Zhuangzi woke up after having dreamt of a butterfly; and asked whether he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming it was Zhuangzi (Zhuangzi was a Chinese Taoist philosopher, 369-286 BCE).
Buddhism and Taosim teach that our experience of life is like an illusion, or like a dream. Will I ever actually wake up, or forever continue to live in this dreamlike state?
A few years back, on my way to Qing Huan Tea House in Penang, Malaysia, I took the local bus to Burma Road. It was a pleasant surprise to find the interior of the bus decorated with colourful butterflies, and with short informative texts. I remember I read on the wall of that bus that in some cultures butterflies are thought to be the souls of the deceased.
Maybe the passage to next life is just like starting another dream? Will I soon wake up to find I am but a butterfly dreaming about a woman drinking tea and writing of butterflies on her tea blog….