He said, “I am in such trouble but I don’t think any one of you can help me, so what is the point of telling you?”
They became even more curious. They said, “Please tell us! Who knows; we may be able to do something. All together we may be able to find some way. If there is a problem, there must be some solution. If there is a question, somewhere there must be an answer to it.”
Chuang Tzu said, “If you insist I will tell you what the problem is. The problem is not a question that you can find an answer for. It is a riddle which has no answer, and I am caught in the riddle; that’s why I am sad. Last night I dreamed that I had become a butterfly, flying from this plant to that, from this flower to that flower. And I completely forgot that I was Chuang Tzu, the famous, great master: I was really the butterfly, Chuang Tzu was nowhere at all.”
The disciples said, “This is not a problem – everybody dreams. We don’t see the riddle.”
Chuang Tzu said, “Wait a little, I have not told you the whole thing. Now waking up, the problem has arisen: perhaps now the butterfly has gone to sleep and is dreaming that she is Chuang Tzu. And I am caught in it: what’s what? Has Chuang Tzu dreamed of a butterfly or is a butterfly dreaming of Chuang Tzu?”
They were all silent, then they said, “Perhaps you are right that we cannot help you. Nobody can help you.”
But he had raised a tremendously important question. His question remained unanswered because I was not there! Naturally, for twenty-five centuries the question has waited for me. It is so simple. If I had been there I would have hit him really hard and awakened him.
The butterfly had no problem; it was not worried about what happened to Chuang Tzu. It was not concerned at all with Chuang Tzu – Chuang Tzu is concerned. The butterfly was alone, but you are not alone. Now you are sitting up in your bed concerned about what is right, what is real; whether you are Chuang Tzu or the butterfly…. all these things prove that you are not a dream, you are a reality.
The butterfly was just a dream. In a dream you are asleep. There are no questions, no problems. You don’t even think that it is a dream: you are it, you are totally identified with it. Now you are not identified with it. You cannot be a butterfly, that much is certain, because butterflies are not concerned about such great philosophical problems. It is only the prerogative of man to be puzzled, to be worried, to be riddled.