(An edited journal excerpt from March 1991)
The experiences of transformation we encounter on our spiritual journey may be very much like the transition from tadpole to frog. What might that look like as a story?
The dream of every tadpole would be to dwell in the places above, but at best they are only able now and then to stick their mouths into those realms, and then only for a moment. There is something exciting and inviting about the “places above,” but no tadpole can survive there for long.
Another important thing to know is that the glory of a tadpole is his tail. It is allows him to zip about through the water. Its tail is perfectly designed to help him move about the pond. Tadpoles enjoy comparing tails and racing about the pond.
Imagine the trauma a tadpole experiences when he begins to notice strange bumps on his sides. The rumors are that they will become what someone has called “legs.” Most tadpoles feel it is a disease, but they have never found a cure. A tadpole can’t seem to do much useful with these emerging “legs.” The trauma deepens as the tadpole begins to notice that his glory, his tail, is shrinking. Tadpoles dread the onset of a receding tail line.
As this unwelcome change continues, the tadpole finds himself going from that pleasant smooth appearance to a strange angular shape. His friends find it harder and harder to recognize him in this distorted form. Where once he was the pride of the pond, now the other tadpoles avoid him and talk about him behind his back.
The tadpole is tempted to believe that there is no good future for him, that he is probably dying, and becomes hopeless. Little does he know that his deepest dream is beginning to be realized. To dwell in the places above, one must develop these “legs”, lose that glorious tail and develop these strange holes on his face that have no apparent use in the water homelands.
What a surprise it must be to find himself drawn to use these new legs to crawl his way beyond the homelands into the places above. Instead of water, there is nothing…at least it looks like nothing. When out of the water, he feels an impulse to use these new legs to push against the ground and finds himself flying through the air. Exhilirating! Exciting! The holes in his face seem to have a function as well. He can take in the nothing around him and finds himself invigorated and alive.
So what had seemed a dying, a place of loss and even death, was the very process by which his dream to live in the places above might be brought to reality.