METAMORPHOSIS: My Journey
By Christina Strutt
I love the Bible. I love A Course in Miracles. I love A Course of Love. Each arrived and delivered its gifts at the precise time in my life when I needed them and was ready to receive them. Each one I carry in highest regard, eternally. And each one I laid aside with great respect and deep gratitude owed a precious friend, teacher, and mentor who has lovingly prepared me for life’s next adventure.
When I discovered A Course in Miracles (ACIM), I laid the Bible gently aside to rest on my bookshelf of treasured volumes to be dipped into on occasion. When I discovered A Course of Love (ACOL), I laid ACIM gently aside right next to the Bible. Now, along with many of you, I am opening my heart to ACOL, fully engaged in living its message of Love, of giving and receiving as one, of relationship and union, of individuation within wholeness, of human being within the divinity of Oneness. Yet always remaining open to new discoveries—what might I love next that loves me even more fiercely into being who I truly am? ☺
Living Oneness means enfolding ALL of our brothers and sisters in love’s embrace. No one is left out, for not a single one of us is truly home until each and every last one of us is home. Relationship with each one and all of everything, is the truth of who we are. And this includes the precious relationship between the Bible and ACIM, and the equally precious relationship between ACIM and ACOL, both of which Jesus has made abundantly clear. For me, living Oneness literally means living in relationship and union with all—nothing and no one left out—not ever—simply because there is no ‘outside’ in Oneness.
“A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand because the change of thinking taught within A Course in Miracles was a change of thinking about yourself. It attempted to dislodge the ego-mind that has provided you with an identity that you but think you are. A Course of Love then followed in order to reveal to you who you truly are. While you continue to act within the world as who you think you are rather than as who you are, you have not integrated these two pieces of learning … This Treatise is attempting to show you how to live as who you are, how to act within the world as the new Self you have identified. Just like learning how to swim, it is a new way of movement.” – T2:4.3-4
I share here my experience of how ACIM and ACOL have worked hand-in-hand in my life. ACOL in The Dialogues, Day 24, uses metamorphosis as a vivid analogy for the transformation we are called to. It is included at the end of this article. And so it seems that the stages of metamorphosis of the Monarch Butterfly provide the perfect analogy for the essence of my journey; the ‘stages’ I feel I have more or less willingly lurched through, and back around, and onward again, these past several years.
There is so much more my heart wants to share—each sentence could have been paragraphs or pages! But I have taken the time to distill and share only the key sign-posts as they have been appearing along the way. Your journey will no doubt be different. And yet at the same time, the same—different in form and same in content. And so I share with heartfelt intention that I’ll let A Course of Love express for me.
“It is the relationship inherent in meeting another’s need that makes the meeting of the need a thing of lasting value. It is your willingness to say, “Brother, you are not alone” that is the benefit of such situations, not only to your brother but also to you. It is in saying, “Sister, you are not alone” that spiritual hunger and thirst is met with the fullness of unity. It is in realizing that you are not alone that you realize your unity with me and begin to turn from fear toward love.” – C:9.27
First, for those in a hurry, here’s the sound bite ☺
I am the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the butterfly. Twenty-four years ago, ACIM showed up and triggered my transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis. Seventeen years later, ACOL showed up and triggered my transformation (a work in process ) from chrysalis to butterfly. Each sacred text entered my life in exquisitely precise timing, each doing its job to perfection.
And here’s the full article for those who enjoy a longer read—”Metamorphosis: A Journey in Seven Parts”
Part One: The Hungry Caterpillar
Full scale engagement with the world, building an upwardly mobile life.
Part Two: The Caterpillar-Chrysalis Hanging Upside-Down
Unseating the ego-self, awakening to choice, and descending into the time of undoing.
Part Three: The Chrysalis Hanging Secure
A leap of faith, replacing belief in the ego-self with tender new belief in the Christ-self.
Part Four: The Chrysalis Dissolving
Descending deeper, total dissolving of the ego-self, a time surrender, pain, grief and isolation.
Part Five: The Primordial Soup
An in-between time of no-identity, great vulnerability, and deepest excavation.
Part Six: The Butterfly Emerging
Dawning of a new way of being present, joining in union and relationship, in dialogue, of knowing without words, of enfolding all of everything, of informing and being informed by the intent of creation.
