Chuang-tzu, Zhuangzi


Chuang-tzu, Zhuangzi 荘子 / 莊周 Sooshi, Sooji

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(simplified Chinese: 庄子; traditional Chinese: 莊子;
pinyin: Zhuang Zi; Wade–Giles: Chuang Tzu),

was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing -- in part or in whole -- a work known by his name, the Zhuangzi.
His name Zhuangzi (English "Master Zhuang", with Zi being an honorific) is sometimes spelled Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chuang Tzu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Chuang Tzu
was a Taoist sage during the fourth and third centuries B.C. The book of prose attributed to him is known for its playful expression of freedom and spontaneity. Chuang Tzu’s butterfly dream is among the most famous passages in Chinese literature. Li Po was a poet who lived in eighth-century China, during the Tang dynasty, which is sometimes considered the “Golden Age of Zen”. He is generally regarded as one of China’s most influential poets. Matsuo Basho, who lived in 17th-century Japan, is considered by many to be Japan's greatest haiku poet.

From “The Chuang Tzu”, Chapter 2:

Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly.
All day long, he floated on the breeze
Without a thought of who he was or where he was going.

When he awoke, Chuang Tzu became confused.

"Am I a Man”, he thought,
"who dreamed that I was a butterfly?
Or am I butterfly, dreaming that I am a man?
Perhaps my whole waking life is
but a moment in a butterfly's dream!
This is a story of transformation"

More about
. Chuang-Tsu and the Butterfly Dream   

. . . . .

Waking from Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream --
Plagiarism or Honkadori:
by Chen-ou Liu

In the first haiku lexicon, Yama no I (Mountain Spring, published in 1647), there is an explanatory passage under the entry titled Butterfly: “Butterfly. The scene of a butterfly alighting on rape blossoms, napping among flowers with no worries. Its appearance as it flutters its feathery wings, dancing like whirling snowflakes. Also the image is associated with [Zhuangzi’s] dream, suggesting that one hundred years pass as a gleam in a butterfly’s dream.” To demonstrate how to use this butterfly imagery, the compiler Kigin gives the following example:

Scattering blossoms:
the dream of a butterfly –
one hundred years in a gleam

My Butterfly Dream:
A Haiku Sequence Based on Chinese Poetics

thinking about
Zhuangzi... a butterfly
flutters its wings

autumn twilight
butterfly darts in and out
of my shadow

my dream floats
the shape and size
of a butterfly

waking from
the dream of a butterfly
me in the mirror?

MORE of this excerpt from my Simply Haiku essay :
Chen-Ou Liu

Descartes said, I think ...
does the butterfly recall
its dream?

Chen-Ou Liu

Rene Descartes (1596–1650)


. The Monkey Lesson from The Chuang Tzu   


Haiku and Senryu

dusting old books -
I find Chuang-Tsu
in German

Gabi Greve

Books by Richard Wilhelm,
who translated a lot of classical Chinese texts.

 Richard Wilhelm in the WIKIPEDIA !
(May 10, 1873, Tübingen, Germany
- March 2, 1930, Stuttgart, Germany)


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The Happiness of Fish by Zhuangzi:

Zhuangzi and Huizi were strolling along the dam of the Hao Waterfall when Zhuangzi said,
"See how the minnows come out and dart around where they please!
That's what fish really enjoy!"

Huizi said,
"You're not a fish — how do you know what fish enjoy?"

Zhuangzi said,
"You're not me, so how do you know I don't know what fish enjoy?"

Huizi said,
"I'm not you, so I certainly don't know what you know. On the other hand, you're certainly not a fish — so that still proves you don't know what fish enjoy!"

Zhuangzi said,
"Let's go back to your original question, please.
You asked me how I know what fish enjoy — so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question.
I know it by standing here beside the Hao."
—(17, tr. Watson 1968:188-9)

reading Zhuangzi...
I smile at the goldfish
smiling back

Chen-ou Liu, Canada

Related words

***** ***** Personal Names used in Haiku

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


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