View Zhuangzi. How do we know when we’re dreaming, and when we’re awake? Wanting to repay Wonton’s kindness, Lickety and Split said, “All people have seven holes for seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing. But there must be some difference between them! Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Later interpretations of dreams in the Chinese literary tradition drew on this strange and radical story. Like “I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Wonton alone lacks them. Another change happens, and then we are born. “Above ground I’d be eaten by crows and kites. “The Butterfly Dream” is the most famous story in the Zhuangzi (c. 3rd century bce), one of two foundational texts of Daoism, along with the Daodejing: “Once Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Are we the dreamers, or are we being dreamed? Did Zhuangzi dream the butterfly, or did the butterfly dream Zhuangzi?. But I looked back to her beginning and the time before she was born. Not much can be said about the fourth century BCE philosopher, except an entry in Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (94 BCE): Chuang-Tze had made himself well acquainted with all the literature of his time, but preferred the views of Lao-Tze; and ranked himself among his followers, so that of the more than ten myriads of characters contained in his published writings the greater part are occupied with metaphorical illustrations of Lao’s doctrines…. and she had a spirit. Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. It is often said, for example, that Zen is the marriage of Indian Buddhism with Chinese Taoism. the Great Sage Dream anecdote: This Great Sage story, argues Mr. Allison, has the power to explain the Butterfly Dream and lends credence to his self-transformation hypothesis: “Once fully awakened, one may distinguish between what is a dream and what is a reality. Sud- denly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. Once he woke up, and was both amazed and doubtful to find himself to really be Zhuangzi. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. He is also known for his famous parable about being a man who wakes from a dream, in which he was a butterfly and then does not know if he is himself again (a man) or a butterfly who dreams that he is a man. You rob the one and give to the other—how skewed would that be?”, — Zhuangzi, chapter 32 (Kern translation). I had rather amuse and enjoy myself in the midst of a filthy ditch than be subject to the rules and restrictions in the court of a sovereign. ( Log Out /  And he could not tell whether it was Zhuangzi who had dreamt the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming Zhuangzi. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. He dreamt that he was flying around from flower to flower and while he was dreaming he felt free, blown about by the breeze hither and thither. When he woke up, he did not know whether he really was a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly or whether he was a butterfly now dreaming he was a man. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. His butterfly dream poem is among the most famous passages in ancient Chinese literature. Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream. Zhuangzi is best known for the book with the same name, which is attributed to him. Another change and she was born. After Lao-tsi’s Dao Teh Ching, perhaps the most important Daoist text is the Zhuangzi. But have you not seen the victim-ox for the border sacrifice? Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. Quotations sourced to the book known as Zhuangzi: 昔者庄周梦为蝴蝶,栩栩然蝴蝶也,自喻适志与,不知周也。俄然觉,则戚戚然周也。不知周之梦为蝴蝶与,蝴蝶之梦为周与?周与蝴蝶则必有分矣。此之谓物化。 昔者莊周夢為蝴蝶,栩栩然蝴蝶也,自喻適志與,不知周也。俄然覺,則戚戚然周也。不知周之夢為蝴蝶與,蝴蝶之夢為周與?週與蝴蝶則必有分矣。此之謂物化。 (traditional) How do I know that enjoying life is not a delus… Chuang-Tze, however, only laughed and said to them. When the time comes for it to do so, it would prefer to be a little pig, but it can not get to be so. Zhuang Zhou (莊周), the historical figure known as "Master Zhuang" ("Zhuangzi") and traditional author of the eponymous book First, we need to become aware of our habitual tendency to clump together into one tangled mass what in reality are three distinct processes: To see something "nakedly" means to be able to stop, at least momentarily, after step #1, without moving automatically and almost instantaneously into steps #2 and #3. And he could not tell whether it was Zhuangzi who had dreamt the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming Zhuangzi. What is the nature of reality? the dream was of a butterfly, which is an animal that very beautifully shows us the nature of, real transformation. Community See All. Zhuangzi 219 right that there would be no room for argument. Death is perceived very differently depending on the culture one is a part of. At least in the World Civ courses of Anglophone universities, no mention of Daoism is ever complete without a discussion of Zhuāngzǐ’s dreaming of being a butterfly, usually interpreted as illustrating that (1) all things are relative and (2) Zhuāngzǐ should be regarded as charming. He didn’t know he was Zhuang Zhou. 16 people like this. