03 July, 2011
Zhuangzi Dreamed He Was A Butterfly
Last Sunday my blog post, Is Enjoying Life A Delusion, was a quote by the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi.
Zhuangzi lived way back in the 4th Century BC. Today I thought I'd do another quote. This one is probably the most well known attributed to him and is usually called Zhuangzi Dreamed He Was A Butterfly". The following is a translation from the Chinese by Burton Watson:
"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.
Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.