Jonathon Livingston Seagull

Jonathon Livingston Seagull

By: Richard Bach

Type: Extended Parable

Setting: An unknown coast, home of a large flock of seagulls


The book follows the exploits of Jonathon, a seagull determined to fly faster than any seagull has flown before. In his attempts, he is alienated from the flock and eventually kicked out to make a life of his own on another cost. Although this is seemingly disastrous, it becomes exactly what Jonathon needed, and he then has the freedom to experiment and devise new methods of flight control with no one to tell him he is wrong. 


This is far more than just a book about a gull. It is obviously (and beautifully) a parable for the way Richard Bach feels we should live our lives. Everyone, regardless of profession or abilities, should be able to get something positive out of this short book. The main theme teaches us to do the best we possibly can at whatever we attempt, despite what the flock may say. In fact, Jonathon didn’t realize how much the flock was holding him back until he was away from it. Because he was no longer exposed to constant negative criticism, he was able to reach all of his goals and discover that he had new ones to strive for. 


This book won’t be news to the kind of person who does his or her best at everything already, but it will be an excellent reading experience and a positive reinforcement to that lifestyle. For a person afraid to break away from an easy, comfortable lifestyle, this book may provide the incentive to do so. I know of no thinking being that would not be able to find something of worth inJonathon Livingston Seagull.


Platonic Relationship

Platonic Relationship

Plato strove within the grove to teach
His young students of life
How one foot in the soot and one in the clouds
creates balance and lessens the strife

In our walk on the block path of
Personal growth.
Still, we’re rarely aware that to grow,
We need both

A fiery desire for spiritual things and an
Eye to agreements we’ve built.
All too often we soften commitments to one,
And in the other plunge deep to the hilt.

It is easy and pleasing to stay on the ground
Ignoring the ways to higher self
Or hang out in the clouds with our crystals and shrouds
Putting Earthly cares up on a shelf.

I stand with my hand ’round a disconnect tag
Left by some gone electrical truck,
Blink my eyes, realize that I’m stretching to grow
But my butt is stuck firmly in muck.

— Stace Johnson, 1993