It was the early seventies when I was a young boy in his
twenties all alone struggling to understand the meaning of life. The
immediate resistance was society which fails to understand such an
aspiration. I was interested in realizing life through a contemplative
process rather than living an active life – as people do normally. And to
me came in book form Jonathan Livingston Seagull who stood by during
a crucial struggle of overcoming social obstacles and limitations.
During these days that by the grace of truth came in life someone like a
Chiang – a spiritual master– a monk, who carried us to a deeper search of
life that rises beyond time space and person to be timeless spaceless
impersonal consciousness through the process of contemplation. In India, a
group of aspirants given exclusively to such a pursuit are called
monks. He himself was a monk and gradually shaped the lives of a few disciples
into monks to be focused on a life such as this.
His life and teaching echoed that of Jonathan Seagull. He always asked us
to bring mind to a standstill so that truth from a realm above the mind
descends into mind, he would call it a visionary experience.
Richard, had you been in India, you would not have found yourself alien because
of the vision you had that Jonathan Seagull descended in the form of a
book. A serious spiritual aspirant verily waits for such a moment and
revelation, and a spiritual master prepares his disciples for such an
The spiritual master whom I chanced to meet never came across the book Jonathan Seagull – to my understanding he was away from reading. I was then
surprised when during the last part of his life, he talked of his vision of
a seagull rising high upwards to the sky to be melted into The Blue. I was
startled to hear this.
He left as a loner who strongly warned us, his few disciples, against any
attempt to institutionalize him, turning him to a prisoner of a cage rather than a
free bird of the sky.
Presently, I am living as a recluse in India, almost approaching old age. Last
year, I was in meditation, not thinking when the mind is active, nor
contemplating when the mind is frozen on a thought. Meditation had taken the
shape of silence where mind itself stops movement and becomes itself a vast
expanse of emptiness.
And a vision appeared of an infinite expanse of Blue and a shining bright seagull, and a clear voice said, “Fly up… still further up!” and the bird gracefully flapped its wings lifting the body straight upwards. I could see myself as The Gull and the sound as the voice of The Great Gull.
I write these words to share the transcendental world of visions that is
considered in India infinitely more real than this world of mind and