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Reg
12-12-2006, 11:57 AM
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

I just ordered this book a friend of mine told me about that describes what all if us can relate to in spades. It relates to us as being Outcasts. What a great story that speaks volumes of what we have gone through.

Http://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Livingston-Seagull-Richard-Bach/dp/0380012863

newlife
12-12-2006, 02:04 PM
Wow! I read this book in high school! I don't remember anything about the story, though...maybe it's time to revisit the book! I remember that it was just a small book...

Jo Jo
12-12-2006, 02:39 PM
I loved this book when I was in Jr. high... before I was a christian. I got the piano music from the movie. The movie was great. It was my very favorite piano music - I lost it somewhere when we where moving to one of the places. Wow, a blast from my past. I can't remember it very well either... but that music. :) I hope you enjoy it Reg.

exwitchoz
12-12-2006, 07:13 PM
I've never read the book or seen the movie... bit I do remember the music... ;)

Like I said I've never read it so I don't know what it's like myself for sure but I know New Agers RAVE about it... and a quick Google using the terms "New Age Movement" and "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" - LINK (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&q=%22New+Age+Movement%22+%22Jonathan+Livingston+Se agull%22&btnG=Search) makes me at least 'question' it...

Not saying don't read it... just saying 'be aware' that it may have some subtle - and not so subtle - New Age concepts in it for it to get such rave reviews and praise from New Agers...

DancingBear
12-12-2006, 07:26 PM
Here is a small portion of one person's review of JLS:

The parallels with Jesus Christ are striking, although obviously not the Jesus Christ of the New Testament, but a Jesus who may have been – as many scholars have speculated – the head of a secret esoteric school of mysticism. Certainly, this parallel is not crucial to the story, which can simply be understood as an introduction to hidden knowledge and mysticism.

Having been in college in the early 70's and remembering JLS pretty well, the music, the movie, the book, the era, the teaching, the everything.... I can't imagine that it would be anything that would really be Christian teaching. But I could be wrong.

Actually, that era was the "Native American" mysticism. JLS fits the bill. It sounds great, but is lethal...kinda like communism ;) LIke I said, I could be wrong....LOL

I really don't want you to be offended. I grew up in that era and was very into it.... just don't want you to be deceived, either....:o {{{HUG}}}

Jo Jo
12-12-2006, 08:49 PM
Dancing Bear wrote:
Actually, that era was the "Native American" mysticism.
Yeah, I can't remember actually what the book was about. But I was very into this before I became a Christian, not in a group setting or anything, just read about all the different American tribes and their religions, etc... And that one with nature stuff. I, of course, still love nature and feel close to God there. I even like some of the early church mystic's writings... their devotion to God is admirable, even if their legalism is off - you have to pick and choose through it.

This does make we want to read the book again, but sometimes because of the spiritual abuse and cult, I have trouble reading anything like that, even if it's good material. :rolleyes: :D But that music... oh I'd like to get a hold of that piano music again.

Anna Marta
12-13-2006, 02:49 AM
Hi

JLS is most definitely New Age wrapped in a beautiful ear tickling package - beware... It kind of reminds me of John Lennons song "Imagine" the music is beautiful and it carries you along UNTIL you HEAR the actual words... imagine there is no God :eek:

As an aside of anyone has not read
"A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Tale of Diversity and Discovery"

I highly recommend it. It is a classic tale of what many of us experienced with the enticement to join something that we perceived as wonderful (even though we may have had some inklings) and what happens to the different personalities when they are exposed to the pressure.

We found this to be a great tale and share it with others, especially young persons.

Love
Anna Marta

Reg
12-13-2006, 06:34 AM
Yes, one can get New Age ideas from the story. It’s like anything else. Take what you want and
leave the rest. For me personally, it is a story about seeing and learning things the rest seem to be
blind about. To find a better way that others reject. When the rest of the flock is confronted with
the new better way to fly, Jonathan is banished from the flock and becomes an outcast. It is then
he finds that he is not alone. He meets other seagulls who also have been rejected by the flock
and realizes that those who banished him need to know there is a better way. To me that is exactly what many of us have experienced. We now have a new found freedom we want to share with others. We are helping the outcasts to learn they are not alone and there is a better way the rest of the flock doesn't know about. We have a longing to share that better way.

This is from a reviewer:

I would like to point out that some people say that this book is full of New Age ideas. I really don't think so. Okay, I certainly don't know much about those ideas, and I'm not interested enough to learn more about them. But in my opinion, we often find in a book what we want to find in it.

From Wikipedia:
For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar. Ultimately this is a
fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe, or neighborhood finds your ambition threatening. (At one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock.) By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate
payoff: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness.

