The tale of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly pleased me as a child. It spoke of something earthly becoming heavenly. It was only an illustration, and it did not matter that the butterfly would also die, but as I got older something seemed to be missing. Now, seeing the problems, in myself and others, of ageing in a changing world, I noticed, like a tap on my shoulder, that what was missing was the chrysalis which seemed only a fleeting stage in the process, but which had an echo which I had to trace, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you. It is part of the beginning of Jeremiah’s account of God speaking to him when he was a young boy.
Dame Julian of Norwich was shown the whole of creation as no more than a hazelnut lying in the palm of her hand.
"... our Lord showed me a spiritual sight of His homely love. I saw He is to us all that is good, and comfortable for us. He is our clothing that wraps us in love, embraces us and all encloses us for tender love, that He may never leave us. I know He is all that is good to us. In this He showed a little thing the size of a hazel nut in the palm of my hand, round as a ball. "I looked at it ... and thought, What may this be? The answer was all-inclusive: It is all that is made. I marveled how it could last. I thought it so little it might suddenly fall to nothing. And I was given to understand: It lasts and always shall, for God loves it."
But suddenly I saw all Creation as a Chrysalis
I saw all Creation as a Chrysalis lying in the palm of a loving hand, each of us, a pupa in it, all our senses in tune with it. Does the pupa remember its larval stage? Do the strains of exit feel like the pains of age? Does it fear its end? Its chrysalis is its whole world. Does it remember its other form? The egg it came from? Has it any other sense of time? Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I consecrated you. To leave the known for the unknown, this life for another, its skin must be unfurled. Near fourteen billion years ago our cosmos burst into being, a singularity, with no dimensions, no time, formless. That first moment had no before; no place where space first formed. Before when there was no before when there was not a when, no where, when there was nowhere, no here, no there. We must think of something other, for which we have no words. The Greek word Allos, also means all other, I use it, with capital A, for that Other Spacetime burst from a formless singularity. no dimensions, no time; Space gave birth to time, time gave birth to space; no before, just other; Allos, for which we have no words. Allos, “something other”, energy or potential, other than spacetime. To speak of a ‘time before time’, or 'some-where' in which space appeared, is meaningless. Allos, is the energy of existence, existence other than that we know, without dimensions of time or space. It is the energy of our existence. A truly primal singularity has no relationships, no time, no dimensions. Spacetime has both. The number of dimensions is still debated but we all know three. Time is thought perhaps to have developed in the same primal moment in which either multi-dimensional space was produced with time as another dimension, or maybe time came from other early spatial dimensions, an initial multi-dimensional time (I can’t imagine that either) which collapsed into the time dimension we know with the others becoming space. Whatever the creative process, call it what you will, it needed energy. The primal singularity was a result not a cause, bringing from the Allos all that we know. Before it divided and expanded, it held the energy equivalent of the entire mass of the known cosmos, in a particle of the minimum possible dimensions*. Now, nearly 14 billion years later, wow! some chrysalis! *(Planck density of 1094 grams per cubic centimetre, at a time of 10-43 seconds, with a diameter of 10-35 centimetres). see desktop : origin of particle mass. These particles are each made up of three quarks moving at breakneck speeds that are bound together by gluons, the particles that carry the strong force. The energy of this interaction between quarks and gluons is what gives protons and neutrons their mass.