Architects of a New Dawn

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Heaven is Being Perfect ~ a (incomplete) personal evaluation of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

As many of you may well know by now, JLS has long been on my bookshelf....almost since its publication in fact.... not necessarily the same copy as so many I have worn out, given away and replaced over and over.

In 2008 I began an indepth evaluation of JLS for I knew it had something much deeper to share with me. Following is part of this evaluation with quotes from the book (page #s given may not always reflect your copy of course so you may have to search a bit for the quotes highlighted.)

It was been written in several parts but I have included them all here for containment.

Enjoy
Love Elizabethxx

-----------------------------------
Heaven is Being Perfect ~ a (incomplete) personal evaluation of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

Written in early 2008


I have once again been reflecting upon this little book and its contents and it came to me this morning that we, as global consciousness, appear to be at the end or Part 1 and entering Part 2 stage of the book where JLS moves on to the Next School of Learning. All the talk here at Just One forum of recent days of the body and exposure and renewal and so on.....mmmmmm...here is what JLS book says:


Towards the end of part 1, page 12/13, while practising his flying, Jonathan is joined by two strangers:


"We're from your Flock, Jonathan. We are your brothers." The
words were strong and calm. "We've come to take you higher, to
take you home."

"Home I have none. Flock I have none. I am Outcast. And we fly
now at the peak of the Great Mountain Wind. Beyond a few hundred
feet, I can lift this old body no higher."

"But you can Jonathan. For you have learned. One school is
finished, and the time has come for another to begin."


As it had shined across him all his life, so understanding
lighted that moment for Jonathan Seagull. They were right. He
could fly higher, and it was time to go home.


He gave one last look across the sky, across that magnificent
silver land where he had learned so much.

"I'm ready " he said at last.

And Jonathan Livingston Seagull rose with the two starbright
gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky.


Talk about letting go of all earthly/worldly everything.. and we are not talking physical death here...but more a total surrender of everything about who and what we think and feel we are


Then the beginning of Part 2 pg 14


Part Two

So this is heaven, he thought, and he had to smile at himself.
It was hardly respectful to analyze heaven in the very moment
that one flies up to enter it.

As he came from Earth now, above the clouds and in close
formation with the two brilliant gulls, he saw that his own body was growing as bright as theirs. True, the same young Jonathan Seagull was there that had always lived behind his golden eyes, but the outer form had changed.


It felt like a seagull body, but alreadv it flew far better
than his old one had ever flown. Why, with half the effort, he
thought, I'll get twice the speed, twice the performance of my
best days on Earth!

His feathers glowed brilliant white now, and his wings were
smooth and perfect as sheets of polished silver. He began,
delightedly, to learn about them, to press power into these new wings.

At two hundred fifty mlles per hour he felt that he was nearing
his level-flight maximum speed. At two hundred seventy-three he
thought that he was flying as fast as he could fly, and he was
ever so faintly disappointed. There was a limit to how much the
new body could do, and though it was much faster than his old
level-flight record, it was still a limit that would take great
effort to crack. In heaven, he thought, there should be no limits.

The clouds broke apart, his escorts called, "Happy landings,
Jonathan," and vanished into thin air.


The wisdom in the highlighted, underlined piece above is terrific...


"As he came from Earth now, above the clouds and in close
formation with the two brilliant gulls..."
............the total surrender of all worldly ways, beyond all darkness, and aligned with the divine essence ..(rather like Jesus said, ?)


"....he saw that his own body was growing as bright as theirs."......The lightbody is now a visible reality as we come into full alignment

"True, the same young Jonathan Seagull was there that had always lived behind his golden eyes, but the outer form had changed."........bringing the inside out into full demonstration and even the physical body changes when aligned in full Oneness as the divine Beings we are.

What a realisation.... I thought I had learnt so much from this little book last year, but it always comes up trumps with more and more... oh the depth of this little book of truth.


On my continued read-about, I re-membered that JLS let go of all memory of his past life on earth when he moved on... sound familiar??... let go of all past including memories.. so why are we all worried about memory loss .. it is all part of the divine plan, so to speak...


When JLS arrived in the place he called Heaven, he was tired, but couldn't understand why, and he slept... in sleep we have learnt that healing/realignment/letting go/surrendering occurs... also not new, but nice to have it refreshed once again. Many of us are so tired and exhausted/wiped out and have been for months... all part of the realignment occurring.. (Edit: and in 2009 this continues!!)


