“What the caterpillar calls the end,
the master calls a butterfly.”
~ Richard Bach


Butterflies are living
metaphors for metamorphosis.

They symbolize our
knowing or unknowing
quest for transformation;
for transcending inevitable
earthly miseries and mortality.

We are inspired by the butterfly’s metamorphosis:
from creeping, crawling caterpillar,
to cocooned chrysalis,
transformed by amazing imaginal cells
to beautifully winged wonder.

Butterflies can inspire and symbolize
not only human aspirations and potentialities
for transforming our life on Earth,
they also can remind us that there is much more
to our ever changing “reality”
‘than meets the eye’.

Some butterfly wings which appear to us in colors,
are actually transparent.
Their iridescent scales overlap like shingles on a roof,
refracting light – like rainbows –
so as to give the wings the colors we perceive.

But in some species, like the Glasswing (pictured above),
we can observe the transparency of the butterfly wings.
With such transparency,
we can see what normally we don’t see.

In the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:11-12),
Paul observes that “now we see through a glass darkly”,
but that some day we shall fully know,
as we are fully Known now by the Divine.

Now, we view our “reality”
through the ‘mirror of the mind’,
which imperfectly refracts and reflects
the unseen light of Eternal Awareness
onto the screen of our human consciousness.

But, with meditation and other mind-stilling methods,
we can evolve and transform our mind mirror
from opacity to translucency to transparency.

And thereby, with ever expanding
human consciousness and ever deepening insight,
we can and shall ‘see’ more and more –
we can and shall see what we couldn’t see before.

So, beautiful transparent butterflies
can symbolize and inspire our highest aspirations:
our aspirations for elevating and expanding human consciousness
so as to transform life on our precious planet.

And butterflies can remind us that Reality
is much more ‘than meets the eye’;

That beyond this phenomenal world
of ever passing appearances is one changeless Reality –

One unseen Source and Essence of
all appearances, all phenomena, and all ideas:

Infinite Potentiality – our Eternal SELF.


  1. Sid on October 5, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    The butterfly has not only achieved transformation from being a caterpillar but also has become a flying flower.

  2. Naomi Colb on November 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I am especially appreciating this post as I recently did a solo inward LSD journey to return to this essential truth. I have a practice of doing this every few years to be sure I do not get lost in the illusion of I 🙂 XX

  3. Shanta Gabriel on November 26, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Very inspiring Ron. I loved your poetry. In my life I have found that Butterflies will come when we ask for and need a sign from God. They are amazing creatures. Blessings, Shanta

  4. stevanne auerbach, PhD on August 4, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Butterflies reflect many aspects of body, mind and spirit.
    “The health of the planet rests on the wings of the butterfly.”
    (See my book, My Butterfly Collection: on the wings of the butterfly)