Saturday, May 5, 2012

10 Things to know about the Power of the Heart

As science looks more and more at the human body with greater technology, we have begun to come full circle in understanding what the ancients knew about the heart, the brain, and divine consciousness. What is the heart? Is it more than just a pump for blood? Or could the truth about its power be related to the essence of your entire being, and have a field of energy so great that it can transform not just your own being into that of light, love and happiness, but even those around you. What is the shining light of the heart, and how can you access it and gain the inner knowing of who you are and why you are here? (from Spirit Science)

Here are 10 things to know about the heart:

Did you know that...
1. Your heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions.
2. The heart is 500 times electrically stronger than the brain and up to 5000 times magnetically stronger.
3. The human heart's magnetic field can be measured up to several feet away from the body.
4. The heart has a system of neurons that have both short and long term memory.
5. That signals sent to the brain by the heart neurons can affect emotional experiences.
6. The heart send more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.
7. The electromagnetic signal produced by your heart is registered in the brain waves of people around you.
8. In the womb, the heart forms and starts to beat before the brain is developed.
9. A mother's brainwaves can synchronize to her baby's heartbeats.
10. Your physiological responses sync up with your mate's during empathetic interactions
This video from Spirit Science is a great overview on all aspects of the power of the heart:

The Heartmath Institute specializes in studying all aspects of the heart. Through their studies they show what healers have known for a long time, namely that negative emotions create a nervous system chaos, while positive emotions create coherence in the body and positive emotions boost the immune system. In a later post I'll talk more about how all of this fits into why I think energy healing works so effectively...

For more information check out

Three Amazing Nature Heros...

I read a really inspiring article about people who devoted their lives to preserving nature on Ian Lawton's lovely blogsite.  Wonderful stories showing that we do so much good when we try, and even more importantly, when we are open and able to admit we are wrong we can change and we can redress the balance and put the past behind us..
Aldo Leopold, Paul Watson and Julia Butterfly Hill are three examples of people who became activists after significant experiences with nature.
Aldo Leopold was one of America’s most famous conservationists, but he wasn’t always an environmentalist. He was a hunter before he became he became passionate about conservation and ironically it was through hunting that it happened.  A profound experience up close and personal with nature changed his life, and his motivation.  Aldo was with a group of friends hunting wolves to clear the mountain in order to hunt deer.  Aldo shot one particular wolf. He looked into the eyes of the dying wolf and watched a fierce green fire dying in her eyes.  At that moment he realized that something in the mountain, something in him was also dying.  It could not ever be recaptured.  It was after looking at this fierce green fire dying that Aldo Leopold’s life was changed and he went on to become one of the most significant American environmentalists of the twentieth century.
More recently, the activist, Paul Watson had a similar experience. It was in 1975 and he and one other were on a small boat, resting between Russian whalers and a pod of whales. They naively believed that the hunters would not shoot while they were in the firing line. This changed when the captain walked on to the deck, motioned with a thumb as if to slit his throat and shot a harpoon that narrowed passed over their heads and struck a whale behind them, a female. A male whale immediately launched itself at the Russian boat but was harpooned in the head. It fell back in agony. This is when Watson’s life was changed. He caught the eye of the whale just before it fell back on his boat. It would have crushed them. He saw in the whale’s eye what he described as “understanding”. The whale appeared to tense its muscles one last time to avoid landing on their boat, thereby saving their lives.

The experience changed Watson so deeply that he committed his life to saving whales. He continues to do this, despite criticism. The criticism comes from conservatives and it comes from progressives who say that he damages their reputation with his cavalier approach. His answer to that is, “So!” He’s not doing it for them, and he’s not doing it for the organization. The whales are his clients and his concern.
One last example comes from Julia Butterfly Hill who in the late 1990s lived for 738 days inside a 180 foot tall, 1500 year old Redwood tree to stop it from being cut down by loggers. She named the tree that she got up close and personal with “Luna”. The happy ending to this story is that her sit-in at the top of the Redwood worked. Luna lived on, as did other trees in the area.
"Luna" The Redwood Tree Julia Butterfly Hill helped to save
She said: "I wake up in the morning asking myself what can I do today, how can I help the world today. I believe in what I do beyond a shadow of a doubt. I gave my word to this tree and to all the people that my feet would not touch the ground until I had done everything in my power to make the world aware of this problem and to stop the destruction."
Julia Butterfly Hill on protest!
What an inspiring group of people! As Ian comments: "That’s the sort of commitment we humans need to show. If you’re the sort of person who is motivated by getting up close and personal with nature, then create plenty of opportunities to do that. Remind yourself that your life is dependent on the life of the earth, and your life affects the earth in every moment."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Essenes and Cathars

