I still can’t get over why, year after year, the butterflies at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s “Butterfly Jungle” seem to alight on me, but not on my wife. Science offers up possible explanations, such as my unique scent or the color of my clothes, but nothing definitive. Meanwhile, from other aspects of human speculation come other intriguing possibilities.
One person’s answer in particular struck me. “Our thoughts and emotions are powerful sources of energy that many people take for granted but are easily distinguished by those entities who live in the realm of the spirit.” We’ve all heard about spiritual auras. I’ve even had one woman (ironically at a Bible study), tell me that she could perceive mine. Whereas she could usually read auras clearly, she said she didn’t know what to make of mine. Given that I’ve lived for so long in transition, struggling to transform myself into the kind of author I wish to become, I find her words coming back to me afresh.
While I’d like to believe that tomorrow I’ll be mailing off completed manuscripts, and shortly after that receive a publication contract, that’s clearly viewing the process of metamorphosis too simply. For I am not a butterfly: a human doesn’t live most of his life as a caterpillar, then suddenly sprout beautiful wings through desire alone. But I am striving to become a proficient author who can regularly entertain and add meaning to others’ lives. Perhaps the Butterflies recognize this, and are telling me, in their unique, nonverbal way, “Keep on striving!”
I grew up loving Science Fiction. While I love all types of Fiction, particularly Fantasy, a part of me always asks, “What can you prove?” Yet for most of humanity’s existence, people would have regarded the “unscientific” views about the spiritual significance of Butterflies as perfectly valid. In the twentieth century, Lord Carnarvon’s interest in science, as well as the occult, led him to finance Howard Carter’s excavations, which eventually resulted in the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. Arthur Conan Doyle, who pioneered the modern science of forensics through his Sherlock Holmes stories, later embraced all manner of spiritual beliefs. Spiritualism versus Provable Facts: the two seem linked, as if one somehow drives the other.
Even if I don’t know exactly why the Butterflies find me so fascinating, I’m glad they do. Who knows? Perhaps my thoughts, emotions, and drive really do radiate some spiritual power that science will never be able to measure. As long as it propels me on toward achieving my goal, the suggestion seems as relevant to me as any scientific explanation.
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