel gloomy, I have a verge to go shopping. Having material items seem to distract me from my true issues. But it only momentarily heals me. Many adults tend to drink alcohol or lash out at others when distressed. We all accuse others for our misery and appear as though we cannot fix it ourselves. We all need to sit down, figure out what is wrong and change it from within first, to make a difference. We are in control of …show more content…
Everything seems to connect and happens for a reason. This novel made me look at life with an altered mindset. Failure, loss, and despair are all complications we face. But in the long run, when we look back, we will comprehend that it has taught us something significant. Towards the middle of the novel, Richard eventually discovers the ways of a true messiah. The continuous perception that everything in our existence is an illusion puzzled Richard. In chapter 8, Shimoda uses an in depth and intriguing analogy between fact and fiction. “…people see films for fun or for learning or for both together.” (106) We watch what we desire in a film to neglect the real world that’s present around us. We enter a surreal form of life to be amused for a couple of hours. Horror, drama, action and soap operas are used like a drug to forget about our world and troubles. We have a choice. For movies, we watch what we like. Just like in life, we are allowed to make many different choices in order to satisfy ourselves. The blending of both eastern and western philosophies gave Richard a chance to fully understand his potential and to not limit himself. As their journey progresses throughout the novel, Shimoda realizes that he drew Richard into his life for a purpose. Shimoda leads Richard toward a definitive understanding of himself and the world around him. “How about I allow

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