Butterfly Dream

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“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a , fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a . I was conscious only of my happiness as a , unaware that I was myself. Soon I awakened, 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.” – Zhuangzi (c.3rd century B.C.):

The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the first three chapters of the Chuang-Tzu, by Kuang-Ming Wu (1990).

Today was too hot for human comfort in , but the butterflies seemed undaunted. There were several monarchs like the one above in thewildflower meadow on Pier 6 in Park. They reminded me of the famous butterfly dream of the Chinesephilosopher Chuang-Tzu, which I’ve quoted above.

 

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Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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