Then he realises there is little/no conversation but all is communicated through telepathy... a skill we are all coming to learn more and more as we open ourselves to this... this appears to be the communication mode in the Now future...


JLS is aware that there are not many gulls around him in this new place and those that are there are of like mind... he questions why there are not many there in this new place of Learning... and is told about some need many lifetimes, and a few, "one-in-a-million, like himself are learning lots in one lifetime.... sound familiar to this lifetime we are in?? And again we know that as we let go of the world/earthly ways, including our families perhaps for some of us, we begin to find ourselves attracting into our lives those of like-mind... an important step in the next learning phase....and this is I feel happening now as a changing of the guard is occurring I have found in the past few weeks as people are coming and going and so on... in my personal life and in the wider field of various online networks and beyond.... all perfect of course.

JLS continues with his learning of flight but also comes to the realisation that there are still limitations in place in this new home he is in which he has called Heaven... he also knew in his heart that Heaven is a place of no limitations... so he questions...

On page 17 (page references I give are those of the online JLS book at the link in the first posting) we find this:

"One evening the gulls that were not night-flying stood together on the sand, thinking. Jonathan took all his courage in hand and walked to the Elder Gull, who, it was said, was soon to be moving beyond this world. "Chiang..." he said a little nervously.

The old seagull looked at him kindly. "Yes, my son?" Instead of
being enfeebled by age, the Elder had been empowered by it
; he could outfly any gull in the Flock, and he had learned skills
that the others were only gradually coming to know.

"Chiang, this world isn't heaven at all, is it?" The Elder
smiled in the moonlight. "You are learning again, Jonathan
Seagull," he said.

"Well, what happens from here? Where are we going? Is there no
such place as heaven?"

"No, Jonathan, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place,
and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect."
He was silent
for a moment. "You are a very fast flier, aren't you?"

"I... I enjoy speed," Jonathan said, taken aback but proud that
the Elder had noticed.

"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." "


So "age" is to been seen as an empowerment, not a disempowerment

And heaven is not a place or a time, but is being perfect...and we touch heaven by being there...

So thoughts perceived on this are for now WE ARE EMPOWERED AND ARE ALREADY PERFECT and have always been so and this is the realisation of in need of full acceptance... no judgment of right or wrong, good or bad or any such else...instead the full acceptance of all that is is all that is regardless and allowance of this being so as it is so.

Being present in our full empowerment and full perfection, NOW..as we are as all that is.... this is heaven, freedom, empowerment, oneness fully realised...

Again.. heaven is be-ing perfect and we already are perfect NOW...already empowered now.... let it Be-come


So what is this perfection that is being spoken of by Chiang in JLS book..

I see it as the divine spark of God/dess/Source/Original Creator/Supreme Soul within us All.. that heavenly/havenly sacred space we go to when in deep meditation, that safe space, that place of purity, serenity, tranquility, utter peacefulness, that place of PURE LOVE.

Just BE/ing/coming IT is bringing this inside perfection out into full view, full nakedness, full transparency, full exposure.

It is the caterpillar into the butterfly.. the metamorphosis.. turning inside out...

I remember when I gave birth to my eldest son in 1972, I had the experience that the placenta did not come away and had to be transferred from the country hospital where the birth took place to the central one in the nearest city. After the removal of the placenta, they kept me there a couple of days observation and within 24 hours I went into toxic shock and the Drs realised that they had not removed all the placenta etc and it was poisoning me.. during the emergency op which took place, I remember the experience of giving birth to myself through my own birth canal...a truly amazing experience which spoke to me even back then, some 37 years ago, that to be me, I needed to turn inside out... talk about a graphic experience... and one which I have never forgotten..

We are therefore being asked to demonstrate in full view this perfection NOW, which has been with us always, but it is now time for it to be fully lived.

______________________


So let's attempt to reap some more wisdom from this wondrous little book of Richard Bach's....

Continuing on from page 17 thru page 20 in the online version (see initial thread posting for link):

Chiang: "...Perfect speed, my son, is being there."

Without warning, Chiang vanished and appeared at the water's
edge fifty feet away, all in the flicker of an instant. Then he vanished again and stood, in the same millisecond, at Jonathan's shoulder. "It's kind of fun," he said.

Jonathan was dazzled. He forgot to ask about heaven. "How do
you do that? What does it feel like? How far can you go?"

"You can go to any place and to any time that you wish to go," the Elder said. "I've gone everywhere and everywhen I can think of." He looked across the sea. "It's strange. 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. Remember, Jonathan, heaven isn't a place or a time, because place and time are so very meaningless. Heaven is..."

