Ram Dass posted this quote a while ago on his Facebook page and thunder rolled through my head!!! It was the cacophony of ideas and inspiration for another blog post...shuddering to life!
The idea of aligning the three phases of human birth, life...and death...to that of a caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly astounded me and the fact that it has only just entered my periphery is equally astounding! How could I have not realised this until now!? Sheesh!
I'll get back to the tri-papilio phases in a second, but first a bit more about the symbolism of three and the reasoning behind my logo...don't worry, it'll make sense in the end...pun intended!
If you'd like to know more about the various interpretations and meanings of the triskelion, click here...but for now I'll get onto the three phases of caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly because that's really why I'm here writing this blog post!
As I mentioned earlier, I was thunderstruck by the concept of these three phases as they related to the stages that we humans take. And for the record...this is my own interpretation and if you hang in there I hope you'll get my train of thought...
From the time we are born until just before we die, provided it is an anticipated death of old age, the caterpillar phase of life is upon us. We're busy building a life. We're actively growing and learning. And we grow big and full from the 'nourishment' of life.
We do this 'busyness' until life says 'you've had enough, and it is time to rest.'
And rest we do...in the short phase before death when we cocoon and turn away from the light of living.
I think of the chrysalis as this phase of life/death transitioning. It's a time when most people prepare to enter the next phase...that of actively dying. This is a time when the spirit knows it's time to leave the body and begins to let go.
I know that a butterfly is still a living insect, but here's where you need to just hang out with my idea for a bit longer...
No one really knows what happens to us after we die, after our soul/spirit/life force/consciousness/fill in the blank_________, finishes with the host it has embraced in its lifetime.
People who are religious have their beliefs, scientists have their theories, atheists have their ideas, and people who have had near-death experiences have any combination of the above, but ultimately, no one knows what it is to be in a state of 'permanent' removal from a physical body.
What if we became butterfly's of sorts. Most of you will agree with me that a butterfly is a beautiful sight to behold! The entire process of caterpillar to butterfly is a spectacular work of genius in itself!
But butterfly's flutter away, they dance and prance and are a wee bit magical...
Wouldn't it be great if death were that way, too? What if in our last breath we transform into something beautiful and magical and we dance and prance into the light...wherever that light may be for each one of us. It makes me think of death in a lighter way, almost like a tickle makes a child giggle with glee. Death doesn't have to be heavy and foreboding. It doesn't always have to be a sad occasion. I, for one, would much prefer to have lived the life of a stunning caterpillar full of activity, until life says it's had enough, then gently nestle myself into a warm, cozy cocoon until I burst forth into beautiful 'butterfly-ness!'
I'm going to leave you with that thought...and remember, it's just a thought, my thought, not a doctrine. I hope you have related to my metaphor in some small way and that, perhaps the idea of dying seems less a struggle than a passage of time, much like birth and life are.
For just one more day I am passionately yours,
The seeds are being planted in the garden of Passionate Life Consulting...and now I must nourish, water, watch and wait, and then repeat the cycle again as many times as it takes to see the first fledgling shoots blossom into fruit bearing trees.
What came from the germ of an idea, that of inspiring others to live fully before they die by accepting their mortality, has just begun to show the green shoots of new life. People are catching on to my schtick, they're nodding in agreement when I speak about death being an inspiration for life.
Such a paradox...death...new life. But that is how I see death...just the other side of life, a paper-thin slice separating the two.
The Death Café was a new experience for me, but has now become a part of what I do in my passion for conversations about death and dying. It made such an impression on each and every one of us that I feel it's important to continue holding more café's. What is coming from the work I have done so far is a general feeling that people just want to share their stories in a safe supportive environment, to express their grief, and to feel validated for their myriad feelings about death and dying.
Western society is so busy doing life quickly, but what for? Why are we in such a rush to 'get somewhere'... and where is 'somewhere' anyway? Isn't it death? If so, why aren't we talking about it more? My questions are slowly being answered with the voices who share their stories. It seems to me that the busyness of life seems to find its proportionate place again when mortality is discussed. Life purpose becomes more about quality of life rather than quantity...and after all...none of it comes with us when we die! Breathe in...breathe out...
If you want to know more stay connected to the information, via the calendar here, or my Facebook page, for upcoming Death Café's in the Perth/Fremantle area. As well...for more information on Jon Underwood and/or the Death Cafe's globally, click here.
Passionately yours for another day,
Here you will find the musings of me...