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A Chinaman of the T’ang Dynasty – and, by which definition, a philosopher – dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; in his two-fold security.
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More from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Rosencrantz: Shouldn’t we be doing something – constructive?
Guildenstern: What did you have in mind?…A short, blunt human pyramid?
…the single assumption that makes our existence viable – that somebody is watching….
Guildenstern: We only know what we’re told, and that’s little enough. And for all we know it isn’t even true.
Player: For all anyone knows, nothing is. Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that which is taken to be true. It’s the currency of living. There may be nothing behind it, but it doesn’t make any difference so long as it is honoured. One acts on assumptions. What do you assume?
Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood when it first occured to you that you don’t go on for ever. It must have been shattering – stamped into one’s memory. And yet I can’t remember it. It never occured to me at all.
We’re overawed, that’s our trouble. When it comes to the point we succumb to their personalities…