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. It’s just like the progression of the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, winter.”, “Now she’s going to lie down peacefully in a vast room. “Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Page Transparency See More. When she first died, do you think I didn’t grieve like anyone else? By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Robert Allison’s “Chuang-tzu for Spiritual Transformation", Interpretations of Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream, Qi (Chi): The Taoist Principle of Life Force, M.S., Sociology and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, B.S., Mathematics and Women's Studies, Northwestern University, M.S.O.M., Southwest Acupuncture College–Santa Fe. Not only the time before she was born, but the time before she had a body. This belief forms the very basis for the Buddhist ideal of enlightenment. Instead, he proposes his “self-transformation hypothesis”: In other words, Mr. Allison sees Chuang-tzu’s story of the Butterfly Dream as an analogy of the enlightenment experience—as pointing to a change in our level of consciousness, which has important implications for anyone engaged in philosophical exploration: Allison supports this “self-transformation hypothesis” in large part by citing another passage from the Chuang-tzu, viz. Abstract. the sun and moon as my pair of jade disks. Zhuang Zhou Dreams of Being a Butterfly Once, Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Zhuāngzǐ: The Butterfly Dream Procursus. Contemplating the matter, he wondered whether he was, in fact, a man. This is called the Transformation of Things. “You lived with her, she brought up your children and grew old,” said Huizi. 2 Share this post. But he didn’t know if he was Zhuang Zhou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he was Zhuang Zhou. Another change and she was born. To Guo Xiang it is absolutely clear at the end of the story that "it cannot be proven that there was not earlier a butterfly Let's introduce the idea of "seeing nakedly"—which is at least a rough equivalent to Chuang-tzu’s “waking up from the dream"—by way of quoting the following passage taken from a dharma talk given by Kenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, on the topic of valid cognition: In this context, we can see perhaps how some tenants of early Chinese Taoism evolved into one of the standard principles of Buddhism. “A thousand ounces of silver are a great gain to me; and to be a high noble and minister is a most honorable position. But pounding on a tub and singing—this is going too far, isn’t it?”, Zhuangzi said, “You’re wrong. Zhuangzi is one of the foundational texts of Chinese literature and philosophy. With my burial complete, how is there anything left unprepared? Zhuangzi Dreams of a Butterfly by Anthony Tao, Liane Halton, released 20 March 2019 Zhuangzi Dreams of a Butterfly Zhuangzi the philosopher believed in the value of non-belief. Here’s a brief introduction to this vast and intricate field of inquiry: The Buddhist tradition of Valid Cognition is a form of Jnana Yoga, in which intellectual analysis, in concert with meditation, is used by practitioners to gain certainty about the nature of reality, and to the rest (non-conceptually) within that certainty. 16 people follow this. Link to post Share on other sites. Log In. a change took place How do we know if what we’re perceiving is “real” or a mere “illusion” or “fantasy”? The story, as translated 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. In the midst of the jumble of wonder and mystery Zhuangzi was a Taoist sage who lived during the 4th century BCE. below ground I’d be eaten by mole crickets and ants. Chuang Tzu was a philosopher in ancient China, who, one night went to sleep and dreamed that he was a butterfly. The story oftentimes referred to with the title “Zhuang Zhou Dreams of Being a Butterfly” narrates the continuous transformations of Master Zhuang into a butterfly and vice versa. In support of this argument, Mr. Allison also presents a less well-known passage from the "Chuang-tzu," known as the Great Sage Dream anecdote. Pet. If I were to follow after her bawling and sobbing, it would show that I don’t understand anything about fate. "Once Chuang Tzŭ dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. If we interpret the Butterfly Dream parable as an allegory that encourages thoughtful individuals to challenge their definitions of illusion and reality, it is a very short step to see the connection to Buddhist philosophy, in which we are encouraged to treat all