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EXPLORE

THE BUTTERFLY DREAM

昔者莊周夢為胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也,

 

自喻適志與。不知周也。

俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。不知周之夢為

 

胡蝶與,胡蝶之夢為周與。周與胡蝶,

 

則必有分矣。此之謂物化。

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)