"Can you teach me to fly like that?" Jonathan Seagull trembled
to conquer another unknown.

"Of course if you wish to learn."

"I wish. When can we start?".

"We could start now if you'd like."

"I want to learn to fly like that," Jonathan said and a strange
light glowed in his eyes. "Tell me what to do,"

Chiang spoke slowly and watched the younger gull ever so
carefully. "To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is," he
said, "you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived ..."

The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to stop seeing
himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two
inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.

Jonathan kept at it, fiercely, day after day, from before
sunrise till past midnight. And for all his effort he moved not
a feather width from his spot.

"Forget about faith!" Chiang said it time and again. "You
didn't need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying
.This
is just the same. Now try again ..."

Then one day Jonathan, standing on the shore, closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash knew what Chiang had been telling him. "Why, that's true! I am a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy.

"Good!" said Chiang and there was victory in his voice.

Jonathan opened his eyes. He stood alone with the Elder on a
totally different seashore - trees down to the water's edge,
twin yellow suns turning overhead.

"At last you've got the idea," Chiang said, "but your control
needs a little work... "

Jonathan was stunned. "Where are we?"

Utterly unimpressed with the strange surroundings, the Elder
brushed the question aside. "We're on some planet, obviously,
with a green sky and a double star for a sun."

Jonathan made a scree of delight, the first sound he had made
since he had left Earth. "IT WORKS!"

"Well, of course, it works, Jon." said Chiang. "It always
works, when you know what you're doing. Now about your control..."

By the time they returned, it was dark. The other gulls looked
at Jonathan with awe in their golden eyes, for they had seen him disappear from where he had been rooted for so long.

He stood their congratulations for less than a minute. "I'm the
newcomer here! I'm just beginning! It is I who must learn from you!"

"I wonder about that, Jon," said Sullivan standing near. "You
have less fear of learning than any gull I've seen in ten
thousand years. "The Flock fell silent, and Jonathan fidgeted in embarrassment.

"We can start working with time if you wish," Chiang said,
"till you can fly the past and the future. And then you will be
ready to begin the most difficult, the most powerful, the most fun of all. You will be ready to begin to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love
."


So let's evaluate the above a bit further.....

>>"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
.".........

"Forget about faith!" Chiang said it time and again. "You
didn't need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying.
.".....

"Then one day Jonathan, standing on the shore, closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash knew what Chiang had been telling him. "Why, that's true! I am a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy."

"We can start working with time if you wish," Chiang said,
"till you can fly the past and the future. And then you will be ready to begin the most difficult, the most powerful, the most fun of all. You will be ready to begin to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love
."


In another piece of writing in mid 2007 I wrote about the center of all life, ie God/dess/Soul, being everywhere at the same time...NOW

And this I feel is what the above pieces from JLS are saying... all is NOW, eternally so, ...travelling through time and space involves forsaking perfection, so in accepting/realising the perfection we are NOW we go anywhere INSTANTLY which is also NOW, as in the now moment we are present everywhere at the same time in our pure essence form, of which the body is an extension of course..the important thing to note here is to move beyond faith to a place of understanding (under=sub & standing =stance, hence substance which is form - thus bringing it, the idea into form through experience), for then the truth is you/me in the essence of experience..and from the experience comes the wisdom...

Jonathan realises this as his experience in a flash of understanding... THE EUREKA MOMENT...in the now-presence of omnipotent understanding/substance he realised his I AMness...it then become formed by his experiencing his instant manifestation of being instantly elsewhere

And in that moment of substance, the eureka moment, "AHA, I'VE GOTTIT" moment, we ".... fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love." for this is the truth which sets us free... in knowing the meaning of kindness and love we have realised/are realising (ie seeing/understanding with real-eyes) that in substance/form this is our true being/nature which is everywhere now.

_____________________


Let's look at some more from the excerpts from JLS already quoted in previous sharings:

Chiang spoke slowly and watched the younger gull ever so carefully. "To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is," he said, "you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived ..."

The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.

"Begin my knowing that you have already arrived.."


and

"...to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body.."

and

"...to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time."

In these three statements alone is profound wisdom.

"God" is perfect we know that and is not disputed by anyone

"God" lives in our heart... that is a given, understood by us all ...the kingdom of "God" is within us all we are told in most sacred scripts.

"God" creates perfection and we are created in its image, thus a perfect image...

