Why you must learn to love the goo

Before a caterpillar can become a butterfly, it must become goo. Yes, goo.

Within the cocoon, the form of the caterpillar totally dissolves into a liquid that is rich with nutrients and potential. It’s super goo.

From goo, the butterfly is formed.
Aside from the goo there are, what is called, imaginal cells. These cells contain the image, the genetic template, of the butterfly. The goo feeds these imaginal cells. And as the goo is digested, it transforms into a butterfly.

All transformations include this gooey phase.
Whether that transformation is individual or collective, goo is part of it. Whether you’re seeking transformation or it’s seeking you – you’ve gotta get comfortable with the goo.

(Here’s a video that explains the goo-ification process and how it applies to your life and the life of the collective. The video reflects the ideas of author Norie Huddle and the work of  biologist and futurist, Elisabet Sahtouris. I found it on the Noetic Sciences website.)

Let’s get personal – you can’t skip the goo.
There’s no skipping steps on the developmental journey. Every phase of the process has its purpose. And that purpose must be completed before you can move on. You can’t leap from newbie to expert in a single bound. There’s sequence that you must follow. And an organic process that moves according to developmental time.

The cadence of developmental time contrasts sharply with the pace of contemporary life.
We live in a nano-second culture where most of us are what author Sue Monk Kidd terms “quick-aholics.”  We’re addicted to the instant response. The goo phase can’t be rushed. And it will dissolve the addiction to speed along with everything else.

How can you tell if you’re in the goo?
You know you’re in deeply into the goo when the old form has completely dissolved – but the new form has not yet emerged.

Let’s make this practical, shall we?
Think about your life. And specifically an area in your life where the old “form” is dissolving away? It may be that your business is turning into goo. Or if not the business itself, your motivation and engagement.

Here are some common areas of life where people get goo-ified (check all that apply to your life):

  • Identity – I can’t go on being the person I have been, but I’m not sure who I’m becoming.
  • Business – The business is changing – but I’m not sure into what? Is it dying or being reborn? I can’t tell.
  • Role in the organization – My old role and my old skills no longer work. But, I’m not sure what I need to do next or how to continue to add value?
  • Relationship – Our old ways of being together no longer make sense. But, how can I be in this relationship, when I don’t even know what it is anymore?
  • Motivation – The needs and values that used to drive me don’t anymore. I’m not sure what matters or how to even re-connect to a sense of passion and purpose.
  • Beliefs – I’ve outgrown my former beliefs. But, now I’m not sure what I believe. I can’t go back. But, I’m not sure how to go forward.

Only by letting go of the old forms can you make space for something new to be born.
In spiritual literature the goo is called the dark night of the soul.

When you’re navigating through goo, your old ways of staying on track no longer work. It’s like you’re adrift in an inner sea without stars overhead to guide you. All you can do is let go. It’s time to be a mystic.

Goo is the natural habitat of the mystic.
So, when some area of your life is goo-ifying –  you’re being called to be a mystic. Here’s what this means:

As mystic, you let go of the known and the past.You trust in the darkness recognizing that “those who dwell in darkness shall see the light.”

You allow the old structure of identity to dissolve into formless goo.
It doesn’t matter whether you used to believe I-am-a-success or I-am-a-failure. Whatever the form your identity used to take – it’s over. And, as a mystic you consent to having it become goo in full recognition that to hold yourself together now is tantamount to fighting against your own destiny.

The way forward comes through letting go and surrender.
To enter into total goo-hood you shed the layer upon layer of thoughts, beliefs. These layers have insulated you and comforted you. Now is the time to discard all coverings.

Now is not the time for action but for stillness.
As you let go and release your old identity the stillness deepens. When you rest completely in the goo – without clinging to the past or straining towards the future – the template, the image of that which is to be becomes active.

If you’re longing to fly, to deepen your life, to expand your horizon of awareness – embrace the goo.

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Showing 11 comments
  • What a beautiful article, Eric. This term “goo” has come up three times in 48 hours. Opening my email to find it described here is magical.
    I’ve been studying the inside of my “chrysalis” for too long. You’ve inspired me to release my temptation to go read another book on TRANSITIONS and, instead, simply trust the mysterious processes.
    P.S. Thank you Molly Gordon for pointing me to this wonderful site.

  • Eric

    Jennifer – The goo has clearly been seeking your attention. And that’s what trust is – at the deepest level – undefended, loving attention. Thank you for your participation.

  • Eric

    Thank you Tammy.

  • Irene

    Thank you so much for this clarity. This describes beautifully the state I’ve been in…can’t say what I want , can’t imagine a future for myself …yet my present life feels so inadequate and directionless. Feels like something wants to emerge, but have no idea what that is….so so frustrating!

    All the personal development work I’ve been doing is constantly stressing to get clear, know what you want, follow your passion etc. etc….just can’t do that except occasionally

    So lots of internal conflict about what I “should” be doing. I am one confused cookie

    Was begining to think there is something wrong with me. So it was very comforting to read your post and know my sanity is still intact. Great timing.


  • Eric

    Thank you Irene. It’s not that being clear isn’t valuable it’s just that it’s not time. You can’t skip steps on the developmental journey. Well, you can, but then it’s like Chutes and Ladders – you slide back to re-coup, re-do, and re-claim the parts that have not been redeemed and completed. Hold the internal conflict in the chrysalis of the heart – and let it goo-ify. Blessings.

  • Kristy Swanson

    I really loved reading this, particularly as someone who can be a bit of a “quickaholic”. There is a similar metaphor in a story I heard about a drop of water being exposed to various sound frequencies. At regular intervals, the water drop would have a beautiful, predictable pattern. But when the sound frequency changed, it would go through what appeared to be complete chaos, and then resolve itself into a new, more complex, still beautiful pattern. And this would happen with every change in frequency. So whether it’s the goo, the chaos, the unknown–your story is a great reminder that this is a necessary, even delicious part of change, and to embrace it.

  • Eric

    Kristy – wonderful word – “delicious”. Thanks for enriching the conversation.

  • Zenfly Media

    I love it and I ‘Love the Goo’ Thanks..

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