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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I had a dream last night that our childhood dog, Corky, was alive but not well. I threw snow at the living room wall of our house, which slid down behind the sofa. When we went looking for Corky, we found him behind the couch under a blanket. He wasn't moving but his eyes looked sad, almost vacant. I was relieved that he was still alive, because a voice in my head (during the dream) said he had been dead for many years. So, I was both startled and relieved to find him still alive.

But then I woke up and realized that it was only a dream and that, in fact, Corky has been dead for over thirty years.

I am reminded of the story about Chuang Tzu, a Taoist sage, who famously wrote that he wasn't sure if he was Chuang Tzu who dreamed he was a butterfly or a butterfly that dreamed he was Chuang Tzu.

What is the difference between dreaming and wakefulness? Is there a world of difference or no more than a fine line? Am I Robert dreaming that I am alive, or God dreaming that He is Robert?

after I'm gone
don't call me Buddha*
I will still be Robert

* In the Buddhist tradition, it is believed that when someone dies they become a Buddha, an enlightened being.

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