This talk by Ted Nottingham is one of the best I've seen or heard on the Essenes. It's worth watching to get a sense of the real wisdom lineages, and where they may have originated. As Jesus also was an Essene, to know more about the very spiritual and far thinking group he emerged from gives a great perspective on what he was really all about.

What a different world we might be living in now had the Essene way been able to thrive and go forward as the "mainstream" christian church. Unfortunately the Roman way could not tolerate such a peaceful system, which emphasised direct experience of God within, a strict vegetarian diet, healing and meditative practice, and a complete disregard for power and position.  So it was with the Essenes and so it was with the Cathars. Both groups were rounded up and murdered and all but eliminated but not quite.

The origins of the Essenses goes very far back in time and spread in many directions. Egypt and India for one became home to what we could probably more aptly call mystery school teachings long before they had even spread to Qumran.  The Cathars living in Southern France were not all killed during the Inquisition and we have to believe or at least hope that some managed to flee and take their knowledge and wisdom with them.

Much of the Cathar information is lost or distorted by the fact that some of it was recorded by members of the Inquisition who were hardly unbiased. However with the finding of the copper scrolls at Qumran, the Essene way is opened to us again and, as ultimately the Essenses and the Cathars were of the same line, we can get a great insight on how the Cathars lived by knowing a little more about the Essene way. 

To summarise the core principles of the Essenes (and this really is a summary!) it would be: living a loving and peaceful life, respecting the earth as a living being and recognising the Divine by meditative practice that leads to an inner connection and teaching.  Living and sharing truth, doing work and worshiping or staying in disciplined practice through acts of work, not harming any living thing, vegetarian diet and no consumption of fermented drinks!

Does any of that sound familiar today? It sure does... Much of what we now see as the New Age movement is actually very old age and just a revival of a way of peace and healing and life of balance on the planet that is actually many thousands of years old.

When the Cathars were being hunted down and massacred in the thirteenth century they prophesied that in 700 years they would begin to incarnate again as that was when the planet would need a revival of their ways. Interestingly, that timeline fits exactly with when our current 'New Age" really took off. 

As a child, I was always drawn to Cathar stories but know little about the Cathars themselves. My own journey in healing and meditation followed a very synchronous path - very much one of when the student is ready the master appears. To date every time I need, or am ready, for new learning the right person (or sometimes guide or angel) just pops in.

The work I do with tone and sound came through a guided instruction and I am only now beginning to write about it so that I can pass it on. In yet another synchronicity, while doing a healing for someone very knowledgeable about what little is known of Cathar healing traditions, he commented at the end: "You do know that what you are doing is a very old and powerful form of Cathar healing don't you?" I didn't!! But what he said felt true and led me to study more about the Cathars, their origins and what other teachings they may have had that they are trying to reignite in us today.

And so that leads back to where I began this post -  to the Essenes.

Bear in mind also as you listen to this talk, that as this was very much a path of inner connection with the divine, not a fixed 'religion'. It is a living way and different groups can have different rules. The Qumran group were a stricter group than those at Mount Carmel (where Jesus came from) hence even in Jesus' teachings you'll hear a slightly more fluid take on living than you might from a Qumran resident. And a Cathar might have a different view again, but all will have the same core principle of love, peace, healing, meditation, service and truth.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Make 2012 the year where we dare to dream..

2012 has been surrounded with so many different energies; those who promote it as a year of doom and chaos, those who say it is a new beginning, those who say it is a year much the same as any other.

 So which is true? They all are. Because what we imagine things to be is what they can become. How we react to change shapes our ability to influence outcomes and ultimately our life is only ever limited by the limits of our own imagination.

What is it we all want really? I would say it is peace. Peace in our own hearts, peace in our communities and peace on the planet. The problem with peace is that we are very clear on what peace is not, but no one ever really sits down and gives real time to imagine what a peaceful world might actually be like.

