Then suddenly his son on the bed died. The wife cried so loudly that the king’s dream was shattered; he opened his eyes, looked at the dead body of his son and didn’t say a word, remained like a statue. His wife was shocked, she shook him and said, “Do you understand or not? Your son is dead!”
The king said, “I can see it but now I am puzzled for whom to cry. Just a minute ago I had twelve beautiful sons, very handsome, very wise, in every way skillful. Because of your crying my dream was shattered, those twelve sons have disappeared; and the golden throne and the marble palace and the great kingdom, have all gone. Should I weep for them or should I weep for this son because when I was dreaming I had completely forgotten my son, you and the kingdom?
“Now I am awake, I have forgotten the dream and the beauties of the dream. Which is true, which should I cry for? Because when I was seeing the dream it was true, at least it appeared to be true. Now I am seeing my dead son, it appears true, but how to decide which appearance is really true?”
Chuang Tzu says the same thing in another parable. He says, “Once I dreamed that I had become a butterfly, moving from one flower to another, enjoying the sun and the wind. And then somebody awakened me; it was morning and getting late and the sun was shining in my face. As I opened my eyes the butterfly disappeared, I was again Chuang Tzu. Since then I have been in confusion. The confusion is, if Chuang Tzu can dream that he is a butterfly, why can’t the butterfly dream that she is Chuang Tzu?”
He seems to be very penetrating; this puzzle is something worth meditating over. If Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in a dream, a butterfly too may have fallen asleep, sitting on some tree, under the shade of a tree and dreamed that she is Chuang Tzu. Now who is right and what is a dream? Both seem to be similar.
A man like Buddha knows the falseness of the whole world; he will not weep, he will not laugh, he will not even look back. That is his way of expressing his experience of the total. Mahavira will look back because he also has great compassion, but different from Jesus; he will not weep, because it helps nobody. If you weep for the world, it does not help the world. If you weep at the stupidity of people it makes you look silly, that’s all. It does not help people.
But Lao Tzu would have certainly laughed because looking at people’s absurdity, their ridiculousness, what else can you do? Lao Tzu used to ride on a water buffalo, moving from one place to another. He was a jolly fellow, telling jokes, telling stories to people, always in a laughing state.
If you see the statues of Buddha that have been made in China and in Japan you will be surprised. They don’t look like Buddha, particularly not like the Indian statues, not at all. The Indian statues have a very athletic form, Buddha has a big chest and a very small belly, no belly at all; his body seems to be very proportionate.