The journey of a caterpillar

Each of us begins our journeys as caterpillars taking small steps at a time. One day we might realize that a transformation has taken place and now that we can fly. But this transformation requires a death. A death to what you’ve known before. Let me explain this thought a bit further.

“First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process” (Click here for more details from the source).

The caterpillar has to let go off all that it was before, in order for the transformation to happen. According to the article I quoted above, the caterpillar stops feeding one day and hangs itself from a twig or a leaf when it is ready. Total surrender. I am also thinking of a similar death, but a spiritual one, for humans who desire to be free:

“To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this, a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

Finally, here’s my caterpillar photo. This is one of the most beautiful caterpillars I’ve seen. Click on the post/or photo to see larger with more detail:

A caterpillar on a journey
A caterpillar on a journey (tussock moth caterpillar)

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