Part Seven: The Butterfly – Yet to be experienced!
“Go forth not as completed works of art but as permeable energy, ever changing, ever creating, ever new. Go forth with openness for revelation to happen through you and through all you encounter. Go forth joyously on this adventure of discovery. Be ever new, ever one, ever the beloved.“-Addendum: Learning in the Time of Christ, A.48
I welcome all questions, musings, and comments.
With love ♡
Here’s the metamorphosis analogy as given to us in ACOL, The Dialogues, Day 24 of The Forty Days and Forty Nights (D:Day24.1-7)—
You are the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly. This is the way that you are many Selves as well as one Self. You are a Self with many forms. The form you occupy contains all of your potential manifestations as the form of the caterpillar contains all of its potential manifestations.
You are the virgin, the pregnant, the birth, and the new life. This is the way of the world as well as the way of creation. What is unaltered remains unaltered despite its many manifestations. Wholeness exists in every cell, in each of every smallest particle of existence. Wholeness exists in you. Nothing can take wholeness from you. It is as natural to you as it is to all of creation. It does not exist only once potential is realized or made manifest, but always in all things.
Potential is that which exists. It exists as the power and energy, the spirit within you. It does not await. It simply is. It can remain as the untapped power of transformation, or it can be released. The choice is and is not yours. This power is a force of nature that exists, not separately from you, but not separately from nature either. It is triggered in any number of ways, only one of which is by your choice. When it was said that A Course of Love was a trigger, it was meant that the Course is both a trigger of choice and a trigger of nature. It was meant to convey the action of a catalyst. Now it is up to you whether you allow your true nature to be revealed.
To struggle against your nature is what you have spent a lifetime doing. Stop. If you allow your potential to be released, your true nature in all its wholeness will be revealed.
You might think of the caterpillar as the unaltered self with which you began your journey. You might think of your body as the cocoon, the carrier of your potential. You might think of the butterfly as your spirit, revealed only after the potential has matured and been released. There is, in other words, a necessity for each step in the accomplishment of wholeness, even while wholeness has always existed as potential. Do not forget, however, that wholeness has always existed, that potential is that which exists, or that potential does not await.
To attempt to remain within the cocoon of the body, to attempt to contain the spirit within that cocoon, is to attempt the impossible. It is the nature of spirit to become. Its wings poke and prod from within as its potential is triggered. Only with release from its container can it become.
Yet the body is not left behind. The caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly have always been one and remain one. Each form is but a different stage in the becoming of the spirit. Without release, it must die to its present form in order to begin again. Thus spirit is always becoming, even when it must die to begin again.
Christina Strutt grew up in multi-cultural Singapore. Having lived in four countries, she is a natural systems thinker who lives the certainty that relationship is everything. Over forty years working as an engineer, educator, catalyst, bridge-builder, and peacemaker have grounded in her a breadth of experience deepened only by her long-time devotion to living and being love. She offers a valuable service as a practitioner of “CoCreating Clarity.” Please see http://acourseoflove.com/practitioners-mentors-coaches/ and cocreatingclarity.com/spiritual.htm.
By Michael Mark
Because of the way
light gathers around
an aspen leaf in spring,
(like a convention
warming their hands
by a still-smoldering meteor)
Because of the way
spittle, fists and knives
always reduce to dust,
(like splintered wood
is softened into ashes
by Love’s invisible flame)
Because of the way
of curious faces,
all facing east,
(like a jury whose presence
is the only verdict
Because of the way
flows into the cracks
of my fear and loneliness,
from my center
that will one day cool
into a fruit-bearing soil)
nothing is ever
despite being perfectly obvious,
I’ve only just begun
to toy with the Idea
alive inside of me
(like a raindrop
trapped in stone
through a thousand
who has just begun
of the Sea…)
Michael is a utility systems engineer and a writer who recently published his first collection of spiritually-themed poems entitled A Cannon, a Heart, and Now This. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have been significant influences upon the unfolding of his inner life, leaving him increasingly content despite a growing inability to be certain where one thing ends and another begins. He maintains a blog featuring his poetry, sporadic experiments with fiction and occasional Course related pieces at www.embracingforever.com.