Wednesday, March 11, 2015

what a surprise, mr. bach!

it was my good friend and mentor, Jose, who introduced me to the works of Richard Bach. we were avid students and practitioners of this wonderful way of Life called Mysticism.  in a nutshell, we found out there is a way to soar beyond mere body consciousness.  there are methods that have been practiced and proven by the Masters and Sages that one can practice as well.  doing so will afford one the opportunity to explore and know one's Self.  knowing the Self will lead one to his true identity.  knowing who one truly is brings Freedom.

this is what Richard Bach told in his book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. this seagull was able to rise beyond the traditional way of life of his flock.  he discovered he is a bird of flight.  he is not of the ground.  his true identity is Flight.  to ride the wind, to pierce the sunlit clouds, to kiss the Sky.  Flight is Freedom.  i remember this is one of the Conditions of a Solitary Bird which that great mystic San Juan dela Cruz wrote about -- " it flies to the highest point ".

anyway, i still have the copy of that book with me. it is old but it is a treasure. i remembered having bought it as a gift for the woman who'd eventually be my wife. she took care of it and i hope one day my daughter will find the urge to know Jonathan.

a couple of days ago, i was whiling time inside a mall and I decided to visit one of the bookstores there.  i am hunting for a book on the Dalai Lama, the present one, which i am wanting to give a friend.  as i was scouring the book shelves there, there was this one book that jutted out. I pulled it out and it was a copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. it was a bigger size than the one I have.  I opened it and there i saw the familiar pictures of the seagulls that accompanied the text.  i was about to return it to the shelf when my eye caught a notification at the back cover -- unabridged edition, includes the missing Part Four.

wow! what a pleasant surprise, Mr. Bach!

it is just now that I knew there was a fourth part.  i bought my copy in 1989!  it's been years.. and now it is staring in my face, my copy is incomplete and yet I have mined it for all its worth of Wisdom's golden nuggets. Jonathan's story has a different ending ..

unfortunately, this complete edition costs so dear.  i will just have to wait till I can afford it.  the store assistant had been eyeing me since i went inside the bookstore.  no private reading, the sign said.

can't help it. curiosity got the better of me.  i had to skim over the missing Part Four.  as fast as  i can.

i promise Mr. Bach, i'll get this complete edition soon as i can afford it. i eagerly skimmed over this fourth part just silently gliding over the most important keywords.  the keywords gave me a general idea of this missing portion of the book.

i smiled when i finally closed the book. the store assistant still has his gaze fixed on me. 

the last Condition of a Solitary Bird is this --

It sings very softly.


~bani said...

Oh wow!! that is great news! JLS is one of my first loves in books i stumbled upon it in my teen years, and it remains ever so close to my heart! like you i had also gifted Bach to a dear friend, never really mustering courage to actually keep a copy for myself! but i guess time had something new in store! thanks for sharing. I will also hunt the unabridged version here to 'complete' the Freebird adventures. =) said...

Namaste brother; thank you for this wonderful post highlighting an excellent novella. For your added entertainment my dear brother you may find the provenance behind the change to be compelling. This will also explain why you and sister Bani had not heard of the illustrious fourth chapter.

In 2013 Bach took up a non-published fourth part of the book which he had written contemporaneously with the original.

He edited and polished the fourth chapter then sent the results to his publisher. Bach reported that it was a near-death experience which had occurred in relation to a nearly fatal plane crash in August, 2012 that had inspired him to finish the fourth part of his novella. You can copy and paste the link below to the crash story.

Almost exactly one year ago to the day, the 138-page Bach work Illusions II was published as a booklet by Kindle Direct Publishing. Contained within the chapter are allusions to and insights regarding the same near-death experience, when you get the book see if you can spot them.

In October, 2014, Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition, was reissued and includes part four of the story. You can probably find a copy on Amazon or on line sales for much cheaper than the book store price, good luck brother.

Or if you can't stand the wait! I can order on line from ABE books the new edition for only $6.99 at the following web site.

ABE Books:

Send me your mailing address to and I will purchase the copy and arrange for it to be delivered to your home.

In Lak' ech, brother Sito; prosper with with the joy of literature...

sito saguid said...

dear bani

i guess this is indeed a ripe time for you now to get a copy of this book especially since you'd be getting the complete edition. the friend whom you gifted the book with might be surprised as well that after all these years there's still more to know about this Jonathan story.

this is the reason i ended the post that this solitary bird will sing softly. I know there are lots of us who'd want to know what the fourth part is about and i don't want to kill the excitement.

Brother Chris' input is a gem of information as well. i hope Jonathan will be landing on your bookshelf soon.

sito saguid said...

Brother Chris

you never fail to amaze me. thanks for sharing this information about the Fourth Part. this indeed gives added light. i have a copy of the Illusions book and surely i will take it up and reread it.

i have to admit having this big thump in my chest and getting so wide-eyed upon seeing this book with the Fourth Part included. imagine it was 1989 when i was able to buy the copy which i gifted to my wife but it was still so far back when i was able to read Jonathan's story when my friend jose lent me his copy. i always thought i had Jonathan's story well covered.

Brother thank you for your gesture and your offer to get a copy for me. i will wait this out. i am pretty sure i will be able to get this complete edition sitting side-by-side with the old copy in my bookshelf.

fine literature as this brings so much silent joy ...