Teacher Zhuangzi had a dream,
Wherein he was a butterfly.
Totally free and happy and unaware of being Zhuangzi.
It was beautiful!
He flitted from flower to flower! Lifted up on the soft, fragrant air of summer,
Across the light and warm spring air on his colorful wings.
He was beautiful, free, and happy!
Then he woke up and was in a quandary.
Was he the philosopher Zhuangzi who dreamt of the butterfly?
Or was he the butterfly who dreamt of being the philosopher Zhuangzi?
Zhuangzi the philosopher was no butterfly, but an aging man with a sore back.
Zhuangzi’s butterfly was a worthy question.
It troubled serious German existentialists in the 20th Century.
But I posit something else.
There always was Zhuangzi in the butterfly,
And there was always the butterfly in Zhuangzi.
Dream or no dream,
Both things are.
My dreams are always me.
And I am always my dreams!
And my dreams are always the true me!
When I connect them.
Are my dreams my reality?
Is my reality my dreams?
Find that butterfly within you,
And you will find who you really are.
Nurture the dream within you.
And face your reality.
Your dream may be the true you,
But better still, you may be your own best dream.
Our dream is the kernel of whom we will be.
Whom we will be is the stuff of our dreams.
Our dreams may be beyond our realities.
Or our reality may be beyond our dreams.
The limit is in our hearts.
May your dreams surpass your being,
And may your being always surpass your dreams.
You may surpass teacher Zhuangzi
And be him, the butterfly, and your true self.