Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let Your Imaginals Soar

Yesterday I jabbered on about how we are destined for more than the life of happy little caterpillars.... we are here to emerge as ineffable and majestic butterflies.  The parallels between the stages of caterpillar-into-butterfly transformation and personal/spiritual growth are uncanny.  Here are the 'facts' about this fairy-tale form of life, and how it serves as a superlative example of what we can expect from ourselves and our lives... and how effortless, painless, and peaceful the transformation can be.

Imaginal Cells and Transcending Change 
The genesis of the caterpillar’s transformation begins with the appearance of what scientists have termed “imaginal” cells. Researchers have no idea where these cells come from, or why they appear. 
They are termed ‘imaginals’ because scientists can only hypothesize that their purpose is to ‘imagine’ something incredible that is about to happen. 
At first, the imaginals are fought off and destroyed by the intelligence of the caterpillar organism. But the imaginals keep coming back and eventually form clusters of cells to strengthen their domain. 
Soon the clusters form bonds where they pass genetic type information to one another. The clusters resonate at a higher frequency then their host and begin changing the physical make-up of the caterpillar. 
At a certain point in time, the long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells switches gears from simply being a group of like-minded cells into the programming cells of the butterfly. They literally reach a critical mass of influence where the caterpillar’s destiny is altered to become a butterfly. 
The pictures on this page show the beginning of the physical transformation the caterpillar undergoes, and certainly connotes a temporary state of chaos. 
What is happening amid this clump of goo is old caterpillar cells transforming into wing cells, into antenna cells, into digestive tract cells, and so on. A new consciousness being born. []

The stages of growth and emergence in the life of a butterfly are clearly defined, each stage fulfilling a specific purpose necessary to achieve maturity. The 3rd & 4th are those that seem most magical, if not down right impossible.

1st Stage: Egg 
2nd Stage: Caterpillar 
3rd Stage: Pupa (Chrysalis) 
The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life. As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis. From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.
Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. Tissue, limbs and organs of a caterpillar have all been changed by the time the pupa is finished, and is now ready for the final stage of a butterfly’s life cycle. 
4th Stage: Adult Butterfly 
Finally, when the caterpillar has done all of its forming and changing inside the pupa, if you are lucky, you will get to see an adult butterfly emerge. When the butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis, both of the wings are going to be soft and folded against its body. This is because the butterfly had to fit all its new parts inside of the pupa.
As soon as the butterfly has rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it will pump blood into the wings in order to get them working and flapping – then they get to fly. Usually within a three or four-hour period, the butterfly will master flying and will search for a mate in order to reproduce. []

May you also gently unfold your wings and soar this year like the monarch you truly are...
joyfully yours

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