Throughout the ages, the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly, has been used as a metaphor to describe the evolution of human consciousness from its emergence as a reactive and defensive phenomena to to its blossoming into a creative force aware of itself and able to consciously exercise its ability to join in the universal process of evolution.
This metaphor has recently been creatively utilized to map out the evolutionary process of human consciousness. I believe it is possible to refine this metaphor in a way that it better reflects and highlights the process, as follows:
As the Caterpillar eats and grows, there begins within it a silent change. Amongst its cells there emerge some that begin to perform a peculiar function. These “Guide” cells possess, and begin to exercise, the function of being able to reach deep into Caterpillar cells and turn on genes within them that make these cells restless and dissatisfied, filling them with a longing for something they know can be, even though they do not know what it is.
These “Guide” cells are looked upon with suspicion and growing fear by the cells of the Caterpillar and which initially rally in an effort to destroy them. Many of these “Guide” are destroyed, or isolated and starved of the resources that they require in order to perform their function effectively, thereby delaying the advancement of their mission.
The “Guide” cells however, are persistent, and the number of Caterpillar cells that they are able to activate increases throughout the ages. They begin to use the functional abilities of the various structures and especially the communication systems constructed by the Caterpillar cells, in order to advance their work. As a result the number of Caterpillar cells that these “Guide” cells are able to activate begins to grow rapidly.
As the number of these activated “Imaginal” cells increase their growing restlessness and dissatisfaction causes the Caterpillar to stop eating and seek solitude where it weaves a protective cocoon around itself and sinks into slumber as a Chrysalis.
Starved of food, the cells of the Caterpillar begin to disintegrate, making their resources available for use by the increasing number of “Imaginal” cells, which free from the attention of the defenses of the Caterpillar cells, now begin to gather together in small groups.
Disoriented and often driven by concern for the future or a subtle hedonism or vigorous activism, the activities of these groups of “Imaginal” cells are uncoordinated and appear to be ends in themselves. However, they are suffused by a subconscious awareness of much more that has to be achieved and yet they have no idea of what it is that can be.
All this while the “Guide” cells continue to activate more and more of the dwindling Caterpillar cells using a wide and increasing range of activation technologies that they are able to configure.
What happens next is of vital importance. Some of these Imaginal Cells begin to behave in a strange way. They appear to question, criticize and revolt against the activities of the “Guide” cells and withdrawing from all activity in apparent irritation they enter into long periods of silent introspection.
Their bodies atrophy and they lose weight taking on gaunt and stick like appearances in sharp contrast to the chubby and well fed appearances that are valued and which prevail. They lose the bubbly effervescent positivity that characterizes the “Imaginal” cells and enter regions of emotional sterility and deep pensiveness. These cells begin to act in a strange way as though driven by a purpose hidden deep within themselves. They begin to ignore all other activity save that of linking up with others like themselves.
As they link up they begin to form a network that functions as a framework made up of these “dissenting” cells, held together by a vision that they freely share but which is understood by only a few.
The language they speak sounds different because they have had to transform their conceptual frameworks in order to articulate and communicate the vision that they share.
They begin to build a strange new infrastructure within which they generate new ways of “Collective Individual Living” and within which is built a communication system that keeps them linked to each other in real time.
They eat unusual combinations of food and beverages, engage in patterns of behavior that have not been seen before and relate to each other in ways that have been previously unknown.
These are the “luminal” cells that are tasked with the building of the new being that is to be born and the new world that is beginning to emerge.
Like the “Guide” cells these “Luminal” cells set up systems of teaching and training that help other “Imaginal” cells illuminate themselves and light up possible paths to the future.
Out of their activities there begins to rise a strange and beautiful creation formed around the infrastructure they have built. The new is emerging. The way to the new world has been shown.