Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach
It’s a story about a Seagull, called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Unlike all other Seagulls in his community whose everyday life was spent in finding scraps of food around fishing boats, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was passionate about flying. He flew all day and late into the evening trying different styles of flying, attaining newer heights and greater speeds. He would not eat well, became weak but would not give up flying. One day, he was ostracized from his community by the seniors and leaders of the community for not conforming to the rules of the society.
Jonathan continues to fly more and more and attains great skills. One day as he flies, he enters a new world, a new realm above and beyond the realm he previously lived in. in this strange place, there lived Seagulls who were all like him. They had defied their society to pursue their flying interest. Having done the unusual and the noble, they had all become elevated.
In this place Jonathan meets a guide, an elevated seagull who teaches him more about flying. Most important of all he learns about the art of reaching any place by just thinking or wanting to do so. He is told that the mind is all powerful and the limitations that we find in ourselves exist because we believe in them. After a lot of faith and practice, he learns the special art.
Having learnt this greatest skill he does what no other would normally do. He returns to his original realm or world and works towards enlightening the other mundane seagulls. Even in the midst of mistrust, suspicion and resentment, he wins the hearts of many seagulls who follow his path and come under his tutelage.
A simple fable about rising beyond the routine of struggling for subsistence in order to follow one’s dream or one’s true calling. About having the courage not to tread the safe path shown by convention but to follow the trail that leads to the treasure of knowledge, freedom and perfection. And yet to empathize with the custodians of convention and to be able not only to forgive them for their judgment but to be able to love them, accept them and return to them to share with them what you have found.
Lines from the book…
Heaven is not a place and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect…
The gull sees farthest who flies highest...