Caterpillar Soup

Could we who practice Ecstatic Wisdom Postures be the imaginal cells of cultural transformation?

Imaginal cells – have you heard of them? I attended an Earth and Spirit conference in Oregon in 1989 and heard the biologist, Elizabet Sahtouris speak. She described imaginal cells, the cells which carry the butterfly blueprint to the caterpillar.  When the caterpillar first notices those butterfly cells gathering, s/he becomes a voracious eater.  Consuming everything in sight the caterpillar eventually becomes so bloated s/he stiffens and weaves the cocoon around itself.

Metaphorically, doesn’t this sound like our current cultural need to gobble up goods?

When those first imaginal cells appear, the caterpillar’s immune system immediately kills them.  But as more imaginal cells show up, the immune system can no longer fight them off and the cocoon is made – that’s when caterpillar soup begins bubbling and that little living being is neither here nor there…another fine metaphor to help us grasp why our contemporary culture seems amorphous and incoherent.

Though our technologically savvy, consuming oriented, modern cultures are brilliant in many respects, we humans suffer from a host of debilitating symptoms new to the planet.  A few of those disorienting symptoms are: alienation, numbness, raging fear, depression, fatigue syndromes, meaninglessness, anxiety, helplessness, addictions, addictions, and more addictions.

This is the first time in human history when we have actually been aware that we can destroy our entire planetary home. This is an unprecedented human awareness with which to deal.

No wonder we go shopping.

Ecstatic Wisdom Postures provide direct experience with the sacred; personal awe and communal wonder dance – truly good medicine don’t you think? Experiencing the divine in everyday life is an antidote to some of our modern ignorance, our impotency, and a catalyst for the imaginal cells in the human evolutionary butterfly to gather with wit and wisdom.

We humans can transform ourselves. We’ve done it countless times before during our two legged history to achieve the fully functioning rational minds and scientific technological savvy we enjoy today.

Along that evolutionary way, however, we have had to diminish our intuitive and spiritual capacities, forget our ability to dream while awake. We’ve adopted a set of modern assumptions about how life works that may be our undoing.

Let this new image I’ve painted, get your imagination stirred up and tune in next time to read more about our assumptions. The painting is called: Intrepid Together.

About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, writer, mother of four, grandmother of eight. who inspires humanity's Great Turning: our evolution to living as a "whole" human, with headbrain and bodymind collaborating, with science and spirit dancing, with rationality, intuition and the ephemeral co-creating.
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2 Responses to Caterpillar Soup

  1. Shannon Goose says:

    Beautifully imagined and beautifully executed. The painting spins a waking dream of reconnection to the intuitive and the spiritual. Elixer of the Gods. Thank you Deborah.


  2. Love this article Deborah..Wonderful. And The painting is Fantastic!!!
    The Caterpillar metephor-where we get the word metamorphisis..Love that and the posture we did a month ago at Shannons(the Innana posture) I had this image of hanging upside down inside a chrysalis that was hardening. A dynamic tension of opposites, suspended upside down within this space of not space and movement within to build muscle, strength, and moving from one thing into some mysterious other.
    Thank you!!


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