Philosophy of 列子

This is story from a book I am reading: Philosophy
of 列子.
There is a hunter from country X who see a deer
while he is chopping wood. Therefore he hunt down the
deer. However, because he is afraid of that being
known, so he hide the deer in a secret place. Being so
secret that he quickly forgot where he hid the deer.
He thought he must be having a dream about catching a
Someone else, however, overheard what the hunter
said in his way to home. Following that direction, he
has located the deer. He said to his wife: ‘Some wood
chopper just hunted a deer, but he has forgotten where
that was. I then found his lost deer. Is he really
His wife reply: ‘I thought it must be you who was
dreaming about a wood chopper who caught a deer. In
reality there is no wood chopper. Just what you dream
has become real.’
To that he further reply: ‘Since I already got the
deer, who care whether it is his dream or my dream?’
The wood chopper doesn’t forgot that deer. In that
night he has a dream about someone who has stolen the
deer he hunted. Next day he follow the lead from the
dream, and he found the deer and that person exactly
as the dream descript to him.
He sue that person ‘stolen his personal property’.
However, the court official reply: ‘At the beginning
when you really hunted down the deer, you thought you
are only dreaming; then when you dream, you thought it
is real. And you are fighting the deer he got; in
which his wife thought he got the deer from his dream,
so nobody got this deer first. Therefore I will split
this deer into half.’
The king has overheard this story, comments: ‘I
don’t know if that really was that official dreaming
about making a judgement of splitting the deer’.
One high-ranking official reply:’ Dreaming or not, I
can’t distinguish. If you want to know whether it is a
dream or not, I will have to ask Confucian or The
Emperor, but now they are dead. Who can tell now? I
thought we should just follow the advise from that



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