The Fifth


2 min read

No, not in reference to a particular amendment in the American constitution.

When the days start to amalgamate, you begin to think about whether the days you have lived were lived or were they just remnants of a past dream experienced by another version of you in a different space, and in a different time.

There is a story by a Chinese philosopher, Chuang-Tzu, called The Butterfly Dream (it serves as an allegory for the point that I was making, if there was any point at all, as usual):

“Once upon a time, I, Chuang-Tzu, 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 Chuang-Tzu. 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. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.”

This talks about the distinction between illusion and reality, that we can never be sure we are actually awake. We think we might have but we really might have not been. I suppose, when one stops to think about why we do the things that we do, how we live day in and day out, how we do things for the sake of doing them, or to conform - it is not surprising that differentiating the two can be difficult.

That is not to say currently we do not know whether the dreams that we dream about are real or not, or whether that the reality that we live in is real or not. This is more to talk about the things that we do day to day. At least, in my own interpretation or usage of this allegory, when one cannot differentiate one thing from the other.

But, I digress.

It has inevitably come to an end. Perhaps earlier than was hoped to be however any decision to prolong it would be unsound when the reciprocity is unmet. The consequence of which has resulted in my wasting away. I have thought about this perennially, even if I came to the conclusion that it would be a fool’s errand, the hope that is there is not lost even when there is none.

Published: Jun 01 2018
Updated: Apr 11 2020