The Butterfly Effect: Advaya Initiative | Christabel Reed
At the heart of Advaya is an intention to reunite our inner and outer worlds for the better. Christabel explains the thinking behind Advaya’s logo.
Since ancient times the moth or butterfly has signified both the mystery of metamorphoses, and the loveliest transmutations of the soul. Through our magazine and events, Advaya Initiative hopes to inspire people to initiate change within as well as without. We believe only a deep shift in the perception of ourselves, each other and our external world will truly transform the environmental crisis. The moth’s winged nature and breathtaking release from a cocoon symbolises the soul reborn. Much in the same way, we can work towards releasing socially constructed frameworks of thought that perpetuate, even if indirectly, deterioration on ecological, social and personal levels. Spiritual practices alongside protest can foster the necessary internal and external changes for a sustainable, harmonious and globally considerate future.
In a similar way that caterpillars must eat enough plant life to last the entire lifespan as a moth or butterfly, the human race has ravenously consumed, manufactured and developed enough material objects for generations. We don’t need more of it. The realms where we have more to gain are spiritual and universal, transforming us into a thriving species in harmony with its environment. As the caterpillar keeps outgrowing its several skins it exudes a thin, silken thread by which it precariously hangs from a tree as its skin slowly hardens into a chrysalis. Swaying gently in the wind it gives no outward sign as the old forms dissolve and fresh tissue is restructured within. We have consumed our way into an enclosure of fear, guilt and habitual patterns. Yet we are also faced with the greatest opportunity for transfiguration. We have everything we need right now for gradual, loving and mass revolution. The first steps will be realising it and moving as one together.
The moth or butterfly is one of our most poetic images of self-renewal. In the East, the quiescent calmly transforming pupa is a model of spiritual evolution through serene contemplation. Our events involve yoga practice, teaching and guidance. Yoga and meditation gradually transforms the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental aspects of our lives. Through these practices one gradually transforms awareness of his/her actions and these have (butterfly) effects on ourselves, each other and our environment. The beauty of yoga is that it develops this inner knowledge and confidence. Instead of blindly following others, social conventions or false identities, one becomes increasingly in touch with their own guiding instinct.
Life is brief and fragile, and the fragility of the moth reminds us of this. Yet, the effects of our actions can last forever. When it comes to the state of our environment this can overwhelm us into inaction but it can also serve as a source of purpose and excitement. We must only look back in history at the development of Women’s Rights, Gay Rights and Black Rights to see that real change does not come from above, you create it from below, in yourself and in your community. We have fought and won incredible battles on the human rights front; it is now time to fight for the rights of our planet and its inhabitants.
Behind the moth is the rising sun. Like a heavenly warrior, the sun’s light turns back the darkness, its arrow-like rays unerringly meeting their target. Advaya looks to the sun of consciousness to remind us of our own capacity. For millennia, humans acknowledged the magical properties of solar rays in fertility, creativity, prophecy and healing. Each of those properties dwells in every individual too. Our vast depth of consciousness and energy can co-create a world that nurtures all life, worships love and recognises the sun in all living organisms. With the phenomenon of global warming we are faced with an overturning of the natural order, however we are also faced with an opportunity to evolve, to overcome together the aspects within us that perpetuate ecological degradation, and to nurture those which will lead to a harmonious, compassionate and environmentally thriving world.
It is time to begin the path of self-transformation so that we may take care of ourselves and the world around us. As part of the young generation of today this is a very exciting opportunity.