Q&A with The Butterfly Man

Written by Kajsa IngelssonMay 18, 2018

I believe that everything happens for a reason. When I was brand new in Cape Town, I was sitting at a restaurant called Scheckters Raw in Sea Point just working away on my laptop. A nice man stoked up a conversation with me, and I soon understood that we had a lot in common, the most important thing being that we are standing behind the same cause of no harm and spreading the message of compassion towards all. I learned a lot from this man, from the importance of walking barefoot to firmly but non violently advocating for a cause.

Im proud to present my friend and the author of the book Butterfly man, John McInroy.

I read your book and very much enjoyed taking part of your healing journey. Tell us, how does a butterfly symbolize your journey to healing?

The final scene of the book, a butterfly landing on my back while i was making non-penetrative love is true. It actually happened and I truly felt it was a supreme moment in my life, and my partner shared the same feeling. As to how it became the title, it just felt right that the end of my journey was marked by the ability to feel the smallest of creatures and recognize their huge significance, as a contrast to the beginning when I couldn’t feel even my own great suffering. Ironically butterflies are one of those living beings that humans would not survive long on the earth without.

What is your vision for humanity? How does your movement makes steps to accomplish your idea of the future?

I believe the violence against each other as humans stems from the violence enacted every day against the earth and the creatures that inhabit it. I think that it’s impossible to stop human wars and other acts of human violence as long as we are committing great violence on an almost incomprehensible scale every day against all other living beings and our planet herself. How can we expect to end the violence and suffering of humanity when we consume – literally eat – violence and suffering on a daily basis?

Amen to that brother. On another note, how do you relate to pain – do you see an automatic correlation between pain and healing?

Pain is my friend. It’s my body talking to me and sending me messages, and by learning to listen to it, i am learning to walk my path becoming a healthier man. When we examine our pain and accept it as our teacher, it guides us forward in our lives and creates opportunities to heal ourselves and others. I think that we need to stop trying to avoid pain and instead learn from it. What is my body trying to tell me?  To answer this, we need to relearn to feel again and I believe it’s in the best interest of humanity that we reconnect to yourselves and by that the world.

What are some of the memorable reactions/ feedback you have received from your book?

Shoh I have been blown away by the intimate responses. Each one is reason enough to have written the book alone. Dont get me wrong, writing it was healing enough in itself for me and when we heal ourselves we support healing all around us.

I recall one reaction from Norway in particular; “I have been reading your book for hours now and all I can say is wow. Thank you for your vulnerability and the strength that comes with it. The strongest men and women I know are those who dare to be EVERYTHING they are. No shame. No excuses. No hiding. They fully love and accept themselves and ALL that comes with being human. At my job at Support center against incest and sexual abuse we have a saying that translate like this: incest needs to be talked to death, not silence to death. Silence just feeds the shame, guilt, fear etc and the feeling of confinement, when the truth is we are so, so, so many people in this together.

For me, this is watching you step into the true strength, love and light of your being. Of course, to the outside world you have been shining for years and years. But speaking your truth and sharing what you would probably have rather died than for people to know when it first happened (trust me, I know that feeling), sharing this in a loving way, with the intention of helping others, that is what makes a great man. A great human being. I have always admired and been curious about your social entrepreneurship, especially because I am headed in that direction too, just a different field; sexual abuse against children. But. My point is that sharing our stories and what we have learnt along the way is one of the greatest gifts we can give to the world, especially in the perfect world of social media that we are drowning in. We are all starving for realness and connection and truth and you offer it so beautifully in your book.”

I absolutely love it. Let’s “talk to death, not silence to death” Such profound words! I hope Butterfly Man inspires intimate and courageous conversation all over the world! Maybe this is the #ButterflyMan effect ?

Incredible. On a totally different note, what was your life of fame before you were met with the pain and suffering you write about in your book?

In the sense of Butterfly Man I had become a victim of a world view with regard to what constitutes a real man, and the more I tried to conform to that, as most of us do on some level, the greater my suffering became. When you start to break free and ask questions you can clearly see that we inhabit a great matrix of historical obligation, much of which is very unhealthy for us, and much of which we haven’t taken the time to reflect upon. Just spend 5 minutes studying sugar and you’ll see how deeply we are embedded in the destruction both of the self and our planet.

How does suffering breed creativity? Do you think those who suffer the most wish more for an equal world?

There are many forms of suffering, and all of them are opportunities for us to understand a failure of let’s say, cultural, social and intellectual systems and by doing so tapping into and finding our own unique expression of the universe’s creativity. The universe has created us all with a view to understanding itself, and by being aware of suffering as an opportunity to express ourselves, we become more likely to create something from the suffering. We don’t make the suffering go away but we actually channel it through us into a new form, some kind of innovation, something that helps us to feel better about the it and that takes on a form that others can benefit from. We are in this together! #weareallone

I totally agree. I have written some of my most honest and naked poems in the darkest times of my life. Im curious, how many people do you think you have reached with your movement?

21,349! Aka I have no idea! Many but not enough! I was privileged enough to send signed books to 238 humans across 27 countries. So the #ButterflyMan effect is in flight and has got off to a wonderful start to its life. My dream is for it to be stocked in EVERY vegan cafe and yoga studio across the globe and for me to be available to have intimate launch evenings at vegan cafes, yoga studios and for anyone open to the message to join so that we can spread the message fast and in an authentic way. I have been traveling South Africa for April and right now I am in the USA, followed by Europe during June/July.

Oom Ray, the editor, co-creator, co-writer, crazy genius lion-hearted human of Butterfly Man once said to me it will reach 24,6 million people. I know the world will be a gentler place if it does.

24,6 m, that’s quite the number. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that my friend. To round this up, what is a personal highlight from the book? Any important parts that we as readers should look into?

I think that each and every person will find what they need in the particular time in their life reading the book. Personally I LOVE our waiver at the start of the book 😉 and the following excerpt of the book;

“On behalf of the Committee for the Preservation of Markets and Prevention of Change, we would like to suggest you stop here, eh? Please return to a safe place, and resume your life. Forget what you have seen. … You can stop here, and keep the same skin the same face the same look the same clothes, But if you go on, I assure you, you’re finished. When Karma screams her eyes roll way back inside her head. It’s fucking brutal, and way too fucking sudden. I warned you.”

The book in written in english but has the accent from a lot of different places. Please enjoy and thank you for sharing my journey. All am welcome. Is it?

PS: if you want believe in the cause and want to support John’s mission, check out this crowd funding page.

For interviews, speaking engagements, all media please contact Magdel Steyn at magdelsteyn.consulting@gmail.com or ‭+27 (74) 102-4851‬

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