As my teacher often says, there are hundreds of paintings of hell (just think of Bosch). Every kind of horror is imagined. It's gruesome yes, but it's very varied and generally shows tremendous detail.  However when it comes to heaven what do we get? Generally some fluffy clouds, green fields, angels and cherubs, girls in pretty dresses with flowers in their hair and that's about it. It all looks a little bit samey and deep down, if people are honest, they are not quite sure that wafting around in fields of flowers or fluffy clouds forever is really going to be that interesting or exciting!

This might sound amusing, but actually, if you look at it, whether we are aware of it or not this is quite an entrenched thought, deep down in many of our psyches. And if our lazily imagined peace is not really what jazzes us then how can we really expect that we can create peace on our planet?

So historically we haven't been that good at putting effort into imagining peace. And if we don't imagine something we have little hope of creating it.

Dare to Dream

So my challenge for 2012 is to forget the resolutions about what you are not going to do any more and resolve to do one thing - Dare to dream, dare to imagine a worked out version of peace. It will take effort, because it's a new territory.

Someone once said that there are no new ideas any more just recycled versions going round and round. That is true. There is very little new on the planet except for this one thing, there are absolutely no worked out imaginings of a peaceful world that also manage to stay interesting, stimulating and rich with innovation and creativity. Just think about it, there are no books, no movies, no songs - it's a whole new concept that collectively we need to dare to imagine and dream into existence.

So maybe we can make 2012 the year where we really begin to dream a whole new way of being into existence. We can ask ourselves these questions:

What is peace for me in my own life?
What can I do to contribute to peace in my own family and social network?
What would an interesting world of peace look like to me?

Wishing everyone a year filled with love, light, laughter, joy, strength, good health, peace and prosperity and I leave you with a prayer and a song ...

A Prayer for 2012 

Guardian Angels of all creatures, 
protect us all; 
teach us to love, 
to pray, 
to respect the world we live in 
and to be kind to every living thing, 
so that one day we may understand 
that all we do now 
will be a part of us forever. 

Angel Prayers & Messages by JM Hurley & Rosie Ismail 
(verse from the Prayer to all Guardian Angels for Balance and Peace in the World)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The universe is listening to your heart.

This lovely song came my way today and gave me the motivation to write something...

My heart was knocked this past week as some awful animal cruelty stories appeared in the press. I make a point not to read the papers too much for all the reasons I have already written about before. However these came to my attention and I'm not even going to describe what they were about as I don't even think it's a good idea to publicize such cases. I know it's important to highlight the work of animal rights workers, but over reporting such cases, I feel, just gives more ideas to those who are so damaged that they just go and reenact them,

What bothered me most is how it affected me. I went through rage, hatred, despair, the desire for vengeance and then gloom and despondency! So obviously I handled it really well - not!

I am so of the same view as Byron Katie that we are one giant schizophrenic mind trying to free ourselves one thought at a time. And if we are all one, then they, these people whose actions I so abhor, are part of me too. But as I tantrumed around the house berating the awful state of humanity I couldn't find any identification with these inhuman people.

I settled down a bit, got to a peaceful place in my knowledge practice and then went back to questioning again. 'I cannot identify with these people, is that true?' In reality it wasn't. As I felt my own inner peace and connection with my heart get stronger I saw immediately that I wanted to do to these people what they were doing to the animals. In fact I wanted to find even slower and painful ways of unleashing terror on them!!!

But these sad people are also living creatures and I was so hurt by their actions that for a brief period of time I had no problem whatsoever with the idea of even worse things being done to them. And in that moment of realisation, I found them in me. I saw that they could only do these things because some part of them is so hurt that they are lashing out because they have lost a sense of connection.

It doesn't excuse their actions. But it does give hope that connection can be restored as long as we keep our hearts open. I was shaken by how falling into the pit of rage disconnected me so absolutely, even if it was just for a few days. But I am lucky, I have to tools that help me to reconnect and feel my heart speak again. As lightworkers we must keep on going and spread whatever tools we have at our disposal to reach out, even to those we think we cannot reach.

And just as I got back to a place of peace, this beautiful song came my way and so here it is...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dance with Life fans in Cork area...

Peace begins in the heart of every human being. Who am I? What am I doing here? What am I all about? What is the purpose of my life?

