book: Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

You are sure to love this book. Even if you don’t have the habit of reading, nor the time or inclination… I still strongly recommend that as an exception… you read this one book:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Its a very small book, but has a lightning bolt packed in it. It dosent have any “moral of the story” or something like that… but can be interpreted in many many ways.

Incidentally, the first time I came across the book, I flipped through a few pages and felt bored thinking “oh I know what hes probably going to talk about” and put it down and forgot about it.

I later came across a short story…

A university professor visited a Japanese Zen master to enquire about Zen.

It was obvious to the master from the start that the professor was not so much interested in learning Zen as he was in impressing the master with his own opinions and knowledge. The master listened patiently, and finally suggested they have tea.

The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.

“It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted.

“Like this cup,” the master said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

Though the short story above talks about learning “Zen”, I guess the same could apply to learning anything.

I eventually happened to come across the book again. This time, I “emptied myself” and read the book, and the sheer brilliance gripped me for the next one hour, and I think many of the points will remain in my mind for a very long time.

Later update:

One of the many applications of this book is in software development – it started a long chain of thoughts in my mind in this regard, which I wrote as a story.

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