Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How do you know?

Every Wednesday this September, I will share a story with you. It can be a folktale, a zen or Sufi tale, a fable, a personal story, or a story snippet of something I am currently working on or mulling over.

Today's story is a short little zen story. I have not yet done my research on this, so what I know about it is limited. In a few versions I have seen, the story is about a philosopher, Zhuangzi. According to Wikipedia, whether he existed is in question although he is referenced in a number of zen stories. From what I understand, he may have been used as the "face" for a certain philosophical thought. I can't help but wonder if this character is a zen version of Nasrudin.
Two philosophers were walking by a river. The air was crisp, and the sun was reflecting off of the water. It was a beautiful day.

"Look at those fish," the first philosopher pointed out. "They are swimming their hearts out! They are having a great time."

"How do you know what the fish are experiencing? You are not a fish!" his companion retorted.

The first philosopher smiled. "How do you know what I know? You are not me!"

This story has been rattling around in my head quite a bit recently. Good thing I like it! I hope you do too. :)

Check in tomorrow at to read about (or see) something I've observed out in the world.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Who Elsa? by Elsa Zuniga is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at