Patience is a Virtue: How the Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly

About a year ago while driving, I listened to an NPR science program about the newest scientific understanding of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I was also reminded at a spiritual event last weekend about a well-known parable of ‘the Emperor Moth’ which focuses on how important it is to not force a butterfly or moth to emerge too early from its cocoon.

Scientists have found that when a caterpillar enters into its pupae stage inside a chrysalis, it appears to completely dissolve! If you open the cocoon at that point there is no structure there, no organs, just a gooey substance. Then out of this primordial ooze a butterfly takes form, an entirely distinct, new creature altogether! This staggers my understanding as a waking dream story, a metaphor for my own or others’ deepest life transformations.

What this metaphor of the chrysalis says to me is that I have to be patient with myself, and with others, to allow a complete transformation process to reshape the conditions allowing positive growth and birth or rebirth to transpire naturally. You cannot rush change without impinging upon the fullest realization of the change potentials.

I have had ample opportunities lately to find or practice patience. As a new homeowner, it seems like every time I turn around another emergency pops up! The nice new washing machine I was grateful to have stopped mid cycle during a power outage and now does not spin or drain. The marvelous sliding door to my pretty little deck has been letting the rain in onto the beautiful wood flooring in  the living room! I have slathered on sealer but still yesterday more water splattered in with the rain. And my dear Sophie had a bee sting during a walk that she was terribly allergic to, developing dangerous hive blisters all over her body during the 24-minute trip to the vet for a shot of antihistamines.

But, you know? The washing machine snafu has led me to purchase a good home warranty policy. Even though that takes a month to kick in so I am going to a laundromat for awhile, there is a laundromat not too far away and the dryer still works, and the warranty could save me a bundle and get me through plenty more glitches down the road. I have a professional handyman fixing the door as I write, and that should be a good job for not too much expense. And Sophie is okay after her emergency, so now I am more vigilant on her walks and keep her away from tall grasses.

images are from pixabay.com

There is a deeper lesson I am gaining from all of these events (and some others not mentioned here), about detachment and the importance of maintaining a higher perspective. I choose not to be stuck in my head or let daily annoyances or needs hold me down in a negative state of worry.

I have been watching alot of NOVA programs about Space this month, plus contemplating daily, and I find that focusing on Mars or Jupiter or the Cosmos helps to lift my attention out of the immediacy of practical concerns. My favorite film, Contact, has been showing this month too and I have watched it again twice. Talk about patience! In Contact, Eleanor Arroway (played brilliantly by Jodie Foster) is a SETI scientist who spends hours and days and months and years sorting through one distant region of the galaxy after another in a seemingly futile search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.  After Eleanor does actually make contact, this launches her on the journey of many lifetimes where she is shown a depth of reality no other earthling has physically encountered. Even so, like in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, very few believe her when she tries to communicate about what she has seen. So, she returns to her life of patient observations.

“Small steps” is the message of Carl Sagan’s Contact. I am finding that principle applies to my life, daily!

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

 

 

 

The elixir of Patience

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This month we have been exploring elixirs. Elixirs are qualities of consciousness assumed with the process of unfoldment of one’s deepest potentials for the good of the Whole. One such quality is Patience.

“Patience is a virtue” sums up nicely the alchemical nature of this positive attribute. Combined with other qualities such as persistence and even passion, patience can propel our actions forward to help us manifest our most worthy goals.

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So here are some nuggets about patience I found on the web:

“Being a good teacher takes patience; being a good doctor also takes patience. In fact, if you want to excel in anything, master any skill, patience is an asset.” Eknath Easwaran, Patience: A Little Book of Inner Strength 

“Struggles often serve to release the wisdom, patience, and strength we all possess but too seldom demonstrate.” Jim Stovall, Wisdom for Winners Volume One: A Millionaire Mindset, An Official Official Publication of The Napoleon Hill Foundation 

“But ‘not giving up’ requires a certain level of patience, of hours and hours, and sometimes days or weeks, months or years of trying and perfecting.” V. Noot, Don’t Give Up

“Doing interesting work when nobody notices takes patience and belief.” Brian Knapp, Creative Pursuit 

“One of the paradoxes of life is that being impatient often makes it harder to achieve something. As with any skill, you get better at manifesting the more you practice.” Simon Foster, Manifesting Change: How to Manifest Change, Love, Abundance and Prosperity 

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images are from pixabay.com

Pass It On!

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Here is a quick activity: Think of one mentor who has taught you a valuable lesson. What was that lesson?

Second, how have you sought to impart that lesson to others? What has been the result?

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My quick response:  “Patience is a virtue.” (from Diane) I aim to teach this to my students, especially advanced students working on research projects or thesis papers. I have seen many of these students take some great strides. For myself, I use this principle daily, now in yet another book editing romp.

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images are from pixabay.com

I am amazed daily at the miraculous interweaving and orchestration of Life.

“Love is all, and do as thou wilt.”

(Stranger By the River, by Paul Twitchell)

Discover Your Descender Archetype

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I started this blog officially on November 15, 2013, so I will complete this yearly round of topics on Nov. 14 of this month; after that I will introduce a whole new process and set of topics for the next year. For November, then, let’s come full circle to focus on the Archetype of the DESCENDER pairing with the metaphor Life Is…A Golden Opportunity.

DESCENDER is one of my primary ensemble cast members as a beloved Archetype Ally. As described by archetypal psychologist Debra Breazzano, Descender is an “Archetype of transformation through death and life/rebirth.” Its Mission is “to honor the descent process and embrace transformation of Self.”

Life is indeed a Golden Opportunity, and your Descender can help you discover its deepest possibilities for you.

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A good way to tune into your Descender perspective is through active imagination that involves an imagistic form of descent itself. Imagine sinking DOWN  into a subterranean chamber or a cave, or even under water. Imagine there a semi-darkened space, with just enough illumination to see by. Find an image of your Descender there; what does he or she look like to you?

Start a conversation. I will model the process here:

L: Hello! I have come to visit with you. What would you like me to call you?

D: I live in your shadows, so you can call me Shade, if you wish.

L:  That reminds me of the shade of a large oak tree.

D: Okay. I can see that.

L: Let’s sit under a shaded tree then to converse. Would that be okay?

{Tree appears, and she: (darker hair, more slim, taller than me) sits down beside me in the grass. The space around us is dim, mainly we have the focus just around us in a luminescent glow.}

D: Why are you here? What would you ask of me?

L: I guess I’d like to ask about what happened with you yesterrday, when you cried out in frustration while I was fighting a cold and with my body aching generally, that we/I had “hit a wall”?

D: That was a waking dream when you walked into that glass wall at the seminar–at the turnaround door at the hotel– Nothing is an accident, remember?

(I did hit my forehead two weekends ago at a hotel. I’m still bruised across the forehead.)

L: Are you saying you led me to bump into into that door?

D: No, that wasn’t me. But it did wake me up! Everything takes SO LONG lately with you, with us, now in this lifetime.  I am tired of waiting — waiting — waiting, and for what? Will it ever really matter? What difference does all of this work make? Is there anything around the bend or just more of the same, always?

L: Those are worthwhile questions and I am glad you are bringing them forth, Shade. On one hand I figure patience is a big lesson here. But maybe there is a way to step things up, too.

D: Maybe talk to our Communicator about that.

L: OK, I will. I just want you to know I do care about your feelings. Thanks for expressing them and let’s stay connected!

 

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Archetype Dialogue can help you understand your own motivations and inner conflicts. Tune in any time!

I welcome your insights and stories of your own experiences.