We Are In A Collective Rite Of Passage: Entering The Chrysallis
By Pooja Prema, Rites of Passage Project Founder & Artistic Director
The Chrysallis is often evoked as a "rite of passage" symbol embodying:DEATH & TRANSFORMATION via dissolution
Right now - both personally and collectively - we are given an opportunity to go within and dissolve...
Dissolve our self-concepts of who we are and what we're here for.
Dissolve our attachments to our plans and to business as usual.
Dissolve our concepts about how society, political structures, and the "economy" function, and underlying it all - what we value.
Dissolve our idea of being separate from everyone else.
Dissolve, Dissolve, Dissolve....
And its messy, its painful, its straight-up not pleasant, and fittingly, its something we do inside our own cocoon. We loose control. Because the process is beyond us. It's meant to break down and dissolve our actual ego structure. Its mean to change us entirely.
The danger inherent in any rite of passage - which ultimately is always about death & transformation - is to attach to an out-dated, narrow definition of ourselves - one premised on separateness and scarcity. Whether its the feeling that we won't have enough, or the unexamined base-assumptions of white supremacy, money or property as security, or any such limiting ideology.
On the other hand, the invitation is to dissolve and to source ourselves from the deepest and widest, most life-affirming truth we can. To expand our sense of self to include greater empathy and compassion for ourselves and for everyone else, for the heartache and struggles of others, and to dismantle the privileges that keep us "safe" but never secure.
Its tempting for me - for many of us - to identify with the suffering as "us". But in the words of adrienne marie brown, "That’s just not it. It’s not us. The suffering is not what we’re called to attend to… We’re not meant to suffer alone. We’re meant to experience pleasure and togetherness..."
So what can we do while in the cocoon? Let go and Feel. If we lean into it, dissolution can also be Pleasure-able, Erotic, Ecstatic.It offers us a container in which to die to our old self, and connect with an expanded sense of self that's not separate from anything or anyone else.
May we embrace the wisdom of the chrysallis.
May we transform into beings who take freedom for wings.