|2009-04-07, by John Ringland|
It can be difficult being an agent of change. Here is an anology to help
you understand what it means to be an agent of change and how to go about it
effectively. Below are some quotes about caterpillar / butterfly anatomy and
the vital role of imaginal cells.
For the most part, the
cells that comprise the caterpillar are not the cells that will
become the adult
(butterfly or moth). The caterpillar has imaginal discs within its
body. Different clusters of these cells will develop into different
adult body parts. For example, one cluster will develop into the
adult's compound eyes.” (Caterpillar
“[T]he butterfly’s cells,
distributed at different locations within the body of the
clusters of tiny cells, called imaginal buds,
embody the blueprint of the
butterfly. The caterpillar’s immune
system recognizes these as foreign and
tries to destroy them.
(“You’ll never get me up in one of those things,’’ one
caterpillar is rumored to have told another as they watched a
ascend from a cocoon in early spring.) As the buds arrive
faster and begin to
link up, the caterpillar’s immune system
breaks down and its body begins to
Still, the butterfly doesn’t
'compete' with the caterpillar. There’s no battle
the butterfly is not an alien organism developing within the
caterpillar. The caterpillar/butterfly is a single organism, with the
genetic code. Through a powerful, devastating process it is
no longer a
caterpillar. It is transformed and reborn as a
People who experience being
engaged with a powerful force that seems to
lift them beyond
themselves seldom fully understand what happens in such
do they find it easy to talk about the experience. Something
has been annihilated. Something extraordinary has been born.
“The caterpillar does not simply
shrink a bit and sprout wings. Instead, it sort of disintegrates
into a puddle of ooze within the cocoon. If we were to open the
cocoon halfway through the process, we would not find a
half-caterpillar half-butterfly type creature, but a blob of goop...
The original ooze cells are NOT changing into these new cells, but
rather the new cells seem to come out of nowhere.
These new cells are called imaginal
cells and they are so completely different from the original ooze
cells that they are thought to be a virus or some other form of enemy
so the ooze cells begin attacking the imaginal cells. However, even
though the imaginal cells are being killed off for not fitting in,
they still keep showing up, more and more of them. Eventually,
the imaginal cells begin to find each other and cluster together.
Like attracts like, and the clusters begin to join up with other
clusters. The original ooze cells still keep attacking them but the
imaginal cells continue to multiply and cluster together.
become a large community and they switch gears from simply being a
group of like-minded cells into the programming cells of the
Some imaginal cells start changing into wing cells, some start
changing into antenna cells, some start changing into digestive tract
cells, and so on. They are no longer imaginal cells but become
butterfly anatomy cells. As we all know, if left alone to do his
thing, the butterfly eventually emerges as a completely new entity
from the original caterpillar. Do they hold the same memories, life
lessons, and consciousness? Who knows? One would think that for
survival of the species, the butterfly would still retain whatever
knowledge the caterpillar had learned before entering into the cocoon
Being one of the very first of the
imaginal cells can be a painful road to travel. It is different
later on down the road as your cause begins to gather steam and
becomes more popular. Imagine what the first women who were fighting
for our right to vote went through compared to what we go through
today trying to get equal pay and respect for a job well done...
Minority groups often feel like a cluster of imaginal cells being
wrongly attacked just for being different. The masses assume that
they must be the enemy; why else would they be so different?
Being an outspoken lone wolf with a vision for big change away
from the status quo can be scary and even dangerous.
If you are working for a company that
is growing stagnant and is not willing to adapt and grow with
the times, then maybe your energy and brilliance is wasted on
trying to fix them or change them. Maybe you should move on to
another company, start your own business doing things ‘right’
according to your new vision...
If you are an imaginal cell in your
family, in your workplace, in your community, in your political
system, in your spiritual viewpoints, in your global world; know
that you are not alone and know that what you do to improve life for
your fellow man does matter and it does add weight to the collective
consciousness of humanity. You may feel like you are completely
alone in your battle, but know that there are others who agree, who
are also dying for your cause, or who are so inspired by seeing you
put it all on the line that they are finally brave enough to step
forward making their agreement with you known.
If the imaginal cell is a quiet
little thought somewhere in the back corner of your mind telling you
that you could make huge changes in yourself to become less like the
caterpillar and more like the butterfly, then know that you are not
alone. Many people have
done it before you and many more will follow your lead.
You will know if you are meant to grow, morph, and change into some
new and improved version of yourself by the reoccurring theme of
those tiny little imaginal
cells creating inspirational thoughts within your mind. The
reoccurring thoughts will both haunt you and inspire you. They will
cluster together creating themes of healing change, themes of growth,
and themes of becoming something completely different then who you
used to be. Fear not, for you are simply undergoing the butterfly’s
experience. You too will
feel alone in the dark unsure of what is you and what is not you.
You too will have to claim
that which is beautiful within
and you too will have to fight
your own way out of your self-imposed prison to strengthen your wings
so that you can fly for the entire world to see, inspiring others to
look within at their own imaginal cells.
For more information here are some search results for: imaginal