06/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Butterfly Moments: From Chaos to Cosmos

Drooker's wonderful cover on the May 18th New Yorker depicts a construction worker sitting on a beam, legs dangling, in front of the still unmistakable Manhattan skyline. His attention is riveted by a brilliant yellow butterfly. It struck me that such a Zen moment is an accurate reflection of the necessary action of our times. These days are filled with chaos. Structures, particularly social ones, are dissolving before our very eyes.

The Woe is I crowd laments this dissolution. It does, after all, mean change. I do not. Nor do many others. Instead, we enjoy our butterfly moments while holding a vision for order out of chaos. Chaos, from the beginning of creation, always and ever comes first. The trick is to keep the vision of cosmos -- or order -- from chaos. Butterfly moments help us stay the course.

Wikipedia says: "In mathematics, chaos theory describes the behavior of certain dynamical systems -- systems whose states evolve with time -- that may exhibit dynamics that are highly sensitive to initial conditions (popularly referred to as the butterfly effect). As a result of this sensitivity, which manifests itself as an exponential growth of perturbations in the initial conditions, the behavior of chaotic systems appears to be random."

The Butterfly Effect is very technical, but expressed metaphorically goes something like: "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" Taken further, to its mystical implications, it might read, "Does the path of the butterfly in Manhattan predict the cost of a barrel of oil in the markets?" The answer is yes, it does, depending upon who notices the butterfly, who communes with the butterfly, and who lets the butterfly affect her or him.

"These are flowers that fly and all but sing" is the way Robert Frost describes them in his poem "Blue Butterfly Day." Butterflies are a universal symbol of a peaceful and happy spirit, some of the most dazzling and beloved creatures in existence.

So it's time to get real about the chaos in our country and in our world. Chaos precedes Cosmos. If we can allow ourselves to realize that the chaos we're experiencing in markets, in societies, in the institutions of marriage and the church, in weather patterns, among others, then, and only then, can we join minds and hearts to create order after things fall apart. At this point, it seems we have little choice about the falling apart aspect of the process. Where choice will again enter the picture is in the butterfly moments.

There is a stunning piece of art made up of 240 different kinds of diamonds from all over the world called The Aurora Butterfly of Peace. It is dedicated to all the people of the world and to universal peace and harmony among all people, religions and races. This butterfly-shaped diamond mosaic was created over a period of twelve years by Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman. The diamonds were collected and assembled one stone at a time.

The Aurora Butterfly of Peace was conceived by the artists as an eternal icon of love, beauty, energy, nature, peace. It symbolizes a spiritual connection to earth for all humanity. And I think it's the perfect message for our time.

Yes, dear one, things are most definitely falling apart, but for a good and valuable purpose -- to come together once again streamlined, renewed, reconceived, re-expressed, in better, brighter, clearer, more loving, more efficient, and, above all, more peaceful, better-for-our-world ways.

So I say, make like Drooker's construction worker and be with the butterflies till the change for good finally arrives. We're on our way.

For spiritual nourishment, visit Susan Corso's website at