Dance of the Butterfly June 2, 2011

Like the butterfly, we’re always changing too—shedding the old, stepping into the new.
What stage are you currently in?

Hi Laurie,

Your question started me thinking about the essential difference between human and most other life, and a breakdown in the analogy you gave.

Life forms like butterflies have evolved over billions of years, and are very strongly controlled by genetic influences.

Genetic controls are not like blueprints, they are much more like recipes. They work by sequencing things, steps in processes, concentrations of things, etc. Life forms take on the forms they do as a result of many thousands of major changes, and many more thousands of subtle changes in concentrations of things in various parts of the body over time.
Often the triggers for such things are cues from the environment, like increasing temperature, or increasing day length, leading to breeding activity etc.

We certainly have such things in our bodies, they reach their adult form by following a genetic sequence of instructions.
We also have many such forms from culture, as we work through stages in various disciplines, traditions, occupations, organisations, etc; and we also have something else.

For me, it is the something else that is most interesting.

For me, it is the ability of the human mind to go someplace where nothing has ever gone before, to create new order and pattern with intention, rather than simply at random, that is something entirely new in life on this planet.

So while I acknowledge the existence of the sort of patterning you describe in the butterfly analogy; what most interests me about people is their ability to operate completely beyond the constraints of previous levels of patterning (be they genetic or cultural) and to create something entirely new; in entirely new ways.

I acknowledge that evolution has explored many ways of creating novelty over the last 4 billion years (in both genetic and cultural/mimetic systems), and that it is wise for us to study the ways of living systems, and the ways of old cultures, and to respect all of the lessons and wisdom found in both sets of systems; and it is also wise for us not to be bound by such considerations, and to remain open to possibilities beyond anything previously created.

So I am looking to life beyond the butterfly – whatever that might look like.

[followed by]

I like that:

Unleashed, Unlimited, Potential and Possibility.

Sounds like a great name for a political movement.
Double up
Up up and AWAY!

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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