I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. Chuang Tzu

Photo John Baumann
brown butterfly

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9 Responses to

  1. Barb Estinson says:

    Another beautiful butterfly.

  2. Sorry Chuang Tzu but I’m not gettin’ it – – – maybe TOO much time contemplating on a hillside or wherever?! Another point to ponder: how about moths?

    • Sandy says:

      Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream By Elizabeth Reninger, About.com Guide
      The most well-known of Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu) parables is the Butterfly Dream anecdote, which (in translation by Lin Yutang) goes like this:

      “Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.”

      This short story points to a number of interesting and much-explored philosophical issues, stemming from the relationship between the waking-state and the dream-state, and/or between illusion and reality: How do we know when we’re dreaming, and when we’re awake? How do we know if what we’re perceiving is “real” or a mere “illusion” or “fantasy”? Is the “me” of various dream-characters the same as or different from the “me” of my waking world? How do I know, when I experience something I call “waking up” that it is actually a waking up to “reality” as opposed to simply waking up into another level of dream?

    • Sandy says:

      This is a Mangrove Buckeye butterfly from Florida

  3. Check out “Australian Aborigine Dream Beliefs” in Google – – – in the meantime, dreams are wonderful and weird indeed – – – not to mention magically and beautifully surreal!!

  4. L says:

    Very interesting.

  5. Gotta admit that so many dreams of late incorporate SpoTC “themes” – – – one two nights ago had me showing Jim a big printout of something to bring up to some obscure group “upstairs” therefore earning his approval – – – somehow in the dream we fell over together with Jim kinda laying in my lap – – – what say you grasshopper??

  6. L says:

    I’m biting my lip and straddling the fence on this one…learning from the Masters.

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