Today’s “Meditations on Eckhart Tolle” quote: “The closer we get to the end of our present evolutionary stage, the more dysfunctional the ego becomes, in the same way that a caterpillar becomes dysfunctional just before it transforms into a butterfly. But the new consciousness is arising even as the old dissolves.”
Buddha is a metaphor for our own evolution from one order of consciousness to another that is higher. Enlightenment is everyday mind, says the Zen master, so I keep these abstract teaching close to my everyday experience. When the Buddha was attacked by his existing order of consciousness (Mara), he answered confusion and self doubt (dysfunctional) by point to the earth as his ground. He pointed to everyday mind. Instead of leaving everyday mind or consciousness (which had become dysfunctional) , instead of trying to starve it to death, Siddhartha just make the vow to sit in it and not move, not react, not avoid his caterpillar stage of consciousness.
But what is (our present evolutionary stage) in the context of everyday mind? What does it mean to be dysfunctional? Dysfunction is when you can’t think you way out of a dilemma. When you are stuck in a labyrinth, every choice looks the same. You are lost. Every choice is lose/lose. Nothing works. There is nothing stable to cling to. All maps are taken away. You feel blind folded and someone is turning you in circles. This dysfunction is when we feel that we have lost our center, our bearings, and our reason for being. Dysfunction is whey you keep getting in the same conflict patterns with you family/friends and the world. Dysfunction is Ground Hog Day.
So all this teaching about man’s evolution missed the mark of You. When all we consider is the enlightenment of man, we miss our own enlightenment. In fact, objective teaching without the subjective I (what about Me?) is an avoidance of the butterfly. Je Suis Butterfly! Not you, not us, not them, not man…but I…I am the worm and the butterfly. I am also the cocoon. This is the Big Three; the worm, the cocoon, and the Butterfly….
The Butterfly is my own transcendent, my spirit wings that is present in my worm and cocoon. The worm is my everyday mind, my current stage of consciousness. The cocoon is when that stage becomes dysfunction. Something is wrong. Nothing that used to work is working now. I can’t crawl like I used to. I feel bound up. Something is moving within that is alive! Something wants to fly…What Shall I Be?
The worm surrenders, the worm must die…”If a seed falls to the ground and does not die, it stands alone (It crawls like a worm). If the seed dies, it shall bear fruit (fly like a butterfly).” J. Christ
When the cocoon comes, when dysfunction arrives, don’t struggle, don’t move. Just sit like the Buddha and point to your ground which is Just This moment…
I keep coming back to grammar and how our language locks us into dysfunction that prevents the Butterfly from transcending the Worm. The Butterfly is not a new stage of evolution in this metaphor, but the transcendence of the Worm. The butterfly is a worm flying above its attachment to things, to ITS. The Butterfly is First Person and the Worm is IT, or Third Person. One can be the butterfly, but you can only describe the worm. First Person is Being I AM…that is prior to the Worm and the IT world of Third Person.
When First Person awakens, it can never go back to sleep totally again. We live in a Third Person world of ITS, but the First Person is I am. First Person never says we, you or it. First Person always says I as the center of the universe, the I am that has no second. As soon as the ONE becomes the Many, you flip back into the IT world and you crawl on the earth like a worm. It is only as First Person that you can fly. But the IT world is like gravity, and it will pull your flight back to earth, which it calls sanity. Life becomes a yoyo that flies out and is pulled back by the string of IT. The Butterfly flies when it becomes neither the worm or the Butterly, neither crawling nor flying…but both at the same time. Freedom is worm/butterfly. Freedom is transcendence that has one foot on the ground of conditions and what is given, and one foot that is creating a new worldview out of the worm. We have to accept and use the worm that is given in order to fly. You cannot become a butterfly until you totally accept the worm.