The novel tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily
squabbles over food and seized by a passion for flight. He pushes himself, learning everything he
can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his
clan. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as
he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two seagulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence”, where
he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make
him “a gull in a million”. Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang,
who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to
anywhere else in the universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have
already arrived”.

Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring
them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering
around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, one of his
students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to
continue his learning. In some ways, this section is as much a story of Fletcher’s realization as of
Jonathan’s continued learning.

The introduction to the third part of the book are the last words of Jonathan’s teacher: “keep
working on love.” In this part Jonathan understands that the spirit cannot be really free
without the ability to forgive, and the way to progress leads through becoming a teacher —
not just through working hard as a student. Jonathan returns to the Breakfast Flock to share
his newly discovered ideals and the recent tremendous experience, ready for the difficult fight
against the current rules of that society. The ability to forgive seems to be a mandatory “passing
condition”. “Do you want to fly so much that you will forgive the Flock, and learn, and go back
to them one day and work to help them know?” Jonathan asks his first student before getting into
any further talks. The idea that the stronger can reach more by leaving the weaker friends
behind seems totally rejected. According to some, this contradicts interpretations aligned
with the New Age ideology [1] which were later supported by Bach.

Hence, love, deserved respect, and forgiveness seem to be equally important to the freedom
from the pressure to obey the rules just because they are commonly accepted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull

Theodora
12-13-2006, 06:45 AM
The name of the book is familiar, but I've never read it. And...not really being familiar with what "New Age" ideas are supposed to be, I certainly had no clue that some were looking at this book sceptically because of the fear of somehow being tainted in their beliefs...if I'm understanding the objections correctly. ???

Well....just glad you've found something which reinforces where you are "on your journey" right now and I'm thankful to have this book brought to our attention. Perhaps...after the holidays???......I can get back to this and other things I'd like to explore???

In any case, THANKS. Hope you and yours will have a good Christmas. Have you special plans?

Theodora

--

Yes, one can get New Age ideas from the story. It’s like anything else. Take what you want and
leave the rest. For me personally, it is a story about seeing and learning things the rest seem to be
blind about. To find a better way that others reject. When the rest of the flock is confronted with
the new better way to fly, Jonathan is banished from the flock and becomes an outcast. It is then
he finds that he is not alone. He meets other seagulls who also have been rejected by the flock
and realizes that those who banished him need to know there is a better way. To me that is exactly what many of us have experienced. We now have a new found freedom we want to share with others. We are helping the outcasts to learn they are not alone and there is a better way the rest of the flock doesn't know about. We have a longing to share that better way.

This is from a reviewer:

I would like to point out that some people say that this book is full of New Age ideas. I really don't think so. Okay, I certainly don't know much about those ideas, and I'm not interested enough to learn more about them. But in my opinion, we often find in a book what we want to find in it.

From Wikipedia:
For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar. Ultimately this is a
fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe, or neighborhood finds your ambition threatening. (At one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock.) By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate
payoff: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness.

The novel tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily
squabbles over food and seized by a passion for flight. He pushes himself, learning everything he
can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his
clan. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as
he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two seagulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence”, where
he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make
him “a gull in a million”. Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang,
who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to
anywhere else in the universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have
already arrived”.

Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring
them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering
around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, one of his
students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to
continue his learning. In some ways, this section is as much a story of Fletcher’s realization as of
Jonathan’s continued learning.

The introduction to the third part of the book are the last words of Jonathan’s teacher: “keep
working on love.” In this part Jonathan understands that the spirit cannot be really free
without the ability to forgive, and the way to progress leads through becoming a teacher —
not just through working hard as a student. Jonathan returns to the Breakfast Flock to share
his newly discovered ideals and the recent tremendous experience, ready for the difficult fight
against the current rules of that society. The ability to forgive seems to be a mandatory “passing
condition”. “Do you want to fly so much that you will forgive the Flock, and learn, and go back
to them one day and work to help them know?” Jonathan asks his first student before getting into
any further talks. The idea that the stronger can reach more by leaving the weaker friends
behind seems totally rejected. According to some, this contradicts interpretations aligned
with the New Age ideology [1] which were later supported by Bach.

Hence, love, deserved respect, and forgiveness seem to be equally important to the freedom
from the pressure to obey the rules just because they are commonly accepted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull

Jerry
12-13-2006, 07:47 AM
I have read the book,,,,,I found it to be a study in socilolgy akin to the old social standby,,,,,,"Lord of the Flies" ......When Christ started His minstery,I am sure He was considered "New Age".....I found the book interesting.As with any book of it's type there are things useful and things not so useful in it's social statement,,,,,it's one mans opinion ;) You guys know Fundys,,,,,,they would complain if you hung them with a new rope :D
Love Jerry

Reg
12-13-2006, 07:49 AM
Thanks Theo.

