Metamorphosis


The following is an analysis and the use of two metaphors: the butterfly and the diamond. You see, life is a series of challenges, and the metamorphic process creates the wonder of creation that we are…

As children, many of us learn about the wondrous process by which a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly.

This process indeed is the process of life.

The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg.

This is our self-quest for knowledge and power.

The larva, stuffs itself with leaves, growing plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin.

We are exposed to all forms of knowledge, some good and some bad.

One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf, and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.

This is the phase we often fail to overcome. In life, we oftentimes dwell on negative and overactive stimulation. But what does that radical transformation entail? How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?

Herein lies the gift. We must transform. We must experience and power through the good and the bad of life. If we do not exit the shelter of life, we simply perish both emotionally and physically. We must develop and exit!

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all its tissues.

We grow by distinguishing what is good in our souls.

If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess.

If we attempt to avoid or delay the process, we suffer.

Certain highly organized groups of cells survive the digestive process. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs, and so on.

The result is beauty. Defined by life and not by others.

In some species, these imaginal discs remain dormant throughout the caterpillar's life; in other species, the discs begin to take the shape of adult body parts even before the caterpillar forms a chrysalis or cocoon. Some caterpillars walk around with tiny rudimentary wings tucked inside their bodies, though you would never know it by looking at them.

These are our unique qualities…what we offer the world. Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly or moth.