Beyond Mere Survival: The Pursuit of Perfection and Spiritual Lessons from “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” written by Richard Bach, was published in the United States in 1970 and became a bestseller worldwide. 

The story features a seagull named Jonathan Livingston, who is devoted to mastering the art of flying. 

He seeks to fly faster and with greater freedom, but his peers cannot understand his passion. 

Jonathan’s father also admonished him, saying, “Don’t forget that the reason you fly is to eat.” 

Jonathan, who had an insatiable desire to fly, was finally expelled from the flock. 

Yet, his quest did not stop. 

In his continued pursuit, he encountered other seagulls who shared his ideals. 

And they stated that what is important in life is not just to live long, but to ascend to spiritual heights and aim for a state of perfection. 

Many people work to live, and it seems that merely living has inadvertently become their goal. 

Is it not that many are content with just getting by, or think it’s enough to earn money and live comfortably? 

However, we were not born into this world just to be able to live; we were born to achieve something. 

Everyone has a purpose and meaning for being born. 

It seems that “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” suggests this very idea. 

By the way, the chapter added in 2014 features Jonathan, who becomes aware of the importance of the spiritual world and shares the truths he discovers with his companions.  

However, after he disappears, the remaining disciples begin to deify him, and his teachings become mere formalities. 

This may also contain criticism of the Christian church. 

What’s important is not merely to deify and worship great individuals, but to practice their teachings and walk the path ourselves, I believe. 

Translated by Kyoko.U