“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” -Chuang Tzu
An original mystery is at hand - where do we go when we dream? The fractal nature of reality is never more apparent than in our nightly adventures. Where do we go, and where is it exactly that we return to? Poet A.R. Ammons points to this same mystery.
“I found a weed that had a mirror in it
And that mirror looked in
at a mirror in me
that had a weed in it”
Who is reflecting in who? Who is the one without a second? The weed has just as much power to reflect as we do. The butterfly has just as much a claim to reality as we do. Maybe then, we’re not as solid as we think. Maybe then, as our personalities grow by accumulation, as they grow and make us feel solid and substantial - they veil us from our deeper selves.
"The more simple we are, the more complete we become." -Auguste Rodin
Maybe the game of personality is just that - a structured form of play. One that we spend our entire lives engaged in, but one that we must remember can never complete us. For it is in simplicity that the mystery of life can touch us again. Everyday wonders are no less astonishing than particle accelerators. For in the simplest sense - all we have are objects of awareness, and awareness itself. So why not be like Issa, who sees insects as his equal.
“I’m going to roll over,
So please move,
Or Anna Swir, who rediscovers the joy of the discovering nothing - a Double Rapture.
”Because there is no me
And because I feel
How much there is no me.”
Finally - it might be best to be like Saigyo. His pure heart uplifted by a surprise encounter. His pure heart, caught in a dance between eternities - smiling in awe.
“Quiet mountain hut
By a rice patch…till a deer’s cry
Just outside startles me
And I move…so startling him:
We astonish one another”
Don’t forget - it’s astonishing that you’re here.
It is as it is.