DVD presentation of Prem Rawat Maharaji answering these questions December 4th Imperial Hotel Cork - Rossmore Suite at 4pm. Should be fun. Free entry. All welcome...

For a taste of Maharaji in action see below

Friday, November 11, 2011

People of the Story

For some people life is a poem, for others it's a song, and there are those for whom it's a tragedy, or a black comedy or a giant, epic fantasy! Regardless of what way the story unfolds, the one guarantee is that a story is being written, one breath at a time.

We are ultimately the people of the story.  

We have a constant need for stories. We like stories about the world around us (the "News"). As we  grow up our stories evolve from picture books, cartoons and comics to full blown movies, novels and TV soaps.  Such is our appetite for a story we don't seem to care whether the story is real or not and more and more we give equal weight to stories about celebrities and to Reality TV show stories featuring ordinary people.
If an alien civilization somewhere out there happened upon earth and began to observe us, they would probably say that this is a world of stories. To them, we might appear to be a young species of some kind who sit mesmerized as a giant story telling machine weaves its spell and enthralls us in its neverending supply of stories.

A story is of course a great learning tool, as long as you are aware that it is a story. It's when we are in the story and forget that it is a story that problems arise. We begin to believe the story that we are being told and that we are telling ourselves. We forget that as creative beings we have the power to co-create the story and to change its direction. Worst of all, we can become so entrenched in a version of a story that we fight anyone who is equally entrenched in another version.  And so we have wars and conspiracies, financial meltdowns and power games.

More importantly, in the forgetting that it is all a story in the first place we can be manipulated by those who control the mass story telling machines. As the media industries of news, film and music become more and more amalgamated into large corporations they have the power to pump out a stories that can influence what we believe.

Right now we have a music industry that has become overwhelmingly mass produced, one dimensional and more like a giant porn and freak show. It is no surprise that the children incessantly being fed this one storyline are becoming confused, unhappy and angry. And the adults fare no better as the mass media is feeding us on a diet of war, fear and insecurity amidst channels full of largely meaningless programming.

But we have choice. We do not have to choose these stories. We have to move from our hypnotic trance and see that healing ourselves and the planet can start from little steps. One step is to wise up to the story we are being fed and start creating our own. Parents have a responsibility to watch what stories are being pushed on their children and to steer them to more creative and positive ways of seeing the world.

I feel very strongly about this as I see that the root cause of much of the dis-ease that my clients are now presenting with is stemming from a belief that it's all hopeless and awful out there because that is the story they are seeing every day.

Yes we are the people of the story. The story has shaped us since we first started to create pictures on the walls of caves. But in truth there are only two operating systems from which everything springs - love or fear. We must start rewriting the story and co-creating the stories of love. We must give attention to the stories that feed and nourish our souls, to the stories that inspire, teach and help us progress.

The other system, the one of fear has no place in our world. However, as long as we give attention and belief to the story machine of fear then we make it real. We give it power and then bring into reality all the things we absolutely don't want to experience.

If we just become a little more conscious about where we place our attention, we can wake up from the hypnosis and actively imagine a new way forward. Small steps and little choices can help us and those around us to unhook from the drip fed stories of fear. These are ways we can heal and grow.

 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

(Robert Frost from The Road not Taken)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What we practice we get good at...

What we practice we get good at, so what are we practicing? Peace or war? Love or fear? Judgement or compassion?

I just wrote a piece for another blog which I am reposting here as I think it's important to emphasize that we do have choice and that the choices we make are becoming more and more important.

With all the talk and speculation going on around October 28th and it’s association with Calleman’s projected “end” of the Mayan calendar, (see top picture) now is a very good time to look at what you choose to think and why.

There is certainly a sense of change growing on the Earth and even more so, there seems to be a real desire for positive change.

Whether October 28th has any real meaning in Mayan or astrological terms or not, doesn’t really matter as we are collectively giving it a meaning by looking towards it as representing something significant.

We can harness this significance and choose to focus collectively on positive change. So how do we do this? Mainly by letting go of fear.

"But this is a scary time!", some people will argue. Yes it is. We are certainly not downplaying the real issues that are bubbling on this planet of ours. As global financial structures collapse and with them all the livelihoods and ideas of what a secure life and a secure future should look like, then of course fear can get a toehold on the collective consciousness. Change brings with it a feeling of uncertainty and if uncertainty is not managed then fear can and will creep in.