supposed realities as having the same ephemeral, ever-changing and insubstantial nature as a dream. Between Zhuang Zhou and the butterfly there must be some distinction! “It should be enough simply not to weep at her death. How do I know, when I experience something I call “waking up,” that it is a waking up to “reality” as opposed to merely waking up into another level of dream? Here, then, are some selected poems from the Zhuangzi: Once, Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. Mr. Allison begins his exploration of Chuang-tzu’s Butterfly Dream anecdote by presenting two frequently used interpretive frameworks: According to the “confusion hypothesis,” the message of Chuang-tzu’s Butterfly dream anecdote is that we do not really awaken and so we are not sure of anything—in other words, we think we have awakened, but we have not. The Zhuangzi consists of a large collection of anecdotes, allegories, parables, fables, and "goblet words", which are often humorous or irreverent in nature. So what does it mean, then, to do this? Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. He didn’t know he was Chuang Chou. About See All. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream.” ― Zhuangzi, The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the First Three Chapters of the Chuang-Tzu. A butterfly dreams of Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. the ten thousand things as my funerary gifts. as if we had no name for it, and no past associations involving it. Other versions end in the translated line, “This is called the Transformation of Things.” Many interpretations of this tale connect Zhuangzi’s exquisite meditation on butterfly dreams to a Western tradition of epistemological skepticism from Plato to Descartes. Forgot account? Wie ist das Buch "The Butterfly Dream" zu deuten? The emperor of the Southern Seas was Lickety, the emperor of the Northern Sea was Split, and the emperor of the Center was Wonton. It means to perceive something as if we were seeing it for the first time (which, as it turns out, is indeed the case!) Perceiving an object (via the sense organs, faculties, and consciousnesses); Spinning off into conceptual elaboration about the object, based upon our associational networks. The classic Zhuangzi, a collection of sayings and anecdotes attributed to Master Zhuang Zhou (fl. It also reminds one of the works of Wei Wu Wei who, like Mr. Allison, uses the conceptual tools of western philosophy to present the ideas and insights of the nondual eastern traditions. The butterfly dream story, which is probably the best-known passage in the entire writings of Zhuangzi, goes as follows: Once Zhuang Zhou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flittering and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Zhuangzi (莊子), an ancient Chinese collection of anecdotes and fables, one of the foundational texts of Daoism . Go away quickly, and do not soil me with your presence. The story has had a substantial impact on later philosophies, both Eastern and Western. He was untroubled by the world, ever-easy under heaven, even when it was in revolt, logic and path in disarray, full of understanding for process and the helpless ambitions of men. But there must be some difference between them! She is the author of several books on spirituality, including "Physics, Philosophy & Nondual Spiritual Inquiry. The Taoist practice of “Aimless Wandering” is a great support for this kind of “seeing nakedly.”. I have determined never to take office, but prefer the enjoyment of my own free will. Master Zhuang said: “I take heaven and earth as my inner and outer coffins. So I stopped.”, — Zhuangzi, chapter 18 (Watson translation). Once he woke up, and was both amazed and doubtful to find himself to really be Zhuangzi. Before one has fully awakened, such a distinction is not even possible to draw empirically.”. King Wei of Chu, having heard of the ability of Chuang Chau, sent messengers with large gifts to bring him to his court, and promising also that he would make him his chief minister. The story of Chuang Tzŭ. The disciples said: “We are afraid that the crows and kites will eat you, Master!”. The two principal teachers within this tradition are Dharmakirti and Dignaga. 4 th BCE), contains a vignette that has deeply influenced cultural life in East Asia and beyond. What is at stake in this philosophical exploration of a Taoist parable is, in part, what in Buddhism is known as the tenets of Valid Cognition, which addresses the question: What counts as a logically-valid source of knowledge? the stars and constellations as my pearls and beads. He didn’t know that he was Zhuang Zhou. Whether or not Buddhism borrowed from Taoism or whether the philosophies shared some common source is unclear, but the similarities are unmistakable. Leave a reply “I think you know this story. 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