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Who is Jonathan Livingston Seagull?

Updated on October 20, 2012
Jonathan Bending His Wings in Flight to Make a Perfect Curve
Jonathan Bending His Wings in Flight to Make a Perfect Curve | Source

"Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now." -Richard Bach

The gull sees the farthest who flies highest.

He believes in flying for the love of flying not merely for struggling to grab bits of breadcrumbs to make a living.

He believes that the purpose for living is to find perfection and show it forth.

He learned that Heaven is not a place, is not a time. Heaven is being perfect.

He teleports by understanding that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.

After time spent in practicing …

… one day, standing on the shore closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash he knew …

“Why, that’s true I am a perfect, unlimited gull!”. He felt a great shock of joy. … and teleported.

After his triumphs away from the flock that cast him out, he wondered “if there was a gull back there who might be struggling to break out of his limits, to see the meaning of flight beyond a way of travel to get a breadcrumb from a rowboat. Perhaps there might even have been one made Outcast for speaking his truth in the face of the Flock.”

True to his master’s admonition to learn about love, his own way of demonstrating love was to give something of the truth that he had seen to a gull who asked only a chance to see truth for himself.

He assured Sullivan before they parted ways, “Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now,” knowing they can be together any time.

He taught Maynard, the acolyte with the paralyzed wing, “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self here and now, and nothing can stand in your way. It is the Law of the Great Gull, the Law that Is.”

And in response to Maynard’s, “Are you saying I can fly?” Said,

I say you are free.”

“He speaks of very simple things---that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.”

He believes the only difference from the others of those who seem gifted “is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.”

He believes that practicing with patience is part of the trick of becoming the perfection that we are meant to be.

As he performed great feats such as miraculous healing, other gulls either called him the Son of the Great Gull or a devil.

He is puzzled as to why “the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it to himself if he’d just spend a little time practicing.”

Who is this Jonathan Livingston Seagull that Richard Bach wrote over four decades ago?

Who believes that the only truth there is is truth that will set one free?

Who chooses to be free?

Or does it really make one happier to go along with the Flock?

Who chooses to be perfect? Why do we usually shun perfection? Who chooses to do things for the sake of doing?

“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” –John 8:32


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