Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.
Awakening is not a thing. It is not a goal, not a concept. It is not something to be attained. It is a metamorphosis. If the caterpillar thinks about the butterfly it is to become, saying 'And then I shall have wings and antennae,' there will never be a butterfly. The caterpillar must accept its own disappearance in its transformation. When the marvelous butterfly takes wing, nothing of the caterpillar remains.
Awakening is not a thing. It is not a goal, not a concept. It is not something to be attained. It is a metamorphosis. If the caterpillar thinks about the butterfly it is to become, saying 'And then I shall have wings and antennae, ' there will never be a butterfly. The caterpillar must accept its own disappearance in its transformation. When the marvelous butterfly takes wing, nothing of the caterpillar remains.
The apocalypse is now! Americans know this, that the only hope is the flying saucers. Do you know how I see the world? Like a person who is dying. It's a worm who is dying to make a butterfly. We must not stop the worm from dying, we must help the worm to die to help the butterfly to be born. We need to dance with death. This world is dying, but very well. We will make a big, big enormous butterfly. You and I will be the first movements in the wings of the butterfly because we are speaking like this.
The difference between me and a butterfly is that the butterfly looks at a flower with no purpose in mind but to sip nectar. The flower feeds its body while for me the colours and shapes and scents of flowers feed my heart. But how arrogant of me to assume that the butterfly does not feel its miniscule heart also soar for no reason other than touching and being touched by beauty!
A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still. The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly's body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled. The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shrivelled wings, incapable of flight. What the man - out of kindness and his eagerness to help - had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature's way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings. Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.
Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt that i was a butterfly. flitting around and enjoying myself. I had no idea I was Chuang Tzu. Then suddenly I woke up and was Chuang Tzu again. But I could not tell, had I been Chuang Tzu dreaming I was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I was now Chuang Tzu? However, there must be some sort of difference between Chuang Tzu and a butterfly!
Now, you and I both know that I'll wait a lifetime for you - remember, Butterfly Weeds never give up - so take your time down there. And tonight, as you watch that big, orange sun disappear into the earth and your world gradually grow dark, I'll help God turn on the stars, and I'll wait for my dawn - when you return to me, Julia Stephens. I love you, My Butterfly. You'll always be my endless song. Love always and forever, Your one and only Butterfly Weed, Will
For some time she observed a great yellow butterfly, which was opening and closing its wings very slowly on a little flat stone. "What is it to be in love?" she demanded, after a long silence; each word as it came into being seemed to shove itself out into an unknown sea. Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly, and awed by the discovery of a terrible possibility in life, she sat for some time longer. When the butterfly flew away, she rose, and within, her two books beneath her arm returned again, much as a soldier prepares for battle.
I know it is more agreeable to walk upon carpets than to lie upon dungeon floors, I know it is pleasant to have all the comforts and luxuries of civilization; but he who cares only for these things is worth no more than a butterfly, contented and thoughtless, upon a morning flower; and who ever thought of rearing a tombstone to a last summer's butterfly?
Henry Ward Beecher
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.
Butterfly?" Will said. "Why Butterfly?" "I believe it's a term of great respect, " Selethen said gravely. He was very obviously not laughing. Too obviously, Will thought. "It's all right for you, " he said. "They called you 'Hawk.' Hawk is an excellent name. It's warlike and noble. But... Butterfly? Selethen nodded. "I agree that Hawk is an entirely suitable name. I assume it had to do with my courage and nobility of heart. Halt coughed and the Arridi lord looked at him, eyebrows raised. "I think it referred less to your heart and more to another part of your body, " Halt said mildly. He tapped his finger meaningfully along the side of his nose. It was a gesture he'd always wanted an opportunity to use, and this one was to good to miss. Selethen sniffed and turned away, affecting not to notice.
We can learn to trust ourselves by inquiring within. To practice doing this, sit quietly, close your eyes, and for a minute focus your attention on your breathing. Gently visualize your inner wisdom as a graceful butterfly. Admire her beauty, and encourage your butterfly to sit on your shoulder and whisper her wisdom in your ear. Be still and listen.
The great loneliness- like the loneliness a caterpillar endures when she wraps herself in a silky shroud and begins the long transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. It seems we too must go through such a time, when life as we have known it is over- when being a caterpillar feels somehow false and yet we don't know who we are supposed to become. All we know is that something bigger is calling us to change. And though we must make the journey alone, and even if suffering is our only companion, soon enough we will become a butterfly, soon enough we will taste the rapture of being alive.
As those who have seen Jurassic Park will know, this means a tiny disturbance in one place, can cause a major change in another. A butterfly flapping its wings can cause rain in Central Park, New York. The trouble is, it is not repeatable. The next time the butterfly flaps its wings, a host of other things will be different, which will also influence the weather. That is why weather forecasts are so unreliable.
Of course it's the apparently tranquil periods that deceive us. Though our instruments or our senses or our wits may not be able to see the processes that are leading toward these clusters of events, they're happening. The star, the wheel, the butterfly""all are in a subtle state of unrest, waiting for the moment when some invisible mechanism signals that the time has come. Then the star explodes; the wheel makes poor men rich; the butterfly mates and dies.
THE MOTH AND THE BUTTERFLY When the sun rises over the horizon, the butterfly emerges to dance in its brilliant light. It flickers its colorful wings with euphoria, To celebrate all the beauty found in the majestic garden of life. When the moon arrives in the darkness, The moth appears at the disappearance of sunlight. It flickers its pale wings as it shakes from its deep slumber, To go search for food To carry it through the night. The moth prefers the moon and detests the sun, while the butterfly loves the sun and hides from the moon. Every living creature responds to light, But depending on the amount of light you have inside, Determines which lamp in the sky Your heart will swoon. Poetry by Suzy Kassem
A moment of grace. There rose up within me a profound sense of being loved. I felt "gathered together" and encircled by a Presence completely loving, as if I were enveloped by the music of a love song created just for me. It was not overwhelming or even emotional. Just a warm knowing that I was in God's loving embrace...centered and unified there. [Love]encounters cannot be analyzed, only shared. If you take a butterfly, Robert Frost said, and pin it down into a box, you no longer have a butterfly.
Sue Monk Kidd
Wheels have been set in motion, and they have their own pace, to which we are... condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one - that is the meaning of order. If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles: at least, let us hope so. Because if we happened, just happened to discover, or even suspect, that our spontaneity was part of their order, we'd know that we were lost. A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and, by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; his two-fold security.
Will had been taken aback in his confrontation with Arisaka to discover that his name- Chocho- meant "Butterfly"... He was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends, of course, delighted in helping him guess the reason. 'I assume it's because you're such a snazzy dresser, ' Evanlyn said. 'You Rangers are a riot of color, after all.'... 'I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his shield, then dashing off to show someone how to put their body weight into their javelin cast, ' said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, 'I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings.
Does a caterpillar sit on the same leaf when it's a butterfly? No! It goes for a little fly and sees something of the world. Does the tadpole stay in the same pond once it's a frog? No! It stretches its legs, goes for a jump, explores other waters. Did Cinderella go back cleaning hearths once she married the prince?... Transformation means moving forward. If a butterfly stays on the same leaf and a frog stays in the same pond, then they may as well have stayed a caterpillar or a tadpole. There was no point in metamorphosing.