Would a caterpillar be happy to die if it knew that in this way it would become a beautiful butterfly? Would we be prepared to venture past our everyday consciousness if we knew of the wondrous worlds beyond? Let us imagine a caterpillar, its vision confined to the surface of a leaf, its world encompassed by the nearby foliage. The caterpillar knows nothing of the wider universe of the tree and its network of roots and branches, much less the seasons that control its growth. They exist in a dimension the caterpillar cannot imagine.
The same applies to us. Our physical body lives in three-dimensional space but our spiritual body extends far from its material manifestation, experiencing the far reaches of space — to its parent star and beyond to the Absolute. As an inseparable part of the Absolute, our higher spiritual aspects are multidimensional. But we earthbound human beings, limited as we are by three-dimensional consciousness, cannot see with the clear eye of the spiritual self. Focusing on our physical body, we cannot understand the effect of our spiritual selves upon our health, relationships, and destiny.
We may try in vain to find explanations limited to the tangible material world with which we are familiar. We cannot penetrate to the real roots of the effects we experience in the outer world because they lie in the dimensions of our spiritual self. We often seem so attached to our familiar material world that we act as though unaware of other dimensions. When we purify our mind from the welter of routine thoughts and opinions, we become capable of expanding and multiplying the coordinates of our professional and personal lives, and thus expanding our personal universe and its possibilities.
In its wildest dreams a caterpillar is not aware of its potential to fly. By shedding its skin, it can grow wings, become a butterfly, and partake of a whole new dimension of life. Our caterpillar may be apprehensive about the necessity to change. It seems like death, but dying as a caterpillar it resurrects as a butterfly! We cannot realize or imagine the consciousness and might of the Absolute — whether we call it God or another name — the real reason and creative force acting in all dimensions, although mankind has received descriptions of divine cosmic laws from enlightened teachers throughout the ages.
The science of the new millennium could derive its premises from these universal multidimensional laws, changing our point of view, observing things from the all-dimensional spiritual level of the Absolute rather than from the limited three-dimensional level of a terrestrial being. Having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, each of us has a choice: whether to remain secure and fixed in our limited notions or to start the process of forming a multidimensional view grounded in spirit. So, do we want to remain caterpillars or fly free as butterflies?
(From Sunrise magazine, August/September 2006; copyright © 2006 Theosophical University Press)
Current Issue Contents
Like waves preceding before us
our thoughts speed to create our next moment.
Bound within the prison of our mind
we cannot see the next reality.
Like air rushing before the plane’s nose
we soar through life barely glimpsing
our future before it happens.