Monday, July 11, 2011

"Once, Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi."


  1. hmm.. butterfly have dreams too? ;-p

  2. The man lay in his bed, bewildered, bemused, lost in thought. It had seemed so real to him, this gentle butterfly life. He lay in the early morning light, listening to the sounds of the village as it slowly came to wake all about him. He heard the creaking of doors as people made their way to the outhouses. He heard the sudden squall of an infant, the bark of a dog, the clomp of an ox as it trudged out to the fields, led by its sleepy master. He heard the sounds of fires being built, the tea kettles and the rice pots being readied for breakfast.

    His dream, if that is what it was, had been so vivid, so real. He had actually experienced himself as that butterfly.. had felt the breeze on his wings, felt himself carried through the air as light as a seed.

    He smiled in the darkness then. Truly, it did not matter if he was a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly or butterfly who was dreaming he was a man. He knew what he knew and he knew what he didnt know.

    He almost LOL. Imagine if I shared this with my students, he thought. He slowly rose from his bed, and stretching out his arms above him like the slow unfolding of butterfly wings, went forth into the day.