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We’re Just Butterflies In A Caterpillar World – A Sutra Song Synchronicity Story


Butterflies are living
metaphors for metamorphosis.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Viceroy Butterfly



Ron’s Introduction and Explanation

After my mid-life spiritual awakening and newfound interest in spiritual evolution, I began regularly and reflectively to walk alone by San Francisco Bay, as a kind of informal spiritual practice.

While walking by the Bay, I synchronistically began “channeling” spiritual sayings, rhymes and poems. Often, too, I’d spontaneously sing original melodies to accompany my poems and rhymes. As I walked, I regularly wrote the words that came to me. But, mostly I forgot the melodies, which I couldn’t write.

One of the few songs with melody that I remembered, I called “Come Be Butterflies in a Caterpillar World.” It was “channelled” as I reflected on beautiful butterflies as living metaphors for metamorphosis.

Until very recently there was no professional recording of the butterfly song. But now, Rob Tobias, an Oregon musician/songwriter/singer and videographer is releasing a new CD including the song. Rob has been motivated by continuing synchronicities to perform and record the butterfly song.

In November 2008, Rob began filming me for a biographical documentary video project, “Walks With Ron”. In sharing my stories on film with Rob, I sang the caterpillar song. Rob liked it, worked out musical notation, and began singing the song solo and in performances with his band, The Northwest Express.

In early July 2012, Rob repeatedly sang the song at the Oregon Country Faire, to appreciative audiences. On returning home to Eugene, he was amazed to find that someone anonymously had posted a sign on a telephone pole across from his house, that said, “Be a Butterfly in a Caterpillar World.”

Here it is:



Despite repeated inquiries, Rob could not discover the sign’s mysterious origin. But after viewing its message countless times, in September 2012 Rob decided to give a Rosh Hashanah talk about metamorphosis and transformative change as co-leader of a Jewish Renewal group in Eugene. On explaining this decision to his co-leaders, Rob offered to show them the butterfly sign which had been in place earlier that day. But on returning home with his friends, Rob discovered that the sign had suddenly disappeared, just as mysteriously as it had suddenly appeared in July.

In October 2012, during a trip to New England, Rob unexpectedly and synchronistically performed the butterfly song in Burlington, Vermont at a school assembly of over 300 enthusiastic children, and at a hipster pub where four children mysteriously appeared to do a butterfly dance. [A youtube video of Rob’s performance at the school assembly is embedded below.]

On returning to Eugene, Rob decided to record the butterfly song. You can listen to his recording at RobTobias.com. Also, below I am posting the song’s original lyrics with an mp3 recording of me singing them.

As a heartfelt participant in our collective evolutionary transformation into an enlightened new age of harmony, peace and joy, I humbly offer this butterfly song.

To Life! Enjoy!!

We’re Just Butterflies In A Caterpillar World

We’re just butterflies,
We’re just butterflies,
We’re just butterflies,
In a caterpillar world.

Hey we’re flyin’ high,
See us flutter by,
Way up in the sky,
In a caterpillar world.

[1st Refrain]

After many moons
In our cocoons,
Totally transformed we’ve been,
From chrysalis to crystaline.

Then, leaving cares and apprehensions
We’ve flown to joyous new dimensions.
But the world keeps creeping and crawling,
So we’re just flying and calling.

Come be butterflies,
Come be butterflies,
Come be butterflies,
O’er a caterpillar world.

Wake up and arise,
Fly up to the skies,
Come be butterflies
From a caterpillar world.

Come now claim your prize
To be very wise
Flying through the skies
O’er a caterpillar world

[2nd Refrain]

Until bye and bye,
Never knowing why,
You’ve soared ever high
To a beautiful heaven above.

[2nd Refrain]


Ron’s audio singing of We’re Just Butterflies In A Caterpillar World

Listen to


Rob Tobias singing We’re Just Butterflies In A Caterpillar World at Integrated Arts Academy, Burlington VT:



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“Channeling” for Joseph Campbell – Ron’s Memoirs

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
 to match your nature with Nature.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.
It’s as simple as that.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
~ Joseph Campbell


Dr. Joseph Campbell + Ron Rattner - 10/8/83 - Courtesy CIIS Archives

Dr. Joseph Campbell with Ron Rattner, 10/8/83 –
Courtesy of California Institute of Integral Studies archives

 

During the 1980’s I was Chairman of Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), an accredited graduate school giving degrees in areas of psychology, philosophy, comparative religion, and related disciplines. In that capacity, I was occasionally obliged to give commencement talks and to bestow honorary degrees. In October, 1983, I was told on short notice that I would be awarding to Dr. Joseph Campbell an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion, and that I should prepare an appropriate presentation talk. I was told that two other speakers would be discussing Dr. Campbell’s impressive academic accomplishments, but was not told the order of speakers. I had never met Dr. Campbell. And since by that time he was very famous (especially after Bill Moyers’ PBS interviews), I was in a quandary about how much or what I should say.

A couple of days before the event, I was walking along the beach toward the Golden Gate bridge, when synchronistically an “inner voice” told me to write down some words for Campbell, and I obliged. On three little paper scraps, I wrote five sentences that were ‘dictated’ by the inner voice. (*I saved the scraps – copy linked below.)

The presentation took place in San Francisco on October 8, 1983 at the Palace of Fine Arts theater adjoining the Exploratorium. Campbell and I and the other speakers filed on stage wearing traditional black cap and gown attire, and we sat down. I was seated next to Dr. Campbell, on his right. The program provided for my presentation to follow introductory talks by two other school officials – Dean Ralph Metzner and Chairman Emeritus Michael Toms – who were lavishing profuse praise on Campbell. During the second talk, which sounded to me like a long, living eulogy, I suddenly and spontaneously put my left hand on Campbell’s right knee and without thinking whispered, “Don’t let this go to your head.”

Finally, with paper scraps in hand, I made the presentation, uttering the following five sentences which had been given to me on the beach:

“Dr. Joseph Campbell, the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies is privileged and pleased to bestow on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion.
“We acknowledge thereby your mastery of these disciplines through your studies of myths and symbols.
Like masters of other disciplines you have realized the Source common to all disciplines – to all wisdom.
A Source which integrates and unifies this creation, which is diverse in appearance but the same in essence.
“So in presenting this degree to you, we honor symbolically that Source – within you and within each of us.”

Thereupon, Dr. Campbell humbly accepted the new honor.

After the program, a very intuitive PhD student with whom I was friendly, approached me and asked: “Ron, was your talk ‘channeled’?”   After a moment’s hesitation, I replied “yes”.

From then on I began receiving more and more inner ‘dictation’ of spiritual thoughts, aphorisms and poetry. Even now my “inner voice” is assisting with these memoirs.

*Ron’s notes and brochure from Joseph Campbell event, 10/8/83

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