Richard Bach

JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL


Summary book JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL - Richard Bach

This is a story about a seagull who wanted to bring his gift and love for flying to perfection. The seagull's flight, in a metaphorical sense, is a human's journey through life, during which a person strives to become an elevated and perfect being. Perfection knows no boundaries, it represents happiness, freedom, and love. But the path to perfection is not easy. It requires a lot of effort and reflection, daily learning, working, and practicing. Perfection is achieved through the realization of true knowledge and understanding. It is also important not to give up after failure, but to strive even harder and continue towards the goal.
The most important thing on the path to perfection is thought. If thought has no limitation, then ways are found to overcome all existing limitations and reach the goal.
Furthermore, the achieved progress should be shared with others, helping them through teaching, encouraging their gifts, and inspiring them to never give up.

FULL BOOK SUMMARY

  • The young seagull Jonathan Livingston was different from the other seagulls because he loved practicing flying skills the most. While the other seagulls in his flock were preoccupied with food and the desire to survive, Jonathan found happiness in flying, which represented complete happiness and freedom for him. That's why he practiced flying speed, turns, and loops all day long.

  • One day, after practicing a dangerous flying maneuver and achieving a new speed record, Jonathan returned to the flock tired, thinking that everyone would be thrilled with his success. However, he was disappointed. The entire flock condemned his behavior, and the flock leader expelled him for breaking tradition, forcing him to live a solitary life.

  • Jonathan was sad because his seagull brothers had abandoned him. Although he was lonely, he didn't stop practicing and perfecting flying, which made him happy. Thanks to his flying skills, he could even dive at full speed and catch delicious fish swimming three meters below the surface of the sea. The seagulls in his flock only fed on leftover fish from fishing boats and stale bread.

  • One day, during flight, two seagulls joined him who were as pure as starlight. Not only were they good flyers like him, but they were even more skilled. When he asked them who they were and which flock they belonged to, they told him that they were his brothers, from the same flock as him. The two seagulls took Jonathan with them to leave Earth and its clouds and ascend to Heaven.

  • Heaven was a place with no restrictions like those on Earth. They soon landed and joined a small group of seagulls, as rare as Jonathan himself. They communicated telepathically and had a teacher named Sullivan who taught them all new flying skills.

  • The new flock had an elder named Chiang, a seagull who became stronger over time and flew better than anyone else because he mastered all the skills they learned. Jonathan asked Chiang to reveal the truth to him, whether they were truly in Heaven. Chiang explained to him that they weren't because Heaven is not space or time; Heaven is perfection. Jonathan asked him to teach him how to touch Heaven and perfection, and Chiang agreed.

  • Chiang taught Jonathan that he would fly the fastest if he transformed into thought and became as fast as thought. It took Jonathan some time to understand what Chiang was saying. But when one day he managed to let go of the feeling that his body was constrained and limited by his abilities, he could fly as fast as thought. Together with Chiang, he continued to practice and they flew to an unknown place that belonged to another planet with a green sky and two stars instead of the sun.

  • Chiang asked Jonathan to continue learning. He taught him how to fly through time, both into the past and the future. The hardest, most powerful, and yet most convenient task remained for the end: to soar and understand the meaning of goodness and love.

  • Jonathan continued to learn and progress. Chiang praised him, and one day, bidding farewell to all the seagulls, he became so radiant that no seagull could look at him anymore. He disappeared with his last words: "Jonathan, keep studying love!"

  • Days passed, and Jonathan, while practicing and studying love more and more, wanted to return to Earth and become a teacher to other seagulls who wanted to learn like he once did. Therefore, he bid farewell to his flock and returned to Earth.

  • Upon his return to Earth, Jonathan met Fletcher Lynd, a seagull who had injured his wing while learning to fly and was also expelled by his flock for not obeying their commands regarding the behavior of ordinary seagulls. Jonathan offered to teach Fletcher flying skills, which Fletcher gladly accepted. Fletcher was a good student, and other seagulls followed his example and started learning flying skills.

  • One day, while Fletcher was practicing a dangerous maneuver, he made a mistake and crashed into a granite cliff at high speed. The huge flock of ordinary seagulls that witnessed it thought he was already dead, but Jonathan called on him to rise, and he stood up. The seagulls didn't like that either, so they called Jonathan the devil, and the entire flock rushed to crush him. However, in an instant, Jonathan and Fletcher found themselves far away from them.

  • After that, Jonathan said that he had to move on because other flocks were waiting for him to teach them flying skills. He said goodbye to Fletcher and appointed him as the new flying teacher. Fletcher remained hopeful that one day he would meet Jonathan Livingston again.





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