My Mom comes up and spends a few days with me. She loves to cook the traditional dinner. Turkey and all the trimmings. She is widowed and doesn't get the chance to cook a lot. She is a good cook and you should taste her stuffing.
Something to die for. :p

Wishing all the best for you and yours.

exwitchoz
12-13-2006, 08:21 AM
I have read the book,,,,,I found it to be a study in socilolgy akin to the old social standby,,,,,,"Lord of the Flies" ......When Christ started His minstery,I am sure He was considered "New Age

I beg to differ Jerry... Sorry...

The expression “New Age” came into existence in the 1970s and 1980s. It was encouraged along by the circulation of the New Age Journal, and a book by Mark Satin called New Age Politics... Marilyn Ferguson’s best selling Aquarian Conspiracy, was a presentation of the social agenda and philosophical vision of the New Age... Ferguson’s writing attained status as the unofficial scripture of the movement. As Russell Chandler, one time religious writer for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in his small booklet, Understanding The New Age, “But if Ferguson wrote the New Age ‘Bible,‘ Shirley MacLaine is its high priestess. (Pages 6-1)

Shirley MacLaine’s book, Out On A Limb, chronicled her reluctant conversion to New Age belief... This book included her travels and studies, which included science fiction - like dimensions out-of-body travel, contact with extraterrestrial beings, and “trance channeling” (séances) - a “guided tour” of the unseen world... MacLaine’s second book, Dancing In The Light, told about her reach into the world of yoga, reincarnation, crystal power, Hindu mantras, and past-life recall experiences mediated through acupuncture... Her spirit guides informed her that each individual is God, and she pass along the wisdom to a friend that the person was unlimited... One only had to realize it. (Chandler, Page 6-2).

New Age thinking has its roots in Eastern mysticism which likes to by pass the mind... There is a new organ of perception, the "third eye", which (allegedly) gives spiritual light... One needs to get to the “psychic self” by training one’s self to ignore the messages from the mind. Really it is throwing the mind in neutral...

The Western mind, of course, is trained differently... We are people who use our reason... hopefully... The New Age thinkers came along and said that the mind is not by-passed, but it is actually the mind that is achieving “cosmic consciousness” They tell us that the mind can create reality... and that is the essence of magick which Aleister Crowley (http://exwitchaustralia.com/Glossary/CROWLEY_Aleister.html) described as "the art and science of causing change to occur in conformity with will".

In Walking Through The Darkness, Neil Anderson writes... “The New Age movement is not seen a s a religion but a new way to think and understand reality. It’s very attractive to the natural man who has become disillusioned with organized religion and Western rationalism. He desires spiritual reality but doesn’t want to give up materialism, deal with his moral problems or come under authority.” (Page 22) Then Anderson goes on and summarizes the New Age thinking (pages 22-24)

(1) It is monism. The belief that all is one and one is all. History is not the story of humanity’s fall into sin and its restoration by God’s saving grace. Rather, it is humanity’s fall into ignorance and the gradual ascent into enlightenment.

(2) All is God. If one is one, including God, then one must conclude that all is God. It is pantheism - trees, snails, books, and people are all of one divine essence. A personal God who has revealed Himself in the Bible and in Jesus Christ is completely abandoned. Since God is impersonal, the New Ager doesn’t have to be served. He is an “it,” not an “He.”

(3) There is a change in consciousness. If we are God, we need to know we are God. We must become cosmically conscious, also called “at-one-ment (a counterfeit of atonement) self-realization, god-realization, enlightenment nor attune-ment. Some who reach this enlightened status will claim to be “born again.” This is counterfeit biblical conversion. The real essential is not whether or not we be believe or meditate, but who we believe in and what we meditate upon. Christ is true personal objective reality as He said that He was the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

(4) A cosmic evolutionary optimism is taught. There is a New Age coming. There will be a new world order, a new world government. The New Age thinkers believe that there will eventually be a progressive unification of world consciousness. This, of course, according to the Bible is a counterfeit kingdom led by Satan himself. Christ has the true kingdom which will one day rule on earth with peace for all who accept Him as Savior and King.

(5) New Agers create their own reality. They believe that they can create reality by what they believe, so by changing what they believe, they can change reality. All moral boundaries have been erased by the metaphysical influence of Taoism’s yin and yang, the ebb and flow of competing and complementary forces. There are no absolutes because there is no distinction between good and evil. Nothing has reality until one says that it is reality or says that it is truth. If finite man can create truth, we are in desperate trouble in our society. Unless there are eternal absolutes from the eternal God, man will eventually be his own destruction.

