The Caterpillar and the Butterfly: the Law of Transformation
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly." —Richard Bach
This quote, despite its simplicity, is my favorite quote of all time because in its simplicity it expresses the complex cycle of all existence. Everything that can be called life continually, willingly, destroys itself in order to renew itself.
We see this in physical terms when we observe the processes of nature: from the cycle of the seasons, to natural "disasters," to the evaporation of water. And yes, from the transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly. We see it in our own bodies too as our cells willingly die in order to be replaced with new ones: we can scratch our heads and watch dead skin cells fall to the ground and though we can't see it, the cells within us die off too so that our organs are continuously regenerated.
Which leads me to pondering: since physical life is a mirror of nonphysical life, wouldn't physical law provide a hint into universal law? I believe it does. We see this Law of Transformation happening not only in nature and in our bodies, but in spiritual and psychological terms as well.
In spiritual terms the Soul destroys and renews its physical forms just as nature does. Those physical forms happen to be us. It continually, willingly, creates and destroys various physical selves in an eternal cycle in order to renew, expand, and grow.
As a human being we are born and we die much like the leaf of a tree is born and dies. But we are the tree too. The tree part of us is our inner being, the Soul. We are uncomfortable with this process when we do not understand that we are the tree and that we live on even as we "die." If we look upon death through the eyes of the caterpillar, we see the end of ourselves. But if we look through the eyes of the Master within, the Soul, we see death as a mere transition into more.
Psychologically the Law of Transformation is well under operation too. Old beliefs must die and be replaced with new ones if we want to grow—and if we don't replace them we remain stunted and lifeless in our being. Since belief is cause it determines the circumstances we attract into our lives and so it is natural and normal and healthy that circumstances also be destroyed and created fresh: a marriage ends, we become ill, we lose our job.
When we resist these little "deaths" we miss the opportunity they provide for personal transformation. If that is the case, we simply regenerate new circumstances that sadly mirror the old ones and nothing in our lives appears to change. However, when we understand that these "end of the world" moments are pivotal to our life purpose we can make the leap towards knowing and fulfilling that purpose.
A caterpillar event occurs and we have the choice to view it from the caterpillar's perspective (the limited view of the ego/personality) or from the Master's perspective (the eternal view of the Soul.) From the Master's perspective a disaster is not a disaster at all but the necessary and wonderful adventure into a bigger life—the butterfly life.
But in order for that adventure to take place we must develop such a deep level of trust and faith in the unknown that we leap into it willingly and enthusiastically and tell our confidence and courage to simply catch up with us later. That is the work we must do. It is rooted in alignment, not struggle.
I believe that the Law of Transformation is at work right now not only in the individual life, but in the collective life as well: in humanity's collective Soul. All around us we see a world breaking down—financial crisis, environmental crisis, political crisis, religious and ethnic crisis in the forms of war and terrorism. Could it be that this is not the end of the world, but the call to transition as a human race to the next level of our evolution? Are we simply collectively transforming from the caterpillar to the butterfly?
I believe we are. What a glorious time! To make this leap successful requires every individuated aspect of the collective Soul—every human being—to make a personal leap of faith in their own lives and to choose to commit to finding and fulfilling their individual purpose for being here. Instead of viewing the current circumstance of your life as disastrous, what if you chose to view them as the bugle call to greater happiness, freedom, and a more meaningful way of living?
Commit to get to know the Master within you. It is so powerfully and patiently waiting to share with you its wisdom, humor, and secrets. The Master, your own Soul, is a great magician who knows how to manifest your every need so that you may fulfill your purpose. When you agree to get on the path to purpose you will delightfully discover that freedom, prosperity, health, love, creativity, wisdom and joy are your natural state of being.
It is frightening to leave the safe ground where the caterpillar dwells and to enter a cocoon of unknowingness. But the reward, the sweet reward...is to discover your capability for flight.
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