Zhuangzi glossary


In sound sleep, souls mingle

其寐也魂交,          qí mèi yĕ hún jiāo
其覺也形開。          qí jué yĕ xíng kāi

The meaning of this verse is hard to interpret. One puzzle is that, while  mèi in the first line definitely refers to deep sleep, the corresponding character in the second line , can mean either "awake"  when pronounced jué or to sleep lightly when pronounced jiào. The first reading is seems intended in order for the contrast to be clear. It is troubling, but characteristic of Zhuangzi to leave us wondering what we think of as wakefulness is really the opposite of sleep or just a different version of the same thing. Also, how do these lines connect to what came before?