But we have to be realistic about change. The clue is in the word and change really does mean change. Even when the change is for the good the process that nudges this new way of experiencing the world can be uncomfortable and unsettling. We can make change easier by flowing with it, staying in trust, reaching out to help each other and opening our minds to new ways of seeing and experiencing our daily lives.

Or we can make it difficult by resisting, grumbling, wallowing in fear based thinking and walling ourselves away from our true selves and from each other.

This is where our collective thinking can make a difference. If we expect the best, then perhaps we can nudge our collective destiny onto a smoother path that doesn’t have to create too much discomfort.

Here are some practical ways to create positive intention and vibration:

  • Stop feeding your mind with negative outcomes. That means be very discerning about watching news or reading newspapers. Either stop or at least be aware that for every bad story going on there are hundreds of good things happening that are never reported. 
  • Find a positive angle in everything that you hear and actively look for positive stories.. 
  • Use vision boards and positive words to dream yourself happy and to include beautiful earth images so that a healthy, happy planet is always included in what you imagine. Connect with animals and nature. 
  • Pass on positive stories to others. Don't pass on bad news, scare stories or engage in pessimistic conversations. 
  • If your thoughts are stressing you, depressing you or making you sad then ask for help. There are hundreds of wonderful teachers and methods out there that can help so have a look around and work with whatever system appeals to you. 
  • Find a meditation practise that works for you. Learning to be with yourself in silence opens you to the much bigger you that lives within you... 
  • Don't listen to people who say that it's so hard to become enlightened and all that sort of separatist thinking. That's just another negative thoughtform disguised as a philosophy. A happy human being at peace with themselves and the world around them, doing his or her very best to consciously create a happier, healthier world is an enlightened human being. That's all. It's no big mystery and if you're not feeling like that right in this moment you're only a thought away from it! 
The key to all of this is to be conscious. To live consciously and to remember that our time here is meant to be a joyful and fun experience. Remember that the news reports just give one side of the story. There have never been so many great teachers on the planet, so many people waking up and choosing to live consciously and so many ways in which to learn and experience conscious living.

And what does it even mean to be conscious? In essence it’s a way of simply living from the heart.

And because I haven't given any extracts for a while from Dance with Life here are a few to hopefully inspire and uplift!

Source: Dance with Life by JM Hurley (see links on right) 

'Do you know what it means to be alive?
Do you understand that life is only a moment, just one moment after another?
Do you understand that?
There is no going back, no skipping ahead, just the moment called now, just the feeling that you carry within you.
Do you realise how much time is lost by spending all the yesterdays dreaming of tomorrows?
All the ‘should haves’ and ‘could haves’ are meaningless.
Tragedy is when you realise this too late.
Tragedy is when the first experience and understanding of this reality comes with the last breath.’


‘This is not a journey with outcomes,’ he said. ‘The journey is the destination. I can accompany you on this journey but it is your journey and I cannot take your steps for you. You need to feel it in your own heart. Face it with clarity and with courage.’


‘The inner voice can see in all directions,’ he replied. ‘To know yourself you must get to know your capacity in all directions. Good and bad are not qualities that exist outside. They are inside every human being. To be unaware of this would be to mislead yourself. Take time, let this settle. Look at what is around you; see things for what they are. Sometimes this will involve just seeing something exactly for what it is. Sometimes it will be to look beyond what is apparent. Listen to your gut feeling it is often a very good mouthpiece for the heart.’

Light is a real thing. It overpowers darkness on every level. I can’t remove another curtain and let darkness in to engulf the light. I can only create darkness by blocking out the light, but the light is always there, waiting for a chink through which it can pour. Even the smallest spark, the tiniest chink will let the light in. Never forget that. Even when it seems to be the darkest place, never forget that the light is there, waiting for the moment when you allow it to seep in.’


‘See this hand,’ he continued, holding one hand up, ‘imagine it’s your physical self with all its hopes and dreams. It has a finite route. It is made of the elements and it will return to the elements. Now see this hand,’ he said, holding the other up, ‘imagine this is the place inside that you have just experienced. This has been, is, and always will be.’ He joined his hands, interweaving the fingers. He smiled. ‘This is life. This is the merger of the finite and the infinite. Through the amazing feeling machine that is your finite self, your infinite nature can play in the symphony of life. With every breath the finite and the infinite meet. Their point of union is contained in that breath. It’s as close as the two realms can ever get to one another. The point of being alive, of understanding the nature of this breath is to feel and to experience this gift of life.’


