Jonathan Livingston Seagull is not an ordinary gull. He does not live just to live, he does not only think what he has been taught to think, he does not fly just to find food. Jonathan flies because he loves to fly, fly and fly.
We all have a Jonathan Livingston within us. Only he remains caged inside, with his wings tightly folded and falters to come out under the sky, to take his flight.
Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a story of a seagull which breaks laws of his community and follows his heart which loves to fly. Written in 1970, this novel, narrated in the fable format, has been an inspiration for an Oscar nominated motion picture by the same name released in 1973. The soundtrack for the movie provided by Neil Diamond was widely acclaimed and has won a grammy award as well. Jonathan Livingstone epitomizes symbolism; as it enriches us with values and key philosophical overtones of life and struggle.
Day and night, Jonathan practices flying – Fifty miles per hour, ninety miles per hour, and now two hundred fourteen miles per hour. One day, he is made an outcast from his gull society. Normally, seagulls don’t venture far out into the sky, and Jonathan Gull committed a sin by breaking the law of seeing newer heights through his flights, and not limiting himself to fly to near distances…
We all fear the society, the people we live around; though each of us is an individual at the end of the day. None to foster, none to fix the finale.
But, Jonathan is no ordinary Gull. He doesn’t stop flying. In spite of being estranged by his parents, his Gull brothers, Jonathan continues to sleep in air…
We all scorn solitude. Seclusion. Perhaps, the highest flight takes off in the clear sky away from the crowd which is misleading.
Then comes a day, two angel Gulls take Jonathan to a higher school of flying. There Jonathan, along with his flying lessons, is taught how to attain heaven – Heaven is not a place or a time but perfection…
Each of us wants to fly to heaven. But heaven is a feeling that can be crated at any place, at any time. Then why wait life long to reach an unseen place that does not exist.
Jonathan, now, practices love lessons. He opts to go back to the earth he came from, to his Gull brothers who snubbed him, and to guard and guide that Gull who must have been, on earth, made an outcast…
Love is the highest altitude one touches in his flight. If one can learn to love, one can learn to touch heaven.
Jonathan is back on earth. Fletcher Lynd is a young Seagull who is alienated from the Gull society for his flying ambitions. Jonathan takes the promise from Fletcher to forgive his flocks, and in future return to them to teach them flying…
If one loves someone, one should forgive him. Malice lingers in the heart and troubles the soul. When you die, die free…free from the past.
Richard Bach in his book, using Jonathan Gull-a seagull, gives people wings and the strength to chase their dreams. A simple fable educating people that one’s body is the physical limit imprisoning desires unlimited. One has questions which need answers. And to find answers traverse the limit; let the unlimited see the illimitable. Let the Jonathan in you take a flight…fly, for you have to see the unseen…fly, for you love to fly.
[Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull_figure.jpg]