HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes Updated April 12, 2009 12:00 AM
When a cat-erpillar reaches a certain point in its own evolution, it becomes over-consumptive, a voracious eater and it eats everything in sight.
At that same time, in the molecular structure of the caterpillar, the ‘imaginal cells’ become active. While all this gorging is going on, those imaginal cells wake up, and they look for each other inside of the caterpillar’s body. When enough of them connect (they don’t need to be in the majority) they become the genetic directors of the future of the caterpillar. At that point, the other cells begin to putrefy and become what’s called the nutritive soup — out of which the imaginal cells create the absolute unpredictable miracle of the butterfly.
What’s possible is that we’re the imaginal cells on the planet right now. — inspired by Elisabet Sahtouris
Today is Easter, a time of redemption. Easter makes us focus on the triumphs and victories we have had, and the obstacles we have overcome and need to overcome to become better human beings. And as much as I believe there is always something we can work on in our selves, I believe (as I know many others do) that collectively, all of mankind needs some saving.
Which is why I deeply admire those citizens of our world who are intentionally trying to save mankind by nudging evolution forward. It is important work to save the environment, promote human rights, feed the hungry, educate every human being on the planet and awaken people to a higher consciousness than what we now have. Achieving these can only elevate mankind to a higher plane.
I believe that it is the efforts exerted by advocacy groups all over the world that will bring mankind to a better place. Such people have experienced oneness with other people who are outside of their own culture and background and they have recognized that they are other people!
This, above all else, is the pre-requisite for anyone who would help nudge the collective consciousness a few notches higher. It is only when one has felt to some degree this widening of identity outside the personal that one can share in the aching but liberating feeling of the work that needs to be done to lift humankind.
Without this, it would be hard to part ways with the mindset that likes to go to war for purely selfish ends, or progress at the expense of others, or accumulate wealth mindlessly even at the expense of destroying the world’s resources and people.
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” wrote Joseph Campbell. Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Gautama Buddha and a few others come to mind. These heroes included every living person in their definition of themselves. They included everyone and everything in their consciousness. They must have been among the “imaginal cells” in human history referred to in the quotation at the start of the article, that will eventually group with others to bring mankind to a higher consciousness.
Looking back at known history, we see that humankind has come a long way, in many respects. Just 2,000 years ago, for example, it was perfectly legal for a father to kill an offspring if he deemed that he was not worthy to carry his name. Take note that this aberrant practice was part of the laws of the Roman civilization, the cutting-edge, state-of-the-art culture in the Western world at that time.
Sure, there are still cultures today that look at women as inferior to men, or as property, or foster different forms of slavery, but the scales are now slightly tipped towards cultures that are aligned with concepts of democracy and human rights, even in their more rudimentary form. That’s certainly progress.
We have indeed come a long way.
And yet I also know that the way of the world is largely still dog-eat-dog and this will probably continue for a long time. One must kill others —literally or figuratively — in order to live. The old give way to the young. The ancient must end so that the new can come in. Death begets life. That is life, and that is also death.
But those who sincerely want to change the world know that somehow, the rules change drastically when they decide to offer their own lives voluntarily that others may live. This point was inculcated in our consciousness by Jesus when he died for humankind. He knew the paradox that death is in fact the prerequisite for new life to begin.
I think of all those who tirelessly work in the slums, or those who strive to save the environment, or those who give a good chunk of their time and effort joining organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups. They are doing cutting-edge evolutionary work. What motivates them to do this? Most of us may be moved to give a little of our money, or do charity work, if we have time. But these people give so much, willingly and unconditionally.
I met Dr. Patch Adams, MD, when he came to the Philippines many years ago. He was the doctor who was portrayed by Robin Williams in a hit movie. Dr. Adams talked excitedly and with so much heart about how he loved to treat the sick among the poorest of the poor. He said that as a doctor, he would spend as much as four hours in consultation with a patient to know his background because he believed that to know a person is the first step in curing what ails him. He befriends his patients and then writes a prescription for medicines but adding instructions for his “friends” to gaze at the stars at night, or read poetry, or bake a cake! And he does all this not only for free but with endless enthusiasm and good humor. What a guy!
I would like to end with a quote from the brilliant Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin who wrote, “Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.”
Perhaps it really is as simple as what Jesus and many others have been saying all along. Loving others and treating them as we wish to be treated ourselves is how we evolve out of the mess the world is in.
Maybe it’s a simple as this to get to the next level.