Monday, September 17, 2012

A Seagull named Jonathan

Many years ago I learned of a book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and the movie which had been made in 1973 with the same name and a sound track album with music by Neil Diamond. 

Just recently I actually listened to the book on CD while driving in my car.  The story is the tale of a young seagull named Jonathan who couldn’t conform to the direction of his parents and his flock of seagulls.  Rather than hanging out with his fellow seagulls he felt inspired to fly higher and try out all kinds of new ways of flying even higher and faster, and go beyond his own limitations.  He experienced exhilaration like never before and even forgot about eating and sleeping. 

At the same time he also alienated himself from the rest of the flock which thought it was foolish to pursue this kind of training.  But Jonathan couldn’t help himself to continue on his path to perfecting his flight techniques. 

I believe that in the 70’s this story was acceptable in certain free-thinking circles but now it is more widely acceptable for more people are pursuing a spiritual path toward self-realization.  This is the beginning of a New Age where we all realize that we are not just a physical body with needs for food, water, sex, and sleep.  Rather we have come to accept that we are spiritual beings here on earth to learn love and to perfect our relationships with others.

The fable of Jonathan is like many parables written in an easy to understand way.  It is the challenge of each individual to find the deeper meaning in the story and develop our own being-ness.  Unconsciously we all know who we are and what we are here for on earth.  We forgot about our spiritual roots and now discover them again along with how we can grow and reach higher realms of consciousness.  Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a beautiful account of a bird reaching higher than he ever imagined.  In the end he is teaching other younger seagulls how to fly higher and go beyond their limits.  Richard Bach  has had the insight beyond average observations of ordinary living and compared the story of the seagull to the appearance of a modern day Messiah who shows us how to go beyond our limitations.


“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
~ Richard Bach


Without dreams and ideals of a higher standard of life we don’t have any hope for betterment of society or a peaceful world.


1 comment:

Sr. Ann Marie said...

I remember reading that book--one of my students lent it to me. I didn't think I would enjoy it but accepted it because I didn't want to offend her. Turned out I loved the book!