Chapter 4: Contrary to Expectation
Man is born as a larva. Unfortunately, many die also as larvae, very few become caterpillars. A larva is static: it knows no movement, it remains stuck at one space, at one place, at one stage. Very few people grow into caterpillars. The caterpillar starts moving; dynamism enters. The larva is static, the caterpillar moves. With movement life is stirred. Again, many remain caterpillars: they go on moving horizontally, on the same plane, in one dimension. Rarely, a man like Buddha - or Jalaluddin Rumi or Jesus or Kabir - takes the final quantum leap and becomes a butterfly. Then the vertical enters in.
The larva is static; the caterpillar moves, knows movement; the butterfly flies, knows heights, starts moving upward. The butterfly grows wings. Those wings are the goal. Unless you grow wings and you become a winged phenomenon, you will not have the soul.
Truth is realized through three stages: assimilation, independence and creativity. Remember these three words, they are very seminal.
Assimilation - that is the function of the larva. It simply assimilates food, it is getting ready to become a caterpillar. It is arranging, it is a reservoir. When the energy is ready it will become a caterpillar. Before the movement, you will need a great energy to move.
The caterpillar is assimilation complete, the work done; then the second thing starts: independence. The larva is dropped. Now there is no need to stay in one place. The time has come to explore. The time has come for the adventure. The real life starts with movement, independence. The larva remains dependent, a prisoner, in chains. The caterpillar has broken the chains, starts moving. The ice has melted, it is no longer frozen. The larva is a frozen state. The caterpillar is movement, riverlike.
And then comes the third stage, of creativity. Independence in itself does not mean much. Just by being independent you will not be fulfilled. It is good to be out of the prison, but for what? Independence for what? Freedom for what?
Remember, freedom has two aspects: first, freedom from and second, freedom for. Many people attain only to the first kind of freedom, freedom from - free from the parents, free from the church, free from the organization, free from this and that, free from all kinds of prisons. But for what? This is a very negative freedom. If you know only freedom from, you have not known real freedom, you have known only the negative aspect. The positive has to be known - freedom to create, freedom to be, freedom to express, to sing your song, to dance your dance. That is the third state: creativity.
Then the caterpillar becomes a winged phenomenon, a honey-taster, searches, discovers, explores, creates. Hence, the beauty of the butterfly. Only creative people are beautiful because only creative people know the splendor of life. They have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to feel. They are fully alive, they live at the maximum. They burn their torch from both ends. They live in intensity, they live in totality.
Or, we can use the metaphors used by Friedrich Nietzsche. He says that man’s life can be divided into three successive metamorphoses of the spirit. The first he calls “the camel,” the second he calls “the lion,” the third he calls “the child.” Very pregnant metaphors.the camel, the lion and the child.