The heart feels no chaos. Its drumbeat is simplicity. Its desire is to be in love and to feel no duality. It is the happiness of contentment. Chaos lives in the mind, in the nerves, in the sinews. It feeds on turbulent emotions, on the rapidfiring of agitated brain cells; it battles against the simple calm of the soul. The dark night of the soul lives in the mind. Only the mind can create the very traps that lead it to self-destruct.


Let no room for doubt in your heart. The heart is never off course. Trust in that.’


Every unconscious moment sets the seeds for a future disaster. There is always choice. You can choose to be swallowed by fear or you can choose to remove yourself from the control of fear. Do you have the ability to make that choice? Yes, because you are choosing to learn now about the process of living consciously.


‘The world!’ he exclaimed. ‘The world is a very peaceful rock floating in a very calm solar system. I don’t see Earth rushing at Venus or Mars, challenging them to a fight! And it has a very fortunate position, if it was anywhere else, Earth could be constantly bombarded by meteors. Instead it’s lucky to bump into something only every few million years or so. This world, this planet Earth, doesn’t need to seek peace, it already has it. It is people who create the wars, the random acts of violence, the hatred and destruction. And yet inside every human being is the most perfect peace. Every individual heart must seek that peace, must become conscious that everything connects, that taking responsibility for making the world a better place starts first within each person. Unconscious behaviour has a heavy cost.’ ‘The heaviest cost being death,’ she said. ‘No,’ he shook his head. ‘The heaviest cost is in failing to notice life.’

‘The true miracle of life lies in the breath and in the ability to experience the divine within. There are no other miracles,’ he added, ‘plenty of unusual phenomena maybe, but no other miracles. Too often the unusual takes over and the truly miraculous is forgotten.’

And to conclude, if you haven't already seen it the amazing and inspiring talk by Jill Bolte Taylor on what she calls her Stroke of Insight. A stroke at the age of 37 led Jill, a Neuroanatomist who specialised in brain research, not just to a new found medical understanding of brain function, but to a life changing meeting with her fully conscious, aware and blissful self... 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Elisabet Sahtouris | The Butterfly Story

This is a lovely take on the current world consciousness change by Elisabet Sahtouris, an evolution biologist and future consultant. It reminds me of the caterpillar story from Dance with Life, which I posted ages ago. But, as I believe in synchronicities and I was thinking about that story from Dance with Life when this one came tweeting in, I think I am going to dig it out and repost it at the end of this.

The Butterfly Story
Elisabet Sahtouris | the butterfly story

A caterpillar can eat up to three hundred times its own weight in a day, devastating many plants in the process, continuing to eat until it’s so bloated that it hangs itself up and goes to sleep, its skin hardening into a chrysalis. Then, within the chrysalis, within the body of the dormant caterpillar, a new and very different kind of creature, the butterfly, starts to form. This confused biologists for a long time. How could a different genome plan exist within the caterpillar to form a different creature? They knew that metamorphosis occurs in a number of insect species, but it was not known until quite recently that nature did a lot of mixing and matching of very different genome/protein configurations in early evolutionary times. Cells with the butterfly genome/ proteins were held as aggregates, or 'discs' of stem cells that biologists call 'imaginal cells', tucked inside pockets of the caterpillar’s skin all its life, remaining undeveloped until the crisis of overeating, fatigue and breakdown allows them to develop.

Such metamorphosis makes a good metaphor for the great changes globalisation, in the sense of world transformation, is bringing about., as Norie Huddle first used it in her children's book Butterfly. Our bloated old system is rapidly becoming defunct while the vision of a new and very different society, long held by many 'imaginal cell' humans who dreamt of a better world, is now emerging like a butterfly, representing our solutions to the crises of predation, overconsumption and breakdown in a new way of living lightly on Earth, and of seeing our human society not in the metaphors and models of mechanism as well-oiled social machinery, but in those of evolving, self-organizing and intelligent living organism.

If you want a butterfly world, don't step on the caterpillar, but join forces with other imaginal cells to build a better future for all!


