In showing how the soul is united to God in prayer she uses the image of silk worm which, when full grown, begins to spin its silk and build the cocoon in which it will die.
Christ is like cocoon which is attained through weaving and spinning, or the practice of spiritual qualities. When the soul, like the silkworm, has become dead to itself and the world, transformation takes place. A beautiful butterfly emerges which no longer has ties with its former appearance or existence. Similarly the soul is no longer bound by ties of relationship, friendship or possession, yet the soul is in a state of restlessness because the experience of union are very brief.
As the soul advances towards perfection it attains to longer periods of union, but it also has to endure states of aridity, temptations from the devil, infirmities of soul
which are sufferings far worse but more precious than those of the body. It seems that closer one comes to mystical union, the more intense is purification. There is grace, however, as the soul is awakened through means of locutions, ecstasies and visions. When the soul leaves them behind the sixth mansion, the place of spiritual betrothal, when it spiritual betrothal, it passes into spiritual marriage. It is in the seventh mansion that the Unitive stage is realized, in the deepest center of the soul.
The butterfly which had come out of the cocoon now dies 'because Christ is now its life.... It is endowed with life by God.' There are several effects of this marriage in Teresa's mystical theology: self forgetfulness, desire to suffer if divinely willed, special
love for enemies, tranquility, absence of aridity, fewer raptures, indescribable pace,
Martha and Mary working together. (Interior Castle pages, 219-231)
The same kind of all absorbing love is seen in Rabia's life. As was stated earlier she was among the first to lay stress on the doctrine of divine love, and she combined
'with its doctrine of kashf, the unveiling at the end of the Way, of the Beloved to His lovers... She was one of the first to teach the doctrine of disinterested love to God, a new conception to may of her fellow Sufis, who for the most part served God in hope
of eternal reward or in fear of eternal punishment. (Rabi'a - page 96-97).