A tiny tale of great transformation...
In the opening years of the new Millennium, humanity is
being challenged to make fundamental changes—changes that are as great
as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
For over two centuries, industrialized society, like the
caterpillar, has been gobbling up enormous amounts of resources. Today,
we have begun to see the terrible impact of indiscriminate consumption
and development on the Earth's biosphere. But where do we go from here?
For the caterpillar, the next stage of development is
the chrysalis, in which the cell structure of the caterpillar's body
begins to break down. Similarly, today we read and hear much about
"chaos" and "chaos theory" in organizations and in society as a whole.
Familiar social and economic patterns are breaking down, while the new
patterns of a post-industrial society have not yet become clear.
Within the disintegrating body of the caterpillar, new
and radically different cells—so-called "imaginal cells"—suddenly
appear. These early imaginal cells are killed off by the immune system
of the caterpillar who recognizes them as "enemies"—much the same way
forces within the "human body politic" destroyed Christ or Joan of
Arc... or later, destroyed Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Humanity as a
whole was not yet ready to embrace a new possibility for humankind,
bringing about the qualities of heaven on our lovely Earth.
But then, more and more imaginal cells begin to
appear. Now the caterpillar is disintegrating into an
unrecognizable "soup"—which "feeds" the rapidly
proliferating imaginal cells. The imaginal cells begin to clump and
cluster together, gaining strength as they join forces with each other,
sharing information and building further resonance with one another.
Within the gathering chaos of today's society, those who
sense the stirring of a New Possibility are similarly joining with
others of like mind and heart. We are "clumping" and "clustering"
together, sharing our stories and dreams, weaving these stories and
dreams together, building a common resonance and a Shared Story. A
sense of urgency grows within us. What is it that we sense? What is it
that we wish to create together?
We are dreaming dreams of new possibilities….of a
Beautiful New World. These lovely dreams inspire us to action. As these
dreams and visions grow clearer, we begin to align with others ever
more purposefully. "What can we create together?" "What can I
contribute?" "What else is needed?" "How can we do this in a way that
most honors each one of us?" The pace of transformation quickens. The
aliveness of these purposeful "Soul Partnerships" attracts new
people....more dreams are shared.…The pace of transformation quickens
Perhaps we are beginning to witness tentative new
patterns of a more enlightened global civilization—a "butterfly
civilization"—being formed by these voluntary partnerships of people
drawn together by similar dreams and goals and values. Like the
butterfly's tiny imaginal cells, we are each attracted by our deep
inner impulses to play our appropriate parts—to do what gives us
joy—and to support one another. We discover greater aliveness in our
lives. The pace of transformation accelerates ever faster.
In recent decades, we have seen the emergence of almost
a new "species" of person—one who thinks more collaboratively, who
recognizes that the earth is one vast interconnected living system of
which we are a part. Many of these people have been working alone or in
small groups. Now we are coming together, seeking ways to build the New
World of which we have been dreaming in our chrysalis….a way for human
beings to live together in peace, health, prosperity and justice on our