When we take the time to pause, we can see just how much nature has to teach us. Right now, it is perhaps the best teacher we have.
We are globally entering the chrysalis. The problem is that there is clear no instruction manual for what happens next. I think we can observe the caterpillar for some insight. Just before the chrysalis stage, there is a feeding frenzy in which the caterpillar massively overconsumes. It eats and eats and then eats itself. This is familiar, right? Society has over consumed for way too long and we all knew that it could not continue in the same way. Buying, eating, the desire to have more and more and more.
After the ‘all you can eat buffet’, its tissues melt into a leek and potato soup-like substance. What is left are the so-called imaginal cells: these bind together and become the template from which the soupy mass reconfigures itself into a butterfly.
What we don’t know is does the caterpillar over eat strategically, or out of instinct? Does it know what’s hurtling towards it and therefore trusts in the process, or does it feel like it’s dying? We simply don’t know.
If we take this as an analogy for society today, it presents us all with an exciting proposition. When systems are breaking down, you can either collapse and die or rise to the challenge of creating something better – and achieve the next stage of evolution.
So, what if we harnessed this power? What if we all worked like imaginal cells – thinking differently from the old ways, working together with others who share our values and principles – to create something wonderful in the world
It’s a natural reaction to resist what feels like radical, painful change. But ultimately we have little choice but to surrender to it.
We can all practice welcoming in the circumstances that force us away from the dysfunctional old patterns and habits. We have that opportunity in front of us, right here, right now. All of us.
It takes complete disintegration of the structure of the caterpillar to birth a beautiful butterfly. And perhaps it is the same for us – when the systems totally break down, we will get the Jolt we need and the chance to architect a better future.