This metaphor of Chuang Tzu is very famous and probably you know it already, but all the same please consider it once more:


Chuang Tzu went for a constitutional in the late afternoon and sat under

a tree thinking about the meaning of life. It was pleasantly warm, he relaxed, had a nap and dreamt that he had wings and was flying above a field: he had become a beautiful butterfly!


He felt so free and joyful and the dream seemed so incredibly real that he forgot all about being Chuang Tzu, he was just the butterfly.

When he woke up told a friend that he might actually be a butterfly just dreaming of being Chuang Tzu:


What if I am dreaming right now? This conversation with you seems real in every way, but so did my dream. I thought I was Chuang Tzu who had a dream of being a butterfly.


What if I am a butterfly who at this very moment

is dreaming of being Chuang Tzu?


His friend assured him that he was indeed Chuang Tzu, not a butterfly, but he replied:


Ah, but what if you are simply part of my Chuang Tzu dream?

Then you can no longer help me to be sure

of what I really am!


Ask yourself now:


What if I am a divine being just dreaming

of being only human?




According to the Puranas, once King Janaka dreamt to be a beggar and after waking up asked his Guru, Vashista, if he really was a King dreaming to be a beggar or a beggar dreaming to be a king.

Vasishta replied:


You are neither, and you are both.


You are, but are not what you believe to be. You are because

you behave as if you were, and are not

because it does not last.


And then asked King Janaka:


Can you perhaps be a King or a beggar forever? Everything

must change, but you are what does not change.

Who are you?


King Janaka eventually admitted that he was neither a King or a beggar but the detached observer and a Yogi.

The reply was:


This is your last illusion, that you are a Jinani (Yogi), that you are

different and superior to the common man.


Nisargadatta Maharaj adds that


A prince who believes himself a beggar can only be definitively convinced

that he is in one way: he must behave like a prince

and see what happens.


Behave as if you were your Higher Self, or even that you are the Divine in the case that you are ready for it…

and see what happens.


His advice is:


Behave as of what I told you is true and evaluate what happens. I am only asking you the bit of faith necessary to make the first step. With experience

trust will come, and then you will no longer need me.




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