Tag-Archive for » Neil Diamond «

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” A Journey Of “How To Know God”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Dear fellow bloggers

I decided to create a blog to share my views on experiences that enlighten me, give me joy and make me grow and hopefully would do the same for whoever read my blog.  I wanted to have a Soul 2 Soul discussion.

Sitting on a bench by the River Thames in London, listening to music on my mobile while contemplating what my first blog post should be, Neil Diamond’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” track started to play.  As synchronicity would have it, right at that very moment some people started to throw bread into the river and suddenly a flock of Seagulls flew in.  The timing startled me and I observed the seagulls as the haunting music and Neil’s beautiful voice and powerful lyrics soared in my soul.

I started looking out for “Jonathan” and sure enough I found him, cause just above the flock was a solitary seagull observing the scene from high above.  I felt the chills and then memories flooded in of my 15 year old self many many years ago sitting in my school auditorium in Johannesburg watching the movie “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” on the big white screen because I loved Neil Diamond’s music.  To this day I still feel the profound impact this movie and the book by Richard Bach had on me.  I wish now that I had not got rid of my diaries when I decided to move to London so that I could have read exactly what my 15 year old self felt at the time, but I know for sure that it set me onto a path I have followed since … my very own journey into the Self.

The fable of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” is of a bird determined to be more than ordinary, a bird that dared to question and dared to dream of seeking a higher purpose in life.  His lack of conformity to the limited seagull life leads him into conflict and is outcast by his flock so his journey begins.  He learned from all of his efforts that there are no limits and he could do anything, if he wanted it badly enough.  With each flight to better himself, he soars to higher levels of awareness of Self and God, becoming a teacher/guide to others.  He realizes that you have to be true to yourself: “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way”.  He believes that human and God, regardless of the all immense difference, are sharing something sacred that binds them together: “Each of us is in truth an idea of the Great Gull, an unlimited idea of freedom”.  By not compromising his beliefs and his higher vision, he gets the ultimate payoff: transcendence and learns the meaning of love, kindness, forgiveness and grace.

Observing the seagulls it dawned on me that Jonathan’s journey so aligned and linked with what Deepak Chopra wrote many years later in one of my favourite books “How To Know God” which I had just finished re-reading – to paraphrase/quote – that the brain is hardwired to know God because the human nervous system has seven biological responses that correspond to seven levels of divine experience.  These are avenues to attain some aspect of God and with each level of fulfilment proving God’s reality at that level.

Level 1 (Fight-or-Flight Response):
God is the Protector
World of bare survival
I am a Survivor
I cope
I find God through fear & devotion
My life’s challenge is to survive & protect
My greatest strength is courage
Biggest hurdle is fear of loss & abandonment
Greatest temptation is tyranny
You fulfill your life through family, community, a sense
of belonging and material comforts.

Level 2 (Reactive Response):
God the Almighty
World of competition & ambition
I am Ego/Personality
I win
I find God through awe & obedience
My life’s challenge is maximum achievement
My greatest strength is accomplishment
Biggest hurdle is guilt & victimization
Greatest temptation is addiction
You fulfill your life through success, power, influence,
status and other ego satisfactions.

Level 3 (Restful Awareness Response):
God of Peace
World of inner solitude & self-sufficiency
I am Silent Witness
I stay centered
I find God through meditation & silent contemplation
My life’s challenge is to be engaged & detached
My greatest strength is autonomy
Biggest hurdle is fatalism
Greatest temptation is introversion –
You fulfill your life through peace, centeredness,
self-acceptance and inner silence.

Level 4 (Intuitive Response):
God the Redeemer
World of insight & personal growth
I am Knower Within
I understand
I find God through self-acceptance
My life’s challenge is to go beyond duality
My greatest strength is insight
Biggest hurdle is delusion
Greatest temptation is deception
You fulfill your life through insight, empathy,
tolerance and forgiveness.

Level 5 (Creative Response):
God the Creator
World of art, invention & discovery
I am Co-creator
I intend
I find God through inspiration
My life’s challenge is to align with the Creator
My greatest strength is imagination
Biggest hurdle is self-importance
Greatest temptation is solipsism
You fulfill your life through inspiration, expanded creativity
in art or science and unlimited discovery.

Level 6 (Visionary Response):
God of Miracles
World of prophets, sages & seers
I am Enlightened Awareness
I love
I find God through grace
My life’s challenge is to attain liberation
My greatest strength is holiness
Biggest hurdle is false idealism
Greatest temptation is martyrdom
You fulfill your life through reverence, compassion,
devoted service and universal love.

Level 7 (Sacred Response):
God of Pure Being – “I Am”
God created a Transcendent World
I am the Source
I Am
I find God by transcending
‘Good’ is the union of all opposites
‘Evil’ no longer exists
My life’s challenge is to be myself
My greatest strength is unity
Biggest hurdle is duality
Greatest temptation is beyond temptation
You fulfill your life through wholeness and unity with the divine.

