Months ago I was told I should read this book. I found it at the library and read it nearly in one sitting. It's funny how life threads meaningful things at the exactly right time.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull was written by Richard Bach a former pilot and airplane mechanic. The original copy was first published in the early 1970's. Its a story about Jonathan Livingston, a seagull who wants to fly for the artistry of flight and not simply as a mode to find food (love the allegory; to me this represents how in society we are encouraged to choose 'practical' careers to be financially-stable rather than artistic ones. While both can offer financial stability. Only one can really feed our soul). Since Jonathan is so outspoken about this, he is condemned and banished from the Flock. He practises flying until he dies. Then he simply discovers that death does not exist but only higher dimensions of consciousness. I like that it touches on deep subjects such as the afterlife, reincarnation and consciousness written in the simplistic tone of a child.
It truly is a remarkable read! Its only about 100pgs long. I know a lot of people have busy lives. So below I wrote the most impactful and touching bits.
"This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules...people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves...people who know there's more to this living than meets the eye: they'll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed." ~ Summary on back cover
"So this is heaven.
he thought, and he had to smile at himself. it was hardly respectful to analyze heaven in the very moment that one flies up to enter it.
As he came from Earth now, above the clouds and in close formation with the two brilliant gulls, he saw that his own body was growing as bright as theirs. True, the same young Jonathan Seagull was there that had always lived behind his golden eyes, but the outer form had changed.
In the days that followed , Jonathan saw that there was as much to learn about flight in this place as there had been in the life behind him. But with a difference. Here the gulls who thought as he thought. For each of them, the most important thing in living was to reach out and touch perfection in that which they most loved to do, and that was to fly!"
Jonathan asked "Why aren't there more of us here? Why, where I came from there were..."
"...thousands and thousands of gulls. I know." Sullivan shook his head. "The only answer I can see, Jonathan, is that you are pretty well a one-in-a-million bird. Most of us came along ever so slowly. We went from one world into another that was almost exactly like it, forgetting right away where we had come from, not caring where we were headed, living for the moment. Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating or fighting or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand! And then another hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection, and another hundred again to get the idea that our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth. The same rule holds for us now, of course: we choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome." He stretched his wings and turned to face the wind. "But you, Jon," he said, "learned so much in one time that you didn't have to go through a thousand lives to reach this one."
"Chiang , this world isn't heaven at all, is it?"
The Elder smiled in the moonlight. "You are learning again, Jonathan Seagull," he said
"Well, what happens from here? Where are we going? Is there no such place as heaven?"
"No, Jonathan, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect."
He was silent for a moment. "You are a very fast flier, aren't you?"
"I...I enjoy speed," Jonathan said, taken aback but proud that the Elder had noticed.
"You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a milion, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there."
Without warning, Chiang vanished and appeared at the water's edge fifty feet away, all in the flicker of an instant. Then he vanished again and stood, in the same millisecond at Jonathan's shoulder. "It's kind of fun," he said
Jonathan was dazzled. He forgot to ask about heaven. "How do you do that? What does it feel like? How far can you go?" "You can go to any place and to any time that you wish to go," the Elder said. "I've gone everywhere and every-when I can think of." He looked across the sea. "It's strange. The gulls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere, instantly. Remember, Jonathan, heaven isn't a place or a time, because place and time are so very meaningless. Heaven is..."
"I want to learn to fly like that ," Jonathan said, and a strange light glowed in his eyes. "Tell me what to do." Chiang spoke slowly and watched the young gull ever so carefully. "To fly as fast as thought, to go anywhere that is," he said, "you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived,"
The trick, according to Chiang was for Jonathan to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two-inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on ac hart. The trick was to know that his true nature lived as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.
I like the last quote as it speaks to us already assuming our desire as truth. I feel like the hypnosis tracks utilize this concept through the affirmations.
Love <3 Light Limitless...