In this article, I describe the essence of my philosophy of change. I use the butterfly’s transformation from larva to butterfly as a metaphor for human beings’ possibility for deep and lasting inner change.
Many people find it easier to understand a metaphor (a linguistic image) that describes a process and a development, than more abstract, theoretical concepts. It’s like that for me too. In my work developing DB-System®, I have amongst other used an iceberg, a magnet and a hot air balloon. They describe in different ways the development of our consciousness, our mental structure and how we function as human beings.
The butterfly as a symbol
I often use the butterfly’s transformation from larva to butterfly as a metaphor for the development we as human beings must go through to end our suffering and create a profound change in our lives.
I also use the butterfly in the area of mental health and the release of serious incidents and traumas, to describe the conscious and subconscious mental processes, thoughts and emotions that lead to a lasting change in behaviour. In addition, the metaphor also shows us that no matter how much we want to help people see their own resources and values, they must go through deeper acknowledgement in order to be able to see.
Throughout the ages, the butterfly has often been used as a symbol of hope, freedom and transformation. Transformation as Charles Darwin called it when he talked about the transformation of shapes being part of all development. An example of this is found in butterflies, among other things, and is one of the reasons why I use it as a metaphor for transformation. Here lies the answer that many have found, but which they have not been able to put together into a new system.
The influence of evolution – from micro to macro
Let’s go back to Darwin to see how we may consciously influence our evolution. Evolution is described in biology as either a change in the genetic composition of a population, meaning microevolution, or the development of new types of living organisms, for example species or genera over time, meaning macroevolution.
Macroevolutionary processes can largely be understood as the sum of microevolutionary events over time, or the sum of change that takes place in the micro, within each individual. Each individual is like a small world and reflects the huge universe. When we make changes on a micro level (within ourselves), then you and I through our individual choices can consciously make a contribution to the kind of evolution and development we want to see also in the external world we are part of (macro).
Everything is constantly developing, and we are influenced, and we influence. Many of us tend to become one-sided recipients of external influences, without particularly utilizing the abilities and resources of inner transformation that lies latent within us. My own experience is that through conscious choices and working within, we have a great ability to influence our own lives as well as the outer circumstances we are part of. We can call it a change that begins at the micro level that eventually also reflects at the macro level. We change and develop ourselves through reshaping or transforming what we have learned. In DB-System® I call it a transformation. We need to go to the innermost micro, where the shape of the shapes can change, to be a part of influencing our evolution.
Metamorphosis, resilience and transforming what is learned
The evolution from larva to butterfly is one of the most commonly used metaphors for the resilience that is inherent in humans. The butterfly undergoes larval stage (children) and pupal stage (adolescence) before becoming a butterfly (adult).
Inside the pupa, all the larval organs are broken down and rebuilt into a completely new and different individual – a butterfly.
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso wrote the book Metamorphoses and is considered one of the most significant authors in the literary history in the world. He wrote, among other things, that human history is subject to the power of transformation. Metamorphosis in biology is a profound internal and external physical change that individuals undergo during a limited period of life. It is in the pupal stage that the butterfly’s metamorphosis takes place – that is, the transformation that is necessary for a total change in the micro, which can be reflected in the macro and in our lives.
Our inherent resilience can help us through this stage. Then the question becomes how can you and I consciously reach the innermost micro level, to make the necessary transformation – meaning to transform what has been previously learned.
A life-changing philosophy – metamorphosis transferred to humans
A systematic approach to achieve this needs to be interdisciplinary. Psychology, philosophy and biology are examples of fields of study that have helped me understand how we can create new methods within human change and growth.
In 1986, I had a near-death experience. The experience was both frightening and fascinating and was a turning point for me. It became impossible for me to ignore what I had experienced and the insight I had gained. Fortunately, I was able to fight for my life, and this is where I started my journey to be able to be in my life in a new way.
Through my own efforts and without the help of others, I developed a method that allowed me to stand strong in my own power, transforming subconscious structures at the micro level and seeing results at the macro level – in my physical, conscious daily life. With this method, I saved my own life. After a 24-year journey, I was finally able to put it together into a system that can create the same results for each individual.
In DB-System®, there is a special form of training of the brain that allows us to reach the micro level – where we achieve transformation for a lasting change. In the scientific articles that have been published, the training is called “positive self-guided imagery training”. It consists of two simple self-help techniques where you guide yourself through these changes using Self-Guided Imagery Meditation (SIM).
An interdisciplinary path of transformation
Until recently, we believed that butterflies originated 40 to 50 million years ago. Recent discoveries indicate that they are tens of millions of years older. Butterflies have existed throughout human history, and we can learn from the process they go through.
Now it is up to us to want to take part in a new form of transformation, where we work interdisciplinarily and apply already existing knowledge with insight we gain by following the path of the new transformation.
To go through one’s own process
I used to be a person who eagerly wanted to help, coach and show people their path. Then I realized that I might create obstacles in their individual process if I became too eager. Again, we can use the butterfly as a metaphor – it dies if you try to help it through the pupal stage.
Many of us have a desire to help and lift others. Although our intentions are usually good, we don’t always give genuine support. We can give other people tools, but everyone must fight the fight themselves. We can lift, but we cannot tell others what to do or where to go. Everyone must experience and go through their own process.
We should, however, still help each other and give advice, guidance and techniques. At the same time, we must understand that an important aspect of helping is to also allow people to fight in their own unique way through the pupal stage for the total transformation.
From individual to society
Making changes can be both daunting and fascinating. In deep change processes, we may experience short-term pain, but going through it provides a long-term benefit. Being able to have techniques to help myself has been essential in my life.
A transformation within each human being is what is needed to create a change at the macro level. Change begins deep within a human. If enough people carry out such an inner transformation, it will lead to a holistic world in balance, with peace and good solutions for all parties involved.
The butterfly is seen as something very special and magical. The inner transformation processes of humans are just as magical! I have seen people change the most incredible things, and I have personally experienced going from a life with deep traumas to a life that is safe and good. Something more magical than that is difficult to find.