Journey homepage

Journey of Love, page thirteen
from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, an excerpt
Richard Bach

"I don't understand how you manage to love a mob of birds that just tried to kill you."

"Oh, Fletch, you don't love that!  You don't love hatred and evil, of course.  You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and to help them see it in themselves.  That's what I mean by love.  It's fun, when you get the knack of it.

"I remember a fierce young bird, for instance, Fletcher Lynd seagull, his name.  Just been mad outcat, ready to fight the Flock to the death, getting a start on building his own bitter hell out on the Far Cliffs.  And here he is today building his own heaven instead, and leading the whole Flock in that direction."

Fletcher turned to his instructor, and there was a moment of fright in his eye.  "Me leading?  What do you mean, me leading?  You're the instructor here.  You couldn't leave!"

"Couldn't I?  Don't you think that there might be other flocks, other Fletchers, that need an instructor more than this one, that's on its way toward the light?"

"Me?  Jon, I'm just a plain seagull, and you're. . . "

". . . the only Son of the great Gull, I suppose?"  Jonathan sighed and looked out to sea.  "You don't need me any longer.  You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day, that real, unlimited Fletcher Seagull.  He's your instructor.  You need to understand him and to practice him."

A moment later Jonathan's body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent.  "Don't let them spread silly rumors about me, or make me a god.  O.K., Fletch?  I'm a seagull.  I like to fly, maybe. . . "


"Poor Fletch.  Don't believe what your eyes are telling you.  All they show is limitation.  Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly."

The shimmering stopped.  Jonathan Seagull had vanished into empty air.

After a time, Fletcher Gull dragged himself into the sky and faced a brand-new group of students, eager for their first lesson.

"To begin with," he said heavily, "you've got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself."

The young gulls looked at him quizzically.  Hey, man, they thought, this doesn't sound like a rule for a loop.

Fletcher sighed and started over.  "Hm.  Ah. . . very well," he said, and eyed them critically.  "Let's begin with Level Flight."  And saying that, he understood all at once that his friend had quite honestly been no more divine than Fletcher himself.

No limits, Jonathan?  he thought.  Well, then, the time's not distant when I'm going to appear out of thin air on your beach, and show you a thing or two about flying!

And though he tried to look properly severe for his students, Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what he saw.  No limits, Jonathan?  he thought, and he smiled.  His race to learn had begun.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Richard Bach
A wonderfully timeless exploration of what it means to go against the grain and follow the need inside to accomplish what others just don't understand. Illusions is another by Bach that challenges your perspective on life.

next page


And the more Jonathan practiced his kindness lessons, and the more he worked
to know the nature of love, the more he wanted to go back to Earth.  For in spite
of his lonely past, Jonathan Seagull was born to be an instructor, and his own
way of demonstrating love was to give something of the truth that he had seen
to a gull who asked only a chance to see truth for himself.

Richard Bach


All contents Living Life Fully, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to re-use material from this site other than copyrighted articles--
contact each author for permission to use those.  If you use material, it would be
greatly appreciated if you would provide credit and a link back to the original
source, and let us know where the material is published.  Thank you.