庄周梦蝶 – Chinese philosophy and culture

Zhuāng Zhōu mèng dié 庄周梦蝶

Zhuangzi Dreaming of Becoming a Butterfly

庄子(前369?—前286)梦见自己成为蝴蝶。“庄周梦蝶”一事见于《庄子·齐物论》。庄子梦见自己成为蝴蝶,醒来后才发现自己是庄周。庄子甚至无法区分是庄子梦见自己成为蝴蝶,还是蝴蝶梦见自己成为庄子。庄子借由这一梦境的感受提醒人们,自身与他者、梦与醒以及一切事物之间的界限与区别都是相对的,是可以破除的。事物处于转化与流通之中,庄子称之为“物化”。

Zhuangzi (sometimes also referred to as Zhuang Zhou, 369?-286 BC) dreamed that he had become a butterfly. The story appears in “On Seeing Things as Equal” in the classic Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi dreamed that he had become a butterfly, but woke up to find he was still himself. In fact he was not sure whether he had dreamed of becoming a butterfly or a butterfly had dreamed of becoming him. Zhuangzi used this dream to remind people that there must be a relative difference between oneself and others, between dreaming and wakefulness, and between all other things. However, these boundaries were not absolute and could be broken. Things were in constant transformation and circulation, which he called “the transformation of things (wuhua 物化).”

引例 Citation:

◎昔者庄周梦为胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也,自喻适志与!不知周也。俄然觉,则蘧(qú)蘧然周也。不知周之梦为胡蝶与?胡蝶之梦为周与?周与胡蝶,则必有分矣。此之谓物化。(《庄子·齐物论》)

(从前庄周梦见自己变成了蝴蝶,翩翩飞舞的一只蝴蝶,遨游各处悠游自在,不知道自己是庄周。忽然醒过来,自己分明是庄周。不知道是庄周做梦化为蝴蝶呢,还是蝴蝶做梦变化为庄周呢?庄周与蝴蝶必定是有所分别的。这就叫做“物化”。)

Once I, Zhuangzi, dreamed that I became a flying butterfly, happy with myself and doing as I pleased. I forgot that I was Zhuangzi. Suddenly I woke up and I was Zhuangzi again. I did not know whether Zhuangzi had been dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether a butterfly had been dreaming that it was Zhuangzi. There must be a difference between the two, which is what I call “the transformation of things.” (Zhuangzi)

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