Early Visions | Imaginal Cell Story | Nori Huddle's elegant metamorphosis metaphor

The Imaginal Cell Story

The caterpillar's new cells are called 'imaginal cells.'
They are so totally different from the caterpillar cells
that his immune system thinks they are enemies... and gobbles them up.

But these new imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more of them!
Pretty soon, the caterpillar's immune system
cannot destroy them fast enough.
More and more of the imaginal cells survive.
And then an amazing thing happens!

The little tiny lonely imaginal cells start to clump together
into friendly little groups.
They all resonate together at the same frequency,
passing information from one to another.
Then, after awhile, another amazing thing happens!

The clumps of imaginal cells start to cluster together!
A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells,
all resonating at the same frequency,
all passing information from one to another there inside the chrysalis.

Then at some point,
the entire long string of imaginal cells
suddenly realizes all together
that it is something different from the caterpillar.
Something new! Something wonderful!
...and in that realization
is the shout of the birth of the butterfly!

Since the butterfly now "knows" that it is a butterfly,
the little tiny imaginal cells
no longer have to do all those things individual cells must do.
Now they are part of a multi-celled organism—
A FAMILY who can share the work.

Each new butterfly cell can take on a different job—
There is something for everyone to do.
And everyone is important.
And each cell begins to do just that very thing it is most drawn to do.
And every other cell encourages it to do just that.

A great way to organize a butterfly!"

*Adapted Version of Nori Huddle's story from her book, Butterfly