I was so taken with this quote of Lao Tzu that I stumbled across "by chance" many years ago, that I did a photography project based on it.
Quote "Once I dreamed I was a butterfly, then I awoke. But now I do not know
What are your thoughts?
asked 11 Oct '09, 18:04
I love your quote from the Old Sage, the Father of Taoism. I also came across it some years ago. It's a wonderful way to provoke thought about how we can know what is real. What is real for me is what I experience as real, whether that's real for someone else or not. In counseling there's the concept of "felt-needs" which means that it doesn't matter if something is an actual need as judged by others. If a person "feels" it is a need, then in his or her experience, it is in fact a need. So for me, what is real is what I am experiencing. If I am experiencing life as a butterfly who dreams he is a man, then I am really a butterfly. And the converse would be true as well.
If Taoism regards the fundamental as the essence (Chuang Tzu), then my fundamental experience is the essence of my reality. Consistent with my view of reality is my choice not to challenge what others say is their reality. If they say something is real for them, how can I say it's not? I suppose the effect of this is an essential approach to life of "live and let live" with the understanding that such a philosophy does not mean that I should not get involved if I believe another person is attempting to harm someone. After all, my experience would be telling me that I must intervene. But insofar as your reality is not depriving me of my reality, then I say let each have their own reality. It is ultimately impossible to prove anything as "objective" reality.
We can be sure of nothing except that we exist. Cogito ergo sum. "I think, therefore I am." So if we can be sure of nothing else, how can we know that our beliefs are accurate and true?
I cannot know if I am a man or a butterfly, but I can believe whatever I choose to believe. Generally, I will believe what best suits the reality I am experiencing, or as I put it in another answer, "We will hold our beliefs as long as they "work" for us."
So I have little choice but to work within the context of my perceived reality. This is as it should be. If life's journey has brought me to this particular awareness, then it is from this point that I must move on. So I take action based on this reality. Whether it is right or wrong, it is right for me. It's what I have to work with.
My reality is the sum of what I believe, in this moment, based on the experiences that have brought me to this point. Reality grows, expands and changes. It is the stimulus that moves me to action, hence to never ending development and growth.
answered 16 Oct '09, 05:27
Reality is life, and life is Enigma. we are part of it, and it's part of us. at the same time there is no ''it'' and there is no ''us'', we are all one. I think reality as we know it is illusion. but it's a ''real'' illusion! .. paradox? of course :D like any paradox I think there is no point in understanding it. we can learn as much as we can, and the more we learn the more we realize that we know nothing at all. the best thing to do is to ''be'' .. to enjoy our being. not who we are, or what we are, because there is no such thing. but only to allow life to experience itself through us, instead of forcing it to experience ourselves. when that happens, our realization and understanding of reality will be reformed and replaced with absolute freedom, joy, peace and harmony. reality is a dream, but this not the point. the point is, who is the dreamer ? .. ''we'' are part of the dream. not the dreamer. when we know who is the one dreaming about us and reality as we know it .. we will be free. that is our salvation. at this point I know that the word ''God'' would jump in many minds as an answer or ''THE'' answer. but as it does, it also becomes part of the same dream! .. what happens when you realize that you are actually dreaming ? .. you wake up! .. if God is the naswer, then the dream should end right now. did it ? so what is this answer? .. I think this is a trick question. actually I think that the trick IS the question. because whatever answer you would think of, it will automatically becomes part of the dream. it could not be the dreamer. so the answer would be .. to drop the question. drop the mind. the mind is designed to guide us through the dream, it was not designed to guide us to the dreamer. in fact there is nothing within this dream that could lead us to the dreamer. it would only lead us to another part of the dream! .. we are too busy with reality. with the dream. that is part of the design, because this keeps us dreaming, and life goes on and on. but at some moments, we feel the need to stop. we feel that we are just tired of dreaming. tired of trying to change the dream. we look up, and start to look for the face of the one behind all of this. the dreamer. we always look up .. the more we open our eyes and search we get deeper in the same dream. we never think of just close our eyes, stop thinking, stop searching , stop asking.. and join the dreamer, within.
answered 16 Oct '09, 07:04
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