We constantly look in the mirror to admire and enquire of our externality, to seek some visual understanding of who we are and how we see ourselves in relation to others. What I see is what I get, or is it? What if something is hiding just below the surface, like a ancient mythological creature waiting to reveal an unrealised version of myself, a superhuman hero that shape-shifts my mundane experience and transports me to a new imaginative space.
The life cycle of a caterpillar is a proverbial example of such a stark possibility, an eventuality of becoming that allows the new generative state to cocoon its old way of being and transform into another form of beauty and wonder. Metamorphosis is not about change for change sake, but about embracing the mystery of trust and letting nature do her evolutionary work. What hides in our genetic DNA is incomprehensible and magical, the confounding of our sensibilities in the light of how we see ourselves.
In our understanding of God we will often grapple with a conscience driven expectation of behaviour modification or moral standards, but what if the real issue is one of transformation and transcendence. Maybe God is at work in us to transmute our humanity and move us toward some kind Theosis, a divinization that is not governed by a set of standards and laws but guided by grace and love, and the inevitability of our evolution.
The greek word for psyche (soul) literally means ‘butterfly’, the elusive and subtle true self of our becoming, emerging out of the old envelope of time. This process of transformation cannot be engineered or organised by a structured arrangement, just entered into as the growing pains of metamorphosis rise within us.
When I was a child I dreamed of being something special, a super-man of sorts, badly dressed but uniquely gifted. At any one moment I would tear off the outer garments and make a mark on society, saving the damsel in distress while receiving the adulation of the adoring crowd. Metamorphosis says 'there is more to you than meets the eye', that hiding in the depths of your being is a profound piece of extra-terrestrial organism that will eventually surface to reveal the real you.