To paraphrase/quote Deepak Chopra from his book and interview on Larry King – his definition of G-O-D : is the Generator, the Organizer and the Deliverer of the universe.  We tend to make the mistake and project how we think of ourselves onto divinity, as shown in the 7 levels of thinking, but divinity being infinite, unbounded, eternal, beyond space and time, is not a he or a she, but a field of intelligence, pure being and infinite potential.  It would take you progressively to increasing levels of understanding until you actually could become intimate and one with it and experience it within yourself.  As Christ has said, “The kingdom of Heaven is inside you”.  If you go in the gap within your thoughts, which is the window to your soul, you start to eavesdrop on the cosmic mind – “Be still and know that I am God”.  If you know God, you will have the ability to love and have compassion.  You have the ability to experience spontaneous joy and spread it to others, you have a sense of meaning and purpose in your life and you have a sense of connection to the creative force of the universe, which expresses itself as your own creativity.  The more you begin to understand the mystery and wonder of who you are, the more automatically you have reverence and feeling of the sacred.

On his journey of the Self, Jonathan climbed his ladder of the 7 levels found in HTKG book.  He met God in the Transition Zone/Quantum Domain – the “filling” of the “reality sandwich” Chopra describes where Man and God do meet – “the two slices of bread” of the sandwich being God/Virtual Domain and Material World/Reality.  Thus Jonathan learned How To Know God and how to live in sacred unity with the “I Am”.

Jonathan climbed his ladder of the 7 levels found in HTKG book.  As per the “reality sandwich” Chopra describes where Man and God do meet ie.  “the two slices of bread” of the sandwich being God/Virtual Domain (the field of Spirit) and the Material World/Reality (the field of physical existence) and the “filling”, the “meeting place” in between the sandwich is the Transition Zone/Quantum Reality Domain (the field of Mind) – where Man and God do meet.  Thus on his journey of the Self, Jonathan found his bliss as he learned “How To Know God” and how to live in sacred unity with the “I Am”.

Therefore during our journey, as we gain insight and awareness and come to know God and Self better through climbing our own ladder of these 7 levels of experience, we accomplish our longing to have direct experience of divinity.  As Deepak Chopra writes “God is our highest instinct to know ourselves”.

This is what Jonathan discovered on his journey and this is the quest that each of us are on – the journey into the Self with God.

          “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Neil Diamond 

And then begins a journey
A story as old as time
The tale of the dream and              the dreamer
A reflection of that spirit
that lives within us all
Our case in point one
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Lost
On a painted sky
Where the clouds are hung
For the poet’s eye
You may find him
If you may find him
There
On a distant shore
By the wings of dream
Through an open door
You may know him
If you may
Be
As a page that aches
for a word
Which speaks on a theme
that is timeless
And the Sun God will
Make for your day
Sing
As a song in search of a
voice that is silent
And the one God will
Make for your way
That we dance
To a whispered voice
Overheard by the soul
Undertook by the heart
And we may know it
If you may know it
While the sands
Would become the stone
Which begat the spark
Turned to living bone
Holy, holy
Sanctus, Sanctus
Be
As a page that aches
for a word
Which speaks on a theme
And for the first time he
asked a question
And for the first time he
needed the answer
Dear Farther we dream,
we dream, we dream
While we may
And who are we to need
We need, we need
While we wait, while we wait
So Jonathan began
what was to be
the longest journey of all
the journey into the self
Lonely looking sky
Lonely sky, lonely
looking sky
And being lonely
Makes you wonder why
Lonely looking sky
Lonely looking night

And the Sun God will
Make for your day
Sing
As a song in search of a voice
that is silent
And the one God will make
for your way
And being lonely
Never made it right
Lonely looking night
Sleep we sleep
For we may dream
While we may
Dream we dream
for we may wake
One more day
Glory looking day
Glory day, glory looking day
And all its glory
Told a simple way
Behold it if you may
Glory looking day
Lonely looking night
on a lonely looking sky
Sanctus Kyrie Sanctus Kyrie
Kyrie Gloria Gloria
Holy Holy, Holy Gloria
Skybird
Make your sail
And every heart will know
Of the tale
And for the farthest shore skybird
Songbird
Make you tune
For none may sing it
Just as you do
Make your song be heard songbird
Look at the way I glide
Caught on the wind’s
lazy tide
Sweetly how it sings
Rally each heart at the sight
Of you silver wings
Skybird, skybird
Nightbird
Find your way
For none may know it
just as you may
Sing out your heart little nightbird
Make your song be heard songbirds
Rally each heart at the sight
Of you silver wings
And with this insight came
a new beginning
And with this new beginning came
a new understanding
That we dance
To a whispered voice
Overheard by the soul
Undertook by the heart
And we may know it
If you may know it
While the sands
Would become the stone
Which begat the spark
Turned to living bone
Holy, holy
Sanctus, Sanctus

(I would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Diamond, Richard Bach and Deepak Chopra for the joy they bring to me)

AMAZON LINKS:

    Book                 Book                  DVD                     CD