It's likely that butterflies have short memories. So God painted their wings bright as an unconscious expression of joy, a sign of freedom from their ever-hungry caterpillar past. Absorbed in the present moment, it's also likely that premies have forgotten who they were. So Guru Maharaj Ji gave us the film Metamorphosis, as a reminder of our new-found joy and as a symbol of gratitude for our freedom from our ever-searching, ravenous minds.
The theme is transformation, and it works both ways. The public find out that through Knowledge darkness can be transformed to light, and premies look back to see that the actual chain of events that often touched their lives bears the same contrast before and after
Knowledge as the difference between caterpillar and butterfly. Both come from the same source but a seeming miracle has changed their lives dramatically. In Metamorphosis the persistent visual image of a caterpillar with its insatiable appetite changing to pupa and then to bright winged butterfly corresponds with a series of adventures in illusion, the Millennium Festival, and the carefree play of children, interspliced with Maharaj Ji's smiling face.
The film began when Greg Dee received a grant of $3,000 from the Australian Film Institute in November, 1973. Its intended use was to film Guru Maharaj Ji's Australian tour, followed by the Millennium Festival. However, after shooting Maharaj Ji's satsang in Houston and waiting back here for him to come, we realised it could be months before we were so graced. And when Millennium slipped back further as a world event, the whole the of the film was changed and finished as quickly as possible. After the grant money stopped, the 40- minute colour film was financed by premie donation
Metamorphosis projects a mind-dazzling array of maya, beginning with the beautiful, natural existence of an Aboriginal in central Australia. However, the pace quickens and the beauty decays, as the caterpillar embarks on its relentless eating, as the cameras portray the frenetic and often tragic lives caught in the city of the mind. A premie's voice narrates the sadness of her past, bent on suicide, as a crumpled body is hidden beneath a sheet at the base of high- rise apartments; football crowds yell for blood, a dog trainer, drunk with his own success in teaching poodl to somersault proclaims "I think I've done the ultimat
Fights in alleyways, old drunkards singing nostalgic songs. Man's inhumanity to man, his self-doubt assault your eyes and mind, as the caterpillar strips a leaf from a twig.
The saturation of images is almost overwhelming, when suddenly: the caterpillar reaches the dormant stage, a premie with passport in hand smiles and a plane leaves Sydney for Houston, Texas. The contrast is enlightening. The Band of Angels play "Heaven" as the past is obliterated and your head soars into another conscious. ness. An Astrodome vibrating with love, Maharaj Ji, beaming and shaking with laughter, offers the solution in the plainest, most practical terms. Thousands of devotees shout his praises and you realise where the Perfect Master has taken you.
The premies leave Houston with hearts full, the butterfly emerges. The film ends amidst laughing children, the nightmare of ignorance vanishes in the light of life. Metamorphosis: a film for forgetful butterflies.*