[The following is an excerpt from August's new book-in-progress on grief.]
|He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:6)|
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going
to be a butterfly.
~ Buckminster Fuller
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time
~ Rabindranath Tagore
biological process of metamorphosis continues to be a mysterious, baffling
event to scientists. Somehow, when a caterpillar builds and enters its
chrysalis, it quickly dissolves into a “soup” where great changes
occur—including cellular death—but then reassembles into an entirely new form.
It emerges from its sarcophagus as a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly— arising
alive, anew, and with completely different and dramatic behaviors, often including
movement to a new geography. It generally survives for only a few more months.
One wonders, is the butterfly in a better place than it
was before as a caterpillar?
description sounds relatively simple, but the actual complexity of metamorphosis
is mind-boggling, and would take more than one book to describe from beginning
to end. Although the term is used here for a physical event, the dictionary
also clearly indicates that people can undergo metamorphosis, dramatically
changing in mental and psychological ways where they could be said to no longer
be the same person.
change, or mutation
, is the means of
continuance for material expression on our planet. The butterfly’s process is
also referred to as transmutation
because its genetic structure becomes completely rearranged. Its state of being
is something entirely new. From a particular spiritual viewpoint of human death,
transmutation is a mutation to a Risen state, or “geography.”
this gives rise to many questions, including one that asks: are our
transitioned loved ones still the same person we knew, or have they changed in
form and behavior beyond belief, beyond recognition? And what about those of us
left behind—have we been changed in
baffling, mysterious ways? Are we now in some kind of different geography?