Some Jonathan Livingston quotes

So this morning I was walking aimlessly in the bookshop when the little Jonathan Livingston Seagull book called my name.
I had already skimmed through its pages on many occasions but, today, I decided to take the time for a more relaxed reading.
I’m sure many of you already know the story of this seagull, exiled for being different. But here are some inspirational quotes of passages I particularly enjoyed.
They do are food for thoughts.

  • What he had once hoped for the Flock, he now gained for himself alone; he learned to fly, and was not sorry for the price that he had paid. Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with these gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.
  • But then the day came that Chiang vanished. He had been always talking quietly with them all, exhorting them never to stop their learning and their practising and their striving to understand more of the perfect invisible principle of all life. Then, as he spoke, his feathers went brighter and brighter and at last turned so brilliant that no gull could look upon him. 
    “Jonathan,”  he  said, and these were the last words that he spoke, “keep working on love.

And yes, my eyes watered when I read this:

  •  “Sully, I must go back,”  he said at last. “Your students are doing well. They can help you bring the newcomers along.”
    Sullivan sighed, but he did not argue. “I think I’ll miss you, Jonathan,” was all he said.
    “Sully, for shame!” Jonathan said in reproach, “and don’t be foolish!  What are we  trying to practise every day? If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood!  But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”

And if we were to draw a moral from the story:

  • He spoke 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.
    “Set aside,”  came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?”
    “The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said. “There is no other.”



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