This beautiful parable is an old Taoist story, told by Chuang Tzu.
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once had a vivid dream that he was a butterfly. He fluttered through the bushes and the trees, having a simple consciousness. He no longer had any awareness of his individuality as a human. All he knew was the life of a butterfly.
He flew around the gardens, experiencing fully the existence of a mere insect. Suddenly, he awoke and was taken out of his dream. He sat up and looked around. He thought to himself, “Was I a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly, dreaming that I am a man?”
Which one is it? Could it be both? This amazing parable explores the nature of reality itself. Are we merely dreaming this reality together? Is our experience on earth one huge collective dream that we are all engaging with? Who’s to truly know?
This also relates to the process of death, something that may seem very scary when it’s not truly understood. When we die, it is much more accurate to think of it like waking up from a dream.
Our consciousness does not simply cease to exist, but carries on into the next world. We never truly die, we just transform. Much like when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, the consciousness of the caterpillar does not cease to exist, but is transformed into something new.
When we view this reality as a huge, interactive dream, then we can understand that, just like in a dream, we are able to create our world. We have the powers to do anything we could ever imagine, the first step is always simply believing that it’s possible. Perhaps we are all figments of each other’s imagination within the mind of God.
3D Animation: Anthony Farrow
Colouring: Alyssa Duchnycz
Music: TerraTonz & John Hand