I love the idea of imaginal cells. It never ceases to amaze me what we can learn from nature and how many life lessons are right under our noses! Anyway that was Elisabet's lovely story and now we can zoom in and see it from the viewpoints of the caterpillars!


A Tale of Two Caterpillars
“Once there was a brother caterpillar and a sister caterpillar. The sister spent all her time looking to the sky. She would watch the birds and all the other winged creatures with longing. She said to her brother ‘One day I’ll fly just like them. I really feel that I will.’
Her brother was scornful.
‘Don’t be so stupid,’ he said. ‘What would you even want to fly for. It’s lovely to be able to wiggle along the earth and to find a fat juicy leaf. I watch those silly birds and they’re always just darting about looking useless.’
She listened to him, but didn’t agree.
‘It’s not that I don’t like being a caterpillar and that I don’t enjoy every leaf and patch of earth that we explore, but I just can’t shake off the feeling that there’s something more. Haven’t you ever wondered why there are no old caterpillars? Where does everyone go?’
Her brother looked angry.
‘You are so STUPID,’ he shouted. ‘Why do you think those birds are so fat? That’s where we all end up – in their stomachs. We’re bird food! We just have a pointless reason here. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing ahead except some sharp beak, then darkness. Just accept that and stop going on at me. And stop admiring the very creatures you should hate!’
Her brother was disgusted and wriggled away.
She curled on her little leaf singing happily to herself.
‘Maybe my brother is right, but it’s still lovely to look at all the other creatures,’ she said to herself.
Just then a dragonfly whirred past. He saw her on the leaf and landed to say ‘hello’.
She told him about her argument with her brother. The dragonfly clicked and hummed with laughter.
‘But of course you’ll fly. One day you’ll be a butterfly!’
She was thrilled and excitedly went to tell her brother.
‘And you believed him!’ he scoffed. ‘No one believes that mad fool. Even the very word, “butterfly”, I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous.’
Time passed and the urge came for the caterpillars to start spinning their chrysalises. She was full of hope, sure that this was going to take her towards her dream. Her brother was melancholy.
‘This is just packing you know,’ he said sadly. ‘It’s a cruel trick. They’ve engineered it that we do this to fill their stomachs even more. We’re too thin as we are.’
She tried to argue with him but he wouldn’t listen.
They hung, suspended in their chrysalises, for what seemed like an eternity. Then one day her chrysalis began to move. She felt it slip away. She couldn’t figure out where she was, everything looked red. She shook herself and a trickle of red fluid gathered at her little feet. As she looked down she noticed the most beautiful sight. She had wings of lilac and gold with little green spots for decoration. She flapped her wings and began to fly. It was the most amazing feeling. She landed on a flower and sipped delicately at the nectar. It was exquisite, beyond any taste she could have ever imagined. As she looked down on the earth below she felt extraordinarily privileged.
‘This is even better than being a bird,’ she sang out loud, ‘because they have only ever been birds. But I know how cosy and warm it is to snuggle in the warm earth and to chew the deep green leaves and now I know the joy of flight and the magical taste of nectar. I have been given two lives, two experiences in this one lifetime.’
She heard a grumbling coming from a rich yellow flower. Perched on the flower was a beautiful orange butterfly. It was her brother! She flew excitedly to him.
‘It wasn’t a trick, it was real,’ she cried, fluttering her wings to him in greeting.
He looked bitter.
‘Don’t be so naive!’ he snapped. ‘Look at the colour of us both. You bright gold and me bright orange. They’ll see us for miles. We won’t last a second I tell you!’
‘Oh brother! Why can’t you see how amazing this is? You’re beautiful. And we can fly!’
He grimaced.
‘What sort of awful stuff is this?’ he moaned, indicating to the nectar. ‘My teeth are gone. I can’t get a bite of leaf no matter how I try. And I hate flying. It makes my head spin. I tried to curl nicely on a leaf but these blasted wings keep slipping so I fall down.’
She shook her little head and spiralled upwards, realising that there was nothing that she could do to change his mind. He
was as determined to dislike their new life as she was to embrace it.
‘Perhaps in time he will like it more,’ she thought, as she caught a current of air and swooped and fluttered along it into the blue, blue sky.”
Dance With Life page 126-129
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