THE BUTTERFLY ANALOGY

1
The butterfly starts as a hard-covered egg
closed off to and uninterested in
the spiritual realm.

2
It can grow, change, into a caterpillar,
mobile and taking an interest in the world,
but seeing it all in flat-earth terms;
its authorities, rules and legalisms;
its liturgies,sacraments, creeds.

3
The change into a covered chrysallis
brings fixed boundaries, beliefs and concepts;
certain of where it is and what is right
yet unable to see beyond its shell
blind to the world around it.

4
The chrysalis bursts out to leave the contents
lying exposed,vulnerable, aching and unprotected
as the sun dries out the delicate membranes
seeking reality, yet unable to fly
into new abundant life.


5
The butterfly takes flight into glory
at first with massive effort and pain
then freed of all constraint
soaring free.

Yet, so often, we find butterflies trapped
battering themselves fruitlessly against a window
unable to make progress against fixed barriers,
the doctrine and dogma of orthodox spirituality;
the authorised righteousness
of religious observance.

What then is authentic spirituality?
Is it something which we should desire or envy,
or is it something to be avoided as unsettling
to the realities of human life?

There are many different ways, or models,
of describing the spiritual journey.
Perhaps Fowler's human model
is the clearest analogy and
is most widely accepted.

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Without any interests
outside personal welfare
the desires of human nature
and the needs of today.