You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.
The conversation between Fletcher and Jonathan Livingston Seagull is centered on why some have achieved more than others . . . are they divine . . . ahead of their times . . . Fletcher says, Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anybody who wanted to discover it; that's got nothing to do with time. We're ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way most gulls fly. Poor Fletch. Don't you believe what your eyes are telling you? All they show is limitations. Look with your understanding, find out what you already... Read more »
Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright. Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well.
We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture. We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it to gravel, we can shape it into glory. Examples from every other life are left for us to see, lifeworks finished and unfinished, guiding and warning. Near the end our sculpture is nearly finished, and we can smooth and polish what we started years before. We can make our progress then, but to do it we must see past the appearances of age.
Life does not require us to be consistent, cruel, patient, helpful, angry, rational, thoughtless, loving, rash, open-minded, neurotic, careful, rigid, tolerant, wasteful, rich, downtrodden, gentle, sick, considerate, funny, stupid, healthy, greedy, beautiful, lazy, responsive, foolish, sharing, pressured, intimate, hedonistic, industrious, manipulative, insightful, capricious, wise, selfish, kind or sacrificed. Life does, however, require us to live with the consequences of our choices.
For a moment, off balance, was I annoyed? Anger is always fear, I thought, and fear is always fear of loss. Would I lose myself if he made those choices? It took a second to settle down: I'd lose nothing. They'd be his wishes, not mine, and he's free to live as he wants. The loss would come if I dared force him, tried to live for him and me as well. There'd be disaster worse than life on a bar stool.
Here's how the people live here, in big house-shaped boxes to keep off 'rain' and 'snow,' holes cut in the sides so they can see out. They move around in smaller boxes, painted different colours, with wheels on the corners. They need this box-culture because each person thinks of herself and himself as locked in a box called a 'body,' arms and legs, fingers to move pencils and tools, languages because they've forgotten how to communicate, eyes because they've forgotten how to see. Odd little planet. Wish you were here. Home soon.