Reflection by Vivienne Verdon-Roe
Qigong Newsletter, May 9, 2017
Remember what happens to the caterpillar?
Could nature be showing us the process we are now experiencing?
(Similarities between the caterpillar and humanity are highlighted in bold!)
After a period of ravenous consumption, a caterpillar becomes too bloated to move. It attaches to a branch and hangs upside down (everything is turned on its head) and forms a chrysalis. Unable to move, the caterpillar begins to fall apart, becoming goop. Tiny cells which had been dormant in the caterpillar (junk DNA in the individual; visionaries in the collective) begin a process of creating a new form and structure, something completely new and amazingly beautiful. Biologists in a stroke of poetic genius called these cells "Imaginal cells".
But the transition is not easy.
It must be pretty scary for the caterpillar to feel itself falling part and becoming goo. It must feel like it's dying. And of course, it is, because the truly astonishing thing is that there is NO STRUCTURAL SIMILARITY between a caterpillar and a butterfly.
At first these Imaginal cells are regarded as threats and are attacked by the caterpillar's immune system (just as new ideas in politics, science, medicine and social behavior is seen as threats and attacked by the establishment). But the unique new cells persist and multiply and pretty soon the caterpillar's immune system cannot destroy them fast enough. More and more of the imaginal cells survive. They begin to recognize each other and cluster together in friendly little groups. They begin resonating at the same frequency and passing information back and forth until they hit a tipping point.
At this point something extraordinary happens. Collective intelligence emerges. The Imaginal cells begin acting not as discrete individual cells but as a multi-cell organism - and the butterfly is born.
The Imaginal cells have become a community that can cooperatively share the work. Each new butterfly cell can take on a different job. There's something for everyone to do. And everyone is important, all contributing to the life of the whole. So each cell does what it is most drawn to do. And every other cell encourages it to do just that.
A great way to organize a butterfly! A great way to organize a society!
What died was an old way of being,
and it died in order for something new and wondrous to be born.
May it be so.
– Submitted by Sheila Leonard, PBVM, with permission.