(6) New Agers make contact with the kingdom of darkness. Calling a medium a “channeler,” and a demon a “spirit guide” has not changed the reality of what they are. This is the kingdom of darkness of which Satan is the head, who asked Eve, “Has God said?” Those involved in this kind of activity are in contact with the world that is totally opposed to the biblical God revealed to us in Jesus Christ who defeated Satan in His life (Matthew 4:1-11), and then through His death and bodily resurrection, Christ defeated Satan (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-18).



IMHO... the New Age movement is a counterfeit movement that appeals to the minds of individuals leading them to think that that they are God and can enhance their lives through their own person (the serpent's lie in Eden)... However if one follows the logic of this is thought through to its natural conclusion it becomes quickly apparent that this is impossible...

We are born, grow up, live awhile on planet earth and die... Humans are finite... We can never be God...

We need someone greater than us yet like us who can come and provide us forgiveness and life eternal... Only One has filled this description - Jesus Christ - God come in the flesh...

Thru His death and bodily resurrection for us, He has won for us what we desperately need, forgiveness before God and life that guarantees us purpose and meaning in this life with life beyond the grave... and that is something the New Age movement can never deliver despite all its promises...

Sorry for writing a book about it... but to say Christ was considered 'New Age' in His time... well... that just ain't right....

jimsmuse
12-13-2006, 09:08 AM
I must admit I got into it in the mid seventies and I just thought it a great way to begin talking spirituality with my friends. Then, Neil Diamond did an album and there were a couple of anthems we did from that at church. "Dear Father" was one of them. It's beautiful. But then, and I can't remember the author but I have it at home, there was another book that came out called "Benjiman Alexander Sheep" . It is a hilarious judeo-christian version of JLS!! Quite poignant. But Seagull was a cool thing for me I guess I can extrapolate what I need and go from there with most things. I am always reading "Christ-sightings" into just about every literary genre! I love to look for them!!!

Jerry
12-13-2006, 10:12 AM
Dear JeanLuc,,,,
Come on man ,,,,,,you know I didn't mean anything that deep ;) My point was that Christ was considered by His contemproarys as "Outside The Box" so to speak...........Your right "New Age" is a whole different Genre than Christianity :D
Love Jerry :p

Reg
12-13-2006, 10:35 AM
Hey guys.

Sorry this is turning into New Age stuff. That is not what this is all about.
I found it is to be a great story that can relate what we have gone through to others who that haven't experienced SA and what it is like. That's been one of our great bugaboos. The lack of understanding.

I looked at it as a great bridge builder to relate our experience to others who for the most part mis-understand us and our reality. It can sort of be common ground we can build our stories on. There are so many analogies that relate to our experiences. That is all I wanted to convey in posting it.

It's getting waaaaay too deep with this New Age stuff. :rolleyes:

Jerry
12-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Is ok Reg ,,,,,Jean Luc is a studier like me ,,,,,we are just "Kicken it Around" lol no big deal ;)
Love Jerry

P.S. JeanLucs post is right on the money,,,,,,mine was probably too vague an analogy

Anna Marta
12-13-2006, 01:05 PM
Speaking of "New Age" -it makes me think of something completely different.

Oh my, if we could choose a new age - I don't know what age I would choose anymore.

When I was 13 I wanted to be 16 then I wanted to be 18 then 21 and so on down the line then I started going backwards again...

Today, I like my age. Do you like yours, or would you choose a new age if you could?

Anna Marta

Jerry
12-13-2006, 01:12 PM
Speaking of "New Age" -it makes me think of something completely different.

Oh my, if we could choose a new age - I don't know what age I would choose anymore.

When I was 13 I wanted to be 16 then I wanted to be 18 then 21 and so on down the line then I started going backwards again...

Today, I like my age. Do you like yours, or would you choose a new age if you could?

Anna Marta
Dear Anna,,,
No ,,,,,I like my age ........I have often thought ,,,,"If I had it to do all over again,,,,,I would make a whole different set of mistakes" :D Doing it over would serve no useful purpose ;)
Love Jerry

exwitchoz
12-13-2006, 02:21 PM
Is ok Reg ,,,,,Jean Luc is a studier like me ,,,,,we are just "Kicken it Around" lol no big deal ;)
Love Jerry

Yep... we're cool ;)

P.S. JeanLucs post is right on the money,,,,,,mine was probably too vague an analogy

*shrugs* Hey... I'd expect you to do likewise to me too Jerry when I make a 'gaff'... like I said... We're cool... I gathered it was little more than a bad analogy type of thing...

Sorry I wrote a book about it... :o *blush*

***Does best Michael Jackson impression***
Don’t blame it on the sunshine...
Don’t blame it on the moonlight...
Don’t blame it on the good times...
Blame it on the CAFFINE... :D