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Zhuang Zi

Zhuang Zi (莊子 pinyin: zhuang1 zi5; Wade-Giles: Chuang Tzu or Chuang Tse), literally meaning Master Zhuang, is a famous philosopher in ancient China, lived around the 4th century BC (Period of the Warring States). He was from the Town of Meng (蒙城 meng2 cheng2) in the State of Song[?] (宋國 song4 guo2) (now Shangqiu (商邱 shang1 qiu1), Henan). His given name is Zhou (周 zhou1). He is also known as Meng Official (蒙吏 meng2 li4), Meng Zhuang (蒙莊 meng2 zhuang1) and Meng Elder (蒙叟 meng2 sou3).

This name also applies to the Taoist book (《莊子》) of the same name believed to be written by Zhuang Zi and others. One phrase from the book that has been popuarlized is the idiom "Zhuang Zhou dreams to be a butterfly" (莊周夢蝶 zhuang1 zhou1 meng4 die2) from the chapter "On All Things" (齊物論 qi2 wu4 lun4). The idiom originates from the event that one night, Zhuang Zi dreamed that he was a carefree butterfly flying happily. And after he woke up, he thought that maybe he is actually a butterfly dreaming to be a person. All it means is that life is changing and filled with uncertainty.

See also: Taoism, Lao Zi

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