For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.
But the speed was power, and the speed was joy, and the speed was pure beauty.
As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within him. There’s no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed I’d have falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull.
How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!
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.
The most important thing in living was to reach out and touch perfection in that which they most loved to do, and that was to fly.
To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is ... you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.
The gull sees farthest who flies highest.
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?
The gulls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere, instantly.
You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.
We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing , and the next is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.
You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.
The price of being misunderstood ... They call you devil or they call you god.
Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding.
The only true law is that which leads to freedom.... There is no other.
More Richard Bach Quotes