If we do not accept that "God" is perfect, that its creations are perfect, that "God", this perfection, is within us all, then we are denying all that "God" is and thus who we are, at least in my book.. and that is what we have been doing for the last few thousand years... denying our perfect truth of who we are... Creator in full and perfect image, NOW and always have been.

It is often discussed what is perceived as "imperfections"..fair enough.. however I say that as long as one focuses upon all these "imperfections" that is what one will continue to perceive in one's life... more and more "imperfections".

A change of focus brings a change of perception... and the perceived "imperfections" dissipate....

Focus is an important key....I no longer choose to focus upon that as I wish to Be the perfection IAM created to Be, now and always.

In claiming this gift of focus, IAM, in doing so, applying the universal law of attraction and thus magnifying this perfection as my reality...this is what it means by the statement above:

BEGIN BY KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY ARRIVED.

IAM already perfect now... I begin by knowing this and with continued focus on this perfection it is/will manifest more and more in my day to day life.

In the true essence of perfection, "God" does not create limitedness as it is unlimited, therefore the body is only perceived as limited because we have believed it to be so. Let go of this belief and the unlimitedness of infinity kicks in, the body morphs into be the body of light which is unlimited and thus no longer are we trapped.. we are now physically immortal. {This morphing occurs gradually of course}

And in this state of immortality we are in/as/of the centre of All There Is, God/Supreme Soul/whatever one calls this Original Creator, at all times everywhere in all time and space...in other words, we are as One with All Life, God, expressing as the individual (indivisible are we) perfect One...

Yes there is only One of US...singular and plural yet US all as One.. a conundrum it may seem, yet not so...

"God" is unlimited in the variations it can express itSelf...thus the US, you and I and EveryOne, are the examples of these infinite and unlimited variations of expression, being the perfect One, complete and whole, the perfection of each a microcosm within the macrocosm, in a perfectly unlimited way...

_________________

So let's continue.......

I would like to explore the following a little further

The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.

And in this context too the follow bible scriptures:

God is Love (1Jn 4:8 & 1Jn 4:16)

and

Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10)

and

In Him (Love) we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)

As long as we remain stuck in the belief (for that is all that it is, a belief, and so is changeable!) that the physical body is a limitation/trap/prison then that is what it is to us.

So change the belief by removing it, the belief, all together...

Our true nature, that of God/dess/Soul Supreme/Love/Divinity/Call it what you wish to...is within us waiting to be lived in all its magnificence, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.

In being still and knowing I am God,Love, I am in perfect Oneness with creation/Creator of All there is, and thus living and moving and being in/as/of Love with all there is.

The perfect movement is in being still, for in this stillness one knows/experiences the perfect, infinite Being as who One Is/I Am, and in this perfect unlimitedness, I Am Being all there is as my true nature expressed everywhere at once across all space and time.

This just came to me..

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God...etc (Jn 1:1)

In another group (Care2 Mushaba grp) we have been exploring the split word.. that eons ago the God/Source essence split in two - masculine/feminine - exploring itself as two aspects of the One...

The "I Am" as masculine expressed and the "I Am" as feminine expressed

In the return to the realisation of our truth of Being One, we no longer are "split" or separated and thus the "I Am" is now "IAM"

On searching the net for a discourse/meaning/significence of "IAM" my heart jumped when I saw "Est iam" (Latin?) given to mean "is now"!!!!!!

So taking this one step further.....

IAM means NOW...PRESENT..PRESENCE... wow....

Gotta leave this now as rather awed by this...more later

Note....the above was written in early 2008

__________________

Continuing......

Since my spiritual awakening in 1986, my life has since then been a journey of striving to understand the foundations of all life..

Back when I first read JLS in the 1970s I always had the inner promptings, but material life had a way of "getting in the way" so to speak, yet it all perfectly contributed to the process. After my 1986 awakening, it has in the main been an uninterrupted ongoing process of learning, understanding and striving for more, as we all here are now doing/being it seems.

We are now at the point of learning, understanding and practising the greatest principle of all - LOVE, that perfect invisible essence of all life, which of course is God/dess/Source/Divine Creator/Call is what you wish. And this of course is what/who we are, LOVE

JLS places the highest order on this, as this excerpt from p 20 states:

We can start working with time if you wish," Chiang said,
"till you can fly the past and the future. And then you will be
ready to begin the most difficult, the most powerful, the most fun of all. You will be ready to begin to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love."


