When she first died, do you think I didn’t grieve like anyone else? Did Zhuangzi dream the butterfly, or did the butterfly dream Zhuangzi?. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. “It should be enough simply not to weep at her death. 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. Zhuang Zhou (莊周), the historical figure known as "Master Zhuang" ("Zhuangzi") and traditional author of the eponymous book Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. So what does it mean, then, to do this? the dream was of a butterfly, which is an animal that very beautifully shows us the nature of, real transformation. If I were to follow after her bawling and sobbing, it would show that I don’t understand anything about fate. Zhuangzi once dreamt that he had turned into a butterfly, lightly floating in the air, relaxed and content, and completely oblivious to who he really was. This is called the Transformation of Things. 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. 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. To Mr. Allison, neither of the above (for various reasons) is satisfactory. Zhuāngzǐ: The Butterfly Dream Procursus. Chuang Tzu was a philosopher in ancient China, who, one night went to sleep and dreamed that he was a butterfly. Page Transparency See More. The “Dream of the Butterfly” fable is employed in the Zhuangzi to juxtapose the mystical transformation of man into creature with the ordinary transformation of consciousness into unconsciousness, or life into death. According to the Chinese philosophical classic Zhuangzi, the great Daoist thinker of that name fell asleep one day and dreamed that he was a butterfly. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 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…. spring, summer, fall, winter. 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 Wonton alone lacks them. 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. 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. 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. But Chuang was an admirable writer and skillful composer…The ablest scholars of his day could not escape his satire nor reply to it, while he allowed and enjoyed himself with his sparkling, dashing style; and thus it was that the greatest men, even kings and princes, could not use him for their purposes. 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. The two principal teachers within this tradition are Dharmakirti and Dignaga. Not Now. It did not know that it was Zhuangzi… Pet. The classic Zhuangzi, a collection of sayings and anecdotes attributed to Master Zhuang Zhou (fl. a change took place Zhuangzi (莊子), an ancient Chinese collection of anecdotes and fables, one of the foundational texts of Daoism . Once he woke up, and was both amazed and doubtful to find himself to really be Zhuangzi. Contemplating the matter, he wondered whether he was, in fact, a man. 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. 2 Share this post. 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. Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream Zhuangzi once dreamt that he had turned into a butterfly, lightly floating in the air, relaxed and content, and completely oblivious to who he really was. See more of Zhuangzi the Butterfly on Facebook. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. Chuang-Tze, however, only laughed and said to them. Elizabeth Reninger is a Taoist practitioner of qigong, acupuncture, and tuina massage. “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. Zhuangzi is one of the foundational texts of Chinese literature and philosophy. ( Log Out /  “Above ground I’d be eaten by crows and kites. Like “I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. The “endless (external) transformation hypothesis”. the stars and constellations as my pearls and beads. Another change and she was born. Zhuangzi 219 right that there would be no room for argument. 16 people like this. 84 likes. Are we the dreamers, or are we being dreamed? How do we know when we’re dreaming, and when we’re awake? Zhuangzi was a Taoist sage who lived during the 4th century BCE. Not only the time before she had a body, but the time before she had a spirit. Now there’s been another change and she’s dead. He didn’t know he was Zhuang Zhou. Another change happens, and then we are born. But there must be some difference between them! It’s been connected with a famous parable from the Zhuangzi, usually known as “The Butterfly Dream.” And so, to throw some light on whatever unconscious connection my muses may have had to the Zhuangzi, I figured I’d perform a rendition of Zhuang’s famous parable that you can hear below. About See All. Zhuangzi, also written as Chuang Tzu or Chuang Zhou, was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived during the 4th century BCE. 16 people follow this. Zhuangzi is best known for the book with the same name, which is attributed to him. Create New Account. The Taoist practice of “Aimless Wandering” is a great support for this kind of “seeing nakedly.”. And he could not tell whether it was Zhuangzi who had dreamt the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming Zhuangzi. Two of the best-known parables of the Zhuangzi are contained here: “Three in the Morning,” and the “Dream of Zhuangzi being a Butterfly.” It is a work of true genius. The story has had a substantial impact on later philosophies, both Eastern and Western. It means to perceive something as if we were seeing it for the first time (which, as it turns out, is indeed the case!) the sun and moon as my pair of jade disks. Lickety and Split often met each other in the land of Wonton, and Wonton treated them very well. Zhuangzi — ‘Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. Zhuangzi’s wife died. Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. The Zhuangzi consists of a large collection of anecdotes, allegories, parables, fables, and "goblet words", which are often humorous or irreverent in nature. But there must be some difference between them! 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. 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. Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream. Not only the time before she was born, but the time before she had a body. 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. 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. "Once Chuang Tzŭ dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. This tradition includes numerous texts and various commentaries. 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. Let’s try boring some holes for him.” So every day they bored one hole [in him], and on the seventh day Wonton died. Wanting to repay Wonton’s kindness, Lickety and Split said, “All people have seven holes for seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing. Of all the famous Taoist parables attributed to Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu) (369 BCE to 286 BCE), few are more famous than the story of the butterfly dream, which serves as an articulation of Taoism's challenge toward definitions of reality vs. illusion. One night, Zhuangzi dreamed of being a butterfly — a happy butterfly, showing off and doing things as he pleased, unaware of being Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi may refer to: . Another change and she was born. I have determined never to take office, but prefer the enjoyment of my own free will. He didn’t know that he was Zhuang Zhou. You rob the one and give to the other—how skewed would that be?”, — Zhuangzi, chapter 32 (Kern translation). ... Im Traum nahm sich Zhuangzi selbst als Schmetterling wahr und wusste nichts von seiner wahren Identität als Mensch. It is often said, for example, that Zen is the marriage of Indian Buddhism with Chinese Taoism. He didn't know he was Zhuang Zhou. Sud- denly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. But there must be some difference between them! 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. Butterfly Dream Extract.pdf from PHIL 9 at DeAnza College. Perceiving an object (via the sense organs, faculties, and consciousnesses); Spinning off into conceptual elaboration about the object, based upon our associational networks. The disciples said: “We are afraid that the crows and kites will eat you, Master!”. and she had a spirit. Go away quickly, and do not soil me with your presence. How do we know if what we’re perceiving is “real” or a mere “illusion” or “fantasy”? Change ). In this poem, he writes about a dream that he had of being a butterfly, flying about enjoying itself. According to the “endless (external) transformation hypothesis,” the meaning of the story is that the things of our external world are in a state of continuous transformation, from one form into another, into another, etc. 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. Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. “Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Most Zhuangzi stories are fairly short and simple, such as "Lickety" and "Split" drilling seven holes in "Wonton" (chapter 7) or Zhuangzi being discovered sitting and drumming on a basin after his wife dies (chapter 18), although a few are longer and more complex, like the story of Master Lie and the magus (chapter 14) and the account of the Yellow Emperor's music (c… 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… See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. 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. Later interpretations of dreams in the Chinese literary tradition drew on this strange and radical story. ( Log Out /  The story, as translated by Lin Yutang, goes like this: This short story points to some exciting and much-explored philosophical issues, stemming from the relationship between the waking state and the dream-state, or between illusion and reality: Employing the language of western philosophy, Robert Allison, in "Chuang-tzu for Spiritual Transformation: An Analysis of the Inner Chapters" (New York: SUNY Press, 1989), presents a number of possible interpretations of Chuang-tzu’s Butterfly Dream parable, and then offers his own, in which he interprets the story as a metaphor for spiritual awakening. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  But have you not seen the victim-ox for the border sacrifice? Whether or not Buddhism borrowed from Taoism or whether the philosophies shared some common source is unclear, but the similarities are unmistakable. Community See All. Log In. The emperor of the Southern Seas was Lickety, the emperor of the Northern Sea was Split, and the emperor of the Center was Wonton. In this analysis he echoes Advaita Vedanta’s Yoga Vasistha, and it also brings to mind the tradition of Zen koans, as well as Buddhist “valid cognition” reasonings (see below). Now there’s been another change and she’s dead. Link to post Share on other sites. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. 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? Master Zhuang said: “I take heaven and earth as my inner and outer coffins. 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