by Peter Melton
Once upon a near-term extinction event,
there was a caterpillar named Humana.
She didn’t know why, but she was covering herself in a cocoon.
She felt trapped by the suffocating atmosphere, she felt like she was dying.
This self-made cocoon was engulfing her and it didn’t feel very good at all. She was very confused and she did not know why this was all happening.
She had heard from some of the wise ones, that from a grander perspective she was so much more than just a caterpillar. They told her that she was actually a spiritual being having the temporary experience of being a caterpillar. That all sounded nice, but she never really understood what it meant.
Humana felt like she was dying. She wondered, could it be true that a grander spiritual energy was up to something? She wasn’t sure what to do and now the cocoon had completely surrounded her. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
That night, in her dreams, she saw amazing colors. She felt like she was flying, way way up in the sky. She experienced wonderful new feelings, more amazing then any feelings she had ever felt.
In the morning as she woke up, she felt the urge to bust out of the cocoon she had wrapped herself in. As she started to climb out, she felt stronger than before, something had definitely changed.
She felt different. She was feeling the special feelings like she had felt in her dreams. She opened her eyes to a new kind of light and she saw the bright colors she had dreamed about too.
As she looked at herself, she saw the transformation, not only did she see the bright colors, but she realized … that she WAS THE BRIGHT COLORS!
Something amazing and transformational had happened while she slept. She felt so free … and then … She spread her new colorful wings … and then … she flew.
Flying high above the ground, Humana realized that her spiritual nature was in fact up to something. This was a very different life then what she had as a caterpillar. This could not have happened if she had not suffocated herself in the cocoon. That confusing time led to this experience of knowing herself in a brand new and glorious way, as a butterfly.
It wasn’t long before Humana was a grown butterfly and it was her turn to lay some butterfly eggs. She realized that those eggs would soon become baby caterpillars. Then it all sank in, each of those babies would experience the same confusion and dying process that she did and that they too would someday know themselves as so much more than caterpillars.
Someday, they would know themselves as butterflies, who had cleverly disguised themselves as caterpillars for a short time. They would also realize that they did it to themselves, for the thrill of the journey of remembering, that they were butterflies all along.
And we all live and die, happy ever after.
It appears that this butterfly /caterpillar/ butterfly process can be closely related to our current human extinction experience. We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience (we are butterfly/spirit eggs that are cleverly disguised as caterpillars/humans for a short time) .
To some degree we think that our humanity is all we are, just as Humana thought that she was only a caterpillar. Someday (now), we will create a world/cocoon that appears to be killing us. Wise ones (like me?) will tell us that we are so much more than human. Then, when we actually die, what we die to is our old understanding of who we thought we were. And when the time is right, we will emerge from that “death” as something so much more than we thought we were. (P.S. You don’t have to wait until you die, which is part of the reason you are reading this story.)
We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. We are so much more that we think we are. We are co-creating our own earthly cocoon style extinction event so that we too can die to our limited experience of who we think we are. Someday, when the timing is right, we too shall emerge from this “death” and we will remember that we are one infinite spiritual energy. And we will remember that we cleverly disguised ourselves as humans for a short time. We did this to ourselves, all for the thrill of the journey of remembering, that we were butterflies all along.
Once this perspective is in place, we can transform the conversation about near term human extinction. Since in fact we are cocooning ourselves, exact date of extinction TBA, we are being dared to ponder the grander questions, like what is it to be human. Regardless of how/when or if this plays out, I think we can become greater representatives of humanity by looking in this mirror of human extinction and daring to talk about it. Enjoy.
As we all live and die happily ever after.
About the Author
Peter Melton is a high-flying, colorful beam of light, reminding you that you and I and everything else are the infinite energy of life, cleverly disguised as something else. All for the thrill of the journey of remembering … that we were butterflies all along. This disguise is called Peter Melton, 51-year-old, single white male born in California, blah blah blah …
Peter can be reached through the sound of birds chirping, or waves crashing, or children laughing or in the bubbles of your favorite beverage. Or, at Peter.Melton3@gmail.com
Beforewords (the opposite of Afterwords) (how this all came about)
After hearing about and exploring this concept of near term human extinction, (thanks and no thanks to Guy McPherson) I began pondering the grander meaning of our humanity. How am I supposed to feel about the possibility that I was part of ending humanity and zillions of other species too? How will others feel when they get this news?
As an eternal optimist and spiritual explorer, I felt that there had to be a bigger story playing out. One thing for sure, I didn’t want to hang out in that guilty doomsday feeling I felt, so I began to look for a way to make sense of it all. From the human perspective, this really sucks, period. But what is the spiritual perspective of this human extinction event?
It was there that I found some relief. Could it really be true, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience? I have heard and quoted that many times, but this is where the rubber meets the road. Can I accept that I am, and all my fellow humans are, actually, spiritual beings having a temporary human experience? And that to the same point, all plants and animals are too?
Could it be that all of it is one grand and temporary spiritual experiment? That somewhere over the rainbow there are some zany spiritual scientist mixing the stuff of life together in a test tube to see what happens?
If so, did they leave any clues? Where in nature does anything bizarre like this happen? That is when it hit me. The caterpillars and butterflies, perhaps we are playing out the butterfly/caterpillar/butterfly story. It makes more sense than any other “guilt free” idea I had heard of or thought of, so I wrote it up as a little fable. I like it, I hope you enjoy it too and it’s okay if you don’t, some folks don’t like the taste of extinction.
Mature, intelligent critics attack ideas, not people. Immature people attack people instead of ideas. For examples of the latter, pay a visit to the Doomstead Diner. If you’re inclined to respond in a manner McPherson views as immature, your time commenting in this space will be short.
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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.