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A Question of Identity

butterfly identity

We have progressed into the sign of Leo as our spaceship Earth makes its appointed round through time and space. The particular qualities emanating from this constellation (which is also called ‘The Lion of Assertion’) are those of individuality, self-consciousness and sensitivity, together with the will to rule and illumine. The soul motto associated with Leo is: “I am That and That am I.” So who are we really? The Perennial Philosophy tells us that the great sweep of the evolution of consciousness takes us from an initial dream-like and unrealized state of ‘I AM’ to the ‘I AM THAT’ in which we identify with the external world in order to derive a sense of identity and meaning until we finally come full spiral to ‘I AM THAT I AM’. This final phase is the state of Self-Realization. So where is the line between our individual Identity and sense of Self and the world around us? As we move more into the Aquarian era of group endeavor we are being invited to embark upon a journey from the ‘I’ to the ‘We’.

The difference between an individual ‘I’ consciousness and that of a ‘group consciousness’ is like the difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly. Please note that a butterfly is not a caterpillar with wings glued to its back! The butterfly can only emerge once the land-based caterpillar has dissolved its previous form in the alchemical confines of the pupae stage from which it issues forth as a resplendent denizen of the air. Likewise, the individual human being can only enter the group Self as the external forms and internal boundaries are dissolved. The birth of anything new requires that we die to the ways of the old. Herein, lies the greatest human fear: namely, the fear that death of the form equates to an absolute loss of deep essential identity.

Fortunately for the caterpillar, its spiritual DNA contains ‘imaginal cells’ that carry the promise of its butterfly future so that when the old form dies a new one is ‘ordered’ from the chaos of dissolution by this imprinted inner promise. Within the individual spiritual DNA of the Soul, ‘imaginal cells’ carry the promise of a greater identity that is not limited to what Alan Watts referred to as, “the skin-encapsulated ego.” Moving from ‘I’ to ‘We’ may therefore not be a real threat to our individuality but more of an expansion of our ‘I’ to include a greater Sense of Self.

Perhaps we can see ourselves as the many aspects of the One Life that have been fractured and scattered in time and space for millennia as the ‘I am that’ and we are now slowly remembering and re-grouping so that the One can fully realize Itself through a synthesis of the Many. Our fractured world is currently having an identity crisis. To the degree that you and I can affirm our Unanimity and embody this principle in all that we think, say and do, so our human family will become more coherent and eventually be able to declare as one that: “I Am That I Am and We Are That We Are.”

(photo credit: Alain Picard)

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