Write your abstract here.
This highly popular book of 87 pages of which half consist
of photographs of seagulls in various poses of flight speaks volumes of our
attention span. It is called the most inspirational fable of our time. So a
Seagull called Jonathan Livingston decides to stretch the limits of his flying.
His mother reprimands him, “You are just bones and feather” His father advises
him to use his knowledge on flying to get better food. Jonathan tries to be
like the rest of the flock looking for scraps of fish and bread. But his
passion for speed makes him fold most of his wing and fly only on the tips
alone. He’s able to achieve his goals only to discover that he was condemned to
live the life as an Outcast. So the moral is if you try to be different from
the herd you are criticized.
However once alone
he carries on practicing to fly higher and higher. Flying in a more controlled
and deliberate way. This makes him happier and he learns lesson number two: If
you try out new things you live a longer and more fulfilled life; that boredom,
fear and anger are the reasons of a short life.
Death is shown as
the beginning of another life as two more seagulls appear to take him to
another level of flying. The author believes in an after-life where the Earth
memory gradually recedes and Jonathan is surrounded by seagulls who thought
Here Sullivan his
instructor informs him of how a seagull has to live ten thousand or even
hundred thousand lives before he can realize the purpose of life that is
perfection and we choose our next world through what we learn in this one.
Sounds familiar Hindu concepts of re-birth and karma?
Chiang the Elder Gull who tells him that heaven is not a
place or a time but Heaven is being perfect. The author has surprising choice
of names for seagulls.
Mostly they are Christian names but this Elder Gull has
an Asiatic Chinese sounding name. Chiang manages to bedazzle Jonathan by
vanishing in a flicker of a second and appearing fifty feet away in a millionth
of a second. The trick he explained to the amazed Jonathan was to stop seeing
himself as trapped inside a limited body. The trick was to know that his true
nature lived as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere across space and time.
Chiang taught him to fly in the past and in the future and to understand the
meaning of kindness and love.
The author shows
the power of compassion and love can transform the world as Jonathan goes back
to teach high speed flying to the initially disbelieving and distrustful Flock.
Jonathan grows wise
enough to be able to advice Sullivan who says that he will miss him when Jon
goes; by stating that his friendship didn’t depend on space and time.
disciple Fletcher Gull continues the good work by explaining that a seagull is
an unlimited idea of freedom and is nothing more than your thought itself as
Jonathan shimmers into a vanishing light.
So why is the book
so popular? Because Richard Bach has made it appear so easy to attain perfection.
To fly across time and space with ease. Truth is that it involves painful
arduous hours of training the mind and body to attain perfection and many lives
spent in meditation to be released from our physical bondage….