THE BUTTERFLY DREAM
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.
The famous Taoist parable attributed to Chinese philosopher
Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu) (369 BCE to 286 BCE)