"Our struggles around money, and all the tension, fears, and excesses that go with it, has a parallel in nature. Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris says that the caterpillar, at a certain point in its life cycle, becomes a voracious, over consumptive glutton consuming everything in sight and within reach. At this point in its evolution it can eat hundreds of times its own weight, and the more it consumes the more fat and sluggish it gets. At that same moment of developmental excess, inside the caterpillar the imaginal cells begin to stir. Imaginal cells are specialized cells, and in the minority, but when they connect with each other they become the genetic directors of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. At some point in the caterpillar's feeding frenzy stage, the imaginal cells usher in the process in which the over consumptive caterpillar becomes the nutritive soup out of which the imaginal cells create the miracle of the butterfly.
When I first heard this caterpillar-butterfly metaphor I loved it because it gave me a way to see the world the way it is, even its state of voracious greed, as a kind of evolutionary phase. It is such a fitting metaphor for our time. When I look at the inspired, devoted, and brilliant people at work in so many ways to repair and nourish the world, in families, communities, and sustainable enterprises everywhere on Earth, I see the imaginal cells of our own transformation. That’s us, people like me and people like you, people whose stories l have shared in this book, and people appreciating them, people creating new ways, seeing new possibilities.
The fall of unsustainable structures in business, economics, politics, and government-the collapse of companies like WorldCom, Enron, and Tyco in recent years-and the unraveling of corporate corruption could be the beginning of the voracious caterpillar becoming the nutritive soup from which will grow the miracle of the butterfly in this world of turmoil and conflict, violence and retribution, I believe there are millions of people taking responsibility not just for change, but also for transformation, for creating the miracle of the butterfly. We may be in the minority but we are everywhere and we are connecting with one another in Senegal, in Ethiopia, in Ecuador and Afghanistan; in France, Sweden, Japan, and Germany; in Iowa, Michigan, New York, and California-even in Hollywood; in spectacular careers and in the workaday world that keeps it all going. We are the “hidden mainstream." We are the genetic directors of this living system. If we continue to connect with each other, we can create out of this gluttonous caterpillar the miracle of the butterfly,
I challenge you to use your money, every dollar, every penny, every purchase, every stock and every bond, to voice this transformation.
I challenge you to use the money that flows through your life-and it does flow through all of our lives-to express the truth and context of sufficiency,
I challenge you to move the resources that flow through your life toward your highest commitments and ideals, those things you stand for.
I challenge you to hold money as a common trust that we're all responsible for using in ways that nurture and empower us, and all life, our planet, and all future generations.
I challenge you to imbue your money with soul-your soul-and let it stand for who you are, your love, your heart, your word, and your humanity." Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money
Great book! I highly recommend it! Don Ollsin