A beautiful butterfly metaphor comes from the world related to biology. Norie Huddle is its initiator. The caterpillar can eat up to 300 times its own weight, devastating many plants in this process. (Caterpillar is here an allusion to contemporary consumerist society, devastating the planet, but in the same time renewing from inside.) At one point inside rootworm something triggers an evolutionary process and the caterpillar enters a new stage called chrysalis (degradation of ecosystems and people’s desire for an authentic life push humanity in crisis and thus lead us to transform entire civilizations).
This powerful metaphor has its source not in any poetic philosophy, but in reality of the biological process that occurs! Hence the real power of the metaphor, giving us a model and hope to change our society. What more powerful example can we have in order to understand that change we want is really possible than to see in Nature something similar actually happening! It is not just a desire of poets, but a transformation process that actually happens in reality. And it is surprisingly much linked to the current situation of mankind. The biological metamorphosis that takes place is just amazing. Let’s see what happens now in the caterpillar!
In chrysalis, in the old caterpillar’s body, a new and different kind of creature – the butterfly – begins to form. This metamorphosis has confused biologists, remaining for long time a mystery what really happens inside the chrysalis. How a creature can turn into another creature so radically different? How can there be a living being with two forms of existence so different? Biologists were stunned to discover that the early cells of the new being of butterfly – called imaginal cells – are bearers of a new genome! Certain biological conditions specific to the caterpillar at the end of the accumulation phase activates stem cells containing the butterfly genome. At first, the old caterpillar immune system does not recognize the new cells of the butterfly and fight them, trying to eliminate them, as any immune system does.
These imaginal cells are similar to stem cells. Their emergence is so strong that they surpasses old caterpillar’s immune system and begin to unite together. Slowly, their organization acquires the specific form of various organs of the butterfly new beings. Old body of the caterpillar becomes the butterfly’s food and the new body takes shape more clearly.
We can see in these imaginal cells the people of the New Story appearing in exhausted body of imperialist societies of the Old Story, growing, gaining experience, creating new kind of relationship and uniting among themselves, forming communities and structures that drive us in a new civilization. The old imperialist structures seek to reject and limit those who come up with new ideas and practices that Empire does not recognize as its own. But mankind already reached a certain critical threshold: the blooming of the new spiritual “genome” tip the balance from domination to partnership organization. “Immune system” of Empire cease to fight against them.
I think that this threshold has already been exceeded because everywhere I see a strong sympathy for the movement of renewal (so-called leaderless revolution). All over the world human collaboration challenges the old institutions and brings services more valuable and cheaper. And people are beginning to understand this. Everywhere it appears more and more new ideas and new communities, wearing a potential for change and renewal. As New Story reaches people’s hearts, it activates the new spiritual genome in each of us.
The butterfly could become a powerful symbol for this paradigm shift. It is linked with personal and organizational transformation, it is linked with beauty and freedom! We really need not only logos for our organizations but a real symbolism for our new vision and New Story.