A month went by, or something that felt about like a month, and Jonathan learned at a tremendous rate. He always had learned quickly from ordinary experience, and now, the special student of the Elder Himself, he took in new ideas like a streamlined feathered computer.

But then the day came that Chiang vanished. He had been talking quietly with them all, exhorting them never to stop their learning and their practicing and their striving to understand more of the perfect invisible principle of all life. Then, as he spoke, his feathers went brighter and brighter and at last turned so brilliant that no gull could look upon him.

"Jonathan," he said, and these were the last words that he
spoke, "keep working on love."

When they could see again, Chiang was gone.


And here is where we are at presently I feel:

And then you will be ready to begin the most difficult, the most powerful, the most fun of all. You will be ready to begin to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and of love."

and

...exhorting them never to stop their learning and their practicing and their striving to understand more of the perfect invisible principle of all life.

So....here we are presently... learning to understand the all-encompassing life principle - God/dess/Love. and the fun in doing so!! When I look back over the past few years, I do wonder where the fun in it all is however!! I feel it is more about seeing the funny side of the material life rather than taking it all so seriously...mmmm... this journey of separation has been rather an insane one when we boil it all down, don't you think?

It is interesting to observe the difference here to that which has been previously discussed... earlier JLS was flying back and forth in past and future....that forever pendulum swing which we have been "enjoying" for eons!!

Now he is learning to fly up and know the meaning of kindness and love

We have already discussed the quote from JLS "begin by knowing you have already arrived"

If we already are up (there) and are love from the beginning and already know the meaning of kindness and love, what is asked of us then, is to strive in the learning,practising (putting into practise) and understanding (remember under = sub & stand(ing) = stance thus substance = form) of that which we already are. ie...bringing it into form, the material, bodily experience...our immortality as the material reality of Love/God/dess manifest!

So this to me is being that which we already are, Love/God/dess/ in form... and Chiang showed us exactly that when, as he spoke:

...and his feathers went brighter and brighter and at last turned so brilliant that no gull could look upon him


and his last words were:

"Jonathan," he said, and these were the last words that he
spoke, "keep working on love."


and

When they could see again, Chiang was gone.

Chiang had ascended

The split/separated Word, I AM, is now One, IAM, NOW ...

"EST IAM"...."IS NOW"..."HERE & NOW".

_________________

After Chiang's departure, Jonathan continues to work on kindness and love as Chiang has reminded him to do..sharing his understandings with other gulls..... and it is interesting to note that the more he practiced/put into practice kindness and love, the more the desire kept coming for him to return to his former Earth home to assist other outcast gulls like he once was.

We read on pages 20/21: (remember these page #s may differ from your copy)

"As the days went past, Jonathan found himself thinking time and
again of the Earth from which he had come. If he had known there just a tenth, just a hundredth, of what he knew here, how much more life would have meant! He stood on the sand and fell to wondering if there was a gull back there who might be struggling to break out of his limits, to see the meaning of flight beyond a way of travel to get a breadcrumb from a rowboat. Perhaps there might even have been one made Outcast for speaking his truth in the face of the Flock. 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."


Yet while Sullivan (his instructor/companion) initially dissuaded him from returning, eventually the desire to return to Earth became overwhelming as we read on page 21/22:

"But the old feeling came back, and he couldn't help but think that there might be one or two gulls back on Earth who would be able to learn, too. How much more would he have known by now if Chiang had come to him on the day that he was Outcast!

"Sully, I must go back " he said at last ..............."

"Good bye, Sully. We'll meet again." And with that, Jonathan held in thought an image of the great gull flocks on the shore of another time, and he knew with practiced ease that he was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all."


In the process of finding his own way now after Chiang's departure, it becomes apparent that JLS is now his own teacher/guru with all his understandings and knowledge coming from within himself .. these he gladly shares with those around him but also his heart is prompted to return to Earth school to share with those like himself as he once was, who are now Outcasts from the flock....those who had dared speak their truth....sound familiar??

All JLS's former feelings of hurt and rejection have long dissipated (forgivness/letting go/surrendering principles) now as he moves on to his new purpose.

Within the lessons of perfect flight, JLS had found the understanding of unlimitedness and absolute freedom of and as and through the practice of kindness and love.

This is who and what he is, fully manifest...his understanding/s are such that no re-entry is needed now through the reincarnation cycle of birth/death as in the past...

He arrives fully manifest as Himself, divine, whole, complete and perfect


______________________

And now a wonderful video created by Mary Hession from her own photography and music from the JLS movie by Neil Diamond.

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